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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th May to 24th May, 1946

One Hundred and Twenty-Ninth Day: Tuesday, 14th May, 1946
(Part 2 of 9)

[COLONEL PHILLIMORE continues his cross examination of Gerhard Wagner]

[Page4 ]

Q. You actually signed the order by which that order of the Fuehrer was passed on to the Commands, did you not?

A. Yes.

[Page 5]

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, the Document is C-179, and that was put in as Exhibit USA 543.

And it is in that bundle that Sir David Maxwell Fyfe handed to the Tribunal when cross-examining the defendant. I think it is either the last or very near to the last document in the bundle.


Q. Did you approve of that order?

A. I regretted that one had to resort to this order, but in the first paragraph, the reasons for it are set forth so clearly that I had to recognize its justification.

Q. You knew what handing over to the SD meant, did you not? You knew that meant shooting?

A. No, that could have meant a lot of things.

Q. What did you think it meant?

A. It could have meant that the people were interrogated for the counter-intelligence; it could have meant that they were to be kept imprisoned under more severe conditions and, finally, it could have meant that they might be shot.

Q. But you had not any doubt that it meant that they might be shot, had you?

A. The possibility that they might be shot undoubtedly existed.

Q. Yes, and did that occur to you when you signed the order sending it on to commanders?

A. I would like to refer to paragraph one of this order, where it -

Q. Do you mind answering the question? Did it occur to you that they might be shot when you signed the order sending it on to commanders?

A. Yes, the possibility was clear to me.

DR. SIEMERS (Counsel for defendant Raeder): Mr. President, the witness was asked whether he approved of this order. I do not think that Colonel Phillimore can cut off the witness's answer by saying that he may not refer to paragraph one of the order. I believe that paragraph one of the order is of decisive importance for this witness. Mr. President, the witness, Admiral Wagner -

THE PRESIDENT: You have an opportunity of re-examining the witness.


THE PRESIDENT: Then, why do you interrupt?

DR. SIEMERS: Because Colonel Phillimore has interrupted the answer of the witness, and I believe that even in cross- examination the answer of the witness must at least be heard.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal does not agree with you.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, I understand him to have made the same point that he had already made. I only interrupted him when he sought to make it again.


Q. I put my question once again. When you signed the Order sending this document on to lower commanders, did it occur to you then that these men would probably be shot?

A. The possibility that these people who were turned over to the SD might be shot was clear to me.

Q. Was it also -

A. I have not finished yet. But only those people who had not been captured by the Wehrmacht were to be handed over to the SD.

Q. Did it also occur to you that they would be shot without trial?

A. Yes, that can be concluded from the order.

Q. And what do you mean by saying that it only referred to those not captured by the Wehrmacht? Would you look at paragraph 3.

[Page 6]

"From now on all enemies on so-called commando missions in Europe or Africa, challenged by German troops, even if they are to all appearances soldiers in uniform or demolition troops, whether armed or unarmed, in battle or in flight, are to be slaughtered to the last man. It does not make any difference whether they landed from ships or aeroplanes or whether they were dropped by parachutes. Even if these individuals when found should apparently seem to give themselves up, no pardon is to be granted them on principle. In each individual case full information is to be sent to the OKW for publication in the report of the military forces."
Are you saying it did not refer to men captured by the military forces?

A. Yes, I maintain that statement. There is nothing in the entire paragraph which says these men who were captured by the Wehrmacht were to be turned over to the SD. That was the question.

Q. Now read on in the last paragraph.

"If individual members of such commandos, such as agents, saboteurs, etc., fall into the hands of the military forces by some other means, for example through the police in occupied territories, they are to be handed over immediately to the SD."
A. Yes. It is expressly stated here that only those people are to be turned over to the SD who are not captured by the Wehrmacht, but by the police; in that case the Wehrmacht could not take them over.

Q. Indeed it is not. That capture by the police is given as one possible instance. But you know, you know in practice, do you not, that there were several instances where commandos were captured by the Navy and handed over to the SD under this order; do you not know that?

A. No.

Q. Well, let me remind you. Would you look at the Document 512-PS?

That's also in that bundle, my Lord, as Exhibit USA 546. It is the second document. According to the last sentence of the Fuehrer Order of 18th October,

"Individual saboteurs can be spared for the time being in order to keep them for interrogation. The importance of this measure was proved in the cases of - "
Have you got it?

A. No, I am sorry, I have not found the place yet.

Q. The second document in the bundle, 512-PS.

A. I cannot find the place.

Q. You have it now?

A. No, I have not yet found the text which you are quoting, Colonel. May I ask you to repeat the passage?

Q. You have it?

A. Yes, I have the place now. Q. Read the first sentence which I have read, and then go on to the second sentence.

"The importance of this measure was proven in the cases of Glomfjord, two-man torpedo Drontheim, and Glider Plane Stavanger, where interrogations resulted in valuable knowledge of enemy intentions."
And then it goes on to another case, the case of Gerond.

