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CAPT. SPRECHER: May it please the Tribunal, it is my responsibility and my privilege to present today the case on the individual responsibility of the Defendant Hans Fritzsche for Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity as they relate directly to the Common Plan or Conspiracy.
With the permission of the Tribunal, it is planned to make this presentation in three principal divisions:
First, a short listing of the various positions held by the Defendant Fritzsche in the Nazi State.
Second, a discussion of Fritzsche's conspiratorial activities within the Propaganda Ministry from 1933 through the attack on the Soviet Union.
Third, a discussion of Fritzsche's connection, as a Nazi propagandist, to the atrocities and the ruthless occupation policy which formed a part of the Common Plan or Conspiracy.
In listing Fritzsche's positions, it is not intended at first to describe the functions of these positions. Later on, in describing some of Fritzsche's conspiratorial acts, I shall take up a discussion of some of these positions which he held.
Fritzsche's Party membership and his various positions in the propaganda apparatus of the Nazi State are shown by two affidavit, by Fritzsche himself: Document Number 2976-PS, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA-20; and Document Number 3469-PS which I offer in evidence as Exhibit USA-721. Both of these affidavits have been put into the four working languages of this Tribunal.
Fritzsche became a member of the Nazi Party on the 1st of May 1933, and he continued to be a member until the collapse in 1945 Fritzsche began his services with the staff of the Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, hereinafter referred to as the Propaganda Ministry, on the 1st of May 1933; and he remained within the Propaganda Ministry until the Nazi downfall.
Before the Nazis seized political power in Germany and beginning in September 1932, Fritzsche was head of the Wireless News Service (Drahtloser Dienst), an agency of the Reich Government at that time under the Defendant Von Papen. After the Wireless New
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Service was incorporated into the Propaganda Ministry of Dr. Goebbels in May 1933, Fritzsche continued as its head until the year 1938. Upon entering the Propaganda Ministry in May 1933, Fritzsche also became head of the news section of the Press Division of the Propaganda Ministry. He continued in this position until 1937. In the summer of 1938, Fritzsche was appointed deputy to one Alfred Ingemar Berndt, who was then head of the German Press Division.
The German Press Division, in the Indictment, is called the Home Press Division. Since "German Press Division" seems to be a more literal translation, we have called it the German Press Division throughout this presentation. It is sometimes otherwise known as the Domestic Press Division. We shall show later that this division was the major section of the Press Division of the Reich Cabinet.
Now in December 1938 Fritzsche succeeded Berndt as the head of the German Press Division. Between 1938 and November 1942 Fritzsche was promoted three times. He advanced in title from Superior Government Counsel to Ministerial Counsel, then to Ministerialdirigent, and finally to Ministerialdirektor.
In November 1942 Fritzsche was relieved of his position as head of the German Press Division by Dr. Goebbels and accepted from Dr. Goebbels a newly created position in the Propaganda Ministry, that of Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio. At the same time he also became head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Ministry. He held both these positions in radio until the Nazi downfall.
There are two allegations of the Indictment concerning Fritzsche's positions for which we are unable to offer proof. These allegations appear at Page 34 of the English translation.
The first unsupported allegation states that Fritzsche was "Editor in-Chief of the official German News Agency (Deutsches Nachrichtenburo)." The second unsupported allegation states that Fritzsche was "head of the Radio Division of the Propaganda Department of the Nazi Party." Fritzsche denies having held either of these positions, in his affidavit, and therefore these two allegations must fall for want of proof.
Before discussing the documentation of the case I wish, in passing, to state my appreciation for the assistance of Mr. Norbert Halpern, Mr. Alfred Booth, and Lieutenant Niebergall, who sits at my right, for their assistance in research, analysis, and translation.
The Tribunal will note the relative shortness of this document book. It has been marked as Document Book MM. It contains only 32 pages, which have been numbered consecutively in red pencil for your convenience. The shortness of the documentation on this particular case is possible only because of a long affidavit made by
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the Defendant Fritzsche, which was signed by him on the 7th of January 1946.
It seems appropriate to comment on this significant document before proceeding. It is before Your Honors as Document Number 3469-PS, beginning at document book Page 19. As I said, it has been translated into the four working languages of this proceeding.
This affidavit contains materials which have been extracted from interrogations of Fritzsche and many materials which Fritzsche volunteered to give himself, upon request made by me, through his Defense Counsel, Dr. Fritz. Some of the portions of the final affidavit were originally typed or handwritten by the Defendant Fritzsche himself during this Trial or during the holiday recess. All these materials were finally incorporated into one single affidavit.
This affidavit contains Fritzsche's account of the events which led to his entering the Propaganda Ministry and his account of his later connections with that Ministry. Before Fritzsche made some of the statements in the affidavit concerning the role of propaganda in relation to important foreign political events, he was shown illustrative headlines and articles from the German press at that time, so that he could refresh his recollection and make more accurate statements.
It is believed that the Tribunal will desire to consider many portions of this affidavit independent of this presentation, along with the proof on the conspirators' use of propaganda as a principal weapon in the conspiracy. Some of this proof, you will recall, was submitted by Major Wallis in the first days of this Trial in connection with Brief E, entitled "Propaganda, Censorship, and Supervision of the Cultural Activities," and the corresponding document book, to which I call the Tribunal's attention.
In the Fritzsche affidavit there are a number of statements which I would say were in the nature of self-serving declarations. With respect to these, the Prosecution requests only that the Tribunal consider them in the light of the whole conspiracy and the indisputable facts which appear throughout the Record. The Prosecution did not feel, either as a matter of expediency or of fairness, that it should request Fritzsche, through his defense lawyer, Dr. Fritz, to remove some of these self-serving declarations at this time and submit them later in connection with his defense.
Since I shall refer to this affidavit at numerous times throughout the presentation, perhaps the members of the Tribunal will wish to place a special marker in their document book.
By referring to Paragraphs 4 and 5 of the affidavit, the Tribunal will note that Fritzsche first became a successful journalist in the service of the Hugenberg Press, the most important chain of newspaper enterprises in pre-Nazi Germany. The Hugenberg concern
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owned papers of its own, but primarily it was important because it served newspapers which principally supported the so-called "national" parties of the Reich, including the NSDAP.
In Paragraph 5 of his affidavit Fritzsche relates that in September 1932, when the Defendant Von Papen was Reich Chancellor, he was made head of the Wireless News Service, replacing someone who was politically unbearable to the Papen regime. The Wireless News Service, I might say, was a government agency for spreading news by radio.
Fritzsche began making radio broadcasts at about this time with very great success, a success which Goebbels recognized and was later to exploit very efficiently on behalf of these Nazi conspirators.
The Nazis seized power on the 30th of January 1933. From Paragraph 10 of the Fritzsche affidavit we find that that very evening, the 30th of January 1933, two emissaries from Goebbels visited Fritzsche. One of them was Dressler-Andress, head of the Radio Division of the NSDAP; the other was an assistant of Dressler-Andress named Sadila-Mantau. These two emissaries notified Fritzsche that although Goebbels was angry with Fritzsche for writing a critical article concerning Hitler, still Goebbels recognized Fritzsche's public success on the radio since the previous fall. They stated further that Goebbels desired to retain Fritzsche as head of the Wireless. News Service on certain conditions: (1) That Fritzsche discharge all Jews; (2) that he discharge all other personnel who would not join the NSDAP; and (3) that he employ with the Wireless News Service the second Goebbels' emissary, Sadila-Mantau.
Fritzsche refused all these conditions except the hiring of Sadila-Mantau. This was one of the first ostensible compromises after the seizure of power which Fritzsche made on his road to the Nazi camp.
Fritzsche continued to make radio broadcasts during this period in which he supported the National Socialist coalition government then still existing.
In early 1933 SA troops several times called at the Wireless News Service and Fritzsche prevented them, with some difficulty, from making news broadcasts.
In April 1933 Goebbels called the young Fritzsche to him for a personal audience. At Paragraph 9 of his affidavit, Document Number 3469-PS, Fritzsche has volunteered the following concerning his prior relationships with Dr. Goebbels:
"I was acquainted with Dr. Goebbels since 1928. Apparently he had taken a liking to me, besides the fact that in my press activities I had always treated the National Socialists in a friendly way until 1931.
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"Already before 1933 Goebbels, who was the editor of The Attack (Der Angriff), Nazi newspaper, had frequently made flattering remarks about the form and content of my writings, which I did as contributor of many 'national' newspapers and periodicals, among which were also some of more reactionary character."
At the first Goebbels-Fritzsche discussion in early April 1933, Goebbels informed Fritzsche of his decision to place the Wireless News Service within the Propaganda Ministry as of I May 1933. He suggested that Fritzsche make certain rearrangements in the personnel which would remove Jews and other persons who did not support the NSDAP. Fritzsche debated with Goebbels concerning some of these steps. It must be said that during this period Fritzsche made some effort to place Jews in other jobs.
In a second conference with Goebbels, shortly thereafter, Fritzsche informed Goebbels about the steps he had taken in reorganizing the Wireless News Service. Goebbels thereupon informed Fritzsche that he would like to have him reorganize and modernize the entire news services of Germany within the control of the Propaganda Ministry.
It will be recalled by the Tribunal that on the 17th of March 1933, approximately two months before this time, the Propaganda Ministry had been formed by decree, 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 104, our Document Number 2029-PS.
Fritzsche was intrigued by the Goebbels offer. He proceeded to conclude the Goebbels-inspired reorganization of the Wireless News Service; and on the 1st of May 1933, together with the remaining members of his staff, he joined the Propaganda Ministry. On this same day he joined the NSDAP and took the customary oath of unconditional loyalty to the Fuehrer From this time on, whatever reservations Fritzsche may have had, either then or later, to the course of events under the Nazis, Fritzsche was completely within the Nazi camp. For the next 13 years he assisted in creating and in using the principal propaganda devices which the conspirators employed with such telling effect in each of the principal phases of this conspiracy.
From 1933 until 1942 Fritzsche held one or more positions within the German Press Division. For 4 years indeed he headed this Division, during those crucial years 1938 to 1942. That covers the period when the Nazis undertook actual military invasions of neighboring countries. It is, therefore, believed appropriate to spell out in some detail, before this Tribunal, the functions of this German
Press Division. These functions will show the important and unique position of the German Press Division as an instrument of the Nazi conspirators not only in dominating the minds and the psychology
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of Germans through the German Press Division and through the radio but also as an instrument of foreign policy and psychological warfare against other nations.
The already broad jurisdiction of the Propaganda Ministry was extended by a Hitler decree of the 30th of June 1933, found in 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 449. From that decree I wish to quote only one sentence. It is found in Document 2030-PS, your document book Page 3:
"The Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda is competent for all problems concerning the mental moulding of the nation, the propaganda for the State, for culture and economy, and the enlightenment at home and abroad about these questions. Furthermore, he is in charge of the administration of an institutions serving these purposes."
It is important to underline the stated propaganda objective of "enlightenment at home and abroad."
For a clear exposition of the general functions of the German Press Division of the Propaganda Ministry, the Tribunal is referred to Document Number 2434-PS, document book Page 5. It is offered in evidence as Exhibit USA-722. This document is an appropriate excerpt from a book by Georg Wilhelm Muller, a Ministerial Director in the Propaganda Ministry, of which the Tribunal is asked to take judicial notice.
Fritzsche's affidavit, Paragraphs 14, 15, and 16, beginning at Page 22 of your document book, contains an exposition of the functions of the German Press Division, a description which confirms and adds to the exposition in Muller's book. Concerning the German Press Division, Fritzsche's affidavit states:
"During the whole period from 1933 to 1945 it was the task of the German Press Division to supervise the entire domestic press and to provide it with directives by which this division became an efficient instrument in the hands of the German State leadership. More than 2,300 German daily newspapers were subject to control.
"The aim of this supervision and control, in the first years following 1933, was to change basically the conditions existing in the press before the seizure of power. That meant the coordination into the New Order of those newspapers and periodicals which had been serving capitalistic individual interests or party politics. While the administrative functions wherever possible were exercised by the professional associations and the Reich Press Chamber, the political direction of the German press was entrusted to the German Press Division.
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"The head of the German Press Division held daily press conferences in the Ministry for the representatives of all German newspapers. Thereby all instructions were given to the representatives of the press. These instructions were transmitted daily, almost without exception and mostly by telephone from headquarters by Dr. Otto Dietrich, Reich Press Chief, in a set text, the so-called 'Daily Parole of the Reich Press Chief! Before the formulation of this text the head of the German Press Division submitted to him, Dietrich, the foremost press wishes expressed by Dr. Goebbels and by other ministries. This was the case especially with the wishes of the Foreign Office about which Dr. Dietrich always wanted to make decisions personally or through his representatives at headquarters, Helmut Sundermann and chief editor Lorenz.
"The actual interpretation of the direction in detail was thus left entirely to the individual work of the various editors. Therefore, it is by no means true that the newspapers and periodicals were a monopoly of the German Press Division or that essays and leading articles had to be submitted by them to the Ministry. Even in war times this happened in exceptional cases only. The less important newspapers and periodicals which were not represented at the daily press conferences received their information in a different way-by providing them either with ready-made articles and reports, or by confidential printed instruction. The publications of all other official agencies were directed and coordinated likewise by the German Press Division.
"To enable the periodicals to get acquainted with the daily political problems of newspapers and to discuss these problems in greater detail, the Informationskorreipondenz was issued especially for periodicals. Later on it was taken over by the Periodical Press Division. The German Press Division likewise was in charge of pictorial reporting insofar as it directed the employment of pictorial reporters at important events.
"In this way, and conditioned upon the prevailing political situation, the entire German press was, by the German Press Division, made a permanent instrument of the Propaganda Ministry. Thereby, the entire German Press was subordinate to the political aims of the government. This was exemplified by the timely limitation and the emphatic presentation of such press polemics as appeared to be most useful, as shown for instance in the following themes: The class struggle of the system era; the Leadership Principle and the authoritarian state; the party and interest politics of the system era; the
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Jewish problem; the conspiracy of world-Jewry; the Bolshevistic danger; the plutocratic democracy abroad; the race problem generally; the church; the economic misery abroad; the foreign policy; the living space (Lebensraum)."
This description of Fritzsche establishes clearly and in his own words that the German Press Division was the instrument for subordinating the entire German press to the political aims of the government.
