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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Witness, do you remember telling me last night that the only prisoners of war handed over to the police were those guilty of crimes or misdemeanors?
Goering: I did not express myself that way. I said if the police apprehended prisoners of war, those who had committed a crime during the escape, as far as I know, were detained by the police and were not returned to the camp. To what extent the police kept prisoners of war, without returning them to a camp, I was able to gather from interrogations and explanations here.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Would you look at Document D-569? Would you look first at the top left-hand comer, which shows that it is a document published by the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht?
Goering: The document which I have before me has the following heading at the top left-hand corner: "The ReichsFuehrer SS," and the subheading: "Inspector of Concentration Camps."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is a document dated the 22d of November 1941. Have you got it?
Goering: Yes, I have it now.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, look at the left-hand bottom comer, as to distribution. The second person to whom it is distributed is the Air Ministry and Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force on 22 November 1941. That would be you.
Goering: That's correct. I would like to make the following statement in connection with this ...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just for a moment. I would like you to appreciate the document and then make your statement upon it. I shall not stop you. I want you to look at the third sentence in Paragraph 1. This deals with Soviet prisoners of war, you understand. The third sentence says:
"If escaped Soviet prisoners of war are returned to the camp in accordance with this order, they have to be handed over to the nearest post of the Secret State Police, in any case."
And then Paragraph 2 deals with the special position -- if they commit crimes, owing to the fact that:
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"... at present these misdemeanors on the part of Soviet prisoners of war are particularly frequent, due most likely to living conditions still being somewhat unsettled, the following temporary regulations come into force. They may be amended later. If a Soviet prisoner of war commits any other punishable offense then the commandant of the camp must hand the guilty man over to the head of the Security Police."
Do I understand this document to say that a man who escapes will be handed over to the Security Police? You understand this document says a man who escapes will be handed over to the Secret Police, a man who commits a crime, as you mentioned, will be handed over to the Security Police. Wasn't that the condition that obtained from 1941 up to the date we are dealing with in March 1944?
Goering: I would like to read the few preceding paragraphs so that no sentences are separated from their context.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, while the witness is reading the document, might I go over the technical matter of the arrangement of exhibits? When I cross-examined Field Marshal Kesselring I put in three documents, UK-66, which becomes Exhibit GB-274; D-39, which becomes GB-275; TC-91, which becomes GB-276; so this document will become GB-277.
[Turning to the witness.] Have you had an opportunity of reading it, Witness?
Goering: Yes, I have.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then I am right, am I not, that the Soviet prisoners of war who escaped were to be, after their return to the camp, handed over to the Secret State Police. If they committed a crime, they were to be handed over to the Security Police, isn't that right?
Goering: Not exactly correct. I would like to point to the third sentence in the first paragraph. There it says, "If a prisoner-of-war camp is in the vicinity, then the man who is recaptured is to be transported there."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But read the next sentence, "If a Soviet prisoner of war is returned to the camp" -- that is in accordance with this order which you have just read -- "he has to be handed to the nearest service station of the Secret State Police." Your own sentence.
Goering: Yes, but the second paragraph which follows gives an explanation of frequent criminal acts of Soviet prisoners of war, et cetera, committed at that time. You read that yourself; that is also connected with this Paragraph Number 1. But this order was
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given by itself and it was distributed to the Army, the Air Force and the Navy. And I would like to give the explanation of distribution. In this war there were not only hundreds, but thousands of current orders which were issued by superiors to subordinate officers and were transmitted to various departments. That does not mean that each of these thousands of orders was submitted to the Commander-in-Chief; only the most decisive and most important were shown to him. The others went from department to department. Thus it is, that this order from the Chief the High Command was signed by a subordinate department, and not by the Chief of the High Command himself.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: This order would be dealt by your prisoner-of-war department in your ministry, wouldn't it?
Goering: This department, according to the procedure adopted for these orders, received the order, but no other department received it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I think the answer to my question must be "yes." It would be dealt with by the prisoner-of-war department -- your ministry. Isn't that so?
Goering: I would say yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is quicker, you see, if you say "yes" in the beginning; do you understand?
Goering: No; it depends upon whether I personally have read the order or not, and I will then determine as to my responsibility.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, the escape...
THE PRESIDENT: You were not asked about responsibility you were asked whether it would be dealt with by your prisoner-of-war department.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the escape about which am asking you took place on the night of the 24th to the 25th March. I want you to have that date in mind. The decision to murder these young officers must have been taken very quickly because the first murder which actually took place was on the 26th of March. Do you agree with that? It must have been taken quickly?
Goering: I assume that this order, as I was informed later, was given immediately, but it had no connection with this document.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, no; we are finished with that document; we are going into the murder of these young men. The Grossfahndung -- a general hue and cry, I think, would be the British translation -- was also issued at once in order that these me should be arrested; isn't that so?
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Goering: That is correct. Whenever there was an escape, and such a large number of prisoners escaped, automatically in the whole Reich, a hue and cry was raised, that is, all authorities had to be on the lookout to recapture the prisoners.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So that in order to give this order to murder these men, and for the Grossfahndung, there must have been a meeting of Hitler, at any rate with Himmler or Kaltenbrunner, in order that that order would be put into effect; isn't that so?
Goering: That is correct. According to what I heard, Himmler was the first to report this escape to the Fuehrer.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, General Westhoff, who was in Defendant Keitel's Kriegsgefangenenwesen, in his prisoner-of-war set-up, says this, that
"On a date, which I think was the 26th, Keitel said to him, 'This morning Goering reproached me in the presence of Himmler for having let some more prisoners of war escape. It was unheard of.'"
Do you say that General Westhoff is wrong?
Goering: Yes. This is not in accordance with the facts. General Westhoff is referring to a statement of Field Marshal Keitel. This utterance in itself is illogical, for I could not accuse Keitel because he would not draw my attention to it, as the guarding was his responsibility and not mine.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: One of the Defendant Keitel's officers dealing with this matter was a general inspector, General Rottich. I do not know if you know him.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, General Westhoff, as one could understand, is very anxious to assure everyone that his senior officer had nothing to do with it, and he goes on to say this about General Rottich:
"He was completely excluded from it by the fact that these matters were taken out of his hands. Apparently at that conference with the Fuehrer in the morning, that is to say, the conference between Himmler, Field Marshal Keitel, and Goering, which took place in the Fuehrer's presence, the Fuehrer himself always took a hand in these affairs when officers escaped."
You say that is wrong? You were at no such conference?
Goering: I was not present at this conference, neither was General Westhoff; he is giving a purely subjective view, not the facts of the case.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So that we find that -- you think that -- Westhoff is wrong? You see, Westhoff, he was a colonel at this time, I think, and now he finishes as a major general, and he asks that the senior officers be asked about it; he says this: "It should be possible to find out that Himmler made the suggestion to the Fuehrer -- to find that out from Goering who was present at the conference." Again and again Westhoff, who after all is a comparatively junior officer, is saying that the truth about this matter can be discovered from his seniors. You say that it cannot.
Goering: I would not say that. I would like just to say that General Westhoff was never present for even a moment, therefore he cannot say, I know or I saw that Reich Marshal Goering was present. He is assuming it is so, or he may have heard it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What he says is, you know, that Keitel blamed him, as I have read to you; that Keitel went on to say to him at General Von Graevenitz', "Gentlemen, the escapes must stop. We must set an example. We shall take very severe measures. I am only telling you that, that the men who have escaped will be shot; probably the majority of them are dead already." You never heard anything of that?
Goering: I was neither present at the Keitel-Westhoff-Graevenitz conversation nor at the Fuehrer-Himmler conversation. As far as I know General Westhoff will be testifying here. Moreover, Field Marshal Keitel will be able to say whether I was there or not.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well then, I am bound to put this to you. I come on to your own ministry. I suppose in general you take responsibility for the actions of the officers of your ministry from the rank of field officer and above -- colonels and major generals and lieutenant generals?
Goering: If they acted according to my directives and my instructions, yes; if they acted against my directives and instructions, no.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, just let us see what happened in your own ministry. You know that -- do you know, that Colonel Walde made a personal investigation of this matter at the camp? Did you know that?
Goering: The particulars about this investigation, as I explained yesterday, are unknown to me; I know only that investigations did take place.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, on the 27th of March, that was a Monday, did you know that there was a meeting in Berlin about this matter? Just let me tell you who were there before you apply your mind to it, so you will know. Your ministry was represented by Colonel Walde, because Lieutenant General Grosch
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had another meeting, so he ordered his deputy to attend; the Defendant Keitel's organization was represented by Colonel Von Reurmont; the Gestapo was represented by GruppenFuehrer Muller; the Kripo was represented by GruppenFuehrer Nebe. Now, all these officers were of course not on the policy level, but they were high executive officers who had to deal with the actual facts that were carried out, were they not?
Goering: They were not executive officers, insofar as it has not been definitely established that executive powers are within an officer's province. To the first question, whether I knew about this meeting, I would say no. Colonel Walde I do not even know personally.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You mean to say, you are telling the Tribunal, that you were never told about this meeting at any time?
Goering: Yes, I am saying that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I just want you to look at -- let him have Walde's statement -- I want you to look at the statement of one of the officers of your own ministry on this point. This is a statement made by Colonel Ernst Walde, and -- I am sorry I have not another German copy, but I will get one in due course - and in my copy, Witness, it is at the foot of Page 2, the beginning of the paragraph which I want you to look at, is: "As recaptured prisoners were not to be taken back to their camp, according to an order issued several weeks previously.. ." -- can you find it?
Goering: Where is it?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, in the English version it is at the middle of the second page, and I want to ask you about the -- the middle of that paragraph; I do not know if you see a name -- it stands out in my copy -- Major Dr. Huhnemorder; do you see that?
Goering: Yes, I have found it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, it is the sentence after the name Major Dr. Huhnemorder appears: "On this Monday" -- have you got this?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Thank you.
"On this Monday a conference took place at the Reich Security Main Office at Berlin, Albrechtstrasse. As far as I remember this conference had been called by the Chief of the Prisoner-of-War Organization OKW, and I attended as representative of Luftwaffe Inspektion 17, since General Grosch was unable
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to attend in person, for reasons which I cannot remember; the Chief of the Prisoner-of-War Organization, as far as I know, was represented by Colonel Von Reurmont, while the Security Office was represented by GruppenFuehrer Muller and GruppenFuehrer Nebe, the Chief of the Criminal Police at that time. I find it impossible to give a verbatim account of the conversation or to state what was said by every single person. But I remember this much: That we were informed about a conference which had taken place on the previous day, that is Sunday, at the Fuehrer's headquarters in connection with the mass escape from Sagan, in the course of which heated discussions had taken place between the participants. In this connection the names of Himmler, Goering, and Keitel were mentioned. Whether Ribbentrop's name was also mentioned I do not remember. The Fuehrer was not mentioned. At this conference appropriate measures were said to have been discussed, or taken, to check any such mass escapes in the future. The nature of these measures was not disclosed. Later, and more or less in conclusion, GruppenFuehrer Muller declared that requisite orders had already been given and put into effect the previous moming. Regarding the search for escaped prisoners, he could or would not make any statement; he merely declared that according to reports so far received, shootings had taken place at some points for attempted escapes. I think he said that the number was 10 or 15.
"After these remarks by GruppenFuehrer Muller, which unmistakably caused a shattering effect, it became clear to me that a decision had been made by the highest authority, and that therefore any intervention by subordinate departments was impossible and pointless."
Now, this was announced at a meeting of persons that I would call executives, that the shooting had already begun. Are you telling this Tribunal that this matter was made clear to these executives, including one of your own officers, and was never told to you? Are you still saying that?
Goering: I am still saying that. Firstly, that I have never heard anything about this conference. Secondly, that the officer in question is only surmising when he mentions the names, he makes no assertion. And thirdly, I would like to ask you also to mention the beginning of this statement, which begins as follows:
"In this matter of the mass escape of British Air Force officers from Prisoner-of-War Camp Number III, at Sagan on 24 or 25 March 1944, I make the following statement:
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"I have to point out that in view of the absence of any documents, I am forced to reconstruct completely from memory events which happened almost a year and 9 months ago; I therefore ask that this fact and the possibility thus arising of my making a mistake be taken into consideration, and that due allowances be made."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is a perfectly fair point, and the answer to it is that I will show you what this officer reported at the time to his general.
Give the witness General Grosch's statement.
[The document was submitted to the witness.] We are getting reasonably high up. This officer, General Grosch, signs it as a Lieutenant General. Now, would you like, if you can, to help me again -- you were most helpful last time -- to try to find the place? This is a statement by Lieutenant General Grosch.
Goering: I request to have permission to read this document first, to see whether similar modifications apply here also.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Will you read the first sentence? I do not want to take up time to read an account of the general matter. It says: "During my interrogation on 7 December 1945 1 was told to write down all I knew about the Sagan case." And then he wrote it down. But I would like you to look at Number 1, the first page. Do you see at the foot of the page an account of the pyramid in your ministry of administration? Do you see that at the foot of Page 1?
[There was no response.]
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Witness, do you see at the foot of Page 1 the pyramid?
Goering: I see it but -- I am now at the place.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It comes in about the fourth paragraph.
Goering: I can see it, but I should like to read the other first.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then, if you will look about four small paragraphs on, it begins: "A few days after the day of the escape -- I cannot remember the date any more -- Colonel Walde informed me that OKW had called a conference in Berlin."
Do you see that?
I do not mind you running through it quickly, but you may take it that the first two pages are what I said were there, the pyramid of your ministry.
Goering: Yes, I have found it. Which paragraph, please?
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is Part C, the fourth paragraph, the Sagan case. "A few days after the escape...." Do you find that?
Goering: Yes, I have the place.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Thank you.
"A few days after the day of the escape -- I cannot remember the date any more -- Colonel Walde informed me that the OKW had called a conference in Berlin -- I believe on the premises of a high SS and police authority, and that the Inspectorate Number 17 was to send representatives. I should have liked to have gone myself, but had to attend another conference in Berlin, and asked Colonel Walde to attend as representative. After his return Colonel Walde informed me that the spokesman of the OKW had informed them that there was a decision by the Fuehrer to the effect that, on recapture, the escaped British airmen were not to be handed back to the Luftwaffe but were to be shot."
