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DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I have purposely deferred one single question and not yet dealt with it, that is, Goering's efforts to maintain peace in the months of July and August 1939, before the outbreak of the war. I have deferred the question for the following reasons: Originally, I had intended to call Goering to the witness stand only after the interrogation of the witness Dahlerus. But because Dahlerus had not yet arrived, and I wanted to avoid an interruption of the proceedings, I called Goering first.
I now ask for a decision as to whether I may call Goering back to the witness stand after the examination of the witness Dahlerus, who, in the meantime has arrived -- I consider it expedient in the interest of saving time, because in my opinion quite a number of questions would thereby become unnecessary -- or, whether I may question him again on this point after the cross-examination. If that is not possible, I shall deal with this matter immediately. It seems to me advisable, however, to put this question after the examination of Dahlerus.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Your Honor, I can help on this point. If the Tribunal could consider this application without its establishing a precedent for other cases, I should have no objection, because in the case of Dahlerus we are to understand that some one will have to go into the matter in detail as to the events that happened within the last fortnight. It might well mean a saving of time if that detail were gone into only once, and it would be rather difficult for Dr. Stahmer to examine the witness Dahlerus without going into the details. While I feel strongly with the Tribunal that a defendant should not be recalled except in the most exceptional circumstances, I think in this case it might conceivably bring about a shortening of time.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean that if the witness Dahlerus were called, it might obviate the necessity of calling the Defendant Goering in reference to those events?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It might obviate that necessity, and it would in any case mean, I should think, that the Defendant Goering would have to answer only very few questions; but if it
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were opened up now, it would be difficult to avoid both witnesses covering the same ground.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is only concerned with the saving of time, and as the Tribunal is informed by the defendant's counsel, Dr. Stahmer, that it may save time, the Tribunal is prepared to adopt that course, and to allow the witness Dahlerus to be called before these questions are put to the Defendant Goering; but it must not be taken as a precedent for the recalling of any other witnesses.
DR. STAHMER: Thank you, Sirs. Then I have no further questions to ask the defendant at this time.
DR. NELTE: The Prosecution, in their presentation, have frequently mentioned the Defendant Keitel in connection with orders, directives, and so forth. They were always quoted as Keitel orders, Keitel decrees, and upon this, the Prosecution have based, among other things, their indictment of the Defendant Keitel. I am anxious to clear up through questioning you what the position of Field Marshal Keitel was, what powers and what responsibility he had as Chief of the OKW or in other official functions. Are you familiar with the decree of 4 February 1938 by which the High Command of the Armed Forces, the OKW, was created and Field Marshal Keitel appointed Chief of the OKW?
Goering: Of course, I am familiar with that decree because I assisted in the making of the decree in that the Fuehrer discussed with me the entire reshuffling of 8 February, and the resulting consequences and organizational changes of his entire staff.
DR. NELTE: Can you remember the diagram which was submitted by the Prosecution concerning the organization of the German Armed Forces?
Goering: Yes, I remember that it was here on the board.
DR. NELTE: I shall have it shown to you.
Do you think the OKW is placed correctly on this diagram?
Goering: No, it is not correct. It says on top, "Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces," then there is a line, and below it says "Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces." From there, indicating a subordination, lines lead directly to the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. That is wrong.
The High Command of the Armed Forces, and also the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, should not be placed in that manner, but set separately to one side, that is to say, the three Commanders-in-Chief of the three branches of the Armed Forces were immediately subordinate to the Fuehrer, as the Supreme
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Commander of the Armed Forces, and in no subordination whatsoever to the High Command of the Armed Forces, or to the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
The Fuehrer at that time, in February, reorganized his entire staff, for he had in his capacity as head of State the State Chancellery. He made Meissner, who was then State Secretary, State Minister, and established the State Chancellery as his administrative office. Thus he, in collaboration with the records department of the Foreign Office, was in charge of matters that concerned only the head of State. In his capacity as Reich Chancellor and chief of the Government, he ruled that his administrative organism should be the Reich Chancellery, and the State Secretary of the Reich Chancellery became on the same day Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery. It was the function of this office to maintain liaison with the ministries and the entire machinery of the government of the Reich. The function of this minister as an organ of the Fuehrer, was not the issuing, but the execution of the Fuehrer's orders and decrees.
Thirdly, the Fuehrer, as leader of the Party, had the Party Chancellery of which the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Rudolf Hess, was in charge at that time and occupied a high position within that organization. After his leaving, Bormann did not become Deputy of the Fuehrer but Chief of the Party Chancellery.
Fourthly, there was the Private Chancellery of the Fuehrer, with a Reichsleiter as Chief.
For military matters, as his military cabinet or military staff -- or as it used to be known in former years, the "Maison Militaire" -- the High Command of the Armed Forces was formed.
This reorganization was necessary, because after the retirement of Blomberg as Minister of War, no new Minister of War had been appointed, and the Fuehrer, since as head of State he was in any case Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, was now determined not only formally to be this Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, but to execute that function in fact. In consequence, he now needed a staff organization. This was to be the High Command of the Armed Forces, and Keitel became Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces.
In Germany the word "chief" in the military sense has a different meaning from "commander-in-chief." The responsibility and right to issue orders rest with the commander or the commander-in-chief. The assistant in staff administration, in the working out, administering, and transmitting of orders, and in maintaining liaison, is the actual chief of the respective staff. Thus, the former Colonel General Keitel, or General Keitel, was Chief of Staff of the military staff of the Commander-in-Chief, called the High Command of the Armed
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Forces. On the one hand, he had charge of the entire machinery of the staff of the Commander-in-Chief, as far as military organizational and technical matters, and military direction, that is to say, strategy, were concerned, to the extent that the Fuehrer wanted to have his strategic orders administered from a central point. For this there was estabished in the High Command as a purely general staff, strategic department, the Supreme General Staff.
DR. NELTE: If I understand you correctly, OKW is translated as High Command of the Armed Forces, but this apparently has been used in different ways, at one time as the Staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces -- as, for example, when Keitel was called the Chief of the OKW -- and at another time, as the OKW Office of the High Command of the Armed Forces, in other words, Hitler. Is that right?
Goering: That is correct as such, but not very clear. The High Command of the Armed Forces is the staff of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in the same way that I, as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force had my General Staff on one hand, and my chief adjutant's office on the other -- these formed the staff with which I worked. The High Command constituted for the Fuehrer, as Supreme Commander a similar organization. The chief of my General Staff likewise could give no direct orders to the commanders of the air fleets, commanding generals of air corps or divisions. The orders could only be issued "By command of the Commander-in-Chief," signed "I.A.," that is to say, "Im Auftrag (by order)."
The chief of a staff, therefore, even the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, had no command function except to the members of his immediate office and the few administrative organizations connected with that staff. An order, command, or directive from the High Command of the Armed Forces, for instance, to me as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, was only possible when the instruction began in the following form: "The Fuehrer has ordered..." or, "By command of the Fuehrer, I hereby inform you ...
May I express myself quite emphatically: At one time I told Colonel General Keitel, "I am bound only by orders of the Fuehrer. Only orders in the original and signed by Adolf Hitler are presented to me personally. Instructions, directives or orders which start 'By command of the Fuehrer,' or 'By order of the Fuehrer' go to my chief of staff who gives me an oral report indicating the most important points. Whether then -- to put it bluntly -- they are signed, 'By command of the Fuehrer: Keitel, Colonel General,' or 'Meier, Stabsgefreiter', makes no difference to me.. But if they constitute a direct command from you, an order, which you want to give me, then save yourself time and paper because both are meaningless
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to me. I am Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, and immediately, and exclusively subordinate to the Fuehrer."
