The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th February to 11th March, 1946

Seventy-Fifth Day: Wednesday, 6th March, 1946
(Part 3 of 6)

[Page 182]

MR. DODD: Your Honour. There is the matter of Admiral Buerkner. So, far as we know, Dr. Siemers made one request about Admiral Buerkner some time ago, and at that time he was told, as I understand it, that Admiral Buerkner was to be called, or that the prosecution intended to call him as a witness, and that, therefore, we did not think it proper for him to talk to Admiral Buerkner until after we had called him as a witness.

Up to a very late date in this presentation of our case, we still had in mind calling Admiral Wirkner. I think some reference was made to him, as a matter of fact, before the Tribunal, with reference to the witness Lahousen. And it was for that reason that we told Dr. Siemers that we did not think he should, talk to the witness until after he had testified, or a decision had been made with reference to his testimony. But we have at all times tried to co-operate with the defence and make available these people who are here in custody so that they may talk with them.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

DR. SIEMERS: May I add something regarding the witnesses? Concerning witness No. 1, Marinedakan Ronneberger, I agree to use an affidavit as suggested by Sir David. Concerning the witness Buerkner, I would like to mention that Mr. Dodd's statement is based on an error. I am not permitted to speak to the witness, because he has not yet been approved by the Tribunal as my witness. No other reason was given.

THE PRESIDENT: We do not think any further discussion is necessary about this witness. I have already stated what the members of the Tribunal will act upon.

DR. SIEMERS: I did not understand whether Mr. Dodd agreed to my speaking with the witness Buerkner now.

THE PRESIDENT: I think he said so. He said the prosecution have closed their case, and they now have no longer any objection to your seeing the witness.

DR. SIEMERS: Then one last remark. The Tribunal will have noticed that I have not requested any witness concerning naval warfare and submarine warfare. The reason is that I have agreed with Dr. Kranzbuehler that he will deal with the entire complex of naval warfare and submarine warfare although, in this respect, it not only affects Donitz, but also in a considerable degree Raeder in his capacity as Supreme Commander of the Navy. Therefore, insofar as the interests of Raeder are concerned in this matter, Dr. Kranzbuehler will also represent him.

[Page 183]

I should like only to point out, that Dr. Kranzbuehler's very important application regarding the questions to Admiral Nimitz not only affects Donitz but, in particular, Raeder, and beyond that, the organization of the General Staff, insofar as the Navy is concerned.

May I pass to the documents now?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: With regard to Document No. 1, The War Diaries of the Seekriegsleitung and the B.D.U., Dr. Kranzbuehler's assistant, Dr. Meckel, has gone to London to work on these at the Admiralty.

With regard to No. 2, Weyer's Navy Diaries, and the Navy Year Book there is no objection to Dr. Siemers having these.

With regard to General Marshall's Report of 10th October, 1945, I cannot see the relevancy of it at the moment, but if Dr. Siemers will indicate which part he intends to use, it can be discussed when he actually presents it to the Tribunal.

Now No. 4, the British Admiralty Documents, May 1939 to April 1940, which are wanted as to the preparations for landing in Scandinavia and Finland. Although, strictly, what is relevant is what was known to the defendant Raeder, I shall make inquiries about these documents, and if the Tribunal will give me a short time, I hope to be able to report to the Tribunal upon them.

I want to make it clear that I cannot, of course, undertake to give details on Allied documents: but I hope to be able to produce some documents which may be helpful to the Tribunal, and deal with them authoritatively. I would rather not be pressed for details at the moment.

DR. SIEMERS: I agree with Sir David, I hope that I will receive the books of No. 2 and No. 3 soon, because otherwise a delay may be caused. The Report of General Marshall of 10th October, 1945, is, as far as I can judge from the excerpts, important for the reason that General Marshall adopts, on various points, an entirely different attitude from Justice Jackson's. I believe that a comparison of two such outstanding opinions is of sufficient importance to have the Report of General Marshall also heard here.

Concerning No. 4, I am waiting for the final decision of the prosecution.

