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 Thirtieth Day: Wednesday, 15th May, 1946
(Part 9 of 11)

[DR. SAUTER continues his cross examination of Albert Toms]

[Page 74]

Q. For instance, the accounts with the Municipal Pawnbroker's Office?

A. In the account with the Municipal Pawnbrokers' Office the depositor was not named.

Q. What happened to these gold teeth?

A. They were melted down by the Prussian State Mint. The gold was then refined and the fine gold was returned to the Reichsbank.

Q. Witness, you said earlier that at the beginning of 1943 certain articles had arrived stamped "Auschwitz". I think you said the beginning of 1943

A. Yes, but I cannot tell you the exact date now.

Q. You said: "We all knew that there was a concentration camp there". Did you really know that as early as the beginning of 1943, witness?

A. Naturally, I know now.

Q. Yes, now of course, we all know it. I am talking about the time at which this happened.

A. I cannot say for certain. I made that statement on the strength - Oh!

I beg your pardon, I've just remembered something - These deliveries were probably not handled until as late as 1945 or 1944 in the late autumn. It is possible that something about Auschwitz had already leaked out.

Q. Now, you said under (14) of your statement that one of the first indications of the source of these articles apparently being the concentration camps was the fact that a parcel of paper was stamped "Lublin". This was early in 1943. Another indication was the fact that some items bore the stamp "Auschwitz".

[Page 75]

We all knew - I have already emphasized before for a very good reason - we all knew that these places were the sites of concentration camps. That is your statement, and I now repeat the question. Of course we all know it now, but did you, Herr Toms know at the beginning of 1943, that there was this huge concentration camp at Auschwitz?

A. No. To that direct question I must say no, I did not know it, but -

THE PRESIDENT: He did not say anything about a huge concentration camp at Auschwitz.

DR. SAUTER: No, that was a rhetorical exaggeration of mine. I said that we knew from the trial that there was a huge concentration camp there.

THE PRESIDENT: Did he know it? Did he know that there was a huge concentration camp in 1943? He has not said so.

THE WITNESS: I can answer "No" to your question, but this is the point: I assume that this slip marked "Auschwitz" came from a delivery which was probably made in 1943, but was not dealt with until much later, and I made that statement when I was in Frankfurt, so that the name "Auschwitz" was familiar to me. I admit that there may be an exaggeration in so far as I did retrospectively say to myself that that was a concentration camp, you see. But I know that at the time, somehow our attention was drawn to the name Auschwitz, and I think we even asked a question about the connection, but we received no answer and we never asked again.


Q. Well then, witness, I have one last question. The prosecution has shown us Document 3947-PS. I repeat, 3947- PS. Apparently, this is the draft of a memorandum which some department in the Reichsbank seems to have prepared for the directorate of the Reichsbank. It is dated the 31st of March, 1944, and it contains the sentence on Page 2 which I shall read to you because it refers to defendant Funk and to the defendant Goering. This is the sentence:

"The Reichsmarschall of the Greater German Reich, the Trustee of the Four-Year Plan, hereby informs the German Reichsbank in a letter of 19th March, 1944, a copy of which is enclosed," - incidentally, the copy is not here, at least I have not got it - "that the considerable amounts of gold and silver objects, jewels and so forth, at the Main Trustee Office, East, should be delivered to the Reichsbank according to the order issued by Reich Minister Funk" - the defendant - "and Graf Schwerin Krosigk, Reich Finance Minister. The conversion of these objects should be accomplished in the same way as the Melmer deliveries."
That is the end of my quotation.

Defendant Funk tells me, however, that he knew nothing about such instructions, and that such an agreement or such a letter was entirely unknown to him and that he did not know anything at all about the Melmer deliveries.

MR. DODD: I must object to the form of the question. I have objected before, and it is a long story "really" of the answer before the question is put to the witness. I think it is an unfair way to examine.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, you know, do you not, that you are not entitled to give evidence yourself? You are not entitled to say what Funk told you, unless he has given the evidence.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, this is not one of our witnesses. This is a witness who has volunteered for the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, it is not a question of whose witness he is. You were stating what Funk told you, and you were not referring to anything that Funk had said in evidence, and you are not entitled to do that.

[Page 76]


Q. As you were Reichsbankrat I should be interested to know whether you knew anything about these orders which are mentioned in the letter of 31st March 1944, from an office of the Reichsbank and whether the defendant Funk was concerned with this?

A. I think I can remember that instructions actually did exist to the effect that gold from the Main Trustee Office, East, should be delivered to the Reichsbank. I am not absolutely certain whether this sentence is from a note written by the Deputy Director of the Main Treasury, Herr Kropp, to the Directorate of the Reichsbank at the time. I am fairly certain that originally such instructions were actually given, but I want to point out that the Main Treasury, through the Precious Metal Department was against accepting these valuables because technically they were not in a position permanently to assume responsibility for such considerable deliveries of miscellaneous articles.

This instruction was cancelled later on through Herr Kropp's intervention. The deliveries from the Main Trustee Office, East, to the Reichsbank, especially to the Main Treasury, were not undertaken. I believe, however, I am right in saying that originally instructions of the type which you have just described, did exist.

