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 Sixth Day: Monday, 19th August, 1946
(Part 1 of 4)

[Page 255]

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I would like to be heard very briefly this morning on the application of Dr. Stahmer for permission for the defendant Goering to take the stand. I made no objections on Friday, but I feel that I should make one so that the Tribunal will know what our attitude is.

I do not want it to be understood that I am in any conflict with my distinguished colleague Sir David Maxwell Fyfe, but I do wish to add a few comments on behalf of the United States.

I would like to point out to the Tribunal that the reasons given by Dr. Stahmer, as we understand them, are the evidence or the testimony of the witness Sievers, and the document which was offered during his examination, wherein there is some indication that the defendant Goering had authorized or ordered a Dr. Haagen to institute these medical experiments.

It seems to me that the reasons which I called to the Tribunal's attention at the time of the Funk application apply here. Of course, I accept the ruling of the Tribunal with respect to the Funk application with good grace. I do not want to have it appear that I am raising objections against a matter that has been ruled on.

THE PRESIDENT: Which application did you say?

MR. DODD: The Funk application. It seems to me that there is a similarity in these matters, and particularly the Funk experience now would seem to have some bearing on this Goering application. It is my own judgement, which I respectfully offer for the Court's consideration, that Funk did not really add anything pro or contra to the proof in this case by his reappearance on the stand. He, in fact, only succeeded in taking up a little of the Tribunal's time.

Now I suggested at the time of the Funk application that he had already, in fact, denied the whole of the Pohl affidavit, and that he could not do much more than reaffirm his denial on the witness stand, and that is, I respectfully suggest, almost what happened.

I think the same will be true with respect to Goering and I would like to call to the Tribunal's attention the fact that, long before Goering took the witness stand, the prosecution had offered its proof concerning these Luftwaffe medical experiments, so that he knew about them; his counsel knew about them, and if his counsel had cared to inquire about them he could have done so on Goering's direct examination, but he chose not to do so. He did not raise the question at all. He passed it by and preferred, as was his right, I assume, to rest the matter with Goering's witness Milch, and we cross-examined, through Mr. Justice Jackson, the witness Milch on that question.

If Goering wishes merely to deny that he had any knowledge or participation in these Luftwaffe medical experiments, it is a very simple matter and there is some precedent here for it now in view of the Frank affidavit. I suggest he might file a very brief affidavit that would be no more than a few short sentences saying he did not have knowledge and that he did not participate in these experiments. The Tribunal. allowed Frank to do that. He went pretty far, if I may say so with great respect. His affidavit took 20 minutes. I certainly would not think it would be necessary for Goering to take anywhere near that time. As an alternative,

[Page 256]

and I have not had time to talk with my French and Russian colleagues, Sir David Maxwell Fyfe and I agree, and I think they will too, that the records might show-that Goering denies that he had knowledge of or participated in the Luftwaffe experiments: That would be satisfactory to us. In any event, what we would like to avoid is any kind of a procession to the witness stand by these defendants, who have all had a full hearing. This Tribunal has been so patient that I think it is imposing on the Tribunal if they take the stand for these purposes which can be accomplished in a much more simple manner.

I must say to the Tribunal that I have very grave doubt as to whether Goering really wants to take the stand for this simple purpose. I think he wants to rail against judgement here. I think I would be remiss in my duty if I did not so advise the Tribunal this morning. Therefore, we object very strongly, if I may say so with great respect, and ask that either he submit his denial in the form of an affidavit or that the stipulation in the form we suggested be accepted by the Tribunal, and in any event that he and any other defendant who filed a similar application be refused at this stage of these proceedings the opportunity to again get on this stand and again take up time with matters that really do not go to the heart of the proof. I would be the last man here to try to cut out of this very important trial anything that I thought was really vital or important. I would not cast any shadow of unfairness or any suspicion of it upon the splendid record which the Tribunal has displayed in matters of fairness to these defendants. I do not believe any prejudice will be evidenced if we ask Goering to fill out a brief affidavit, or if we ask his counsel to agree to our offer to stipulate. Thus we will save much of the Tribunal's time and we will get on further with these proceedings.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter. Dr. Servatius, you were going through these various affidavits with great care, as I said on Friday, were you not?