Then missing a paragraph and taking the last line of the next paragraph:
"It is, however, certain that the danger of their being shot was even then clearly recognizable. I asked Colonel Walde whether such a far-reaching decision would be notified in writing to the High Command of the Luftwaffe or the Reich Air Ministry or whether he had been given anything in writing. Colonel Walde gave me to understand that the assembly were told by the spokesman of the OKW, that they would receive nothing in writing, nor was there to be any correspondence on this subject. The circle of those in the know was to be kept as small as possible. I asked Colonel Walde whether the spokesman of the OKW had said anything to the effect that the Reich Marshal or the High Command of the Luftwaffe had been informed about the matter. Colonel Walde assured me that the OKW spokesman had told them that the Reich Marshal was informed."
I will not ask you about that for the moment. I want you to look at what your general did. It says:
"Up to the time of Colonel Walde's report I had not received even so much as a hint anywhere that escaped prisoners of war should be treated in any other way than according to the provisions of the Geneva Convention.
"The same afternoon I rang up my superior officer, the Chief of Air Defense, to ask time for an interview with General der Flieger Forster. This was fixed for the next morning.
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"When I came there to report I found General Forster together with his chief of staff. I asked General Forster for permission to speak to him alone and put the facts before him. In conclusion, I expressed the opinion that if the British airmen were to be shot, (a) there would be a breach of the Geneva Convention, (b) reprisal measures endangering the lives of German airmen held by the British as prisoners of war would have to be expected. I asked General Forster to bring the matter to the notice of the Reich Marshal even at this very late stage, and to stress those two points.
"General Forster was immediately prepared to do this. When it came to the choice of the way in which the matter could be brought to the attention of the Reich Marshal, it was decided to report to State Secretary Field Marshal Milch.
"In my presence General Forster rang up the office of the state secretary and obtained the interview at once. General Forster left the room, and while doing so he instructed me to wait for his return in his study. After some time General Forster came back and told me that he had reported the matter to the state secretary and that Field Marshal Milch had made the necessary notes."
Look at the last paragraph:
"I gave Colonel Walde the order, despite the ban by the OKW, to incorporate a detailed written statement about the conference in our records. So far as I know, this was done."
DR. STAHMER: Counsel Stahmer on behalf of the Defendant Goering.
We have had submitted here a series of affidavits given by witnesses who are in Nuremberg and who, in my opinion, could be brought as witnesses in person. Because of the importance of this matter, not only for Goering but for other defendants, I object to this procedure, on the assumption that the same rules apply for cross-examination as examination in chief. By that I mean that we should not be satisfied with an affidavit and depend on an affidavit, if the Prosecution can, without difficulty, summon the witness in order to have him testify before the Tribunal, so that the Defense may be in position to cross-examine these witnesses.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, what you have said is entirely inaccurate. The rules with reference to cross-examination are not the same as rules with reference to examination in chief, and what is being done at the present moment is that the Defendant Goering is being cross-examined as to his credit. He has said that he knew nothing about this matter, and he has been cross-examined to prove that he has lied when he said that.
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DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, according to my opinion the procedure should be that the witness be brought here in person. The fact remains that, in our estimation, a reference to an affidavit is a less desirable means than the personal testimony of a witness, which affords the Defense the possibility of adducing evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, as I have already pointed out to you, you are quite in error in thinking that the rules for cross-examination are the same as for examination in chief. The witness at the present moment is being cross-examined and is being cross-examined as to credit; that is to say, to prove whether or not he is telling the truth.
As to the calling of this witness -- I think his name is Grosch -- you can apply to call him if you want to do so. That is an entirely different matter.
DR. STAHMER: Yes. I quite understand, Mr. President; but I had to have the possibility of calling the people who are mentioned in this affidavit, in case I consider it necessary.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you can apply to do that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: [Turning to the witness.] You understand, what I am suggesting to you is that here was a matter which was not only known in the OKW, not only known in the Gestapo and the Kripo, but was known to your own director of operations, General Forster, who told General Grosch that he had informed Field Marshal Milch. I am suggesting to you, that it is absolutely impossible and untrue that in these circumstances you knew nothing about it.
Goering: I would like first to establish an entirely different point. In the German interpretation regarding the first objection by Dr. Stahmer, the following came through:
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Tribunal does not want you to discuss legal objections.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you please answer the question that is put to you? You have already been told that you must answer a question directly and make any explanation afterwards, and shorten it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you still say, in view of that evidence, in view of these statements from the officers of your own ministry, that you knew nothing about this?
Goering: Precisely these statements confirm this, and I would like to make a short explanation. You determined a date. You said it was the 27th. But in this statement by Grosch this date is not determined. It says: "A few days after the escape, I do not recall the date, Colonel Walde informed me."
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Secondly, it says here that General Forster, who was not chief of my operational branch but chief of another branch of the ministry, mentioned this matter to State Secretary Field Marshal Milch, without referring to the date. General Field Marshal Milch was here as a witness, but unfortunately, he was never questioned as to whether he gave me this report, and at what time, and whether to me direct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Oh yes, he was, and General Field Marshal Milch took the same line as you, that he knew nothing about it, that Forster had never spoken to him. It was asked by my friend, Mr. Roberts, "Didn't General Forster speak to you about it?"
What I am suggesting is that both you and Field Marshal Milch are saying you knew nothing about it, when you did, and are leaving the responsibility on the shoulders of your junior officers. That is what I am suggesting and I want you to understand it.
Goering: No, I do not wish to push responsibility on to the shoulders of my subordinates, and I want to make it clear --- that is the only thing that is important to me -- that Field Marshal Milch did not say that he reported this matter to me. And, secondly, that the date when Forster told Milch about this is not established. It could have been quite possible that on the date when this actually happened, the Chief of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe might already have conferred with me about it. The important factor is -- and I want to maintain it -- that I was not present at the time when the command was given by the Fuehrer. When I heard about it, I vehemently opposed it. But at the time I heard of it, it was already too late. That a few were shot later, was not yet known at the time, neither was the exact time of the event. Most of them had been shot already.
Thirdly, those who escaped, and were captured in the direct vicinity of the camp by our guards were returned to the camp and were not handed over. Those prisoners who were captured by the police and the Grossfahndung, and returned to the camp before the Fuehrer had issued the decree, were likewise not handed over and shot.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You know that, according to Wielen, who is going to give evidence, the selection of the officers to be shot -- a list as regards the selection of officers to be shot -- a list had been prepared by the camp authorities at the request of Department 5, that is of the RSHA Kripo Department, in which those officers were regarded as disturbing elements -- plotters and escape leaders, having been specifically mentioned. The names were selected either by the commandant or by one of these officers. Thereupon, the shooting of the officers mentioned by name was
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accordingly ordered by Department 4 of the RSHA and corresponding instructions sent to the Staatspolizei.
Are you telling the Tribunal you did not know that your own officers were selecting the men to be shot on the ground that they were plotters and escape leaders? In any other service in the world, attempt to escape is regarded as a duty of an officer, isn't it, when he is a prisoner of war? Isn't that so?
Goering: That is correct, and I have emphasized that. To your first question, I would like to put on record very definitely that we are dealing with the utterances of a man who will be testifying as a witness. As to whether he actually asked for a list and saw a list, his utterance is illogical. There was no selection made for shooting. Those who were captured by the police were shot without exception, and those who had not been returned to the camp. No officers were selected as representing disturbing elements, but those who had returned to the camp were not shot. Those who were recaptured by the police outside the camp were shot without exception, on the orders, of the Fuehrer. Therefore, the utterance is entirely illogical and not in accordance with the facts.
I know nothing about such a list being asked for, nor about the carrying out of such a wish. I personally pointed out to the Fuehrer repeatedly that it is the duty of these officers to escape, and that on their return after the war, they would have to give an account of such attempts, which as far as I can remember should be repeated three times, according to English rules.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You remember that the Government of Germany sent an official note about this matter, saying that they had been shot while resisting arrest while trying to escape? Do you remember that?
Goering: I heard for the first time that there had been a note to this effect when the reply to it was sent. I had no part in the drawing up of the note. I know of its contents only through the reply, for I happened to be there when the reply came in.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not at the moment on the point that everyone now admits that the note was a complete and utter lie. I am on the point of the seriousness of this matter. Do you know that General Westhoff says in his statement: "Then, when we read this note to England in the newspaper, we were all absolutely taken aback. We all clutched our heads, mad." According to Mr. Wielen, who will be here, it was a contributory cause for General Nebe of the Kripo, for nights on end, not going to bed but passing the night on his office settee. You will agree, won't you, Witness, that this was a serious and difficult matter? All these officers that had to deal with it found it a serious and difficult matter, isnt that so?
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Goering: Not only these officers found this matter serious and difficult, but I myself considered it the most serious incident of the whole war and expressed myself unequivocally and clearly on this point, and later, when I learned the contents of the note, I knew that this note was not in accordance with the truth. I gave expression to my indignation, inasmuch as I immediately told my Quartermaster General to direct a letter to the OKW to the effect that we wished to give up the camps for prisoners of war, because under these circumstances, we no longer wished to have anything to do with them.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And according to your evidence in chief, what you did was to turn to Himmler, asking him if he had received the order, and then you said,
"I told him what excitement would result in my branch, because we could not understand such measures; and if he had received such orders, he would please inform me before carrying them through so that I would have the possibility to prevent such orders from being carried out, if possible" -- and then you said that you -- "talked to the Fuehrer and that he confirmed that he had given the order and told me why."
You, according to that evidence, still had enough influence in Germany, in your opinion, to stop even Himmler issuing such orders or carrying -- I am sorry, I said "issuing" -- carrying out such orders.
Goering: You are giving my statement a completely wrong meaning. I told Himmler plainly that it was his duty to telephone me before the execution of this matter, to give me the possibility, even at this period of my much diminished influence, to prevent the Fuehrer from carrying out this decree. I did not mean to say that I would have been completely successful, but it was a matter of course that I, as Chief of the Luftwaffe, should make it clear to Himmler that it was his duty to telephone me first of all, because it was I who was most concerned with this matter. I told the Fuehrer in very clear terms just how I felt, and I saw from his answers that, even if I had known of it before, I could not have prevented this decree, and we must keep in mind that two different methods of procedure are in question. The order was not given to the Luftwaffe, that these people were to be shot by the Luftwaffe personnel, but to the police. If the Fuehrer had said to me, "I will persist in this decree which I gave the police," I would not have been able to order the police not to carry through the Fuehrer's decree. Only if this decree had had to be carried out by my men, would it have been possible for me perhaps to circumvent the decree, and I would like to emphasize this point strongly.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, that may be your view that you could not have got anywhere with the Fuehrer; but I
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suggested to you that when all these officers that I mentioned knew about it, you knew about it, and that you did nothing to prevent these men from being shot, but co-operated in this foul series of murders.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, are you passing from that now?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: You are putting in evidence these two documents?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE. I am putting them in. I put them to the witness. D-731 will be GB-278, and D-730 will be GB-279.
THE PRESIDENT: And should you not refer perhaps to the second paragraph in 731?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: It shows that apparently, in the early hours of the 25th of March the matter was communicated to the office of the adjutant of the Reich Marshal -- the second paragraph beginning with "the escape."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes.
"The escape of about 30 to 40 prisoners, the exact number having to be ascertained by roll call, was reported by telephone from the Sagan Camp to the inspectorate in the early hours of the 25th of March, Saturday morning, and duly passed on in the same way by this office to the higher authorities which were to be informed in case of mass escapes. These were: 1.) the Office of the Adjutant of the Reich Marshal; 2.) the OKW, for directors of these prisoners of war; 3.) the Inspector General of Prisoners of War; and 4.) Director of Operations, Air Ministry."
I am much obliged. You must remember that the witness did not admit yesterday afternoon that the news of the escape had been given to the office of his adjutant.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am much obliged to you.
Goering: The escape was communicated to us every time relatively quickly. I should now like to give my view of the statement made by you before that -- it concerns assertions made by you -- but I still maintain that I did not hear about this incident until after it had occurred.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I have put my questions on the incident. I pass to another point. I want to ask you two or three questions about the evidence that you gave 2 days ago, dealing with the evidence of your own witness, Herr Dahlerus,
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who made his first visit to London on the 25th of August 1939, after an interview and a telephone conversation with you on the 24th. I just want you to fix the date because it is sometimes difficult to remember what these dates are. At that time, you were anxious that he should persuade the British Government to arrange a meeting of plenipotentiaries who would deal with the questions of Danzig and the Corridor. Is that right?
Goering: That is correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You knew perfectly well, did you not, that as far as the Fuehrer was concerned, Danzig and the Corridor was not the real matter that was operating in his mind at all. Will you let me remind you what he said on the 23rd of May:
"Danzig is not the subject of the dispute at all; it is a question of expanding our living space in the East, of securing our food supplies, and of the settlement of the Baltic problem."
You knew that, didn't you?
Goering: I knew that he had said these things at that time, but I have already pointed out repeatedly that such discussions can only be assessed, if considered in conjunction with the whole political situation. At the moment of these negotiations with England, we were solely concerned with Danzig and the Corridor.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, you say that despite what Hitler said on the 23rd of May, that at that moment Hitler was only concerned with Danzig and the Corridor? Do you say that seriously?
Goering: I maintain in all seriousness that, in the situation as it was at that time, this was really the case. Otherwise it would be impossible to understand any of Hitler's acts. You might just as well take his book Mein Kampf as a basis and explain all his acts by it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am interested in the last week of August at the moment I want you now just to remember two points on what you said, with regard to Dahlerus, during the morning of the 25th. Do you remember, you had a telephone conversation with him at 11:30 on the 24th? On the 25th, were you sufficiently in Hitler's confidence to know that he was going to proffer the note verbale to Sir Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador, on the 25th? Did yqu know that?
Goering: Yes, of course.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: At that time, when you were sending Dahlerus, and the note verbale was being given to the British Ambassador, the arrangement and order was that you were going to attack Poland on the morning of the 26th, wasn't it?
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Goering: There seems to be a disturbance on the line.
THE PRESIDENT: I think there is some mechanical difficulty. Perhaps it would be a good thing to adjourn for a few minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You told me, Witness, that the arangements to attack Poland on the morning of the 26th were changed on the evening of the 25th. Before I come to that, I will ask you one or two questions about that.
Goering: No, I did not say that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Wait a minute. I am sorry, but that is what I understood you to say.
Goering: No. I said explicitly that already on the 25th the attack for the morning of the 26th was cancelled. It is a technical and military impossibility to cancel a large-scale attack of a whole army the evening before an attack. The shortest time required would be from 24 hours to 48 hours.
I expressly mentioned that on the 25th the situation was clear.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: At the time, you had asked Dahlerus to go to England on the 24th. It was still the plan that the attack would take place on the 26th. Was not your object in sending Dahlerus to have the British Government discussing their next move when the attack took place, in order to make it more difficult for the British Government?
