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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Third Day: Wednesday, 14th August, 1946
(Part 2 of 6)

[DR. BOEHM continues his direct examination of Max Juettner]

[Page 166]

Q. Can one say that the SA adopted the principle of positive Christianity as its own?

A. I believe I can answer that absolutely in the affirmative.

Q. The beginning of the war in 1939 has been connected with the activities of the SA. What evidence can you give to prove that the work of the SA did not serve as a preparation for war?

A. I assume that primarily, or altogether, it is the practical activity of the SA which is meant.

These things which the SA did in the past can be judged correctly only in regard to the situation that existed at the time. It cannot be judged according to the picture which has been painted now as a result of the war. The situation which prevailed in Germany at the time, if I am correctly informed, your Lordship, has been sufficiently described in this courtroom. But I should like to emphasize that the German men of that day were physically very much run down because of the prevailing distress. They were hardly fit for induction, much less suitable for work, even in their professions. The degree of their physical fitness and morale had reached an extremely low level, and the only aspiration of the SA was to contribute to the development in Germany once more of a physically efficient, brave, and reliable body of men, suitable for induction, who would be ready and willing to serve the Fatherland in all emergencies. In 1933 Germany was threatened with civil war and revolts. Behind us we had the Polish insurrections. Because of her central position, Germany, more than other countries, was intent on the protection of her boundaries, and necessarily so; and finally this country, which is so poor in raw materials, was forced to prevent natural catastrophes by all possible means so that greater damage would be averted. For that purpose a well-trained, healthy body of men was necessary, who were physically able and ready for military service. The SA had set itself the task of training these men.

Q. Did the SA, until the outbreak of war, believe in peace, and how could you prove that this belief of the SA in a peaceful development actually did exist?

A. The SA truly did not want a war. Hundreds of thousands of former soldiers of the First World War were in the SA. These men were familiar with war and its unspeakable sacrifices. They did not want war. For the sake

[Page 167]

of their country's life, but also for the sake of their own existence, they wanted a peaceful development. In 1939, until the end of August, I myself was busy here in Nuremberg as parade leader for the Reich Party Rally, to prepare the contest and the big military review for the Reich Party Rally, and we had no thought of war. The SA were not enthusiastic about the war, but rather it struck them with dismay. We always believed in peace, because of many historical events in the past; the naval agreement with England, treaties with Poland, trade agreements with other States, friendly relations with the South-eastern States of Europe, and above all the events of international reconciliation at the Olympic Games in 1936. We believed in peace because of the co-operation between the veterans' organizations of the European countries, which was always strongly supported by the SA, because of the constantly increasing understanding between the youth associations of the various States, because of the regular international labour meetings at Hamburg. We knew of the friendly courtesy visits which the great statesmen of other European nations paid to Adolf Hitler, we were acquainted with the publications of prominent foreigners about the Third Reich, and finally, it was the Munich agreement, which we took up and welcomed with enthusiasm, which seemed to assure peace.

Q. Did the SA leadership have any influence on policy?

A. After the death of Roehm not at all. The SA was completely unsuited for exerting any influence on policy, both the SA as an organization and its leadership. Even the misuse of the SA for war-mongering purposes was quite out of the question. Militarism such as the glorification of military activities, uniforms and drilling or jingoism, or the creation of a warlike spirit, was never approved by the SA; Roehm's attitude toward neighbouring countries and Lutze's attitude toward war in general alone speak for that.

Q. Would the SA have had to follow an order for war propaganda?

A. I have already declared in my interrogation before the High Commission that the SA did not observe any blind obedience. Demands for war propaganda never came to the SA from any quarter. Consequently, the SA never carried on any war propaganda, either in the instruction or in the training of its units.

Q. A few days ago the prosecution placed an affidavit by Prime Minister Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner, among other things, in my, mail box, and since I have no other opportunity to define my attitude as to this affidavit except here and now, I should like to put a few questions to you dealing with these matters.

