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[The Defendant Von Ribbentrop resumed the stand.]
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, Your Lordship will have noticed that I did not deal with the question of Jews. That will now be taken up by my learned friend, M. Faure, of the French Delegation.
DR. KAUFFMANN: Mr. President, may I say a few words on an important question? A map was discussed here yesterday, the map which is now visible in court. From that map the Prosecution conclude that a large number of concentration camps were distributed all over Germany. The defendants are contradicting this statement as energetically as possible. In the treatment of my case, the case of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner, I hope to adduce evidence to the effect that only a very few of the red spots on this map are accurate. I wish to make this statement here and now, in order that the impression does not arise over again, in the subsequent cases, that this map is a correct one.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kauffmann, this is only a reproduction of what has already been put in evidence.
DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes, but I am at liberty to adduce proof to the contrary.
THE PRESIDENT: Of course you are, but it is not necessary for you to say so now. The fact that the evidence was put in by the Prosecution at an earlier date, of course, gives you every opportunity to answer it, but not to answer it at this moment.
M. FAURE: Defendant, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, you were the chief of the diplomatic personnel, were you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
M. FAURE: The personnel followed your instructions, did they not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
M. FAURE: You declared yesterday that you were responsible for the acts of your subordinates?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
2 April 46
M. FAURE: Would you tell me if Dr. Best, Plenipotentiary for Denmark, was a member of your Ministry?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
M. FAURE: Dr. Best told you, did he not, that Hitler had given an order to assassinate Danes when there were acts of sabotage?
VON RIBBENTROP: May I ask you to repeat the question?
M. FAURE: According to the documents that have been produced before the Tribunal, Dr. Best saw you on 30 December 1943 and told you that Hitler had given the order to assassinate Danes when there were acts of sabotage in Denmark; is that so?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that was to be done against saboteurs. Hitler had ordered it.
M. FAURE: The order, according to the terms employed by Dr. Best in the document, was to "execute persons, terrorists or nonterrorists, without trial." Can that not be considered as assassination?
VON RIBBENTROP: From the beginning I strongly opposed these measures, and so did Dr. Best. We went so far as to.
M. FAURE: Defendant, I am not trying to say that you were pleased with this state of affairs. I am merely asking you if you were informed thereof. Is that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, the Fuehrer wanted that. I do not know the details.
M. FAURE: But I am not asking for details.
VON RIBBENTROP: And what was ordered afterwards I do not know because, so far as I am aware, it did not go through us, but through another department.
M. FAURE: I note that you actually were informed of the Fuehrer's order given that day to permit assassination. You therefore considered it normal to belong to a government, the head of which was a murderer.
VON RIBBENTROP: No, the exact opposite is true here, the exact opposite ...
M. FAURE: All right, all right, just answer, please.
VON RIBBENTROP: ... for I told him that I had taken my stand and that I held divergent views. The Fuehrer was most dissatisfied with Dr. Best and had the matter handled through other channels, since Dr. Best was against it and so was I.
M. FAUIRE: I am merely asking you to answer my question very briefly. You can give details through your counsel later.
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With regard to Denmark, there was action against the Jews in that country in order to deport them. Did you have anything to do with that?
VON RIBBENTROP: I cannot tell you anything about matters relating to the Jews in Denmark, since I know nothing.
M. FAURE: Did you never hear anything about it?
VON RIBBENTROP: I remember that I discussed the fact with Best, that this question was of no significance in Denmark. He was therefore not proposing to do anything in particular about the Jewish question there, and I declared myself in complete agreement with him,
M. FAURE: I ask that you be shown Document 2375-PS. This document has not yet been submitted to the Tribunal. I would like to submit it under French Exhibit Number RF-1503. I would like to read with you the second paragraph of this document. It is an affidavit from Mildner, a colonel of the police in Denmark.
"As commander, I was subordinate to the Reich Plenipotentiary, Dr. Best. Since I was opposed to the persecution of the Jews, on principle and for practical reasons, I asked Dr. Best to give me the reasons for the measures that were ordered.
"Dr. Best declared to me that the Reich Foreign Minister, Ribbentrop, obviously knew Hitler's intention to exterminate the Jews in Europe. He had furnished Hitler with a report about the Jewish problem in Denmark and proposed to deport the Jews from Denmark.
"Dr. Best declared furthermore that Ribbentrop was afraid of being held responsible in case the Jews remained in Denmark.
"Dr. Best was now compelled to carry out the measures that were proposed to Hitler by Ribbentrop.
"From the discussion with Dr. Best I gathered that he must have had a discussion or a telephone conversation with Ribbentrop."
You read that, did you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: What is written in this document is pure fantasy. It is not true.
M. FAURE: Very well; I ask then that you be shown Document 3688-PS, which I wish to deposit under the French Exhibit Number RF-1502. It is a note of 24 September 1942, signed by Luther, and addressed to his collaborators. I should like to read with you the first two paragraphs of that document.
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs has instructed me today by telephone to expedite as much as possible the evacuation of the Jews from different countries in Europe, since it is
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certain that the Jews stir up feelings against us everywhere and must be held responsible for acts of sabotage and outrages.
"After a short report on the evacuation of Jews at present in process in Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, and the occupied territories, the Minister for Foreign Affairs has ordered us now to approach the Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Danish Governments with the aim of getting the evacuation started in these countries."
I suggest that this second document confirms the first as regards your participation in the deportation of Jews in Denmark. Do you agree?
VON RIBBENTROP: It was the Fuehrer's plan, at the time, to deport the Jews from Europe to North Africa, and Madagascar was also mentioned in this connection. He ordered me to approach various governments with a view to encouraging the emigration of the Jews, if possible, and to remove all Jews from important government posts. I issued instructions to the Foreign Office accordingly, and, if I remember rightly, certain governments were approached several times to that effect. It was the question of the Jewish emigration to certain parts of North Africa; that is true. May I return to this affidavit? This sworn affidavit is pure fantasy of Colonel Mildner's and is absolutely untrue.
M. FAURE: But, in any case, you admit...
VON RIBBENTROP: Dr. Best once discussed the Jewish question with me, and he said that as far as Denmark was concerned, the question was of no particular importance, since there were not many Jews left there. I explained to him that he would have to let matters take their own course there. That is the truth.
M. FAURE: You admit, nevertheless, that this document signed by Luther is correct, and that you did give the order to evacuate the Jews of Denmark? It is in the letter.
VON RIBBENTROP: No, not in Denmark. I do not even know this document of Luther's. This is the first time I have seen it.
M. FAURE: Please, simply answer my questions; otherwise we shall waste a lot of time. In your opinion, both these documents are incorrect, you said so; let us pass on.
The German Embassy in Paris ...
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I did not say so. That is incorrect. I said that I did not know Luther's document. It is, however, true that the Fuehrer gave me instructions to tell the Foreign Office to approach certain foreign governments with a view to solving the Jewish problem by removing the Jews from government positions and, wherever possible, to favor Jewish emigration.
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M. FAURE: The German Embassy in Paris was under your orders, was it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: The German Embassy in Paris, that is, the Ambassador to the Vichy Government, naturally received orders from me.
M. FAURE: French Document RP-1061 has already been read to the Tribunal and in this document you defined the functions of Ambassador Abetz. It is 3614-PS.
In this document, which has already been read to you twice here, I would remind you that you commissioned Abetz to put in a safe place the public and private art treasures, particularly those belonging to Jews, on the basis of special instructions mentioned here. Abetz executed this mission by pillaging art collections in France.
VON RIBBENTROP: It is not true.
M. FAURE: I would ask that you be shown Document 3766-PS, which has not yet been produced, and to which I should like to give the French Exhibit Number RF-1505. I will go over merely a few lines of this document with you. It is a report from the military administration, which was distributed in 700 copies. It is entitled: "Report on the Removal of French Works of Art by the German Embassy and the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in France."
If you will look at Page 3, you will see that the title in the margin is very significant: "German Embassy: Attempt to remove paintings from the Louvre."
Page 4, I will read the first sentence at the top of the page ...
VON RIBBENTROP: When may I refer to the individual points? Not at all, or here and now?
M. FAURE: When I ask you a question you will answer. I am reading a passage to you:
"Ambassador Abetz, disregarding the prohibition pronounced by the military administration, undertook to send to Germany a series of works of art from the Louvre which had been placed in safety."
Were you informed of this?
VON RIBBENTROP: I declare that this is absolutely untrue. Not a single work of art was taken out of the Louvre by Ambassador Abetz. That would have been contrary to the express orders of the Fuehrer, who had strictly forbidden it. The report is incorrect.
May I mention that on one occasion the French Government wanted to present me with a work of art from the Louvre, a painting by Boucher. I returned this picture to the Louvre. I do not possess anything, and the Foreign Office never even saw a single work of art, from the Louvre.
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M. FAURE: You state that this report is incorrect?
THE PRESIDENT: What is this report you are putting to him?
M. FAURE: It is Document 3766-PS.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know, but what is this document?
M. FAURE: It is a report from the German military administration, which is in the American documents in the PS series. The Tribunal received a general affidavit referring thereto.
THE PRESIDENT: Captured documents?
M. FAURE: Yes, captured documents. I indicate to the Tribunal that this captured report contains numerous other passages relating to the actions of Abetz, but as the defendant declares that the report is inexact as regards one of its passages, I shall not continue reading the document, in order to save time.
In addition ...
VON RIBBENTROP: But this is not a captured document, not a report.
M. FAURE: Please answer my questions. We are not going to carry on this controversy. Your counsel can interrogate you later on.
DR. HORN: I must ask your permission to inquire into the nature of the documents submitted to the defendant. If it is stated that it is a captured report and then that it is not a captured report, the matters should be put right, here and immediately.
M. FAURE: I have already indicated that this document belongs to the PS series of captured documents. The Tribunal has a large number of such documents and I do not think that their authenticity will be disputed.
[Turning to the defendant.] I would now like to ask you the following question: ...
THE PRESIDENT: Are you going to ask further questions upon this document?
M. FAURE: No, Mr. President.
[Turning to the defendant.] Apart from the questions of art treasures, Abetz also dealt with the question of the treatment of Jews in general, did he not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Abetz had no order. As far as I know he also had nothing to do with the Jewish question. This question was handled by other departments.
M. FAURE: Is it not true that in October 1940 Abetz communicated with you with a view to settling the situation of Jews of German or Austrian descent who were residing in France?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know; it did not interest me.
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M. FAURE: I would like to show you Document EC-265, which I wish to submit as French Document RF-1504. It is a telegram from Abetz dated 1 October 1940. 1 will read merely the first and last sentences:
"The solution of the Jewish problem in the occupied territory of France requires, besides other measures, a regulation as soon as possible of the citizenship status of the Reich German Jews who were living here at the beginning of the war..."
And the last sentence:
"The measures proposed above are to be considered as merely the first step toward the solution of the entire problem. I reserve the right to make other proposals."
VON RIBBENTROP: May I have time to read the telegram first?
THE PRESIDENT: That is a little too fast.
M. FAURE: Yes.
VON RIBBENTROP: So far as I can see, this telegram apparently deals with the fact that Austrian and German Jews are to be repatriated to Austria and Germany from France. I do not know that. This is the first time I have seen this telegram, and I can give no information about it. It probably represents one of the routine measures dealt with by the Foreign Office in the course of the day's work, but which were not submitted to me; and apart from that, these matters were individually dealt with by other departments, not by us.
M. FAURE: If you will look on the left-hand side of the telegram, you will see the distribution list. There were 19, including you, were there not? You were Number 2.
VON RIBBENTROP: I should like to inform the French prosecutor that every day four, five, six, or eight hundred such documents and telegrams reached my office, of which only 1 or 2 percent were submitted to me.
M. FAURE: Apart from the question ...
VON RIBBENTROP: In any case I know nothing about this telegram.
M. FAURE: Apart from the question of Jews of Austrian and German origin, your colleagues and subordinates in the Embassy also dealt with the question of the French Jews. Now, before asking you this question, I should like to read out to you two sentences from a document which was submitted to the Tribunal as French Document Number RF-1207. It is a report from Dannecker, who was responsible for solving the Jewish problem in France. Dannecker concluded his report as follows:
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"In this connection, I cannot speak of this matter without mentioning the genuinely friendly support which our work received from the German Ambassador Abetz, his representative, the envoy Schleier, and SS SturmbannFuehrer and Counsellor of Legation Dr. Zeitschel. I should like to add that the Embassy in Paris has, on its own initiative, placed quite larger sums at the disposal of the branch in charge of the Jewish question, for the financing of the Anti-Jewish Institute, and that it, will continue to do so in future."
Therefore, according to these documents, Abetz, Schleier, and Zeitschel worked together.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Faure, we do not know where you are reading from.
