We give our Decision No. 5
We admit the statements of Dr. Verete and Dr. Kermish and
statements of the same type as evidence of the place where
the documents mentioned therein originated. We do so in
order to facilitate the proceedings, on the basis of our
authority under section 15 of the Nazis and Nazi
Collaborators (Punishment) Law 5710-1950.
State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission I shall
read the affidavit of Dr. Meir Verete:
“I, the undersigned, Dr. Meir Verete, a Lecturer in
Diplomatic History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem,
hereby declare as follows:
1. During the period between the autumn 1955 and Autumn 1956
I dealt, on behalf of Yad Vashem and in cooperation with the
Israel Embassy in London, with the photographing of
documents in the archives of the German Foreign Ministry,
which were seized by the Allies and stored in Whaddon Hall,
which is in England, under the auspices of a joint Institute
of the British Foreign Office and the United States
Department of State. The name of the Institute is the
“Foreign Office/State Department German War Documents
2. After receiving permission from the British and American
Foreign Offices, I was referred to Miss Johnston, a
librarian in the Library of the British Foreign Office. Miss
Johnston placed at my disposal the original list of files of
the German Foreign Ministry. Out of this list I selected
such volumes and files as related to the history of the
Jewish people and in accordance with my request these
volumes and files were brought to the research rooms of the
Library of the British Foreign Office.
“There I, together with my assistants, sorted out the files
and the documents. I recorded in my notebook the files and
the documents which I had selected. These notebooks have
been produced to me now and I recognize them. I confirmed
this fact by means of the initials of my signature on the
3. Copies of these lists were made as an order for
photographing at the aforementioned institute. The order was
conveyed by the aforementioned Miss Johnston.
I am aware that the photographs were made under the
supervision of Mr. Stambrook, assistant to the chief of the
Archives at Whaddon Hall. The microfilms when ready were
transferred in the course of the year 1956 via the Israel
Embassy in London to Yad Vashem.
4. At Yad Vashem I made a general examination of the
microfilms in order to satisfy myself that they had been
photographed in accordance with my order and I found that
the documents which were photographed tallied with the
documents which were recorded in the said notebooks.
5. I declare that this is my name and this is my signature
and that the contents of this affidavit of mine are true to
the best of my knowledge and belief.”
I submit to the Court the original and two copies of the
affidavit and also the notebooks which were initialled by
the declarant, as he states in fact in his affidavit. The
Court will find his initials in the inside cover of each
Presiding Judge: And therein there is a list of documents?
State Attorney Bach: There is a list of all those documents
which tally with the list which was ordered by him in
For the sake of an exact record I should like to add that
the Prosecution’s catalogue number in respect of Dr.
Verete’s affidavit is 1574. This is the number appearing in
the upper right-hand corner in these documents.
Presiding Judge: I have in front of me a copy which does not
bear this number.
State Attorney Bach: Because that is the original.
Presiding Judge: I shall record the number at the top. This
will not be part of the affidavit.
State Attorney Bach: Perhaps it would be desirable that the
original document be kept in a separate file of exhibits,
and for the purpose of preparing the files we shall always
hand a copy with the catalogue number to each of the three
Presiding Judge: I understand that you have given much
thought to this and this is the conclusion you have reached.
I myself do not see the need for this. There will be a file
for documents and two other sets. As it is, we will be
inundated with documents. I want to restrict this as far as
I have marked the affidavit as T/6 and will mark these
notebooks T/6/1 and T/6/2, and so on. The Clerk of the
Court, Dr. Bodenheimer, will mark the notebooks with the
State Attorney Bach: The second affidavit of Dr. Kermish
bears our catalogue number 1577.
Presiding Judge: How many such notebooks were there?
State Attorney Bach: Fourteen.
The affidavit of Dr. Kermish, No. 1577, repeats many details
which have already been included in Dr. Verete’s affidavit.
Consequently I shall only read those particulars which add
to these facts:
“2. These microfilms were transferred by the British Foreign
Office to the archives of Yad Vashem through the Israel
Embassy in London. They are now stored in the Yad Vashem
Archives in Jerusalem.