DR. NELTE: Do you know whether Hitler, on the one hand, and the commanders-in-chief of the branches of the Armed Forces, on the other, observed these command functions described by you, or whether in other branches of the Armed Forces the actual procedure was, perhaps, different?
Goering: Whether my two colleagues made it as clear to the Chief of the High Command as I did, I cannot say; but that the two other commanders-in-chief did not permit any interference with their rights and prerogatives is obvious.
DR. NELTE: Does the same apply to Himmler as Chief of the SS?
Goering: The SS was never subordinate to the High Command of the Armed Forces. Within the Armed Forces there was, from the beginning of the war, the Waffen-SS, divided into divisions and corps. That was purely a combat unit. Tactically and strategically it was subordinate to those units of the Army to which it was assigned; in the matter of personnel and development, it was subordinate to Himmler; and he had nothing to do with the OKW. Here it might happen that the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, in questions of armament and organization of the Waffen-SS, transmitted orders or decrees of the Fuehrer.
On this occasion I should like to correct an error which was made during Justice Jackson's examination of Field Marshal Kesselring. Field Marshal Kesselring spoke of the Waffen-SS, as "Garde Truppe." Then he was asked, "Whom did it have to guard?" In applying the word "Garde" we do not employ it as it has been translated, as "guard," meaning sentries, but, as Field Marshal Kesselring intended, a "picked troop"; just as in the Russian military language there is a "Garde Korps," and in the old Imperial Army there was a "Garde Korps," and also formerly in other armies. The Waffen-SS during the first years of the war was not to be regarded as a guard unit, but as a "picked unit" as far as personnel, et cetera, was concerned.
DR. NELTE: I would like to ask you to say something about the official relationship between Adolf Hitler and Field Marshal Keitel; that is to say, what official relations had Adolf Hitler in mind when he established the office of the OKW? I mean, I should like to know what Keitel was supposed to be and what, subsequently, his official functions actually were after 1938?
Goering: I think that is just what I have been explaining.
DR.NELTE: I wanted to ask you, for instance, was he Hitler's adviser?
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Goering: Adviser is a debatable expression. I can let somebody advise me as to whether or not he thinks it will rain during the coming 3 hours, when I am riding; but I can also have someone advise me in very important and decisive questions. That depends on the temperament and the attitude of the person who wants to be advised, and the one who wishes to advise.
With the dynamic personality of the Fuehrer, unsolicited advice was not in order, and one had to be on very good terms with him. That is to say, one had to have great influence, as I had -- and I ask you to understand me correctly -- as I had beyond doubt for many years, in order to come to him unsolicited, not only with advice, but also with suggestions or even persistent contradictions. On the other hand, if one were not on these terms with the Fuehrer, suggestions and advice were curtly brushed aside whenever he had once made his decisions, or if he would not allow the would-be adviser to attain that influence or that influential position. Here I wish to say that the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces, in important and decisive questions certainly was no adviser. In current, everyday affairs, he was an adviser insofar as he may have suggested to the Fuehrer here and there that this or that should be said to the commanders, or that in regard to the movement of troops this or that should be pointed out. After all, advice from the chief of a general staff is still more important than advice from the chief of an organization or a state office. It was this way: In the sphere of important strategic and tactical decisions the chief responsibility lay with the adviser on the General Staff, the commanders-in-chief, the Chief of Staff, and the Fuehrer; in matters of pure strategy and tactics, more with the chief of the Armed Forces Operations Staff; organizational questions or current developments of the day, with the Chief of the High Command. Because the Fuehrer himself, as I said before, held several of the highest offices, he had to limit his signatures. It often took weeks until one could obtain the necessary signature from the Fuehrer, especially during the war when he had a tremendous amount of work, so that the secretaries of the respectives state offices were authorized to sign "by order." This explains why there was hardly any decree or order issued by the Fuehrer, that went out signed "By order of" or "By command of the Fuehrer," which was not signed by Keitel, who was very industrious.
DR. NELTE: Wasn't it a very thankless task that Field Marshal Keitel had, I mean, thankless insofar as he frequently was in the position of having to mediate between the various offices which were subordinated to the Supreme Commander, namely Hitler; to submit their grievances to him, and to exert himself on behalf of the two parties, helping here and restraining there?
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Goering: That again depended very much on the personalities. It goes without saying that if it came to a clash between the Fuehrer and myself, or other determined commanders-in-chief, the Chief of the High Command of the Armed Forces was, I may say, trodden on by both sides. He came between the millstones of stronger personalities; the one protested that in speaking to the Fuehrer he had not exerted enough pressure; the Fuehrer, when Keitel made presentations, turned a deaf ear and said he would settle matters himself.
The task was certainly a very thankless one and a difficult one. I remember that once Field Marshal Keitel approached me and asked me whether I could not arrange for him to be given a frontline command; that he would be satisfied, though a Field Marshal, with one division if he could only get away, because he was getting more kicks than ha'pence. Whether the task was thankless or appreciated was all the same, I answered him; he had to do his duty where the Fuehrer ordered it.
DR. NELTE: Are you aware that in this connection Field Marshal Keitel was reproached with not being able to assert himself, as they say, with the Fnrer?
Goering: This reproach was made against him by quite a number of commanders-in-chief of armies and army groups. It was easy for them to make that reproach because they were out of range of Adolf Hitler, and did not have to submit any proposals themselves. I know that, especially after the collapse, quite a number of generals adopted the point of view that Keitel had been a typical "yes-man." I can only say I personally should be interested if I could see those who today consider themselves "no-men."
DR. NELTE: Was there ever, as far as Hitler was concerned, any possibility of Field Marshal Keitel getting a release from his office?
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal does not think -- at least we should like to ask you -- what relevance does the gossip of the General Staff or any reproaches which may have been raised against him by it have to the charges against Keitel? What has that to do with the charges against Keitel?
DR. NELTE: If one wants to do justice to the Defendant Keitel, that is to say, if one wants to try to establish what role he has played in this terrible tragedy, then that is only possible if one establishes clearly what his function was, and thereby what his legal responsibility was; and then, if one takes the tactical conditions into consideration ...
THE PRESIDENT: I know that perfectly well and we have spent three-quarters of an hour in hearing the Defendant Goering describe what his relationship was and what Keitel's function was. What I
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asked you was what this had to do with the case, the criticisms or gossip of the General Staff about Keitel? I say we have spent threequarters of an hour in hearing what the Defendant Goering says his function was, and what his relationships with the Fuehrer were, and nothing else.
DR. NELTE: I began with the organization of the OKW. I wanted to determine the chain of command between the OKW and the Chief of the OKW, on the one hand, and the branches of the Armed Forces, on the other; and then I have tried to clarify the responsibilities which, as Chief of the OKW, he was to have, according to Hitler's wishes, and how he carried these out.
The gossip, Mr. President, was only, I believe, a subject for a few minutes during the examination of the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: My interruption was made because you asked the defendant a question about somebody being reproached for something or other by the members of the General Staff, and that seems to me to be totally irrelevant.
DR. NELTE: The last question which I put was whether there had been any possibility of Field Marshal Keitel's obtaining a release from his position. May I assume, Mr. President, that this question is relevant?
THE PRESIDENT: You may certainly ask that question as to whether he asked to be relieved of his command. As a matter of fact, Dr. Nelte, that question was asked before, the question at which I interrupted you; and I have the answer written down, that Keitel asked for a command, even if only of a division.