Do you say that you do not remember the two-man torpedo attack on the Tirpitz in Trondhjem Fjord? A. No, no. I am not asserting that I do not remember it. I do remember it.

Q. Yes. Did you not see in the Wehrmacht communique, after that attack, what had happened to the man who was captured?

A. I cannot recall it at the moment.

Q. Let me remind you. One man was captured, Robert Paul Evans, just as he was getting across the Swedish border, and he was - that attack took place in October 1942 - he was executed in January, 1943, on 19th January, 1943.

[Page 7]

My Lord, the reference to that might be convenient, it is the Document UK-57 which was put in as Exhibit GB 64.

Do you say that you do not remember seeing any report of his capture or of his interrogation or of his shooting?

A. No, I believe I remember that, but this man -

Q. Now what do you remember? just tell us what you remember. Do you remember seeing his capture reported?

A. I do not exactly remember. I remember there was a report that a considerable time after the attack on the Tirpitz a man was captured, but to my knowledge, not by the Navy.

Q. Would you look at the Document D-864, a sworn statement.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, through some error I am afraid I have not got it here. May I just put the facts, and if necessary put the document if I can produce it in time?


Q. I suggest to you that Robert Paul Evans, after his capture, was personally interrogated by the Commander-in- Chief Navy of the Norwegian North Coast.

Do you say you know nothing of that?

A. Yes, I maintain that I do not remember it.

Q. You see, this was the first two-man torpedo attack by the British Navy against the German Naval forces, was it not? That is so, is it not?

A. Yes, that is possible.

Q. No, but you must know that, do you not? You were Chief of Staff Operations at the time.

A. I believe it was the first time.

Q. Do you say that the results of that important interrogation were not reported to you in the Naval War Staff?

A. They were certainly reported, but nevertheless I cannot remember that the Commanding Admiral in Norway actually conducted this interrogation.

Q. Did you see a report by that Admiral?

A. I do not know where it originated, but I am certain I saw a report of that kind.

Q. Was it clear to you that that report was based on interrogation?

A. Yes, I think so.

Q. And you say you did not know that this man Evans, some two months after his capture, was taken out and shot under the Fuehrer Order?

A. Yes, I maintain that. I do not remember that.

Q. I will put to you another instance. Do you remember the Bordeaux incident in December, 1942?

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: That is 526-PS, my Lord. That is also in the bundle. It was originally put in as Exhibit USA 502.


Q. I'm sorry; it is the Toft Fjord incident I am putting to you, 526-PS.

Do you remember this incident in Toft Fjord in March, 1943?

A. I do remember that about this time an enemy cutter was seized in a Norwegian fjord.

Q. Yes. And did you not see in the Wehrmacht Communique "Fuehrer Order executed"?

A. If it said so in the Wehrmacht Communique then I must have read it.

Q. Have you any doubt that you knew that the men captured in that attack were shot, and that you knew it at the time?

A. Apparently they were shot while being captured.

Q. If you look at the Document:-

"An enemy cutter was sighted. Cutter was blown up by the enemy. Crew, two dead men, ten prisoners."
Then look down:

[Page 8]

"Fuehrer Order executed by SD."
That means those ten men were shot, does it not?

A. It must mean that.

Q. Yes. Now I just put to you the Document that I referred to on the Trondhjem episode, D-864. This is an affidavit by a man who was in charge of the SD at Bergen and later at Trondhjem, and it is the second paragraph:-

"I received the order by teletype letter or radiogram from the Commander of the Security Police and the SD, Oslo, to transfer Evans from Trondhjem Missions hotel to the BdS, Oslo.

I cannot say who signed the radiogram or the teletype letter from Oslo. I am not sure to whom I transmitted the order, but I think it was to Hauptsturmfuehrer Hollack. I know that the Commanding Admiral of the Norwegian Northern Coast had interrogated Evans himself."

And then he goes on to deal with Evans's clothing.

I put it to you once again: Do you say that you did not know from the Admiral Northern Coast himself that he had interrogated this man?

A. Yes, I am asserting that.

Q. Well, I will bring to your notice one more incident which you knew about, as is shown by your own war diary. Would you look at the Document D-658.

COLONEL PHILLIMORE: My Lord, this Document was put in as Exhibit GB 229.


Q. Now, that is an extract from the SKL War Diary, is it not?

A. Let me examine it first. It does not give me the impression that -

Q. You said yesterday that it was from the War Diary of the Naval Commander, West France, but I think that was a mistake, was it not?

A. I did not make any statement yesterday on the origin of the War Diary.

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