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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd July to 15th July 1946

One Hundred and Sixty-Ninth Day: Tuesday, 2nd July, 1946
(Part 6 of 8)

[Page 22]

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: That is Number 12.

Number 32, minutes on the withdrawal of the Inter-Allied Military Commission.

Number 50, a speech of Prime Minister MacDonald of 16th March, 1933.

Number 51, an article of von Neurath on the League of Nations, in the magazine Der Volkerbund (League of Nations) of 11th May, 1933.

Number 52, Hitler's speech of 17th May, 1933, the so-called "Peace Speech".

Number 53, a statement of the German Ambassador, Nadolny, in Geneva, of 19th May, 1933.

Number 54, a statement of the American representative at the Disarmament Conference, Norman Davies, of 22nd May, 1933.

Number 55, a statement of the German Ambassador Nadolny, at the Disarmament Conference of 27th May, 1935.

[Page 23]

Number 81, a speech by the then minister Benes of 2nd July, 1934.

Number 82, an excerpt from the speech of Marshal Petain of 22nd July, 1934.

Number 83, the communique of the Reich Government of 26th July, 1934.

Number 85, the communique of the Reich Government of 10th September, 1934.

Number 86, a speech of Herr von Neurath of 17th September, 1934.

Number 88, excerpts from the speech of Marshal Smuts of 12th November, 1934

Number 119, a statement of the British Minister in the House of Commons of 20th July, 1936.

Those are the documents which I had not yet named, but which are already contained in my document books.

Mr. President, may I take this opportunity to submit the following application, namely: The Court -

THE PRESIDENT: Those documents have all been translated, have they not, Dr. Ludinghausen?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Yes, they are all included, in translation, in the document books which have been submitted.

Mr. President, may I now make an application to the Tribunal? It is to the effect that the Tribunal should permit me to recall the defendant von Neurath to the witness stand, for the following reason. As may be recalled, in the course of cross-examination Sir David Maxwell Fyfe presented Document 3859-PS to the defendant, which document was a photostatic copy of a letter from him, dated 31st August, 1940, to the head of the Reich Chancellery, Lammers, with two enclosures; in this letter the defendant asked Lammers to submit the two enclosures to Hitler and to arrange if possible a personal conference or an interview on the question of alleged Germanisation mentioned therein. The two enclosures of this letter to Lammers are reports and suggestions on the future form of the Protectorate, and concern the assimilation or possible Germanisation of the Czech people. The Tribunal will recall that the presentation of this rather extensive document - it has thirty or forty pages in this photostatic form, if not more - surprised the defendant, and at that moment he could not recall the matter clearly enough to give positive and exhaustive information immediately about these documents. Nevertheless, in cross- examination, after a very brief look at these reports he expressed doubts as to whether they, as presented here in photostatic form, were actually identical with the reports which were enclosed, according to his instructions, in the letter to Lammers to be submitted to Hitler. A careful examination of these photostatic copies was not possible in the course of cross-examination, and of course I myself, since I did not know the documents, was not able to comment upon them. Since Herr von Neurath was obviously over-tired and exhausted after the cross-examination it was not possible for me to examine the question and discuss it with him on the same day; that was possible only on the following day.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. von Ludinghausen, the defendant may be recalled for the purpose of being questioned about these two documents, but of course it is an exceptional licence which is allowed on this occasion, because the object of re- examination is to enable counsel to elucidate such matters as this.


THE PRESIDENT: You may call him.

CONSTANTIN VON NEURATH, recalled, resumed the stand and testified further as follows:

THE PRESIDENT: You are still under oath, of course.

[Page 24]



Q. Herr von Neurath, do you recall the reason for your letter to Dr. Lammers of 31st August, 1940, and your request for him to arrange a conference, an interview with Hitler?

A. Yes. As I said during my examination, in the course of the summer of 1940 I learned that various Reich and Party agencies, among others particularly the Gauleiter of the neighbouring Gaue, and Himmler, had sent more or less radical reports and suggestions to Hitler. I knew that Himmler particularly made quite extreme suggestions regarding a division of the Protectorate area, and complete annihilation of the Czech nationality and people. These agencies were urging Hitler to put these plans into effect as quickly as possible.