Goering: No, I want to emphasize that -- and perhaps I should have the documents for the date -- that when I sent Dahlerus at that time, and when at that moment Sir Nevile had been handed a note on behalf of the Fuehrer, the attack for the 26th had been cancelled and postponed.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Let me remind you of what you said yourself on the 29th of August:
"On the day when England gave her official guarantee to Poland, it was 5:30 on 25 August, the Fuehrer called me on the telephone and told me he had stopped the planned invasion of Poland. I asked him then whether it was just temporary or for good. He said, 'No, I will have to see whether we can eliminate British intervention.' I asked him, 'Do you think that it will be definite within 4 or 5 days?'"
Isn't that right?
Goering: That was what I said, but I did not say that this occurred on the 25th, but when the Fuehrer was clear about the guarantee that was given. I emphasize that once more ...
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was what I was quoting to you. When the official guarantee was given, the treaty was signed at 5:30 on the evening of the 25th of August. I am putting your own words to you. It was after that that the Fuehrer telephoned you and told you the invasion was off. Do you wish to withdraw your statement that it was after the official guarantee was given to Poland?
Goering: I emphasized once more -- after we knew that the guarantee would be given. It must be clear to you too that if the signing took place at 5:30 p.m. on the 25th, the Fuehrer could know about it only shortly afterwards. Not till then would the Fuehrer have called a conference, and in that case an attack for the 26th could have been called off only during the night of the 25th to 26th. Every military expert must know that that is an absolute impossibility. I meant to say in my statement, "... when it was clear to the Fuehrer that a guarantee was given."
I emphasize once more that I have not seen this record nor sworn to it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I admit that I do not know anything about that. I do not know whether you were still in Hitler's confidence at the time or not. But, wasn't it a fact that Signor Attolico came on the 25th and told Hitler that the Italian Army and Air Force were not ready for a campaign? Were you told that?
Goering: Yes, of course I was told that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was why the orders for the attack were cancelled on the 26th, wasn't it?
Goering: No, that is absolutely wrong, because when the question of Italian assistance came up, the fact was that its value was doubted in many quarters. During the tension of the preceding days it became evident that the demands made by the Italians which could not be fulfilled by us were formulated order to keep Italy out of the war. The Fuehrer was convinced that England had only given such a clear-cut guarantee to Poland, because in the meantime the British Government had learned that it was not the intention of Italy to come into the war as a partner of the Axis.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I will put to you your own account of what the Fuehrer said. "I will have to see whether we can eliminate British intervention." Isn't it correct that you tried, through Mr. Dahlerus, in every way, to try and eliminate British intervention?
Goering: I have never denied that. It was my whole endeavor to avoid war with England. If it had been possible to avoid this
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war by coming to an agreement with Poland, then that would have been accepted. If the war with England could have been avoided in spite of a war with Poland, then that was my task also. This is clear from the fact that, even after the Polish campaign had started on 1 September 1939 I still made every attempt to avoid a war with England and to keep the war from spreading.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: In other words, what you were trying to do from the 25th onwards was to get England to try and agree and help the Reich in the return of Danzig and the Polish Corridor, wasn't that right?
Goering: That, of course, is quite clearly expressed.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you remember the interview with Mr. Dahlerus. It was the interview in which you colored the portions on the map. I only want you to have it in your mind. If I say 11:30 on the 29th of August it will not mean anything to you. I want you to see it so that I can ask you one or two questions about it.
You remember, at that time, that you were upset at the interview which had taken place when Hitler handed Henderson the German reply, ancl there had been the remark about the ultimatum. Do you remember that?
Goering: Yes, of course I was upset, since that had suddenly completely disturbed my whole position.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And is this correct? Mr. Dahlerus says on Page 72 of his book that you came out with a tirade, strong words against the Poles. Do you remember that he quotes you as saying: "Wir kennen die Polen"? Do you remember that?
Goering: Yes, of course. You must consider the situation at the time. I had heard about the excesses and I would not go and tell Dahlerus, a neutral, that I considered Germany wholly guilty and the Poles completely innocent. It is correct that I did say that, but it arose out of a situation.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Are you still an admirer of Bismarck?
Goering: I admire Bismarck absolutely, but I have never said that I am a Bismarck.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, I am not suggesting that. I thought you might have in mind his remark about the Poles. Do you remember: "Haut doch die Polen, dass sie am Leben verzagen"? (Let us strike the Poles until they lose the courage to live.) Is that what was in your mind at the time?
Goering: No, I had no such thoughts, still less because for years I had genuinely sought friendship with Poland.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You have been quite frank about your general intention, and I am not going to take time on it, but I just want to put one or two subsidiary points.
You remember the passage that I read from Mr. Dahlerus' book about the airplane and the sabotage, that he said that you had said to him, mentioning the Defendant Ribbentrop -- you remember that passage? You have given your explanation and I just want to ...
Goering: Yes, yes, I gave that explanation and I made it quite clear.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, your explanation was that Herr Dahlerus was confusing your concern that his airplane should not be shot down in making his journey. That is putting your explanation fairly, isn't it? You are saying that Herr Dahlerus was confused. What you were saying was your concern that his airplane should not be shot down. Isn't that right? That is as I understood it.
Goering: No, I think I have expressed it very clearly. Would you like me to give it again? I will repeat it.
Dahlerus, who stood in the witness box here, used the words, "I must correct myself," when he was asked about Ribbentrop. I am quoting Dahlerus. He said, "I connected it with Ribbentrop, since shortly beforehand the name was mentioned in some other connection."
Thereupon I explained I was really anxious lest something might happen. I explained that very clearly and I need not repeat it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The question I put to you, Witness -- I think we are agreed on it -- was that your anxiety was about his plane, and the point that I want to make clear to you now is that that incident did not occur on this day when Dahlerus was preparing for his third visit, but occurred when he was in England and rang you up during his second visit. He rang you up on the evening of the 27th of August, and on Page 59 of his book he says:
"Before leaving the Foreign Office, I telephoned Goering to confirm that I was leaving for Berlin byplane at 7:00 p.m. He seemed to think this was rather late. It would be dark and he was worried lest my plane be shot at by the British, or over German territory. He asked me to hold the line, and a minute later came back and gave me a concise description of the route the plane must follow over Germany to avoid being shot at. He also assured me that the anti-aircraft stations along our course would be informed that we were coming."
What I am suggesting to you is that your explanation is wrong, that you have confused it with this earlier incident of which Mr. Dahlerus speaks, and that Mr. Dahlerus is perfectly accurate when he speaks about the second incident which occurred 2 days later.
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Goering: That is not at all contradictory. In regard to the first flight the position was that it was already dark, which means that the danger was considerably greater; and I again point out that, in connection with the second journey, preparedness for war in all countries had reached such a degree that flying was hazardous.
I emphasize once more that I had to correct Dahlerus when he was questioned by my counsel, that I did not tell him that Ribbentrop had planned an attack against him. I emphasize for the last time that Von Ribbentrop knew nothing about my negotiations with Dahlerus.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you really say that? Do you remember that on the 29th of August -- first of all, on the 28th of August, at 10:30 p.m., when Henderson and Hitler had an interview. That was before the difficulties arose. It was the interview when Hitler was considering direct negotiations with the Poles. He said, "We must summon Field Marshal Goering to discuss it with him." That is in our Blue Book, and as far as I know it has never been denied. You were summoned to the interview that Hitler and Ribbentrop were having with Sir Nevile Henderson.
Goering: No, I must interrupt you. The Fuehrer said, "We will have to fetch him," but I was not fetched and that is not said in the Blue Book either.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But according to Mr. Dahlerus, he says:
"During our conversation Goering described how he had been summoned to Hitler immediately after Henderson's departure, how Hitler, Goering, and Ribbentrop had discussed the conference that had taken place with Henderson, and how satisfied all three of them were with the result. In this connection Hitler had turned to Ribbentrop and said mockingly, 'Do you still believe that Dahlerus is a British agent?' Somewhat acidly Ribbentrop replied that perhaps it was not the case."
You say that is not true, either?
Goering: Herr Dahlerus is describing the events without having been present. From that description, too, it becomes clear that I arrived after Henderson had already left. The description is a little colorful. Ribbentrop had no idea what I was negotiating with Dahlerus about, and the Fuehrer did not inform him about these negotiations either. He merely knew that I used Dahlerus as a negotiator, and he was of course, opposed to him, because he, as Foreign Minister, was against any other channels being used.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was exactly the point, you know, that I put to you about 7 minutes ago, that Ribbentrop did
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know you were using Dahlerus, with which you disagreed. You now agree that he knew you were using Dahlerus, so I will leave it.
Goering: No, I beg your pardon. I still say -- please do not distort my words -- that Ribbentrop did not know what I was negotiating with Dahlerus about, and that he had not even heard of it through the Fuehrer.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You said "distort my words." I especially did not say to you that he knew what you were negotiating about. I said to you that he knew you were using Dahlerus, and that, you agree, is right. I limited it to that, didn't I? And that is right, isn't it?
Goering: He did not know either that I was carrying on negotiations with England through Dahlerus at that time. He did not know about the flights either.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, I want you just to help me on one or two other matters.
You remember that in January of 1937, and in October of 1937, the German Government gave the strongest assurances as to the inviolability and neutrality of Belgium and Holland. Do you remember that?
Goering: I do not remember it in detail, but it has been mentioned here in Court.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And do you remember that on the 25th of August 1938 the Air Staff put in a memorandum on the assumption that France and Great Britain -- oh no, that France would declare war during the case of Fall Grun, and that Great Britain would come in? Do you remember that? It is Document Number 375-PS, Exhibit Number USA-84. I want you to have it generally in mind because I am going to put a passage to you.
Goering: May I ask whether the signature is Wolter? W-o-1-t-e-r?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I shall let you know. Yes, that is right.
Goering: In that case I remember the document exactly. It has been given to me here.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is right. I only want to recall your recollection to one sentence:
"Belgium and the Netherlands in German hands represent an extraordinary advantage in the prosecution of the air war against Great Britain as well as against France. Therefore, it is held to be essential to obtain the opinion of the Army as to
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the conditions under which an occupation of this area could be carried out, and how long it would take."
Do you remember that? It is pretty obvious air strategy, but you remember it?
Goering: That is absolutely correct. That was the principal work of a captain of the General Staff, 5th Department, who, naturally, when making his report, must propound the best arguments.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-YYFE: Then, after that, on the 28th of April 1939, you remember that Hitler said that he had given binding declarations to a number of states, and this applied to Holland and Belgium? I think that was the time when he made a speech in the Reichstag and mentioned a number of small states as well as that; but he said it included Holland and Belgium.
Goering: Yes. It has of course been mentioned repeatedly here.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. Now, do you remember that on the 23rd of May, in the document that I have already put to you, at the meeting at the Reich Chancellery, Hitler said this: "The Dutch and Belgian air bases must be occupied by armed force. Declarations of neutrality must be ignored."
Do you remember his saying that?
Goering: It says so in the document, yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And, on the 22d of August 1939, in the speech to the commanders-in-chief, which is Document Number 798-PS, Exhibit Number USA-29, he said:
"Another possibility is the violation of Dutch, Belgian, and Swiss neutrality. I have no doubt that all these states, as well as Scandinavia, will defend their neutrality by all available means. England and France will not violate the neutrality of these countries."
Do you remember his saying that?
Goering: You can see for yourself from those words how often the Fuehrer changed his ideas, so that even the plan he had in May was not at all final.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: They are perfectly consistent in my estimation. He is saying that they must be occupied; that declarations of neutrality must be ignored, and he is emphasizing that by saying that England and France will not violate the neutrality, so it is perfectly easy for Germany to do it.
Goering: No, what he means to say is that we on our part would not find it necessary to do so either. I merely want to point out that political situations always turn out to be different, and that
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at these interrogations and this Trial we must regard the political background of the world as a whole.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was on the 22d. You have agreed as to what was said. Immediately after that, on the 26th, 4 days later, Hitler gave another assurance. Do you remember that, just before the war he gave another assurance?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And on the 6th of October, 1939, he gave a further assurance, and on the 7th of October, the day after that last assurance, the order, which is Document Number 2329-PS, Exhibit GB-105, was issued.
"Army Group B has to make all preparations according to special orders for immediate invasion of Dutch and Belgian territory, if the political situation so demands."
And on the 9th of October, there is a directive from Hitler:
"Preparations should be made for offensive action on the northern flank of the Western Front crossing the area of Luxembourg, Belgium, and Holland. This attack must be carried out as soon and as forcibly as possible."
Isn't it quite clear from that, that all along you knew, as Hitler stated on the 22d of August, that England, and France would not violate the neutrality of the low countries, and you were prepared to violate them whenever it suited your strategical and tactical interests? Isn't that quite clear?
Goering: Not entirely. Only if the political situation made it necessary. And in the meantime the British air penetration of the neutrality of Holland and Belgium had taken place, up to October.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You say not entirely. That is as near agreement with me as you are probably prepared to go.
Now I want to ask you quite shortly again about Yugoslavia. You remember that you have told us in your evidence in chief that Germany before the war, before the beginning of the war, had the very best relations with the Yugoslav people, and that you yourself had contributed to it. I am putting it quite shortly.
Goering: That is correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And that was emphasized, if you will remember, on the first of June 1939 by a speech of Hitler at a dinner with Prince Paul.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, 80 days after that, on the 12th of August 1939, the Defendant Ribbentrop, Hitler, and Ciano
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had a meeting, and just let me recall to you what Hitler said at that meeting to Count Ciano.
Goering: I beg your pardon, what is the number of the document?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am sorry, it was my fault -- Document Number TC-77, Exhibit Number GB-48. It is the memorandum of a conversation between Hitler, Ribbentrop, and Ciano at Obersalzberg on the 12th of August.
Goering: I merely wanted to know if this was from Ciano's diary? That is important for me.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Oh no, not from Ciano's diary, it is a memorandum. This is the official report.
"Generally speaking, the best thing to happen would be for uncertain neutrals to be liquidated one after the other. This process could be carried out more easily if on every occasion one partner of the Axis covered the other while it was dealing with an uncertain neutral. Italy might well regard Yugoslavia as a neutral of this kind."
That was rather inconsistent with your statement as to the good intentions towards Yugoslavia, and the Fuehrer's statement to Prince Paul, wasn't it?
Goering: I should like to read that through carefully once more and see in what connection that statement was made. As it is presented now it certainly would not fit in with that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You know I do not want to stop you unnecessarily in any way, but that document has been read at least twice during the Trial and any further matter perhaps you will consider. But you will agree, unless I have wrenched it out of its context -- and I hope I have not -- that is quite inconsistent with friendly intentions, is it not?