DR. NELTE: That was the question which he put to Reich Marshal Goering. He came to him, Goering, and put the question to him. Now I want to ask whether there existed any possibility of Keitel's obtaining a release from his position from Hitler?
Goering: The question whether a general could ask for and obtain his release from the Fuehrer has played an important role in these proceedings generally. Actually, one has to make a distinction between two phases, peace and war.
In times of peace a general could ask for his release. Unless he was in a prominent and definitely important position, and very well known to the Fuehrer, such a request for release was granted without question. If he was in an especially important position and well known to the Fuehrer, then, using all his persuasive powers, with all the means at his disposal the Fuehrer appealed to him to remain at his post. If, however, a general had asked the Fuehrer for his release and had given as a reason that in principle he was of a different political opinion, either domestic or foreign, then without doubt he was retired, even if not on that very day. But at the same time it would
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have given rise to an extraordinary suspicion on the part of the Fuehrer concerning the person.
During the war, the matter was entirely different. The general, like every soldier, was obliged to do his duty, to obey orders. The Fuehrer had issued the statement that he wanted no requests for release, neither from generals nor any other important state personalities. He himself would decide if a person were to resign or not. He himself could not resign if things became unpleasant now, he considered that desertion.
If, in spite of this, a general submitted a request for release in wartime and this was refused, he certainly could not insist upon it. If he resigned notwithstanding, he violated the law and from that moment was guilty of desertion.
Field Marshal Keitel might have asked the Fuehrer, "Have me transferred to a different office." But the Fuehrer disliked exceedingly to make any changes in his immediate circle; and during the war -- that I know from his own words -- he would not have agreed to a change, particularly with regard to Field Marshal Keitel with whom he was used to working, unless the Field Marshal had become ill and thereby really unable to continue his duties.
DR. NELTE: Were these considerations of which you have just spoken likewise the determining factor in the retirement of Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch?
Goering: The case of Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch's retirement is very well known to me, because the Fuehrer had discussed it at length with me beforehand; for at first he was not decided whether he or someone else should take over the command of the Army. Thus we discussed who should succeed, and so forth. At that moment the Fuehrer was not satisfied with the direction of the Army by the commander-in-chief of the Eastern Front. The commander-in-chief was Brauchitsch; the chief of the Army General Staff was Halder. I suggested to the Fuehrer that he change the chief of the Army General Staff, because I thought he was by far the less capable. The Fuehrer wanted to do that. Then the next morning he had made up his mind and told me that he, the Fuehrer, would himself assume this command to bring about order on the Eastern Front, and that therefore it was more important for him to retire the Commander-in-Chief, although he agreed with me that the Chief of Staff was the weaker one. Then I suggested that both be dismissed.
The Fuehrer called Brauchitsch, talked with him for 2 hours and requested him in a clear way, that is in a way that could not be misunderstood, to resign.
Thus, in this case, a clear decision was made by the Fuehrer to dismiss the Commander-in-Chief of the Army in order to assume
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personally the command of the Army. From that time on, the Fuehrer was not only Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces but also de facto Commander-in-Chief of the Army.
DR. NELTE: The Prosecution has stated and has produced evidence that Field Marshal Keitel was a member of the Reich Defense Council. You spoke of this question yesterday. And I can now state that you said that Field Marshal Keitel was a member of the Reich Defense Council according to the Reich Defense Law, but that this Reich Defense Council was never constituted. You ought to know that because you were, according to that law, chairman of that Reich Defense Council. Is that correct?
Goering: I have stated clearly that I never attended a meeting, or called a meeting.
THE PRESIDENT: You know, do you not, that the Tribunal is directed to hold an expeditious trial and for that reason they are not going to hear cumulative evidence? The defendant has already given us an answer to the question you have just put to him. The Tribunal do not wish to hear the same answer again.
DR. NELTE: I have not seen yesterday's transcript yet, and it is of great importance for the Defendant Keitel...
THE PRESIDENT: You were in court and you can take it from me that the answer was given.
DR. NELTE: The questions and the answers are not always as clear as they may seem on reading the transcript.
[Turning to the witness.] Can you tell me whether Field Marshal Keitel ever was a minister?
Goering: He was not a minister. He had only the assimilated rank of a minister.
DR. NELTE: Was he entitled to participate in Cabinet meetings?
Goering: Not by virtue of his positions; but, concerning questions of interest to him which pertained to his work, he could be invited by the Fuehrer to attend Cabinet meetings.
DR. NELTE: Keitel was a member of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich. Did that make him a minister?
Goering: No, he remained the same. He had only the rank of a minister. Field Marshal Keitel could not attend Cabinet meetings of the Reich Cabinet because he became Chief of the High Command only in 1938, and from that time on no Cabinet meetings took place.
DR. NELTE: The Prosecution have also asserted that there was a triumvirate, consisting of the Plenipotentiary General for Economy,
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the Plenipotentiary General for Administration, and the Chief of the OKW. Can you tell us something about that?
Goering: I know nothing about that.
DR. NELTE: The Prosecution have accused Field Marshal Keitel of having been a political general. Do you know anything about that?
Goering: The generals in the Third Reich had no right whatsoever to participate in any political activity. The only exception in this respect was myself -- and that was due to the peculiar nature of my position, for I was at the same time a soldier, a general, and on the other hand, in politics, a politician. The other generals, as the Fuehrer always very clearly pointed out, had nothing to do with politics.
The general who always most interested himself in politics was the late Field Marshal Von Reichenau. That was the reason the Fuehrer, in spite of his personal sympathies and the strongly positive attitude of Reichenau toward the Nazi Party, refused to make him Commander-in-Chief of the Army after the resignation of Fritsch; the Fuehrer did not want any political generals.
DR. NELTE: But it cannot be denied that in the so-called decrees often the political objective was made known, and that such decrees and orders were signed by Keitel.
Goering: Decrees were principally Fuehrer decrees, because they contained broad directives. The preamble of an important decree very commonly was the political premise which explained why the Fuehrer had decided on this or that military measure. But that has nothing to do with a general being political.
DR. NELTE: The Prosecution have frequently mentioned that the Defendant Keitel was present at state receptions, such as that accorded Hacha, and at other ministerial receptions; from that they have tried to deduce that he was a political general.
Goering: When the Fuehrer, as head of State, received foreign missions, heads of states, or chiefs of governments, it was customary for the chiefs of his most important offices to be present; the Chief of the State Chancellery, frequently of the Reich Chancellery, depending on who came; and the Chief of the High Command, since, in the conferences, questions might come up for which the Fuehrer would need military information of some kind. And then, of course, there was also a certain amount of ceremony involved. Whenever I had important visitors, my military staff, or a representative of the staff, were also with me.
DR. NELTE: May I say then that Field Marshal Keitel was present at, but did not participate in, the conferences?
Goering: If he participated, it was not at any rate of any consequence.
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DR. NELTE: The Prosecution stated that, on the occasion of the visit of President Hacha, the Defendant Keitel exerted pressure on President Hacha by threatening to bomb Prague.
Goering: I said yesterday that I made that statement.
DR. NELTE: I just wanted to establish it.
Now I should like further to question you concerning the terror-fliers. Do you remember that about the middle of June 1944, when negotiations on this question took place among the various departments, you were waiting at the Platterhof with Field Marshal Keitel for Hitler, and discussed this question there?
Goering: I cannot say whether that was at the Platterhof. At any rate, I talked with the Field Marshal many times on the subject.