Q. Did you see the instructions yourself?

A. I think that in the files of the Precious Metals Department, which are in the hands of the American Government, there will be carbon copies of these instructions.

Q. Was that instruction signed by the defendant Funk?

A. That I can not say.

Q. Or by some other office?

A. I really cannot tell you at the moment, but I cannot assume that it is the case, because, if the orders referred to are from the Finance Minister and Goering, both of whom were Funk's superiors, then some other department must have signed.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

MR. DODD: May I ask one or two questions on re-direct examination.




Q. Herr Toms, there was not any exaggeration about the fact that you did find a slip of paper with the word "Auschwitz" written on it among one of these shipments, was there?

A. No. I found the note.

Q. Now, I suppose you found lots of things among these shipments with names written on them. There must have been something that made you remember "Auschwitz", is not that so?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, what was it?

A. I must assume - I mean that I know from my recollection that there was, some connection with a concentration camp, but I cannot say. I am of the opinion that it must have happened later. It is really -

Q. Well, I do not care to press it. I just wanted to make perfectly clear to the Tribunal that you told us that you did remember "Auschwitz" and it had such a meaning for you that you remembered it as late as after the surrender of Germany. That is so, is it not?

A. Yes.

MR. DODD: I have no further questions.

[Page 77]


Q. You said there were about 77 deliveries, is that right?

A. Yes, there were over 70.

Q. How large were the deliveries? Were they in trucks?

A. They varied in size. Generally they arrived in ordinary cars, but sometimes they arrived in lorries. It depended. When there were banknotes, for instance, the bulk was smaller and the weight was less. If it was silver or silver articles, then the weight was greater and a small lorry would bring it.

Q. There were several lorries, or trucks, in each delivery, usually?

A. No, the deliveries were not so large as that. There was at the most one truck.

Q. One other question: Do I understand you to say that these articles were transferred to new containers?

A. Yes, they were put into ordinary bags by the Reichsbank. The bags were labelled "Reichsbank".

Q. Bags, marked with the Reichsbank's name on them?

A. Yes, on which the word "Reichsbank " was written.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

EMIL PUHL , a witness, resumed the stand and testified further as follows.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Seidl, do you want to ask the witness Puhl a few questions?

Witness, you remember that you are still on oath?

A. Yes, sir.

DR. SEIDL: (Counsel for the defendant Goering).



Q. Witness, in connection with Document 3947-PS, Exhibit USA 850, I have several questions to put to you.

You heard earlier when the witness Toms was examined that this letter contains a paragraph which refers to the Reichsmarschall Goering and which is connected with the Main Trustee Office, East. Is it true that this Main Trustee Office was an office which had been established by a Reich Law and that its right to confiscate had also been specifically outlined by Reich law?

A. I cannot answer the second part of your question without looking it up since I am not a legally trained man. The Main Trustee Office, East, was an officially established office; whether by law or by a decree, that is something I cannot tell you at the moment.

Q. To your knowledge, did the Main Trustee Office, East, have any connection with the SS Economic Administration Headquarters, that is to say, with the office of Toms and Pohl?

A. I have never observed that.

Q. Is it obviously out of the question, at least when you read the letter, that the Main Trustee Office, East, and its deliveries could in any way be connected with the Melmer action?

A. That very probably is so, yes.

Q. You mean there was no connection?

A. That there was no connection.

Q. You mentioned this morning that among the business transactions which the Reichsbank handled very unwillingly, were those with the Customs Investigation and the Currency Control Offices. The last part of this paragraph, which refers to the defendant Goering, contains a sentence which refers to the conversion of objects of a similar type which were taken from the occupied western territories. Is it true that, particularly in the occupied western

[Page 78]

territories, both the Currency Control Offices and the Customs Investigation Offices obtained rich booty?

A. The total of the valuables which were brought in by both these offices is unknown to me. I rather doubt that it was extraordinarily big. But certainly they were fairly large sums, mostly, of course, in foreign currency.

DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do you want to ask him anything?



Q. After having heard Herr Toms' testimony, do you wish to change any of your testimony that you gave this morning?

A. No.

Q. And your affidavit that you gave under oath, do you wish to have it remain as it is?

A. Yes.

MR. DODD: That is all I have to ask.


Q. Do you know who Kropp, who signed under the word Hauptkasse in the letter of 31st March, 1944 (3947-PS), is?

A. Herr Kropp was an official of our Treasury Department. He had a comparatively responsible position.

Q. Of which department?

A. The Treasury Department.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. The witness can retire.


DR. SIEMERS (Counsel for defendant Raeder): Grand Admiral Raeder, will you come up to the witness stand?

ERICH RAEDER, a defendant, resumed the stand and testified further as follows:



Q. May I remind you that I put the basic question whether the construction of the Navy was to serve aggressive or defensive purposes.

The witness wishes to answer that question by referring to parts of the speech tie made in 1928. It is Exhibit Raeder 6, Document Book 1, Page 5, and the speech itself begins on Page 17.

Please go ahead.

A. First of all, I want to say that Minister Severing, whom I had asked for as one of my witnesses, brought this speech along of his own free will, as he still remembers the year 1928.

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