Goering: As I said, it does not fit in with that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, it was 56 days after that, on the 6th of October, Hitler gave an assurance to Yugoslavia and he said:
"Immediately after the completion of the Anschluss I informed Yugoslavia that from now on the frontier with this country would also be an unalterable one and that we only desired to live in peace and friendship with her."
And then again in March 1941, on the entry of the Tripartite Pact, the German Government announced that it confirmed its determination to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia at all times.
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Now, after that of course, as I have always said when you dealt with this, there was the Simovic Putsch in Yugoslavia. But I think you said quite frankly in your evidence, that Hitler and yourself never took the trouble, or thought of taking the trouble, of inquiring whether the Simovic Government would preserve its neutrality or not. That is right, is it not?
Goering: I did not say that. We were convinced that they were using these declarations to mislead. We knew that this Putsch was first of all directed from Moscow, and, as we learned later, that it had been financially supported to a considerable extent by Britain. From that we recognized the hostile intentions as shown by the mobilization of the Yugoslav Army, which made the matter quite clear, and we did not want to be deceived by the Simovic declarations.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I would like to say one word about the mobilization in a moment. But on the 27th of March, that was 2 days after the signing of the pact I have just referred to, there was a conference in Berlin of Hitler with the German High Command, at which you were present, and do you remember the Fuehrer saying:
"The Fuehrer is determined, without waiting for possible loyalty declarations of the new government, to make all preparations to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a national unit. No diplomatic inquiries will be made nor ultimatums presented. Assurances of the Yugoslav Government, which cannot be trusted anyhow in the future, will be taken note of. The attack will start as soon as means and troops suitable for it are ready. Politically it is especially important that the blow against Yugoslavia is carried out with unmerciful harshness and that the military destruction is effected in a lightninglike undertaking. The plan is on the assumption that we speed up schedules of all preparations and use such strong forces that the Yugoslav collapse will take place within the shortest possible time."
It was not a very friendly intention toward Yugoslavia to have no diplomatic negotiations, not give them the chance of assurance or coming to terms with you, and to strike with unmerciful harshness, was it?
Goering: I have just said that after the Simovic Putsch the situation was completely clear to us, and declarations of neutrality on the part of Yugoslavia could be regarded as only camouflage and deception in order to gain time. After the Putsch, Yugoslavia definitely formed part of the enemy front, and it was therefore for us also to carry out deceptive moves and attack as quickly as possible, since our forces at that time were relatively weak.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You realized, of course, that you said that General Simovic was inspired by Moscow. I am not going to argue that point with you at all. But I do point out to you that this was 3 months before you were at war with the Soviet Union. You realize that, do you?
Goering: Yes, that is correct. It was precisely the Simovic Putsch which removed the Fuehrer's last doubts that Russia's attitude towards Germany had become hostile. This Putsch was the very reason which caused him to decide to take quickest possible counter measures against this danger. Secondly ...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just one moment. Do you know that it appears in the documents quite clearly, that the attack on the Soviet Union was postponed for 6 weeks because of this trouble in the Balkans? That is quite inconsistent with what you are saying now, isn't it?
Goering: No. If you will read again my statement on that point, you will see I said that a number of moves on the part of Russia caused the Fuehrer to order preparations for invasion, but that he still withheld the final decision on invasion, and that after the Simovic Putsch this decision was made. From the strategic situation it follows that the military execution of this political decision was delayed by the Yugoslavian campaign.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I want to ask you one other point about Yugoslavia.
You remember your evidence that the attack on Belgrade was due to the fact that the war office and a number of other important military organizations were located there. I am trying to summarize it, but that was the effect of your evidence, was it not?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, do you remember how it was put in Hitler's order which I have just been reading to you:
"The main task of the Air Force is to start as early as possible with the destruction of the Yugoslavian Air Force ground installations..."
Now, I ask you to note the next word "and":
"...and to destroy the capital of Belgrade in attacks by waves. Besides the Air Force has to support the Army."
I put it to you that that order makes it clear that the attack on Belgrade was just another of your exhibitions of terror attacks in order to attempt to subdue a population that would have difficulty in resisting them.
Goering: No, that is not correct. The population of Belgrade did defend itself. Belgrade was far more a center of military
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installations than the capital of any other country; and I would like to draw your attention to this.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, I am going to pass from that matter to one or two points on which you gave evidence -- I think at the instance of counsel for the organizations. You remember you gave evidence in answer to Dr. Babel about the Waffen-SS? Do you remember that -- a few days ago?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I would just like you to look at a document which has not got a number, but it is the Fuehrer's ideas about the Waffen-SS, and to see if you agree. It is Document Number D-665, and it will be Exhibit Number GB-280. It is a document from the High Command of the Army, General Staff of the Army -- statements of the Fuehrer regarding the future state military police -- and the covering letter of the document says, "After the Fuehrer's proposals for the Waffen-SS had been passed on, doubts arose as to whether it was intended that they should be given wider distribution." If you will pass to the documents, perhaps you will follow it while I read it. I do not think it has been introduced before:
"On 6 August 1940 when the order for the organization of the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" -- Adolf Hitler Bodyguard -- was issued, the Fuehrer stated the principles regarding the necessity for the Waffen-SS as summed up below:
"The Greater German Reich in its final form will not include within its frontiers only those national groups which from the very beginning will be well disposed towards the Reich. It is therefore necessary to maintain outside the Reich proper a state military police capable in any situation of representing and imposing the authority of the Reich.
"This task can be carried out only by a state police composed of men of best German blood and wholeheartedly pledged to the ideology on which the Greater German Reich is founded. Only such a formation will resist subversive influences, even in critical times. Such a formation, proud of its purity, will never fraternize with the Proletariat and with the underworld which undermines the fundamental idea. In our future Greater German Reich, a police corps will have the necessary authority over the other members of the community only if it is trained along military lines. Our people are so militaryminded as a result of glorious achievements in war and training by the National Socialist Party that a 'sock-knitting' police, as in 1848, or a bureaucratic police, as in 1918, would no longer have any authority.
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"It is therefore necessary that this state police proves its worth and sacrifices its blood at the front, in close formations, in the same way as every unit of the armed forces. Having returned home, after having proved themselves in the field in the ranks of the Army, the units of the Waffen-SS will possess the authority to execute their tasks as state police.
"This employment of the Waffen-SS for internal purposes is just as much in the interests of the Wehrmacht itself. We must never again allow the conscripted German Wehrmacht to be used against its fellow countrymen, weapon in hand, in critical situations at home. Such action is the beginning of the end. A state which has to resort to such methods is no longer in a position to use its armed forces against an enemy from without, and thereby gives itself up.
"There are deplorable examples of this in our history. In future the Wehrmacht is to be used solely against the foreign enemies of the Reich.
"In order to ensure that the men in the units of the Waffen-SS are always of high quality, the recruitment into the units must be limited. The Fuehrer's idea of this limitation is that the units of the Waffen-SS should generally not exceed 5 to 10 percent of the peacetime strength of the Army."
Do you agree with that? Is that a correct description of the purpose of the Waffen-SS?
Goering: I am absolutely convinced that he did say that, but that does not contradict my statement.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, I just want you, while we are on the SS, to look at a note which is Document D-729 and will be Exhibit Number GB-281. It is on the conversation between you and the Duce in the Palazzo Venezia on 23 October 1942. At that time you were still in good odor with the Fuehrer and still retained your power; is that right?
I will read it: It is Page 35, Paragraph 1.
"The Reich Marshal then described Germany's method in fighting the partisans. To begin with, all livestock and foodstuffs were taken away from the areas concerned, so as to deny the partisans all sources of supply."
Goering: Just a second please. Where is this?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is Page 35, Paragraph 1, but I will find it for you if you have any difficulty. I think it is marked, and it begins "The Reich Marshal..." Can you find it?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I will start again if I may.
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"The Reich Marshal then described Germany's method in fighting the partisans. To begin with, all livestock and foodstuffs were taken away from the areas concerned, so as to deny the partisans all sources of supply. Men and women were taken away to labor camps, the children to children's camps, and the villages burned down. It was by the use of these methods that the railways in the vast wooded areas of Bialowiza had been safeguarded. Whenever attacks occurred, the entire male population of the villages were lined up on one side and the women on the other. The women were told that all the men would be shot, unless they -- the women -- pointed out which men did not belong to the village. In order to save their men, the women always pointed out the nonresidents. Germany had found that, generally speaking, it was not easy to get soldiers to carry out such measures. Members of the Party discharged this task much more harshly and efficiently. For the same reason armies trained ideologically, such as the German -- or the Russian -- fought better than others. The SS, the nucleus of the old Party fighters, who have personal ties with the Fuehrer and who form a special elite, confirm this principle."
Now, is that a correct description?
Goering: Yes, certainly.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And this expresses correctly your views on how war against partisans should be carried out?
Goering: I have transmitted this.
Just a second, please. May I ask what the number of this document is?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, I will give it again: Document Number D-729, and it becomes Exhibit Number GB-281.
Now, I just want you to help me on one other matter on these organizations. You will remember that in answer, I think, to Dr. Servatius, you made some remarks about the Leadership Corps. Do you remember that? I just want you to have them in mind.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, will you look at the document which will be presented to you, Document Number D-728, Exhibit Number GB-282. This is a document from the Office of the Gau Leadership for Hessen-Nassau. I am sorry; there is a reference to an order of the Party Chancellery dated 10 February 1945, its subject is, "Action by the Party to be taken for keeping the German population in check until the end of the war." It is signed by Sprenger, Gauleiter and Commissioner for Reich Defense.
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Goering: The date is 15 March 1945, is that right?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am grateful to you. I knew it was just after 10 March. I have not got it in my copy, but if you say it, I will take it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes.
[Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe then read from the document excerpts which were withdrawn and stricken from the record on 16 August 1946.]
DR. STAHMER: I must object to the use of this document, since I cannot recognize that it is genuine. I have not yet seen the original, and the doubts as to its being genuine are due to the fact that expressions are used which are most unusual in the German language.
Goering: I was going to raise the same objection. It is not an original as it says at the top, "copy," and there is, no original signature, but only the typewritten words "Sprenger, Gauleiter" at the bottom.
DR. STAHMER: For instance the expression "Gerichtlichkeiten" is used. This is an expression completely unusual and unknown in the German language, and I cannot imagine that an official document originating from a Gauleiter could contain such a word.
Goering: I can draw your attention to yet another point showing that this is evidently not an original document. If there had been an increase in meat or fat rations, I would have heard something about it. Not a single word of these two documents is known to me. It does not bear a rubber stamp either, the whole thing is typewritten, including the signatures. Therefore, I cannot accept this document.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: This is a file copy which, to the best of my knowledge, was captured at the office of the Gau Leader. It was sent to us by the British Army of the Rhine. I shall make inquiries about it, but it purports to be a file copy and I have put the original document which we have, which is a file copy, to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Stahmer, I have the original document in my hands now, together with the certificate of an officer of the British Army stating that the document was delivered to him in the above capacity, in the ordinary course of official business, as the original of a document found in German records of files captured by military forces under the command of the Supreme Commander. Under these circumstances it is in exactly the same position as all the other captured documents. The defense, of course, can bring
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any evidence which it thinks right, to criticize the authenticity of the document. The document stands on exactly the same footing as the other captured documents, subject to any criticism to support which you may be able to bring evidence.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Witness, I want you to deal with the sentence in paragraph 6.
Now, this paragraph is certainly directed to all administrative levels down to the Kreisleiter, county leaders of the Nazi Party, and it assumes they knew all about the running of concentration camps. Are you telling the Tribunal that you, who up to 1943 were the second man in the Reich, knew nothing about concentration camps?
Goering: First of all, I want to say once more that I do not accept this document, and that its whole wording is unknown to me, and that this paragraph appears unusual to me. I did not know anything about what took place and what methods were used in the concentration camps later, when I was no longer in charge.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Let me remind you of the evidence that has been given before this Court, that as far as Auschwitz alone is concerned, 4,000,000 people were exterminated. Do you remember that?
Goering: This I have heard as a statement here, but I consider it in no way proved -- that figure, I mean.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If you do not consider it proved, let me remind you of the affidavit of Hoettl, who was Deputy Group Leader of the Foreign Section, of the Security Section of Amt IV of the RSHA. He says that approximately 4,000,000 Jews have been killed in the concentration camps, while an additional 2,000,000 met death in other ways. Assume that these figures -- one is a Russian figure, the other a German -- assume they are even 50 percent correct, assume it was 2,000,000 and 1,000,000, are you telling this Tribunal that a Minister with your power in the Reich could remain ignorant that that was going on?
Goering: This I maintain, and the reason for this is that these things were kept secret from me. I might add that in my opinion not even the Fuehrer knew the extent of what was going on.
This is also explained by the fact that Himmler kept all these matters very secret. We were never given figures or any other details.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But, Witness, haven't you access to the foreign press, the press department in your ministry, to foreign broadcasts? You see, there is evidence that altogether, when you take the Jews and other people, something like 10,000,000 people have been done to death in cold blood, apart from those killed in
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battle. Something like 10,000,000 people. Do you say that you never saw or heard from the foreign press, in broadcasts, that this was going on?
Goering: First of all, the figure 10,000,000 is not established in any way. Secondly, throughout the war I did not read the foreign press, because I considered it nothing but propaganda. Thirdly, though I had the right to listen to foreign broadcasts, I never did so, simply because I did not want to listen to propaganda. Neither did I listen to home propaganda.
Only during the last 4 days of the war did I -- and this I could prove -- listen to a foreign broadcasting station for the first time.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You told Mr. Justice Jackson yesterday that there were various representatives in Eastern territories, and you have seen the films of the concentration ramps, haven't you, since this Trial started? You knew that there were millions of garments, millions of shoes, 20,952 kilograms of gold wedding rings, 35 wagons of furs -- all that stuff which these people who were exterminated at Maidanek or Auschwitz left behind them. Did nobody ever tell you, under the development of the Four Year Plan, or anyone else, that they were getting all these amounts of human material? Do you remember we heard from the Polish Jewish gentleman, who gave evidence, that all he got back from his family, of his wife and mother and daughter, I think, were their identity cards? His work was to gather up clothes. He told us that so thorough were the henchmen of your friend Himmler that it took 5 minutes extra to kill the women because they had to have their hair cut off as it was to be used for making mattresses. Was nothing ever told you about this accretion to German material, which came from the effects of these people who were murdered?