We now pass to Fritzsche's first activities on behalf of the conspirators within the German Press Division. It is appropriate to read again from his affidavit, Paragraph 17, your document book Page 23. Fritzsche begins by describing a conference with Goebbels in late April or early May 1933:
"At this time Dr. Goebbels suggested to me, in my capacity as the expert on news technique, the establishment and direction of a section 'News' within the Press Division of his Ministry, in order to thoroughly organize and modernize the German news agencies. In carrying out the task assigned to me by Dr. Goebbels my field covered the entire news service for the German press and the radio in accordance with the directions given by the Propaganda Ministry, excepting at first the DNB"-German News Agency.
An obvious reason why the DNB was excepted from Fritzsche's field at this time is that the DNB did not come into existence until the year 1934 as we shall later see. Later on, in Paragraph 17 of the Fritzsche affidavit, the Tribunal will note the tremendous funds put at the disposal of Fritzsche in building up the Nazi news services. Altogether the German news agencies received a 10-fold increase in their budget from the Reich, an increase from 400,000 to 4 million marks. Fritzsche himself selected and employed the chief editor for the Transocean News -Agency and also for the Europa Press. Fritzsche states that some of the "directions of the Propaganda Ministry which I had to follow were," and then skipping, ". . . increase of German news copy abroad at any cost," and then skipping again, ". . spreading of favorable news on the internal construction and peaceful intentions of the National Socialist system."
About the summer of 1934 the Defendant Funk, then Reich Press Chief, achieved the fusion of the two most important domestic news' agencies, the Wolff Telegraph Agency and the Telegraph Union, and thus formed the official German news agency, ordinarily known as DNB. It has already been pointed out to the Tribunal that the Indictment is in error in alleging that Fritzsche himself was Editor-in-Chief of the DNB. Fritzsche held no position whatsoever with the DNB at any time. However, as head of the news section of the German Press Division, Fritzsche's duties gave him
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official jurisdiction over the DNB, which was the official domestic news agency of the German Reich after 1934. In the last part of Paragraph 17 of this affidavit, Fritzsche states that he co-ordinated the work of the various foreign news agencies "at home and within European and overseas foreign countries with one another and in relationship to DNB."
The Wireless News Service was headed by Fritzsche from 1932 to 1937. After January 1933, the Wireless News Service was the official instrument of the Nazi Government in spreading news over the radio. During the same time that Fritzsche headed the Wireless News Service, he personally made radio broadcasts to the German people. These broadcasts were naturally subject to the controls of the Propaganda Ministry and reflected its purposes. The influence of Fritzsche's broadcasts upon the German people, during this period of consolidation of control by the Nazi conspirators, is all the more important since Fritzsche was concurrently head of the Wireless News Services, which controlled for the government the spreading of all news by radio.
It is by now well known to the world that the Nazi conspirators attempted to be, and often were, very adept in psychological warfare. Before each major aggression, with some few exception based on the strategy of expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the G man people psychologically for the impending Nazi madness. Th used the press after their earlier conquests as a means for further influencing foreign politics and in' maneuvering for the next following aggression.
By the time of the occupation of the Sudetenland on the 1st o October 1938, Fritzsche had become deputy head of the entire German Press Division. Fritzsche states that the role of German propaganda before the Munich Agreement on the Sudetenland was directed by his immediate chief, Berndt, then head of the German Press Division. In Paragraph 27 of the Fritzsche affidavit, Page 2 of your document book, Fritzsche describes this propaganda which was directed by Berndt. Speaking of Berndt, Fritzsche states:
"He exaggerated minor events very strongly, sometimes used old episodes as new-and there even came complaints from the Sudetenland itself that some of the news reported by the German press was untrustworthy. As a matter of fact, after the great foreign political success at Munich in September 1938, there arose a noticeable crisis in the confidence of the German people in the trustworthiness of its press. This was one reason for the recalling of Berndt, in December 1938 after the conclusion of the Sudeten action, and for my appointment as head of the German Press Division. Beyond
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this, Berndt, by his admittedly successful but still primitive military-like orders to the German press, had lost the confidence of the German editors."
Now, what happened at this time? Fritzsche was made head of the German Press Division in place of Berndt. Between December 1938 and 1942, Fritzsche, as head of the German Press Division, personally gave to the representatives of the principal German newspapers the "daily parole of the Reich Press Chief." During this history-making period he was the principal conspirator directly concerned with the manipulations of the press. The first important foreign aggression after Fritzsche became head of the German Press Division was the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia. In Paragraph 28 of the affidavit, your document book, Page 26, Fritzsche gives his account of the propaganda action surrounding the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia as follows:
"The action for the incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia, which took place on 15 March 1939, while I was head of the German Press Division, was not prepared for such a long period as the Sudeten action. According to my memory it was in February that I received the order from the Reich Press Chief, Dr. Dietrich, and repeated requests by the envoy Paul Schmidt of the Foreign Office, to draw the attention of the press to the aspirations of Slovakia for independence and to the continued anti-German coalition politics of the Prague Government. I did this. The daily paroles of the Reich Press Chief and the press conference minutes at that time show the wording of the pertinent instructions. The following were the typical headlines of leading newspapers and the conspicuous leading articles of the German daily press at that time: (1) The terrorizing of Germans within the Czech territory by arrest, shooting at Germans by the state police, destruction and damaging of German homes by Czech mobs; (2) the concentration of Czech forces on the Sudeten frontier; (3) the kidnapping, deportation, and persecution of Slovakian minorities by the Czechs, (4) the Czechs must get out of Slovakia; (5) secret meetings of Red functionaries in Prague.
"Some few days before the visit of Hacha, I received the instruction to publish in the press very conspicuously the incoming news on the unrest in Czechoslovakia. Such information I received only partly from the German News Agency DNB but mostly from the Press Division of the Foreign Office and some from big newspapers with their own news services. Among the newspapers offering information was, above all, the Volkischer Beobachter which, as I learned later on, received its information from the SS Standartenfuehrer
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Gunter D'Alquen, who was at that time at Bratislava. I had forbidden all news agencies and newspapers to issue news on unrest in Czechoslovakia until I had seen it. I wanted to avoid a repetition of the very annoying accompaniments of the Sudeten action propaganda, and I did not want to suffer a loss of prestige caused by untrue news. Thus, all news checked by me was admittedly full of tendency but not invented. Following the visit of Hacha in Berlin and after the beginning of the invasion of the German Army, which took place on 15 March 1939, the German press had enough material for describing these events. Historically and politically the event was justified with the indication that the declaration of independence of Slovakia had required an interference and that Hacha with his signature had avoided a war And had reinstated a thousand-year-old union between Bohemia and the Reich."
The propaganda campaign of the press preceding the invasion of Poland on the 1st of September 1939-and thus the propaganda action just preceding the precipitation of World War II-bears again the handiwork of Fritzsche and his German Press Division. In Paragraph 30 of Fritzsche's affidavit, document book Page 27, Fritzsche speaks of the conspirators' treatment of this episode as follows:
"Very complicated and varying was the press and propagandistic treatment in the case of Poland. Under the influence of the German-Polish Agreement, the German press was for many years forbidden, on principle, to publish anything on the situation of the German minority in Poland. This was still the case when in the spring of 1939 the German press was asked to become somewhat more active as to the problem of Danzig. Also when the first Polish-English conversations took place and the German press was advised to use a sharper tone against Poland, the question of the German minority still remained in the background. At first during the summer this problem was picked up again and created immediately a noticeable sharpening of the situation. Each larger German newspaper had for some time quite an abundance of material on complaints and grievances of the Germans in Poland without the editors having had a chance to use this material. The German papers, from the time of the minority discussions at Geneva, still had correspondents or free collaborators in Katowice, Bydgoszcz, Posen, Torun, et cetera. Their material now came forth with a bound. Concerning this, the leading German newspapers brought out in accordance with directions given for the so- called daily paroles the following articles, in
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conspicuous setting: (1) Cruelty and terror against racial Germans and the extermination of racial Germans in Poland; (2) Construction of field works by thousands of racial German men and women in Poland; (3) Poland, land of servitude and disorder; the desertion of Polish soldiers; the increased inflation in Poland; (4) provocation of frontier clashes upon direction of the Polish Government; the Polish aspirations for conquest; (5) persecution of Czechs and Ukrainians by Poland. The Polish press retorted hotly."
The press campaign preceding the invasion of Yugoslavia fol lowed the conventional pattern. You will find the customary defamations, the lies, the incitement and the threats, and the usual attempt to divide and to weaken the victim. Paragraph 32 of the Fritzsche affidavit, your document book Page 28, outlines this propaganda action as follows:
"During the period immediately preceding the invasion of Yugoslavia, on the 6th of April 1941, the German press emphasized by headlines and leading articles the following boldly made up announcements: (1) The systematic persecution of racial Germans in Yugoslavia including the burning down of German villages by Serbian soldiers and the confining of racial Germans in concentration camps, as well as the physical mishandling of German-speaking persons; (2) the arming of Serbian bandits by the Serbian Government; (3) the indictment of Yugoslavia by the plutocrats against Germany; (4) growing anti-Serbian feeling in Croatia; (5) the chaotic situation of the economic and social conditions in Yugoslavia."
.Since Germany had a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union and because these conspirators wanted the advantage of surprise, there was no special propaganda campaign immediately preceding the attack on the U.S.S.R. Fritzsche in Paragraph 33 of his affidavit discussed the propaganda line, however, for the justification of this aggressive war to the German people:
"During the night from the 21st to the 22d of June 1941, Ribbentrop called me in at about 5 o'clock in the morning for a conference in the Foreign Office at which representatives of the domestic and foreign press were present. Ribbentrop informed us that the war against the Soviet Union would start that same day and asked the German press to present the war against the Soviet Union as a preventive war for the defense of the fatherland, a war which was forced upon us by the imminent danger of an attack of the Soviet Union against Germany. The claim that this was a preventive war was later repeated by the newspapers which received their instructions from me during the usual daily parole of the
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Reich Press Chief. I myself have also given this presentation of the cause of the war in my regular broadcasts."
Fritzsche, throughout his affidavit, constantly refers to his technical and expert assistance to the colossal apparatus of the Propaganda Ministry. In 1939 he apparently became dissatisfied with the efficiency of the existing facilitie
s of the German Press Division in furnishing grist for the propaganda mill and for its intrigues.. He established a new instrument for improving the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda. In Paragraph 19 of his affidavit, Page 24 of your document book, Fritzsche describes this new propaganda instrument as follows:
"About the summer of 1939 1 established within the German Press Division a section called 'Speed Service!
And then skipping and quoting again:
". . . at the start it had the task of checking the correctness of news from foreign countries. Later on, about the fall of 1939, this section also worked on the compilation of material which was put at the disposal of the entire German press: For instance, dates from the British Colonial policy, political statements of the British Prime Minister in former times, descriptions of social distress in hostile countries, et cetera. Almost all German newspapers used such material as a basis for their polemics, whereby close concentration in the fighting front of the German press was gained. The title 'Speed Service' was chosen because materials for current comments were supplied with particular speed."
Throughout this entire period preceding and including the launching of aggressive war, Fritzsche made regular radio broadcasts to the German people under the following titles: "Political Newspaper Review," "Political and Radio Show," and later "Hans Fritzsche Speaks." His broadcasts naturally reflected the polemics and the control of his Ministry and thus of the Common Plan or Conspiracy.
We of the Prosecution contend that Fritzsche, one of the most eminent of Goebbels' propaganda team, helped substantially to bathe the world in the blood bath of aggressive war.
With the Tribunal's consent I will now pass to proof bearing on Fritzsche's incitement of atrocities and his encouragement of a ruthless occupation policy. The results of propaganda as a weapon of the Nazi conspirators reach into every aspect of this conspiracy, including the abnormal and inhuman conduct involved in the atrocities and the ruthless exploitation of occupied countries. Most of the ordinary members of the German nation would never have participated in or tolerated the atrocities committed throughout
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Europe if they had not been conditioned and goaded to barbarous convictions and misconceptions by the constant grinding of the Nazi propaganda machine. Indeed, the propagandists who lent them selves to this evil mission of instigation and incitement are more guilty than the credulous and callous minions who headed the firing squads or operated the gas chambers, of which we have heard so much in this proceeding. For the very credulity and callousness of those minions was in large part due to the constant and evil propaganda of Fritzsche and his official associates.
With respect to Jews, the Department of Propaganda within the Propaganda Ministry had a special branch for the "Enlightenment of the German people and of the world as to the Jewish question, fighting with propagandistic weapons against enemies of the State and hostile ideologies." This quotation is taken from a book written in 1940 by Ministerial Director Mueller, entitled The Propaganda Ministry. It is found in Document Number 2434(a)-PS, your document book Page 10, offered in evidence as Exhibit USA-722. It is another excerpt from Ministerial Director Mueller's book and I merely ask that you take judicial notice of it for that one sentence that I have read.
Fritzsche took a particularly active part in this "enlightenment" concerning the Jewish question in his radio broadcasts. These broadcasts literally teemed with provocative libels against Jews, the only logical result of which was to inflame Germany to further atrocities against the helpless Jews who came within its physical power. Document Number 3064-PS contains a number of complete broadcasts by Fritzsche which were monitored by the British Broadcasting Corporation and translated by BBC officials. For the convenience of the Tribunal, I have had those excerpts upon which the Prosecution relies to show illustrative types of Fritzsche's broadcasts mimeographed and made into one document, which I offer in evidence as Exhibit USA-723. Even the Defendant Streicher, the master Jew-baiter of all time, could scarcely outdo Fritzsche in some of his slanders against the Jews. All the excerpts in Document Number 3064-PS are from speeches by Fritzsche given on the radio between 1941 and 1945, which we have already proven was a period of intensified anti-Jewish measures. With the permission of the Tribunal, I would like to read some of these excerpts.
Page 14 of our document book, Item 1, from a broadcast of 18 December 1941-it is found on Page 2122 of the translations from BBC:
"The fate of Jewry in Europe has turned out to be as unpleasant as the Fuehrer predicted it would be in the event of a European war. After the extension of the war instigated by Jews, this fate may also spread to the New World, for it
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can hardly be assumed that the nations of this New World will pardon the Jews for the misery of which the nations of the Old World did not absolve them."