DR. NELTE: It is important in this connection to establish whether the Defendant Keitel approached you on this question and stated to you that he was against the idea of lynch law, which was advocated by the Party.
Goering: He said that several times. We were in agreement on this.
DR. NELTE: Did the Defendant Keitel at that time also state to you that he was in favor of an official warning or a note to the Allied Governments -- in respect to the well-known Dieppe case -- rather than separate court-martial proceedings without legal evidence?
Goering: I think we had frequent discussions on this point. I advocated that in the case of pure terror-fliers -- that is to say, those who violated the orders of their own superiors -- there should be legal proceedings. Keitel said it would be hard to differentiate, and to carry this out. It would be more practical to send a note to the Allies to the effect that if it were not stopped, measures would have to be taken. The view that this course should be adopted was also advocated in other quarters.
DR. NELTE: Mr. President, when submitting my applications for evidence, I proposed, among other things, a characterization of Field Marshal Keitel given to me by Goering. In the session of 25 February an agreement was reached with the Prosecution that this characterization, which is in the form of an affidavit, might be submitted in the presence of the witness, that is, Goering. Am I now permitted to read you this characterization, of which you have already received the original, or may I refer to it as evidence and merely put it in? I ask this question because a part of the description which is contained in the affidavit has already been given by this witness in this interrogation.
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THE PRESIDENT: What is the document that you are referring to? What is the origin of it? Is it a document drawn up by the Defendant Goering?
DR. NELTE: It is an affidavit signed by Goering, entitled, "Characteristics of Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel." It is referred to in my applications as an affidavit. Much of what is contained in it has already been said by Reich Marshal Goering.
THE PRESIDENT: The Defendant Goering is giving evidence under oath. Therefore, nothing in the shape of an affidavit ought to be put in. If you have any questions to ask him which he has not already answered, about the Defendant Keitel, you may ask them now. It is inappropriate to put in a written, sworn statement when you have a defendant giving evidence under oath.
DR. NELTE: In the session of 25 February 1946 this was approved, for the reason that it would shorten the proceedings if an affidavit were to be read and the witness were then to state: "That is correct." I have a copy here of the transcript of that session, should the Tribunal not recall.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: May it please the Tribunal, I should not care to object to this upon the ground that it is written, because I think there are occasions when the writing out of the testimony of a witness might be more expeditious than their examination.
I object to it on the ground that it does not get us anywhere when you include it. It starts off: "Keitel gives the impression of a military man, an officer of the old school." That is not testimony that gets us anywhere. I admit that statement; he always impressed me that way. His philosophy is dominated in the main by militaristic ideas and concepts.
Let Keitel give us a description of himself, if we must have one. I think an examination of this affidavit will show that it consists of matter that has been covered, or of matter on which another witness never ought to be interrogated. I object to it upon the ground that it has no probative value.
THE PRESIDENT: As you are aware, Dr. Nelte, any decision which the Tribunal made about documents was expressly made provisionally and with the condition that the decision about the relevancy of the document should be made when the document was produced. If the document had been produced before the Tribunal, they would have been able to look at it. They have not seen the document.
The document appears, as Mr. Justice Jackson says, to be not a document which has any evidential value at all, and as the defendant is at present giving evidence under oath, the Tribunal will not look at the document.
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DR. NELTE: Mr. President, as the Tribunal have examined this document and found that it is irrelevant, I accept that decision. But it seems to me that the Tribunal...
THE PRESIDENT: We are not preventing you from asking any questions of the witness which may be relevant, but we do not desire to read another document from the same person who is giving testimony.
DR. NELTE: I shall omit this affidavit.
DR. THOMA: Rosenberg was chief of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the NSDAP until 1940. Did he in this capacity, or otherwise personally, have an influence on Hitler's decisions concerning foreign policy?
Goering: I believe that the Party's Central Department for Foreign Policy after the seizure of power was never once consulted by the Fuehrer on questions of foreign policy. It was established earlier only so that certain questions on foreign policy which arose within the Party could be dealt with centrally. I am not informed in detail about the methods of that office. As far as I know Rosenberg was certainly not consulted on questions of foreign policy after the accession to power.
DR. THOMA: Therefore, you do not know any details as to whether Rosenberg had a certain influence on Hitler in the Norwegian question?
Goering: That I do not know. I stated yesterday what I know concerning the question of Quisling and also of Rosenberg.
DR. THOMA: When you were Prime Minister did Rosenberg become conspicuous to you as advocating the political or police persecution of the Church?
Goering: He could not advocate the persecution of the Church by the police, because he had nothing to do with the police, and I would not have permitted any interference by him.
DR. THOMA: Do you know whether Rosenberg urged you to evacuate the Jews to Lublin, among other places?
Goering: Rosenberg did not speak to me about that.
DR. THOMA: Did Hitler express to you his satisfaction that Rosenberg had not raised any objection to the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union, concluded at that time?
Goering: One cannot exactly say that Hitler expressed his satisfaction. If Rosenberg had raised any objection, Hitler would probably have expressed his dissatisfaction in a very unmistakable manner; but he did state that Rosenberg, too, had apparently understood this political step.
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DR. THOMA: Did Rosenberg, as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, have any influence on the allocation of labor? Was he in a specific position to prevent the employment of the eastern peoples?
Goering: A certain co-operation with regard to the employment program must have existed between the offices of Rosenberg and Sauckel, but certainly not in the sense that Rosenberg could have prohibited the recruiting of eastern workers in contradiction to the Fuehrer's order.
DR. THOMA: It is known to you that Rosenberg repeatedly made representations to the Fuehrer on behalf of a cultural betterment of the eastern European peoples, especially the Ukrainians?
Goering: I was present once when Rosenberg spoke about the varying treatment of the Occupied Eastern Territories, of the peoples living there, and their cultural care. As far as I can recall -- or better said -- I especially recall that the conversation dealt with the establishment or the continuation of a university in Kiev. The Fuehrer agreed with him in his presence, I believe, but when he had gone, the Fuehrer said to me: "That man, too, has his particular worries. We have more important things to take care of now than universities in Kiev." That I do remember.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter; one moment. I want to speak to Dr. Nelte first.
Dr. Nelte, in view of your application with reference to this document which is called "Characteristics of General Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel," the Tribunal have investigated that matter and have referred to Page 4987 of the shorthand notes (Volume VIII, Page 233), which possibly you may have had in mind; but you seem to have failed to notice that this very document, "Characteristics of Keitel," was denied in the order of the Tribunal in Paragraph 2 which contains the decision of the Tribunal after the argument in court, and which is set out on that page of the shorthand notes to which I have referred. Therefore, in the opinion of the Tribunal you have no right to offer that document which the Tribunal have already denied.
DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I have not the entire notes of the session before me. But I know that this affidavit was refused with the explanation that, in case the witness can be called, an affidavit is not to' be submitted, and that is the case here.
Thereupon, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, in quoting this particular document number of my document book, stated the following: "The
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Tribunal may perhaps remember that in the case of the witness Dr. Blaha, my friend, Mr. Dodd, adopted the practice of asking the witness..." And this affidavit belongs to this document.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, I am quite aware of that and I have already referred you to the exact page of the transcript which I have consulted. But defendants' counsel must be perfectly well aware that the Tribunal have given no decision in open court upon these applications for witnesses and documents, and the Tribunal made it perfectly clear that they would afterwards consider the applications that had been made. In each case a written order, which was perfectly clear, has been issued to the defendants' counsel, setting out the witnesses who are allowed, the witnesses who are denied, interrogatories that are allowed, and the interrogatories that are denied, the documents that were allowed and the documents which had been denied. In Paragraph 2 of the order is "The Characteristics of Keitel." Therefore, in the opinion of the Tribunal that document should never have been offered. That is all.