Goering: No, and how can you imagine this? I was laying down the broad outlines for the German economy, and that certainly did not include the manufacture of mattresses from women's hair or the utilization of old shoes and clothes. I leave the figure open. But, also I do want to object to your reference to my "friend Himmler."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I will say, "your enemy Himmler," or simply "Himmler" whichever you like. You know whom I mean, don't you?
Goering: Yes, indeed.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, I just want to remind you of one other point: Exhibit Number USA-228, Document Number 407(V)-PS, " . . . I have the honor to report to you that it was possible to add 3,638,056 new foreign workers to the German war economy between April 1st of last year and March 31st of this year... In
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addition to the foreign civilian workers 1,622,929 prisoners of war are employed in the German economy." Now, just listen to this, "out of the 5,000,000 foreign workers who have arrived in Germany, not even 200,000 came voluntarily." That is from the minutes of the Central Planning Board on the 1st of March. Do you say that you, in your position in the State and as the great architect of German economy, did not know that you were getting for your economy 4,800,000 foreign workers who were forced to come? Do you tell the Tribunal that?
Goering: I never told the Tribunal that. I said that I knew quite well that these workers were brought in and not always voluntarily, but whether the figure of 200,000 is correct, that I do not know, and I do not believe it either. The number of volunteers was greater, but this does not alter the fact that workers were forced to come to the Reich. That I have never denied, and have even admitted it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You admit -- and I want to put it quite fairly -- that a large number of workers were forced to come to the Reich and work there?
Goering: Yes, certainly.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, would you like to adjourn now?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, sir.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you remember what you said about the relations between you and the Fuehrer? May I repeat your words:
"The chief influence on the Fuehrer, if I may mention influence on the Fuehrer at all, was up to the end of 1941 or the beginning of 1942, and that influence was I. Then my influence gradually decreased until 1943, and from 1943 on it decreased speedily. All in all, apart from myself I do not believe anyone else had anywhere near the influence on the Fuehrer that I had."
That is your view on that matter?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I think you told the Tribunal that right up to the end your loyalty to the Fuehrer was unshaken, is that right?
Goering: That is correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you still seek to justify and glorify Hitler after he had ordered the murder of these 50 young flying officers at Stalag Luft Number III?
Goering: I am here neither to justify the Fuehrer Adolf Hitler nor to glorify him. I am here only to emphasize that I remained faithful to him, for I believe in keeping one's oath not in good times only, but also in bad times when it is much more difficult.
As to your reference to the 50 airmen, I never opposed the Fuehrer so clearly and strongly as in this matter, and I gave him my views about it. After that no conversation between the Fuehrer and myself took place for months.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Fuehrer, at any rate, must have had full knowledge of what was happening with regard to concentration camps, the treatment of the Jews, and the treatment of the workers, must he not?
Goering: I already mentioned it as my opinion that the Fuehrer did not know about details in concentration camps, about atrocities as described here. As far as I know him, I do not believe he was informed. But insofar as he ...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not asking about details; I am asking about the murder of four or five million people. Are you suggesting that nobody in power in Germany, except Himmler and perhaps Kaltenbrunner, knew about that?
Goering: I am still of the opinion that the Fuehrer did not know about these figures.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you remember how Mr. Dahlerus described the relations between you and Hitler on Page 53 of his book:
"From the very beginning of our conversation, I resented his manner towards Goering, his most intimate friend and comrade from the years of struggle. His desire to dominate was explicable, but to require such obsequious humility as Goering now exhibited, from his closest collaborator, seemed to me abhorrent and unprepossessing."
Is that how you had to behave with Hitler?
Goering: I did not have to behave in that way, and I did not behave in that way. Those are journalistic statements by Dahlerus, made after the war. If Germany had won the war, this description would certainly have been very different.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Mr. Dahlerus was your witness, though.
Goering: Mr. Dahlerus was not asked to give a journalistic account. He was solely questioned about the matters with which he, as courier between myself and the British Government, had to deal.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, on Tuesday of last week, the defendant called General Bodenschatz, who gave general evidence as to his character and reputation. He, therefore, in my respectful submission, makes me entitled to put one document to him which is an account by the Defendant Raeder of his general character and reputation. In accordance with the English practice, I make my submission and ask the Court's permission to put it in.
DR. STAHMER: I object to the reading of this document. It would be considerably easier to question Admiral Raeder, as witness, on his statements, since he is here with us. Then we shall be able to determine in cross-examination whether and to what extent he still maintains this alleged statement.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I have to put it in cross-examination to give the defendant the chance of answering it. The Defendant Raeder can give his explanations when he comes into the witness box.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the document before it is put in.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is the English translation. I will show Dr. Stahmer the German.
DR. STAHMER: Mr. President, I should like to point out, that the document bears no date and we do not know when and where it was drawn up,
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is signed by the Defendant Raeder.
DR. STAHMER: When and where was it drawn up? The signature of Raeder is unknown to me.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The date is in Raeder's handwriting as is the signature; the 27th of July, I think it is 1945. Each page of the document is signed by the Defendant Raeder.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, you said the defendant has put his character in issue through Bodenschatz?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Your Lordship will remember he was asked by Doctor Stahmer: "Will you now tell me about the defendant's social relations?" And then he proceeded to give an account of his character and his kindness and other qualities at that time; and I notice that Doctor Stahmer has just included as an exhibit still further evidence as to character in the form of a statement by one Hermann Winter.
THE PRESIDENT: Would it not have been appropriate, if the document was to have been put in evidence, to have put it to Bodenschatz, who was giving the evidence?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But, My Lord, the rule is that if the defendant puts his character in issue, he is entitled to be crossexamined on his character and his general reputation, and of course it is permissible to call a witness to speak as to his general reputation.
DR. STAHMER: May I make the following remark? I did not call Bodenschatz, neither did I question him as witness for Goering's character. I questioned him about certain facts and happenings from which Bodenschatz subsequently drew certain conclusions. In my opinion, all these questions should have been put to Bodenschatz when he was here. These statements could then have been used to prove that it was Bodenschatz who was not telling the truth, not that Goering had told an untruth. To prove this the document should have been used during Bodenschatz's interrogation. Then we would have been able to question Bodenschatz about it too.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: He may prefer that Bodenschatz be brought back and it be put to him, but I think I am entitled to put it to the defendant who called for the evidence as to his character and reputation.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that at the present stage, this document cannot be used in cross-examination.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Honor please, I understand that Your Lordship leaves open the question for further argument, whether it can be used for the Defendant Raeder in the witness box.
TBE PRESIDENT: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am much obliged.
[Turning to the witness.] Now, Witness, you said before the Tribunal adjourned, that Hitler, in your opinion, did not know about - broadly -- or was ignorant about, the question of concentration camps and the Jews. I would like you to look at Document Number D-736. That is an account of a discussion between the Fuehrer and the Hungarian Regent Horthy on the l7th of April 1943, and if you would look at Page 4, you will see the passage just after "Nuremberg and Furth."
Goering: Just a moment. I should like to read through it very quickly to determine its authenticity.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Certainly.
Goering: Page 4.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Page 4 -- Exhibit Number GB-283. You see, after the mention of Nuremberg and Furth, Hitler goes on:
"The Jews did not even possess organizational value. In spite of the fears which he, the Fuehrer, had heard repeatedly in Germany, everything continued to go its normal way without the Jews. Where the Jews were left to themselves, as for instance in Poland, the most terrible misery and decay prevailed. They are just pure parasites. In Poland, this state of affairs had been fundamentally cleared up. If the Jews there did not want to work they were shot. If they could not work, they had to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli, with which a healthy body may become infected. This was not cruel -- if one remembers that even innocent creatures of nature, such as hares and deer, have to be killed so that no harm is caused by them. Why should the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism be more preserved? Nations which do not rid themselves of Jews perish. One of the most famous examples is the downfall of that people who were once so proud, the Persians, who now lead a pitiful existence as Armenians."
And would you look at Exhibit USSR-170, Document Number USSR-170, which is a conference which you had on the 6th of August 1942.
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THE PRESIDENT: Before you pass from this document, is there not a passage higher up that is important? It is about 10 lines down, I think, in the middle of the line ...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Your Honor is correct.
"To Admiral Horthy's counterquestion as to what he should do with the Jews, now that they had been deprived of almost all possibility of earning their livelihood -- he could not kill them off -- the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs declared that the Jews should be exterminated or taken to concentration camps. There was no other possibility."
Goering: I do not know this document.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, this is a conference which you had with a number of people, and on Page 143, if you will turn to it, you get on to the question of butter. If you will look where it says: "Reich Marshal Goering: How much butter do you deliver? 30,000 tons?"
Do you see that?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And then Lohse, who is in the conference, says, "Yes," and you say, "Do you also deliver to Wehrmacht units?" and then Lohse says, "I can answer that too. There are only a few Jews left alive. Tens of thousands have been disposed of, but I can tell you that the civilian population gets, on your orders, 15 percent less than the Germans." I call your attention to the statement that "there are only a few Jews left alive, tens of thousands have been disposed of." Do you still say, in the face of these two documents, that neither Hitler nor yourself knew that the Jews were being exterminated?
Goering: I beg that the remarks be rightly read. They are quite incorrectly reproduced. May I read the original text? "Lohse:" -- thus not my remark, but the remark of Lohse -- "I can also answer that. The Jews are left only in small numbers. Thousands have gone." It does not say here that they were destroyed. From this remark you cannot conclude that they were killed. It could also mean that they had gone away -- they were removed. There is nothing here ...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: About the preceding remark, I suggest that you make quite clear what you meant by "there, are only a few Jews left alive, whereas tens of thousands have been disposed of."
Goering: They were "still living there." That is how you should understand that.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You heard what I read to you about Hitler, what he said to Horthy and what Ribbentrop said, that the Jews must be exterminated or taken to concentration camps. Hitler said the Jews must either work or be shot. That was in April 1943. Do you still say that neither Hitler nor you knew of this policy to exterminate the Jews?
Goering: For the correctness of the document.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Will you please answer my question. Do you still say neither Hitler nor you knew of the policy to exterminate the Jews?
Goering: As far as Hitler is concerned, I have said I do not think so. As far as I am concerned, I have said that I did not know, even approximately, to what extent these things were taking place.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You did not know to what degree, but you knew there was a policy that aimed at the extermination of the Jews?
Goering: No, a policy of emigration, not liquidation of the Jews. I knew only that there had been isolated cases of such perpetrations.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Thank you.
GEN. RU DENKO: If I understand you, Defendant Goering, you said that all the basic decisions concerning foreign, political, and military matters were taken by Hitler alone? Do I understand you rightly?
Goering: Yes, certainly. After all, he was the Fuehrer.
GEN. RUDENKO: Am I to understand that Hitler took these decisions without listening to the opinions of the experts who studied the questions, and the intelligence reports on those matters?
Goering: It depended upon the circumstances. In certain cases he would ask for data to be submitted to him, without the experts knowing the exact reason. In other cases, he would explain to his advisers what he intended to do, and get from them the data and their opinion. Final decisions he took himself as Supreme Commander.
GEN. RUDENKO: In that case, do I understand you correctly when you say that when making important decisions, Hitler used the analysis and material given to him by his close collaborators, who advised him according to their speciality. Is that correct?
Goering: Given to him partly by his collaborators, partly as in the case of communication and intelligence, by other members of the departments concerned.
GEN. RUDENKO: Will you tell me then, who was the closest collaborator of Hitler as far as the Air Force was concerned?
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Goering: I was, of course.
GEN. RUDENKO: And on the questions of economics?
Goering: In economic matters, it was also I.
GEN. RUDENKO: And on political matters?
Goering: It depended on what question came up for discussion, and on whether the Fuehrer had consulted anybody or asked his opinion.
GEN. RUDENKO: Can you tell me, who were these collaborators and associates?
Goering: The close collaborators of the Fuehrer as I said before were first I, myself. Another close associate -- perhaps it is the wrong word -- with whom he perhaps spoke more than with others was Dr. Goebbels. Then, of course, you must consider the different periods. It varied during the 20 years; towards the end, it was Bormann first and foremost. During the years 1933 and 1934, until shortly before the end, it was Himmler also, when certain questions were dealt with. And if the Fuehrer was dealing with certain other specific questions, then he would, of course, as is the custom in every government, consult the person who knew most about the question and obtain the information from him.
GEN. RUDENKO: Can you also name which of his collaborators were associated with him in the field of foreign politics?
Goering: As far as foreign policy was concerned, Hitler only consulted his colleagues more on the, so to speak, purely technical side. The most important and far-reaching political decisions were taken by himself, and he then announced them to his collaborators and colleagues as ready-made conceptions. Only very few people were allowed to discuss them, myself for instance; and the technical execution of his decisions in the field of foreign policy, when it came to framing the diplomatic notes, was done by the Foreign Office and its minister.
GEN. RUDENKO: The Defendant Ribbentrop?
Goering: Yes, naturally, he was the foreign minister concerned but he did not make foreign policy.
GEN. RUDENKO: And on questions of strategy, who advised Hitler?
Goering: There were several people. On purely departmental matters of strategic importance it was the three commanders-in-chief and their chiefs of general staff, and to some extent, the Supreme General Staff which was immediately attached to the Fuehrer.
GEN. RUDENKO: Which of the defendants can be placed in the category of such consultants?
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Goering: If he was asked by the Fuehrer, then the adviser on strategic matters was the Chief of the Operations Staff, General Jodl; and as far as military administrative questions were concerned, the commanders-in-chief, that is myself, Admiral Raeder, and later Admiral Doenitz for the Navy. The other representatives of the Army did not take part.
GEN. RUDENKO: The next question. If we approach the subject, not theoretically but functionally, could we conclude that any recommendations which Hitler's leading associates might make, would have had any considerable influence on Hitler's final decisions?
Goering: If I disregard the purely formal point of view and presumably you are referring to the military sphere, then the position was...
GEN. RUDENKO: No, I mean all spheres. All aspects of questions such as economic questions, home policy, foreign policy, military, and strategic questions. I mean, if we approach the subject, not theoretically but functionally, did their recommendations have any considerable influence on Hitler's final decisions? That is what I mean.
Goering: To a certain extent, yes. Their rejection depended on whether or not they appeared right to the Fuehrer.
GEN. RUDENKO: You said to a certain extent, did you not?
Goering: Yes, of course, if a reasonable proposal was made, and he considered it to be reasonable, then he certainly made use of it.
GEN. RUDENKO: I should like to stress that all these consultants must have been closely associated with Hitler. Therefore, they had a certain influence on Hitler's final decision. They did not stand quite aloof, did they?