From a radio broadcast of 18 Mardi 1941, found at Page 2032 of the BBC translations:
"But the crown of all wrongly-applied Rooseveltian logic is the sentence: 'There never was a race and there never will be a race which can serve the rest of mankind as a master.' Here, too, we can only applaud Mr. Roosevelt. It is precisely because there exists no race which can be the master of the rest of mankind, that we Germans have taken the liberty to break the domination of Jewry and of its capital in Germany, of Jewry which believed it had inherited the crown of secret world domination."
In passing, I would merely like to note that it seems to us that that is not only applause for past acts concerning persecution of Jews but an announcement that more is coming and an encouragement of what was coming.
I would like to read another excerpt from the 9th of October 1941 broadcast, translated at Page 2101 of the BBC translation:
"We know very well that these German victories, unparalleled in history, have not yet stopped the source of hatred which for a long time has fed the warmongers and from which this war originated. The international Jewish-Democratic-Bolshevistic campaign of incitement against Germany still finds cover in this or that fox's lair or rat hole. We have seen only too frequently how the defeats suffered by the warmongers only doubled their senseless and impotent fury."
Another broadcast of the 8th January 1944-Your Honors, I have tried to pick out illustrative broadcasts from different periods here:
"It is revealed clearly once more that not a new system of government, not a young nationalism, and not a new and well-applied socialism brought about this war. The guilty ones are exclusively the Jews and the plutocrats. If discussion on the post-war problems brings this to light so clearly, we welcome it as a contribution for later discussions and also as a contribution to the fight we are waging now, for we refuse to believe that world history will entrust its future development to those powers which have brought about this war. This clique of Jews and plutocrats have invested their money in armaments and they had to see to it that they would get their interests and sinking funds; hence they unleashed this war."
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Concerning Jews, I had one last quotation from the year 1945. It is from a broadcast of the 13th of January 1945, found on Pages 2258 and 2259 of the BBC translations:
"If Jewry provided a link between such divergent elements as plutocracy and Bolshevism and if Jewry was first able to work successfully in the democratic countries in preparing this war against Germany, it has by now placed itself unreservedly on the side of Bolshevism which, with its entirely mistaken slogans of racial freedom against racial hatred, has created the very conditions the Jewish race requires in its struggle for domination over other races."
And then skipping a few lines in that quotation:
"Not the last result of German resistance on all the fronts, so unexpected to the enemy, is the fruition of a development which began in the pre-war years, that is, the process of subordinating British policy to far-reaching Jewish points of view. This development started long before this when Jewish emigrants from Germany commenced their warmongering against us from British and American soil."
And then skipping several sentences and going to the last sentence on that page.
"This whole attempt, aiming at the establishment of Jewish world domination, was obviously made at a time when the national- racial consciousness had been too far awakened to promise such an aim success."
Your Honors, we suggest that that is an invitation to further persecution of the Jews and, indeed, to their elimination.
Fritzsche also incited and encouraged ruthless measures against the peoples of the U.S.S.R. In his regular broadcasts Fritzsche's incitements against the peoples of the U.S.S.R. were often linked to, and were certainly as inflammatory as, his slanders against the Jews. If these slanders were not so tragic in their relation to the murder of millions of people, they would be comical, indeed ludicrous. It is ironic that the propaganda libels against the peoples of the U.S.S.R. concerning atrocities actually described some of the many atrocities committed by the German invaders, as we now well know. The following quotations are again taken from the BBC intercepted broadcasts and their translations, beginning shortly after the invasion of the U.S.S.R. in June 1941. The first one is taken again from Page 16 of our document book. I will read only the last half of Item 7, beginning with the third paragraph:
"As can be sufficiently seen by letters reaching us from the front, from P.K. reporters"-and may I interrupt my quotation there to say that "P.K." stands for "Propaganda Kompanie," propaganda companies which were attached to the
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German Army wherever it went-"P.K. reporters and soldiers on leave, in this struggle in the East not one political system is pitted against another, not one philosophy is fighting another, but culture, civilization, and human dignity have stood up against the diabolical principle of a subhuman world."
And then another quote in the next paragraph:
"It was only the Fuehrer's decision to strike in time that saved our homeland from the fate of being overrun by those subhuman creatures, and our men, women, and children from the unspeakable horror of becoming their prey."
In the next broadcast I want to quote from 10th of July 1941, in the first paragraph Fritzsche speaks of the inhuman deeds committed in areas controlled by the Soviet Union, and he states that one, upon seeing the evidence of those deeds committed, comes- and here I quote:
". . . finally to make the holy resolve to lend one's assistance in the final destruction of those who are capable of such dastardly acts."
And then quoting again, the last paragraph:
"The Bolshevist agitators made no effort to deny that in towns, thousands, and in the villages, hundreds of corpses of men, women, and children have been found, who had been either killed or tortured to death. In spite of this Bolshevik agitators assert that this was not done by Soviet commissars but by German soldiers. But we know our German soldiers. No German women, fathers, or mothers require proofs that their husbands or their sons cannot have committed such atrocious acts."
Evidence already in the Record, or shortly to be offered in this case by our Soviet colleagues, will prove that representatives of these Nazi conspirators did not hesitate to exterminate Soviet soldiers and civilians by scientific mass methods. These inciting remarks by Fritzsche made him an accomplice in these crimes because his labeling of the Soviet peoples as members of a "subhuman world" seeking to "exterminate" the German people and similar desperate talk helped, by these propaganda diatribes, to fashion the psychological atmosphere of utter and complete unreason and the hatred which instigated and made possible these atrocities in the East.
Although we cannot say that Fritzsche directed that 10,000 or 100,000 persons be exterminated, it is enough to pause on this question: Without these incitements of Fritzsche, how much harder it
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would have been for these conspirators to have effected the conditions which made possible the extermination of millions of people in the East.
THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break off?
[A recess was taken.]
CAPT. SPRECHER: Fritzsche encouraged, affirmed, and glorified the policy of the Nazi conspirators in ruthlessly exploiting the occupied countries. Again I read an excerpt from his radio broadcast of the 9th of October 1941, found at Pages 2102 and 2103 of the BBC translation. I would like to cut it down, but it is one of those long German sentences that just cannot be broken down:
"Today we can only say: Blitzkrieg or not, this German thunderstorm has cleansed the atmosphere of Europe. Certainly it is quite true that the dangers threatening us were eliminated one after the other with lightning speed but in these lightning blows which shattered England's allies on the continent, we saw not a proof of the weakness, but a proof of the strength and superiority of the Fuehrer's gift as a statesman and military leader; a proof of the German peoples' might; we saw the proof that no opponent can rival the courage, discipline, and readiness for sacrifice displayed by the German soldier, and we are particularly grateful for these lightning, incomparable victories, because-as the Fuehrer emphasized last Friday-they give us the possibility of embarking on the organization of Europe and on the lifting of the treasures"-I would like to repeat that-"lifting of the treasures of this old continent, already now in the middle of war, without its being necessary for millions and millions of German soldiers to be on guard, fighting day and night along this or that threatened frontier; and the possibilities of this continent are so rich that they suffice to supply all needs in peace or war."
Concerning the exploitation of foreign countries, Fritzsche states himself, at Paragraph 39 of his affidavit:
"The utilization of the productive capacity of the occupied countries for the strengthening of the German war potential, I have openly and with praise pointed out, all the more so as the competent authorities put at my disposal much material, especially on the voluntary placement of manpower."
Fritzsche was a credulous propagandist indeed if he gloriously praised the exploitation policy of the German Reich, chiefly or especially because the competent authorities gave him a sales talk on the voluntary placement of manpower.
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I come now to Fritzsche as the high commander of the entire German radio system. Fritzsche continued as the head of the German Press Division until after the conspirators had began the last of their aggressions. In November 1942, Goebbels created a new position, that of Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio, a position which Fritzsche was the first and the last to hold. In Paragraph 36, Document Number 3469-PS, the Fritzsche affidavit, Fritzsche narrates how the entire German radio and television system was organized under his supervision. That is at Page 29 of your document book. He states:
"My office practically represented the high command of German radio."
As special Plenipotentiary for the Political Organization of the Greater German Radio, Fritzsche issued orders to all the Reich propaganda offices by teletype. These were used first in conforming the entire radio apparatus of Germany to the desires of the conspirators.
Goebbels customarily held an 11 o'clock
conference with his closest collaborators within the Propaganda Ministry. When both Goebbels and his undersecretary, Dr. Naumann, were absent, Goebbels, after 1943, entrusted Fritzsche with the holding of this 11 o'clock press conference.
In Document Number 3255-PS the Court will find Goebbels! praise of Fritzsche's broadcasts. This praise was given in Goebbels' introduction to a book by Fritzsche called, War to the War Mongers. I would like to offer the quotation in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-724, from the Rundfunk Archiv, at Page 18 of Your Honors' document book. This is Goebbels speaking:
"Nobody knows better than I how much work is involved in those broadcasts, how many times they were dictated within the last minutes to find some minutes later a willing ear by the whole nation."
So we have it from Goebbels himself that the entire German nation was prepared to lend willing ears to Fritzsche, after he had made his reputation on the radio.
The rumor passed that Fritzsche was "His Master's Voice" (Die Stimme seines Herrn). This is certainly borne out by Fritzsche's functions. When Fritzsche spoke on the radio it was indeed plain to the German people that they were listening to the high command of the conspirators in this field.
Fritzsche is not being presented by the Prosecution as the type of conspirator who signed decrees or as the type of conspirator who sat in the inner councils planning all of the over-all grand strategy of these conspirators. The function of propaganda is, for the most
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part, apart from the field of such planning. The function of a propaganda agency is somewhat more analogous to an advertising agency or public relations department, the job of which is to sell the product and to win the market for the enterprise in question. Here the enterprise, we submit, was the Nazi conspiracy. In a conspiracy to commit fraud, -the gifted salesman of the conspiratorial group is quite as essential and quite as culpable as the master planners, even though he may not have contributed substantially to the formulation of all the basic strategy, but rather contributed to the artful execution of this strategy.
In this case the Prosecution most emphatically contends that propaganda was a weapon of tremendous importance to this conspiracy. We further contend that the leading propagandists were major accomplices in this conspiracy, and further, that Fritzsche was a major propagandist.
When Fritzsche entered the Propaganda Ministry, the most fabulous "lie factory" of all time, and thus attached himself to this conspiracy, he did this with a more open mind than most of these conspirators who had committed themselves at an 'earlier date, before the seizure of power. He was in a particularly strategic position to observe the frauds committed upon the German people and upon the world by these conspirators.
The Tribunal will recall that in 1933, before Fritzsche took his party oath of unconditional obedience and subservience to the Fuehrer and thus abdicated his moral responsibility to these conspirators, he had observed at first hand the operations of the storm troopers and the Nazi race pattern in action. When, notwithstanding this, Fritzsche undertook to bring the German news agencies in their entirety within fascist control, he learned from the inside, from Goebbels' own lips, much of the cynical intrigue and many of the bold lies against opposition groups within and without Germany. He observed, for example, the opposition journalists, a profession to which he had previously been attached, being forced out of existence, crushed to the ground, either absorbed or eliminated. He continued to support the conspiracy. He learned from day to day the art of intrigue and quackery in the process of perverting the German nation, and he grew in prestige and influence as he practiced this art.
The Tribunal will also recall that Fritzsche had said that his predecessor Berndt fell from the leadership of the German Press Division partly because he overplayed his hand by the successful but blunt and overdone manipulation of the Sudetenland propaganda. Fritzsche stepped into the gap which had been caused by the loss of confidence of both the editors and the German people, and Fritzsche did his job well.
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No doubt Fritzsche was not as blunt as the man he succeeded; but Fritzsche's relative shrewdness and subtlety, his very ability to be more assuring and "to find," as Goebbels said, "the willing ears of the whole nation," these things made him the more useful accomplice of these conspirators.
Nazi Germany and its press went into the actual phase of war operations with Fritzsche at the head of the particular propaganda instrument controlling the German press and German news, whether by the press or by radio. In 1942 when Fritzsche transferred from the field of the press to the field of radio, he was not removed for bungling but only because Goebbels then needed him most in the field of radio. Fritzsche is not in the dock as a free journalist, but as an efficient, controlled Nazi propagandist, a propagandist who helped substantially to tighten the Nazi stranglehold over the German people, a propagandist who made the excesses of these conspirators more palatable to the consciences of the German people themselves, a propagandist who cynically proclaimed the barbarous racialism which is at the very heart of this conspiracy, a propagandist who coldly goaded humble Germans to blind fury against people they were told by him were subhuman and guilty of all the suffering of Germany, suffering which indeed these Nazis themselves had invited.
In conclusion, I wish to say only this. Without the propaganda apparatus of the Nazi State it is clear that the world, including Germany, would not have suffered the catastrophe of these years; and it is because of Fritzsche's able role on behalf of the Nazi conspirators and their deceitful and barbarous practices in connection with the conspiracy that he is called to account before this International Tribunal.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, it was intended that the next presentation would be by Colonel Griffith-Jones in the case of the Defendant Hess. I understand that the Tribunal has in mind that it might be better if that were left for the moment; if so, Major Harcourt Barrington is prepared to make the presentation with regard to the Defendant Von Papen.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We understood that the Defendant Hess's counsel could not be present today, and therefore it was better to go on with one of the others.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, then Major Harcourt Barrington will deal with the presentation against the Defendant Von Papen.
MAJOR J. HARCOURT BARRINGTON (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): My Lord, I understand that the court interpreters have not got the proper papers and document books up
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here yet, but they can get them in a very few minutes. Would your Lordship prefer that I should go on or wait until they have got them?
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Go on then.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: May it please the Tribunal, it is my duty to present the case against the Defendant Von Papen. Before I begin I would like to say that the documents in the document books are arranged numerically and not in the order of presentation, and that the English document books are paged in red chalk at the bottom of the page.
THE PRESIDENT: Does that mean that the French and the Soviet are not?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, we did not prepare French and Soviet document books.
THE PRESIDENT: Major Barrington, the French members of the Tribunal have no document books at all.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, there should be a German document book for the French member. I understand it is now being fetched. Should I wait until it arrives?
THE PRESIDENT: I think you can go on.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: The Defendant Papen is charged primarily with the guilt of conspiracy, and the proof of this charge of conspiracy will emerge automatically from the proof of the four allegations specified in Appendix A of the Indictment. These are as follows:
(1) He promoted the accession of the Nazi conspirators to power.
(2) He participated in the consolidation of their control over Germany.
(3) He promoted the preparations for war.
(4) He participated in the political planning and preparation of the Nazi conspirators for wars of aggression, et cetera.