Since, as I have already emphasized, I was opposed to such plans, and on the contrary, I wanted the Czech people as such and their nationality retained and protected against the intentions of Himmler and his companions to destroy it, I decided to make an attempt to induce Hitler not to carry out any Germanisation plans, but to forbid them and to send a categorical order to this effect to the Party and its agencies.

Q. Do you recall how these two reports came about, which were to be included in your letter to Lammers?

A. As far as I can recall, the thing happened as follows: Either I myself dictated a report or one of my officials drew it up according to my instructions; I believe the latter. But I recall definitely that this report was much briefer than the one submitted here in photostatic copy. I recall furthermore that the conclusions drawn in it were similar, but much sharper, and that the whole problem had to be considered very carefully.

Q. Now, tell us how and why the second report of Frank came to be made.

A. From the various discussions which I had with Frank, I knew that he, too, was opposed to this division of the Protectorate territory and the evacuation of the Czech population as proposed by Himmler, and that he shared my opinions, at least to that extent. Therefore, I considered it expedient, since Hitler had assigned Frank to me as Secretary of State because he knew the Czech country and people very well, to point out to Hitler that this man was opposed to Himmler's plans, too, and advised Hitler against accepting them.

Q. For what reason, however, in your letter to Lammers did you especially emphasize that you shared the opinions expressed in Frank's report?

A. I considered it right to do this because Frank was a member of the SS and a subordinate and confidant of Himmler. On the other hand, I knew that already at that time Hitler was prejudiced against me, because of my attitude towards the Czech people, which he considered much too mild and co- operative, and I was, therefore, convinced that together with Frank I would be more likely to be successful in winning over Hitler to my way of thinking than if I went to him alone. That was the reason why I suggested that Frank should participate in the report. For the same reason I did not write directly to Hitler, as I did usually, but to Lammers. According to previous experience, I had to assume that if I had written directly to Hitler, who was not in Berlin at the time, he would either not read the report at all, or would refer it to Himmler.

Q. How was this letter to Lammers and its enclosures handled in your office?

A. I had the draft of the report of Frank shown to me. Then I dictated my letter to Lammers, and I sent it with my report and Frank's draft back to Frank's office for a final copy of the Frank report to be made and for the letter to Lammers with the two reports to be sent off. I did not see the letter to Lammers and the two reports again before they were sent out; moreover, I did not see them in Berlin at the conference with Hitler.

Q. The last question. How did you reach the conviction that the photostatic copies, submitted here, of the two reports could not be identical with the reports which were enclosed in the letter to Lammers, according to your instructions?

[Page 25]

A. As for the first report which I prepared, I have already stated that according to my recollection it was much shorter than the one submitted here in photostatic copy. Furthermore, this photostatic copy does not bear my signature, nor even my initials. But it is out of the question that the final copy of this report, which was enclosed at my office in the letter to Lammers, would not have been signed, or, at least, initialled by me; and the certificate of correctness, which, remarkably enough, is contained in this report and which was prepared by an SS Obersturmbannfuehrer, is not signed. The photostatic copy which is said to have been enclosed in the letter to Lammers does not even bear my initials. The most noticeable thing, however, is the certificate of correctness on the photostatic copy. This can have a meaning only if the document enclosed in the letter to Lammers did not bear my signature and was enclosed in the letter nevertheless. But since the final copy which my office sent to State Secretary Frank's office with the letter to Lammers was certainly signed by me, this certificate proves that it was not the report signed by me which was enclosed in the letter sent to Lammers, but another one drafted by Frank or by officials in his office. As for Frank's own report, the text of the photostatic copy here, to my recollection, is not identical with the text of the report which I approved and which I then sent on together with my report to Lammers -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. von Ludinghausen, we have heard the explanation more than once, I think, that the enclosure which was in the letter was not the same as the one which he drew up. It does not get any more convincing by being told over again.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: I only wanted to express it again. But if the Tribunal believes that that explanation has been made previously, I may dispense with it.

THE WITNESS: Mr. President, may I be permitted to make another statement as to how I imagine - of course, I can only imagine - these things took place. I am firmly convinced that if the two photostatic copies submitted here were actually enclosed in the letter to Lammers, they were prepared in Frank's office, and enclosed without my knowledge. Another possibility would be, of course -

THE PRESIDENT: We are quite as able to imagine possibilities as you are.

