The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Thirtieth Day: Wednesday, January 9th, 1946
(Part 6 of 10)

[MR. ROBERTS continues]

[Page 114]

Document 872-PS, Exhibit USA 134, 3rd February, 1941, a discussion with Hitler, Keitel and Jodl, re: "Barbarossa" and "Sonnenblume," North African suggestions. Hitler said: "When 'Barbarossa' commences, the world will hold its breath and make no comments."

Then, Document 447-PS, Exhibit USA 135, dated 13th March, 1941, that is an operation order signed by Keitel, re: the administration of the areas which are to be occupied, showing again that Keitel was more than a mere soldier; this is civil administration.

Document C-39, Exhibit USA 138, 6th June, 1941, timetable for "Barbarossa," signed by Keitel, and Jodl gets a sixth copy.

Document C-78, Exhibit USA 139, 9th June, 1941, is Hitler's order to Keitel and Jodl to attend the pre-"Barbarossa" conference on the 14th June, 1941, eight days before the operation.

My Lord, on those facts and documents on the position of these two defendants, I again respectfully submit that their participation in this aggression is overwhelmingly proved.

The last aggression is with regard to the provoked persuasion of Japan to commit an aggression against the United States of America. My Lord, there are two key documents, and both Keitel and Jodl are implicated by both of them. The first is C-75, Exhibit USA 151, dated 5th March, 1941. It is an O.K.W. order signed by Keitel, copy to Jodl, "Japan must be drawn actively into the war" is a quotation from it.

Then Document C-152, Exhibit GB 122, l8th March, 1941, the meeting between Hitler, Raeder, Keitel and Jodl - Japan to seize Singapore. That is the relevant extract from that.

My Lord, on those acts of aggression and those preparations for aggression, I submit that the case against these two men is overwhelming. It is clear, in my submission, that there could be no defence open to them except that they were obeying the orders of a superior. That defence is not open to them under this Charter. No doubt all these wicked schemes germinated in the wicked brain of Hitler, but he could not carry them out alone. He wanted men nearly as wicked and nearly as unscrupulous as himself.

My Lord, I now pass very rapidly to the question of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. It has already been proved that Keitel signed

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the "Nacht und Nebel" decrees, committing persons to incarceration in Germany where all trace of them was lost. That is Document L-90, Exhibit USA 503.

There is one fresh document that I desire to put in. Colonel Telford Taylor put in C-50, Keitel's order as to ruthless action in the "Barbarossa" campaign. There is one complementary document to that, C-51, which is GB 162, Keitel's order dated the 27th July, 1941:

"In accordance with the regulations concerning classified material the following offices will destroy all copies of the Fuehrer's decree of 13th May, 1941" - that is, Document C-50, the "Barbarossa" decree - "issued in the communication mentioned above:

(a) All offices upwards to the rank of 'General Commands' inclusive" - My Lord, that means that corps commanders and downwards should destroy copies.

"(b) Group commands of the armoured troops" - that again means offices of the armoured corps below the rank of corps commanders should destroy the copies.

"(c) Army commands and offices of equal rank, if there is an inevitable danger that they might fall into the hands of unauthorised persons."

That is to say that even higher generals, if the war approaches closely to them, should destroy these documents rather than there should be any chance of them being captured.
"The validity of the decree is not affected by the destruction of the copies. In accordance with paragraph III it remains the personal responsibility of the commanding officers to see to it that the offices and legal advisers are instructed in time, and that only these sentences are confirmed, which correspond to the political intentions of the High Command."
That was with regard to German soldiers not being tried by court martial for offences against Soviet troops.
"This order will be destroyed together with the copies of the Fuehrer's decree."
My Lord, I submit that the anxiety on the part of the O.K.W., presided over by Keitel, to destroy that, I suggest illegal, barbarous order is significant.

My Lord, I desire now to put in another document which is almost the last document in the bundle, UK-20. Your Lordship will find it flagged at the end of the bundle. It is from the Fuehrer's headquarters, 26th May, 1943.

It says:

"Ref.: Treatment of supporters of de Gaulle who fight for the Russians.

French airmen serving in the Soviet air forces have been shot down on the Eastern Front for the first time. The Fuehrer has ordered that employment of French troops in the Soviet forces is to be counteracted by the strongest means.

It is therefore ordered: (1) Supporters of de Gaulle who are taken prisoner on the Eastern Front will be handed over to the French Government for proceedings in accordance with O.K.W. order."

And then I read paragraph (3):
"Detailed investigations are to be made in appropriate cases against relatives of Frenchmen who fight for the Russians, if these relatives are resident in the occupied area of France. If the investigation reveals that relatives have given assistance to facilitate escape from France then severe measures are to be taken."
My Lord, I offer that as Exhibit GB 163.

My Lord, there is a document which I feel I should put in, which is the next document in the bundle, and is UK-57, Exhibit GB 164. This is the

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last document, I think, in the bundle. My Lord, it is from the "Ausland Abwehr" - I believe it is from the Intelligence Foreign Department. It is to the O.K.W. and it is signed the 4th January, 1944. My Lord, the heading is: "Re counteraction to Kharhov show trial." Paragraph 2 is all that I read:
"The documents concerning Commandos have been asked for and thoroughly investigated by the Reich Security Main Office. In five cases members of the British armed forces were arrested as participants. Thereupon they were shot in accordance with the order of the Fuehrer. It would be possible to attribute to them breaches of International Law and to have them posthumously sentenced to death by a tribunal. Up to the present no breaches of International Law could be proved against Commando participants."
My Lord, I read no more, and I submit that that is clearly an admission of murder, not warfare at all.

