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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Fortieth Day: Tuesday, 28th May, 1946
(Part 6 of 10)

[Page 70]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, can you indicate in what way you submit this document has any relevance at all? We have read the document. It does not appear to have any striking relevance.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, we have submitted this document because it is to prove, or at least go to show, that the defendant von Schirach, together with this Dr. Colin Ross, continuously worked to maintain peace, and later on to limit the war. Therefore, it is submitted only to show that the defendant von Schirach worked for peace.

THE PRESIDENT: The document does not mention von Schirach or in any way indicate that he had worked for peace.

DR. SAUTER: But it says in the document, "We have done everything in our power to prevent this war, or ...."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, the word "We" must mean the people who "leave this world by our own will," namely Dr. Colin Ross and his wife. It does not refer to von Schirach.

DR. SAUTER: We do not know that. Why should it not also refer to von Schirach?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, because there is such a thing as grammar. The document begins, "We leave this world by our own will."

DR. SAUTER: As to that, Mr. President, may I remind you that this name, Dr. Colin Ross, has been mentioned very often during this trial in connection with the peace efforts of the defendant von Schirach and that Dr. Colin Ross, together with his wife, was living in Schirach's apartment when they committed suicide.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, very well, Dr. Sauter, if you wish to draw our attention to it, you may do so.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you.

Mr. President, this letter was not really meant for the public; the top copy of the letter was left behind by Dr. Ross, and a number of carbon copies were sent to personal friends. In this way we found this letter of Dr. Colin Ross. I do not think there is anything else I have to say.

THE PRESIDENT: I have not said anything critical of the letter. If you want to read some sentences of it, read them, if you do not, we will take judicial notice of it. As I tell you, we have already read this letter.


THE PRESIDENT: I am not stopping you reading a sentence of it, if you want to read a sentence of it.

DR. SAUTER: It is of course not necessary, Mr. President, if you have taken cognizance of it. I have nothing else to say, and at this point I can end my case for the defendant von Schirach.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter, have you offered in evidence all the documents which are in these books?


THE PRESIDENT: Then they will be numbered with the numbers which are in the books.


THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then we will take judicial notice of them all.

MR. DODD: Well, Mr. President, there is one here which the Tribunal expressly rules on - the affidavit of Uiberreither. The defendant von Schirach was told he would have to present Uiberreither if he were to use this affidavit. He has not been presented here and now the affidavit is being offered. We expressly asked that he be called here if this affidavit was to be submitted to the Tribunal.

[Page 71]

DR. SAUTER: I am not making any reference to Uiberreither's affidavit, and I will forgo calling the witness Uiberreither.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Dr. Sauter.

MR. DODD: Then the affidavit is not offered?

THE PRESIDENT: No, it is not being offered.

MR. DODD: That is page 135.

THE PRESIDENT: Then it will not be admitted, and we will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

MR. DODD: Mr. President, during the presentation of the case involving the defendant Funk, there were a number of documents that we did not submit in evidence at the time; and I asked the Tribunal's permission to do so at a later time. I am prepared to do so now if the Tribunal would consent.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think it would be quite convenient now.

MR. DODD: Very well, sir.

The first one is a matter of clarifying the record with respect to it. It is Document 2828-PS. It has already been offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 654. But the excerpt, or the extract, which was read will be found on page 105 of the document. We cited another page which was in error. Reference to this document, Exhibit USA 654, will be found in Part 13 on page 139.

We also offered our Document EC-440, which consisted of a statement made by the defendant Funk, and we quoted a sentence from page 4 of that document. I wish to offer that as Exhibit USA 874.

Then Document 3952-PS was an interrogation of the defendant Funk dated 19th October, 1945. We wish to offer that as Exhibit USA 875.

I might remind the Tribunal that the excerpt quoted from that interrogation had to do with the statement made by Funk that the defendant Hess had notified him of the impending attack on the Soviet Union. That excerpt has been translated into the four languages, and therefore will be readily available to the Tribunal.

Then there is also another interrogation dated the 22nd of October, 1945. We read from pages 15 and 16 of that interrogation, as it appears in Part 13 on pages 187, 188 for 7th May. The document is 3953-PS; we offer it as Exhibit USA 876.

We next referred to Document 3894-PS, the interrogation of one Hans Posse. We offered it as Exhibit USA 843 at the time, as appears in Part 13 on pages 149 and 150 for 6th May. At that time I stated to the Tribunal that we would submit the whole interrogation in French, Russian, German and English. We are now prepared to do that, and do so.

Then we have Document 3954-PS. This is an affidavit by one Franz B. Wolf, one of the editors of the Frankfurter Zeitung. Reference to it will be found in Part 13 on page 144 of the transcript, where we stated that we would have more to say about the reason for the retention of the editorial staff of the Frankfurter Zeitung. That Document, 3954-PS, is also now available to the Tribunal in French, Russian, German and English; and we offer it as Exhibit USA 877.

Then, Mr. President, a film was shown during this cross-examination of the defendant Funk; and the Tribunal inquired as to whether or not we would be prepared to submit affidavits giving its source, and so on. We are now prepared to do so; and we offer first an affidavit by Captain Sam Harris who arranged to have the pictures taken, which becomes Exhibit USA 876. The second affidavit is by the photographer who actually took the picture. We offer that as Exhibit USA 879.

Finally, I should also like to clear up one other matter. On 25th March, during the cross-examination of the witness Bohle, witness for the defendant Hess, Colonel Amen quoted from the interrogation of von Strompel, as appears in Part 10

[Page 72]

on page 35. We have had the pertinent portions translated into the operating languages of the Tribunal, and we ask that this interrogation, which bears our document number 3800-PS, be admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA 880.

