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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd May to 13th May, 1946

One Hundred Ninteenth Day: Thursday, 2nd May, 1946
(Part 1 of 12)

[Page 1 ]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal would like to know exactly what your letter means, the one received from you relating to the following documents which the letter says have been withdrawn. What I want to know is, does it mean that they are not to be translated? Let me read you the numbers: 18, 19, 48,53, 76, 80, 81, 86, and 101. Now, does your letter mean that those documents are not to be translated?

DR. SIEMERS: No, Your Lordship; that means that the British Delegation informed me yesterday morning that the objections against those documents on the part of the British Delegation are withdrawn.


DR. SIEMERS: I had written the letter on the 30th of April, in the afternoon, after I had had a conversation with Sir David. The following morning I was informed -

THE PRESIDENT: We won't bother with that. You say that their objections no longer exist. If they agree to that, well and good.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, apparently there seems to have been some misunderstanding about three of them, 80, 101, and 76. The others were not objected to.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, on 76 there seemed to be some misunderstanding between Dr. Siemers and myself. I understood that he did not want to persist in the legal report on the Altmark incident, and I think Dr. Siemers thought that I wasn't persisting. However, I thought Dr. Siemers was withdrawing that.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Well, then, are you still objecting to that?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am still objecting to it if it is not withdrawn, my Lord. However, the other ones in the list your Lordship mentioned - that is 18, 19, 48, 53, 81, and 86 - there is no objection to.


DR . SIEMERS: Concerning Document 76, I agree with Sir David, it can be struck out, as far as I am concerned.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. That's all I wanted to know.

DR. SIEMERS: No. 80 about which I have spoken in detail with the British Delegation -

THE PRESIDENT: You need not tell me about it.

DR. SIEMERS: I assumed there would be no objection. I would like to ask that it be admitted in any case.

[Page 2]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, that is right. In order that the Translation Division should get on as soon as possible, the Tribunal has decided upon these documents, and the only question upon which the Tribunal has decided is that they shall be translated. The question of their admissibility will be decided after they have been translated, and I will take them in the categories of objection which are set out in Sir David's memorandum.

In category A, the first category, No. 66 will be allowed. No. 76, as Dr. Siemers has now said, goes out. 101 to 106 will be allowed, the rest are disallowed in "A." In "B" the following documents will be allowed: 39, 63, 64, 99 and 100. And, of course, 102 to 107, which are allowed under "A." The rest will not be allowed.

Category C: The following will be allowed: 38, 50,55 and 58. The remainder are not allowed.

Category D: The following will be allowed: 29, 56, 57, 60, and 62.

Category E: The following will be allowed: 31, 32, 36, 37, 39, 41 and, of course, 99 and 101, which have already been allowed.

In the last category, Category F, the Tribunal has very great doubts as to the relevance of any of the documents in that category, but it will have them all translated, with the exception of Document 73.

LT.-COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, I wonder whether the Tribunal would allow me, to mention the document numbers of the additional extracts from Der Sturmer, which were put in during the cross-examination of Streicher. I have the numbers ready to present at a convenient time.

THE PRESIDENT: The exhibit numbers?


THE PRESIDENT: You mean read them?

LT. - COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: With the permission of the Tribunal, I have proposed to hand in that schedule, which is in effect a catalogue or index to the two bundles which the Tribunal had - Bundle A and Bundle B - and I proposed then putting this schedule in as an exhibit itself, which will become GB 450, and if the Tribunal agrees, that would save reading any numbers out.


LT.-COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: There is another request I would make. The original of the newspaper, Israelitisches Wochenblatt, was put in, or has been put in. Those volumes I have borrowed from a library, and I was going to ask the Tribunal's permission to have the extracts photographed and substitute, with the Tribunal's secretariat, the photostats and take back the originals so that they might be returned.

THE PRESIDENT: There seems no objection to that.

LT.-COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I am very much obliged.

THE PRESIDENT: You have no objection to that, Dr. Marx?

DR. MARX (Counsel for defendant Streicher): No, Mr. President, I have no objection to that. I reserved the right to submit some counter documents, if it should be necessary. But the presentation of these documents is in accordance with what Lt.-Col. Griffith-Jones stated in the course of the proceedings ... are submitted ...

THE PRESIDENT: You have a copy of this document here, this exhibit.

DR. MARX: Yes.

[Page 3]

THE PRESIDENT: I am asking you whether you had any objection to the original of the Jewish newspaper being returned -


THE PRESIDENT: - after it is photographed.

DR: MARX: No, I have no objection to that.


LT.-COL. GRIFFITH -JONES: I am very much obliged.


The defendant Schacht resumed the witness-stand and testified further as follows:



Q. Dr. Schacht, I believe you still had to supplement your answer to a question I put to you yesterday. I put to you the point that different memoranda, letters, etc., from you to Hitler were full of National Socialist phraseology. I said you dealt with letters and memoranda from the date of the seizure of power until later when you went into opposition. The prosecution, however, specifically in the oral presentation of the charges, as I remember it, referred to at least one letter which you addressed to Hitler before the seizure of power in November, 1932, and there is in the files another letter of similar contents of August, 1932. I think you should state your position with respect to these two letters, supplementing your answer to my question.