M. FAURE: Mr. President, this document was not given to you in this folder because it has already been submitted to the Tribunal. I merely wished to read two sentences from it.
THE PRESIDENT: All right.
M. FAURE: It is evident therefore, from this document, that three officials of the German Embassy, Abetz, Schleier, and Zeitschel, collaborated with Dannecker in the settlement of Jewish affairs. That is shown by the document, is it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Am I supposed to answer that? Is it a question?
M. FAURE: It is a question.
VON RIBBENTROP: To that question I must answer "naturally." They certainly collaborated to some extent in the Jewish question in France; that is perfectly clear. But I can also add that the French Prosecution surely is informed that Ambassador Abetz was not only instructed by me, but also acted on his own initiative in always attempting to reach some kind of conciliatory settlement of this question. It goes without saying that the Embassy was involved, one way or the other, in this sphere of action. And it also goes without saying that I must assume responsibility for anything done by the gentlemen in the Embassy, and I should like to repeat that my instructions as well as the activities of Ambassador Abetz were always in the opposite direction. It is quite clear that the basic anti-Semitic tendency and policy of the German Government spread over all the departments and naturally, in any sphere -- I mean, every Government office somehow or other came into contact with these matters. Our task in the Foreign Office -- which could be proved in thousands of cases if the documents would be submitted was to act as an intermediary in this sphere. I might say, we often had to do things in accordance with this anti-Semitic policy, but
2 April 46
we always endeavored to prevent these measures and to reach some kind of conciliatory settlement. In fact, the German Embassy was not responsible for any anti-Semitic measures of any description in France.
M. FAURE: I would like to draw your attention to another document, Number RF-1210, a French document which is a second report from Dannecker of 22 February 1942, Page 3 of the document, Page 2 of the German text.
VON RIEBBENTROP: I should like to say here and now that I do not even know who Dannecker is. Perhaps you can give me some information on that subject.
M. FAURE: I informed you that Dannecker was the person responsible for Jewish affairs in France. As a matter of fact, these documents were submitted a long time ago to the Tribunal and communicated to the Defense.
At Page 3 of the document, which is Page 2 of the German, there is a paragraph entitled, "Actions," from which I read one sentence: "Up to the present, three large-scale operations have been undertaken against the Jews in Paris."
Now, if you will look at the last page of the document, the last paragraph but one, we read as follows:
"Since the middle of 1941 there has been a conference every Tuesday in which the following services participate:... I, II, and III, military commands, administrative, police, and economic sections; IV, German Embassy, Paris; V, Einsatzstab Westen of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.
"The result of the conference is that -- with very few exceptions naturally called for by outsiders -- the anti-Jewish policy is being brought into one common line in the occupied territory."
This document clearly shows, does it not, that your collaborators were in agreement with the anti-Jewish policy in the occupied territories and that this policy included the arrest of Jews?
VON RIBBENTROP: May I reply to this statement? According to my information, in this case, as so often happened in such cases, the German ambassadors could have served as the branch offices. They might have joined in with a view to guiding matters into peaceful channels.
M. FAURE: I ask that you be shown French Document RF-1220, which is a letter from the German Embassy of 27 June 1942, addressed to the head of the Security Police and the SD in France. Before asking you a question I would like to read with you the first two paragraphs of this letter:
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"Following my interview with HauptsturmFuehrer Dannecker on the date of 27 June, during which he indicated that he required that 60,000 Jews from the unoccupied zone be deported to the East as soon as possible, and that on the basis of notes sent by the Commissioner General for Jewish Questions, Darquier de Pellepoix, under any circumstances something had to be done for this, I reported the matter to Ambassador Abetz and Minister Rahn immediately after the discussion. The latter is to confer with President Laval this afternoon, and he has promised me that he will speak to him at once about the handing over of these 50,000 Jews; also he will insist that Darquier de Pellepoix be given complete freedom of action according to the laws already promulgated, and that the credits which have been promised to him be handed to him immediately."
Now, I should like to ask you a question. I ask you to answer as briefly as possible: Were you aware of this demarche for the handing over of these 50,000 Jews?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I was not; I heard about it here for the first time, when this document was, I believe, read out once before.
M. FAURE: If your collaborators Abetz, Rahn, and Zeitschel took such action on this subject without informing you, was it not because they thought they were acting in accordance with your general directives?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I do not think so; they worked very independently in Paris, but I should like to repeat once again that I am assuming responsibility for everything that these gentlemen have done. I make a point of emphasizing this fact. I did not, however, know anything about the proposed measure against the 60,000 Jews. And I do not even know whether it was ever put into effect, and in what manner these gentlemen had implicated themselves in the matter. The letter does not make it clear. I know only one thing, and that is that my general instructions were to tread cautiously in such matters and, if possible, to bridge difficulties according to my own basic concepts and not to do anything to force matters but, on the contrary, to smooth them over. I can say no more on the subject.
M. FAURE: During the interrogation of your witness Steengracht, the British Prosecution produced a document, 3319-PS, under the British Exhibit Number GB-287. I should like to refer to this document for one question only.
In this document there is an account of a meeting, or a congress, at which were present all the reporters on Jewish questions from the various diplomatic missions in Europe. This congress was held
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on 3 and 4 April 1944 in Krummhubel. It was organized by Schleier. This was read the other day. You knew about this congress, I suppose?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, this is the first time I have heard about it. What congress was that? I have never heard that such a congress ever took place. What kind of congress was it supposed to be?
M. FAURE: This document has already been submitted; it was a congress held...
VON RIBBENTROP: I know only about one congress which I asked the Fuehrer not to hold. That I do know. But I know nothing at all about a congress which did take place. Please give more detailed information on the subject.
M. FAURE: The document was handed over to the Tribunal, and I would like to ask you one question. You testified that you were unaware of this meeting at which 31 persons, most of whom belonged to the diplomatic service, were present. I will inform you that during this meeting Embassy Counsellor Von Thadden made a declaration which was reported in the following terms:
"The speaker explained the reasons why the Zionist solution of Palestine and similar alternative solutions must be rejected and why the Jews must be expatriated into the Eastern territories."
I suggest that this declaration made by an embassy counsellor in the presence of 31 people belonging to your service voiced your own attitude on these matters.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, but I do not know in the very least what you mean. May I, to begin with, please have some information on the matter with which we are dealing? I do not understand it at all. I have told you once before that I know nothing about any congress except the one which I countermanded. That was an international congress which was to have been held. I know nothing of a congress of diplomats. Would you kindly place the document in question at my disposal in order that I may make my reply?
M. FAURE: I do not intend to show you this document. I read one sentence contained in this document, and I am merely asking you if this phrase represents your opinion or not. Answer "Yes" or "no".
VON RIBBENTROP: Then I must request you to repeat the sentence. I wish to confirm again, however, that no congress took place; it is not true.
DR. HORN: Mr. President, I object to that question, if the opportunity is not afforded the defendant to give a truthful answer.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks the question was proper.
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M. FAURE: I ask you whether this sentence which I have read out to you corresponded to your opinion.
VON RIBBENTROP: May I ask you to repeat the sentence. I did not understand it correctly.
"The speaker explained the reasons why the Zionist solution of Palestine and similar alternative solutions must be rejected and why the Jews must be expatriated to the Eastern territories."
Was that your thesis?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, it was not.
M. FAURE: Was your attention drawn to the fact that the Italian authorities in France protected the Jews against persecution by Germans?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. I recollect that there was something of the kind but I no longer remember exactly.
M. FAURE: Did you approach the Italian Government on this subject?
VON RIBBENTROP: I recollect that on one occasion I spoke either to Mussolini or to Count Ciano about certain acts of sabotage, espionage, or something of that kind which had occurred in France and against which one would have to be on the alert, and in this connection, I believe, the Jewish problem was also discussed.
M. FAURE: I ask that you be shown Document D-734, which I would like to submit as French Exhibit Number RF-1501. This note is headed:
"Account of a conference between the Reich Foreign Minister and the Duce in the Palazzo Venezia in the presence of Ambassadors Von Mackensen and Alfieri and the State Secretary Bastianini on the 25th of February 1943."
I would like to read with you the second paragraph on this page.
"Further, the Reich Foreign Minister dealt with the Jewish question. The Duce was aware that Germany had taken a radical position with regard to the treatment of the Jews.. As a result of the development of the war in Russia she had come to an even greater clarification of this question. All Jews had been transported from Germany and from the territories occupied by her to reservations in the East. He, the Reich Foreign Minister, knew that this measure was described as cruel, particularly by enemies, but it was necessary in order to be able to carry the war through to a successful conclusion."
I shall not read the following paragraph, but the fourth:
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"France also had taken measures against the Jews which were extremely useful. They were only temporary, because here, too, final solution would be the deportation of the Jews to the East. He, the Reich Foreign Minister, knew that in Italian military circles, and occasionally among German military people too, the Jewish problem was not sufficiently appreciated. It was only in this way that he could understand an order of the Comando Supremo which, in the Italian occupation zone of France had canceled measures taken against the Jews by the French authorities acting under German influence. The Duce contested the accuracy of this report and traced it back to the French tactics of causing dissension between Germany and Italy."
Now I shall ask you a question: A short while ago you told us that you wanted to make all the Jews emigrate to Madagascar. Is Madagascar in the Eastern reservations mentioned in the document?
VON RIBBENTROP: About what? I have not understood.
M. FAURE: You were talking in this document of deporting Jews to the reservations in the Eastern territories, and a short while ago you spoke to us of settling the Jews in Madagascar. Is Madagascar meant here?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, that was the Fuehrer's plan. This document refers to the fact that a large-scale espionage system had been discovered, I believe, in France. The Fuehrer sent me while I was on a journey to Italy and told me to speak to Mussolini and see to it that in cases of Jews involved in these acts of sabotage and espionage, the Italian Government or the Italian Army did not intervene to prevent this measure. Also I should like to state definitely that I knew, and it was also the Fuehrer's plan, that the European Jews were to be resettled on a large scale either in Madagascar, North Africa, or in reservations in the East. This was generally known in Germany. That is all that we are concerned with here, and I also knew that some very unpleasant things had occurred at that time and that the Fuehrer was convinced that all of them could be attributed to Jewish organizations in the south of France, I believe. I now recollect very well that at the time I discussed the matter with Mussolini and begged him to adopt suitable measures since these Jews were furnishing all the information to the English and American Intelligence Services. At least that was the information which the Fuehrer was constantly receiving.
M. FAURE: You said, did you not, that all Jews were to be deported to the Eastern reservations? Is that correct? Please reply "yes" or "no".
VON RIBBENTROP: Whether I was in favor of it?
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M. FAURE: Germany deported all the Jews from German territory and territories occupied by her to Eastern reservations. That is true, is it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know the contents of the document in detail. I do not know what I myself said in detail. But at any rate I knew that the Fuehrer had ordered that the Jews of the occupied territories in Europe were to be transported to reservations in the East and resettled there. That I did know. The carrying out of these measures, however, was not my task as Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Foreign Office, but I did know that it was the Fuehrer's wish. In this connection, I remember that I received an order from him to discuss the matter with the Italian Government so that they too would introduce corresponding measures regarding the Jewish problem. That applied to other countries as well, where we had to send telegrams quite frequently, so that these countries should solve the Jewish question.
THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, did you read to the witness the second paragraph beginning: "Further, the Reich Foreign Minister dealt with the Jewish question... "?
M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, the second paragraph. That is the paragraph which I have just been reading.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you read the third one, but I did not know you read the second one too. You read the second one too, did you? Very well.
M. FAURE: Yes, I read it as well, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: The document is a new document, is it not?
M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, it is a document which I would like to submit under the Exhibit Number RF-1501. It belongs to the "D" series; it is D-734 of the British document books.
THE PRESIDENT: Has the defendant said whether he admit, that it is a substantially accurate account of the conversation?
VON RIBBENTROP: I can no longer say for certain, Mr. President; what I did say at the time, I know only, and gather, from this document, from these words, that the Jews were spreading news from British and American sources. I can remember that at that time a large espionage and sabotage organization was in existence, and that this organization was causing a great deal of trouble in France, and that the Fuehrer ordered me to discuss the matter with Mussolini since the Italians were opposing certain measures we had introduced in France. I spoke to Mussolini and told him that the Fuehrer was of the opinion that, where this question was concerned, we should have to come to a definite understanding.
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THE PRESIDENT: I think, Defendant, you have already told us that. The question that I asked was whether you agreed that it was a substantially accurate account of the conversation.
VON RIBBENTROP: I consider that in certain points the report is incorrect, but fundamentally the position was as I have just explained it.
