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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
20th June to 1st July 1946

One Hundred and Sixty-Fourth Day: Wednesday, 26th June, 1946
(Part 2 of 10)

[MAJOR-GENERAL RAGINSKY continues his cross examination of Constantin von Neurath]

[Page 204]

Q. Well, you need not repeat what you have already stated.

I am going to read into the record a certain statement by Karl Hermann Frank of 26th November, 1945, connected with the subject. It can be found on Pages 46 and 47 of the Russian text. The English text will be submitted. Karl Hermann Frank, giving evidence regarding this poster, the text of which I have just read into the record, stated:

"This document was dated 17th November, 1939, and was signed by von Neurath, who did not speak either against the shooting of the nine students ..."
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, may I draw your attention to something connected with this document. The document is neither dated nor is it signed, at least not the copy I have. It does not make it at all clear from whom the document originates, and I should like to take this opportunity to protest against the reading of this document.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. von Ludinghausen, is there not a certificate about the document?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Not in my copy.


GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, will you permit me to explain this misunderstanding. Dr. Ludinghausen has the full text of Exhibit USSR 60. The English text was also submitted to the Tribunal. This document was quoted yesterday by Dr. Ludinghausen. There is a certificate regarding the authenticity of this document signed by the Plenipotentiary of the Czechoslovak Government, and there is the date too.

Now, just to facilitate the proceedings, we have submitted another copy of Frank's testimony to Dr. Ludinghausen, and it would be very easy to determine that there

[Page 205]

is a certificate regarding the authenticity of this statement, which is dated 17th November ....

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: I should like to say the following about this point. When I received this long indictment from General Ecer of the Czech delegation, the document did not have any additions or appendices, except texts of laws. I then received only one annex to an appendix, or supplement "No. 2"; the others I received in the same condition as the one which I have here.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. von Ludinghausen, will you wait a minute: Will you kindly tell us what document it is you are referring to?


THE PRESIDENT: USSR 60 - well, that is the Czech report, is it not?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: That is the Czech report, which is about this thick (indicating) in German, that is the one in question. Annexes have also been issued to this, and these annexes, I repeat, were not made available to me, that is, I made a personal effort to get them, but I only received one which is not identical with this document and which I received much later and in the same condition as that which I hold in my hand now; that is to say, without a heading, without a signature and without a date and most certainly without any certificate as to when, where and by whom this supposed statement of Frank was taken down.

THE PRESIDENT: Let us hear what General Raginsky has got to say about it.

As I understand General Raginsky, he says there is a certificate identifying that document and what is being supplied to you is merely a copy, which may not have the date and may not have the certificate on it, but which is the same as the document which is certified.

Is that what you said, General Raginsky?


THE PRESIDENT: Could you not show Dr. von Ludinghausen, the certificate and the document which is certified?

GENERAL RAGINSKY: This certificate can be found on Page 44 of the Russian text in the appendix to Exhibit USSR 60, and it is signed for General Ecer by Colonel Novack, General Staff Corps. This certificate was submitted, in due course, by us to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to take up the time of the Tribunal about this particular document? It seems to me we are wasting a lot of time.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: After all, it is important. Otherwise I cannot find out whether it is genuine. That is certainly my right.

THE PRESIDENT: I was asking General Raginsky whether he wanted to persist in the use of the document. Is it worth while? I do not know what the document is or what it says.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: I consider that is not necessary, because this document has already been submitted to the Tribunal a few months ago and accepted by the Tribunal as evidence. I really do not understand the statements by Dr. von Ludinghausen.

THE PRESIDENT: Why do you not show Dr. von Ludinghausen that there is a certificate which applies to the document which you put in his hand?

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Yes, certainly, Mr. President. I am holding in my hand the Russian text of the certificate. I am quoting the Russian text and I can present it to Dr. Ludinghausen, so that he can be convinced. The original document has been submitted to the Tribunal and is in the possession of the Tribunal.

[Page 206]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, is there not a German translation of the certificate and does not the certificate identify the document? Is there a German translation of the certificate?

