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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
4th April to 15th April, 1946

One Hundred and Seventh Day: Saturday, 13th April, 1946
(Part 4 of 5)

[COLONEL SMIRNOV continues his cross examination of Ernst Kaltenbrunner]

[Page 338]

Q. One little moment. But why did Kruger act through you?

A. And further, this document does not indicate in any way in what capacity I was there; not once does he mention that I was there as his police superior. He knows only that naturally as Chief of the Intelligence Service I had to report very often to Himmler. He asked me also on this occasion to make these reports. But Kruger was - as probably appears from the document - Secretary of State for the security system in the Government General. He was Secretary of State there, and

[Page 339]

as Secretary of State he was subordinate to the Governor General and as Secretary of State -

THE PRESIDENT: You are going too fast and you are making far too much of a speech.

A. - and as Secretary of State for police matters in the Government General, he of course was immediately subordinate to Himmler. That must be -

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I beg you to answer briefly, did Kruger ask you to report to Himmler on this subject or not? That is the only thing I am asking you.

A. As far as I know this meeting was a large meeting of administrative officials and everyone asked all those, who were closest to the Fuehrer or Himmler

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Tell me yes or no. Did he ask you to report or not?

A. I do not know that.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Then I will ask you a second question.

A. From the wording I can only take


A. You are not allowing me to finish.

THE PRESIDENT: What did you say to the last question? Wasn't the question "Did you go there?" Colonel Smirnov?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I had another question to put, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: I am asking you what your last question was.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I asked the following question, Mr. President: Did Kruger report to Himmler through Kaltenbrunner? I was asking the defendant to answer this question and to abstain from making speeches.

THE PRESIDENT: What was your last question?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Did Kruger ask Kaltenbrunner to report to Himmler on this subject. My second question - Mr. President, are you asking about my second question?

THE PRESIDENT: I wanted him to answer your question. Will you tell him what question you want him to answer. Don't ask him two; ask him one question. Can't you hear what I said?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Ask him one question and see whether you can try and get him to answer it.


Q. Did Kruger ask for this to be reported to Himmler, and what did he say?

A. It is possible that he did ask me but not as a superior. You must realise what type of an assembly it was; that must also become apparent from the diary. I did not go there as the Chief of the Security Police or as Kruger's superior, but Kruger, like dozens of other people, reported on the food situation, the administrative system.

Q. I would ask you to refrain from further explanations. You answered my question and it is not worth continuing on the subject.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the matter, Dr. Seidl?

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, a quotation from Frank's diary has been read to the defendant, Kaltenbrunner. Frank's diary consists of forty-two volumes and I should like to suggest that the prosecutor gives the place and the volume and the date of the entry, so that one can determine in what connection that occurred.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, yes.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: Here we have a precise indication: this is a conference of the 31st May, 1943. There it is headed "Labour Congress The document is registered as Exhibit USA 613.

THE PRESIDENT: This diary has, presumably, got a date.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: That is correct. This conference took place on 31st May, 1943, there is the date.

THE PRESIDENT: That is what Dr. Seidl wants to know.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I have a second question to put to the defendant.

[Page 340]


COLONEL SMIRNOV: If, as the defendant says, he was exclusively employed on Intelligence work and had no work outside Intelligence activities, then did he consider the buying over of the Iran elections, and the receipt from Ribbentrop of 1,000,000 Tumans for sending to agents as entering purely within the scope of Intelligence work?

A. I definitely had nothing to do with the buying of votes in Iran; but I admit that, of course, agents of my Intelligence Service did work in Iran.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: You did not ask Ribbentrop for 1,000,000 Tumans for bribery?

A. No, I had sufficient means to pay my agents myself.

Q. This letter bearing Kaltenbrunner's signature has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 178, during Ribbentrop's cross-examination. Mention is made in this letter of the allocation of 1,000,000 Tumans. Does the defendant deny this evidence which Ribbentrop himself has admitted?

A. I believe that I did not demand any money from Ribbentrop because I had enough money. Show me this letter. It is perfectly possible. I had sufficient funds at my disposal for the Intelligence Service.

Q. The original of this letter has already been submitted to the Tribunal during Ribbentrop's interrogatory. We only have the copy but the original, of course, can be brought immediately from the Document Room. It is said here that in order to exert a decisive influence on the elections, 400,000 Tumans would be needed for bribes in Teheran and at least 600,000 Tumans for the rest of Iran. The letter ends as follows: "I request you to tell me briefly if it would be possible to obtain 1,000,000 Tumans from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It would be possible to transfer this money by people whom we are sending there by aeroplane. Heil Hitler. Your devoted Kaltenbrunner, ObergruppenFuehrer." The contents of this letter are quite definite. Ribbentrop acknowledged the letter. Are you denying Ribbentrop's evidence?

A. Not in the least, but I would like to add the following as far as this document is concerned: I cannot remember it easily because it was written in Office VI. I do not know the contents, did not know them until now. It bears my signature which was necessary because it is a letter to a Minister of the Reich which, of course, for reasons of tact, I had to sign personally. As to the subject itself, I am grateful that the last question in this cross-examination is a question which actually refers to my sphere of activities proper. You are the first prosecutor to whom I must be grateful on that account and who at least can no longer conceal that my agents and my activities extended as far as Iran.

Q. Is that your signature?

A. Yes.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: I have no further questions to put to this defendant, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: What document is that you put to him then?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: This is Exhibit USSR 178, Mr. President.


