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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th June to 19th June 1946

One Hundred and Fifty-Third Day: Wednesday, 12th June, 1946
(Part 12 of 12)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Dr. Friedrich Rainer]

[Page 188]

Q. Now, in there you say that you testify and confirm that "The facts which form the basis of the above-mentioned letters and reports are true to the best of my knowledge and belief," and you also say further up that you have read the letters and the report.

[Page 189]

Now, is that affidavit true? Were you telling the truth when you said that to us under oath in November?

A. That affidavit is correct, but I demand that the explanations which I gave in connection with it and which were taken down in shorthand, be added to it.

Q. Why did you not ask that there be included in the affidavit anything that you wanted about this report if it was not altogether true? You were swearing to it. Did you ask that something be added to it or that it be changed?

A. I considered it to be a statement of the genuine character of the documents which had been submitted to me. The record of my statements contained my opinion of the contents of these documents, and as a precaution I added a statement that in this case, too, I wished certain reservations to be taken down. They were subsequently formulated by one of the gentlemen interrogating me, stating "to the best of my knowledge and belief ..." and then he went on to say that all these reservations which I had stated had been expressed in accordance with the method customary with you.

Q. Now, are you really serious in telling this to the Tribunal today about this affidavit? Are you really serious about this last statement?

A. I am absolutely serious about it. I have nothing to hide.

Q. Now maybe we can shed a little more light on the kind of reports that you make. I have another one here that you have not seen. You made a speech in 1942.

MR. DODD: This is Document 4005-PS. It becomes Exhibit USA 890.


Q. You had better have a copy of this in front of you, USA-890. Do you remember that speech that you made on the 11th of March, 1942 in Klagenfurt before the Leaders Corps and the bearers of honour insignia and blood orders of the Gau Carinthia, in which you told the whole story of the development of the events of March of 1938? Do you remember the day you made that speech?

A. I did make a speech of that kind.

Q. All right. Now, let us look at it. Were you telling the truth the day you made that speech?

A. I represented the events in a way in which my audience would understand.

Q. Were you telling the truth when you made that speech? I did not ask you if you made it interesting; I asked you if you told the truth.

A. I believe I spoke the truth at the time, but I also believe that there were certain things about which I was not correctly informed.

Q. Now, let us take a look and see what you said in 1942 with reference to this report, Document PS-812.

Now, if you will turn to - I think it is Page 8 of your text, I am trying to locate for you the sentence that begins:

"Only in co-operation with us, Jury and a number of co-workers of Leopold ...
That is on Page 2 of the English text, about the middle of the page, the lower third of the page.

Do you find that?

A. No. Did you say Page 18 of the German text?

Q. I said Page 8.

A. Yes.

Q. Have you found it?

"Only in co-operation with us, Jury and a number of co-workers of Leopold, and also with Leopold's consent, was it possible to achieve Seyss-Inquart's appointment to the post of State Councillor (Staatsrat). More and more Seyss turned out to be the clever negotiator."
A. Yes.

Q. Do you find that?

A. Yes; I have it.

[Page 190]

Q. " We knew he was the one who would best represent the interests of the movement in the political field. He also, unconditionally, subordinated himself to Klausner's leadership. He always conducted himself as Klausner's deputy and conscientiously followed Klausner's instructions. With Seyss's appointment to the post of Staatsrat, we realised there were fresh possibilities of entering into further negotiations. At that time there were a number of grotesque situations. We were informed of events in the Schuschnigg camp by members of the political organization; our contact with Ribbentrop, Goering and Himmler was through Keppler."
Did you say that in your speech as reported there in the text of it, and how do you reconcile that now with what you have told the Tribunal about the report to Burckel?

A. It is not known to me where that record of the speech originates. I should have to have an opportunity -

Q. I will tell you. It is a captured document that was found down there in the files, so you need not worry about that. What I want to know is whether or not you now admit that you made this speech and you said these things at the time that you made it.