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Just at the moment I do not have it, but during the recess I shall be glad to produce the original German document.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. von Ludinghausen, the Tribunal is told that this document was put in before and the certificate of General Ecer was put in at the same time, certifying that this document is a part of the Czech report. In those circumstances, the Tribunal will allow the document to be used.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, then I have another objection to the use of this document.

As is known, if any interrogation transcripts or affidavits from witnesses are presented, the defence has the right to summon these witnesses for an interrogation. Former State Secretary Frank, who has made this statement, is, however, as is known, no longer among the living. Therefore, I also object for this reason to the use of this document.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. von Ludinghausen, this document was offered and accepted in evidence during the lifetime of this man, K. H. Frank. That is one reason for accepting it.

The document is admissible under Article 21 of the Charter and was admitted under that article, and there is no such rule as you have stated, that the defence are entitled to cross-examine every person who makes an affidavit. It is a matter entirely within the discretion of the Tribunal and therefore that objection is rejected.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I do not want to keep you any longer on this matter, but I wanted to show that this was an unnecessary delay, as Dr. von Ludinghausen, used the document himself to introduce some extracts from the testimony of Frank in his document book.

Now I shall read into the record some statements made by Frank. This document, I repeat, is in connection with the warning dated 17th November, 1939, which we just exhibited to this Tribunal, and signed by von Neurath, who did not raise his voice either against the shooting of the nine students, nor as to the number of students who were to be sent to concentration camps, and he did not really request any changes in this legislation.


Q. Did you hear the testimony, defendant?

A. Yes, I have read it.

Q. Do you deny this?

A. But most definitely. There was no possibility whatever of my doing so because I was not in Prague and consequently I could neither have had any knowledge of it, nor could I have signed it or passed it on.

Q. Very well. You still insist in stating that the police never informed you regarding the arrests which were made and other police measures which were taken? Do you state that firmly?

A. I did not say that they never informed me, but that they always informed me afterwards. My information always came from Czech sources.

Q. Was not the state of affairs such that the police regularly reported to you regarding the important events which took place?

A. Not at all. In particular I never learned anything about what they were planning, at least, not until afterwards, or, if I had learned it from Czech sources, I then made inquiries of the police.

Q. Very well. I am going to read an extract from the testimony of Karl Hermann Frank, dated 7th March, 1946. This testimony was submitted by me

[Page 207]

to the Tribunal yesterday, and it was then partially read by me. Will you give a copy of the testimony to the defendant, please.

Frank states:

"The Reich Protector, von Neurath, regularly received reports on the most important events in the Protectorate, which had some bearing on the Security Police, from me, as well as from the State Secretary and from the head of the Security Police. For example, von Neurath received information about a certain demonstration in the Sudetenland in November, 1939, both from me and from the head of the Security Police. This case dealt with Hitler's direct orders demanding the shooting of all the ringleaders. The number of ringleaders was to be fixed by the Prague Gestapo and the Reich Protector was to be informed of this. In this case the names of the ringleaders had to be announced by the State Police, that is to say, were subject to the approval of the Reich Protector. Reich Protector von Neurath signed the official dispatch announcing the execution of these students, thereby approving this action. I informed him in detail about the interrogation and he signed the poster.

Had this not met with his approval and had he wished to revise it, to make it less severe, for instance, as he had the right to do, then I should have had to abide by his decision."

Now, do you deny these statements?

A. Yes, I do not know how many times I have got to tell you that I was not in Prague at all.

Besides, I do not know under what sort of pressure Frank might have made these statements. It does not give the date, but you just said that he made this statement on 7th April, and therefore a few days before his execution.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: I should like the Tribunal to note that the defendant is deliberately distorting the facts. I repeated several times that these statements were made by Frank on 7th March and not On 7th April, or two days before the execution, as you are telling me now.

The document is before you, and you can look at it yourself and see the date.

A. All right, then 7th March instead of 7th April. I think I said 7th April because I did not see the date at the top. But as I have said ... I think I have already told you three times, I could not have known anything at all about it because I was not there.