DR. NELTE: I tried to explain why I assumed that, in spite of the refusal of the affidavit, the material of the affidavit could be used in the interrogation of the witness.
[Turning to the witness.] The Defendant Funk joined the Party in the summer of 1931. At that time, as you know, he was the editor-in-chief of the Berliner Borsenzeitung. Is it known to you that in this capacity he enjoyed a particular prestige with thb press and in German economic circles?
Goering: I know that at that time Funk and his economic articles in the B6rsenzeitung were highly thought of and that he had many connections in economic circles.
DR. SAUTER: We have heard that the Defendant Funk is accused of having promoted the coming to power of the Party through his activities, and I would be interested in hearing from you whether Funk, before the coming to power of the Party, played any role whatsoever in the Party; or is it correct to say that after resigning as editor-in-chief of the Berliner Borsenzeitung he brought out a so-called economic-political information service, not for the Party but for all economic circles, including the German People's Party?
Goering: May I request that the question be put perhaps more precisely; this is a whole narration. But I can reply briefly. Before the seizure of power I was acquainted only with Funk's activity as editor of the Borsenzeitung, which I have already mentioned. And as such I heard him repeatedly mentioned in economic circles. Only
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after the seizure did I hear at all of Funk's having been in the Party and of his relationship with it. Thus, his Party activity could not have been of such tremendous significance or he would have come to my attention in some way. So far as his information service is concerned, whether he favored the Democrats or the People's Party, I know nothing about that.
DR.SAUTER: Then after the seizure of power, Funk became Press Chief of the Reich Government. That is known to you?
DR.SAUTER: Then subsequently he became State Secretary in the Reich Propaganda Ministry. That is also known to you?
DR. SAUTER: Now I would be interested to know what his work was as Press Chief of the Reich Government. Had Funk in this work any influence on the decisions of the Reich Cabinet?
Goering: I am well acquainted with the circumstances of Funk's appointment as Reich Press Chief. After the Reich Cabinet had been sworn in, the new Reich Press Chief was to be appointed. We were in a room of the Kaiserhof Hotel, and the Fuehrer did not want anyone from the press organization who was a full Party member, but someone who had had some previous press experience yet had not been so prominent in the Party or bound to it. I do not know exactly who mentioned the name of Funk. But I do know that he then said, "Good!"
Funk was summoned, and I believe that it was a great surprise for him. I had that impression. The Reich Press Chief had at the time, when Hindenburg was still Reich President.
[There was a pause in the proceedings.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may go on now.
DR. SAUTER: I would like to repeat the question because it was not coming through. My question was to this effect: At the time that the Defendant Funk was Press Chief in the Reich Government, that is, after the seizure of power, had he any influence at all on the decisions of the Reich Cabinet?
Goering: The Reich Press Chief had no influence of any sort on the decisions of the Reich Cabinet, for his task was of a different nature.
DR. SAUTER: Then Funk became State Secretary in the Propaganda Ministry. Here I am interested to know from you whether he, while exercising this office, was prominent in any way so far as propaganda or press policies were concerned and what his tasks were at that time in the ministry, according to your knowledge of the conditions?
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Goering: He became State Secretary because the Propaganda Ministry took over as its main function the press and the handling of press matters. Purely propaganda activities were carried on from the beginning by Goebbels himself, who was at the same time Propaganda Chief of the Party. Funk was appointed chiefly to organize the ministry as such, and in particular to handle economic matters of the press, that is, the acquisition of press organs, by purchase, subsidy, et cetera. His specialized knowledge was mainly utilized in this field.
DR. SAUTER: Then, when Dr. Schacht retired from his offices in November 1937, Funk became his successor as Reich Minister for Economics. The appointment took place in November 1937, but he took over the Ministry only in February 1938. Can you tell us why that was so, and who directed the Ministry of Economics in th e interim?
Goering: In discussing the Four Year Plan I explained that after the resignation of Schacht, I personally directed the Ministry from November 1937 to February 1938, as far as I remember, although Funk had already been designated. I did this in order to integrate again into the Ministry of Economics the economic agencies outside the Ministry which were involved in the Four Year Plan. By freeing myself of this burden I was able to administer my directives with the Ministry as such.
DR. SAUTER: A similar situation seems to have existed for the Plenipotentiary General for Economics, Dr. Schacht, if I may again point this out, retired from this office at the same time as from the Ministry of Economics, in November 1937. Funk was appointed his successor, as Plenipotentiary for Economics, however, only in 1938. What is the reason for that?
Goering: He was appointed Plenipotentiary General only in 1938 due to the fact that it was only in 1938 that he actually took over the Ministry of Economics. According to an old regulation, the Plenipotentiary General for Econoniics was identical with the Reich Minister of Economics. But at this time, during the last part of Schacht's term of office, that was just a matter of form, as I have already said; for I explained that from the minute when I actually took over the Four Year Plan, I personally was de facto the Plenipotentiary General for Economics.
I suggested that this office be abolished, but, as is often the case, some things remain purely for reasons of prestige, things which no longer have any real significance. The Delegate for the Four Year Plan was the sole Plenipotentiary General for the entire German economy. Since there could not be two such men, the other existed only on paper.
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DR. SAUTER: The consequence was, if I may draw this conclusion -- and I ask you to reply to this -- that Dr. Funk in his capacity of Plenipotentiary General for Economics as well as President of the Reich Bank was entirely subordinate to your directives as head of the Four Year Plan. Is that correct?
Goering: Naturally, according to the plenary powers that were given me, he had to comply with my economic directives as far as the Ministry of Economics and the Reich Bank were concerned. That was a reason for the change, because I could not follow this procedure with Schacht, but from the beginning, Funk adopted an irreproachable attitude toward me in this respect. The directions or the economic policy which the Reich Minister of Economics and Reich Bank President Funk carried out are fully and entirely my exclusive responsibility.
DR.SAUTER: Perhaps you remember a birthday letter which the Defendant Funk wrote to Hitler about a week before the Polish campaign, I believe on 25 August, in which he thanked the Fuehrer for something or other. In this letter Funk stated that he had prepared and executed certain measureswhich, in the case of a war, would be necessary in the field of civilian economy and finance. You will remember this letter, and it has been read already.
DR. SAUTER: Do you remember when you gave Funk these special duties? The letter is dated, I believe 25 August 1939, if I may mention this again. And when did you give this task and these directions to the Defendant Funk?
Goering: Just as military mobilization, or rather mobilization preparations have to be kept up to date and have to keep pace with the political situation -- whether it be tense or relaxed, or when it changes -- economic matters also, as I mentioned in my concluding remarks yesterday, have to keep pace in the same way.
Thus, I ordered thorough preparations for mobilization in this field also. In the matters of foreign exchange and finance it was the duty of the president of the Reich Bank, as of the Reich Economics Ministry, in economic matters to make all preparations which would put me in the position, in the event of war, of having the utmost security for the German people in the economic field as well. At what time exactly I ordered this I cannot tell you, for it was a general basic direct ive which was always in effect.
DR. SAUTER: What powers did Funk have in the issuing of regulations, et cetera, for the economic administration in the occupied territories?
Goering: I can no longer remember in detail now. The general directive he received from me. How far and to whom he,
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proceeding from this directive, issued departmental instructions in his special field in the occupied territory, I cannot say in detail; but they always resulted from my personal responsibility.