M. FAURE: Now, you also spoke about this question with Horthy, did you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. I had to confer several times with the Hungarian Government so as to persuade them to do something about the Jewish problem. The Fuehrer was extremely insistent on this point. I therefore discussed the question repeatedly with the Hungarian Ambassador and the question was primarily to centralize the Jews somehow or other in some part of Budapest, I think it was slightly outside Budapest or in -- as a matter of fact, I do not know Budapest very well -- in any case, it was somewhere in Budapest itself. That was the first point. And the second point dealt with the removal of the Jews from influential Government posts, since it had been proved that Jewish influence in these departments was sufficiently authoritative to bring Hungary to a separate peace.
M. FAURE: The document relating to your conversation or one of the conversations which you had with Horthy has already been produced. It was that of 17 April 1943. It is Document D-736, which was submitted as GB-283.
During the interrogation of your witness, Schmidt, the British prosecutor asked this witness if he admitted having compiled this account, and this was confirmed by Schmidt. This note bears the following remark at the bottom of the first paragraph: "The Foreign Minister declared that the Jews were either to be exterminated or sent to concentration camps. There was no other solution."
You did say that, did you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: I definitely did not say it in those words. But I would like to reply as follows:
It was apparently an account prepared by "Minister" Schmidt, as was his habit, some days after a long discussion between the Fuehrer and Horthy. I have already said that the Fuehrer had repeatedly charged me to talk to Horthy, to the Hungarian Government, to the Ambassador, in order to reach a solution of the Jewish question. At the time when Horthy visited the Fuehrer the Fuehrer emphasized the question to him in a very irritable manner, and I remember perfectly that subsequent to this discussion I talked the matter over with "Minister" Schmidt, saying that I, strictly speaking, had not quite understood the Fuehrer.
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The remark mentioned was definitely not made in this way. M. Horthy had apparently said that he could not, after all, beat the Jews to death. It is possible, since there would have been no question of that in any case, that in this connection I did endeavor to persuade Horthy to do something or other at once about the Jewish question in Budapest, namely, that he should undertake now the centralization which the Fuehrer had already wished to carry out for a long time. My objection or my interpolation may have referred to this question.
I must add that the situation, at that time, was as follows: We had been receiving repeated indications from Himmler, to the effect that Himmler wished to handle the Jewish situation in Hungary himself. I did not want this, since, one way or another, it would probably have created political difficulties abroad.
Consequently, acting on the wish of the Fuehrer, who was extremely obstinate on this subject, I, as is known, repeatedly attempted to smooth matters over and, at the same time, pin the Hungarians down to do something about it in any case. Therefore, if, from a long conversation, some remark has been extracted and summarized in brief, and contains some such statement, it certainly does not mean that I wished the Jews to be beaten to death. It was 100 percent contrary to my personal convictions.
M. FAURE: I do not understand whether you answered my question or not. I will have to ask you again. Is the report correct, or is it not correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, in this form it cannot be correct. These are notes. I personally have never seen these notes before; otherwise I should have said at once that this is nonsense and liable to misconstruction. I did not see these notes before; I saw them for the first time in Nuremberg.
I can say only one thing which may possibly have occurred. I might have said ... well yes, "the Jews cannot be exterminated or beaten to death, so, please do something in order that the Fuehrer will be satisfied at long last, and centralize the Jews."
That was our aim, at that time at any rate. We did not want to render the situation more acute, but we were trying to do something in Hungary so that no other department could take the matter in hand, thereby creating political difficulties abroad for the Foreign Office.
M. FAURE: You knew at that time that many Jews had been deported. That may be gathered from your explanations.
THE PRESIDENT: Just one moment, please. Are you passing from this document?
M. FAURE: I was continuing to speak of it in more general terms.
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THE PRESIDENT: You are passing from it, did you say?
M. FAURE: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Defendant, the Tribunal would like to know whether you did, say to the Regent Horthy that Jews ought to be taken to concentration camps.
VON RIBBENTROP: I consider it possible that such may have been the case, for we had, at that time, received an order that a concentration camp was to be installed near Budapest or else that the Jews should be centralized there, and the Fuehrer had instructed me a long time before to discuss with the Hungarians a possible solution of the Jewish question. This solution should consist of two points. One was the removal of the Jews from important government positions and two, since there were so many Jews in Budapest, to centralize the Jews in certain quarters of Budapest.
THE PRESIDENT: I understand your suggestion to be that this document is inaccurate.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, it is not accurate. The way I should like to put it, Mr. President, is that when reading the document, it would appear from this document that I considered it possible or desirable to beat the Jews to death. That is perfectly untrue but what I did say here and what I emphasized later on could be understood to mean only that I wished something to be done in Hungary to solve the Jewish problem, so that other departments should not interfere in the matter. For the Fuehrer often spoke to me about it, very seriously indeed, saying that the Jewish problem in Hungary must be solved now ...
THE PRESIDENT: You have told us that, I think, already. What I wanted to ask you was this: Are you suggesting that Schmidt, who drew up this memorandum, invented the last few sentences, beginning with the words:
"If the Jews there did not want to work they would be shot. If they could not work they would have to perish. They had to be treated like tuberculosis bacilli with which a healthy body may become infected. This was not cruel if one remembered that innocent creatures of nature, such as hares or deer, have to be killed so that no harm is caused by them. Why should the beasts who wanted to bring us Bolshevism be shown more leniency? Nations which did not rid themselves of Jews perished. One of the most famous examples of this was the downfall of a people who once were so proud, the Persians, who now lead a pitiful existence as Armenians."
Are you suggesting that Schmidt invented those sentences or imagined them?
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VON RIBBENTROP: Mr., President, I should like to add that I myself was very grieved by these words of the Fuehrer, and I did not quite understand them. But perhaps this attitude can be understood only if we remember that the Fuehrer believed that the Jews had caused this war, and that he had gradually developed a very fanatical hatred for them.
I remember too that later on, after this conference, I discussed with the interpreter Sdimidt and the two gentlemen the fact that this was the first time the Fuehrer had used expressions in connection with the Jewish problem which I could no longer understand. These words were certainly not invented by Schmidt. The Fuehrer did express himself in some such way at that time. That is true.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, M. Faure.
M. FAURE: It appears from his document that you thought there were concentration camps in Hungary and yet you said yesterday that you did not know there were any in Germany. Is that not so?
VON RIBBENTROP: I did not know that there were any concentration camps in Hungary, but I did say that the Fuehrer had instructed me to ask Horthy to ask the Hungarian Government to concentrate the Jews in Budapest, in certain parts of the city of Budapest. As to concentration camps in Germany, I already spoke yesterday about my knowledge of that subject.
M. FAURE: You admitted that you knew Hitler's policy to deport all Jews and you admitted that insofar as you were competent as Minister for Foreign Affairs, you assisted this policy, did you not? That is right, is it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: As his faithful follower I adhered to the Fuehrer's orders even in this field, but I always did my utmost to alleviate the situation as far as possible. This can be stated and proved by many witnesses. Even in 1943 I submitted a comprehensive memorandum to the Fuehrer in which I urged him to alter the Jewish policy completely. I could also quote many other examples.
M. FAURE: If I understand your testimony rightly, you were morally opposed to this persecution of Jews, but you did help to carry them out, is that not so?
VON RIBBENTROP: I repeatedly said at the very beginning of my examination, that in that sense I have never been anti-Semitic. But I was a faithful follower of Adolf Hitler.
M. FAURE: Apart from the Jewish question, you dealt with arrests of French people, did you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: The arrests of Frenchmen ...
M. FAURE: Yes. Did you or did you not give orders to arrest Frenchmen?
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VON RIBBENTROP: It is quite possible that this was so. Quite possible.
M. FAURE: Can you be more precise on that subject?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I cannot, for the moment, remember any details. In any case I know that Frenchmen were arrested. Just how far this depended on us, at that time, I do not know. It was, I think, in 1944, shortly before the invasion that the Fuehrer issued an order to the effect that a large number of important French members of the resistance movement were to be arrested on the spot, and I believe that we were advised accordingly. It is also possible that we co-operated in this action to a certain extent, but I cannot remember any details.
It was a question of arresting those elements who would kindle the flame of the Resistance Movement in the event of an invasion, and would attack the German armies in the rear. But I cannot give you anymore particulars now.
M. FAURE: I ask that you be shown a document which will be submitted as Exhibit Number RF-1506 (Document Number RF-1506). It is an affidavit by Dr. H. Knochen. I shall read some passages from this document.
"At the end of 1943 -- it must have been in December -- there was a conference at the Foreign Office on arrests to be made in France. As I was in Berlin, I was also summoned to it. Present at this conference were: The Foreign Minister Von Ribbentrop; the State Secretary Von Steengracht; Ambassador Abetz; another member of the Foreign Office, whose name I do not know; the Chief of the SIPO and the SD, Dr. Kaltenbrunner; the Higher SS and Police Leader in France, Oberg; and representing the Military Commander-in-Chief was his Chief of Staff Colonel Kossmann, if my memory serves me right.
"The Minister stated the following: The Fuehrer expects in France more attention to be paid in the future than hitherto. The enemy force must not be allowed to increase. Therefore all German services will have to carry out their duties more meticulously."
I omit the next paragraph. Then we read the following:
"He sees arising danger, in the event of invasion, of those prominent Frenchmen who do not wish to collaborate with Germany, and who are secretly active against her. They might constitute a danger to the troops. These dangerous elements should be sought out in business circles, university centers, in certain military and political circles, and all classes of society connected with them. He believes that it will be
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necessary to strike an immediate blow against these people. He suggests that they number easily 2,000 people or more. At a moment when it is necessary to defend Europe against her enemy, there is no reason why we should shrink from taking preventive measures of this kind in France. As to the practical means of putting this into effect, the Minister stated, Ambassador Abetz will have to take up this matter immediately and draw up a list in collaboration with the German services in order to take account of all the questions that arise out of this matter."
I end the quotation here. Do you admit the accuracy of this document?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I distinctly remember that discussion. This was a Fuehrer order to the effect that immediate action be taken -- I have just spoken about this -- in view of the pending invasion, to arrest an potentially dafterous elements who could fan the flame of resistance in the rear of the German armies. I considered this a perfectly comprehensible measure which any Government, with the welfare of the troops at heart, would have made.
I then held this conference. The Fuehrer expected a far greater wave of arrests, but only a comparatively small number, I believe, were arrested then.
Subsequently we had comparatively little to do with the actual arrests; they were carried out by the police.
But it is perfectly clear that this conference did take place at the time indicated and that we did what had to be done at the moment, as proposed, namely, the arrest of those elements which might have been-dangerous in case of an invasion. That is quite true.
M. FAURE: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: There are two things that I want to say. One of them relates to the Prosecution and one of them relates to the Defense. It is desired that the Prosecution should furnish documents to the interpreters when they are going to use documents in the course of examination or cross-examination. Documents need not necessarily be in the language which the interpreter is going to use, but there must be some document in some language, one of the languages, placed before the interpreters in order to assist.
The other point is that I am told that the defendants' counsel are not getting their documents ready for the Translation Division in
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anything like the 2 weeks beforehand which was specified by the Tribunal. The Tribunal, it is true, said that the documents must be furnished to the Tribunal or the Translation Division 2 weeks ahead, if possible. Those words "if possible" are being treated too lightly and the documents, I am told, are sometimes coming in as late as 48 hours before the case of the particular defendant is to be taken. That is not sufficient and it will lead to delay. That is all.
MR. DODD: May it please the Tribunal, in the course of the cross-examination of this defendant by the French Prosecution, reference was made to Document 3766-PS and I understood Dr. Horn to say that that document was not a captured document. That was my understanding of his statement. I am not altogether sure that that was what he said when he approached the microphone. So that the record will be perfectly clear, I now wish to inform the Tribunal that it is a captured document and I do not know upon what basis Dr. Horn made that assertion.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn.
DR. HORN: Mr. President, I have not, so far, had any opportunity-it has been stated that we are dealing with a captured document, and I have had no opportunity of checking the matter beforehand. It said on the top of this document that it was a USA exhibit, Document Number 3766-PS, and I had no opportunity of checking this on its arrival. I have therefore requested that this fact be kindly established by the French Prosecution. That was my sole objection. I did not deny that it was a captured document; I was merely unable to prove it.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other prosecutors wish to ask questions of the defendant? Colonel Amen, the Tribunal hopes that you are not going over ground which has already been gone over.
COL. AMEN: Most certainly not, Sir.
[Turning to the defendant.] You speak English pretty well, Ribbentrop?
VON RIBBENTROP: I spoke it well in the past and I think I speak it passably well today.
COL. AMEN: Almost as well as you speak German?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I would not say that, but in the past I spoke it nearly as well as German, although I have naturally forgotten a great deal in the course of the years and now it is more difficult for me.