A. I made the speech, but I declare emphatically that whatever I have said under oath today about that point is the true version. This is a broad statement designed for the audience of that time, which cannot be taken as literally as something which I say today, conscious of my responsibility.

Q. You are not speaking broadly for the benefit of an audience here today, are you?

A. That is correct.

Q. Let us turn a page and see what you said about Papen, and about the conference. You go on to say how you got information, how you met in the Ringstrasse, and so on. If you will follow right along now, we will not lose the places.

"Papen had been expressly told to keep secret the preparations for the conference. In Austria, only Schuschnigg, Schmidt and Zernatto knew about it. They believed that on our side only Papen was informed. Papen, too, thought that only he knew about it, but we too were informed and had had conversations with Seyss about the subject."
That is the Berchtesgaden conference. Now, were you telling the truth when you said this in 1942, or not? Or was that a broad statement for the benefit of the audience?

A. I cannot today check this document against a correct reproduction of what I said then.

Q. Well, why not? It was in 1942. Do you not remember? Do you mean that you do not know whether you told the truth or not, or you do not know whether you said this or not?

A. In those days I gave a description before the simple people of Carinthia and I -

Q. Did you lie to them or did you tell them the truth?

A. No, but I speak to people like that in a way different to that in which I would speak under oath before this Tribunal, having to make concrete statements about concrete points. It seems incredible to me that I should today be required to confirm individual points of a speech which was made four years ago.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you have an answer? He is not answering your question?

MR. DODD: No Sir, he is not.


Q. I asked you whether or not you made these statements on that day, and if you did so, were they true? Now, you can tell us that very simply and we do not

[Page 191]

need any long answer. You have read it over and you have heard me read it. Now, please give us an answer.

You do not need to read any more. You have read it once and I have read it to you. Was that true and did you say it?

A. In details it is not correct.

Q. Well, is it true in any respect? Is it true that Papen was informed and that Seyss-Inquart knew about that conference long before it took place or sometime before it took place? That is what we want to know.

A. When we met during the winter Olympic games in Garmisch, we encountered -

Q. Now, just a minute. You are not answering my question. That is the next paragraph or the next sentence which you have been reading. I know that is coming and I am going to ask you about the meeting in Garmisch. I am now asking you if what you said about von Papen and Seyss-Inquart is the truth, and that is all I want to know.

A. It is correct that at about this time we were informed about the intention of having a conference.

Q. And that Seyss-Inquart knew about it.

Now, let us go on a little bit further and find out about this Garmisch meeting. You were invited down there to the Olympic games, you say, and you had a meeting with Papen and Seyss-Inquart and they went through some negotiations, and then you went on to Berlin.

Now, I want to read a little further on. There is a lot of interesting material here. We do not have the time to go into it all just now. Now, still further on; I want to ask you about what you say you had already prepared.

"We had already prepared the following:" -
and you are talking about Schuschnigg and the impending conference. It is on the back of Page 9 of your text, witness, and it is on Page 5 of the English text, the last paragraph. You say:
"We had already prepared the following:-

The result of the conversation Seyss communicated to me in a shop in the Kartnerstrasse. I called the telephone number through which Globus was to be reached in Berlin -"

by the way, for the benefit of the Tribunal, Globus is Globocnik, is he not? He is the same person, is he not?

A. Yes.

Q. " ... and told him about the negative result of the conversation. I could speak with Globus entirely freely. We had a secret code for each name, and besides we both spoke a terrible dialect so that not a soul would have understood us. Globus immediately wrote down this report ..." and so on.

"In the meantime, Keppler had gone to Munich by sleeping car."