I have only one more request, and I ask to be excused, since, by error, I have not listed this No. 5. It is the following: The prosecution has repeatedly presented quotations from the book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler and inferred from it that each one of the defendants who held a leading position as early as 1933, should have known from this book, even before 1933, that Hitler was contemplating the launching of aggressive wars. I noticed that the quotations in the document book, which was presented in November, are all taken from an edition which was published only in 1933. The edition of 1933, however, differs in many points from the original edition. Unfortunately, I am personally only in possession of an edition which was published after 1933. In order to check these questions, that is to say, in order to see what anybody could have read in this book in 1928, and not 1933, I ask the prosecution to try to submit a copy of the first edition. As far as I know, the first edition was published in 1925, and the second in 1927, by the publishing firm of Franz Eher.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: We shall try to get an earlier edition so that Dr. Siemers can compare the passages.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going to deal with Page 2 of your document? Sir David, you have not dealt with this, have you?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No. I assume, your Lordship, that Dr. Siemers would, in due course, indicate what excerpts he was going to use : we could discuss when he presents them, whether the prosecution has any objection.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. You intended, Dr. Siemers, I suppose, to indicate the passages upon which you rely in your document book?

[Page 184]



SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: We have already discussed the point on Page 3, that is the question of tonnages built, and so on - I said I am making inquiries with regard to that.

THE PRESIDENT: My attention is drawn, Sir David, to Paragraph 4b on Page 2. Are you suggesting that the Tribunal supply him with documents on German policy without any further reservation?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am very sorry. It was an oversight. I took it that that was included in the words at the top of the page: "In addition, I shall submit documents and affidavits, some of which are already in my possession, and some of which I shall procure myself without having the assistance of the prosecution." I took it that Dr. Siemers has certain documents on German policy, and will indicate what passages he is going to use. I am very sorry I did not refer to that.

THE PRESIDENT: Does this part of the application mean that, with reference to all these documents, Dr. Siemers has them and does not wish any further action to be taken with reference to them?

DR. SIEMERS: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: I call on counsel for the defendant von Schirach.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Dr. Sauter suggests it would be convenient if I indicate the view of the prosecution.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: May I ask the Tribunal to note that Dr. Sauter is asking for witnesses 1 to 8, except witness 5, as oral witnesses : that is, he is asking for 7 oral witnesses, and Nos. 5 and 9 to 13 by way of affidavit.

The prosecution suggest that, as far as oral witnesses are concerned, the defendant might have No. 1 or No. 2, that is, Wieshofer or Hoepken, because these witnesses appear to cover the same ground : that he might have No. 3, the witness Lauterbacher, who was Chief of Staff of the Reich Youth Leadership (Reichsjugendfuehrung) : and, also, that he might have No. 8, that is, Professor Heinrich Hoffmann, who, I think, is Schirach's father-in-law: since the description of his evidence takes up nine pages of the application, he is obviously a very important witness.

Then the prosecution suggest that there might be affidavits from No. 5, Scharizer, who was the Deputy-Gauleiter of Vienna: No. 11, who is Madame Vasseau; No. 12 Herr Schneeberger; and No. 13, Field-Marshal von Blomberg.

The witnesses that the prosecution find difficulty in perceiving the necessity for are, first of all, No. 4, Frau Hoepken. There are no details given in this application, except that she was secretary to von Schirach. No. 6, the witness Heinz Schmidt, who apparently repeats part of the evidence of the witness Lauterbacher word for word. No. 7, Dr. Schluender, who also repeats the witness Lauterbacher word for word. And No. 9, Dr. Klingspor, who expresses a personal view on the defendant, which, in the submission of the prosecution, is not really helpful evidence. And finally, Dr. Roesen, No. 10, who speaks as to an isolated incident of kindness on the part of the defendant to the family of the musician Richard Strauss.

This is the position which the prosecution take with regard to the witnesses.

DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendant von Schirach): Your Honours, I have, in the case of Baldur von Schirach also, limited my evidence as much as possible.

[Page 185]

England and France, and, I believe, your Honours, that the attitude of the defendant von Schirach in the naming of witnesses should be given recognition here, and that not one witness only but both should be granted. I have submitted the addresses of both witnesses to the Tribunal. They are in a camp and I believe, your Honours, it is imperative to summon both witnesses to establish the facts.

THE PRESIDENT: I still do not follow what the essential difference is between the two.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have just pointed out that the witness No. 2, Hoepken, had a leading position in the Reich Youth Leadership, and that therefore the witness No. 2, Hoepken, is in a position to give information, especially about the activity of the defendant von Schirach as Reich Youth Leader.

THE PRESIDENT: But Dr. Sauter, you stated that Wieshofer, No. I, was adjutant to Schirach in his capacity as Reichsleiter of Education of Youth, so that he was in just as close contact with the defendant on the question of the education of youth as Hoepken.

DR. SAUTER: Yes, but Hoepken was officially in charge of Youth Education, while the activity of the witness Wieshofer was limited mainly to the job of adjutant to the defendant von Schirach, primarily in his capacity as Gauleiter in Vienna. That is the main difference, and the witnesses who could provide information about his activity in Vienna are mainly the witness Wieshofer and, to a small extent, also Hoepken. But I need Hoepken, chiefly, as I said, for the clarification of the activity of Schirach in the Reich Youth Leadership.