Broadly speaking, the case against Von Papen covers the period from the 1st of June 1932 to the conclusion of the Anschluss in March 1938.
So far in this Trial, almost the only evidence specifically implicating Von Papen has been evidence in regard to his activities in Austria. This evidence need only be summarized now. But if the case against Von Papen rested on Austria alone, the Prosecution would be in the position of relying on a period during which the essence of his task was studied plausibility and in which his whole purpose was to clothe his operations with a cloak of sincerity and innocent respectability. It is therefore desirable to put the evidence
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already given in its true perspective by showing in addition the active and prominent part he played for the Nazis before he went to Austria.
Papen himself claims to have rejected many times Hitler's request that he should actually join the Nazi Party. Until 1938 this may indeed have been true, for he was shrewd enough to see the advantage of maintaining, at least outwardly, his personal independence. It will be my object to show that, despite his facade of independence, Papen was an ardent member of this conspiracy and, in spite of warnings and rebuffs, was unable. to resist its fascination.
In the submission of the Prosecution, the key to Von Papen's activities is that, although perhaps not a typical Nazi, he was an unscrupulous political opportunist and ready to fall in with the Nazis when it suited him. He was not unpracticed in duplicity and viewed with an apparent indifference the contradictions and betrayals which his duplicity inevitably involved. One of his chief weapons was fraudulent assurance.
Before dealing with the specific charges, I will refer to Document 2902-PS, which is on Page 38 of the English document book, and I put it in as Exhibit GB-233. This is Von Papen's own signed statement showing his appointments. It is not in chronological order, but I will read the relevant parts as they come. I need not read the whole of it. The Tribunal Will note that this statement is written by Dr. Kubuschok, Counsel for Von Papen, although it is signed by Von Papen himself. Paragraph 1:
"Von Papen many times rejected Hitler's request to join the NSDAP. Hitler simply sent him the Golden Party Badge. In my opinion, legally speaking, he did not thereby become a member of the Party." Interposing there, My Lord, the fact that he was officially regarded as having become a member in 1938 will be shown by a document which I shall refer to later.
Going on to Paragraph 2:
"From 1933 to 1945 Von Papen was a member of the Reichstag."
"Von Papen was Reich Chancellor from the 1st of June 1932 to the 17th of November 1932. He carried on the duties of Reich Chancellor until his successor took office-until the 2d of December 1932."
"On the 30th of January 1933 Von Papen was appointed Vice Chancellor. From the 30th of June 1934"-which was the
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date of the Blood Purge----"he ceased to exercise official duties. On that day he was placed under arrest. Immediately after his release on the 3rd of July 1934 he went to the Reich Chancellery to hand in his resignation to Hitler."
The rest of that paragraph I need not read. It is an argument which concerns the authenticity or otherwise of his signature as it appears in the Reichsgesetzblatt to certain decrees in August 1934. I am prepared to agree with his contention that his signature on those decrees may not have been correct and may have been a mistake. He admits holding office only to the 3rd of July 1934.
He was, as the Tribunal will also remember, in virtue of being Reich Chancellor, a member of the Reich Cabinet.
Going on to Paragraph 5:
"On the 13th of November 1933, Von Papen became Plenipotentiary for the Saar. This office was terminated under the same circumstances described under Paragraph 4."
The rest of the document I need not read. It concerns his appointments to Vienna and Ankara, which are matters of history. He was appointed Minister to Vienna on the 26th of July 1934, and recalled on the 4th of February 1938, and he was Ambassador in Ankara from April 1939 until August 1944.
The first allegation against the Defendant Von Papen is that he used his personal influence to promote the accession of the Nazi conspirators to power. From the outset Von Papen was well aware of the Nazi program and Nazi methods. There can be no question of his having encouraged the Nazis through ignorance of these facts. The official NSDAP program was open and notorious; it had been published in Mein Kampf for many years; it had been published and republished in the Yearbook of the NSDAP and elsewhere. The Nazis made no secret of their intention to make it a fundamental law of the State. This has been dealt with in full at an earlier stage of the Trial.
During 1932 Von Papen as Reich Chancellor was in a particularly good position to understand the Nazi purpose and methods; and in fact, he publicly acknowledged the Nazi menace. Take, for instance, his Munster speech on the 28th of August 1932. This is Document 3314-PS, on Page 49 of the English document book, and I now put it in as Exhibit GB-234, and I quote two extracts at the top of the page:
"The licentiousness emanating from the appeal of the leader of the National Socialist movement does not comply very well with his claims to governmental power... I do not concede him the right to regard only the minority following his banner as the German nation -and to treat all other fellow countrymen as free game."
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Take also his Munich speech of the 13th of October 1932. That is- on Page 50 of the English document book, Document Number 3317-PS, which I now put in as Exhibit GB-235, and I will simply read the last extract on the page:
"In the interest of the entire nation, we decline the claim to power by parties which want to bind their followers body and soul and which want to identify their party or movement with the German nation."
I do not rely on these random extracts to show anything more than that he had, in 1932, clearly addressed his mind to the inherent lawlessness of the Nazi philosophy. Nevertheless, in his letter to. Hitler of the 13 of November 1932, which I shall quote more fully later, he wrote of the Nazi movement as, I quote:
"...so great a national movement, the merits of which for people and country I have always recognized in spite of necessary criticisms ......
So variable and so seemingly contradictory were Von Papen's acts and utterances regarding the Nazis that it is not possible to present the picture of Papen's part in this infamous enterprise unless one first reviews the steps by which he entered upon it. It then becomes clear that he threw himself, if not wholeheartedly, yet with cool and' deliberate calculation, into the Nazi conspiracy. I shall enumerate some of the principal steps by which Papen. fell in with the Nazi conspiracy.
As a result of his first personal contact with Hitler, Von Papen. as Chancellor rescinded, on the 14th of June 1932, the decree passed on the 13th of April 1932 for the dissolution of the Nazi paramilitary organizations, the SA and the SS. He thereby rendered the greatest possible service to the Nazi Party, inasmuch as it relied upon its para-military organizations to beat the German people into submission. The decree rescinding the dissolution of the SA and the SS is shown in Document D-631, on Page 64 of the document book; and I now put it in as Exhibit GB-236. It is an extract from the Reichsgesetzblatt, which was an omnibus decree. The relevant passage is in Paragraph 20:
"This order comes into operation from the day of announcement. It takes the place of the Decree of the Reich President for the Safeguarding of the State Authority The date should be the 13th of April 1932.
THE PRESIDENT: Which page of the document book is it?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I am sorry, My Lord; it is Page 64. And the date shown there should not be the 3rd of May 1932, it should be the 13th of April 1932. That was the decree which had previously dissolved the Nazi para-military organizations under the
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Government of Chancellor Bruning. At the bottom of the page the Tribunal will see the relevant parts of the decree of the 13th of April reproduced. At the beginning of Paragraph I of that decree it said:
"All organizations of a military nature of the German National Socialist Labor Party will be dissolved with immediate effect, particularly the SA and the SS."
This rescission by Von Papen. was done in pursuance of a bargain made with Hitler which is mentioned in a book called Dates from the History of the NSDAP by Dr. Hans Volz, a book published with the authority of the NSDAP. It is already an exhibit, Exhibit USA- 592. The extract I want to quote is on Page 59 of the document book, and it is Document Number 3463-PS. I quote an extract from Page 41 of this little book:
"28th of May"-that was in 1932, of course-"In view of the imminent fall of Bruning, at a meeting between the former Deputy of the Prussian Center Party, Franz Von Papen, and the Fuehrer in Berlin (first personal contact in spring 1932); the Fuehrer agrees that a Papen. cabinet should be tolerated by the NSDAP, provided that the prohibitions imposed on the SA, uniforms, and demonstrations be lifted and the Reichstag dissolved."
It is difficult to imagine a less astute opening gambit for a man who was about to become Chancellor than to reinstate this sinister organization which had been suppressed by his predecessor. This action emphasizes the*. characteristic duplicity and insincerity of his public condemnations of the Nazis which I quoted a few minutes ago.
Eighteen months later he publicly boasted that at the time of taking over the chancellorship he had advocated paving the way to power for what he called the "young- fighting liberation movement." That will be shown in Document 3375-PS, which I shall introduce in a few minutes.
Another important step was when, on the 20th of July 1932, he accomplished his famous coup d'etat in Prussia which removed the Braun-Severing Prussian Government and united the ruling power of the Reich and Prussia in his own hands as Reichskommissar for Prussia. This is now a matter of history. It is mentioned in Document D-632, which I now introduce as Exhibit GB-237. It is on Page 65 of the document book. This document is, I think, a semi-official biography in a series of public men.
Papen regarded this step, his coup d'etat in Prussia, as a first step in the policy later pursued by Hitler of coordinating the states with the Reich, which will be shown in Document 3357-PS, which I shall come to later.
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The next step, if the Tribunal will look at Document D-632, on Page 65 of the document book, the last four or five lines at the bottom of the page:
"The Reichstag elections of the 31st of July, which were the result of Von Papen's disbandment of the Reichstag on the 4th of June" - which was made in pursuance of the bargain that I mentioned a few minutes ago---"strengthened enormously the NSDAP, so that Von Papen offered to the leader of the now strongest party his participation in the government as Vice Chancellor. Adolf Hitler rejected this offer on the 13th of August.
"The new Reichstag, which assembled on the 30th of August, was disbanded by the 12th of September. The new elections brought about a considerable loss to the NSDAP, but did not strengthen the Government parties, so that Papen's Government retired on the 17th of November 1932 after unsuccessful negotiations with the Party leaders."
My Lord, I shall wish to quote a few more extracts from that biography, but as it is a mere catalogue of events, perhaps Your Lordship would allow me to return to it at the appropriate time. So far as those negotiations mentioned just now in the biography concern Hitler, they involved an exchange of letters in which Von Papen wrote to Hitler on. the 13th of November 1932. That letter is Document D-633, on Page 68 of the English document book, and I now put it in as Exhibit GB-238. I propose to read a part of this letter, because it shows the positive efforts made by Papen *to ally himself with the Nazis, even in face of further rebuffs from Hitler. I read the third paragraph. I should tell the Tribunal that there is some underlining in the English translation of that paragraph which does not occur in the German text:
"A new situation has arisen through the elections of November the 6th, and at the same time a new opportunity for a consolidation of all nationalist elements. The Reich President has instructed me to find out by conversations with the leaders of the individual parties concerned whether and how far they are ready to support the carrying out of the political and economic program on which the Reich Government has embarked. Although the National Socialist press has been writing that it is a naive attempt for Reich Chancellor Von Papen to try to confer with personalities representing the nationalist concentration, and that there can only be one answer, 'No negotiations with Papen,' I would consider it neglecting my duties, and I would be unable to justify it to my own conscience, if I did not approach you in the spirit of the order given to me. I am quite aware from the papers
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that you are maintaining your demands to be entrusted with the Chancellor's Office, and I am equally aware of the continued existence of the reasons for the decision of August the 13th. I need not assure you again that I myself do not claim any personal consideration at all. All the same, I am of the opinion that the leader of so great a national movement, whose merits for people and country I have always recognized in spite of necessary criticism, should not refuse to enter into discussions on the situation and the decisions required with the presently leading and responsible German statesman. We must attempt to forget the bitterness of the elections and to place the cause of the country which we are mutually serving above all other considerations."
Hitler replied on 16 November 1932 in a long letter, laying down terms which were evidently unacceptable to Von Papen, since he resigned the next day and was succeeded by Von Schleicher. That document is D-634, put in as part of Exhibit GB-238 as it is part of the same- correspondence. I need not read from the letter itself.
Then came the meetings between Papen and Hitler in January 1933, in the houses of Von Schroeder and of Ribbentrop, culminating in Von Schleicher being succeeded by Hitler as Reich Chancellor on 30 January 1933. Referring back again to the biography on Page 66 of the document book, there is an account of the meeting at Schroeder's house, the second -paragraph on the page:
"The meeting with Hitler, which took place hi the beginning of January 1933, in the house of the banker Baron Von Schroeder in Cologne, is due to his initiative"-that means, of course Papen's initiative "although Von Schroeder was the mediator. Both Von Papen and Hitler later made public statements about this meeting (press of 6 January 1933). After the rapid downfall of Von Schleicher on the 28th of January 1933, the Hitler-Von Papen-Hugenberg-Seldte Cabinet was formed on the 30th of January 1933 as a government of national solidarity. In this cabinet Von Papen held the office of Vice Chancellor and Reich Commissioner for Prussia."
The meetings at Ribbentrop's house, at which Papen was also present, have been mentioned by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe (Document D-472, which was Exhibit GB-130).
I now wish to introduce into evidence an affidavit by Von Schroeder but I understand that Dr. Kubuschok wishes to take an objection to this. his. Perhaps before Dr. Kubuschok takes his objection it might help if I said, quite openly, that Schroeder is now in custody, and according to my information he is at
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Frankfurt; so that physically he undoubtedly could be called. Perhaps I might also say at this moment that there would be no objection from the Prosecution's point of view to interrogatories being administered to Von Schroeder on the subject matter of this affidavit.
DR. EGON KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for Defendant Von Papen): I object to the reading of the affidavit of Schroeder I know that in individual cases the Tribunal has permitted the reading of affidavits. This occurred under Article 19 of the Charter, which is based on the proposition that the Trial should be conducted as speedily as possible and that for this reason the Tribunal should order the rules of ordinary court procedure in that' respect. Of decisive importance, therefore, is the speediness of the Trial. But in our case the reading of the affidavit cannot be approved for that reason.
Our case is quite analogous to the. case that was decided on the 14th of December with regard to Kurt Von Schuschnigg's affidavit. Schroeder is in the vicinity. Schroeder was apparently brought to the neighborhood of Nuremberg for the purposes of this Trial. Theaffidavit was taken down on 5 December. He could be brought here at any. time. The reading of the affidavit would have the consequence that I would have to refer not only to him but also to several other witnesses, because Schroeder describes a series of facts in his affidavit which -in their entirety are not needed for the finding of a decision. However, once introduced into the Trial, they must 'also be discussed by the Defense in the pursuance of its duty.
