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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
23rd March to 3rd April, 1946

Ninety-Second Day: Wednesday, 27th March, 1946
(Part 8 of 10)

[Page 114]

DR. HORN: No, Mr. President, I have only cited what is in the document book. It is on Page 88, paragraph three, and it is specifically the paragraph that begins,
"And fourthly" -
THE PRESIDENT: Thirdly, is it not?

DR. HORN: Paragraph three, and this paragraph is again divided into four subparagraphs and I have read the fourth sub-paragraph.

I come now to Ribbentrop Exhibit 44, which is on Page 90 in the document book. This document contains the German note on Belgian inviolability, dated 13th October, 1937. This document is of importance in view of the events of 1940, and in order to make clear the German view I should like to read the last paragraph,

[Page 115]

which in my document book is on Page 91, and which is preceded by the Roman numeral two. I quote:
"The German Government asserts that the inviolability and integrity of Belgium are of common interest to the Western powers. It confirms it's determination not to impair that inviolability and integrity under any circumstances, and to respect Belgian territory at all times, excepting of course, in the case of Belgium collaborating in an armed conflict directed against Germany in which Germany would be involved."
I ask that this document be given judicial notice.

With this I conclude the series of documents which are to serve me, in my statement for the defence, as the basis for expounding the conditions of foreign policy that Ribbentrop found upon his entry into office as Foreign Minister. I shall refer to these documents when the occasion arises.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you filed them in Court with the secretary?

DR. HORN: Mr. President, in connection with yesterday's discussion I again untied these documents and handed them, signed, to the General Secretary.

The next document that I submit serves as substantiation of what I shall say later regarding Ribbentrop's participation in the policy that led to the Anschluss with Austria.

I should like to refer, first of all, to Document 386-PS, already presented by the prosecution, which is contained in my document book. I am unfortunately not in the position to read off the page numbers to the Tribunal because we ourselves have not yet received the files, that is, the document book which now follows. This document follows Ribbentrop Exhibit 44, which was on Page 90 of the document book.

THE PRESIDENT: Exhibit 44 is the last document in the second document book. There are not any more, are there?

DR. HORN: I was informed today that the English document book was finished and had been presented to the Tribunal. We unfortunately have not yet received a copy, so I cannot compare the page numbers.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we have not got it. We have only those two and the last exhibit in the second book in No. 44, which you have just read. But, Dr. Horn, as the document has already been put into evidence, it is not necessary for you to produce it. You can say that you rely upon it. That is all that is necessary.

DR. HORN: Yes, but I believe that we must immediately decide the question because of the continuation of my presentation. I want to make clear again that, after the Tribunal had ruled on the way in which documents were to be presented, I at once submitted my documents to the Tribunal for translation in the prescribed way, in that I presented 6 document books bearing my signature. Unfortunately the translation department was unable to keep up with the tempo of the presentation of evidence by the defence and I am in the uncomfortable position of being unable to help the Tribunal by pointing out the pages in order to continue my delivery smoothly.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Horn, we think you had better go on. Just notifying us which the documents are and whether they are already in evidence or whether you are offering them in evidence now. You have mentioned 386-PS. We can make a note of that - that is already in evidence. I do not know whether all your other documents are already in evidence or whether there are any documents which are not and which you are now going to offer in evidence.

DR. HORN: The following documents are new. As to 386-PS, I should only like to make clear that Ribbentrop was not one of those who were present at that time. He has also only just learned here of this document and its contents - it concerns the well-known Hoszbach Document.

The next document to which I shall refer in my statement for the defence is Document 2461-PS, already submitted by the prosecution. It is the official

[Page 116]

German communication regarding the meeting between the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor with the Austrian Federal Chancellor Dr. Schuschnigg in Berchtesgaden, on 12th and 15th February, 1938. I refer to this document to prove to what extent Ribbentrop participated in this discussion.

