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-Seventh Day: Thursday, 23rd May, 1946
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 320]

THE PRESIDENT: With reference to the documents of the defendant Seyss-Inquart, the Tribunal admits the following documents which were objected to:

No. 11, No. 47, No. 48, No. 50, No. 54, and No. 71,

The remainder of the documents which were objected to are rejected. I will enumerate them:

No. 5, No. 10 No. 14, No. 19-B, No. 21, No. 22, No. 27, No. 31, No. 39, No. 55, No. 60, No. 61, No. 68, No. 69.

That is all.

M. DUBOST (of the French prosecution): Mr. President, last night at the end of the session the Counsel for Admiral Raeder submitted a certain number of documents including Document 105 of Document Book 5. This document is an excerpt from the German White Book, No. 5. It is the testimony of an old man of 72, a native of Luxembourg, who has lived in Belgium only for the last six months, and who affirms that in April 1940 he saw two hundred French soldiers in Belgium. These soldiers were in armoured cars.

I will ask the Tribunal to allow me to make objection to this Document 7 of the White Book No. 5, the original of which has never been submitted and has not even been reproduced in the White Book, as is the case with a certain number of documents in the German White Book. It is necessary that in the name of France and of Belgium a protest - a formal categorical protest - be made against such an assertion. At no time during the invasion of Belgium by the German forces did any French troops enter. The reading of this document, No. 105 of Document Book 5 of Admiral Raeder, enables us to understand the error in the testimony by Grandjanet that is cited.

I have told the Tribunal that this man is 72 years old and was from Luxembourg. To the question put to him by the German authorities as to whether and how he recognized the soldiers he had seen as being of French nationality, he answered, "I knew them to be French soldiers because I know their uniform extremely well. Moreover, I recognized the soldiers because of the language they used when they spoke to me."

Now, as far as the uniform is concerned, the Tribunal knows that at the time when these events took place, the Belgian Army had a uniform of the same colour as that of the French Army and a cap of the same shape. As for the language, the Tribunal also knows that a great part of the Belgian population who live along the Luxembourg frontier speak French, and by the same token, the Belgian soldiers recruited in these districts speak French.

The Tribunal will certainly remember that this witness, who is a very old man, had only been living for six months in Belgium and had most probably had a very limited experience with Belgians - and especially with the Belgian Army.

At any rate, we assert in the name of France and in the name of Belgium that before 10th May, 1940, no French troops, no organized French troops, penetrated Belgium, and that the isolated individuals who did go into Belgium were interned there.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Siemers?

[Page 321]

DR. SIEMERS: If it please the Tribunal, may I reply very briefly?

This matter concerns a document from the White Book, on which a decision has already been taken here and which was provisionally granted me. I propose that the prosecution be requested to submit the original, if they dispute the correctness of this document. In this I am in agreement with a decision of the Tribunal according to which the application is to be made for the, presentation of the original if it is available, or application should be made that whoever has the original should produce it. As far as I know, the prosecution have the original, since all original documents were kept in the Foreign Office in Berlin, or in the alternative place of safe keeping, and all the originals of these White Books fell into the hands of the Allies.

THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by "original"? The original, I suppose, is the original of the White Book. Is that what you mean?

DR. SIEMERS: Yes, I mean now, Mr. President, the original of this court record.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, this comes from a White Book. That is a printed document, I suppose. I do not suppose it contains the original of the statement of this Luxembourg man.

DR. SIEMERS: The White Book is a collection of numerous documents, and the single original documents are in the possession of the Foreign Office; in part they were from the files of the French General Staff, and partly they were records of court proceedings. Regarding the contents of this document

THE PRESIDENT: Monsieur Dubost, you are not proposing that we should strike the document out, but the Tribunal will certainly take into account the facts to which you have drawn our notice.

M. DUBOST: This is an application that the Tribunal shall refuse to admit that document, Mr. President. At the same time this is a protest against the assertion made by the defence that French soldiers violated Belgian neutrality in the course of the month of April.

I hope the Tribunal will allow me to add a few words of explanation. The White Book, which we have here, comprises two parts. The first part reproduces texts and the second part gives photostatic copies of these texts. In the first part, which simply reproduces the texts, is found the document which I ask the Tribunal to strike from the record. We have searched in the second part, which gives the photostatic copies of the documents in the first part, and we do not find it. We inform the Tribunal that the original of the document, which we ask the Tribunal to strike out, has not been reproduced in the German White Book, since it is not to be found in the second part.

DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I believe that Monsieur Dubost's entire explanation refers to the question of the probative value of the document and not to the question of the admissibility of the document. That this document is in order appears to me to be quite clear, since it is a record of court proceedings where a certain person, namely Grandjanet, has been interrogated. Everything said by Monsieur Dubost referred more to the contents of the document, that is, the question of its probative value. May I ask, therefore, that the document be admitted, as it has up to now, and that consideration be given to the fact that the document has value in connection with the other documents which have been granted to me and to Dr. Horn in his document book with reference to Holland and Belgium.

If in the second part of the document book there is no photostatic copy -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Siemers, and Monsieur Dubost, the Tribunal will consider the objection that has been made.