The affidavit discusses internal political matters, using improper terms. For this reason misunderstandings would be brought into the Trial which could be obviated by the hearing of a witness I believe, therefore, that the oral testimony of a witness should be the only way in which Schroeder's testimony should be submitted to the Tribunal, since otherwise a large number of witnesses will have to be called along with the reading of Schroeder's affidavit and his personal interrogation.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you finished?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to make any observation?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes, I do, My Lord. The Tribunal has been asked to exclude this affidavit, using as a precedent the decision on Von Schuschnigg's affidavit. I think I am correct in saying that Von Schuschnigg's affidavit was excluded as an exception to the general rule on affidavits which the Tribunal laid down earlier the same day when Mr. Messersmith's affidavit was
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accepted. Perhaps Your Lordship will allow me to read from the transcript the Tribunal's decision on the affidavit of Messersmith.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Messersmith was in Mexico, was he not? MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is so, My Lord; yes.
THE PRESIDENT: So that the difference between him and Schuschnigg in that regard was very considerable.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: In that regard, but what I was going to say was this, My Lord: In ruling on Messersmith's affidavit Your Lordship said:
"In view of those provisions" - that is Article 19 of the Charter - "the Tribunal holds that affidavits can be presented and that in the present case it is a proper course. The question of the probative value of the affidavit as compared with the witness who has been cross-examined would, of course, be considered by the Tribunal, and if at a later stage the Tribunal thinks the presence of a witness is of extreme importance, the matter can be reconsidered."
And Your Lordship-added:
"If the Defense wish to put interrogatories to the witness, they will be at liberty to do so."
Now in the afternoon of that day, when Schuschnigg's affidavit came up ...
THE PRESIDENT: Which day was this?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: This was the 28th of November, My Lord. It is on Page 473 (Volume' IL Page 352) 'of the transcript, the Messersmith affidavit; and Page 523 (Volume 11, Page 384) is the Schuschnigg affidavit.
Now, when the objection was taken to the Schuschnigg affidavit, the objection was put in these -words:
"Today when the resolution was announced in respect of the use to be made of the written affidavit of Mr. Messersmith, the Court was of the opinion that in a case of very great importance possibly it would take a different view of the matter."-And then defense counsel went on to say-"As it is a case of such an important witness, the principle of direct evidence must be adhered to."
THE PRESIDENT: Have you a reference to a subsequent occasion on which we heard Mr. Justice Jackson upon this subject, when Mr. Justice Jackson submitted to us that on the strict interpretation of Article 19 we were bound to admit any evidence which we deemed to have probative value?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, I haven't got that reference.
THE PRESIDENT: Why don't you call this witness?
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MAJOR BARRINGTON: I say, quite frankly-and I was coming on to that-this witness is in a position of being an alleged coconspirator, and I do not make any secret of the fact that for obvious reasons the Prosecution would not desire to call him as a witness, and I put this affidavit forward as an admission by a coconspirator. I admit that it is not an admission made in pursuance of the conspiracy, but I submit that by technical rules of evidence, this affidavit may be accepted in evidence as an admission by a co- conspirator; and as I said before, there will be no objection to administering interrogatories on the subject matter of this affidavit, and indeed, the witness would be available to be called as a defense witness if required.
That is all I have to say on that, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: There would be no objection to bringing the witness here for the purpose of cross-examination upon the affidavit?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I don't think there could be any objection if it were confined to the subject matter of the affidavit. I would not like ...
THE PRESIDENT: How could you object, for instance, to the defendant himself applying to call the witness?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: As I said, I don't think there could be any objection to that, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: The result would be the same, wouldn't it? If the witness were called for the purpose of cross-examination, then he could be asked other- questions which were not arising out of the matter in the affidavit. If the defendant can call him as his own witness, there can be no objection to the cross-examination going outside the matter of the affidavit.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Of course he couldn't be cross-examined by the Prosecution in that event, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean you would ask his questions in reexamination, but they would not take the form of cross- examination?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is what I mean, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean that you would prefer that he should be called for the defendants rather than be cross-examined outside the subject matter of the affidavit?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Is there anything you wish to add or not?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: There is nothing I wish to add.
THE PRESIDENT: It is time for us to adjourn. We will consider the matter.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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DR. MARTIN HORN (Counsel for Defendant Von Ribbentrop): In the place of Dr. Von Rohrscheidt, counsel for Defendant Hess, I would like to make the following declaration.
Dr. Von Rohrscheidt has been the victim of an accident. He has broken his ankle. The Defendant Hess has asked me to notify the Tribunal that from now on until the end of the Trial, he desires to make use of his right under the Charter to defend himself. The reason that he wants to do that for the whole length of the Trial is to be found in the fact that due to his absence his counsel will not be informed of the proceedings of the Court.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the oral application which has just been made to it on behalf of the Defendant Hess.
As to the objection to the affidavit of Von Schroeder which was made this morning by counsel for the Defendant Von Papen, the Tribunal does not propose to lay down any general rule about the admission of affidavit evidence. But in the particular circumstances of this case, the Tribunal will admit the affidavit in question but will direct that if the affidavit is put in evidence, the man who made the affidavit, Von Schroeder must be presented, brought here immediately for cross-examination by the defendant's counsel. When I say immediately I mean as soon as possible.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, I will not introduce this affidavit.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Major Barrington.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, before coming on to that affidavit, I last read a passage from the biography about the meeting at Von Schroeder's house, and I ask the Tribunal to deduce from that extract from the biography that it was at that meeting that a discussion took place between Von Papen and Hitler, which led up to the government of Hitler in which Von Papen served as Vice Chancellor. So that now at the point the Defendant Von Papen was completely committed to going along with the Nazi Party, and with his eyes open and on his own initiative he had helped materially to bring them into power.
The second allegation against the Defendant Von Papen is that he participated in the consolidation of Nazi control over Germany.
In the first critical year and a half of the Nazi consolidation Von Papen, as Vice Chancellor, was second only to Hitler in the Cabinet which carried out the Nazi program.
The process of consolidating the Nazi control of Germany by legislation has been fully dealt with earlier in this Trial. The high
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position of Von Papen must have associated him closely with such: legislation. In July 1934 Hitler expressly thanked him for all that he had done for the co-ordination of the government of the National Revolution. That will appear in Document 2799-PS. In fact, although I shall read from that document in a minute, the document has been introduced to the Court by Mr. Alderman.
Two important decrees may be mentioned specially, as actually bearing the signature of Von Papen. First, the decree relating to the formation of special courts, dated the 21st of March 1933, 'for the trial of all cases involving political matters. The Tribunal has already taken judicial notice of this decree. The reference to the transcript is Page 30 (Volume II, Page 197) of the 22d of November, afternoon session.
This decree was the first step in the Nazification of the German judiciary. In all political cases. it abolished fundamental rights, including the right of appeal, which, had previously characterized the administration of German criminal justice.
On the same date, the 21st of March 1933, Von Papen personally signed the amnesty decree liberating all persons who had committed murder or any other crime between the 30th of January and the 21st of March 1933 in the National Revolution of the German people. That document is 2059-PS, and is on Page 30 of the English document book. I read Section 1.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't think you need read the decrees if you will summarize them.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: If Your Lordship pleases, I will ask you to take judicial notice of that decree.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: As a member of the Reich Cabinet, Von Papen was, in my submission, responsible for the legislation carried through even when the decrees did not actually bear his signature. But I shall mention as examples two categories of legislation in particular in order to show by reference to his own previous and contemporaneous statements that they were not matters of which he could say that. as a respectable politician he took no interest in them.
First, the civil service. As a public servant himself, Von Papen must have had a hard but apparently successful struggle with his conscience when associating himself with the sweeping series of decrees for attaining Nazi control of the civil service. This has been dealt with on Page 30 (Volume 11, Page 197) of the transcript of the 22d of November in the afternoon session, and Page 257 (Volume II, Page 207). In this connection I refer the Tribunal to Document 351-PS, which is on Page I of the document book. It is
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Exhibit USA-389, and it is the minutes of Hitler's first Cabinet meeting on the 30th of January 1933. 1 read from the last paragraph of the minutes, on Page 5 of the document book in the middle of the paragraph:
"The Deputy of the Reich Chancellor and the Reich Commissioner for the State of Prussia suggested that the Reich Chancellor should refute, in an interview at the earliest opportunity, the rumors about inflation and the rumors about infringing the rights of civil servants."
Even if this was not meant to suggest to Hitler the giving of a fraudulent assurance, at the best it emphasizes the indifference with which Von Papen later saw the civil servants betrayed.
Secondly, the decrees for the integration of the federal states with the Reich. These again have been dealt with earlier in the Trial, Page 29 (Volume II, Page 196) of the transcript of 22 November, afternoon session. The substantial effect of these decrees was to abolish the states and to put an end to federalism and any possible retarding influence which it might have upon the centralization of power in the Reich Cabinet. The importance of this step, as well as the role played by Papen, is reflected in the exchange of letters between Hindenburg, Von Papen-in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for Prussia-and Hitler, in connection with the recall of the Reich Commissioner and the appointment of Goering to the post of Prime Minister of Prussia. I refer to Document 3357-PS, which is on Page 52 of the English document book, and I now put it in as Exhibit GB-239.
In tendering his resignation on the 7th of April 1933, Von Papen wrote to Hitler, and I read from the document:
"With the draft of the law for the co-ordination of the states with the Reich, passed today by the Reich Chancellor, legislative work has begun which will be of historical significance for the political development of the German State. The step taken on 20 July 1932 by the Reich Government, which I headed at the time, with the aim of abolishing the dualism between the Reich and Prussia is now crowned by this new interlocking of the interests of the state of Prussia with those of the Reich. You, Herr Reich Chancellor, will now be, as once was Bismarck, in a position to co-ordinate in all points the policy of the greatest of German states with that of the Reich. Now that the new
law affords you the possibility of appointing a Prussian Prime Minister, I beg you to inform the Reich President that I dutifully return to his hands my. post of Reich Commissioner for Prussia."
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I would like to read also the letter which Hitler wrote to Hindenburg in transmitting this resignation. Hitler wrote:
"Vice Chancellor Von Papen has addressed a letter to me which I enclose for your information. Herr Von Papen has already informed me within the last few days that he has come to an agreement with Minister Goering to resign on his own volition, as soon as the unified -conduct of the governmental affairs in the Reich and in Prussia would be assured by the new law on the co- ordination of policy in the Reich and the States.
"On the eve of the day when the new law on the institution of Reichsstatthalter was adopted, Herr Von Papen considered this aim as having been attained, and requested me to undertake the appointment of the Prussian Prime Minister,' at the same time offering further collaboration in the Reich
Government, by now lending full service.
"Herr Von Papen, in accepting the post of Commissioner for the Government of Prussia in these difficult times since 30 January, has rendered a very meritorious service to the realization of the idea of co-ordinating the policy in Reich and states. His collaboration in the Reich Cabinet, to which he is now lending all his energy, is 'infinitely valuable; my relationship to him is such a heartily friendly one, that I sincerely rejoice at the great help I shall thus receive." Yet it was only 5 weeks before this that on the 3rd of March 1933, Von Papen had warned the electorate at Stuttgart against abolishing federalism. I will now read from Document 3313-PS, which is on Page 48 of the English document -book, and which I now introduce as Exhibit GB-240-about the middle of the third paragraph. This is an extract from Von Papen's speech at Stuttgart. He said:
"Federalism will protect us from centralism, that organizational form which focuses all the living strength of a nation on one point. No nation is less fitted to be governed centrally than the German."
Earlier, at the time of the elections in the autumn of 1932, Von Papen as Chancellor had visited Munich. The Frankfurter Zeitung of the 12th of October 1932 commented on his policy. I refer to Document 3318-PS on Page 51 of the English document book, which I introduce as Exhibit GB-241. The Frankfurter Zeitung commented: "Von Papen claimed that it had been his great aim from the very beginning of his tenure in office to build a new Reich for, and with, the various states. The Reich Government is taking a definite federalist attitude. Its slogan is not a dreary centralism or uniformity."
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That was in October 1932. All that was now thrown overboard in deference to his new master.
I now come to the Jews. In March 1933 the entire Cabinet approved a systematic state policy of persecution of the Jews. This has already been described to the Tribunal. The reference to the transcript is Pages 1442 (Volume III, Page 525) and 2490 (Volume V, Page 93).
Only 4 days before the boycott was timed to begin "with all ferocity"-to borrow the words of Dr. Goebbels-Von Papen wrote a radiogram of reassurance to the Board of Trade for German American Commerce in New York which had expressed its anxiety to the German Government about the situation. His assurance which I now put in as Document D-635, and it will be Exhibit GB-242 on Page 73 of the English document book-his assurance was published in the New York Times on the 28th of March 1933, and it contained the following sentence which I read from about the middle of the page. This document is the last but one in. the German document book:
"Reports circulated in America and received here with indignation about alleged tortures of political prisoners and mistreatment of Jews deserve strongest repudiation. Hundreds of thousands of Jews, irrespective of nationality, who have not taken part in political activities, are living here entirely unmolested."
This is a characteristic ...
DR. KUBUSCHOK: The article in the New York Times goes back to a telegram of the Defendant Von Papen, which is contained in the document book one page ahead. The English translation has a date of the 27th of March. This date is an error. The German text which I received shows that it is a question of a week-end letter, which, according to the figures on the German document, was sent on the 25th of March. This difference in time is of particular importance for the following reason:
In effect, on the 25th of March nothing was yet known concerning the Jewish boycott, which Goebbels then announced for the 1st of April. The Defendant Von Papen could, therefore, on the 25th of March, point to these then comparatively few smaller incidents as he does in the telegram. In any case, the conclusion of the indictment that the contents of the telegram were a He thereby falls..
THE PRESIDENT: Major Barrington, have you the original of that?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: The original is here, My Lord; yes. It is quite correct that there are some figures at the top, which, though
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I had not recognized it, might indicate that it was dispatched on the 25th.
THE PRESIDENT: And when was the meeting of the Cabinet which approved the policy of persecution of the Jews?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, My Lord, I can't say. It was some time within the last few days of March, but it might have been on the 26th. I can have that checked up.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I clarify that matter by saying that the Cabinet meeting in which the Jewish question was discussed took place at a much later date and that in this Cabinet meeting Cabinet members, among others the Defendant Von Papen, condemned the Jewish boycott. I shall submit the minutes of the meeting as soon as my motion has been granted.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know what you mean by your motion being granted. Does Counsel for the Prosecution say. whether he persists in his allegation or whether he withdraw's it?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I will say this. Subject to checking the date when the Cabinet meeting took place ...