Q. Well. But you are making too many mistakes. Yesterday when giving testimony you were not very clear as to the number of students, either.

A. I cannot remember what I said yesterday, but I could hardly have made so many mistakes; I do not know if there were one or two less.

Q. I would like to remind you. Yesterday, in reply to a question by Sir David, who submitted to you Document 3858- PS, from which it was evident that after the closing of the higher institutions of learning, 18,000 students found themselves out of school -

THE PRESIDENT: Is it necessary to go over Sir David's cross- examination again? Surely we have said that we do not want to go over the same subject twice.

MAJOR-GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I do not want to go back to the very same thing, and I do not want to add anything to the questions put by Sir David, who has carried out a very detailed interrogation. I only, wanted to establish the truth. When the defendant stated yesterday that in the document which was submitted by Sir David there was a mistake - that in Prague there existed only two institutions of higher learning and that 12,000 students could not have been arrested, this was not correct. The question was not merely about the closing of two Prague universities, but, on the basis of the order of 17th November, 1939 there were closed the Czech University in Prague, the Czech University in Brunn, the Czech Higher Technical School in Brunn, the Czech Higher Technical School in Prague ...

[Page 208]

THE PRESIDENT: We heard all this yesterday, and we do not want to hear it again. We heard all about the closing of the university in Prague.

MAJOR-GENERAL RAGINSKY: Very well, Mr. President. I just wanted to state that not two universities were closed, but ten institutions of higher learning.

I have just a few questions left which I should like to put to the defendant.


Q. You received many awards from Hitler, as is evident from the documents, and as you yourself stated. For instance, on 22nd September, 1940, you received the Iron Cross for Military Service. For what kind of services did you receive this award from Hitler?

THE PRESIDENT: Surely we went into this yesterday, did we not, in Sir David's cross-examination, or in the examination- in-chief; I forget which. I think it was the examination-in- chief. All these decorations which were given the defendant.

MAJOR-GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I do not want to revert to these orders, but I should like to ask the defendant, for what special services he received the Iron Cross from Hitler in 1940.

THE PRESIDENT: All right, ask him that.

THE WITNESS: Unfortunately, I cannot tell you. I cannot tell you what sort of services I am supposed to have rendered. The award of this order of merit was made generally to all higher officials who were in service at the time.


Q. Very well, I am not going to insist on your reply. I just wanted to state here that you received this award in 1940 after the mass terror was applied against the Czechoslovak population.

A. I do not know that I am supposed to have carried out a mass terror.

Q. Very well, if you do not understand, we are not going to argue about this question.

In February, 1943, in connection with your birthday, various articles about you were published in many newspapers. I am not going to submit all these papers to the Tribunal or quote these articles, but I should like to read a few excerpts from the newspaper Frankischer Kourier of 2nd February, 1943. We shall submit to you one of the copies of this so that you can follow me as I read this document into the record.

MAJOR-GENERAL RAGINSKY: This newspaper is being submitted to the Tribunal under Number USSR 496.


Q. In connection with your birthday, it was stated:

"The most important events in the field of foreign policy after Hitler's coming to power in which Baron yon Neurath played a most important role as Reich Foreign Minister and with which his name will always be connected, are: Germany's leaving the Geneva Disarmament Conference, the reuniting of the Saar to Germany, and the denouncing of the Locarno Pact."
And farther on:
"Reich Protector Baron von Neurath was repeatedly decorated by the Fuehrer for outstanding services. He was decorated with the Golden Party Badge of Honour, received the rank of SS-Gruppenfuehrer, was a Knight of the Order of the Eagle, and received the Golden Badge of Honour for Faithful Service.

In appreciation of his outstanding services in the field of military efforts in the post of Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia, the Fuehrer decorated him with the Military Cross, First Class."

Are the facts correctly stated in this article?

[Page 209]

A. If I had to investigate the correctness of every article written by some journalist or other, I would have had a lot to do. These statements are the opinion of a journalist and nothing more.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.