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 Thirty-Third Day: Saturday, 18th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 6)

[Page 159]

MR. DODD: Mr. President, with respect to the application for documents of the defendant Seyss-Inquart, 87 documents altogether have been submitted to the prosecution, and we have gone over them in the German. After numerous conferences with counsel for the defendant Seyss-Inquart, we find we are unable to agree now on 17 of these documents. Yesterday the number was 20, as I stated, but we have now reduced it to 17.

Document 5 in the defendant's list is a copy of a resolution of the German National Assembly on 21st February, 1919, advocating Anschluss between Austria and Germany. We have told counsel we object to it as being really irrelevant here and immaterial. It is a resolution of a German parliamentary body, and it does not seem to us to make any difference what they were thinking of the Anschluss in 1919.

Document 10 is an extract from a newspaper article published in October, 1945 and written by a man named Walford Selby. It is an article criticising the Treaty of St. Germain for not avoiding the obliteration of the Austro-Hungarian economic entity, and it discusses what it describes as the mistakes of 1919, and so on. We understand that it is intended to explain, with other documents, the economic background of the Anschluss movement. Whatever may be said for that type of proof, there are at least five other documents on the same basis and we made no objection to them. But we did feel that somewhere this sort of thing, even if relevant, certainly became cumulative. Documents 7, 12, 26 and 33 are all on the same subject, the economic background of Anschluss, and this is a long one. Therefore, we feel that it certainly is not necessary and does not add very much and merely creates a lot of paper work and is cumulative.

Document 11 is a speech delivered by a Dr. Schober, giving the area and population of the Republic of Austria. We have not any very serious objection to this type of thing excepting that there probably are better sources if the defendant wishes to establish the area and population of Austria in 1921. Further, it seems to us that the Tribunal could very well take judicial knowledge of the area and population of Austria at that date from reliable publications.

Document 14 is a statement by the former Chancellor of Austria in 1922 to the effect that Austria belongs to Germany. Our objection is again based on the cumulative feature of this document, because there are at least three other documents with almost identical statements by Dr. Renner, to which we have made no objection.

Document 19 is an extract from a book written by a man called Kleinschmied, and the extract purports to show that a number of politicians lived or prospered on the Anschluss movement in Austria. That does not seem to us to be very important here or likely to help the Tribunal very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, what exactly does "lived from the propaganda mean? That they made their living by reason of propaganda, or what?

MR. DODD: Yes. It purports to show that they made it a vehicle for carrying on political activities, and made an issue of it and sustained themselves politically. 21 is an extract from Kunschak's book Austria 1918-1934, and it gives the increase in the National Socialist votes in Austria between 1930 and 1932. That did not seem to us to be very material or very helpful or likely to be helpful to the Tribunal. We objected to it on the grounds that it was irrelevant and immaterial.

[Page 160]

Document 22 is an extract from an article in the New Free Press of August 1932, opposing the League of Nations loan. This again is submitted to prove the flow or the continuity of the Anschluss movement. There is at least one other document, 23, which purports to establish the same principle on the same kind of proof.

27 is an extract from an article written by Martin Fuchs, Un Pacte avec Hitler, and it discusses the Yugoslav policy with respect to Anschluss between Germany and Austria. Again that does not seem to the prosecution to have any direct bearing or any helpful bearing upon the issues here, whatever the Yugoslavs thought about it.

31 is an extract from the Neue Zeitung of the 11th of January of this year, wherein Gordon Walker states that the celebration in Austria after the Anschluss was genuine. Well, that is Mr. Walker's opinion, and there is some other substantial opinion on the other side. We doubt very much that his opinion is material here or competent.


MR. DODD: I understand he is a member of the Labour Party in Great Britain, and a writer.

39 is an extract from the Archiv of 1938. This sets forth a statement made by Senator Borah, of the United States, that the Anschluss was a natural and inevitable affair and had nothing to do with the United States. This was not a speech made by the late Senator Borah in the Senate; it was his own opinion, and it does not seem to us that it would be very helpful. Some later opinions of Senator Borah were not so helpful, and this does not seem to be very likely to be helpful to the Tribunal with respect to this issue.