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you can do that at the adjournment and let us know in the morning.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: If Your Lordship pleases. At this point I will just say this: That it was, as the Tribunal has already heard, common knowledge at the time that the Nazi policy was anti-Jewish, and Jews were already in concentration camps, so I will leave it to the Tribunal to infer that at the time when that radiogram was sent, which I am prepared to accept as being the 25th of March, that Von Papen did know of this policy of boycotting.
I will go further now that I am on this point, and I will say that Von Papen was indeed himself a supporter of the anti-Jewish policy, and as evidence of this I will put in Document 2830-PS, which is on Page 37A of the document book, and which I now introduce as Exhibit GB-243.
This is a letter, My Lord, written by Von Papen from Vienna on the 12th of May 1936 to Hitler on the subject of the Freiheitsbund. Paragraph 4 of the English text is as follows:
"The following incident is interesting. The Czech Legation secretary Dohalsky has made to Mr. Staud, (leader of the Freiheitsbund) the offer to make available to the Freiheitsbund any desired amount from the Czech Government which he would need for the strengthening of his struggle against the Heimwehr. Sole condition is that the Freiheitsbund must guarantee to adopt an anti- German attitude. Mr. Staud has
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flatly refused this offer. This demonstrates how even in the enemy's camp the new grouping of forces is already taken into account. From this the further necessity results for us to support this movement financially as heretofore, and mostly in reference to the continuation of its fight against Jewry."
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I must point out here a difficulty which has apparently been caused by the translation. In the original German text the word "mit Bezug" is used in regard to the transmittal in the following way: "...referring to the continuation of its fight against Jewry." This word "mit Bezug" means here that under this heading the money must be transmitted, although this was not the real purpose, for the Austrian Freiheitsbund (Freedom Union) was not an anti-Semitic movement but a legal trade union to which Chancellor Dollfuss also belonged. This expression "mit Bezug" means only that the transmittal of the money demanded a covering designation because it was not permissible to transmit money from abroad to a party recognized by the state for any party purposes, as is shown by the rejected offer of the Czechoslovaks. I only wanted to point out here that the words "in reference" perhaps give a wrong impression and should rather be translated "referring." In any case, I should like to point out that this "in reference" was a kind of camouflage for the transmittal of the money.
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know to which word you are referring, but as I understand it the only purpose of referring to this letter was to prove that in it Von Papen was suggesting that a certain organization should be financially assisted in its fight against Jewry. That is the only purpose of referring to the letter. I don't know what you mean about some word being wrongly translated.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: That is exactly how the error originated. The money was not transmitted to fight Jewry for that was not at all the purpose of this Christian Trade Union in Austria, but a certain designation for the transmittal of the money had to be devised. So this continuation of its fight against Jewry was used. The purpose therefore was not the fight against Jewry but the elimination through financial support of another foreign influence, namely that of Czechoslovakia.
THE PRESIDENT: I should have thought myself that the point which might have been taken against the Prosecution was that the letter was dated nearly 3 years after the time with which you were then dealing.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is so, My Lord; it was not at the time of the previous one.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the previous one was marked 1933, and this was 1936.
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MAJOR BARRINGTON: Oh yes. I put it in, My Lord, only to show what Von Papen's position was by then, at any rate. If Your Lordship has any doubt as to the translation I would suggest that it might now be translated by the interpreter. We have the German text, a photostat.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you can have it translated again tomorrow; if necessary, you can have it gone into again then.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes, My Lord.
I come now to the Catholic Church. The Nazi treatment of the Church has been fully dealt with by the United States Prosecution. In this particular field Von Papen, a prominent lay Catholic, helped to consolidate the Nazi position both at home and abroad as perhaps no one else could have done.
In dealing with the persecution of the Church, Colonel Wheeler read to the Tribunal Hitler's assurance given to the Church on the 23rd of March 1933 in Hitler's speech on the Enabling Act, an assurance which resulted in the well-known Fulda Declaration of the German bishops, also quoted by Colonel Wheeler. That was Document 3387-PS, which was Exhibit USA-566. This deceitful assurance of Hitler's appears to have, been made at the suggestion of Von Papen 8 days earlier at the Reich Cabinet meeting at which the Enabling Act was discussed, on the 15th of March 1933. 1 refer to Document 2962-PS, which is Exhibit USA-578, and it is on Page 40 of the English document book. I read from Page 44, that is at the bottom of Page 6 of the German text. The minutes say:
"The Deputy of the Reich Chancellor and Reich Commissioner for Prussia stated that it is of decisive importance to coordinate into the new state the masses standing behind the parties. The question of the incorporation of political Catholicism into the new state is of particular importance."
That was a statement made by Von Papen at the meeting at which the Enabling Act was discussed prior to Hitler's speech on the Enabling Act in which he gave his assurance to the Church.
On the 20th of July 1933 Papen signed the Reich Concordat negotiated by him with the Vatican. The Tribunal has already taken judicial notice of this as Document 3280(a)-PS. The signing of the Concordat, like Hitler's Papen-inspired speech on the Enabling Act, was only an interlude in the church policy of the Nazi conspirators. Their policy of assurances was followed by a long series of violations which eventually resulted in Papal denunciation in the Encyclical "Mit brennender Sorge," which is 3476-PS, Exhibit USA- 567.
Papen maintains that his actions regarding the Church were sincere, and he has asserted during interrogations that it was Hitler
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who sabotaged the Concordat. If Von Papen really believed in the very solemn undertakings given by him on behalf of the Reich to the Vatican, I submit it is strange that he, himself a Catholic, should have continued to serve Hitler after all those violations and even after the Papal Encyclical itself. I will go further. I will say that Papen was himself involved in what was virtually, if not technically, a violation of the Concordat. The Tribunal will recollect the allocution of the Pope, dated the 2d of June 1945, which is Document 3268- PS, Exhibit USA-356, from which on Page 1647 (Volume IV, Page 64) of the transcript Colonel Storey read the Pope's own summary of the Nazis' bitter struggle against the Church. The very first item the Pope mentioned is the dissolution of Catholic organizations and if the Tribunal will look at Document 3376-PS on Page 56 of the English document book, which I now put in as Exhibit GB-244 and which is an extract from Das Archiv, they will see that in September 1934 Von Papen ordered-and I say "ordered" advisedly-the dissolution of the Union of Catholic Germans, of which he was at the time the leader. The text of Das Archiv reads as follows:
"The Reich Directorate of the Party announced the self-dissolution of the Union of Catholic Germans.
"Since the Reich Directorate of the Party, through its Department for Cultural Peace, administers directly and to an increasing extent all cultural problems including those concerning the relations of State and churches, the tasks at first delegated to the Union of Catholic Germans are now included in those of the Reich Directorate of the Party in the interest of a still closer co-ordination.
"Former Vice Chancellor Von Papen, up to now the leader of the Union of Catholic Germans, declared about the dissolution of this organization that it was done upon his suggestion, since the attitude of the National Socialist State toward the Christian and Catholic Church had been explained often and unequivocally by the Fuehrer and Chancellor himself."
I said that Von Papen "ordered" the dissolutions, although the announcement said it was self-dissolution, on his suggestion; but I submit that such a suggestion from one in Papen's position was equivalent to an order, since by that date it was common. knowledge that the Nazis were dropping all pretense that rival organizations might be permitted to exist.
After ter 9 months' service under Hitler, spent in consolidating the Nazi control, Von Papen was evidently well content with his choice. I refer to Document 3375-PS, Page 54 of the English document book, which I put in as Exhibit GB-245. On the 2d of November
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1933, speaking at Essen from the same platform as Hitler and Gauleiter Terboven, in the course of the campaign for the Reichstag election and the referendum concerning Germany's leaving the League of Nations, Von Papen declared:
"Ever since Providence called upon me to become the pioneer of national resurrection and the rebirth of our homeland, I have tried to support with all my strength the work of the National Socialist movement and its Fuehrer; and just as I at the time of taking over the Chancellorship"-that was in 1932-"advocated paving the way to power for the young fighting liberation movement, just as I on January 30 was destined by a gracious fate to put the hands of our Chancellor and Fuehrer; into the hand of our beloved Field Marshal, so do I today again feel the obligation to say to the German people and all those who have kept confidence in me:
"The good Lord has blessed Germany by giving her in times of deep distress a leader who will lead her through all distresses and weaknesses, through all crises and moments of danger, with the sure instinct of the statesman into a happy future." And then the last sentence of the whole text on Page 55:
"Let us, in this hour, say to the Fuehrer of the new Germany that we believe in him and his work."
By this time the Cabinet, of which Von Papen was a member and to which he had given all his strength, had abolished the civil liberties, had sanctioned political murder committed in aid of Nazism's seizure of power, had destroyed all rival political parties, had enacted the basic laws for abolition of the political influence of the federal states, had provided the legislative basis for purging the civil service and judiciary of anti-Nazi elements, and had embarked upon a State policy of persecution of the Jews.
Papen's words are words of hollow mockery: "The good Lord has blessed Germany...."
The third allegation against the Defendant Papen is that he promoted preparations for war. Knowing as he did the basic program of the Nazi Party, it is inconceivable that as Vice Chancellor for a year and a half he could have been dissociated from the conspirators' warlike preparations; he, of whom Hitler wrote to Hindenburg on the 10th of April 1933 that, "His collaboration in the Reich Cabinet, to which he is now lending all his energy, is infinitely valuable."
The fourth allegation against Papen is that he participated in the political planning and preparations for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties. In Papen's case this allegation is really the story of the Anschluss. His part in that was a
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preparation for or wars of aggression in two senses: First, that the Anschluss was the necessary preliminary step to all the subsequent armed aggressions; second, that, even if it can be contended that the Anschluss was in fact achieved without aggression, it was planned in such a way that it would have been achieved by aggression if that had been necessary.
I need do no more than summarize Papen's Austrian activities since the whole story of the Anschluss has been described to the Tribunal already, though, with the Tribunal's permission I would like to read again two short passages of a particularly personal nature regarding Papen. But before I deal with Papen's activities in Austria there is one matter that I feel I ought not to omit to mention to the Tribunal.
On the 18th of June 1934 Papen made his remarkable speech at Marburg University. I do not propose to put it in evidence, nor is it in the document book, because it is a matter of history and in what I say I do not intend to commit myself in regard to the motives and consequences of his speech which are not free from mystery; but I will say this: That as far as concerns the subject matter of Papen's Marburg speech, it was an outspoken criticism of the Nazis. One must imagine that the Nazis were furiously angry; and although he escaped death in the Blood Purge 12 days later, he was put under arrest for 3 days. Whether this arrest was originally intended to end in execution or whether it was to protect him from the purge as one too valuable to be lost, I do not now inquire. After his release from arrest he not unnaturally resigned the Vice Chancellorship. Now the question that arises-and this is why I mention the matter at this point-is why, after these barbaric events, did he ever go back into the service of the Nazis again? What an opportunity missed! If he had stopped then he might have saved the world much suffering. Suppose that Hitler's own Vice Chancellor, just released from arrest, had defied the Nazis and told the world the truth. There might never have been a reoccupation of the Rhineland; there might never have been a war. But I must not speculate. The lamentable fact is that he slipped back, he succumbed again to the fascination of Hitler.
After the murder of Chancellor Dollfuss only 3 weeks later, on 25 July 1934, the situation was such as to call for the removal of the German Minister Rieth and for the prompt substitution of a man who was an enthusiast for the Anschluss with Germany, who' could be tolerant of Nazi objectives and methods but who could lend an aura of respectability to official German representation in Vienna. This situation is described in the transcript at Pages 478 and 479 (Volume II, Pages 355, 356). Hitler's reaction to the murder of Dollfuss was immediate. He chose his man as soon as he heard the news. The very next day, the 26th of July, he sent Von Papen
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a letter of appointment. This is on Page 37 of the English document book; it is document 2799-PS and it has already been judicially noticed by the Tribunal. Mr. Alderman read the letter, and I only wish to refer to the personal remarks toward the end. Hitler in this letter, after reciting his version of the Dollfuss affair and expressing his desire that Austrian-German relations should be brought again into normal and friendly channels, says in the third paragraph:
"For this reason I request you, dear Herr Von Papen, to take over this important task just because you have possessed and continue to possess my most complete and unlimited confidence ever since our collaboration in the Cabinet."
And the last paragraph of the letter:
"Thanking you again today for all that you once have done for the co-ordination of the Government of the National Revolution and since then, together with us, for Germany ...... THE PRESIDENT: This might be a good time to break off for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, I had just read from the letter of appointment as Minister in Vienna which Hitler sent to Von Papen on the 26th of July 1934. This letter, which, of course, was made public, naturally did not disclose the real intention of Von Papen's appointment. The actual mission of Von Papen was frankly stated shortly after his arrival in Vienna in the course of a private conversation he had with the American Minister, Mr. Messersmith. I quote from Mr. Messersmith's affidavit, which is Document 1760- PS, Exhibit USA-57, and it is on Page 22 of the document book, just about half way through the second paragraph. Mr. Messersmith said:
"When I did call on Von Papen in the German Legation, he greeted me with: 'Now you are in my Legation and I can control the conversation.' In the baldest and most cynical manner he then proceeded to tell me that all of southeastern Europe, to the borders of Turkey, was Germany's natural hinterland and that he had been charged with the mission of facilitating German economic and political control over all this region for Germany. He blandly and directly said that getting control of Austria was to be the first step. He definitely stated that he was in Austria to undermine and weaken the Austrian Government and from Vienna to work towards the weakening of the governments in the other states to the south and southeast. He said that he intended to use his reputation as a good Catholic to gain influence with certain Austrians, such as Cardinal Innitzer, towards that end."
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Throughout the earlier period of his mission to Austria, Von Papen's activity was characterized by the assiduous avoidance of any appearance of intervention. His true mission was re-affirmed with clarity several months after its commencement when he was instructed by Berlin that "during the next 2 years nothing can be undertaken which will give Germany external political difficulties," and that every appearance of German intervention in Austrian affairs must be avoided; and Von Papen himself stated to Berger WaIdenegg, an Austrian Foreign Minister, "Yes, you have your .French and English friends now, and you can have your independence a little longer." All of that was told in detail by Mr. Alderman, again quoting from Mr. Messersmith's affidavit, which is in the transcript at Pages 492 (Volume II, Page 354), 506, and 507 (Volume II, Pages 362-364).