THE PRESIDENT: Is it not the case that all these affidavits are summarised in the proceedings before the Commission and we, therefore, have before us, in the evidence before the Commission, a summary of or reference to each one of these affidavits?

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, that is only partially true. I, personally, was not able to attend all the sessions of the Commission. I have not an exhaustive picture. The affidavits which I wish to submit now I shall characterise most briefly, in order to turn to these collective affidavits which were not dealt with before the Commission. There are but a few left.

THE PRESIDENT: Up to the present, I am only pointing this out to you with reference to the past. You have drawn our attention to a number of affidavits. I find in the record before the Commission that nearly all of these affidavits have been literally and expressly summarised by counsel on behalf of the Corps of Political Leaders. The prosecution has stated its position with reference to those affidavits.

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, Mr. President, a very brief compilation was made, and it was submitted at the beginning of the presentation of evidence. Perhaps I can briefly treat the last ones and then pass on to the collective affidavits.

THE PRESIDENT: I hope you will be very short, then, and confine yourself only to these affidavits which have not been summarised before the Commission.

DR. SERVATIUS: I refer to Affidavits Nos. 47 and 48. Both of them deal with the communal policy, and are of little significance. I refer here to the contents.

[Page 257]

Then there is the affidavit of a Gau Economic Adviser. The essential thing is his statement that, during his two years of activity, he had but one opportunity to speak to the Gauleiter personally.

Of particular significance is perhaps Affidavit No. 50, by the Plenipotentiary for Racial Policy. It sets forth that he had nothing whatever to do with the actual racial policy as revealed to us here during these proceedings.

Then follows the NSV, the affidavit of a Gauamtsleiter who points out the spatial separation of the various offices.

The last is an affidavit by a Gau department head for the care of war victims, which sets forth the position of these agencies.

Thus I am through with the individual affidavits. I should like to submit a few more affidavits.

THE PRESIDENT: You mean you got as far as 64?



DR. SERVATIUS: No, Mr. President, that is a mistake; up to and including No. 52. With No. 53 begin the collective affidavits. Before I turn to those I should like to submit four single affidavits first, which are occasioned by subject matter which was mentioned rather late by the prosecution. The first one is an affidavit by Gauleiter Hoffmann. It deals with the euthanasia programme and what his Gau knew and thought about it. This is Affidavit No. 65. I submit this affidavit.

THE PRESIDENT: Is this an affidavit which has not been submitted to the Commission?

DR. SERVATIUS: It was not submitted to the Commission for at that time the Commission had already concluded its hearings.

THE PRESIDENT: You cannot put in any new affidavits. The Tribunal so rules.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, they were not dealt with in the Commission and in no other way have they been a topic of the proceedings, but they are answers to new matters brought up by the prosecution; I must surely have the opportunity of dealing with them. New documents were submitted in the course of the examination of witnesses, and I have received permission to deal with them. I ask permission to have these four brief documents admitted for that purpose.

THE PRESIDENT: I suppose that is right if they are dealing with new documents.


THE PRESIDENT: There are only four affidavits. Is that it?

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, only four.

The next one deals with Document EC-265, which was a telegram from Ambassador Abetz dealing with the expatriation of the German Jews in France. He explains this incident and defines his attitude. I submit this affidavit.

Affidavit No. 67 deals with the document which has been submitted as Exhibit USSR 143 concerning the Styrian Home League (Heimatbund) and affirms that this was not a part of a Party organization but a local association.

The last affidavit deals with Document EC-68. It is an affidavit, also No. 68, and it deals with the confidential letter of the Baden State Farm Association (Landesbauernschaft) and also deals thoroughly with matters which are known to the High Tribunal regarding the treatment of the Polish workers.

In the next affidavit I turn to the collective affidavits which are 38,000 in number. On a previous occasion I gave a much greater number. I am afraid I was misled by the description that was given to me, and the report which was presented by

[Page 258]

Colonel Neave, in which he says that there are 155,000 affidavits, contains the same error. Out of 38,000 affidavits certain extracts were dealt with by experts such as those relative to the Church question and the Jewish question, and the statements were then summarised.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yes, now you are dealing with No. 53.