COL. AMEN: Do you know what is meant by a "yes man" in English?
VON RIBBENTROP: A "yes man" -- per se. A man who says "yes" even when he himself -- it is somewhat difficult to define.
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In any case, I do not know what you mean by it in English. In German I should define him as a man who obeys orders and is obedient and loyal.
COL. AMEN: And, as a matter of fact, you were a "yes mail" for Hitler, isn't that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: I was always loyal to Hitler, carried through his orders, differed frequently in opinion from him, had serious disputes with him, repeatedly tendered my resignation, but when Hitler gave an order, I always carried out his instructions in accordance with the principles of our authoritarian state.
COL. AMEN: Now, you were interrogated frequently by me, were you not, before this Trial?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, once or twice, I believe.
COL. AMEN: Now, I am going to read to you certain questions and answers which were given in the course of these interrogations, and simply ask you to tell the Tribunal whether or not you made the answers that I read to you. That question can be answered "yes" or "no"; do you understand?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
"I have been a loyal man to the Fuehrer to his last days. I have never gone back on him. I have been a loyal man to his last days, last hours, and I did not always agree with everything. On the contrary, I sometimes had very divergent views, but I promised to him in 1941 that I would keep faith in him. I gave him my word of honor that I would not get him into any difficulties."
Is that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that according to my recollection is correct. I did not see the document and I did not sign anything, but as far as I can remember, that is correct.
COL. AMEN: Well, what did you mean by saying that you would not get him into any difficulties?
VON RIBBENTROP: I saw in Adolf Hitler the symbol of Germany and the only man who could win this war for Germany, and therefore I did not want to create any difficulties for him, and remained faithful to him until the end.
COL. AMEN: Well, what you really meant was that you were never going to cross him, and you promised him that in 1941, isn't that true?
VON RIBBENTROP: I would never cause him any difficulties, yes, I did say that. He often found me a rather difficult subordinate, and that is when I told him that I would not cause him any difficulties.
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COL. AMEN: In 1941 you told him that no matter whether you differed with his opinion in the future, you would never press the point, isn't that true?
[There was no response.] "Yes" or "no"?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, not quite that, but...
COL. AMEN: Well, approximately that, is that right?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, it cannot be put that way. I only meant, if I may explain it this way, that I would never cause him any difficulties; if a serious divergence of opinion should ever arise, I would just withhold my own view. That was what I meant.
COL. AMEN: Well, you gave him your word of honor to that effect, isn't that true?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that is correct, yes.
COL. AMEN: And at that time you had talked about resigning, isn't that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that is also true, yes.
COL. AMEN: And that made the Fuehrer lose his temper and become ill, correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. "RP" is not the correct expression, but he became very excited at that time. I should prefer not to mention the details.
COL. AMEN: Well, he said it was injuring his health, isn't that correct, and told you to stop arguing with him about any of these questions and do what he told you to do? Right?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not wish to say anything more about the personal reasons, nor do I believe that these are matters which could be of any interest here. Those would be personal matters between the Fuehrer and myself.
COL. AMEN: Well, I am not interested in that. I am interested only in ascertaining if it is not a fact, and if you did not swear under oath, that on that occasion you swore to Hitler that you would never express or press any divergent views to anything which he desired. Is that not correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, no! That is absolutely untrue, the interpretation is false. I told the Fuehrer that I would never create any difficulties for him. After 1941 I had many divergencies with him, and even at that time I always voiced my own opinions.
COL. AMEN: Well, Ribbentrop, whatever divergent views you had you were never able to put any of them into effect after 1941, were you? "Yes" or "no."
VON RIBBENTROP: I did not understand the question. Please repeat it.
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COL. AMEN: I say, no matter how divergent your views were, or what views you expressed to the Fuehrer on any of these questions after 1941, your suggestions being contrary to the Fuehrer's were never put into effect. Isn't that correct? You always eventually did what the Fuehrer told you to do and what he wished, regardless of your own views.
VON RIBBENTROP: You are putting two questions to me. To the first I must reply that it is not correct that Hitler never accepted suggestions from me. Question Number 2, however, is correct. I can answer it by saying that if Hitler at any time expressed an opinion to me and issued an order, I carried the order through as was natural in our country.
COL. AMEN: In other words, eventually you always said "yes", isn't that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: I carried out his order, yes.
COL. AMEN: Now, I am going to read you some more of your testimony:
"He" -- referring to the Fuehrer -- "considered me his closest collaborator. We had a very serious conversation then, and when I wanted to go away, I promised it to him and I have kept it to the last moment. It was sometimes very difficult, I can assure you, to keep this promise, and today I am sorry that I gave it. Perhaps it would have been better if I had not given it. It put me from then on in the position that I could not talk to Hitler, in very serious and important moments of this war, in the way in which I would have liked to, and in which, perhaps, I might have been able to talk to him after this conversation in 1941.
"I must explain all this to you. If you do not know the background of these things you might think perhaps that as Foreign Minister during these last years I would like to say more about this. Perhaps I might say one could give some more information about this, but I want to be and remain loyal to this man, even after his death, as far as I can possibly do it, But I reserve the right to prove to posterity that I kept my promise and also the right to show the role which I have played in the whole of this drama."
Did you or did you not make those statements under oath to me?
VON RIBBENTROP: They are ...
COL. AMEN: "Yes" or "no"?
VON RIBBENTROP: Here again we have two questions. To question Number 1, I would say that I know nothing at all. To the second question, I answer "no." I certainly never testified under oath to that. I was put on oath only twice, but that is not relevant
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here. The statement is not verbatim and must have been wrongly translated. It is correct that I said that I was loyal to the Fuehrer and that I further said that I had many arguments with him, that we were not always of the same opinion, and that is the essence of my statement. That is correct.
COL. AMEN: I asked you only one question, and I ask you again to answer it "yes" or "no." Did you or did you not make those statements in the exact language that I just read them to you?
THE PRESIDENT: I think, Colonel Amen, he really did answer that, because he said it is not verbatim.
COL. AMEN: But it is verbatim.
THE PRESIDENT: That is a matter of opinion. He says it is not verbatim.
COL. AMEN: Well, very good, Your Lordship.
[Turning to the defendant.] In any event, you can see that you stated the substance of what I just read to you; correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: As I have just said, yes.
COL. AMEN: As a matter of fact, Ribbentrop, you testified and gave this particular testimony in English, did you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: I have often spoken English at interrogations, that is quite true, but whether it was precisely this statement which was made in English, I do not know. In any case, I repeat, these statements on both points are to be understood that way; that is how they were meant.
COL. AMEN: And when you gave your testimony in English, that was at your own request, was it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, that is not correct.
COL. AMEN: At whose request?
VON RIBBENTROP: That I do not know. I believe it just happened that way; I cannot remember. I believe I spoke English mostly, and German a few times. Most of the time, however, I spoke English.
COL. AMEN: Now, I am going to read you a little more of your testimony and ask you the same question, which I hope you will answer "yes" or "no," namely: Did you give this testimony in the course of the interrogation:
"Question: 'Do you feel that you have an obligation to the German people to set forth historically not only the good things, but the bad things, for their education in the future?'
"Answer: 'That is a terribly difficult question to answer.'
"Question: 'Does that counterbalance the loyalty you feel towards the Fuehrer?'
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"Answer: 'I do not want to stand before the German people as being disloyal to the Fuehrer.'"
Did you make those statements?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that is quite possible, though I can no longer remember very exactly. But that is quite possible. So much has been said in the course of the last few months, and then too, from a physical point of view, I have, as you know, not been quite up to the mark, so that I just cannot remember every single word.
COL. AMEN: All right. Now see if you recall having made these statements:
"I always told the Fuehrer openly my view if he wanted to hear it, but I kept myself entirely back from all decisions, but if the Fuehrer once had decided, I, according to my attitude toward the Fuehrer, blindly carried out his orders and acted in the sense of his decision. In a few decisive foreign political points, I tried to give my opinion more forcefully. This was in the Polish crisis and also in the Russian question, because I considered this absolutely important and necessary, but from 1941 I had but very little weight and it was difficult to bring an opinion through with the Fuehrer."
Do you recall having made those statements? "Yes," or "no," please.
VON RIBBENTROP: That is more or less true. Yes, I practically remember it.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal has already heard a very long cross-examination of the defendant, and they think that this is not adding very much to what they have already heard. The defendant has given very similar evidence already.
COL. AMEN: Very good, Sir. I will pass to another subject.
[Turning to the defendant.] You have testified that there was a sharp line of demarcation between the political and the military situations. Correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Between -- I did not understand that.
COL. AMEN: You have testified that there was always a sharp line of demarcation between the political and the military elements.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. The Fuehrer always differentiated rather strongly between these two elements; that is correct.
COL. AMEN: And that information belonging to the military was kept exclusively for the military and not made available to your office, for example? Is that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: I heard little of military matters and plans; yes, that is correct.
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COL. AMEN: And that the contrary was also true, that the information which you obtained was not made available to the military; is that correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: That I am in no position to judge, but I would assume so, since I do not know what information the military received from the Fuehrer.
COL. AMEN: Well, you told us that the Fuehrer's entire plan was to keep those political and military channels separate each from the other. Correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, in general he kept them very severely apart. I have already said so several times. That is why I have only just now had cognizance of many military, documents for the first time. That was perfectly in keeping with the Fuehrer's decrees on secrecy, that no one department should know more than was absolutely essential.
COL. AMEN: Now, as a matter of fact that was not true at all; was it, Ribbentrop?
VON RIBBENTROP: I have already given you my answer.
COL. AMEN: As a matter of fact you had secret agents out who were working jointly in foreign countries for your office, for the Army, and for the Navy; isn't that true?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, that is incorrect.
COL. AMEN: You are quite sure of that?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I am certain of that.
COL. AMEN: And you are swearing to that?
VON RIBBENTROP: You mean agents who did something, who...
COL. AMEN: Who were out obtaining information for your office, for the Army, and for the Navy at the same, jointly?
VON RIBBENTROP: I consider that highly improbable. It is, of course, possible that somehow or other, some man may have worked for different departments, but this was definitely not done on an organized scale. The organization -- we maintained a very small intelligence service abroad -- and the intelligence services of the other departments of the Reich generally worked, as far as I was informed, completely apart from ours. It is possible that here and there some person or other would work for other, for different departments. That is quite conceivable. For instance, some person or other in our legations, as was customary at the English, American, Russian, and other legations, who had dug themselves in as consular assistants or some other kind of assistants, and carried out intelligence work for some organization or other.
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COL. AMEN: So you want to change the answer you made a moment ago; is that right?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I do not wish to change it at all. Fundamentally, as an organized routine matter, I never introduced any of the secret agents who worked for the different departments abroad. It is, however, conceivable that the department of the Foreign Office dealing with such matters may have appointed somebody. It was, however, a fairly insignificant affair. Today I say "unfortunately." It is quite possible that other agents from this department, working for other departments, for Counterintelligence or the SD, et cetera, were correlated. Later on we even -- I should like to add the following: I had pronounced differences of opinion with Himmler, over the intelligence services abroad, and it was only through the good offices of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner that I obtained an agreement to the effect that certain items of information would be placed at my disposal. But later this agreement was not honored. I think it was practically ineffective, because it was already too late. That, I believe, was in 1944.
COL. AMEN: Will you look at Document Number 3817-PS, please? Will you first tell the Tribunal who Albrecht Haushofer was, please?
VON RIBBENTROP: Albrecht Haushofer was a former collaborator of mine and was a man who, yes, who dealt with German minority questions. Could I perhaps read the letter first? Is it a letter from Haushofer? It is not signed.
COL. AMEN: Yes, it is. Have you finished reading?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, not quite, not yet. Shall I read the others too, or only the first letter?
COL. AMEN: We shall get to the other letters in a moment. I am trying to make this as short as we possibly can. Does that letter refresh your recollection that Haushofer was out in the Orient investigating various matters and making reports to you as early as 1937?
VON RIBBENTROP: At the moment I cannot recall that Haushofer was in Tokio, but it is conceivable, it is possible that such was the case.
COL. AMEN: Well, the letter is addressed to you and it encloses a report, does it not?
VON RIBBENTROP: Isn't this a letter from Count Durckheim? Isn't there some misunderstanding? But if you say this was written by Haushofer, then it is conceivable that he was in Tokio; it is possible. I am not acquainted with the details. I sent Count Durckheim to Tokio at that time but it is possible that Haushofer was there too. To be candid, I have, at present, forgotten all about it.
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DR. HORN: Mr. President, I have just seen that this letter is not fully dated and is unsigned but I hear from Colonel Amen it was allegedly written in 1937. In 1937 Ribbentrop was not yet Foreign Minister. He was appointed Foreign Minister only on 4 February 1938.