Goering: They did not stand aloof. Their influence was only effective to the extent that their convictions concurred with those of the Fuehrer.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is clear. Let us now pass to the next set of questions.
When exactly did you start the working out of the plan of action for the use of the German Luftwaffe against the Soviet Union in connection with Case Barbarossa?
Goering: The deployment of the Luftwaffe for Case Barbarossa was worked out by my general staff, after the first directive of the Fuehrer's, that is, after the November directive.
GEN. RUDENKO: In 1940?
Goering: In 1940. But I would add that I had already considered making preparations not only in anticipation of a possible threat
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from Russia, but from all those countries which were not already involved in the war, but which might eventually be drawn in.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right. It was in November 1940, when Germany was preparing to attack Russia? Plans were already being prepared for this attack with your participation?
Goering: The other day I explained exactly, that at the time a plan for dealing with the political situation and the potential threat from Russia had been worked out.
GEN. RUDENKO: I ask you to reply to this question briefly, "yes" or "no." I think it is possible to reply to the question briefly.
Once more I say, in November 1940, more than half a year before the attack on the Soviet Union, plans were already prepared, with your participation, for the attack on the Soviet Union. Can you reply to this briefly?
Goering: Yes, but not in the sense in which you are presenting it.
GEN. RUDENKO: It seems to me that I have put the question quite clearly, and there is no ambiguity here at all. How much time did it take to prepare Case Barbarossa?
Goering: In which sector, air, land, or sea?
GEN. RUDENKO: If you are acquainted with all phases of the plan, that is concerning the Air Force, the Army and the Navy, then I would like you to answer for all phases of Case Barbarossa.
Goering: Generally speaking, I can only answer for the air, where it took a comparatively short time.
GEN. RUDENKO: If you please, just how long did it take to prepare Case Barbarossa?
Goering: After so many years I cannot give you the exact time without referring to the documents, but I answered your question when I told you that as far as the Air Force was concerned, it took a comparatively short time; as for the Army, it probably took longer.
GEN. RUDENKO: Thus, you admit that the attack on the Soviet Union was planned several months in advance of the attack itself, and that you, as chief of German Air Force and Reich Marshal, participated directly in the preparation of the attack.
Goering: May I divide your numerous questions. Firstly, that was not several months ...
GEN. RUDENKO: There were not too many questions asked at once. It was only one question. You have admitted that in November 1940 Case Barbarossa was prepared and developed for the Air Force. I ask you in your capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the German Luftwaffe.
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Goering: That is right.
GEN. RUDENKO: You have answered already the first part of my question. Now the following part: You admit that as chief of the German Air Force and Reich Marshal you participated in preparations for the attack on the Soviet Union?
Goering: I once more repeat that I prepared for the possibility of an attack, mainly because of Hitler's assumption that Soviet Russia was adopting a dangerous attitude. In the beginning the certainty of an attack was not discussed, and that is stated clearly in the directive of November 1940.
Secondly, I want to emphasize that my position as Reich Marshal is of no importance here. That is a title and a rank.
GEN. RUDENKO: But you do not deny-- rather, you agree -- that the plan was already prepared in November 1940?
GEN. RUDENKO: It appears to me that the question has already been covered in such detail before the Tribunal that we need not talk too much about Case Barbarossa, which is quite clear. I shall go on to the next question:
Do you admit that the objectives of the war against the Soviet Union consisted of invading and seizing Soviet territory up to the Ural Mountains and joining it to the German Reich, including the Baltic territories, the Crimea, the Caucasus; also the subjugation by Germany of the Ukraine, of Bielorussia, and of other regions of the Soviet Union? Do you admit that such were the objectives of that plan?
Goering: That I certainly do not admit.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not admit that! Do you not remember that during the conference at Hitler's headquarters on the 16th of June 1941, at which you were present, as well as Bormann, Keitel, Rosenberg, and others, Hitler stated the objectives of the attack against the Soviet Union exactly as I have stated them? This was shown by the document submitted to the Tribunal. Have you forgotten that document? Have you forgotten about that?
Goering: I can remember the document exactly, and I have a fair recollection of the discussion at the conference. I said the first time that this document, as recorded by Bormann, appears to me extremely exaggerated as far as the demands are concerned. At any rate, at the beginning of the war, such demands were not discussed; nor had they been discussed previously.
GEN. RUDENKO: But you do admit that there are minutes of such a conference?
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Goering: I admit it because I have seen them. It was a document prepared by Bormann.
GEN. RUDENKO: You also admit that according to the minutes of this meeting, you participated in that conference.
Goering: I was present at that conference, and for that reason I question the record.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you remember that in those minutes the tasks were formulated which were in connection with developing conditions? I shall remind you of various parts of the minutes. It is not necessary to read them in full.
Goering: May I ask to be shown a copy of that record.
GEN. RUDENKO: You would like a copy of the minutes of the meeting?
Goering: I ask to have it.
GEN. RUDENKO: If you please. Would you like to read the document?
Goering: No, only where you are going to quote it.
GEN. RUDENKO: Page 2, second paragraph, Point 2, about the Crimea: "We emphasize" -- can you find the place? Do you have it?
Goering: Just a moment, I have not found it yet. Yes, I have it.
"We emphasize" -- states this Point 2 - "that we are bringing freedom to the Crimea. The Crimea must be freed of all foreigners and populated by the Germans. Also, Austrian Galicia will become a province of the German Reich."
Have you found the place?
GEN. RUDENKO: "A province of the Reich," it says.
GEN. RUDENKO: I want to draw your attention to the end of the minutes. It says here: "The Fuehrer stresses the fact that the whole of the Baltic States must become Reich territory."
Have you found the place, "The Fuehrer stresses the fact"?
Goering: You mean the very last bit?
GEN. RUDENKO: That is right.
Goering: "Finally, it is ordered..."?
GEN. RUDENKO: A little higher up.
Goering: "The Fuehrer stresses..."?
GEN. RUDENKO: That is right.
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"The Fuehrer stresses the fact that the Baltic countries as well must become Reich territory." Then it goes on - "Reich territory must also include the Crimea, with its adjoining regions. These adjoining regions must be as big as possible."
The Fuehrer then says something about the Ukrainians ...
Go on further; skip one paragraph.
"The Fuehrer, furthermore, stresses that the Volga region also must become Reich territory, as well as the Baku Province, which must become a military colony of the Reich. Eastern Karelia is claimed by the Finns.
"The peninsula Kola, however, because of the large supplies of nickel, should become German territory. Great caution must be exercised in the incorporation of Finland as a federal state. The Finns want the surrounding region of Leningrad. The Fuehrer will level Leningrad to the ground and give it to the Finns afterwards."
Have you not found the place where it mentions Leningrad and Finland?
GEN. RUDENKO: These are the minutes of the conference at which you were present on the 16th of July 1941, 3 weeks after Germany attacked the Soviet Union. You do not deny that such minutes exist, do you?
It is Document Number L-221.
Goering: Just a moment, you are mistaken in the date. You said 3 days; that is not correct.
GEN. RUDENKO: Three weeks, not 3 days.
Goering: Oh, 3 weeks; I see.
GEN. RUDENKO: Three weeks after Germany attacked the Soviet Union on the 22d of June, and the conference took place at Hitler's headquarters on the 16th of July at 1500 hours, I think.
Is it correct that such a conference took place?
Goering: That is quite right. I have said so all along, but the record of this is not right.
GEN. RUDENKO: And who took the minutes of the meeting?
GEN. RUDENKO: What was the point of Bormann's taking the minutes incorrectly?
Goering: In this record Bormann has exaggerated. The Volga territory was not discussed. As far as the Crimea is concerned, it is correct, that the Fuehrer ...
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GEN. RUDENKO: Well, let us be a little more precise. Germany wanted the Crimea to become a Reich territory, correct?
Goering: The Fuehrer wanted the Crimea, yes, but that was an aim fixed before the war. The same applies to the three Baltic States, which had previously been taken by Russia. They, too, were to go back to Germany.
GEN. RUDENKO: Pardon me. You say that the question of the Crimea arose even before the war, that is, the question of acquiring the Crimea for the Reich. How long before the war was that?
Goering: No, before the war the Fuehrer had not discussed territorial aims with us, or, rather which territories he had in mind. At that time, if you read the record, I myself considered the question premature, and I confined myself to more practical matters during that conference.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like to be still more precise. You state that with regard to the Crimea, there was some question about making the Crimea Reich territory.
Goering: Yes, that was discussed during that conference.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right, with regard to the Baltic provinces, there was talk about those, too?
GEN. RUDENKO: All right. With regard to the Caucasus, there was talk about annexing the Caucasus also?
Goering: It was never a question of its becoming German. We merely spoke about very strong German economic influence in that sphere.
GEN. RUDENKO: So the Caucasus was to become a concession of the Reich?
Goering: Just to what degree obviously could not be discussed until after a victorious war. You can see from the record what a mad thing it is to discuss a few days after a war has broken out the things recorded here by Bormann, when nobody knows what the outcome of that war will be and what the possibilities are.
GEN. RUDENKO: Therefore by exaggeration you mean that the Volga territory for instance was not discussed.
Goering: The exaggeration lies in the fact that at that time things were discussed which could not be usefully discussed at all. At the most one might have talked about territory which one occupied, and its administration.
GEN. RUDENKO: We are now trying to establish the facts, namely, that those questions had been discussed, and these questions came up at the conference. You do not deny that, do you?
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Goering: There had been some discussion, yes, but not as recorded in these minutes.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like to draw just one conclusion. The facts bear witness that even before this conference, aims to annex foreign territories had been fixed in accordance with the plan prepared months ago. That is correct, is it not?
Goering: Yes that is correct, but I would like to emphasize that in these minutes I steered away from these endless discussions, and here the text reads:
"The Reich Marshal countered this, that is, the lengthy discussion of all these things, by stressing the main points which were of vital importance to us, such as, the securing of food supplies to the extent necessary for economy, securing of roads, et cetera."
I just wanted to reduce the whole thing to a practical basis.
GEN. RUDENKO: Just so. You have contradicted yourself, inasmuch as in your opinion, the most important thing was the food supply. All the other things could follow later. It says so in the minutes. Your contradiction does not lie in your objection to the plan itself but in the sequence of its execution. First of all you wanted food and later territory. Is that correct?
Goering: No, it is exactly as I have read it out, and there is no sequence of aims. There is no secret.
GEN. RUDENKO: Please read it once more and tell me just where you disagreed.
"After the lengthy discussion about persons and matters concerning annexation, et cetera, opposing this, the Reich Marshal stressed the main points which might be the decisive factors for us: Securing of food supplies to the extent necessary for economy, securing of roads, et cetera -- communications."
At the time I mentioned railways, et cetera, that is, I wanted to bring this extravagant talk -- such as might take place in the first flush of victory -- back to the purely practical things which must be done.
GEN. RUDENKO: It is understandable that the securing of food supplies plays an important part. However, the objection you just gave does not mean that you objected to the annexation of the Crimea or the annexation of other regions, is that not correct?
Goering: If you spoke German, then, from the sentence which says, "opposing that, the Reich Marshal emphasized..." you would understand everything that is implied. In other words, I did not say here, "I protest against the annexation of the Crimea," or, "I
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protest against the annexation of the Baltic States." I had no reason to do so. Had we been victorious, then after the signing of peace we would in any case have decided how far annexation would serve our purpose. At the moment we had not finished the war, we had not won the war yet, and consequently I personally confined myself to practical problems.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand you. In that case, you considered the annexation of these regions a step to come later. As you said yourself, after the war was won you would have seized these provinces and annexed them. In principle you have not protested.
Goering: Not in principle. As an old hunter, I acted according to the principle of not dividing the bear's skin before the bear was shot.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand. And the bear's skin should be divided only when the territories were seized completely, is that correct?
Goering: Just what to do with the skin could be decided definitely only after the bear was shot.
GEN. RUDENKO: Luckily, this did not happen.
Goering: Luckily for you.
GEN. RUDENKO: And so, summing this up on the basis of the replies which you gave to my question, it has become quite clear, and I think you will agree, that the war aims were aggressive.
Goering: The one and only decisive war aim was to eliminate the danger which Russia represented to Germany.
GEN. RUDENKO: And to seize the Russian territories.
Goering: I have tried repeatedly to make this point clear, namely, that before the war started this was not discussed. The answer is that the Fuehrer saw in the attitude of Russia, and in the lining up of troops on our frontier, a mortal threat to Germany, and he wanted to eliminate that threat. He felt that to be his duty.
What might have been done in peace, after a victorious war, is quite another question, which at that time was not discussed in any way. But to reply to your question, by that I do not mean to say that after a victorious war in the East we would have had no thoughts of annexation.
GEN. RUDENKO: I do not wish to occupy the time of the Court in returning to the question of the so-called preventive war, but nevertheless, since you touched on the subject, I should like to ask you the following:
You remember the testimony of Field Marshal Milch, who stated that neither Goering nor he wanted war with Russia. Do you remember that testimony of your witness, Field Marshal Milch?
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Goering: Yes, perfectly.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do remember. In that case why did you not want war with Russia, when you saw the so-called Russian threat?
Goering: Firstly, I have said already that it was the Fuehrer who saw the danger to be so great and so imminent. Secondly, in connection with the question put by my counsel, I stated clearly and exactly the reasons why I believed that the danger had not yet become so imminent, and that we should take other preparatory measures first. That was my firm conviction.
GEN. RUDENKO: But you do not deny the testimony of your witness Milch?
Goering: Milch held a somewhat different opinion from mine. He considered it a serious danger to Germany because it would mean a war on two fronts. He was not so much of the opinion that Russia did not represent a danger, but he held that in spite of that danger one should take the risk and not use attack as a preventive measure against that danger. I too held the same opinion, but of course at a different time.
GEN. RUDENKO: On the basis of your replies to questions during several sessions, it appears there was no country on earth which you did not regard as a threat.
Goering: Most of the other countries did not represent a danger to Germany, but I personally, from 1933 on, always saw in Russia the greatest threat.
GEN. RUDENKO: Well, of course, by "the other countries" you mean your allies, is that right?
Goering: No, I am thinking of most of the other countries. If you ask me again I would say that the danger to Germany lay, in my opinion, in Russia's drive towards the West. Naturally, I also saw a certain danger in the two western countries, England and France, and in this connection, in the event of Germany being involved in a war, I regarded the United States to be a threat as well. As far as the other countries were concerned, I did not consider them to be a direct threat to Germany. In the case of the small countries, they would only constitute a direct threat, if they were used by the large countries, as bases in a war against Germany.