DR. SAUTER: Is it correct that the Four Year Plan in the occupied territories had special plenipotentiaries and departments, to the exclusion of Funk, for carrying out your directives?
Goering: In some areas of the occupied territory this was the case. In other areas I made use of the departments existing there; and if I considered it necessary I gave directives to the Economics Ministry also to have this or that done with regard to the occupied territories.
DR. SAUTER: Then during the war the Ministry of Armaments was created, I believe in the spring of 1940. Is it correct that in the course of the war to an ever increasing degree, the authority of the Reich Ministry of Economics and, in the end, the entire civilian production also were transferred to that ministry, so that finally the Ministry of Economics remained as a commerce ministry only?
Goering: At my suggestion, my urgent suggestion, the Fuehrer created a Ministry of Munitions under the then Minister Todt. This strictly munitions ministry became, in the course of further developments, the Armaments Ministry under Minister Speer, and gradually more and more tasks were transferred to it. As armament was the focus of the whole economy and everything else in economy had to be brought exclusively into this focus, a number of tasks of the Ministry of Economics were transferred to the Ministry of Armaments, in particular the whole of production. It is correct that in the end the Ministry of Economics, by and large, was left a hollow shell retaining only very subordinate departments.
DR. SAUTER: Now, I have a final question regarding the Defendant Funk. It is a question in connection with the matter of the Central Planning Board, that is, concerning the matter of foreign workers. I would be interested to learn whether you know, Witness, that Funk was called to attend the meetings of this Central Planning Board for the first time at the end of November 1943, and never before that time? Is that known to you?
Goering: I know of the Central Planning Board. I never interfered in their internal matters. 1 cannot state exactly when Funk was called to this board. With the recruiting of foreign workers, however, he had nothing to do.
DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, if you will permit me, I have a few brief questions on behalf of the Defendant Schirach.
[Turning to the witness.] Do you know whether the so-called "Flying HJ," a subdivision of the Hitler Youth, ever received flying training?
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Goering: The Flying HJ pursued the sport of gliding exclusively. After this training was completed, these men were taken into the National Socialist Flier Corps, the former Reich Air Sports League, and there continued their training in aircraft flying.
DR. SAUTER: Then another question: Did any conferences take place between you and the Defendant Schirach, especially while he was Reich Youth Leader, which were concerned with the question of military training, or pre-military training of youthin flying? Did such conferences take place or not?
Goering: Whether we discussed these matters occasionally I do not know. There was no need for official conferences, because the situation was entirely clear. The Flying Hitler Youth were interested in gliding, and after they had received preliminary training they were taken into the flying corps.
DR. SAUTER: Do you recall the chart we were shown on the wall representing the organization of the Reich Cabinet? In the lower part, below the remark "other participants in Cabinet meetings," this chart showed the name of the Defendant Schirach along with Bohle, Popitz, Dietrich, and Gerecke. For that reason I would like now to put the following question to you: Was Schirach ever a member of the Reich Cabinet, or what functions or rights did he have in this connection?
Goering: The Reich Cabinet as such consisted solely of the Reich Ministers. We differentiated between two kinds of sessions, Cabinet sessions and Ministerial Council sessions.
The Cabinet sessions were normally attended by the ministers and their state secretaries. In some cases when special subjects were to be discussed, ministerial directors, or higher officials of the ministries concerned, could be called in for a short report. Then there were the so-called highest Reich posts. The Reich Youth Leadership was also one of these. If, therefore, legislation affecting the Reich Youth Leadership was to be discussed by the Cabinet, and Schirach learned about it, he could, by virtue of his position as Reich Youth Leader, request to be called to this meeting. On the same basis the Chief of the Reich Chancellery could order him to attend such a meeting. These representatives never attended the other regular Cabinet sessions. I believe I attended almost all sessions and, as far as I know, Schirach was never present.
In contrast to that were the Ministerial Council sessions to which only Reich ministers were admitted and no one else.
DR. SAUTER: I come now to the period after the fall of Mussolini, when Badoglio took over the government in Italy. Do you recall, Witness, that at that time the Defendant Von Schirach sent a wire with certain suggestions to you?
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DR. SAUTER: What did he suggest and what did he want to accomplish?
DR. SAUTER: Then, a last question on behalf of the Defendant Schirach. Do you recall another letter which the Defendant Schirach wrote, as far as I know, in the spring of 1943? This was a letter occasioned by one from Bormann and, so that you will know just which letter I mean, I shall briefly explain the connection. Bormann at that time dispatched letters, as a formality, to all Gauleiter, according to which the Gauleiter were to report whether they had any ties with foreign countries. Schirach was well aware at the time that this letter was meant solely for him, for the other Gauleiter had no relatives in foreign countries. Schirach wrote a letter which, as far as I know, you read. And thereupon you are supposed to have intervened on behalf of Schirach. Please tell us what kind of letter it was, what was the danger threatening Schirach, and what you and others did to avert this danger?
Goering: I must correct that, and I am fully acquainted with this incident. This letter of Bormann's was not directed to the Gauleiter to establish whether they personally had connections abroad. Bormann sent, by order of the Fuehrer, a letter to all Gauleiter, and it was not a pro forma letter intended solely for Gauleiter Schirach, but was intended for all. They were to check the political leaders within their jurisdiction to establish whether any of their co-workers or any political leader subordinate to them had family ties or connections abroad, especially in enemy countries, whereby the individual affected might, in some circumstances, have a conflict of conscience or might be of questionable reliability. That was a general directive of the Fuehrer, which also applied to the Officer Corps and not solely to the case of Schirach. I was at headquarters when Schirach's letter arrived and Bormann gave it to the Fuehrer. Schirach replied that, before he could take any steps in this matter with regard to his collaborators or subordinates, he needed some clarification by the Fuehrer as far as his own person was concerned. He went on to describe in brief, in his letter, his family ties in the United States of America, on his mother's side, and also mentioned in this letter that his connection with his relatives abroad was a very cordial one and asked whether, under these circumstances, it was still possible for the Fuehrer to retain him in his position as Gauleiter. At that time the Fuehrer had not been kindly disposed to Von Schirach for several months and had repeatedly considered withdrawing him from office. He said on this occasion -- and that
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is how I came into possession of this letter, for he handed it to me: "Schirach seems to plan for his future protection. I have a certain suspicion." Then, in the presence of Bormann, I told the Fuehrer very clearly and definitely that this was entirely unfounded; that I could not understand his attitude toward Schirach, and that Schirach had done the only possible and decent thing when, before dismissing any of his collaborators or subordinates for such reasons, he demanded the clarification of his own position, since his connections were known; and that, in my opinion, this letter had no other purpose.
DR. SAUTER: Then, however, in connection with this letter, a rather strange suggestion seems to have been made by someone for further action against Schirach?
Goering: I know that Bormann and Himmler were opposed to Schirach. Whether they wanted to give this letter an entirely different interpretation in order to induce the Fuehrer to recall Schirach and eliminate him, and how far Himmler's suggestion went, whether protective custody was considered, I do not know. But I heard about these things from other sources later on.
DR. SAUTER: Your Honor, I have no further questions.
FLOTTENRICHTER OTTO KRANZBUHLER (Counsel for Defendant Doenitz): Reich Marshal, when did you become acquainted with Admiral Doenitz?
Goering: I met Admiral Doenitz for the first time in his capacity as Admiral and Commander of U-boats during the war, as far as I remember in 1940, at a conference in my special train, in France, I believe.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Was the conference concerned with military or political questions?