COL. AMEN: It has the date on it -- 3 October -- and it was captured with Haushofer's documents.
VON RIBBENTROP: But I consider it quite probable that this letter is from Haushofer, although, to be quite candid, I no longer remember exactly that he had been to Tokio in 1937.
COL. AMEN: Well, now ...
VON RIBBENTROP: He was a collaborator who worked with us in the early years but later dealt more with German minority questions, so that I lost track of him in recent years.
COL. AMEN: I will just pass along through this document. You will find the next document is dated 15 April 1937, requesting reimbursement and funds for this trip.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
COL. AMEN: And then passing to the next document, you will find a letter to the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, saying:
"I am using the courier to send you also personally a short report which is going to Ribbentrop at the same time. It contains as briefly as possible a summary of what I could observe and hear over here in 4 weeks."
Do you see that?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I see the letter. Yes, yes!
COL. AMEN: Then you will pass on to the next letter, dated 1 September 1937, addressed to yourself.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
COL. AMEN: Enclosing a report covering the first 4 weeks.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I have it before me.
COL. AMEN: Now, we will pass the report over just for the moment and you will come to a letter dated 17 December 1937.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal thinks this is very far from the matters which they have really got to consider.
COL. AMEN: Very good, Sir. It seems to me that this indicates very clearly that copies of the same report which is included here were being sent simultaneously to the Army, to the Navy -- that went to Raeder -- and one to the Army and to Ribbentrop.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it is true that the witness first answer was that they did not have joint agents but he subsequently qualified that and said they might sometimes have had joint agents.
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COL. AMEN: That is right, Sir. If you think he has conceded that point ...
I should like to put this in as Exhibit USA-790.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, but may I be allowed to say that we are not, in this case, dealing with an agent. Herr Haushofer was a free collaborator of ours, interested in politics in general, and in the question of the German minorities in particular. If he was in Tokio, at that time, and he doubtless was there, although it has slipped my memory, then I must have told him to speak to several persons over there and report to me. He apparently, as I have only just gathered from this letter, either because he liked to be busy or for some other reason unknown to me, or because he knew the other gentlemen, placed these reports at the disposal of these other gentlemen, on his own initiative. But he certainly was no agent sent out by different departments. I think the only person who knew him well was Rudolf Hess; otherwise, I believe, he knew nobody at all. I fear I am not giving you quite the right ideas; he was a private tourist, who submitted his impressions.
COL. AMEN: Now, I believe you have told the Tribunal that you were not very close to Himmler; is that right?
VON RIBBENTROP: I have always said that my relations with Himmler were good during the first few years, but I regret to say that in the latter years I was not on good terms with him. I naturally -- it was not very noticeable to the outside world -- but I do not wish to discuss this matter in detail. Many things have already been said about it and there were serious and violent divergencies, due to many reasons...
COL. AMEN: I do not care what the divergencies were. In what years did you get along closely with him?
VON RIBBENTROP: I did not understand your question.
COL. AMEN: In what years were you close to him?
VON RIBBENTROP: The first divergencies between Himmler and myself arose, I believe, in 1941, over Romania and difficulties in Romania. These divergencies were smoothed over, and naturally to all outward appearances we had to work together as before, and we often exchanged letters on our respective birthdays and on other occasions. But later on relations were not very good. The final break came in 1941. Formerly I had been on good terms with him and also shared his opinion for the creation of a leadership class, at which he was aiming.
COL. AMEN: And you had at least 50 social appointments with Himmler in 1940 and 1941?
VON RIBBENTROP: How many?
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COL. AMEN: Fifty?
VON RIBBENTROP: Fifty? No, that certainly could not have been the case. Perhaps five or thereabouts, I cannot say for certain. But after 1941 relations between us were more strained, and later they were not very good. Others, I believe, have already testified to that effect.
COL. AMEN: Well, I do not want to take any more time, except ...
THE. PRESIDENT: Are you dealing with social appointments between Ribbentrop or something other?
COL. AMEN: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that a matter which the Tribunal has to go into?
COL. AMEN: Well, I expect, Sir, that any person that has as many appointments as are indicated by these books certainly has discussed with Himmler the matter of concentration camps and the entire matters which Himmler was exclusively handling. He has told the Tribunal that he had never heard anything about concentration,camps from Himmler.
VON RIBBENTROP: I wish to repeat my statement that at no time did Himmler discuss this matter with me. As for our 50 meetings, I do not know, we may have met frequently, despite everything, but I cannot remember 50 meetings. Possibly five or ten, I do not know. I do not believe it to be of vital importance since it is not a decisive factor. Of course we had to work together in various fields and this collaboration was mostly very difficult.
COL. AMEN: Well, there were many business appointments which you had with him also, were there not? Just take a look at this sheet of entries from Himmler's appointment book and tell me whether that conforms to your ...
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Amen, the Tribunal does not want this matter gone into any further.
COL. AMEN: Very good, Sir, but these were business appointments as distinguished from social. There are no further questions.
GEN. RUDENKO: Defendant Ribbentrop, during the last sessions of the Tribunal you explained in great detail the bases of German foreign policy. I should like to ask you a few comprehensive questions and request you to answer these questions laconically in terms of "yes" or "no." Do you consider the Anschluss as an act of German aggression? Please answer this.
VON RIBBENTROP: Austria?
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes.
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VON RIBBENTROP: No, it was no aggression. It was the accomplishment of a purpose.
GEN. RUDENKO: I must request you ...
VON RIBBENTROP: But I presume I can say a few sentences at least, after saying "yes," or must I never say anything else but "yes" and "no"?
GEN. RUDENKO: I must beg you to answer my questions. You have replied far too extensively. I would like you to summarize your replies, precisely by saying "yes" or "no."
VON RIBBENTROP: That depends on my state of health. I must ask you to forgive me.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand.
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not consider the Anschluss as an act of aggression, that is "no." I consider it the realization of the mutual purpose of both nations involved. They had always wished to be together and the government before Adolf Hitler had already striven for it.
GEN. RUDENKO: I ask you once more: Please answer "yes" or "no." Do you consider that the Anschluss was not an act of German aggression? Do you consider ...
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, he gave you a categorical answer to that; that it was not an aggression.
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, I understand, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: And we have already ruled that the witnesses are not to be confined to answering "yes" or "no." They must answer "yes" or "no" first, and then make a short explanation if they want to. But, anyhow, with reference to this question, he has answered it categorically.
GEN. RUDENKO: The second question: Do you consider the seizure of Czechoslovakia as an act of aggression by Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, it was no aggression in that sense, but a union in accordance with the right of self-determination of nations, as laid down in 1919 by the President of the United States, Wilson. The annexation of the Sudetenland was sanctioned by an agreement of four great powers in Munich.
GEN. RUDENKO: You evidently have not understood my question. I asked you whether you considered the seizure of Czechoslovakia, of the whole of Czechoslovakia, as an act of aggression by Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, it was not an act of aggression by Germany. I consider, according to the words of the Fuehrer, and
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I believe he was right, that it was a necessity resulting from Germany's geographical position. This position meant that the remaining part of Czechoslovakia, the part which still existed, could always be used as a kind of aircraft-carrier for attacks against Germany. The Fuehrer therefore considered himself obliged to occupy the territory of Bohemia and Moravia, in order to protect the German Reich against air attack-the air journey from Prague to Berlin took only half an hour. The Fuehrer told me at the time that in view of the fact that United States had declared the entire Western Hemisphere as its particular sphere of interest, that Russia was a powerful country with gigantic territories, and that England embraced the entire globe, Germany would be perfectly justified in considering so small a space as her own sphere of interest.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you consider the attack on Poland as an act of aggression by Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: No. I must again say "no." The attack on Poland was rendered inevitable by the attitude of the other powers. It might have been possible to find a peaceful solution to the German demands, and I think the Fuehrer would have trodden this path of peace, had the other powers taken this path with him. As matters stood, the situation had become so tense that Germany could no longer accept it as it was, and as a great power Germany could not tolerate Polish provocations any further. That is how this war arose. I am convinced that primarily the Fuehrer was never interested in conquering Poland.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you consider the attack on Denmark as an act of aggression by Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, the "invasion" of Denmark, as it is called, was, according to the Fuehrer's words and explanation, a purely preventive measure adopted against imminent landings of British fighting forces. How authentic our information was is proved by the fact that only a few days later English and German troops were engaged in battle in Norway. That means that it was proved that these English troops had been ready for a long time for fighting in Norway, and it came out from the documents discovered later on and published at the time, and from orders issued, that the English landing in Scandinavia had been prepared down to the smallest detail. The Fuehrer therefore thought that by seizing Scandinavia, he would prevent it from becoming another theater of war. I do not therefore think that the invasion of Denmark can be considered as an act of aggression.
GEN. RUDENKO: And you do not consider this attack on Norway as an act of aggression on the part of Germany either?
VON RIBBENTROP: We have just been talking about Norway. I was talking about Norway and Denmark, a combined action.
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GEN. RUDENKO: Together with Denmark. All right, it was a simultaneous action. Do you consider the attack on Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg as an act of aggression on the part of Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: That is the same question. I must again say "no," but I would like to add an explanation.
GEN.RUDENKO: Just a moment. I would like you to give shorter replies because you explain the basic questions far too extensively. You deny that this was an act of aggression on the part of Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: The Russian Prosecutor will understand that we are dealing with very important questions, which are not easily explained in a sentence, especially since we did not have the opportunity to explain the matter in detail. I shall be quite brief.
GEN. RUDENKO: I quite appreciate that you have already been answering questions of this nature for 3 days running.
VON RIBBENTROP: I shall now be very brief. After the Polish campaign military considerations proved to be the decisive factors. The Fuehrer did not wish the war to spread. As for Holland, Belgium, and France, it was France who declared war on Germany and not we who declared war on France. We therefore had to prepare for an attack from this direction as well. The Fuehrer told me at the time that such an attack on the Ruhr area was to be expected, and documents discovered at a later date have proved to the world at large beyond a shadow of doubt that this information was perfectly authentic. The Fuehrer therefore decided to adopt preventive measures in this case as well and not to wait for an attack on the heart of Germany, but to attack first. And so the timetable of the German General Staff was put into practice.
GEN. RUDENKO: Do you consider the attack on Greece as an act of aggression on the part of Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: The attack on Greece and Yugoslavia by Germany has already been discussed. I do not believe I need give any further details on this point. That is here ...
GEN. RUDENKO: I also do not think it is necessary to give detailed replies. I ask whether you consider the attack on Greece as an act of aggression on the part of Germany? Answer "yes" or "no." I
VON RIBBENTROP: No, and I consider that the measures adopted in Yugoslavia and the measures taken by Greece in granting bases, et cetera, to the enemies of Germany justified the intervention of Adolf Hitler, so that here too one cannot speak of aggressive action in this sense. It was quite clear that British troops were
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about to land in Greece, since they had already landed in Crete and the Peloponnesos, and that the uprising in Yugoslavia by the enemies of Germany, in agreement with the enemies of Germany, as I mentioned yesterday, had been encouraged with the intent of launching an attack against Germany from that country. The documents of the French General Staff discovered later in France showed only too clearly that a landing in Salonika had been planned ...
GEN. RUDENKO: Witness Ribbentrop, you have already spoken about that in much detail. You explained it yesterday at great length. Now will you please answer "yes" or "no" to my last question: Do you, or do you not consider the attack on the Soviet Union as an act of aggression on the part of Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: It was no aggression in the literal sense of the word, but ...
GEN. RUDENKO: You say that in the literal sense of the word it was not an act of aggression. Then in what sense of the word was it an aggression?
THE PRESIDENT: You must let him answer.
VON RIBBENTROP: May I offer a few words of explanation? I must be allowed to say something.
GEN. RUDENKO: You...
VON RIBBENTROP: The concept of "aggression" is a very complicated concept, which even today the world at large cannot readily define. That is a point I should like to emphasize first. We are here dealing, undeniably, with a preventive intervention, with a war of prevention. That is quite certain, for attack we did. There is no denying it. I had hoped that matters with the Soviet Union could have been settled differently, diplomatically, and I did everything I could in this direction. But the information received and all the political acts of the Soviet Union in 1940 and 1941 until the outbreak of war, persuaded the Fuehrer, as he repeatedly told me, that sooner or later the so-called East-West pincers would be applied to Germany, that is, that in the East, Russia with her immense war potential, and in the West, England and the United States, were pushing steadily towards Europe with the purpose of making a large-scale landing. It was the Fuehrer's great worry that this would happen. Moreover, the Fuehrer informed me that close collaboration existed between the General Staffs of London and Moscow. This I do not know; I personally received no such news. But the reports and information which I received from the Fuehrer were of an extremely concrete nature. At any rate, he feared that, one day, Germany, faced with this political situation, would be threatened with catastrophe and he wished to prevent the collapse of Germany and the destruction of the balance of power in Europe.