Then, a sentence or two further down:
"I then forwarded instructions by Party Member Muhlmann who proved to be an excellent liaison man with government offices in the Reich. He left for Salzburg on the same train as Schuschnigg. While Schuschnigg had his car taken off at Salzburg and spent the night there and continued the journey to the Obersalzberg by car, Muhlmann travelled on direct and was in Berchtesgaden. Keppler and he went to the Fuehrer before Schuschnigg and were able to tell him everything. Schuschnigg arrived in the morning, was received, and experienced boundless surprise that the Fuehrer took up the negotiations where they had been broken off without results the day before between Seyss and himself. The Fuehrer did not conduct the negotiations as Schuschnigg expected. He went the whole hog. Schuschnigg was finished off that time, in a manner one can hardly imagine. The Fuehrer got hold of Schuschnigg,

[Page 192]

assaulted him, and shouted at him and reproached him for all the dirty tricks he had committed during the past years. Schuschnigg had become a heavy smoker. We had connections even into his bedroom. We knew about his way of life. He was smoking fifty to sixty cigarettes a day. Now, in the presence of the Fuehrer, he was not allowed to smoke. Schuschnigg could not smoke even!

"Ribbentrop told me he really pitied Schuschnigg. He only stood at attention before the Fuehrer, with his hands touching the seams of his trousers and all he said was 'Yes, Sir,' 'Jawohl'."

Now, what about that? You say all these things in your speech and were they true when you said them? Right up to that point, witness, you have read it with me. Did you say this or not, and was it true when you said it?

A. The events as I have described them here are, as a whole, correct. Individual expressions which I read here are not mine. In that point this document has been supplemented by somebody else. Whether the events described here are correct in detail, is something I cannot say for certain because much of it did not happen in my presence.

Q. I just wanted to know if you said it, that is all. Very well, we will go on.

You also told them that Schmidt finally went to Ribbentrop and asked him to give Schuschnigg one cigarette and so they gave him one. Let us go on quite a few pages to a more important matter. It is on Page 13.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, will you be able to finish tonight, because we were going to adjourn at a quarter to.

MR. DODD: Yes, I will. I shall need only two more minutes to finish. I do not think it takes much time. I have just one or two items in this speech.


Q. You know in this speech you told your listeners about the day that Seyss-Inquart came to a meeting and told you that he had been bound by his word of honour not to talk about the plebiscite. You know what you told your listeners that day. You will find it on ... well, you can find it, I can assure you it is in the text and it will save time if you believe me. It is on Page 13 of the English text. You say:

"We asked Seyss: Is it true? Seyss said: I am bound by my word of honour not to speak, but we want to act as if it is true." "Diplomat that he was" - was your observation - "The matter was clear to us."
He let you know, did he not, that Schuschnigg had told him about the plebiscite. He let you know, did he not? Please, cannot you answer my question without ...? You will not find the answer to that on that page.

A. The description here coincides with my memory.

MR. DODD: Just one last matter and I am not going to have many more questions for him.


Q. You also told your listeners that during the night from Thursday, 10th March to Friday, 11th March, all Gauleiter were in Vienna waiting for information:

"On 10th March we issued orders to the SA and SS, Lukesch and Kaltenbrunner, to call out, beginning Friday, half of the formations, and that the best men were to remain armed in their barracks in the event of a civil war,"
and so on. Did you say that?

A. With arms and in barracks? That cannot be right. The instructions at that time were, and it is unlikely that I recounted them otherwise, that half the strength should remain assembled at home, that is, in assembly areas. There is no question of barracks, and as to weapons, we had almost none.

Q. You know in this whole speech is contained almost everything, except in more detail, you wrote in your report to Burckel. The truth of the matter is that you were telling, in both instances, what you believed to be the truth, is it not? That is the truth of the matter. When you made your report to Burckel, and when

[Page 193]

you made the speech to the leaders and the members of the blood order, you were reporting what you thought were the facts, and what, of course, you know now are still the facts.

A. I cannot recognize this matter as being authentic.

MR. DODD: Well, I certainly do not have many more questions, my Lord.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 13th June, 1946 at 10.00 hours.)

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