COLONEL SMIRNOV: That is Kaltenbrunner's letter addressed to Ribbentrop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, dated 27th June, 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Thank you. Now, the Tribunal will deal with Dr. Thoma's documents for Rosenberg. Is the prosecution ready? Are you ready, Mr. Dodd?

MR. DODD: Yes, your Honour.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it be convenient for Mr. Dodd to tell us how the position stands? Would it be agreeable to you, Dr. Thoma, if Mr. Dodd tells us how the position stands?


MR. DODD: Dr. Thoma has prepared three Document Books and there are two

[Page 341]

volumes to the first book, two parts, two volumes, and I should like to take up first, Volumes I and II of the first Document Book. In the first Volume I -

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has already looked at these volumes.

MR. DODD: Well, there is contained in the book that has been submitted to us a number of authorities, starting with that first document by Falckenberg, "The History of Modem Philosophy," and running down to the "Introduction into the Psychology of the Nations," by Hellpach, and really, as we understand the ruling of the Tribunal, on 8th March, it stated that these books could be used, so far as appropriate for the purpose of argument and to this end, they should be produced and made available to defence counsel; and the Tribunal went on to say that any particular passage which counsel for the defence wish to quote should be incorporated in the document book for translation.

We object to all of these excerpts and mostly for the same reasons, and I think I can discuss them as a group rather than individually.

THE PRESIDENT: We have all read them and we only wish to hear any arguments which Dr. Thoma desires to put forward.

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I would like to stress that only the legal points of view prompt me to offer writings of contemporary historians as evidence in this trial. The Tribunal has to decide whether there is a connection between Rosenberg's ideology and the war crimes and crimes against Jews. I assert that in addition to that ideology, other factors, so-called preliminary conditions, that is the entire contemporary situation, the philosophical and spiritual outlook, contributed their part, but the main question is this: Did Rosenberg culpably anticipate the dangerous possibilities of his ideas and nevertheless propagate them? In what manner can he be considered guilty if Rosenberg was convinced that his ideas were right and if he was unaware of their dangerous potentialities. I shall therefore indicate facts about the spiritual outlook of the time which prove that his ideas were perceived and even championed by scientists. I will show that other countries introduced certain National Socialist measures such as limiting births of children unfit for life, even before Rosenberg's books were written. Further I shall allude to the results of the biological investigations of scientists on the natural pre-requisites for the existence of man and the ensuing limitation of man's freedom. I shall point to the effects and consequences of a technical age, and I want to refer to the fact that irrational ideas and conceptions have been taken seriously even by rational empirical science, and I want to show how laws govern the development of philosophical concepts and political movements which are often inevitable. On the basis of these scientific conclusions it is possible that Rosenberg underestimated or overlooked the dangerous side of his ideology, to wit, that all ideas and conceptions degenerate according to the laws governing the human mind. The question of guilt must, therefore, be regarded in a new light and, in my opinion, also the question of carelessness should be examined. These theses will be extracted from works on natural science by Eichstedt, Muhlmann, Scheidt, Reiter, and from the philosophical works of Hellpach, Messer, Tillich, Buber, etc.

Gentlemen of the Tribunal, the belief that a philosophy of the irrational might be applied to politics may sound ridiculous, but I would mention that, even fifteen years ago in Germany, it was preached that a policy based on Christian ethics was nonsensical because Christian ethics could not be applied in the political sphere.

Gentlemen of the Tribunal, the question of the connection between Rosenberg's ideology and the war crimes must not, or rather should not, be confused with the charges against Rosenberg of actual participation in the murder of the Jews and the crimes in the East. This has another connection. I will have to refute separately the actual participation of Rosenberg in these matters.

I would like to draw your attention to one more important point. Organisations are also indicted, some of the members of which had formerly been under the

[Page 342]

influence of Christianity and the so-called youth movement and were won over to National Socialism because they believed that National Socialism would advance their Christian and idealistic aspirations. They are now left helpless in their camps, disappointed in this world. They too have the right to ask that the Tribunal be told what they believed in and what they had been taught. I believe that I have made it clear that I am not trying to deliver a lecture on ideological philosophies, but to point out that there are very important legal problems raised.

Gentlemen of the Tribunal, if any of the authors are unsuitable then I shall forgo quoting them. Perhaps Lapouge may not be suitable at all. I withdraw his work, although it is precisely Lapouge who points out that certain biological laws have also been applied in the legislation of other States. But Mr. Justice Jackson objected to a passage from Lapouge and I withdraw it herewith. There are also one or two works of Martin Buber which I am willing to withdraw. But I particularly wanted to use Martin Buber to prove that we are concerned here with principles which have nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism but merely represent a philosophy which is as justified as the philosophy of nationalism during the last centuries; But I ask this Tribunal that, while presenting my evidence, cognisance be taken of the philosophical-cultural background, primarily through actual proofs and facts: Gentlemen of the Tribunal, if I presented these facts in my address I would run the risk of presenting only my own views. That is why I need these documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, we understand that you object to all up to that book of Hellpach. Then, with reference to the other volumes, the others are all Rosenberg's own documents, aren't they?

MR. DODD: Except the two last.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the two last are in the same category, I suppose, as the ones down to Hellpach, aren't they?

MR. DODD: Yes, there are also some quotations from newspapers contained in the Document Book on Pages 182 to 185. We also make objection to them.

THE PRESIDENT: Are they in Volume II?

MR. DODD: Yes, they are in Volume II of Book 1.

THE PRESIDENT: I was dealing, at the moment, with Volume I of Document Book 1.

MR. DODD: That was the objection in Volume 1.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, you are not objecting to his other books?

MR. DODD: No, your Honour, we are not.

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