My Lord, Keitel's comments are to be found in the top left- hand corner of that document: "We want documents on the basis of which we can institute similar proceedings. They are reprisals which have no connection with battle actions. Legal justifications are superfluous.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that not at the top signed by Keitel?

MR. ROBERTS: It is typewritten in the office copy, which is the original.

THE PRESIDENT: There is no actual signature.


MR. BIDDLE: How does it connect with Keitel then?

MR. ROBERTS: Wehrmacht Chief O.K.W., that is "note of the Chief of O.K.W."

Now, that is the first minute. My Lord, the second minute is on the same subject and it is dated the 6th January, 1944, and there is a large red Keitel "K" initialled on the top of this letter, showing that he got it. My Lord, the first paragraph deals with two officers who were then at Eichstadt Camp in Bavaria. My Lord, there is no importance in that paragraph, because those two officers are still alive.

The second paragraph:

"Attempted attacks on the battleship Tirpitz.

At the end of October, 1942, British Commandos who had come to Norway in a cutter and had orders to carry out an attack on the battleship Tirpitz in Trondheim Fjord by means of a two-man torpedo. The action failed since both torpedoes which were attached to the cutter were lost in the stormy sea. From amongst the crew, consisting of six Englishmen and four Norwegians, a party of three Englishmen and two Norwegians were challenged on the Swedish border. However, only the British seaman Robert Paul Evans, born 14th January, 1922, at London, could be arrested, the others escaped into Sweden.

Evans had a pistol pouch in his possession such as is used to carry weapons under the arm-pit, and also a knuckle-duster. Violence, representing a breach of International Law, could not be proved. He has made extensive statements about the operation. In accordance with the Fuehrer's order he was shot on 19th January, 1943."

Again, I submit, that is murder. Violence representing a breach of International Law could not be proved.

My Lord, then the third paragraph:

"Blowing up of the Glomfjord Power Station.

On 16th September, 1942, ten Englishmen and two Norwegians landed on the Norwegian coast dressed in the uniform of the British Mountain Rifle Regiment, heavily armed and equipped with explosives of every

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description. After negotiating difficult mountain country they blew up important installations in the power station Glomfjord on 21st September, 1942. The German sentry was shot dead on that occasion. Norwegian workmen were threatened that they would be chloroformed should they resist. For this purpose the Englishmen were equipped with morphia syringes. Several of the participants have been arrested whilst the others escaped into Sweden.

Those arrested are:

Captain Graeme Black, born 9th May, 1911, in Dresden.

Captain Joseph Houghton, born 13th June, 1911, at Bromborough.

Top Sergeant Miller Smith, born 2nd November, 1915, at Middlesbrough.

Corporal William Chudley, born 10th May, 1922, at Exeter.

Rifleman Reginald Makeham, born 28th January, 1914, at Ipswich.

Rifleman Cyril Abram, born 20th August, 1922, in London.

Rifleman Eric Curtis, born 24th October, 1921, in London.

They were shot on 30th October, 1942."

Again there is no suggestion that there was any breach of International Law. They were British seamen and they were in uniform.

Then paragraph 4:

"The sabotage attack against German ships off Bordeaux.

On 12th December, 1942, a number of valuable German ships off Bordeaux were seriously damaged by explosives below water-level. The adhesive mines had been fixed by 5 English sabotage gangs working from canoes. From amongst the 10 participants the following were arrested after a few days."

Then there followed six names, six British names, one an Irishman, a lieutenant; a petty officer; a sergeant and three marines. A seventh soldier named Moffett was found drowned; the remainder apparently escaped into Spain.

The participants proceeded in pairs from a submarine in canoes upstream into the mouth of the River Gironde. They were wearing olive-grey special uniforms. After effecting the explosions they sank the boats and attempted to escape into Spain in civilian clothes, with the assistance of the French civilian population. No special criminal actions during the fight have been discovered. All the arrested, in accordance with orders were shot on 23rd March, 1943. Keitel initialled that document. That document, read by my learned leader Sir David Maxwell Fyfe not so long ago, is 735-PS, quoting Keitel as saying, "I am against legal procedure. It does not work out."

THE PRESIDENT: Would you read the Page 5 which follows that?

MR. ROBERTS: If it will please the Tribunal, that is what I shall do. Page 5: "The Fuehrer's Headquarters, 9th January, 1944. The Chief of O.K.W. has handed the Deputy Chief," - that ought to be W.F.S.T., that is Jodl, - "the enclosed letter with the following account. It is of no importance to establish documentary proof of breaches of International Law. What is important, however, is the collection of material suitable for a propaganda presentation of a show trial. A show trial as such is therefore not meant to take place, but merely a propaganda presentation of cases of breaches of International Law by enemy soldiers, who will be mentioned by name and have already either been punished with death or have to expect the death penalty. The Chief of the O.K.W. asked the Chief of the Foreign Department, Admiral Canaris, to bring with him a corresponding document for his next visit to the Fuehrer's Headquarters," - as the Tribunal heard from my learned friend, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, when he read Document 735-PS earlier to-day, and Keitel said, "I am against legal procedure. It does not work out."

[Page 118]

One can agree with Keitel, after having read that record of what, in my submission, is cold-blooded murder of brave men, brave soldiers and sailors who were fighting for their country; and although this trial has a record of the death of brave men, of the murder of brave men, there are few cases which are more poignant than those shown in the documents to which I have just referred.

I have finished my presentation of the case against Keitel and against Jodl. So far as Jodl's part in the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity is concerned, he figures much less than Keitel. Of course, he had no power of giving orders or directives, but we see that he at any rate signed and circulated an infamous order of the Fuehrer saying that Commandos ought to be shot and are not to be treated as prisoners of war at all.

In my submission the evidence against these two men is overwhelming and their conviction is demanded by the civilised world.

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