Mr. President, may I also point out that much is at stake for the defendant von Schirach, and that, from the point of view of the Tribunal, it should really not make much difference, in a matter so important to Schirach, whether one witness or two witnesses are called.

Your Honours, I could have suggested perhaps four witnesses in the hope that two would then be granted. If now, in the name of the defendant von Schirach, I am proposing to call two witnesses, I would not think it very just if one of these two witnesses should be denied.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider what you have said.

DR. SAUTER: Furthermore, your Honours, in the third place, I have to request Hartmann-Lauterbacher. If I have understood correctly, the prosecution agree to this: therefore, I can be brief.

The witness Lauterbacher, who was Chief of Staff of the Reich Youth Leadership, is in a position to supply information especially about the fact that the defendant Schirach in no way prepared the youth psychologically and pedagogically for the war, and by no means for an aggressive war. Furthermore, he can testify that the allegations of a Polish report - presented by the Russian prosecution in one of the sessions during February, I believe on 9th February - are definitely false. According to this report, the Hitler Youth had used spies and parachute agents in Poland. And this is false and the witness Lauterbacher will refute it . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, Sir David said he would not object to No. 3 being called as a witness but what he did object to was 6 and 7, whom you are also asking for, as oral witnesses, because he said that they repeated what Lauterbacher said - Nos. 6 and 7, that is Schmidt and Schluender.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, there again is the difficulty which I pointed out before.

From the Polish Government report which was read by the Soviet prosecution on 9th February, 1946, it cannot be seen in what period these activities concerning the Hitler Youth agents and spies are alleged to have taken place.

Now it may happen here that, if I have only one witness, it will be alleged that it was at some other time, perhaps at a time when this witness was in the army

[Page 187]

and that is why, in the interest of a complete clarification of these facts, I have asked to have witness No. 6 heard also, that is the witness Schmidt.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you say that, does it not appear that, with reference to Schluender, his collaboration with the defendant extended from 1933 to 1945 and therefore if he were called or were to give an affidavit or an interrogatory, and Lauterbacher, whose collaboration extends only from 1933 to 1940, you would cover the whole period and you could exclude Schmidt.

DR. SAUTER: If I understand you correctly, Mr. President, you are referring to an interrogatory in the case of Lauterbacher.

THE PRESIDENT: No, Sir David was prepared to have Lauterbacher called as a witness.

DR. SAUTER: Lauterbacher is to be called as a witness and Schmidt is to receive an interrogatory?

THE PRESIDENT: He said that Schmidt and Schluender were cumulative. Then you said they did not relate to the same period, as I understood you, and that might raise a difficulty. So I pointed out to you that No. 7 related to the whole period, that is to say from 1933, beyond the period dealt with by Lauterbacher, and goes to 1945 and therefore, if he were called, that would cover the whole period and if you called Lauterbacher and Schluender and left out Schmidt ...

DR. SAUTER: You mean that an interrogatory is to be obtained from Schmidt? I am agreeable to that.

THE PRESIDENT: The statements which you make with reference to Schmidt and to Schluender are practically identical.

DR. SAUTER: Yes, only they refer to different periods, as each of them was in the army. If one of them comes he cannot, of course, say anything about the time during which he served in the army. He cannot give any information as to whether during his military service agents were used.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know about that. You have stated that they were collaborators with the defendant from 1938 to 1945 in the one case, and from 1933 to 1945 in the other case, and therefore if that is correct they cannot have been in the army, they cannot have taken an active part in the army.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I should be quite prepared to agree to the suggestion that your Lordship put forward: that would then cover the whole period. If both Lauterbacher and Schluender were called, it would dispense with the necessity for Schmidt.

DR. SAUTER: May I point out, Mr. President, that in any case I need Schluender, who, by the way, was arrested a few weeks ago, because he was a specialist for physical training with the Reich Youth Leadership and because, therefore, I want to prove, especially through Dr. Schluender, that the education of the youth, as administered by the defendant von Schirach, was absolutely neither extraordinary nor militaristic. The defendant von Schirach has thus far, during the entire procedure in his interrogations . . .

THE PRESIDENT: I think, really, there is a substantial agreement between you and Sir David that No. 1 and No. 3 certainly should be called and that No. 7 might be called, but I do not know whether Sir David agrees that an affidavit or an interrogatory might be given by No. 6.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have no objection to that, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: That is substantially what you want, Doctor Sauter.

DR. SAUTER: Yes, sir.

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