The fact is that the letter was signed in his name, was it not? The letter itself was signed?


THE PRESIDENT: And he refers expressly to the enclosure?


THE PRESIDENT: Very well; we understand it.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Yes. I wanted it to be made clear to the Tribunal. For, as I have said, I could not thoroughly examine the remarkable characteristics of these two reports, the outer form and the text at the moment of cross- examination. I have no further questions, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the defendant can return to the dock. Do you want to ask any questions, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I do not think so. If the Tribunal would just allow me, I should like to look at the document while the Court is recessed and see whether there is any point that I might like to question on.

THE PRESIDENT: We will recess now.

(A recess was taken.)

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I have considered the matter and I think it is really in the stage of argument and not cross- examination but, my Lord, I should like your Lordship just to observe, as the matter has been raised, that there is a certificate, given by Captain Hochwald on behalf of General Ecer, which states

[Page 26]

that the exhibit which was put in is a photostat taken from the original of a document found in the archives of the Reich Protector's office in Prague, so that that theory appears, from the certificate and the exhibit, that the copy- letter to Dr. Lammers and the two memoranda were preserved and found in the office of the Reich Protector. I do not want to say anything further in the matter.

THE PRESIDENT: Let the defendant come back to the witness box. Oh! - no, he need not come back. Dr. Bergold. Dr. Bergold?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER (counsel for Donitz): Mr. President, since Dr. Bergold is absent at present, I should like to ask whether I may submit the three documents in my case which are still outstanding.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Dr. Kranzbuehler.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: I am offering as Donitz Exhibit l00, the affidavit made by the Chief of the American Navy, Admiral Nimitz, as to U-boat war against the Japanese Navy. The Tribunal already knows what I wish to prove with this. I need not read anything now because in the final presentation of my argument I shall have to come back to this point.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to have the document read, Dr. Kranzbuehler.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: I have the original text in English, Mr. President, and I shall therefore have to read in English:

"At the request of the International Military Tribunal, the following interrogatories were on this date, 11th May, 1940, put to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz -
THE PRESIDENT: You must have given the wrong date - 1946, is it not?

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: 11th May, 1946.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on.

DR. KRANZBUEHLER: "... put to Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy, by Lt.-Commander Joseph L. Broderick, United States Naval Reserve, of the International Law Section, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Navy Department, Washington, D.C., who recorded verbatim the testimony of the witness. Admiral Nimitz was duly sworn by Lt.-Commander Broderick and interrogated as follows:

"Question. What is your name, rank and present station?

Answer. Chester W. Nimitz, Fleet Admiral, U.S. Navy, Chief of Naval Operations of the United States Navy.

Question. What positions in the United States Navy did you hold from December, 1941, until May, 1945?

Answer. Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Fleet.

Question. Did the United States of America enter sea warfare against Japan and announce certain waters to be areas of operation, blockade, danger, restriction, warning, or the like?

Answer. Yes. For the purpose of command of operations against Japan, the Pacific Ocean areas were declared a theatre of operation.

Question. If yes, was it customary in such areas for submarines to attack merchantmen without warning, with the exception of her own and those of her Allies?

Answer. Yes, with the exception of hospital ships and other vessels under safe conduct, voyages for humanitarian purposes.

Question. Were you under orders to do so?

Answer. The Chief of Naval Operations on 7th December, 1941, ordered 'Unrestricted submarine warfare against Japan.'

Question. Was it customary for the submarines to attack Japanese merchantmen without warning outside areas which had been named as theatres of operation since the outbreak of the war?

[Page 27]

Answer. The reply to this interrogatory involves a matter beyond the limits of my command during the war; therefore, I make no reply thereto.

Question. Were you under orders to do so?

Answer. The reply to this interrogatory involves a matter beyond the limits of my command during the war; therefore, I make no reply thereto.

Question. If the practice of attacking without warning did not exist since the outbreak of the war, did it exist from a later date on, and if so, from what date on?

Answer. The practice existed from 7th December, 1941, in the declared zone of operations.

[ 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.