Throughout this earlier period, the Nazi movement was gaining strength in Austria without openly admitted German intervention; and Germany needed more time to consolidate its diplomatic position. These reasons for German policy were frankly expressed by the German Foreign Minister Von Neurath in conversation with the American Ambassador to France; this was read into the transcript at Page 520 (Volume II, Page 381) by Mr. Alderman from Document L-150, Exhibit USA-65.
The Defendant Von Papen accordingly restricted his activities to the normal ambassadorial function of cultivating an respectable elements in Austria, and ingratiating himself in these circles. Despite his facade of strict nonintervention, Von Papen remained in contact with subversive elements in Austria. Thus in his report to Hitler, dated 17 May 1935, he advised concerning Austrian-Nazi strategy as proposed by Captain Leopold, leader of the illegal Austrian Nazis, the object of which was to trick Dr. Schuschnigg into establishing an Austrian coalition government with the Nazi Party. This is Document 2247-PS, Exhibit USA-64, and it is in the transcript at Pages 516 to 518 (Volume II, Pages 379, 380). It is on Page 34 of the English document book. I don't want to read this letter again, but I would like to call the attention of the Tribunal to the first line of what appears as the second paragraph in the English text, where Von Papen, talking about this strategy of 'Captain Leopold, says, "I suggest that we take an active part in this game."
I mention also in connection with the illegal organizations in Austria, Document 812-PS, Exhibit USA-61, which the Tribunal will remember was a report from Rainer to Buerckel and which is dealt with in the transcript at Pages 493 to 505 (Volume II, Pages 367 to 376).
Eventually the agreement of 11 July 1936 between Germany and Austria was negotiated by Von Papen. This is already in evidence
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as Document TC-22 Exhibit GB-20. The public form of this agreement provides that while Austria in her policy should regard herself as a German state, yet Germany would recognize the fun sovereignty of Austria and would not exercise direct or indirect influence on the inner political order of Austria. More interesting was the secret part of the agreement, revealed by Mr. Messersmith, which ensured the Nazis an influence in the Austrian Cabinet and participation in the political life of Austria. This has already been read into the transcript at Page 522 (Volume II, Page 383) by Mr. Alderman.
After the agreement the Defendant Von Papen continued to pursue his policy by maintaining contact with the illegal Nazis, by trying to influence appointments to strategic Cabinet positions, and by attempting to secure official recognition of Nazi front organizations. Reporting to Hitler on 1 September 1936, he summarized his program for normalizing Austrian-German relations in pursuance of the agreement of 11 July. This is Document 2246-PS, Exhibit USA-67, on Page 33 of the English document book.
The Tribunal will recall that he recommended "as a guiding principle, continued, patient, psychological manipulations with slowly intensified pressure directed at changing the regime." Then he mentions his discussion with the illegal party and says that he is aiming at "corporative representation of the movement in the Fatherland Front, but nevertheless is refraining from putting National Socialists in important positions for the time being."
There is no need to go over again the events that led up to the meeting of Schuschnigg with Hitler in February 1938, which Von Papen arranged and which he attended, and to the Anal invasion of Austria in March 1938. It is enough if I quote from the biography again on Page 66 of the document book. It is about two-thirds of the way down the page:
"Following the events of March 1938, which caused Austria's incorporation into the German Reich, Von Papen had the satisfaction of being present at the Fuehrer's side when the entry into Vienna took place, after the Fuehrer in recognition of his valuable collaboration, had on 14 February 1938, admitted him to the Party and had bestowed upon him the Golden Party Badge."
And the biography continues:
"At first Von Papen retired to his estate Wallerfangen in the Saar district, but soon the Fuehrer required his services again and on the 18 April 1939 appointed Von Papen German Ambassador in Ankara."
Thus the fascination of serving Hitler triumphed once again, and this time it was at a date when the seizure of Czechoslovakia could
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have left no shadow of doubt in Papen's mind that Hitler was determined to pursue his program of aggression.
One further quotation from the biography on Page 66, the last sentence of the last paragraph but one:
"After his return to the Reich"-that was in 1944-"Von Papen was awarded the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Order with Swords."
In conclusion, I draw the Tribunal's attention again to the fulsome praises which Hitler publicly bestowed upon Von Papen for his services, especially in the earlier days. I have given two instances where Hitler said "His collaboration is infinitely valuable," and again "You possess my most complete and unlimited confidence."
Papen, the ex-Chancellor, the soldier, the respected Catholic, Papen the diplomat, Papen the man of breeding and culture-there was the man who could overcome the hostility and antipathy of those respectable elements who barred Hitler's way. Papen was-to repeat the words of Sir Hartley Shawcross in his opening speech'(one of the men whose co-operation and support made the Nazi Government of Germany possible."
That concludes my case. Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe will now follow with the case of Von Neurath.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: May it please the Tribunal, the presentation against the Defendant Von Neurath falls into five parts, and the first of these is concerned with the following positions and honors which he held.
He was a member of the Nazi Party from 30 January 1937 until 1945, and he was awarded the Golden Party Badge on 30 January 1937. He was general in the SS. He was personally appointed Gruppenfuehrer by Hitler in September 1937 and promoted to Obergruppenfuehrer on 21 June 1943. He was Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs under the Chancellorship of the Defendant Von Papen from 2 June 1932 and under the Chancellorship of Hitler from 30 January 1933 until he was replaced by the Defendant Von Ribbentrop on 4 February 1938. He was Reich Minister from 4 February 1938 until May 1945. He was President of the Secret Cabinet Council, to which he was appointed on 4 February 1938, and he was a member of the Reich Defense Council. He was appointed Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia from 18 March 1939 until he was replaced by the Defendant Frick on 25 August 1943.
He was awarded the Adler Order by Hitler at the time of his appointment as Reich Protector. The Defendant Ribbentrop was the only other German to receive this decoration.
If the Tribunal please, these facts are collected in Document 2973-PS, which is Exhibit USA-19, and in that document, which is
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signed by the defendant and his counsel, the defendant makes comments on certain of these matters with which I should like to deal.
He says that the award of the Golden Party Badge was made on 30 January 1937 against his will and without his being asked.
I point out that this defendant not only refrained from repudiating the allegedly unwanted honor, but after receiving it, attended meetings at which wars of aggression were planned, actively participated in the rape of Austria, and tyrannized Bohemia and Moravia.
The second point is that his appointment as Gruppenfuehrer was also against his will and without his being asked. On that point, the Prosecution submits that the wearing of the uniform, the receipt of the further promotion to Obergruppenfuehrer and the actions against Bohemia and Moravia must be considered when the defendant's submission is examined.
He then says that his appointment as Foreign Minister was by Reich President Von Hindenburg. We submit we need not do more than draw attention to the personalities of the Defendant Von Papen and Hitler and to the fact that President Von Hindenburg died in 1934. This defendant continued as Foreign Minister until 1938.
He then says that he was an inactive Minister from the 4th of February 1938 until May 1945. At that moment attention is drawn to the activities which will be mentioned below and to the terrible evidence as to Bohemia and Moravia which will be forthcoming from our friend the Soviet prosecutor.
This defendant's next point is that the Secret Cabinet Council never sat nor conferred.
I point out to the Tribunal that that was described as a select committee of the Cabinet for the deliberation of foreign affairs; and the Tribunal will find that description in Document 1774-PS, which I now put in as Exhibit GB-246. This is an extract from a book by a well-known author, and on Page 2 of the document book, the first page of that document, in about the seventh line from the bottom of the page, they will see that among the bureaus subordinated to the Fuehrer for direct counsel and assistance, number four is the Secret Cabinet Council; President: Reich Minister Baron Von Neurath.
And if the Tribunal will be kind enough to turn over to Page 3, about ten lines from the top, they will see the paragraph beginning:
"A Secret Cabinet Council to advise the Fuehrer in the basic problems of foreign policy has been created by the decree of 4 February 1938"-and a reference is given.
"This Secret Cabinet Council is under the direction of Reich Minister Von Neurath, and includes the Foreign Minister, the Air Minister, the Deputy of the Fuehrer the Propaganda
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Minister, the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army and Navy and the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. The Secret Cabinet council constitutes a closer staff of collaborators of the Fuehrer which consists exclusively of members of the Government of the Reich; strictly speaking it represents a select committee of the Reich Government for the deliberation on foreign affairs."
In order to have the formal composition of the body, that is -shown in Document 2031-PS, which is Exhibit GB-217. I believe that has been put in. I need not read it again.
The next point that the defendant makes as to his offices is that he was not a member of the Reich Defense Council.
If I may very shortly take that point by stages, I remind the Tribunal that the Reich Defense Council was set up soon after Hitler's accession to power on 4 April 1933; and the Tribunal will find a note of that point in Document 2261-PS, Exhibit USA-24; and they will find that on the top of Page 12 of the document book there is a reference to the date of the establishment of the Reich Defense Council.
The Reich Defense Council is also dealt with in Document 2986-PS, Exhibit USA-409, which is the affidavit of the Defendant Frick, which the Tribunal will find on Page 14. In the middle of that short affidavit, Defendant Frick says:
"We were also members of the Reich Defense Council which was supposed to plan preparations in case of war which later on were published by the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich."
Now, that the membership of this Council included the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was then the Defendant Von Neurath, is shown by Document EC-177, Exhibit USA-390. If the Tribunal will turn to Page 16 of the document book, they will find that document and, at the foot of the page, the composition of the Reich Defense Council, the permanent members including the Minister for Foreign Affairs. That document is dated "Berlin, 22 May 1933" which was during this defendant's tenure of that office. That is the first stage.
The functioning of this council, with a representative of this defendant's department, Von Bulow, present, is shown by the minutes of the 12th meeting on 14 May 1936. That is Document EC-407, which I put in as Exhibit GB-247. The Tribunal will find at Page 21 that the minutes are for the 14th of May 1936, and the actual reference to an intervention of Von Bulow is in the middle of Page 22.
Then, the next period was after the secret law of 4 September 1938. This defendant was, under the terms of that law, a member of the Reich Defense Council by virtue of his office as president of
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the Secret Cabinet Council. That is shown by the Document 2194-PS, Exhibit USA-36, which the Tribunal will find at Page 24, and if you will look at Page 24, you will see that the actual copy which was put in evidence was enclosed in a letter addressed to the Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia on the 4th of September 1939. It is rather curious that the Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia is now denying his membership in the council when the letter enclosing the law is addressed to him.
But if the Tribunal win be good enough to turn on to Page 28, which is still that document, the last words on that page describe the tasks of that council and say:
"The task of the Reich Defense Council consists, during peacetime, in deciding all measures for the preparation of Reich defense, and the gathering together of all forces and means of the nation in compliance with the directions of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor. The tasks of the Reich Defense Council in wartime will be especially determined by the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor."
If the Tribunal will turn to the next page, they will see that the permanent members of the Council are listed, and that the seventh one is the President of the Secret Cabinet Council, who was, again, this defendant.
I submit that that deals, for every relevant period, with this defendant's statement that he was riot a member of the Reich Defense Council.
The second broad point that the Prosecution makes against this defendant is that in assuming the position of Minister of Foreign Affairs in Hitler's Cabinet, this defendant assumed charge of a foreign policy committed to breach of treaties.
We say first that the Nazi Party had repeatedly and for many years made known its intention to overthrow Germany's international commitments, even at the risk of war. We refer to Sections 1 and 2 of the Party program, which, as the Tribunal has heard, was published year after year. That is on Page 32 of the document book. It is Document 1708-PS, Exhibit USA-255.
I just remind the Tribunal of these Points 1 and 2:
"I. We demand the unification of all Germans into Greater Germany on the basis of the right of self-determination of peoples.
"2. We demand equality of rights for the German people in respect to other nations; abrogation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain."
But probably clearer than that is the statement contained in Hitler's speech at Munich on the 15th of March 1939; and the Tribunal
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will find one of the references to that on Page 40 at the middle of the page. It begins:
"My foreign policy had identical aims. My program was to abolish the Treaty of Versailles. It is absolutely nonsense for the rest of the world to pretend today that I had not announced this. program until 1933 or 1935 or 1937. Instead of listening to the foolish chatter of emigres these gentlemen should have read, merely once, what I have written, that is written a thousand times."
It is futile nonsense for foreigners to raise that point. It would be still more futile for Hitler's Foreign Minister to suggest that he was ignorant of the aggressive designs of the policy. But I r
emind the Tribunal that the acceptance of force as a means of solving international problems and achieving the objectives of Hitler's foreign policy must have been known to anyone as closely in touch with Hitler as the Defendant Von Neurath; and I remind the Tribunal simply by reference to the passages from Mein Kampf, which were quoted by my friend Major Elwyn Jones, especially those toward the end of the book, Pages 552, 553, and 554.
So that the Prosecution say that by the acceptance of this foreign policy the Defendant Von Neurath assisted and promoted the accession to power of the Nazi Party.
The third broad point is that in his capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs this defendant directed the international aspects of the first phase of the Nazi conspiracy, the consolidation of control in preparation for war.
As I have already indicated, from his close connection with Hitler this defendant must have known the cardinal points of Hitler's policy leading up to the outbreak of the World War, as outlined in retrospect by Hitler in his speech to his military leaders on the 23rd of November 1939.
This policy had two facets: internally, the establishment of rigid control; externally, the program to release Germany from its international ties. The external program had four points: 1) Secession from the Disarmament Conference; 2) the order to re-arm Germany; 3) the introduction of compulsory military services; and 4) the remilitarization of the Rhineland.
If the Tribunal will look at Page 35 in the document book, at the end of the first paragraph they will find these points very briefly set out, and perhaps I might just read that passage. It is Document 789-PS, Exhibit USA-23-about 10 lines before the break:
"I had to reorganize everything, beginning with the mass of the people and extending it to the Armed Forces. First, reorganization of the interior, abolishment of appearances of
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decay and defeatist ideas, education to heroism. While reorganizing the interior, I undertook the second task: To release Germany from its international ties. Two particular characteristics are to be pointed out: Secession from the League of Nations an& denunciation of the Disarmament Conference. It was a hard decision. The number of prophets who predicted that it would lead to the occupation of the Rhineland was large, the number of believers was very small. I was supported by the nation, which stood firmly behind me, when I carried out my intentions. After that the order for rearmament. Here again there were numerous prophets who predicted misfortunes, and only a few believers. In 1935 the introduction of compulsory armed service. After that, militarization of the Rhineland, again a process believed to be impossible at that time. The number of people who put trust in me was very small. Then, beginning of the fortification of the whole country, especially in the west."