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GEN. RUDENKO: In your testimony you have frequently stated that, in the pursuit of peaceful objectives, you considered it essential to solve a number of decisive questions through diplomatic channels. Now this testimony is obviously arrant hypocrisy since you admitted just now that all these acts of aggression on the part of Germany were justified.
VON RIBBENTROP: I did not mean to say that; I said only that we were not dealing with an act of aggression, Mr. Prosecutor, and explained how this war came to pass and how it developed. I also explained how I had always done everything in my power to prevent the war at its outbreak during the Polish crisis. Beyond the precincts of this Tribunal, history will prove the truth of my words and show how I always endeavored to localize the war and prevent it from spreading. That, I believe, will also be established. Therefore, in conclusion I should like to say once more that the outbreak of war was caused by circumstances which, at long last, were no longer in Hitler's hands. He could act only in the way he did, and when the war spread ever further all his decisions were principally prompted by considerations of a military nature, and he acted solely in the highest interests of his people.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is clear. Now I beg you to answer the following questions:
I understand that you have submitted to the Tribunal a document, Number 311, written by yourself, which is an appreciation of Hitler entitled the "Personality of the Fuehrer." You wrote that document not so very long ago. I am not going to quote from it, since you doubtlessly remember it, as you wrote it a very short time ago.
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I am not quite sure what document that is. May I look at it?
GEN. RUDENKO: This document was submitted by you to your own defense counsel, as Exhibit Number 311, and submitted to the Tribunal by your attorney. On Page 5 there...
VON RIBBENTROP: Will you be kind enough to give a copy of this document?
GEN. RUDENKO: It is Document Number 311.
THE PRESIDENT: It cannot have been submitted to the Tribunal as 111, without anything more. What is it, 111-PS or 111?
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, this is a document of the Defense submitted as Ribbentrop-311. We have only a Russian translation here, which came to us together with a German document book. I presume that the document book has been submitted to the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: It is R-111 -- it is Ribbentrop-111, you mean. It is not 111; it is Ribbentrop-111.
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GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, this is Document 311.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I've got it now. It is in Document Book Number 9.
GEN. RUDENKO: May I continue, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: On Page 5 of the document, your appreciation of Hitler, you state, "After the victory over Poland and in the West, under an influence which I mainly ascribe to Himmler, Hitler's plans were extended, that is, in the direction of establishing German hegemony in Europe." Do you remember the passage of the document you wrote yourself, Defendant Ribbentrop?
VON RIBBENTROP: May I see this document? I do not know it.
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, I would like to ask counsel for Defendant Ribbentrop to submit this document to his client.
DR. HORN: Mr. President, we are dealing here with...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute.
Dr. Horn, the Tribunal is inclined to think that this document is quite irrelevant. It is apparently a document prepared by the Defendant Ribbentrop, upon the personality of the Fuehrer. I do not know when it was prepared, but it seems to us to be irrelevant.
DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President, I too am of the opinion that it is irrelevant. I included this document only in case the defendant did not have an opportunity to speak in greater detail of his relation to Hitler. Since he has had that opportunity I should like to withdraw the document.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, the Tribunal consider the document quite irrelevant.
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, this document was presented by the defense counsel in the Document Book. It was written by the Defendant Ribbentrop in the course of this Trial. All the prosecutors considered it admissible since this document, this appreciation, presented by the Defendant Ribbentrop, would justify us in asking a large number of questions. But if the Tribunal considers that it really is quite irrelevant to the case, I shall, of course, refrain from quoting it.
THE PRESIDENT: We have not yet had an opportunity of ruling on the admissibility of these documents. It is the first time we have seen them this morning. We all consider this document irrelevant.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand, Mr. President.
[Turning to the defendant.] I should like to put a few questions with regard to German aggression against Yugoslavia. I should
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like you to acquaint yourself with Document 1195-PS. This document is entitled "Preliminary Directives for the Partition of Yugoslavia." I invite your attention to Paragraph 4 of the first section of the document. It states: "The Fuehrer has, in connection with the partition of Yugoslavia..." Have you found the place?
VON RIBBENTROP: Can you tell me, please, on what page it is?
GEN. RUDENKO: Page 1, Paragraph 4: "In connection with the partition of Yugoslavia, the Fuehrer has issued the following instructions..."
VON RIBBENTROP: I must have the wrong document.
GEN. RUDENKO: Document 1195-PS.
VON RIBBENTROP: Ah, yes. The beginning.
GEN. RUDENKO: I begin again:
"In connection with the partition of Yugoslavia, the Fuehrer has issued the following instructions:
"The transfer of territories occupied by the Italians is being prepared for by a letter of the, Fuehrer to the Duce and will be carried out by detailed directive of the Foreign Office."
Have you found the place?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I do not see the place.
GEN. RUDENKO: Page 1, Paragraph 4, beginning with the words: "The Fuehrer..." Do you have it?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: I have already read this paragraph into the record.
VON RIBBENTROP: it begins: "In connection with the partition of Yugoslavia, the Fuehrer has issued the following instructions." That is how the document begins. May I ask -- now what passage are you quoting?
GEN. RUDENKO: It ends with the following words: "... will be carried out according to a detailed directive of the Foreign Office." And then reference is made to a teletype from the Quartermaster General of the OKH.
VON RIBBENTROP: There must be some mistake. It is not mentioned here.
GEN. RUDENKO: Probably you did not find it in the document.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, it is 12:45 now. Perhaps this would be a good time to adjourn.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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GEN. RUDENKO: Defendant Ribbentrop, have you acquainted yourself with the contents of the document?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I have.
GEN. RUDENKO: Have you acquainted yourself with the entire document or with Paragraph 4 only?
VON RIBBENTROP: I have read Paragraph 1 of which you spoke previously.
GEN. RUDENKO: Did you find the passage referring to the plenary powers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the partition of the territory of Yugoslavia?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, it says in my document that the surrender of the territory occupied by the Italians is to be prepared by a letter from the Fuehrer to the Duce and put into effect on further instructions from the Foreign Office.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is correct. That is precisely the passage which I had in view, that is, Section 2 of this document, which is headed "The Delimitation of the Frontiers." It is stated there -- Section 2, Page 2 of the Document -- it is stated:
"As far as the delimitation of the frontiers was not in the foregoing Section I, this is done in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...."
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I see that.
GEN. RUDENKO: I have only one question to ask in this connection. May I assume that this document defines the part played by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the partition of Yugoslav territory? Is this correct?
VON RIBBENTROP: That appears from the fact that the Foreign Office was to take part in fixing the other frontiers, in addition to those defined here, the main lines of which were probably, already, fairly clear. That is correct.
GEN. RUDENKO: This is quite evident. I should like to put two more questions to you concerning Yugoslavia.
On 4 June 1941 -- this no longer refers to the previous document - a conference was held in the German Legation, presided over by the German Minister in Zagreb, Siegfried Kasche, at which it was decided forcibly to evacuate the Slovenes to Croatia and Serbia and the Serbs from Croatia into Serbia. This decision results from a telegram from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Number 389, dated 31 May 1941. Do you know about these measures?
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VON RIBBENTROP: No, I must say that I do not know them, but perhaps I may read through them.
GEN. RUDENKO: Please do.
VON RIBBENTROP: I recollect that resettlement was undertaken there but I do not know the details.
GEN. RUDENKO: It goes without saying that it must be very difficult for you to remember all the details at the present time. But you do remember that such deportations did actually take place and precisely in accordance with the directives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. It states here that the Fuehrer had approved a resettlement program, but I do not know the details. At any rate, we undoubtedly had something to do with it, for this meeting definitely took place in the Foreign Office; that is certain. Unfortunately I cannot add any details since I am not informed.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand you. There is one more question in this connection. This was a compulsory resettlement of the population?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know; I cannot say. No.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not know? All right. And now the last question in connection with Yugoslavia: After Germany's attack on Yugoslavia about 200 employees of the Yugoslav Foreign Office attempted to leave for Switzerland. They were arrested; and then, in spite of protests addressed to your Ministry, they were forcibly taken to Belgrade whence many of them were sent to concentration camps and there died. Why did you not take the measures which you were obliged to take after such a glaring breach of diplomatic immunity?
VON RIBBENTROP: I must say that at the moment I cannot recollect it at all; but, as far as I know, instructions have always followed the principle that diplomats must be treated as diplomats and sent back to their own countries. If it did not happen in this case, I do not know why it was not done. However you yourself say that they were sent to Belgrade. That, at any rate, is certainly in accordance with my instructions. Why or whether they were later interned in Belgrade, I must say I do not know. I do not think we had anything to do with that.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not know that they were interned in concentration camps?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I did not know that.
GEN. RUDENKO: Very well. Now for a further series of questions. Who, beside Hitler, signed the decree regarding the Sudetenland of 21 November 1938? Can you remember?
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VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know to which order you are referring. May I look through it? I see that I am one of those who signed it. This is the law regarding the reincorporation of the Sudetenland into the Reich.
GEN. RUDENKO: You remember that you actually signed this decree?
VON RIBBENTROP: No doubt. If it says so here, then it must certainly have been so. At the moment, of course, I do not remember it exactly.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is evident. Who, beside Hitler, signed the decree regarding the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, of 16 March 1939, which by its very nature destroyed any remaining vestige of the sovereignty of the Czechoslovakian Republic?
VON RIBBENTROP: I believe that I was one of those who signed that one, too. At least so I assume. Yes, I see that I signed it; here it is.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, surely all these documents speak for themselves. The defendant has not challenged his signature upon these documents.
GEN. RUDENKO: I understand, Mr. President. I only want to remind the defendant. Since he appears to forget I simply present the documents to him.
[Turning to the defendant.] You also signed the decree of 12 October 1939 regarding the occupation of the Polish territories. Do you remember that?
VON RIBBENTROP: 12 October '39? No, I do not remember it. I signed a great many things during those years but I cannot remember them in detail.
GEN. RUDENKO: This is the decree dated 12 October.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, if he does not dispute his signature, why should you waste time in putting these documents to him? His signature is on the document. He does not dispute it. This is a mere waste of time.
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, Mr. President. Then I have only one more question in this connection. -
[Turning to the defendant.] Your signature also appears on the decree of 18 May 1940, regarding the annexation by Germany of the Belgian territories, Eupen and Malmedy.
I put these questions so that I may conclude with the following question. Am I right in stating that each time the Hitler Government was attempting to lend the appearance of legality to their
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territorial annexation by a decree, this decree invariably bore the signature of the Reich Minister Ribbentrop?
VON RIBBENTROP: I believe not. If any territorial changes were undertaken, it was the Fuehrer who ordered them; and, as is probably evident from these documents, the various ministers who were in any way concerned then countersigned the Fuehrer's order or the laws decreed by the Fuehrer, and, of course, I probably countersigned most of these orders myself.
GEN. RUDENKO: That is clear. Now, I should like you to acquaint yourself with the document already submitted in evidence to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-120 (Document Number USSR-120). It is your agreement with Himmler for the organization of intelligence work. It is an extensive document and I should like you to acquaint yourself with Subparagraph 6 of this document.
VON RIBBENTROP: I beg your pardon. This is a different document. This concerns the intelligence service. You spoke of slave labor, but this concerns the intelligence service.
GEN. RUDENKO: This has been incorrectly translated to you. I was not speaking about slave labor; I was speaking about intelligence work. Please refer to Subparagraph 6 of this document. It is an extensive document and the time of the Tribunal should not be taken up unduly. It is stated here, and I quote:
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives every possible assistance to the Secret intelligence service. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, as far as this is compatible with the requirements of foreign policy, will install certain members of the intelligence service in the diplomatic missions."
I want to omit one long paragraph and will read the final paragraph:
"The responsible member of the intelligence service must keep the head of the mission informed on all important aspects of secret intelligence service activities in the country in question."
You did sign such an agreement? Is that true?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: We are therefore forced to the conclusion that the foreign organization of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs was actually engaged in espionage work?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, you cannot really say that, for the following reasons:
I mentioned once before this morning in the course of the examination that there were differences of opinion between Himmler and myself in regard to the intelligence service abroad. Thanks to the
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efforts of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner, that agreement was eventually signed. We planned to co-operate, and I do not deny that we intended to work intelligence service personnel into the Foreign Office organization. This, however, was not put into practice. The agreement could not become effective because it was concluded so late that the end of the war intervened. I think the date of the conclusion of this agreement, which is lacking in this copy, must have been 1944 or even 1945. Thus, there was no actual co-operation. Such co-operation was, however, planned; and I was particularly interested in it. There had been all sorts of differences and I wanted to end them and put matters on a more uniform basis. That was the reason. In any case, I think that is part of the procedure which all countries had to employ abroad. I do not think it is anything unusual.