This affidavit states:

"As early as 1922 - I believe it was the so-called Coburg Convention - the SA dominated the streets with its armed bands and attacked the peaceful population, especially political -
THE PRESIDENT: Is the affidavit in evidence?

DR. BOEHM: This affidavit was put in my mail box three days ago. I would have no occasion to present this affidavit, Mr. President, but since I received it -

THE PRESIDENT: I asked you a perfectly simple question. Cannot you give me an answer to it? I asked you if it was in evidence.

DR. BOEHM: This document has not been submitted in evidence, Mr. President, but I shall not have another possibility of commenting on this document from any aspect if I do not take advantage of this opportunity.

THE PRESIDENT: Either you want to put it in evidence or you do not. If the document is not yet in evidence there is no need to go into it.

DR. BOEHM: No, I only wanted to ask a few questions based on this document.

THE PRESIDENT: You cannot do that until you have put the document in evidence. If you want to put it in evidence then you must put it in evidence. If you do not want to, then - just listen to me.

[Page 168]

It is not true to say that you would have no opportunity of dealing with the document. You can deal with it in re- examination. If the document is put in in cross-examination, you can deal with it then. Otherwise, if you want to put it in evidence now, subject to its admissibility, you can do it and take the responsibility for it.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, that would be true if this affidavit were submitted in cross-examination, but it is not -

THE PRESIDENT: If it is not submitted, we shall not look at it, we shall not know anything about it.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I gather from that that if this affidavit is not submitted in cross-examination that it cannot be submitted afterwards, either. Then the procedure is quite clear and I do not need to have anyone comment on it.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. At any rate, if there was an application by the prosecution to summit the affidavit m rebuttal you would have an opportunity of answering it after that, in these circumstances.

DR. BOEHM: Then I should like to ask the Tribunal to permit me to call the witness whom I had provided for that and who is now on the witness stand, so that I might interrogate him about the contents of this affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: No, either you put it in evidence yourself now or else you wait for re-examination.

Sir David, I do not know what all this is about. Dr. Boehm does not seem to know what the position is.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it may be - I did not quite catch the name of the deponent, but it may be that this is one of the affidavits with regard to which I applied to the Tribunal a day or two ago, and I was going to put them in after the defence's documents in general rebuttal.

Yes, my Lord, it is an affidavit from the Prime Minister of Bavaria, which is one of those I mentioned to the Tribunal a few days ago.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you can put it in on cross-examination, can you not?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I can quite easily.

THE PRESIDENT: Would that not be the most convenient course? Then Dr. Boehm can re-examine upon it. He has had an opportunity, apparently, of looking at it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, I will do that.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, the thing I wanted to avoid is the situation which would have arisen if the document had been submitted after the testimony of my last witness so that I would not have had another opportunity to refute this document.


Q. Herr Juettner, now I should like to put my final question to you.

Did the political aims of the SA have a criminal character?

A. The things which the SA did and the aims which its leaders pursued need never fear the light of day. The SA leadership did not pursue any criminal aims and did not even know of any criminal aims of any other agencies. The SA, as an organization, never carried out any actions which could justify its defamation as a criminal organization. The SA, Mr. President, had many followers in the Reich, that is, in the former Reich, and even beyond its boundaries. The SA had opponents as well. Many of these opponents raised their voices and, out of hate or disapproval, created prejudices against the SA. Not the truth but only prejudices of the kind which, as is well known in history, have caused the downfall of many a brave man, could lead to a situation where five to six million men who belonged to the SA in the last two and a half decades would be stamped as criminals.

[Page 169]

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE WITNESS: For these men, for these five to six million men and for the many millions in their families, I can declare under oath and with a straightforward countenance that the SA never had a criminal character.

Mr. President, my entire life has been guided by the rule that one should stand bravely behind what one has done, whatever the danger might be, and fear nothing, not even death itself, but only dishonour. I consider it dishonour if one evades responsibility by putting an end to one's life, or if one becomes untruthful. In this respect, Mr. President, my conscience is clear.