3. In the year 1956, when all the microfilms reached our
archives, they were given a general examination by Dr.
Verete, who found that they tallied with his order.
4. In the period between July 1960 and February 1961, I
handed over to Bureau 06 of the Israel Police the microfilms
specified in the list attached and confirmed by my initials.
5. Also during the aforementioned period enlargements were
prepared, in the laboratories of the Yad Vashem archives, of
documents from amongst these microfilms. These enlargements
were also delivered by me to the Bureau 06.”
I also submit the original together with two copies of that
Presiding Judge: This will be T/7.
State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission I should
like to continue with my questions to the witness. Rav-Pakad
Bar-Shalom, did you examine the microfilms which reached
Witness Bar-Shalom: I examined the microfilms. They were
examined by the officers of Section 1 who were my
subordinates, under my supervision. After the enlargements
were made under their supervision and according to my
instruction, I again examined all the documents and marked
them. On the reverse side, in the bottom right-hand corner
there is the number of the microfilms as it appears at Yad
Presiding Judge: What is the actual document?
Witness Bar-Shalom: This is it now – it is called a
“specification list,” a list of the German files which were
photographed and the number of each separate picture on the
film relating to the document.
State Attorney Bach: That “specification list” which you
mentioned – where did you find such lists?
Witness Bar-Shalom: On every film. They were usually at the
beginning of the film and always before the beginning of a
new file, I think, a new file of the German Foreign
Q. In this list, in that document which you are holding in
your hand, is there any list at all which gives additional
corroboration of the affidavits which you have just
A. Yes. It says on the top of the document :”Foreign
Ministry State Department – German War Documents Project.”
Thereafter there is the number of the department of the
German Foreign Ministry and the number of the file that it
refers to, the number of the picture, and below: “Filmed on
behalf of Dr. Meir Verete, delegate of the Government of
Israel, and signed “Prepared by Stambrook” with his
State Attorney Bach: With the Court’s permission, I should
like to submit this document as a specimen.
Presiding Judge: This is marked T/8.
State Attorney Bach: Mr. Bar-Shalom – you said that on this
document you made a certain mark in the right-hand corner of
the reverse side of the document. Was it your practice to do
so in regard to other documents which were prepared in
Witness Bar-Shalom: This in fact was the system, to mark
every photographic copy of the microfilms in this way, from
whichever source it came, always in the lower right-hand
corner on the reverse side of the document, the number of
that microfilm as it was received, and from what source it
Q. In most of the microfilms did you also note the number of
the picture in the film?
A. In documents of the German Foreign Ministry, in certain
numbers of series, the number of the picture was recorded in
the body of the document itself, that is to say it was
printed on the original and photographed with the number;
but there were some documents where the number of the
pictures appears between the two pictures. In such instances
I recorded the number of the picture in the lower left-hand
Q. Do you have in your possession a comprehensive list of
all those documents contained in the evidence file of Bureau
06 and that were passed on to the Prosecution, all those
documents whose verification is based on the category you
have just now mentioned, which originated in the German
A. I have such a list, drawn up according to the films –
each microfilm separately. At the top of the list there is
always the number of the film. Sometimes two films are
recorded on the same page – if the space was wider.
Thereafter, the first column – this is the serial number of
that film. The second column is the catalogue number. The
third column is for the number of the picture or the numbers
of the pictures in the film of that document – if there were
more than one picture there. The fourth column is the number
of Yad Vashem – if the Yad Vashem laboratories prepared the
enlargement. If this was not done in our laboratories, then
they gave a number in their list, and this number appears.
In the fifth column is the number of the Prosecution in
previous trials, that is to say, mainly in the Nuremberg
Trials. And in the last column – confirmation by means of
the Accused’s signature. (This confirmation does not say
that the Accused confirmed the contents of the document but
that he had signed on the reverse side of the document, on
the back of the document, in fact to confirm that the
document had been shown to him at the time of the
Presiding Judge: Does this apply to all the exhibits?
A. No. What was shown to him – is marked. In certain
instances one can see that he added that he acknowledges his
State Attorney Bach: We shall prove these items at a later
Presiding Judge: But for this purpose I have to know how
many pages there are here. Please count them, Mr.
