The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-First Day: Tuesday, 5th February, 1946
(Part 14 of 14)

THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell us what is proposed for to-morrow?

M. FAURE: To-morrow, M. Gerthoffer will, if it suits the Tribunal, make a statement on the looting of art treasures. A problem is involved here. For at the time when this would normally have been done, we decided to dispense with it, thinking that a reference to the American document would be sufficient. On consulting our American colleagues, however, it appeared that they themselves relied on that part of the matter being presented by the French Prosecution. So, if the Tribunal does not object to our returning to the subject now, a statement will be presented to this effect.

On the other hand, one of the magistrates of the French delegation proposes to present a brief which recapitulates systematically the charges against each of the defendants, according to the documents and briefs submitted.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Tribunal would hope that the expose on the looting of art treasures will be quite short, as it must be cumulative, because, you will remember, we had at some stage of the trial presented to us some 30 or more books of art treasures which had been taken away from various parts of Europe and France, and all photographed by the Germans themselves, and therefore any evidence which would now be given would be cumulative.

M. FAURE: That is why I asked the Tribunal whether it would agree to this procedure; but at any rate, if the Tribunal considers that the statement can be made, it will be only a very short one which will take about two hours.

DR. THOMA (counsel for defendant Rosenberg): If I understood M. Faure correctly, he asked the Tribunal whether the confiscation and plundering of works of art in France would again be dealt with to- morrow. I would like to add that the American prosecution has already declared before this Tribunal that the question of the plundering of works of art would not be dealt with again. Accordingly, I myself, as representing Rosenberg, and my colleague, Dr. Stahmer, as representing Goering, took steps to cancel calling witnesses whom we had planned to summon. If, however, the French prosecution intends to submit new material, we must have these witnesses called. For this reason, I would like to ask the Tribunal to decide whether it is necessary for the confiscation of works of art in France to be taken up once more.

[Page 99]

THE PRESIDENT: I think defendant's counsel must be wrong in thinking that the United States counsel said anything which meant that the French prosecution could not produce further evidence with reference to the spoliation of art treasures. I cannot think the United States counsel had any authority to do that and I had understood myself that this part of the prosecution had been omitted by one of the French counsel on account of the request of the Tribunal to shorten their argument. Was that not so?

M. FAURE: That is quite true, Mr. President. Your interpretation is exact.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Tribunal would wish that the presentation should be made, if the French prosecutors desire it, but it should be made as short as possible.

M. FAURE: Thank you.

(Whereupon, at 17.25 hours the Tribunal adjourned until 10.00 hours on Wednesday, 6th February, 1946.)

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