A. I explained to you yesterday that up to the decisive election of July, 1932, I had in no way intervened in the development of the National Socialist movement, but remained completely aloof from it. After that movement achieved its overpowering success in July, 1932, of which I spoke yesterday, I foresaw very clearly the development which would result. According to the principles of the democratic political concept there was only one possibility, namely, that the leader of that overwhelmingly large party would now have to undertake the forming of the government. The other theoretical possibility of a military government and a possibly resulting civil war, I rejected from the first, as being impossible and incompatible with my principles.

Therefore, after I had recognized these facts, I endeavoured in everything to gain influence over Hitler and his movement, and the two letters which you have just mentioned were written in that spirit.

Q. Now, we come to the territorial acquisitions of Hitler. What did you know about Hitler's plans against Austria?

A. I have never known anything about plans against Austria. Nor did I know in detail the plans Hitler had for Austria. I knew only that, like the majority of all Germans, he was in favour of an Anschluss of Austria with Germany.

Q. What did you know about his plans against Czechoslovakia?

A. I knew nothing of his plans against Czechoslovakia, until about the time of the Munich Conference.

Q. Did you, after the Munich Conference, that is to say, after the peaceful, so far peaceful, settlement of the Sudeten question, hear a remark of Hitler's about Munich which was of importance in your later attitude toward Hitler? Will you tell the Tribunal about the remark which you heard?

A. May I say firstly that, according to my knowledge of conditions at that time, Hitler was conceded in Munich more than he had ever expected. According to my information - and I expressed this also in the conversation with Ambassador Bullitt at that time - it was Hitler's purpose to gain autonomy for the Germans in Czechoslovakia. In Munich the Allies presented him with the transfer of the Sudeten-German territories on a silver platter. I assumed, of course, that now

[Page 4]

Hitler's ambition would be more than satisfied, and I can only say that I was surprised and shocked when a few days after Munich, I saw Hitler. I had no further conversation with him at that time, but I met him with his entourage, mostly SS men, and from the conversation between him and the SS men, I could only catch the remark: "That fellow has spoiled my entry into Prague." That is to say, made it impossible.

Apparently he was not satisfied with the great success which he had achieved in foreign politics, but, as I mentioned when I spoke about it yesterday, I assumed from that remark, that he regretted the loss of the glory and glamour of a dramatic staging.

Q. And what were your feelings in regard to your whole political attitude toward Hitler after Munich?

A. In spite of the foreign political success, I regretted very deeply, and so did my close friends, that, by this intervention on the part of the Allied Powers, our attempt to remove the Hitler regime was ruined for a long time to come-we did not know at that time, of course, what would happen in the future - but, naturally, at that moment, we had to resign ourselves to the fact.

Q. What did you know about Hitler's plans against Memel?

A. I knew nothing at all and never heard anything about it. As far as I know, I learned of the annexation of Memel by Germany on my trip to India, which I had already started at that time.

Q. And since you were in India at that time, you, of course, heard nothing either about the negotiations, etc., which preceded the attack on Poland?

A. I had no knowledge about that, and therefore I also knew nothing of the May meeting of 1939, which has been discussed several times. In the beginning of March, I left Berlin, and then stayed for some time in Switzerland; at the end of March I set out for India via Genoa, and so I learned nothing at all about the Hacha affair, that is, the establishment of the protectorate in Czechoslovakia, nor of Memel, nor of Poland, since I did not return from India until the beginning of August.

Q. The invasions of Belgium, Holland, Norway and Denmark have been taken up here. Did you approve these measures and actions?

A. Under no circumstances.

Q. Were you ever able to express that disapproval anywhere, and how?

A. Before the invasion of Belgium, I was visited on the order of the Chief of the General Staff, Haider, by the Quartermaster-General, the then Colonel, later General, Wagner, who, after the collapse, committed suicide. He informed me of the intended invasion of Belgium. I was shocked, and I replied at that time:

"If you want to commit that insanity too, then you are beyond help."

THE WITNESS: Before the march into Belgium. Exactly when it was, I could not say. It may have been in November, 1939. It may have been in April, 1940. I no longer know exactly when it was.


Q. Even though you did not approve of that action, Germany was after all engaged in a life and death struggle; did not that cause you to put your active co-operation at their disposal, since you were still Minister without portfolio, though no longer held a special office?

A. I did not do that.

Q. Did anyone ask you to do that?

A. The visit, which I have just mentioned, of Quartermaster- General Wagner, upon order of the Chief of General Staff Haider, was intended to persuade me to act in Germany's interests during the expected occupation of Belgium. I was to supervise and direct currency, finance and banking matters in Belgium. I flatly refused that. Later I was approached again by the then military governor

[Page 5]

of Belgium, General von Falkenhausen, for advice concerning the Belgian financial administration. I again refused to give advice and did not make any statements or participate in any way.

Q. When did you for the first time -

A. I could, perhaps, relate another instance when I was approached. One day, shortly after America was drawn into the war, I received a request from the newspaper published by Goebbels, that, on account of my knowledge of American conditions, I should write an article for das Reich, to assure the German people that the war potential of the United States should not be overestimated. I refused to write that article for the reason that precisely because I knew American conditions very well, my statement could only amount to the exact opposite. And so I refused in this instance also.

Q. When did you hear for the first time of the meeting which we call here simply the Hoszbach meeting, or the meeting concerning the Hoszbach protocol?

A. To my great surprise, I was informed of that meeting on 20th, October 1945, here in my cell, and I was extremely astonished that during all previous interrogations I had never been asked about this record, because it can be seen clearly from it that the Reich Government was not to be informed of Hitler's intentions for war, and therefore could not know anything about them.

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