[Page 322]

DR. SIEMERS: May I merely mention, Mr. President, that if the photostat is not in the book, as M. Dubost is objecting, that this is due to the fact that this court record in its original text was German and the facsimiles are those prepared according to the original text in French, that is to say, made of those documents which in their original version were in French. If necessary, I would appeal to Geheimrat von Schnieden as a witness, regarding this record, since he at the time was informed about all the records of this type and helped in the work of compiling the book.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will consider the objection.

DR. KRANZBUHLER (Counsel for defendant Donitz): Mr. President, with the permission of the Tribunal I should like to say that the interrogatory put to the Chief of the American Naval Staff, Admiral Nimitz, is available. I received it the day before yesterday and in the meantime it has gone to the interpreters for translation. With the permission of the Tribunal, I should like to submit it now, in connection with the cases of Grand Admiral Donitz and Grand Admiral Raeder.

THE PRESIDENT: Have the prosecution seen it?


THE PRESIDENT: Have you got copies for us?

DR. KRANZBUHLER: I have been informed that the copies for the Tribunal would be handed on by the General Secretary.

THE PRESIDENT: Unless we have copies, the document must not be read. It must be put off until we have copies.

DR. KRANZBUHLER: There are two copies in English and one in French.

I present the document as Donitz No. 100.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kranzbuhler, the Soviet members of the Tribunal do not have a copy of the document, translated into their language, so you will present it at a later date.

Will the counsel for the defendant von Schirach present his case?

DR. SAUTER (Counsel for the defendant von Schirach): Gentlemen of the Tribunal, I propose first of all to conduct the examination of the defendant Schirach himself, and in the framework of this examination then to bring to your attention the passage of the document book concerned, as the individual points come up. Following the examination of the defendant I shall then call my four witnesses, and at the end I intend to submit the remaining documents, in so far as these documents have not by that time been presented during the examination of the defendant von Schirach. I presume, Mr. President, that you are agreeable to this procedure.

I now call to the witness-stand, first, Baldur von Schirach.

BALDUR VON SCHIRACH, one of the defendants, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you repeat the following oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Witness, what is the date of your birth?

A. 9th May, 1907.

[Page 323]

Q. That means that a few days ago you were thirty-nine. You have been married for fourteen years; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have four children, whose ages are -

A. - four, eight, eleven and thirteen.

Q. In the Third Reich your chief post was acting as Youth Leader?

A. Yes.

Q. What offices did you fill in that connection, that is, offices in the Party and in the Government - please state also how long you held these various offices?

A. To start with, in 1929, I was the leader of the National Socialist Students' Union. In 1931 I became Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP, at first in the staff of the Supreme SA Command; in 1932, Reich Leader for the Youth Education System of the NSDAP; in 1933, Youth Leader of the German Reich, at first under the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick. In 1934 I held the same position under the Reich Minister of Education, Rust. In 1936 the Youth Leader in Germany became a leading Reich official, and in that capacity I came directly under the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor.

Q. Now, which of your offices were Party positions and which of the ones you have mentioned were offices of the Reich?

A. Party positions were the office of Reich Youth Leader of the NSDAP, and that of Reich Leader for Youth Education. Government positions: The Youth Leader of the German Reich, at first subordinate to the Minister of the Interior as I have described, or under the Minister for Education, and then in an independent position.

Q. Witness, you were removed from some of these offices in 1940. What positions in Youth Leadership did you lose in 1940 and what positions did you still continue to fill to the end?

A. In 1940 I left the immediate leadership of youth, that is, I left the office of the Reich Youth Leadership of the NSDAP, but I retained the office of Reich Leader for Youth Education and with that the entire responsibility for German youth. I received as an additional new post that of Gauleiter of Vienna, which was combined with the governmental post of Reichsstatthalter (Reich Governor of Vienna and also that of Reich Defence Commissioner for Wehrkreis XVII (a military district).

Q. Witness, we want now to come back to your activity as Youth Leader. There is an affidavit by you here dated 4th December, 1945, PS-3302. In this affidavit you stated to the prosecution in December that you acknowledged yourself to be responsible for all youth education in the Third Reich.

A. That is correct.

Q. Were you, when you gave the statement of guilt, under the impression that your successor, the late Reich Youth Leader Axmann, was dead?

A. Yes.

Q. You thought that he died in the last battles of the war?

A. Yes, I was convinced that he had died in Berlin.

Q. In the meantime, witness, you have learned from newspaper reports that your successor as Reich Youth Leader, this man Axmann, is still alive. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you want then, today, to support your affidavit regarding your personal responsibility as Youth Leader, and support it in its entirety; or do you want to limit it in any respect today?

A. I do not want to limit this affidavit in any way. Although during the last years of his life Hitler gave orders to the German Youth of which I do not know; and also my successor Axmann, particularly in 1944, gave orders with which I am not acquainted, because the relationship between us had been broken off due to the events of the war, I stand by the statement that I have made, in the expectation that the Tribunal will consider me. the only person responsible in

[Page 324]

the Youth Leadership and that no other youth leader will be summoned before a court for these actions for which I have assumed responsibility.

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