THE PRESIDENT: Well, now, on Page 3777 of the transcript before the Commissioner that affidavit is fully set out, I mean to say it is fully summarised.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I just wanted to give an explanation so that a picture can be obtained as to how these summaries were arrived at. However, if the Tribunal does not consider it necessary for me to go into -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Servatius, we have got an enormous number of documents in this case and surely to have the same thing done twice over at this stage is unnecessary.

Have you got Page 3777 before you?

DR. SERVATIUS: No, I have not.

THE PRESIDENT: As I understand it, 53 is a collective summary and report on the affidavits which follow, is that not so?


THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, in this transcript of the evidence before the Commission it says that the result consists of the group report by Karl Hederich and of the following individual declarations, Jewish persecutions - that is 54; treatment of foreign civilian labour and prisoners of war - 55; dissolving trade unions - 56; concentration camps by Richard Muller - 57; operational staff Rosenberg by Richard Muller - 58, and so on right down the list.

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes. Then that has been read. However, I clearly did not receive this report. If it is contained therein, then I do not need to submit it.

THE PRESIDENT: It is already set down before the Commissioner and is in the transcript.

DR. SERVATIUS: The matter was discussed that certain of these main affidavits were translated and were to be submitted. That was the thing I wanted to do now, and I wanted in each case to cite the contents of the individual affidavits as they concern the various points. Now, the first affidavit, 53, only states how the entire thing was done. That was the guide to this inquiry, as I might say. Then comes the next one which deals with the Jewish question; that is Affidavit No. 54.

THE PRESIDENT: What I am pointing out to you is that what you are saying is set down identically in this transcript. What is the point of repeating it for another transcript?

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I do not know how far this report went. I cannot hear.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it sets out the contents of 53, 54, 55, 56 and there is Muller 57.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, is it possible that I receive a copy of this report and in case I find it necessary to comment on it, that I be permitted to do so?

THE PRESIDENT: I am told you have got the German of this. It is the transcript of what happened before the Commissioner, and your representative, Dr. Link, is the man who was doing it. It is on Page 3777.

DR . SERVATIUS: Because of the quantity of material I overlooked the fact that this was already set down. Therefore, I refer to it without dealing with the affidavits one by one.

[Page 259]

As far as the Church question is concerned I should like to refer particularly to one point. There are two theologians who deal very extensively with all the internal circumstances, which seem to me to be of great significance.

Mr. President, I have concluded my submission of documents.

With reference to the statements of the last session concerning the number of active members, I had a statistical report prepared yesterday. Perhaps I may submit this for the benefit of the Tribunal - not as evidence - so that, on the basis of the statistical Party Book, which is in the library of the prosecution, it can be arrived at what is actually included in the Indictment. I should like to submit this as an aid to the Tribunal rather than as a piece of evidence, if I may. It is only in the German language for the time being.

THE PRESIDENT: Have the prosecution any objection to the submission of this document?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, of course we have no idea what is in the document at the moment. But, my Lord, I think we shall make no objection to it.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you can look at it and we will have it handed to us later.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, if I understood Dr. Servatius correctly, it is on the numbers of those who are to be included in the organizations. Colonel Griffith-Jones has prepared an exact statement of those whom the prosecution asks to be included and their numbers, which he proposed to give to the Tribunal at the close of Dr. Servatius's speech, which may remove some of the difficulties which Dr. Servatius has in mind. But, my Lord, I make no objection to the document going in to assist the Tribunal.


DR. SERVATIUS: I did not quite follow as to when I am to receive these figures, after or before my final submission. It is surely of importance to me to know that in advance.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you will receive the document to which Sir David Maxwell Fyfe was referring before you make your final submission because, after you have dealt with your documents, the other representatives of the organizations will have to deal with their documents and their affidavits. We will have it during that time.

DR. SERVATIUS: May I submit this report?


DR. SERVATIUS: Then I conclude my statement herewith, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Now which of the organizations shall we take next? I beg your pardon. Yes?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: I do not know whether it would be convenient for the Tribunal if I submitted some particulars of the figures which we were discussing the other day.

[ 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.