47 is an extract from Zernatto's book The Truth about Austria. Zernatto was one of the State Under-secretaries of Austria, as the Tribunal knows. He left the country after the Anschluss and went to the United States and wrote this book. He makes a number of statements, I might say, about the defendant Seyss-Inquart. The Tribunal would be interested in knowing that this Document 47, and Documents 48, 50, 54, 55, 6o and 61 are all extracts from the same book. Now, we felt that wherever he reports a conversation with Seyss-Inquart, that would have bearing and relevancy before the Tribunal; but where he merely expresses his opinion, we have more doubt about its relevancy. This one statement, 47, seems to be nothing more than his opinion. He does not cite any conversation or anything other than what appears to be his impression that Seyss-Inquart disassociated himself from Leopold's efforts.

Now, we do not object to 48 and to 50, or to 54, although we originally thought we would, because on reviewing them they appeared to set out actual conversations between Zernatto and Seyss-Inquart, and it might be helpful to the Tribunal. Therefore, we do not object to these three.

But 55, again, is a statement in Zernatto's book that, in Zernatto's opinion, Seyss-Inquart was a figure on the chess- board and was double-crossed by the Nazi or new Party leadership. We object to that for the reason that I have stated, it is the author's opinion. He is deceased, by the way, and is certainly not available. In any event, we do not think his opinion can be very helpful.

Document 60 is also a statement from Zernatto's book and it sets out a conversation with an unnamed Austrian Nazi. We felt that was altogether too vague and would not be of value or helpful.

In 61, again, the author Zernatto expresses his opinion that Seyss-Inquart was afraid of shouldering responsibility.

I do not want to stress our objections too heavily to these extracts. I do not think they are very harmful, certainly, but I rather object because we would like to cut down some of this printing, and I do not think they will be very helpful to Seyss-Inquart.

68 is the first document on anti-Semitism, and it is an excerpt from the publication entitled The Elements of National Socialism by Bishop Alois Hudal. It explains

[Page 161]

anti-Semitism in Germany and Austria, and it goes on to discuss matters that the Tribunal has heard very much about through other defendants, the disproportionate position of the Jewish population in Germany, and so on. We object to it as not being helpful and not material.

69 is another extract from Zernatto's book on the causes, as some of these people see it, of anti-Semitism. It is his opinion and does not to us seem to be helpful or material here.

71 is on the Slovak question. I doubt that there has been any serious claim made anywhere in this case that at various times the Slovaks have not claimed autonomy. This extract from the Archiv of 1938, in so far as we can discover, seeks to establish that they did want autonomy. Well, we do not think that is very important here, and it will not be helpful to the Tribunal or to Seyss-Inquart.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it a document of State?

MR. DODD: Well, it is a document from the Archiv, and in that sense it is a public document.

THE PRESIDENT: After Slovakia had been taken over by the Reich?

MR. DODD: No, not afterwards, it is in 1938, and it preceded the taking over.


MR. DODD: These are our objections, Mr. President. I do think we have tried to be rather -

THE PRESIDENT: Of course, Mr. Dodd, we are only considering now the questions of objections to translation. We are not considering the question of admissibility, nor are we binding you not to object to them after they have been translated.

MR. DODD: Yes, I am aware of that, Mr. President. We tried to be, I think, fairly generous about this list. The excerpts, or most of them, are not too long. We did think we would have to call a halt somewhere, and I do not think our 17 objections out of the 87 listed are very strict or really handicap the defendant Seyss-Inquart.

DR. STEINBAUER (Counsel for defendant Seyss-Inquart): Your Lordship, High Military Tribunal, I know that you have a great regard for my small country, Austria, not only because of her ancient culture and scenic beauty, but also because she was the first country to lose her freedom through Hitler. However, with all the regard which you have for Austria, I cannot expect of you that, as representatives of great powers, you know the history of my country to the last detail. I do believe that it is of the utmost importance for the defence of Seyss-Inquart that you should understand fully on what background and what motives this man acted in the way he did.

I myself can see three reasons which led to the Anschluss.

First of all, the desperate economic situation which runs like a red thread from 1918 right up to and, I am sorry to say, through the year 1946.

The second reason, and I shall be very brief with regard to the documents -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinhauer, will you come to the actual documents as soon as possible, because, you will remember, we are only discussing the question of whether they should be translated or not.