I believe, Mr. President, that clears up all of the documents that we have not offered formally, up to this date.

THE PRESIDENT: Now, Counsel for the defendant Sauckel.

DR. SERVATIUS (Counsel for the defendant Sauckel): With the permission of the Tribunal, I will now call defendant Sauckel to the witness stand.


ERNST FRIEDRICH CHRISTOPH SAUCKEL, defendant, took the stand and testified as follows:


Will you state your full name?

A. Ernst Friedrich Christoph Sauckel.

Q. Will you repeat this 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, please describe your career to the Tribunal.

A. I was the only child of the postman Friederich Sauckel and was born at Nassfurt on the Main near Bamberg. I attended the elementary school at Schweinfurt and the secondary school.

Q. How long were you at the elementary school?

A. For five years. As my father held only a very humble position, it was my mother, who was a seamstress, who made it possible for me to go to that school. When she became very ill with heart trouble, I saw that it would be impossible for my parents to provide for my studies, and I obtained their permission to go to sea to make a career for myself there.

Q. Did you join the merchant marine, or where dill you go?

A. First of all I joined the Norwegian and Swedish merchant marine so that I could be thoroughly trained in seamanship from the beginning on the big sailing vessels and clippers.

Q. How old were you at the time?

A. At that time I was fifteen and a half.

Q. What were you earning?

A. As a cabin boy on a Norwegian sailing ship I earned five kronen a week in addition to my keep.

Q. And then, in the course of your career at sea, where did you go next?

A. In the course of my career as a sailor, and during my training which I continued afterwards on German sailing vessels, I sailed on every sea and went to every part of the world.

Q. Did you come into contact with foreign families?

A. Through the Young Men's Christian Association and principally in Australia and North America, as well as in South America, I came into contact with families of these countries.

Q. Where were you when the First World War started?

A. It so happened that I was on a German sailing vessel on the way to Australia when the ship was captured, and on the high seas I was made prisoner by the French.

Q. How long did you remain a prisoner?

A. Five years, until November 1919.

[Page 73]

Q. And did you return home then?

A. Yes, I returned home then.

Q. And then what did you do?

A. I had, it is true, finished my training and the studies in seamanship that were required of me, but I could not go to sea again and take my examination, as the savings I had made during those years at sea had become worthless during the German inflation. There were also few German ships and very many unemployed German seamen, so I decided to take up work in a factory in my home town of Schweinfurt.

Q. Did you remain in your home town?

A. At first I remained in my home town. I learned to be a turner and engineer in the Fischer ball-bearing factory in order to save money, so that I later could attend a technical school, an engineering college.

Q. Were you already interested in politics at that time?

A. Although as a sailor I despised politics - for I loved my sailor's life and still love it today - conditions forced me to take up a definite attitude towards political problems. No one in Germany at that time could do otherwise. Many years before I had left a beautiful country and a rich nation and I returned to that country six years later to find it fundamentally changed and in a state of upheaval, and in great spiritual and material need.

Q. Did you join any party?

A. No, I worked in a factory which people in my home town described as "ultra red." I worked in the tool shop, and right and left of me Social Democrats, Communists, Socialists and Anarchists were working-among others my present father-in-law-and during all the rest periods discussions went on, so that, whether one wanted to or not, one was involved in the social problems of the time.

Q. You mention your father-in-law. Did you marry then?

A. In 1923 I married the daughter of a German workman whom I met at that time. I am still happily married to her today and we have ten children.

Q. When did you join the Party?

A. I joined the Party definitely in 1923 after having already been in sympathy with it before.

Q. What made you do it?

A. One day I heard a speech of Hitler. In this speech he said that the German factory worker and the German labourer must make common cause with the German intellectual worker. The controversies between the proletariat and the middle class had to be smoothed out and bridged over by each getting to know and understand the other. Through this a new community of people would grow up, and only such a community, superior to the middle class and the proletariat, could overcome the dire needs of those days and the splitting up of the German nation into parties and creeds. This statement took such hold of me and struck me so forcibly, that I dedicated my life to the idea of adjusting what seemed to be almost irreconcilable contrasts. I did that all the more, if I may say so, because I was aware of the fact that there is an inclination to go to extremes in German people, and in the German character generally. I had to examine myself very thoroughly to find the right path personally. As I have already said, I had hardly taken any interest in political questions. My good parents, who are no longer alive, brought me up in a strictly Christian but also in a very patriotic way. However, when I went to sea, I lived a sailor's life. I loaded saltpetre in Chile. I did heavy lumber work in Canada, in Quebec. I trimmed coal south of the equator, and I sailed around Cape Horn several times. All of this was hard work; I ask ...

Q. Please, come back to the question of the Party.

A. This has to do with the question of the Party for we must all give some reasons as to how we got there. I myself ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, I stated at the beginning of the defendant's case that we had heard this account from the defendant Goering and that we did

[Page 74]

not propose to hear it again from twenty defendants. It seems to me that we are having it inflicted upon us by nearly every one of the defendants.

DR. SERVATIUS: I believe, Mr. President, that we are interested in getting some sort of an impression of the defendant himself. Seen from various points of view, the facts look different. I will now briefly ...

THE PRESIDENT: It is quite true, Dr. Servatius, but we have had half an hour, almost, of it now.

DR. SERVATIUS: I shall limit it now.


Q. The Party was dissolved in 1923, and refounded in 1925. Did you join it again?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you take an active part in the Party or were you just a member?

A. From 1925 on I took an active part in it.

Q. And what position did you hold?

A. I was then Gau Manager in Thuringia.

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