The next document to which I shall refer and which I present to the Tribunal with the request for judicial notice, is Ribbentrop Exhibit 11, which is in my document book. This document ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, the Tribunal does not think it is really necessary for you to refer to any documents which are completely in evidence already unless you are going to read some passage in them and rely upon some passage in them which has not already been read. I mean, supposing that the prosecution read a particular sentence out of a particular document and you want to refer to some other sentence in it, then it will probably be right for you to indicate that; but, if the document has been read in full, any further reference is a mere matter of argument and is not really a matter of evidence, and you will be at liberty, you see, to argue it whenever you come to make your speech. So that, I mean, as a matter of time saving, it would not be necessary to refer us to 386-PS or 2461-PS unless there is some passage in them which you rely upon and which has not been read by the prosecution.

DR. HORN: I may then go on to Ribbentrop Exhibit 11 and present it to the Tribunal for judicial notice. It concerns an agreement between the German Reich Government and the Austrian Federal Government on 11th July, 1936. When, on 12th February, 1938, Ribbentrop drove with Hitler to Berchtesgaden to have a conference with Dr. Schuschnigg, then Chancellor of Austria, he was not informed about the deviation of Hitler's plans from the agreement of the year 1936 between Germany and Austria, and he conducted his discussion with Schuschnigg in the spirit of that agreement of 1936. One month later the Anschluss with Austria came about.

As proof that this Anschluss corresponded to the wish of the Austrian population, I refer to Ribbentrop Exhibit 12, which I present to the Tribunal for judicial notice. It is the result of the national plebiscite and of the election to the Greater German Reichstag of 10th April, 1938. From this document it is to be seen that at that time in Austria a total of 4,400,000 [sic] people had the right to vote, and of that number, only 11,000 [sic] voted against the Anschluss.

THE PRESIDENT: Have we got this document? It is not in our books. Has the clerk of the Court got it?

DR. HORN: It is in the document book as Ribbentrop Exhibit 12.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it goes from ten to fourteen for some reason. Let me look at it. There is some mistake, apparently. It has not been copied, that is all. It is not in our books, but here it is, so it is all right. Go on.

DR. HORN: Mr. President, it is to be seen from this document that the Austrian people at that time expressed themselves in favour of the Anschluss with 99.73 per cent. of the votes cast.

As the next document I submit Ribbentrop Exhibit 13 to the Tribunal for judicial notice. I submit this document, Ribbentrop Exhibit 13, as proof that the Anschluss would hardly have come about by international negotiations, according to the opinion, not only of the German Government, but also of the English Government. I should like as proof of this assertion to read the following from this document. It concerns a statement by Undersecretary of State Butler before the House of Commons, which reads as follows. (It was made on 14th March, 1938.)

"The English Government discussed the new situation with 'friends of the Geneva Entente' and it was unanimously" - I emphasise the word unanimously - "agreed that a discussion in Geneva of the situation in Austria would not bring satisfactory results, but that the result would probably again

[Page 117]

be some kind of humiliation. The Undersecretary of State stated that England had never assumed any special guarantee for the 'independence' of Austria, which had been forced in the treaty of St. Germain."
I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this document. Subsequently to this the reunion of Austria with the German Reich took place as set down in the law of 19th March, 1938, which also was signed by Ribbentrop.

Herewith I end the submission of those documents of mine that are related to the question of Austria. I could now -

THE PRESIDENT: Just a minute, Dr. Horn, the only desire of the Tribunal is to save time and we observe from the index in your document book that there are, I think, over three hundred separate documents upon which you wish to rely, and most of them appear to come from the various books, the German White Books and these other books, which the Tribunal provisionally allowed to you. Would not the most convenient course be for you to put them in in bulk, saying that you are putting in Exhibits 44 to 314, or whatever it may be, rather than simply detail each document by its number? If you have a particular passage which you want to read at this moment, you can do so; but it seems to take up unnecessary time simply to give each exhibit number, one after the other.

DR. HORN: Very well, Mr. President, I shall mention only those numbers which I should like to bring to judicial attention - just mention from such and such to such and such, when it is a matter of several numbers - and I shall ask the Tribunal to accept them then.


DR. HORN: I will now turn to the question of Czechoslovakia. The American Prosecutor stated in his presentation on this question that this marked the end of a series of events that struck him as one of the saddest chapters in human history - the violation and destruction of the weak and small Czechoslovak people. As proof that there was no Czechoslovak people in the usual sense of the term either before or after 1939, I would like to read a few extracts from Lord Rothermere's book "Warnings and Prophecies," which has been expressly granted me through a ruling by the Tribunal. This is Ribbentrop Exhibit 45.