This will be T/9.
Is this is a comprehensive list of all the documents?
State Attorney Bach: Of all the documents which are
included, whether Prosecution documents which have received
a catalogue number, or Prosecution documents which have
originated from documents of the German Foreign Ministry.
I should also like to mention that all the documents
mentioned here have been passed on to the Defence, as well
as the catalogue itself, which contains in summarized form
the content of each individual document.
Presiding Judge: The catalogue of Yad Vashem?
State Attorney Bach: No. The catalogue which has been
prepared in Bureau 06 and which listed in summarized form
the contents of every document which had been included in
Mr. Bar-Shalom, what is the second category of verifications
to which you referred?
Witness Bar-Shalom: These are the documents originating in
the trial of the major Nazi war criminals at the
International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. They were
published in 42 volumes in what was called the Blue Series
in all the official languages in use there; from these we
extracted a number of documents of the prosecution and of
the defence, and excerpts of the records of the proceedings;
we duplicated these by stencil and treated them as if they
were documents which we knew to be verified in the Blue
Series which was an official publication of the Tribunal’s
secretariat and in accordance with the Tribunal’s
instructions. We made copies of passages from these books,
from the German edition.
State Attorney Bach: On this point I wish to point out that
we intend to place at the Court’s disposal the total series
of 42 volumes of the Nuremberg Trials, not as proof of each
individual item of evidence, but we shall make them
available to the Court, and whenever we intend to rely on
one or other item of evidence appearing in these volumes we
shall point this out specifically – and then the Defence
would have the opportunity to argue its case regarding the
admissibility of such evidence before this Court. [To Mr.
Bar-Shalom] Do you have in your possession a list of those
excerpts or copies taken from those 42 volumes which were
included in the file of 06?
Witness Bar-Shalom: I believe this was printed on the last
page of this list.
Presiding Judge: T/9 has 35 pages.
Witness Bar-Shalom: The list includes: in column one – the
serial number; in column two – the catalogue number given by
us; in column three – a note of the reference number of the
prosecution or of the defence in that trial, or the volume
and the pages of the record, and the same thing again with
the confirmation as to whether the item was shown to the
State Attorney Bach: I request that the Court accept this
document in evidence.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/10.
State Attorney Bach: What is the next category of
Witness Bar-Shalom: The next category consists of twelve
Trials against War Criminals, which followed the major trial
and which were called, generally, the “Subsequent Trials”
where war criminals were judged in twelve groups, according
to the subjects of their crimes, in twelve trials.
Q. Do you know anything regarding the nature of the
documents which served the prosecution in those trials as
evidence in those cases?
A. At the time of the withdrawal and at the end of the War
the Nazi authorities destroyed many archives. Moreover the
circumstances of the War contributed to the destruction of
archives. There remained only remnants of various archives
scattered throughout Germany and the occupied countries. At
the end of the War the documentation department of the
Allies assembled these documents and from these it prepared
the documents for the prosecution. This fact emerges from
the affidavits of Major Coogan and of Major Niebergall,
which may be found in volume 15 of the Green Series, in
other words, in fact, in an official United States
publication of these trials.
Q. Are these actually the copies of those affidavits of
Major Coogan and Major Niebergall to which you referred?
Hands witness copies of the affidavits.
State Attorney Bach: I wish to submit these documents also
as exhibits in this case.
Presiding Judge: Are these the affidavits of the both?
State Attorney Bach: Yes, these are the affidavits of Major
Coogan and Major Niebergall. In actual fact these are copies
of the printed versions of these affidavits appearing in
that volume 15 of the Green Series, on pages 124 and 127.
The witness explains that the particulars which he submitted
previously were based on these affidavits.
Presiding Judge: Was this in all the Subsequent Trials, or
only in one of them?
State Attorney Bach: Actually the affidavit of Major Coogan
was submitted in connection with the trial of the Major War
Criminals and the affidavit of Major Niebergall, which
completes the picture, was submitted in regard to other
trials, and in fact they served as evidence in all these trials.
Presiding Judge: This will be T/11.