Now, these are summarized in four points. The Defendant Von Neurath participated directly and personally in accomplishing each of these four aspects of Hitler's foreign policy, at the same time officially proclaiming that these measures did not constitute steps toward aggression.
The first is a matter of history. When Germany left the Disarmament Conference this defendant sent telegrams dated the 14th of October 1933, to the President of the conference-and that will be found in Dokumente Der Deutschen Politik, on Page 94 of the first volume for that year. Similarly this defendant made the announcement of Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations on the 21st of October 1933. That again will be found in the official documents. These are referred to in the transcript of the proceedings of the Trial, and I remind the Tribunal of the complementary documents of military preparation, which of course were read and which are Documents C-140, Exhibit USA-51, the 25th of October 1933, and C-153, Exhibit USA-43, the l2th of May 1934. These have already been read and I merely collect them for the memory and assistance of the Tribunal.
The second point-the rearmament of Germany: When this defendant was Foreign Minister, on the 9th of March 1935, the German Government officially announced the establishment of the German Air Force. That is Document TC-44, Exhibit GB-11, already referred to. On the 21st of May 1935 Hitler announced a purported unilateral repudiation of the Naval, Military, and Air clauses of the Treaty of Versailles which, of course, involved a similar purported unilateral repudiation of the same clauses of the Treaty for the Restoration of Friendly Relations with the United States, and
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that will be found in Document 2288-PS, Exhibit USA-38, which again has already been read. On the same day the Reich Cabinet, of which this defendant was a member, enacted the secret Reich Defense Law creating the office of Plenipotentiary General for War Economy, afterwards designated by the Wehrmacht armament expert as "the cornerstone of German rearmament." The reference to the law is Document 2261-PS, Exhibit USA-24, a letter of Von Blomberg dated the 24th of June 1935, enclosing this law, which is already before the Tribunal; and the reference to the comment on' the importance of the law is Document 2353-PS, Exhibit USA-35. Some of that has already been read, but if the Tribunal will be good enough to turn to Page 52 where that appears, they will find an extract and I might just give the Tribunal the last sentence: "The new regulations were stipulated in the Reich Defense Law of 21 May 1935, supposed to be promulgated only in case of war but already declared valid for carrying out war preparations. As this law ... fixed the duties of the Armed Forces and the other Reich authorities in case of war, it was also the fundamental ruling for the development and activity of the war economy organization."
The third point is the introduction of compulsory military service. On the 16th of March 1935 this defendant signed the law for the organization of the Armed Forces which provided for universal military service and anticipated a vastly expanded German army. This was described by the Defendant Keitel as the real start of the large-scale rearmament program which followed. I will give the official reference in the Reichsgesetzblatt, year 1935, Volume I, Part 1, Page 369; and the references in the transcript are 411 (Volume II, Page 305), 454, and 455 (Volume II, Page 340).
The fourth point was the remilitarization of the Rhineland. The Rhineland was reoccupied on the 7th of March 1936. 1 remind the Tribunal of the two complementary documents: 2289-PS, Exhibit USA-56, the announcement of this action by Hitler; and C-139, Exhibit USA-53, which is the "Operation Schulung," giving the military action which was to be given if necessary. Again the reference to the transcript is Page 458 to Page 464 (Volume II, Pages 342 to 347). These were the acts for which the defendant shared responsibility because of his position and because of the steps which he took; but a little later he summed up his views on the actions detailed above in a speech before Germans abroad made on the 29th of August 1937, of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice, as it appears in Das Archiv, 1937, at Page 650. But I quote a short portion of it that appears on Page 72 of the document book:
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"The unity of the racial and national will created through Nazism with unprecedented elan has made possible a foreign policy by which the fetters of the Versailles Treaty were forced, the freedom to arm regained, and the sovereignty of the whole nation re- established. We have really again become master in our own house and we have created the means of power to remain henceforth that way for all times.... The world should have seen from ... Hitler's deeds and words that his aims are not aggressive."
The world, of course, had not the advantage of seeing these various complementary documents of military preparation which I have had the opportunity of putting before the Tribunal.
The next section-and the next point against this defendant-is that both as Minister of Foreign Affairs and as one of the inner circle of the Fuehrer's advisers on foreign political matters, this defendant participated in the political planning and preparation for acts of aggression against Austria, Czechoslovakia, and other nations. If I might first put the defendant's policy in a sentence, I would say that it can be summarized as breaking one treaty only at a time. He himself put it-if I may say so-slightly more pompously but to the same effect in a speech before the Academy of German Law on the 30th of October 1937, which appears in Das Archiv, October 1937, Page 921, and which the Tribunal will find in the document book on Page 73. The underlining (italics) is mine:
"In recognition of these elementary facts the Reich Cabinet has always interceded in favor of treating every concrete international problem within the scope of methods especially suited to it, not to complicate it unnecessarily by involvement with other problems; and, as long as problems between only two powers are concerned, to choose the direct way for an immediate understanding between these two powers. We are in a position to state that this method has fully proved itself good not only in the German interest, but also in the general interest."
The only country whose interests are not mentioned are the other parties to the various treaties that were dealt with in that way; and the working out of that policy can readily be shown by looking at the tabulated form of the actions of this defendant when he was Foreign Minister or during the term of his immediate successor when the defendant still was purported to have influence.
In 1935 the action was directed against the Western Powers. That action was the rearmament of Germany. When that was going on another country had to be reassured. At that time it was Austria, -with the support of Italy-which Austria still had up to 1935. And so you get the fraudulent assurance, the essence of the technique,
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in that case given by Hitler, on the 21st of May 1935. And that is shown clearly to be false, by the documents which Mr. Alderman
put in-I give the general reference to the transcript on Pages 534 to 545 (Volume II, Pages 388 to 398). Then, in 1936, you still have the action necessary against the Western Powers in the occupation of the Rhineland. You still have a fraudulent assurance to Austria in the treaty of the 11th of July of that year; and that is shown to be fraudulent by the letters from the Defendant Von Papen, Exhibits USA-64 (Document 2247-PS) and 67 (Document 2246-PS), to one of which my friend Major Barrington has just referred.
Then in 1937 and 1938 you move on a step and the action is directed against Austria. We know what that action was. It was absorption, planned, at any rate finally, at the meeting on the 5th of November 1937; and action taken on the 11th of March 1938.
Reassurance had to be given to the Western Powers, so you have the assurance to Belgium on the 13th of October 1937, which was dealt with by my friend Mr. Roberts. The Tribunal will find the references in Pages 1100 to 1126 (Volume III, Pages 289 to 307) of the transcript.
We move forward a year and the object of the aggressive action becomes Czechoslovakia. Or I should say we move forward 6 months to a year. There you have the Sudetenland obtained in September; the absorption of the whole of Bohemia and Moravia on the 15th of March 1939.
Then it was necessary to reassure Poland; so an assurance to Poland is given by Hitler on the 20th of February 1938, and repeated up to the 26th of. September 1938. The falsity of that assurance was shown over and over again in Colonel Griffith-Jones' speech on Poland, which the Tribunal will find in the transcript at Pages 966 to 1060 (Volume II, Pages 195 to 261).
Then finally, when they want the action as directed against Poland in the next year for its conquest, assurance must be given to Russia, and so a non-aggression pact is entered into on the 23rd of August 1939, as shown by Mr. Alderman, at Pages 1160 to 1216 (Volume III, Pages 328 to 366).
With regard to that tabular presentation, one might say, in the Latin tag, res ipsa loquitor. But quite a frank statement from this defendant with regard to the earlier part of that can be found in the account of his conversation with the United States Ambassador, Mr. Bullitt, on the 18th of May 1936, which is on Page 74 of the document book, Document L-150, Exhibit USA-65; and if I might read the first paragraph after the introduction which says that he called on this defendant, Mr. Bullitt remarks:
"Von Neurath said that it was the policy of the German Government to do nothing active in foreign affairs until the
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Rhineland had been digested. He explained that he meant that, until the German fortifications had been constructed on the French and Belgian frontiers, the German Government would do everything possible to prevent rather than encourage an outbreak by the Nazis in Austria and would pursue a quiet line with regard to Czechoslovakia. 'As soon as our fortifications are constructed and the countries of Central Europe realize that France cannot enter German territory at will, all those countries will begin to feel very differently about their foreign policies and a new constellation win develop,' he said."
I remind the Tribunal, without citing it, of the conversation referred to by my friend, Major Barrington, a short time ago, between the Defendant Von Papen, as Ambassador, and Mr. Messersmith, which is very much to the same effect.
Then I come to the actual aggression against Austria, and I remind the Tribunal that this defendant was Foreign Minister:
First, during the early Nazi plottings against Austria in 1934. The Tribunal will find these in the transcript at Pages 475 to 489 (Volume II, Pages 352-364), and I remind them generally that that was the murder of Chancellor Dollfuss and the ancillary acts which were afterwards so strongly approved.
Secondly, when the false assurance was given to Austria on the 21st of May 1935, and the fraudulent treaty made on the 11th of July 1936. References to these are Document TC-26, which is Exhibit GB-19, and Document TC-22, which is Exhibit GB-20. The reference in the transcript is at Pages 544 and 545 (Volume II, Page 383).
Third, when the Defendant Von Papen was carrying on his subterranean intrigues in the period from 1935 to 1937. 1 again give the references so the Tribunal will have it in mind: Document 2247-PS, Exhibit USA-64, letter dated 17 May 1935; and Exhibit USA-67, Document 2246-PS, I September 1936. The references in the transcript are Pages 492 (Volume II, Pages 363, 364), 516-518 (Volume II, Pages 372-374), 526-545 (Volume II, Pages 378 to 391), and 553-554 (Volume II, Pages 394, 395).
This Defendant Von Neurath was present when Hitler declared, at the Hossbach interview on the 5th of November 1937, that the German question could only be solved by force and that his plans were to conquer Austria and Czechoslovakia. That is Document 386- PS, Exhibit USA-25, which the Tribunal will find at Page 82. If you will look at the sixth line of Page 82, after the heading, you will see that one of the persons in attendance at this highly
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confidential meeting was the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, Freiherr von Neurath.
Without reading a document which the Tribunal have had referred to them more than once, may I remind the Tribunal that it is on Page 86 that the passage about the conquest of Austria occurs, and if the Tribunal will look after "2:" and "3:" the next sentence is:
"For the improvement of our military-political position, it must be our first aim in every case of warlike entanglement to conquer Czechoslovakia and Austria simultaneously, in order to remove any threat from the flanks in case of a possible advance westwards."
That is developed on the succeeding page. The important point is that this defendant was present at that meeting; and it is impossible for him after that meeting to say that he was not acting except with his eyes completely open and with complete comprehension as to what was intended.
Then the next point. During the actual Anschluss he received a note from the British Ambassador dated the 11th of March 1938. That is Document 3045-PS, Exhibit USA-127. He sent the reply contained in Document 3287-PS, Exhibit USA-128. If I might very briefly remind the Tribunal of the reply, I think all that is necessary-and of course the Tribunal have had this document referred to them before-is at the top of Page 93. 1 wish to call attention to two obvious untruths.
The Defendant Von Neurath states in the sixth line:
"It is untrue that the Reich used forceful pressure to bring about this development, especially the assertion, which was spread later by the former Federal Chancellor, that the German Government had presented the Federal President with a conditional ultimatum. It is a pure invention."
According to the ultimatum, he had to appoint a proposed candidate as Chancellor to form a Cabinet conforming to the proposals of the German Government. Otherwise the invasion of Austria by German troops was held in prospect.
"The truth of the matter is that the question of sending military or police forces from the Reich was only brought up when the newly formed Austrian Cabinet addressed a telegram, already published by the press, to the German Government, urgently asking for the dispatch of German troops as soon as possible, in order to restore peace and order and to avoid bloodshed. Faced with the imminent danger of a bloody civil war in Austria, the German Government then decided to comply with the appeal addressed to it."
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Wet, as I said, My Lord, these are the two most obvious untruths, and all one can say is that it must have, at any rate, given this defendant a certain macabre sort of humor to write that, when the truth was, as the Tribunal know it from the report of Gauleiter Rainer to Burckel, which has been put in before the Tribunal as Document 812-PS, Exhibit USA-61, and when they have heard, as they have at length, the transcripts of the Defendant Goering's telephone conversation with Austria on that day, which is Document 2949-PS, Exhibit USA-76, and the entries of the Defendant Jodl's diary for the 11th, 13th, and 14th of February, which is Document 1780-PS, Exhibit USA-72.
In this abundance of proof of the untruthfulness of these statements the Tribunal may probably think that the most clear and obvious correction is in the transcription of the Defendant Goering's telephone conversations, which are so amply corroborated by the other documents.
The Prosecution submits that it is inconceivable that this defendant who, according to the Defendant Jodl's diary-may I ask the Tribunal just to look at Page 116 of the document book, the entry in the Defendant Jodl's diary for the 10th of March, so that they have this point quite clear? It is the third paragraph, and it says:
"At 1300 hours General Keitel informs Chief of Operational Staff, Admiral Canaris. Ribbentrop is being detained in London. Neurath takes over the Foreign Office."
I submit that it is inconceivable when this defendant had taken over the Foreign Office, was dealing with the matter, and as I shall show the Tribunal in a moment, co-operating with the Defendant Goering to suit the susceptibilities of the Czechs, that he should have been so ignorant of the truth of events and what really was happening as to write that letter in honor and good faith.
His position can be shown equally clearly by the account which is given of him in the affidavit of Mr. Messersmith, Document 2385-PS, Exhibit USA-68. If the Tribunal will look at Page 107 of the document book, I remind them of that entry which exactly describes the action and style of activity of this defendant at this crisis. Two-thirds of the way down the page the paragraph begins:
"I should emphasize here in this statement that the men who made these promises were not only the dyed-in-the-wool Nazis, but more conservative Germans who already had begun willingly to lend themselves to the Nazi program.
"In an official dispatch to the Department of State from Vienna, dated 10 October 1935, 1 wrote as follows:
"'Europe will not get away from the myth that Neurath; Papen, and Mackensen are not dangerous people, and that
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they are "diplomats of the old school." They are in fact servile instruments of the regime, and just because the outside world looks upon them as harmless they are able to work more effectively. They are able to sow discord just because they propagate the myth that they are not in sympathy with the regime.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 24 January 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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