GEN. RUDENKO: Naturally the small countries did not represent the same threat because Germany already occupied them. That has often enough been established by the Tribunal.
Goering: No, a small country as such does not represent a threat, but if another large country uses the small one against me, then the small country too can become a danger.
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GEN. RUDENKO: I do not want to discuss the thing further as it does not relate to the question. The basic question here is Germany's intentions with regard to the territory of the Soviet Union, and to that you have already answered quite affirmatively and decisively. So I will not ask you any more questions on this subject. I shall go on to the next question.
Do you admit that as the Delegate for the Four Year Plan you were in full charge of the working out of the plans for the economic exploitation of all the occupied territories, as well as the realization of these plans?
Goering: I have already admitted that I assumed responsibility for the economic policy in the occupied territories, and the directions which I had given for the exploitation of those territories.
GEN. RUDENKO: Can you tell me how many million tons of grain and other products were exported from the Soviet Union to Germany during the war?
Goering: I cannot give you the figures. How could I know that from memory? But I am sure it is by no means as large as it was stated here.
GEN. RUDENKO: On the basis of your own documents I have the figures, but we will pass on to that question later.
I would like to return to the same conference which has already been mentioned. You remember the document submitted by the Soviet Prosecution, concerning the conference of the 6th of August 1942, Exhibit Number USSR-170, Document Number USSR-170? On 6 August 1942, there was a conference of commissioners of the occupied regions and of the representatives of the military command. This conference took place under your direction. You spoke at this conference -- and I would like to remind you of some of the things you said.
Goering: May I have a look at these minutes?
GEN. RUDENKO: You want to see the minutes of the meeting? Certainly. It is quite a long document. I do not intend to read the whole thing, but only the relevant passages. I will ask you to look only at Page 111 of this stenographic record -- the place is marked with pencil -- especially the citations which I am going to quote here. On Page 111, it states:
"Gentlemen: The Fuehrer has given me general powers on a scale such as he has never given hitherto under the Four Year Plan. He has also empowered me..."
Goering: Just one moment. Are you not omitting "under the Four Year Plan"?
GEN. RUDENKO: Evidently the translation has not reached you. I mentioned the Four Year Plan.
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"He has given me additional powers under the Four Year Plan reaching into every branch of our economic structure, whether within the State, the Party, or the Armed Forces."
Is it correct you were given such exclusive rights and prerogatives as mentioned in the citation?
Goering: When the Four Year Plan was formulated I received extraordinary general powers. For the first time unlimited powers were given in the economic sphere, I received authority to issue directives and instructions to the highest Reich departments, to the higher offices of the Armed Forces and the Party. During the war these powers were extended to the economic structure of the occupied countries.
GEN. RUDENKO: In that case I have stated and interpreted correctly, what you stated at the conference.
Goering: Absolutely, in spite of its being wrongly translated into German.
GEN. RUDENKO: With regard to your special prerogatives and rights, I am going to cite the instructions which you gave, as well as the orders you issued to some of the members who took part in a conference held on the 16th of August, and which were binding upon them.
GEN. RUDENKO: In that case, when you used such expressions as "squeeze out," "get everything possible out of the occupied territories," such sentences in the directives issued became orders for your subordinates, is that not correct?
Goering: Naturally, they were then put into their proper form. These were the words used in direct speech, and the language was not so polite.
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, I understand.
Goering: You are referring to the passage -- may I repeat it:
"You certainly are not sent there to work for the welfare of the population..."
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes.
Goering: Do you mean that passage?
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, Page 112. It states here, I shall read it:
"You are sent there not to work for the welfare of the population, but for the purpose of extracting everything possible out of these territories. That is what I expect from you."
Goering: You have left out a sentence, "... so that the German nation may live ..."
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GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, that is right.
Goering: One minute -- "... extracting everything, so that the German nation may live. That is what I expect from you."
Before that it states, however, and this is the sentence I would like to read:
"In each of the occupied territories I see the people stuffed with food, while our own people starve."
The sentence follows then.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not deny that these are your own words:
"You are sent there not to work for the welfare of the population, but to extract everything possible..."
Goering: You have to read that in connection with the preceding part. I do not deny that I said that.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you deny your own words as stated here?
Goering: No, I am telling you that I did say that. What I do object to is the way you pick out certain things, whereas they should be taken with their context.
GEN. RUDENKO: These phrases in the document are very expressive. They require no comment.
I draw your attention to the following extract on Page 113, which is also underlined. Here are some of your orders:
"One thing I will do. I will get what I demand of you, and if you cannot do it, I will set up agencies which will get it from you, whether you like it or not."
Do you see that extract? Is it correct that this is what you said at the conference?
Goering: That quotation has not been translated by the interpreter as it is written down here in the original. The interpreter who is translating your words into German is using many strong expressions which are not contained in this document. Squeeze out ...
GEN. RUDENKO: Please read your original.
Goering: It says here "to get from and obtain." Between "to get from and obtain," and "to squeeze out," there is a vast difference in German.
GEN. RUDENKO: To "get out" and to "squeeze out" is about the same thing. And what about the phrase, "I will set up agencies which will squeeze it out of you." What have you got?
Goering: "Get from" and not "squeeze out of."
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GEN. RUDENKO: "Get from"? Did you have any cause not to trust the Reich commissioners? You refer to them as "special agencies."
Goering: Not only were the Reich commissioners of the Eastern territories present, but also the commissioners of all territories. It was a question of the contribution in foodstuffs which the separate countries had to make, to enable us to deal with the whole food question in all those areas in Europe occupied by us. Before the conference I had been told that it was to be expected, as is always the case in such a situation, that everyone would hold back and get the other fellow to deliver first. In other words, I did not want these fellows to let me down. I knew they would offer me only half and I demanded 100 percent. We could then meet somewhere half way.
GEN. RUDENKO: I ask you -- these demands which you made to those present at the conference, did they not mean a ruthless plundering of the occupied territories?
Goering: No, the main question at this conference was more food.
GEN. RUDENKO: But I am talking about plunder. Plunder can mean plundering of food from the occupied territories?
Goering: I have just said I was responsible for the feeding of practically the whole territory. Some of it was territory which had to be provided with food, and some had a surplus, and it had to be equalized.
At this meeting the contribution to be made by each Reich commissioner was for the most part fixed at 90 percent, and I in no way deny that in making my demands at the meeting I was worked up and used strong words. Later on the exact figures for the deliveries were laid down, and this was the net result of the meeting.
GEN. RUDENKO: I want to draw your attention to Page 118. Here it states as follows, I quote your words, Page 118, please; have you found the place?
GEN. RUDENKO: Here, it says:
"It seemed to me to be a relatively simple matter in former days. It used to be called plundering. It was up to the party in question to carry off what had been conquered. But today things have become more humane. In spite of that, I intend to plunder and to do it thoroughly."
Have you found the sentence?
Goering: Yes, I have found it, and that was exactly what I said at that conference. I emphasize that again
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GEN. RUDENKO: I just wanted to ascertain that you really said that.
Goering: I did say that, and now I should like to give you the reason. In making that statement I meant that in former times war fed on war. Today you call it something different, but in practice it remains the same.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right. I draw your attention to Page 119. There, addressing those present at the meeting you state:
"Whenever you come across anything that may be needed by the German people, you must be after it like a bloodhound. It must be taken out of store and brought to Germany."
Have you found that place?
Goering: Yes, I have found it.
GEN. RUDENKO: Did you say that?
Goering: I certainly assume that I did say it; yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: You did say that. This sentence is the natural logical conclusion of your directions "to plunder and do it thoroughly."
Goering: No, it is not. Just after that I said that I had issued a decree authorizing the soldiers to buy up what they wanted, as much as they wanted, and as much as they could carry. Just buy up everything.
GEN. RUDENKO: You mention soldiers. I wanted to remind you of this too, and as you have quoted it, I will refer to that sentence again. You said, "Soldiers may purchase as much as they want, what they want, and what they can carry away."
Goering: As much as they can carry away, yes, and that was necessary because the custom authorities had issued a restrictive order whereby a soldier could take only a small parcel. It seemed wrong to me, that a soldier, who had fought should benefit the least from victory.
GEN. RUDENKO: So that you do not deny that the extract which has just been read is what you really said in your speech of 6 August 1942.
Goering: I do not deny that at all.
GEN. RUDENKO: Very well. Let us go to the next question. Do you admit that as Delegate for the Four Year Plan you directed the deportation to forced labor of millions of citizens from the occupied territories, and that the Defendant Sauckel was your immediate subordinate in this activity? Do you admit that?
Goering: On paper he was my subordinate, but he was actually directly subordinate to the Fuehrer. I have already emphasized that
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to the extent that I was informed, I will take my part of the responsibility; and of course I knew about these statements,
GEN. RUDENKO: I want to draw your attention to your other remarks at the same conference. You will find that on Pages 141 and 142.
Goering: That has already been read to the Tribunal.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like to ask you now if you have found the place?
Goering: I have found it.
GEN. RUDENKO: You have found it. You said at this conference:
"I do not want to praise Gauleiter Sauckel, he does not need it. But what he has accomplished in such a short time and with such speed for the recruitment of manpower from all over Europe and setting them to work in our industries, is a unique achievement."
Further, on Page 142, you say -- you were speaking of Koch:
"Koch they are not only Ukrainians. Your ridiculous 500,000 people! How many has he brought in? Nearly two million! Where did he get the others?"
Did you find the place?
Goering: Yes; it does not read quite like that here.
GEN. RUDENKO: It was not explicit. Make it more precise.
Goering: Koch is trying to assert that he alone supplied all these people for Sauckel. Whereupon, I replied that for the whole Sauckel program 2,000,000 workers had been supplied and that he, Koch, could lay claim to have supplied only 500,000, at most. In other words, Koch was claiming that he himself had supplied the total number.
GEN. RUDENKO: Did you think that 500,000 from the Ukraine was a small number?
Goering: No, that is not the point. I have just explained. Of these 2,000,000 which represent the total supplied by Sauckel in the past, 500,000 came from the whole of the Ukraine, so that Koch did not produce the whole number as he was trying to assert. That is the meaning of the quotation.
GEN. RUDENKO: But you do not deny the underlying meaning that you were speaking here of millions of people who were carried off forcibly to Germany for slave labor.
Goering: I do not deny that I was speaking of 2,000,000 workers who had been called up, but whether they were all brought to Germany I cannot say at the moment. At any rate, they were used for the German economy.
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GEN. RUDENKO: You do not deny that this was forced labor, slavery?
Goering: Slavery, that I deny. Forced labor did of course partly come into it, and the reason for that I have already stated.
GEN. RUDENKO: But they were forcibly taken out of their countries and sent to Germany?
Goering: To a certain extent deported forcibly, and I have already explained why.
GEN. RUDENKO: You heard, Defendant Goering, that a series of German documents have been read which make it clear that these people from the occupied territories were sent forcibly to Germany; that they were rounded up, taken in the street, and from the cinemas, loaded into trains and sent to Germany under military guard. If they refused to go to Germany, or tried to evade mobilization, the peaceful inhabitants were shot and submitted to tortures of various nature. You have heard of these documents which describe these methods.
Goering: Yes, but may I ask you to look at those documents again. These show that recruitment was not ordered, but that registration even for forced labor was regulated by decrees and other orders. If I had been given an absolute guarantee, particularly in the East, that all these people would be peaceful and peace-loving people, that they would never take part in partisan, activities or carry out sabotage, then I probably would have put a larger number to work on the spot. But for security reasons, both in the East and West -- particularly in the West -- where young age groups were reaching the age of military service -- we were compelled to draft these men into labor and bring them to Germany.
GEN. RUDENKO: They were taken to Germany only in the interest of security and safety?
Goering: There were two reasons. I have already explained them in detail. Firstly, for security reasons. Secondly, because it was necessary to find labor.
GEN. RUDENKO: And for that reason -- let us take the second, the necessity of finding labor -- people were forcibly taken from their country and sent to slavery in Germany. Is that correct?
Goering: Not to slavery; they were sent to Germany to work, but I must repeat that not all of those who were taken away from the East and are missing there today, were brought in to work. For instance, in the case of Poland already 1,680,000 Poles and Ukrainians had been taken by the Soviet Union from the territory which the Russians occupied at that time, and transported to the East -- the Far East.
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GEN. RUDENKO: I do not think you had better touch on the question of the Soviet territories. Just answer the question which I am asking you, which concerns the deportation to Germany of the peaceful population from the occupied territories. I am asking you once more: You said in answer to Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe's question that of the 5,000,000 persons who were sent to Germany, approximately 200,000 were volunteers, while the rest were taken to Germany forcibly. Is that not so?
Goering: First of all, I must correct that. I did not say that to Sir David at all, but he asked me.
GEN. RUDENKO: And you admitted it?
Goering: Just a moment. That is to say, he mentioned the figure 5,000,000 of which he said not more than 200,000 were volunteers. He questioned me on the strength of the minutes of the Central Planning Board, allegedly a statement by Sauckel. I did not agree and answered that the figure of volunteers was much higher, and that there must be a mistake in the figures.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right. You affirm that the number of volunteers was considerably larger, but you do not deny the fact that millions were sent to Germany against their will. You do not deny that.
Goering: Without wanting to tie myself down to a figure, the fact that workers were forcibly put to work is something I have never denied, and I answered accordingly.
GEN. RUDENKO: Let us go to another question: Tell me, what procedure was there for sending on the orders and directives of the OKW to various other government agencies and organs.
Goering: I did not understand the meaning of that question as it came through in translation.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like you to describe the procedure which existed for sending the directives of the OKW to the various units and departments of the Air Force and other organs. How were they distributed?
Goering: If I have understood the question correctly, the procedure was as follows: If an order came from the OKW, addressed to the Air Force, it went through the following channels: If it was a direct order from the Fuehrer and signed by the Fuehrer, the order had to be sent directly to me, the Commander-in-Chief. If it was an order -- not actually signed by the Fuehrer, but beginning with the words, "By order of the Fuehrer," or "On the instructions of the Fuehrer" -- such an order, according to its importance, would go to the Chief of the General Staff of my Air Force, who, according to the purport and whether it was important, would report it to me
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verbally. If, however, it dealt with current and departmental matters the order would go immediately and directly to the lower departments concerned without passing through the High Command. It would have been impossible to work otherwise, owing to the very large number of such orders.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand. In connection with this I would like to ask the following: In 1941 the OKW drew up a series of instructions and orders with regard to the conduct of the troops in the East and how they were to treat the Soviet population. These dealt specifically with military jurisdiction in the Barbarossa region -- Document C-50, which has already been submitted to the Tribunal. According to these instructions, the German officers had the right to shoot any person suspected of a hostile attitude towards the Germans, without bringing that person to court. This directive also stated that the German soldiers could not be punished for crimes which they committed against the local population. Directives of this nature must have been submitted to you?