Goering: Purely military questions, namely, as to how far now and in the future the Air Force could provide reconnaissance for U-boats in the Atlantic. The then Admiral Doenitz complained that the reconnaissance was too weak and urgently requested me to strengthen it and, as far as I remember, to have it extended to as far as 30 degrees.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you have further conferences with Admiral Doenitz before his promotion to Commander-in-Chief in 1943?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did you as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force use so-called emergency seaplanes for the rescue of fliers shot down in the Channel?
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Goering: There were several squadrons of emergency seaplanes assigned to the Channel for the rescue of fliers shot down, both German and enemy fliers, as the order clearly proves.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: What did these planes look like?
Goering: These planes were, as far as I remember, marked with the Red Cross.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Were they armed?
Goering: Not at first.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: And how were these emergency planes treated by the British?
Goering: There were some instances where they were not molested, but there were a number of cases in which they were shot down while they were engaged in rescue actions. Since these cases became predominant, I said it would be more expedient not to use the Red Cross markings any longer, to have these planes armed and thus try to rescue our comrades from the sea. We had tremendous losses in these emergency sea squadrons.
FLOTTENRICHIER KRANZBUHLER: Did you have lifebuoys anchored in the Channel for shot-down fliers?
Goering: Quite a number of lifebuoys were anchored, to which ropes were attached and to which fliers who had been shot down could cling. The lifebuoys were also equipped with foodstuff, drinking water, life-saving jackets, lifebelts, and the like. Besides these small lifebuoys there were larger ones in the form of small rafts which the fliers could board. There also food, drink, first-aid kits, blankets, and the like, were to be found.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: How were these lifebuoys treated by the British?
Goering: In different ways. Some remained, others were destroyed.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: I have no further questions.
DR.EXNER: Is it known to you that particularly in 1942 a severe conflict arose between the Fuehrer and Colonel General Jodl?
DR. EXNER: Is it known to you that at that time Jodl was even to be relieved?
Goering: The conflict arose from the Caucasus crisis. The Fuehrer blamed General Jodl for the fact that no concentrated forces had been used to press forward in the direction of Tuapse; but
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that battalions of mountain troops had been marched from the valleys over the mountain chain of the Elbrus, which the Fuehrer thought was senseless. At that time, as far as I remember, Jodl pointed out to him that this matter had been discussed with, and approved by him. The Fuehrer severely criticized the commander who was in charge of this sector. Jodl defended him on those grounds, and this led to extremely strained relations. The Fuehrer mentioned to me that he wanted to relieve Jodl. The tension was so strong that from this moment on, as far as I remember, the Fuehrer withdrew from the Officers Club jointly used by both his Operations Staff and High Command, and even took his meals alone. For quite some time, for several months, he refused to shake hands with this gentleman. This illustration is just to show you how great the tension was at that time.
As successor to Jodl, Paulus was already selected; the Fuehrer had special confidence in him. Just why this change did not materialize, I do not know exactly. I assume that here again, despite all tension, the decisive factor for the Fuehrer was that it was extremely hard for him to get used to new faces, and that he did not like to make any changes in his entourage. He preferred to continue working with men of his entourage whom he did not like rather than change them.
In the course of the years, however, his confidence in Jodl's tactical ability increased again considerably; he had complete confidence in his tactical capacity. The personal relations of both gentlemen were never very close.
DR. EXNER: Is it known to you that, particularly in 1945, withdrawal from the Geneva Convention was being considered? Do you know what attitude Jodl took at that time?
Goering: It may have been February 1945, when Minister Goebbels made this proposal to the Fuehrer. This proposal met with the utmost opposition by all of us. In spite of that the Fuehrer reverted to it again and again, and for days was inclined to withdraw from this Convention. The reason given was, oddly enough, that there were too many deserters in the west and that the troops were inclined to surrender too easily. The Fuehrer was of the opinion that if the troops knew that in captivity they were no longer protected by the Geneva Convention, they would fight harder and would not react to the extensive enemy propaganda telling them how well they would be treated if they stopped fighting. The united efforts, in which, of course, Jodl participated, succeeded in dissuading the Fuehrer with the argument that this action would cause great disturbance among the German people and anxiety for their relatives in captivity.
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DR. EXNER: One more question. Before the Norwegian campaign, Jodl entered in his diary -- it has been mentioned here before: "The Fuehrer is looking for a pretense." But that is incorrect. The original reads: "for a basis." Now, to what extent did the Fuehrer look for a basis at that time?
Goering: I remember this point also very well and therefore, I can state under oath that the use of the word "basis" or "pretense" is entirely out of place here. The case was as follows:
The Fuehrer knew exactly, and we knew as well, and had rather extensive intelligence and reliable reports to the effect that Norway was to be occupied by the Allies, England and France. I mentioned this the other day. In order to prevent this, the Fuehrer wanted to act first. He spoke about the fact, that for us the basis of an Anglo-French attack was clear, but that we had not sufficient proof for the outside world. Hitler explained that he was still trying to get evidence. It would have been better if Jodl had written, not that the Fuehrer was still looking for a basis, but -- according to what the Fuehrer meant -- that the Fuehrer was still looking for conclusive evidence for the outside world. Evidence as such we had. This was one thing. The second was that generally, for such steps the Foreign Office had to execute the necessary preparatory work including the drafting of notes. In the case of Norway, however, the Fuehrer advised the Foreign Office only, I believe, 24 or 48 hours in advance. He did not want to inform it at all at that time because he kept the entire plan extremely secret. I remember that I, as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, was informed of this plan at a very late date. This secrecy was the second reason why he himself was concerned with finding a basis for the attack. These were the two reasons. I would like to state again that it would have been expressed much more clearly if he had said that the Fuehrer was looking for evidence, rather than for a basis.
DR. EXNER: If I understand correctly, you mean evidence showing that the British had the intention of occupying Norway?
Goering: We had the report, but the final written evidence we received only later.
DR. EXNER: The Fuehrer had no doubt about this?
Goering: Not for a moment, none of us had any doubt about it. We received the evidence later.
DR. EGON KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for Defendant Von Papen): Is it correct that Hitler authorized you to conduct all negotiations for the purpose of forming a government under Hitler as it emerged on 30 January 1933, that is, that you alone were commissioned to do this?
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Goering: That is correct. I stated this the other day.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Is it correct that you talked about the formation of a government with Von Papen for the first time in January 1933?
Goering: I talked with Papen for the first time on a Sunday, 8 days prior to the formation of the Government, in Ribbentrop's home.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: If then, Papen had carried on negotiations concerning the formation of a government between 4 January, the day of the meeting with Hitler in the home of Baron Schroder, and 22 January, he would have had to do this through you, and you would have known it.
Goering: That is correct, because the Fuehrer was in Munich at that time and I was the sole authority in Berlin for the formation of this government. Besides, it was not, at all obvious at the beginning of January that within a reasonable length of time we should have to form such a government. Other negotiations were taking place which had nothing to do with Herr Von Papen.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did the formation of a new government in the middle of January become inevitable for Hindenburg because Schleicher had no parliamentary backing and I-As efforts to receive such backing, by negotiations with Gregor Strasser to split the NSDAP were frustrated?