The second reason was the disunity of the democratic parties.

The third reason was the attitude of the surrounding powers. It is on the basis of these reasons that I have assembled my documents.

The first is a resolution of the Weimar National Assembly, and I am of the opinion that it is an important fact, in respect to a final judgement, that the Anschluss was desired not only by the Austrian population, but by the entire German people. It is very short and I request that it be admitted.

[Page 162]

The second document is by Selby, who for many years was the British Ambassador in Vienna, a genuine friend of our country. In this article he refers to the economic background and conditions in Austria which led to the Anschluss. That was the reason for my including this document.

The next document is a speech delivered by Federal Chancellor Schober, who was held in great esteem by the world and who, in this speech, likewise refers to the fact that the burdens imposed on Austria were too great for her to be able to cope with them. He described the situation as a whole as one of bankruptcy.

The next document is a statement by the present Federal Minister, Dr. Karl Renner in 1922. At that time Dr. Seipel went to Geneva and, with great difficulty, arranged a loan through the League of Nations, which was of great importance to us because, at the same time, it was demanded of Austria, that we should forgo independence for ten years' duration. That meant that we were not to take any steps to change the conditions for an Anschluss. Renner opposed Seipel in Parliament at that time. This document is in no way cumulative to Document 33, since in the latter I want merely to describe the economic situation as it obtained in the year 1938.

The next document is point 2 of my evidence, namely, the strong political propaganda for the Anschluss. In any event, I must dispute most strongly the assertion that Document 21, which is very short, is irrelevant. I consider it extremely important to prove that this new, very young party, which arose from the fertile soil of the desperate economic situation, grew tenfold, as far as its number of votes was concerned, in the years 1930 to 1932; thus all the time there existed a recognized political opposition to the government.

The next document, 22, is an article which again illustrates the economic situation in Austria at a very essential period of history, namely, the moment when Federal Chancellor Dollfuss travelled to Lausanne in order to negotiate another loan from the League of Nations, and we again were forced to suppress thoughts of an Anschluss for another ten years. This document, 22, as well as the next one, 23, are not cumulative, since one shows the political and the other the economic position of the members of Parliament with respect to the League of Nations' loan of the year 1932.

The next document is only an extract from the position taken by the various surrounding States to the Anschluss question. I selected only Yugoslavia, for Yugoslavia was the country which most strongly supported the idea of Anschluss in its foreign policy.

As far as Document 31 is concerned, I should like to remark, supplementing the remarks made by the prosecution, that Gordon Walker is not only a member of the Labour Party, but - and this point is much more important - during the entire war years he was head of the British Radio Division Austria, and he was himself in Austria in the year 1938, and experienced the Anschluss. His judgement, therefore, is of extraordinary importance, since it is the judgement of a prominent foreigner.

The same remark applies to the following document, the statement by Senator Borah, who for 25 years was the chairman of the American Committee on Foreign Affairs. His opinion is surely deserving of notice.

The next documents concern statements made by Dr. Zernatto. I should like to add that Dr. Zernatto was Federal Minister, General Secretary of the Fatherland Front and Schuschnigg's right hand man during the period of the Anschluss. He was one of the spiritual fathers of the Schuschnigg plebiscite. I am sorry to say that he emigrated and died abroad in 1940, and I therefore cannot produce him as a witness here, but his book is a document and actually tells what this man experienced in those critical days.

I urgently request that the remaining three documents, which are very brief, be left in the book.

The next two documents concern anti-Semitism. I regretted having to include them, but felt that I must do so, in order to avoid any accusation of anti-Semitic

[Page 163]

propaganda, and because, in the trial brief my client is accused of being a member of an anti-Semitic organization. This accusation is unjustifiable in so far as more importance is attached to this organization than it actually deserves. If this matter is not further emphasized by the prosecution, I shall not attach any particular importance to these two documents.

The last document which is being objected to, 71, contains the Agreement of Pittsburgh which was concluded between Masaryk and Hlinka, the Slovak leader, in which Masaryk solemnly promised autonomy to the Slovaks, a promise which was not kept according to the letter of the agreement and which gave rise to a strong demand of autonomy in Slovakia, which was supported by Hitler. For these reasons I ask that this document also be approved.

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