Goering: I would have to see that from the distribution chart. May I see the document please?
GEN. RUDENKO: You would like to see the exhibit?
Goering: I want to see whether that document went straight to me, or only to my departments.
GEN.R'UDENKO: Please look at the date, 13 May 1941.
Goering: Actually it did not go straight to me. It says on the distribution chart, "Ob. d. L., Air Force Operations Staff, Senior General Staff officer." Actually as far as my troops were concerned, I issued very severe disciplinary orders. That is the reason why I have asked for the senior Judge of the Air Force to be called as a witness, and have now sent him an interrogatory which deals with, these very questions.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do know about this order, however?
Goering: I have seen it here, and consequently asked for the witnesses, since this order did not go directly to the Commander-in-Chief, but to the department which I have just mentioned. Nevertheless, if this department acted on this order, then I do of course formally share the responsibility. But we are here concerned with an order from the Farer and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, which could not be questioned by the troops.
GEN. RUDENKO: But you do agree that you must have known about this document because of its importance?
Goering: No, if so, it would have come directly to me, the Commander-in-Chief, and not be sent to the Air Force Operations Staff and the General Staff officers' department. It depended then on
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whether this department considered the importance of the document to be such as to require my personal orders and directives. But this was not the case here, since the document did not affect us as much as it did the Army.
GEN. RUDENKO: But the document was sent to your department and circulated there.
Goering: I have just said it was sent to two offices.
GEN. RUDENKO: But this document should have been reported to you.
Goering: No, it did not have to be reported to me. I explained a little earlier that if every order and every instruction which came through in the shape of an order, but which did not require my intervention, would have had to be reported to me, I should have been drowned in a sea of papers; and that is the reason why only the most important matters were brought to me and reported to me.
I cannot swear upon my oath that this document was not reported to me verbally. It is possible. And I formally take responsibility also for my departments.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like you to be more precise about it. You say that the most important things were usually reported to you; correct?
Goering: That is correct.
GEN. RUDENKO: I would like to draw your attention to the document before you, to the third and fourth paragraphs of the order. The third paragraph says:
"Actions of hostile civilians against the German troops or various troop units, as well as against service personnel, must be suppressed on the spot by the most severe measures, even the extermination of the attackers."
Paragraph 4: "Thus, no time should be lost..."
Goering: Just a moment.
GEN. RUDENKO: The fourth paragraph ...
Goering: You have sent me three documents, and I am trying to find out which one; I am trying to sort them out.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right, sort them out.
Goering: I shall repeat Paragraph 3 because it has been transmitted quite erroneously in the German.
"Also in the case of all other attacks by hostile civilians against the Armed Forces, their members and service personnel, extreme measures to suppress them must be taken by the troops on the spot, even to the extent of annihilating the attackers."
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GEN. RUDENKO: And Paragraph 4?
Goering: Then we come to Number 4, and it is, if I understand you correctly, the paragraph where it says: "Where. measures of this kind have been omitted or were not practicable at the moment, the suspected elements will be,taken at once to an officer who will decide whether they are to be shot." That is probably what you meant, is it not?
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes. That is what I had in mind. Could it be assumed that this document, from your point of view, was important enough to have been reported to you?
Goering: Actually it was important, but it was not absolutely necessary for it to be reported, because the order of the Fuehrer bad made it so clear that a subordinate commander, and even a commander-in-chief of one of the services could not alter a clear and strict order of that kind.
GEN. RUDENKO: I draw your attention once more to the date in the right-hand corner. It states there, Fuehrer headquarters, 13 May 1941.
GEN. RUDENKO: Therefore, it means that this was a month before the German attack on the Soviet Union? Already, then, directives were formulated about military jurisdiction within the regions covered by Case Barbarossa, and you did not know about this document?
Goering: When a plan for mobilization is laid, provision must be made for certain eventualities. From his experience, the Fuehrer believed that a serious threat would immediately arise in the East, and in this document measures are laid down for dealing with any action by the resistance, and fighting behind the lines. It was therefore a precautionary order in case of such happenings. Such measures have to be taken always and at all times.
GEN. RUDENKO: And the officers were given the right to shoot civilians without bringing them to trial?
Goering: An officer could hold a court martial on the spot, but, according to this paragraph, he could also, if he thought fit and had evidence that the opponent was making attacks from the rear, have him shot on the spot. That has always been done.
GEN. RUDENKO: You think that the officer can hold a court martial on the spot?
Goering: That is laid down in the articles of war. Every officer commanding an independent unit can hold a court martial at any time.
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GEN. RUDENKO: But you do agree that there is no question of any court here? It states that he alone can decide what to do with the civilian.
Goering: He could act alone or through a court martial, which was on the spot. All he needed to do was to call just two more people, and he could reach a decision, in 2 or 5 minutes if evidence of the attack was given.
GEN. RUDENKO: In 5 minutes or 2 minutes, you say, and then he could shoot the person?
Goering: If I catch a man in the act of shooting at my troops from a house in the rear, then the matter can be settled very swiftly by a court martial. But where there is no evidence at all, you cannot do that. Here, however, we are dealing with an immediate attack and with the means of putting an end to it.
GEN. RUDENKO: Defendant Goering, let us leave this question. I would only like to point out once more that this directive wag issued by the High Command of the Armed Forces on 13 May 1941, and that this order gives an officer the right to shoot a man without a trial. I suppose you will not deny this. Let us go on.
Goering: Yes, but I deny that emphatically. There is nothing here which says that an officer has the right to shoot a man right away. Let us get this right. It says here -- and I repeat it -- "Attacks by hostile civilians against the Armed Forces," and then it says, "Where measures of this kind are not practicable at the moment, the suspected elements.. ." -- and here is meant "suspected elements" only -- are to be brought before the highest officer of the formation there present and he will decide the matter. In other words, it does not say that every officer can decide the fate of any civilian.
GEN. RUDENKO: But the resolution is to shoot. It is quite clear. The second document which I would like to submit now and question you about is that dated 16 September 1941. It has been submitted to the Court as Exhibit Number R-98.
Goering: Just a moment. What was the date you mentioned?
GEN. RUDENKO: 16 September 1941 is the date of the document. Point B of the document. I will not quote it. I am merely calling it to your mind. It states that as a general rule the death of one German soldier must be paid for by the lives of 50 to 100 Communists. That means that this rule was to serve as a deterrent. I am not going to question you about the main purport of the document. That is quite clear and needs no clarification. What I am interested in is whether this document was likewise unknown to you.
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Goering: It was not directed to me. Here again it merely went to some office. The Air Force had very little to do with such matters.
GEN. RUDENKO: And these offices did not report to you about such documents?
Goering: In a general way I knew about these reprisals, but not to this extent. I learned only later -- I mean during the war, not here -- that the order originally mentioned 5 to 10 and that the Fuehrer personally made it 50 to a 100. The question is whether you have any evidence that the Air Force really made use of the order anywhere, and they did not. That is all I can tell you.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do not put questions to me. I am asking you. Did your administrative office ever report to you about this document?
Goering: No, but later on I heard about this document. At a later date.
GEN. RUDENKO: What do you mean by a "later date"? Please be more precise.
Goering: I cannot tell you at the moment. It was sometime during the war that I heard that a figure which originally stood at from 5 to 10 had been altered by the Fuehrer personally to 50 to 100. That is what I heard.
GEN. RUDENKO: For one German?
Goering: I have just explained to you. That is what I heard. The number was originally 5 to 10 and the Fuehrer personally added on a zero. It was through that fact being once discussed that I learned about the whole matter.
GEN. RUDENKO: You mean the Fuehrer added the zeros?
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, do you think it is really necessary to go through these documents in such detail? The documents, after all, speak for themselves, and they have already been presented to the Tribunal.
GEN. RUDENKO: I am finishing with this document, Mr. President.
Do you know anything about the directives of the OKW with regard to the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war?
Goering: I shall have to see them.
GEN. RUDENKO: If you please, Mr. Presidgnt, the document has already been submitted to the Tribunal as 33B-PS.
Please look at Point A, Paragraph 3, which states that there is a broad directive concerning the use of arms against Soviet prisoners of war. The use of weapons must be considered permissible
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and in any incidents involved the guards are not bound to report on the matter.
This document also speaks for itself. I do not want ...
Goering: Just a moment, I must read it first; there is some ambiguity in here.
GEN. RUDENKO: I should like to refresh your memory with still another subject, that is, a short comment. It is taken from an order concerning the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. Here it is said that prisoners of war who are trying to escape should be shot without warning. The same subject is also mentioned in the memorandum concerning the treatment of the Russian prisoners of war.
Goering: The trouble here was the language difficulty; hence the guards were instructed to use their arms immediately against persons attempting escape. That is more or less the meaning of it, and that errors might occur in this connection can be understood.
GEN. RUDENKO: I am not talking about the purport of the document which speaks for itself. I want to know whether you knew about this document.
Goering: This is a document dealing with the treatment of prisoners of war, and it was passed directly to my department which was concerned with prisoners of war. I did not know of this document, neither did I know of the one which contains the opinion of the Foreign Intelligence Department on the matter.
GEN. RUDENKO: You did not know about this document? Very well. Now one other, Number 884-PS, already submitted. It deals with the extermination of political leaders and other political personalities. This is a document ...
Goering: In explanation of this, I should like to point out that the Air Force did not have any camps for Soviet prisoners of war. The Air Force had only six camps in which the air force personnel of other powers were confined; but it had no camps under it with Soviet prisoners of war.
GEN. RUDENKO: I have asked you these questions and shown you these documents because as the second man in Germany, you could not possibly have been unaware of these things.
Goering: I apologize if I contradict you. The higher the office I held, the less would I be concerned with orders dealing with prisoners of war. From their very nature, these were departmental orders and not orders of the highest political or military significance. If I had held a much lower rank, then I might have had more knowledge of these orders. I am now looking at the document which you submitted to me -- Department of Home Defense. It says
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on the left, "Reference: Treatment of Captured Political and Military Russian Functionaries." That is the document I am looking at.
GEN. RUDENKO: Please look at the date of the document -- 12 May 1941, Fuehrer's Headquarters.
GEN. RUDENKO: Look at Paragraph 3 of the document.
"Political leaders among the troops are not to be considered prisoners of war and must be exterminated at the latest in the transit camps. They must never be transported to the rear."
Did you know about this directive?
Goering: May I point out that this is in no way a directive, but that it bears the heading, "Memorandum," and is signed Warlimont. Also the distribution chart does not show any other department than the Home Defense Department, which I have mentioned. In other words, this is a memorandum.
GEN. RUDENKO: You mean to say then that you did not know about this document?
Goering: I say once more, this is a memorandum from the Operations Staff of the OKW; and it is not an order or a directive, but a memorandum.
THE PRESIDENT: That is not an answer to the question. You are telling us what it was, not whether you knew of it.
Goering: No; I did not. It had been put before me as an order, and I wanted to point out that it is not an order.
GEN. RUDENKO: Let us go on. The directives regarding the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war must have been executed also by the units of the Luftwaffe?
Goering: If ordered by the Fuehrer, yes; or if ordered by me, also.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you remember your own directives with regard to the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war?
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not remember them?
Goering: The Air Force had no camps with Soviet prisoners of war.
GEN. RUDENKO: Tell me, the majority of these criminal orders and directives of the OKW, were they not issued even before the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union and as part of the preparations for that war? Does this not show that the German Government and the OKW already had a prepared plan for exterminating the Soviet population?
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Goering: No. It does not prove it at all. It only shows that we considered a struggle with the Soviet Union would be an extremely bitter one, and that it would be conducted according to other rules as there were no conventions.
GEN. RUDENKO: These rules of warfare are well known to us. Please tell me, do you know about Himmler's directives given in 1941 about the extermination of 30 million Slavs? You heard about it from the witness Von dem Bach-Zelewski here in court. Do you remember that?
Goering: Yes. First of all it was not an order but a speech. Secondly, it was an assertion by Zelewski. And thirdly, in all speeches that Himmler made to subordinate leaders, he insisted on the strictest secrecy. In other words, this is a statement from a witness about what he had heard, and not an order. Consequently, I have no knowledge of this nonsense.
GEN. RUDENKO: You did not know about it. Very well. Tell me, in the German totalitarian state was there not a governing center, which meant Hitler and his immediate entourage, in which you acted as deputy? These directives must have concerned Keitel and Himmler also. Could Himmler of his own volition have issued directives for the extermination of 30 million Slavs without being empowered by Hitler or by you?
Goering: Himmler gave no order for the extermination of 30 million Slavs. The witness said that he made a speech in which he said that 30 million Slavs must be exterminated. Had Himmler issued such an order de facto, if he kept to regulations, he would have had to ask the Fuehrer -- not me, but the Fuehrer -- and the latter would probably have told him at once that it was impossible.
GEN. RUDENKO: I did not say it was an order; I said it was a directive from Himmler. You therefore admit, or you state rather, that Himmler could have issued instructions without discussing them with Hitler?
Goering: I emphasize that such instructions could not have been given by Himmler, and I know of no instructions; also no directive has been mentioned here.
GEN. RUDENKO: I shall repeat the question once more: Is it not true that the directives and the orders of the OKW with regard to the treatment of the civilian population and prisoners of war in the occupied Soviet territories were part of the general directives for the extermination of the Slavs? That is what I want to know.
Goering: Not at all. At no time has there been a directive from the Fuehrer, or anybody I know of, concerning the extermination of the Slavs.
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GEN. RUDENKO: You must have known about the mass extermination of the Soviet citizens from the occupied territories of the Soviet Union with the help of the SD and the Security Police. Is it not true that the Einsatz Kommandos and their activities were the result of the plan prepared in advance for the extermination of Jews and other groups of Soviet citizens?
Goering: No. Einsatz Kommandos were an internal organ which was kept very secret.
GEN. RUDENKO: I shall have several other questions. Perhaps it is better to adjourn now.
THE PRESIDENT: How long do you think it will take, General Rudenko?
GEN. RUDENKO: I think not more than another hour.
THE PRESIDENT: All these documents which you have been putting to the witness, as I have pointed out to you, are documents which have already been put in evidence and documents which seem to me to speak for themselves. I hope, therefore, that you will make your cross-examination as short as you can. The Tribunal will now adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 22 March 1946 at 1000 hours.]