Therefore, with my declaration of the innocence of the SA I can meet even the highest judge.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I have no further questions to put to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution desire to cross-examine?



Q. Do you say, witness, that the SA had nothing to do with atrocities against the people of the occupied territories?

A. I do not quite understand the last part of your question. Atrocities?

Q. Against the people of the territories occupied by Germany, foreign territories occupied by Germany?

A. The SA leadership -

Q. That is a perfectly simple question. You have made your speeches. Now answer "yes" or "no" to the question whether the SA had anything to do with the atrocities against the people of the occupied territories.

A. It is my intention to give a true answer; therefore, I cannot let anyone prescribe what I am to answer -

Q. Can you not answer "yes" or "no"?

THE PRESIDENT: You can explain afterwards, you know. If you answer "yes" or "no," you can then give your explanation.

A. The SA had nothing to do with the treatment of peoples of occupied countries.

Q. I see. Well, now, I want you to look at your report on the SA during the war, which the Tribunal will find in Document Book 16 - b at Page 113.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is Document 4011-PS, and will become Exhibit GB 596.

Q. (continuing): Now, witness, just before you look at that, do you remember saying before the Commission: "At the beginning of the war with Poland the SA Group Sudeten carried out transports of prisoners of war into the camps. Other SA Groups in the East may have been used for similar purposes later on. The SA leaders and the SA as an organization had nothing to do with this question." Do you remember saying that? Page 336 of the transcript. One of your groups carried out transports of prisoners of war into camps and other SA Groups may have been used for similar purposes. Do you remember saying that to the Commissioner? If you would take your mind from the document and just address it to the point as to whether you said that before the Commission, it would help. Do you remember saying that before the Commission?

A. I admitted before the Commission, and I will not deny today, that the SA Group Sudeten, on instructions from the Wehrmacht, transported prisoners of war to the rear in the Polish campaign. But, Mr. Prosecutor, you asked me before about the treatment of the population in the occupied country.

Q. I got your answer to that. We must take it by stages. You admit you said that before the Commission, that the Sudeten Group carried out transports of prisoners of war into camps and that other SA Groups in the East may have

[Page 170]

been used for similar purposes. Do you remember saying that? I am only putting in the record what you said. You admit you said it?

A. I have already said that.

Q. Right. Now let us look at. your report. This is a report made by you on 23rd June, 1941, and you see that after a general paragraph - My Lord, if you would turn to Page 116, it is Page 4 of the original document - and, witness, if you would go on to the heading "Section 4 A," you will see - "The SA men who have remained in the communications zone primarily care for the maintenance of the SA organization. All units; even the smallest ones, are alert, and the men willingly sacrifice their spare time for duty in the Party. This includes assistance to the political leaders in the educational and orientation tasks, propaganda and counterpropaganda, preparations for meetings, control of the population in the frontier areas." Is that correct, what you wrote in 1941?

A. It is exactly true. The communications zone is, of course, the homeland and not occupied territories.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Turn to Page 117 of the English version, my Lord.


Q. I think it is Page 123, witness, of your version. Have you got 123? It is Page 5 of the original. It is the next page, Page 5. You see under "C," "The duty achievements of the SA, which deal with direct support of the armed forces and which benefit the power of German arms, have developed in all directions. At the time this report is written or in the previous weeks, the following were employed:" ... "27 groups of SA men for guarding prisoners." Where were the 21 groups guarding prisoners?

A. In the German Reich area during the Polish campaign.

Q. This is 1941, the Polish campaign had been finished for nearly 27 months. You see, you say that, that is, "at the time this report is written, or in the previous few weeks," ... where were they guarding the prisoners then?

A. This report is a summary of the activity of the SA during the war from the very beginning and everything of a positive nature which the SA had also done earlier is enumerated there again.

[ 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.