Goering: I believe I have said already in a general way that Schleicher did not receive a parliamentary majority and his attempt at splitting the parties failed for the reason that the Fuehrer immediately eliminated Strasser, who actually had no following among the deputies. Since Schleicher's attempts to get a majority failed, he had to govern without parliament, and that he could do only with extraordinary powers from Hindenburg. Since he had told him previously that he would be able to get a majority, the Reich President refused his demand for extraordinary powers, such as held by the previous Cabinet of Papen, and then decided to do what I stated here the other day.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Is it correct that Von Papen gave up to you the prime ministership of Prussia on 20 April 1933, because in the elections for the Prussian Landtag of March 1933 the NSDAP had, obtained a clear majority in Prussia, and the Landtag therefore intended to elect you prime minister?
Goering: It is not entirely correct, for the Prussian Landtag did not have to elect a prime minister at that time. But the fact that the NSDAP had the absolute majority, induced Von Papen, in connection with my conferences in Munich, to approach the Fuehrer on his own
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initiative, stating that he would agree to turn over to me the Prussian prime ministership.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: One last question: You mentioned yesterday that you as the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force granted many reprieves to people in Belgium and France who were sentenced for their resistance. Is it correct that Von Papen on various occasions conveyed to you wishes of relatives of those who had been sentenced; and that he did this for the reason that, in the interest of a later solidarity of the peoples, he did not wish that in such sentences, even if they were militarily justified, an impersonal attitude should develop, and that you complied with the wishes of Von Papen?
Goering: I merely remember that on occasions -- I remember one case especially, for a prominent name was involved -- I received a request from Herr Von Papen, as to whether the person concerned could not be granted a reprieve. It concerned people sentenced because they had assisted enemy airmen to escape. In this case I complied to a large extent with the request of Herr Von Papen. I am no longer quite conversant with the reasons.
DR. WALTER BALLAS (Counsel for Defendant Seyss-Inquart): I ask the Tribunal to permit me to put a few questions to the witness Goering. They concern the well-known telephone conversations of 11 March 1938, between Berlin and Vienna.
[Turning to the witness.] Is it correct, that Dr. Seyss-Inquart, when he was appointed Austrian State Councillor in June of 1937, visited you in Berlin accompanied by State Secretary Keppler?
Goering: The date, I do not remember; the visit, yes.
DR. BALLAS: Did Dr. Seyss-Inquart, at that time, express the idea that the Austrian National Socialists should be made entirely independent of the Reich Party?
Goering: Wishes of that nature were discussed by him because he wanted as little friction as possible in his work in the cabinet.
DR. BALLAS: At that time he further mentioned -- and I would like you to answer, whether it is correct -- that the National Socialists were to be given permission to be active in Austria, in order to establish as close a relationship between Austria and Germany as possible within the framework of an independent Austria.
Goering: As far as Party matters are concerned, I do not remember exactly what was discussed. The scheme of keeping Austria independent in its collaboration with Germany was repeatedly advocated by Seyss-Inquart, and I have recently outlined it. It seemed to me personally not extensive enough. Just because I knew this attitude of Seyss-Inquart, I must say frankly that I was a little distrustful of his attitude on the 11th and 12th of March, and therefore on the late afternoon that these telephone conversations took
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place, I sent Keppler to Vienna, so that, as regards the annexation, matters would take their proper course. I would rather have sent someone else, because Herr Keppler was too weak for me; but the Fuehrer's desire in this case was that, if anyone was to be sent, it should be Keppler.
DR. BALLAS: Is it correct that Dr. Seyss-Inquart explained his attitude by pointing out the advantage of having German interests represented by two States?
Goering: It is absolutely correct that he said that. I answered that I was of a completely different opinion; that I would prefer having German interests represented by one state, which could act more energetically than two, as the second might not synchronize.
DR. BALLAS: Did you on 11 March 1938, or on the previous day, have another telephonic or other communication with Seyss-Inquart?
Goering: As far as I recall, but I cannot say with certainty, I believe I did, on the previous Sunday. That is, these telephone conversations were on the 11th, a Friday; on the Monday or Tuesday before I questioned him, or one of his men, on the impression they had had in Graz and Styria. I vaguely remember this but I cannot say so under oath.
DR. BALLAS: Document Number 2949-PS submitted by the Prosecution regarding the conversations between Berlin and Vienna in the critical time of March 1938 shows that only at the time of the conversation between Dr. Dietrich and State Secretary Keppler, who was in Vienna then on your behalf, which took place at 2154 hours -- that only on that day was Dr. Seyss-Inquart's agreement to the telegram, which you had dictated in advance, conveyed by Keppler. Had the order to march into Austria already been given at that time?
Goering: I explained this recently. The order to march in had been given and had nothing to do with the telegram as such. It was immaterial whether or not he was in agreement. The responsibility for the marching in rested with the Fuehrer and me.
DR. BALLAS: Then it is correct that the marching in would have occurred even without the telegram?
Goering: Yes. Of course.
DR. BALLAS: What was the purpose then of this telegram? Had it perhaps something to do with foreign policy?
Goering: I have explained that here in greatest detail.
DR. BALLAS: Do you remember, Witness, that in the night from 11 to 12 March, State Secretary Keppler, in the name of Dr. Seyss-Inquart, telephoned Berlin with the request not to carry out the entry into Austria?
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Goering: I remember this very distinctly for I was extremely enraged that such a senseless telegram -- after everything was ready -- should have disturbed the Fuehrer's rest when he was worn out and was to go to Austria the next day. I therefore severely reprimanded the Fuehrer's adjutant and told him that such a telegram should have been given to me. Because of this I remember the telegram distinctly, and its pointlessness.
DR. BALLAS: With the result then, that the Fuehrer, if I have understood you correctly, gave a flat refusal to this telegram?
Goering: He no longer wasable to give a refusal because the entire troop movement was already underway. Such a movement cannot be halted in an hour. Once a troop movement is underway it takes days to halt it. At best we could have halted the movement at a certain point on the march. That was not at all in our interest, as I stated. From this moment on, not Seyss-Inquart, but the Fuehrer and I held the fate of Austria in our hands.
DR. BALLAS: I have only two more questions regarding the Netherlands. Is it correct that, in addition to the order of the Fuehrer which was promulgated on 18 May 1940 naming Dr. Seyss-Inquart Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands, there was an order, not promulgated, which made Seyss-Inquart directly subordinate to you?
Goering: Of this secret order, I know nothing.
THE PRESIDENT: Put your questions more slowly. You can see that the light is flashing.
DR. BALLAS: Had the Four Year Plan its own independent office in the Netherlands?
Goering: I have not yet answered your first question, I understood that you were to put this question once more, because it did not come through.
DR. BALLAS: I understood the Court to mean...
Goering: I shall answer you now on this. Of this secret order, I know nothing. It would have been senseless, for a Reich Commissioner in the occupied territories could not have been subordinate to me separately. But if it is a question of subordination in economic matter, then it is clear that the Reich Commissioner was, of course, under my orders and directions in this field as all other major Reich positions were.
To your second question, I can say that I do not know today in detail whether in the occupied territories, that is also in the Netherlands, there was here and there a direct representative of the Four Year Plan, or whether I used the military commander or the economic department of the Reich Commissioner of the territory concerned. As far as I remember now, without referring to
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documents, in the Netherlands the situation was that the economic counsellor, or the representative of the Reich Commissioner -- Fischbock at that time -- which was logical, executed the economic directions of the Four Year Plan. The Reich Commissioner would never have been in a position not to have carried out orders given by me. He could have protested against them only to me or, in extreme cases, to the Fuehrer, but in itself this did not lead to any suspension.
DR. BALLAS: I have no further questions.
TBE PRESEDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 18 March 1946 at 1000 hours.]