GEN. RUDENKO: I am not asking you your opinion. I was only interested in this document; it is true that you did sign such an agreement. You replied in the affirmative. I am not asking you further questions about this document.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. I replied in the affirmative -- yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: I wanted to know this only. I have another document from this series. Do you remember a letter of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner in which he asked for one million Tomans for bribery in Iran?
VON RIBBENTROP: One million ... ? What is that? I did not hear it; please repeat it. I did not hear the word very well ...
GEN. RUDENKO: One million Tomans. Tomans are Iranian currency. I should like you to acquaint yourself with this document; it is a short one.
VON RIBBENTROP: May I see it, please?
GEN. RUDENKO: Of course.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. I recollect the matter, and I think certain funds were placed at their disposal.
GEN. RUDENKO: The money was placed at Kaltenbrunner's disposal?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know the details, but I believe I did give instructions to the Foreign Office at the time that financial support should be given in this matter. That is correct.
GEN.RUDENKO: It was precisely that point which interested me. The document speaks for itself.
I now proceed to the following series of questions.
You have testified that in August or September 1940 in the Schloss Fuschl, you met the Defendant Keitel to discuss a memorandum on
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the possibility of an attack by Germany on the Soviet Union. Consequently, nearly one year prior to that attack on the Soviet Union, you were already informed of the plans for this attack, were you not?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, that is not correct. The Defendant Keitel was with me at the time at Fuschl, and on that occasion he told me that the Fuehrer had certain misgivings regarding Russia and could not leave the possibility of an armed conflict out of his calculations. He said that, for his part, he had prepared a memorandum which he proposed to discuss with the Fuehrer. He had doubts as to the wisdom of any conflict of that kind in the East, and he asked me at the time if I would also use my influence with the Fuehrer in that direction. I agreed to do so. But an attack or plans for an attack were not discussed; I might say that all this was a discussion more from a General Staff point of view. He made no mention to me of anything more concrete.
GEN. RUDENKO: I do not want to detain the attention of the Tribunal on this question, because it has already been sufficiently investigated. But I want to ask you in this connection the following question: You replied to Keitel during this conversation that you would express your opinion regarding the war with the U.S.S.R. to Hitler. Did you have a conversation with Hitler on that subject?
VON RIBBENTROP: I discussed the subject several times with Hitler, and on this occasion I spoke of the danger of preventive wars to him. Hitler told me of his misgivings, which I have already mentioned here.
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, you have testified in that sense. Tell me, did you know that the so-called "Green File" of the Defendant Goering, containing directives for the plunder and exploitation of the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union was prepared a long time prior to the attack on the Soviet Union? Did you know this?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I did not know that. I heard the term "Green File" here for the first time.
GEN. RUDENKO: All right -- you did not know the name. And when did you learn about the contents? The contents of this file?
VON RIBBENTROP: Neither the file nor the name.
GEN. RUDENKO: You did not know. All right. You knew that already before the war directives were drafted for the extermination of the peaceful Soviet population?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I did not know that either.
GEN. RUDENKO: And when did you know about that?
VON RIBBENTROP: I heard nothing at all about such plans.
GEN. RUDENKO: And the directives?
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VON RIBBENTROP: Regarding the preparation of such plans ...
GEN. RUDENKO: And regarding the directives concerning jurisdiction in the Barbarossa region? You evidently did know about that?
VON RIBBENTROP: Regarding what? I did not understand that.
GEN. RUDtNKO: Regarding jurisdiction in the Barbarossa region. It is a supplement to Plan Barbarossa.
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I must say that I have never occupied myself personally with that subject. It might be possible that some department in my office did have a hand in it somewhere; but as far as I remember I, myself, was never concerned with the subject of jurisdiction; for after the outbreak of the conflict with the Soviet Union the Foreign Office had nothing more to do with these territories.
GEN. RUDENKO: I should like you to take cognizance of a telegram which you addressed on 10 July 1941, at 1451 hours, to the German Ambassador in Tokio. We are submitting this document, Number 2896-PS, to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-446. You must remember this telegram.
VON RIBBENTROP: To whom is it addressed? It does not say here.
GEN. RUDENKO: To the German Ambassador in Tokio. Do you remember?
VON RIBBENTROP: Oh, Tokio, yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: You apparently remember it. I must ask you to pay attention to the words on Page 4 at the end of this document. They are underlined in pencil for the sake of convenience. Have you found the passage? I shall read only that part into the record.
VON RIBBENTROP: Which part are you referring to? The last page?
GEN. RUDENKO: It is on Page 4. It is underlined.
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I have found it now.
GEN. RUDENKO: I am going to read this passage into the record.
"I request you to use every means in your power to influence Matsuoka, in the way I have indicated, so that Japan will declare war on Russia as soon as possible; for the sooner this happens, the better it will be. It must still be our natural aim to shake hands with Japan on the Trans-Siberian railway before the winter. With the collapse of Russia the position of the countries participating in the Three Power Pact will be so strong that the collapse of England or the complete annihilation of the British Isles will be only a question of time."
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Have you found this passage?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, I have the passage; yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: What is it? Is it one of your efforts to localize the war?
VON RIBBENTROP: I did not understand that last question?
GEN. RUDENKO: I say, is this one of your efforts to localize the war?
VON RIBBENTROP: The war against Russia had started, and I tried at the time -- the Fuehrer held the same view -- to get Japan into the war against Russia in order to end the war with Russia as soon as possible. That was the meaning of that telegram.
GEN. RUDENKO: This was not only the policy of the Fuehrer; it was also your policy as the then Minister for Foreign Affairs?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, yes.
GEN. RUDENKO: I have a few more questions to ask. You state that you never heard a thing about the cruelties perpetrated in the concentration camps?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes, that is correct.
GEN. RUDENKO: During the war you, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, studied the foreign press and the foreign newspapers. Did you know what the foreign press was saying?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, that is true only up to a certain point. I had so much to read and so much work to do every day that, on principle, I received only the foreign political news selected for me from the foreign press. Thus, during the whole of the war I never had any news from abroad about the concentration camps, until one day your armies, that is, the Soviet Russian armies, captured the camp at Maidanek in Poland.
On that occasion news came from our embassies and I asked for press news, et cetera, to be submitted to me. How I took these news releases to the Fuehrer and what resulted from that has already been discussed here. Before that I knew nothing about any atrocities or any measures taken in the concentration camps.
GEN. RUDENKO: Did you know about the notes of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, Molotov, concerning the atrocities committed by the German fascists in the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union, the deportation into slavery of the people of the Soviet, the pillaging?
VON RIBBENTROP: I think that note reached me somehow through diplomatic channels. I am not quite sure how; it may have come through news agencies. However, I do remember that at the
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time -- I believe there were even several notes -- at any rate I remember one of these notes which I submitted to the Fuehrer. But since the beginning of the Russo-German war we could not carry out any action. in these territories, and we had no influence there. Therefore, I am not informed about details.
GEN. RUDENKO: I was primarily interested in one fundamental fact, namely, that you were aware of the notes from the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union. Tell me, please, do you know that millions of citizens were driven into slavery to Germany?
VON RIBBENTROP: No, I do not know that.
GEN. RUDENKO: You do not know! And that those citizens were used as slaves in Germany -- you were not aware of that?
VON RIBBENTROP: No. According to what I heard, all these foreign workers are supposed to have been well treated in Germany. I think it is possible, of course, that other things might have happened, too; but on the whole, I believe that a good deal was done to treat these workers well. I know that on occasion departments of the Foreign Office co-operated in these matters with a view to preventing those possible things. Generally speaking, however, we had no influence in that sphere, as we were excluded from Eastern questions.
GEN. RUDENKO: Why were you informed that foreign laborers were treated well and why were you not informed that they were being treated as slaves?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not think that this is correct. We in the Foreign Office -- in the case of the French, for instance, and quite a number of other foreign workers -- co-operated in getting musicians, et cetera, from France for them. We advised on questions concerning their welfare. And I know that the German Labor Front did everything in its power, at least with regard to the sector which we could view to some extent, to treat the workers well, to preserve their willingness to work, and to make their leisure pleasant. I know, at least, that those of its efforts in which we co-operated were on these lines.
GEN. RUDENKO: Well, I now present a penultimate group of questions in connection with the activities of the "Ribbentrop Battalion." I must now request you to read the testimony of SS ObersturmbannFuehrer Norman Paul Forster. This document is submitted as Exhibit Number USSR-445 (Document Number USSR-445). Please pay particular attention to Page 3 of Forster's testimony. This passage is underlined. It is stated there:
"When in that same month, August 1941, I reported to the address given to me in Berlin, I learned that I had been transferred to Special Command SS of the Ministry of Foreign
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Affairs. A member of the Foreign Ministry, Baron von Kunsberg, was at the head of the SS Special Command... In this command there were about 80 to 100 men altogether and 300 or 400 men were added later. The special command was later rechristened the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Battalion 'z.b.V.' (for special employment).
"I was received by Baron von Kunsberg in a building belonging to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the Sonderkommando was quartered. He explained to me that the Sonderkommando was created on instructions from the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs Von Ribbentrop. According to Von Ribbentrop's instructions, our Sonderkommando was to move forward with the front line troops in occupied territory in orderto protect the cultural treasures -- museums, archives, scientific institutions, art galleries, and so forth -- from ruin and destruction by the German soldiers, to confiscate them and transport them to Germany."
Here I omit a few lines and then:
"On the evening of 5 August 1941, in the presence of Nietsch, Paulsen, Krallat, Remerssen, Lieben, and others, Von Kunsberg informed us of Von Ribbentrop's verbal order according to which all scientific institutions, libraries, palaces, et cetera, in Russia were to be thoroughly 'combed out' and everything of definite value was to be carried off."
Did you find that passage in the document?
VON RIBBENTROP: Yes. Shall I answer?
GEN. RUDENKO: I should like you first of all to reply to my question, reading as follows: You know that such a battalion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs existed, and that in accordance with your directives, it was especially concerned -- as is stated in this document -- with the preservation of cultural treasures? Please reply to this question.
VON RIBBENTROP: It is quite incorrect as it appears in this document. I cannot acknowledge it in any way and I must object to it. The following is correct:
This Herr Von Kunsberg is a man who was appointed, with a few assistants, long before the Russian campaign with the idea even at that time of confiscating in France documents, important documents, which might be found there and which might be of importance or value to us. Any order which -- at the same time, I may say, he had orders to see to it that there should be no unnecessary destruction of art treasures, et cetera. In no circumstances did he receive from me orders to transport these things to Germany or to
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steal any of them. I do not know how this statement came to be made; but in this form it is certainly not correct.
GEN. RUDENKO: You have protested against a great many of the documents here. That does not mean that they are incorrect. I am not going to quote from this testimony any further. I shall now refer to a document; it is a letter from the Defendant Goering addressed to the Defendant Rosenberg. It has already been submitted to the Tribunal under Document Number 1985-PS. I shall here quote Paragraph 2 of the document. It has already been submitted, so I shall read this letter addressed by Goering to Rosenberg into the record. He writes:
"After all the fuss and bother I very much welcomed the fact that an office was finally set up to collect these things, although I must point out that still other offices refer here to authority received from the Fuehrer, especially the Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs, who sent a circular to an the organizations several months ago, stating amongst other things, that he had been given authority in the occupied territories for the preservation of cultural treasures."
We can assume that the Defendant Goering is better acquainted with the circumstances anent the preservation of art treasures. Don't you remember those things at all?
VON RIBBENTROP: I do not know how this letter from Reich Marshal Goering came to be written. I do not know, but if there is any mention in it of authorities or anything of that kind, that could only refer to the fact that these art treasures were secured in these territories. I have already stated here that during the war neither I myself nor the Foreign Office confiscated or claimed any art treasures whatsoever, whether for my personal use or for our use. It is possible that these art treasures were temporarily placed in safekeeping. Certainly none of them passed into our possession. Therefore it might be a misunderstanding in this letter because I remember clearly that at that time we were dealing with the safekeeping of art treasures. In France, for instance, at that time robberies were beginning to be committed in private houses and art galleries, et cetera; and I still remember asking the Wehrmacht to provide guards to keep a watch on these art treasures, et cetera. At any rate we in the Foreign Office never saw any of these works of art ourselves.
GEN. RUDENKO: I think we had better not go too deeply into details. I should like to ask another question in this connection. Don't you think that the term "safekeeping of art treasures in the occupied territories" actually concealed the looting of art treasures?