THE PRESIDENT: Did the Tribunal allow Lord Rothermere's book?

DR. HORN: The Tribunal has granted it to me and even put at my disposal an English copy, which I herewith hand to the Court.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, the question of admissibility was to be finally determined when each book is offered in evidence, and I think you will remember that the Tribunal stated in one of its orders that the opinions of particular authors upon matters of ethics, history and events would not be admitted.

Lord Rothermere is apparently an author and was not a member of the British Government, and therefore, unless there is some very particular reason, it would not appear that his books or statements in his books are in any way evidence.

DR. HORN: The paragraphs to be presented are concerned entirely with matters of fact; and I therefore request that the Tribunal take judicial notice of these facts. There is no question of any polemic discussions.

THE PRESIDENT: The distinction which exists is this: The Tribunal, under Article 21 is directed to take judicial notice of official government documents, reports, etc. This is not an official government document. Therefore - you say it is factual evidence - it is not evidence for the purposes of this Tribunal of any facts stated in it. So far as it is facts, it is not evidence of the facts, and so far as it is opinion, it is Lord Rothermere's opinion.

Well, Dr. Horn, can you tell me what you want to prove by it?

DR. HORN: I should like to prove by it, first, a few historical facts; secondly, that the difficulties of a State composed of many nationalities, of which Czechoslovakia is an example, led to this conflict with the German minority and consequently with the German Government. I want to provide you with the reasons and motives that led to the incorporation of the Sudetenland into Germany.

[Page 118]

MR. DODD: If your honour pleases, on behalf of the United States, I wish to object very strongly to this offer, for the reason given by Dr. Horn - the first reason - and for the reasons given secondly. If I understood the translation correctly, I understood him to say that in the first place it was offered to prove that there was no such thing as a Czech people. I do not think that is a matter that can properly be raised here before this Tribunal. We object that it is out of place to offer such proof. We object furthermore for the reasons given in the second explanation by Dr. Horn.

DR. HORN: May I again point out that I wish to demonstrate by this means the motives that led to the separation of the Sudetenland in the year 1938.

If I wish to adopt an attitude toward some international offence with which someone is charged and adjudge it, I must also be in a position to judge of the motives underlying it. Otherwise it is impossible for me to conduct a legal investigation.

I may also point out that I had first of all asked the Tribunal for documents of the League of Nations as evidence, and I would have referred to these official documents if this evidence had come into my possession in time, but as I am not yet in possession of them, I have resorted to presenting facts to the Tribunal instead.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat that, about the League of Nations? I did not catch what you said.

DR. HORN: I have asked the League of Nations' Library for the appropriate documents regarding minorities, which are in the possession of the League of Nations, in order to submit them as evidence. The office of the General Secretary is obtaining this evidence for me, but so far I have not received it. Consequently, I had to refer to this weaker source of evidence, in connection with documents which are comparable to the government reports of Article 21, or which are themselves such reports.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you specified the passages in the book which you wish to refer to? I mean, have you marked them somewhere in some copy of the book?

DR. HORN: I have requested documents regarding minorities in Czechoslovakia, as far as these questions have been decided by legal proceedings conducted by the League of Nations and by the International Court in The Hague. This is a collection published by the League of Nations regarding minority matters and constantly brought up to date. It is an official collection of documents.

THE PRESIDENT: I was only asking you whether you had specified the particular passages in Lord Rothermere's book which you want to put in.

DR. HORN: I am sorry. I did not understand your question. Could I request you to repeat it?

THE PRESIDENT: The question I asked was, whether you have specified the particular passages in Lord Rothermere's book which you want to use?

DR. HORN: I have marked these passages, and they are on Pages 137, 138, 150, 151, 161 -

THE PRESIDENT: Not so fast, I want to get them down. 137, 138 -

DR. HORN: Pages 161-162, 140, 144, 145, 157. They are in each case just short paragraphs.

THE PRESIDENT Dr. Horn, it is an appropriate time for us to break off.

(A recess was taken.)

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