VON RIBBENTROP: We certainly never intended that; and I have never given any order to that effect. I should like to state
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that here, emphatically. Perhaps I may add that when I heard that Kunsberg had suddenly assembled such a large staff, I immediately ordered the dissolution of his entire battalion -- it was not a battalion; that is badly expressed -- at any rate, its immediate dissolution; and I think I even remember dismissing him from the Foreign Office, because he did not do what I wanted. I think he was removed from his office.
GEN. RUDENKO: Very well. I am closing my interrogation. You were Minister of Foreign Affairs of the fascist Germans from 4 February 1938. Your appointment to this post coincided with the initial period, when Hitler had launched on a series of acts involving a foreign policy which in the end led to the World War. The question arises: Why did Hitler appoint you his Minister of Foreign Affairs just before embarking on a wide program of aggression? Don't you consider that he thought you were the most suitable man for the purpose, a man with whom he could never have any differences of opinion?
VON RIBBENTROP: I cannot tell you anything about Adolf Hitler's thoughts. He did not tell me about them. He knew that I was his faithful assistant, that I shared his view that we must have a strong Germany, and that I had to get these things done through diplomatic and peaceful channels. I cannot say more. What ideas he may have had, I do not know.
GEN. RUDENKO: Here is my last question. How can you explain the fact that even now, when the entire panorama of the bloody crimes of the Hitler regime has been unfolded before your eyes, when you fully realize the complete crash of that Hitlerite policy which has brought you to the dock -- how can we explain that you are still defending this regime; and, furthermore, that you are still praising Hitler and that you are still declaring that the leading criminal clique consisted of a group of idealists? How can you explain that?
THE PRESIDENT: That seems to be a number of questions in one, and I do not think it is a proper question to put to the witness.
GEN. RUDENKO: I thought that this was only one question which summarizes everything.
[Turning to the defendant.] Will you answer please, Defendant Ribbentrop?
THE PRESIDENT: I told you, General Rudenko, that the Tribunal does not think it a proper question to put.
GEN. RUDENKO: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, do you want to re-examine?
DR. HORN: I have no further questions to put to the defendant, Mr. President.
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THE PRESIDENT: Then the defendant can return to his seat.
Now, Dr. Horn, I understand that you are going to deal with your documents now, are you not?
DR. HORN: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: I see the time; we might perhaps adjourn for 10 minutes now.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal wish me to announce that the Tribunal will not sit on Good Friday or the Saturday afterwards nor on Easter Monday.
MAJOR J. HARCOURT BARRINGTON (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal, I am speaking for all the four prosecutors, to put the Prosecution's comments on the document books which the Defendant Von Ribbentrop has put in. I am speaking for all the four prosecutors, with one exception, that the French Chief Prosecutor wishes to speak on two particular groups of documents which are of special interest to the French Delegation. I think, if it is convenient to the Tribunal, I might put the whole of the Prosecution's position before Dr. Horn puts his answer if that is agreeable to him.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you agree, Dr. Horn, that he might put his view first? Is it agreeable to you that Mr. Barrington should put the position first?
DR. HORN: Yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: There are, in all, nine books in the English version; and the last two have been received only today, so, as they contain perhaps about 350 documents, I regret that I have not been able to agree in the list with Dr. Horn, himself, although I have acquainted him with the comments that the Prosecution proposes to make.
The first two books, comprising Documents 1 to 44, have already been read in open court on the 27th of March by Dr. Horn, and I take it that Your Lordship does not want them gone into again.
THE PRESIDENT: No.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: So that leaves simply Books 3 to 9, and I have made out a working note of which I have copies. I do not know whether the members of the Tribunal have them.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Oh, yes; Your Lordship will see that on the left column are the documents which the Prosecution would
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object to, and in the middle column are those that they would allow, and there are remarks on the right-hand side.
Although this does not show it, I have, for convenience, divided these documents up into nine groups; and so I think I need not go through all the documents in detail unless there is any particular question on any one of them.
Before saying what the groups are, perhaps I might make two general remarks, that the Prosecution takes the position that the German White Books, which figure very largely in this list -- White Books issued by the government of the Nazi conspirators, -- cannot be regarded as evidence of facts, stated therein; and secondly, that there are among these documents a considerable number which are only discussions of subjects in a very vague and tentative stage, and a great many of them, in the Prosecution's view, are cumulative.
Now, of the first of the nine groups, I have broken them down to Czechoslovakia; and if you will look at the note that I have handed up, that consists of the first few documents down to 45. I beg your Lordship's pardon. That is wrong. From after 45, there are six PS documents which are already exhibits and there are 46 and 47 and over the page there are 7 more on Czechoslovakia, and the Prosecution's position on those is that six PS documents are allowed and 46 and 47; but, over the page, 66, 67, and 69 are objected to purely on the ground that they are cumulative -- cumulative, I think of Number 68.
THE PRESIDENT: Which volume are they in, 66 and 69?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: In Volume 3, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: As they have already been translated does it make much difference if there are objections that they are cumulative?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, there is not any difference, My Lord, at all, except if they are going to be read into the record.
THE PRESIDENT: They have all been translated?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: They have all been translated.
THE PRESIDENT: And in the other languages, too?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I understand so, My Lord,, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: So they need not be read into the record.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: If your Lordship pleases.
THE PRESIDENT: That is the rule, isn't it, that if they have been translated into the four languages, they need not be read into the record?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That would apply to all the documents in all these nine books now because they all have been translated.
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THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it would; but there may be other objections to the documents besides their being cumulative.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: There will be, according to the Prosecution's submission, a very large number that are cumulative in toto.
THE PRESIDENT: There will be a very large number?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but the point was that, being translated, they are there already.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is the only point the Prosecution has against those. The thing is, My Lord, the Prosecution say they are cumulative. Of course, Dr. Horn might not say so and perhaps he would welcome a ruling as to whether they should be used or not.
THE PRESIDENT: No. What I was suggesting to you was that if the only objection to them was that they were cumulative they may just as well go in, be put in evidence, because they have already been translated -- it saves time -- as to have them all argued.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes, My Lord, unless Dr. Horn wishes to read any of these documents and refer to them specifically.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you mean that he might read them all and then ...
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I do not know what Your Lordship is going to allow him to do. I understood perhaps he would read some of them.
THE PRESIDENT: Presumably, if he reads many that are cumulative, we shall stop him.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I will pass on to the second group, which are Numbers 48 to 62 inclusive, and those are on the subject of Allied rearmament and alleged warlike intentions before the outbreak of war. Number 54 appears to be missing from my book, and I do not know whether it was intentionally left out.
The Prosecution would object to all those on the ground that they are irrelevant. They are in Book 3, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: 59 is different, isn't it? 59 is dealing with a speech by Sir Malcolm MacDonald about the colonies.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes. That is not exactly rearmament, but of course it is on the same theme in a way, that it is a provocation to war. It is certainly in rather a different category from the others.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
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MAJOR BARRINGTON: The third group deals with Poland, and that is a very large group because it includes all the negotiations before the outbreak of the war, and the numbers involved in that group are 74 to 214.
I think it would perhaps be convenient to break that group down into two phases. The first one would be the questions of the minorities and Danzig and the Corridor and the incidents connected with them, and the second phase -- slightly overlapping in time, but roughly it follows after the other one -- would be the diplomatic events involving countries other than Poland, that is to say, very approximately from the 15th of March 1939 onwards. The first phase of that group would be Numbers 74 to 181, and the second phase 182 to 214.
Now, in regard to the first phase, there are two points. The Prosecution says that these are, with very few exceptions, irrelevant because they treat of incidents and the problems arising out of these minority questions, and the Prosecution says those are irrelevant for two reasons. One of the documents among them consists of an exchange of notes between the German and Polish governments on the 28th of April 1939. That is TC-72, Number 14, in Book 5. And that exchange of n6tes consists of a confirmation that both parties unconditionally renounce the use of force on the basis of the Kellogg Pact. That had been done previously on the 26th of January 1934, as appears in another document here. It is on Page 2 of my note, TC-21.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of TC-72?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: TC-72, Number 14, was the 28th of April 1939.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: And on the footing that the two countries unconditionally renounced the use of force on the basis of the Kellogg Pact, added to the fact that the Defendant Ribbentrop has himself said that during 1938 Germany was on very good terms with Poland. And also there was a declaration made by Germany and Poland on the 5th of November 1937 about minorities -- that is Number 123 in this list of documents; it occurs at the top of Page 4 in the note. In view of these things, the Prosecution says that the accounts of these and reports of these incidents and minority problems are irrelevant and very old history.
I think perhaps I might ...
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You have them all cumulative irrelevant starting with 76. You mean the cumulative?
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MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, I am afraid to say, Your Honor, this was originally got out purely as a working note, and that is rather an error. It should be irrelevant on account of TC-21.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: My Lord, I was going to say that perhaps I might anticipate an objection that Dr. Horn has been good enough to tell me that he will make to this, that yesterday he contended that certain incidents before Munich had been condoned by the Munich Agreement, and that the argument I have just put up is on the same lines as that which the Tribunal turned down yesterday.
But, of course, there is this difference, that the Munich Agreement was negotiated in ignorance of the Fall Grun and that, from the point of view of condoning previous incidents, it is not on the same footing as an agreement negotiated in full knowledge of the circumstances.
So, My Lord, taking Group 3, Poland and the first phase of it, the Prosecution would suggest -- looking at the middle column on Page 2 -- allowing Number 75, which is the Polish Treaty of 1919, and TC-21, which I have already mentioned, which reaffirmed the Kellogg Pact, and Number 123 and TC-72, Number 14 and 16, which I have already mentioned. The remainder, perhaps, might all be said to be irrelevant; but it would be reasonable, perhaps, to allow Numbers 117, 149, 150, 153, 154, 159, 160, 163, and TC-72, Number 18. These were largely discussions between ambassadors and heads of state, which may have rather more importance than the other documents in this particular group.
As a matter of fact, My Lord, I think they are all in anyhow, those that I have just mentioned.
That goes up to 182. Starting now at 182, and the first five, 182 to 186 ...
THE PRESIDENT: Why do you object to 155 which is the calling out of Polish reserves, 155 to 158?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, My Lord, the objection to that was simply based on the fact that ...
THE PRESIDENT: I think they are all mentioned in the conversation which is 159, and that is probably the reason.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Yes. I am obliged, Your Lordship. I think that it is so, but I do not think the objection to them could be very strong.
THE PRESIDENT: No.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Numbers 182 to 1865, My Lord, they are reports by the German charges d'affaires in various capitals, and the Prosecution say that those would not be proper evidence.
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THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Why not?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, they are just accounts of the German charges d'affaires observations and conclusions of fact, for the most part by them, transmitted to their Foreign Office.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Do you mean they are irrelevant on the ground of hearsay?
MAJOR BARRINGTON, I beg your pardon.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Because they are hearsay they should not be admitted; is that what you mean?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, they are, of course, partly hearsay. They are also vague, and again, they are transmitted with an object in view. At least that has been the submission of the Prosecution, that they are transmitted to color the picture from the German point of view.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Would you admit these if they were made by charges d'affaires of other states?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: If they were made by charges d'affaires of other states?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, they would be admissible if they were put in as government reports by Allied nations under the Charter; but they are not really admissible if they are German documents.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I am sorry; I do not know what you mean.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, Article 21 of the Charter ...
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I am sorry. Perhaps I do not make myself clear. I do not quite understand why these are different from any other official reports made by charges d'affaires of any country. Is it because they are German reports?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Because they are German reports.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Oh, I see. In other words, you think German reports should be excluded.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I think under the Charter they should be excluded, except, of course, if they are used by the Prosecution as admissions against the German Government itself.
THE PRESIDENT: We are going to hear you in a moment, Dr. Horn. Anyhow, Mr. Barrington, your objection to 182 to 214 is that it is self-serving evidence and therefore not admissible; is that it?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is right, My Lord.
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THE PRESIDENT: Is there any other objection to them?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, they are, as I said, conclusions of fact drawn by an observer in a foreign country. They tend to get rather vague.
THE PRESIDENT: That might apply to a great deal of the evidence.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Numbers 187 to 192 and TC-77 there is no objection to.
Number 193 and 194 are German Foreign Office memoranda and they are mere discussions, internal to the German Foreign Office. 193 is a memorandum of the State Secretary of the Foreign Office, and it deals with a visit to him of the French Ambassador. And Number 194 is similar, a visit of the British Ambassador. Number 195, that is Sir Nevile Henderson's White Paper, Failure of a Mission, and there are a number of extracts from that; it is a book and there are a number of extracts from that in the document book and it is contended that they are cumulative of evidence which has already been given and that in particular most of them are really provocative. That applies particularly to the first extract.
THE PRESIDENT: What do you mean by provocative?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, Your Lordship will see that in the first extract there are some rather strongly worded opinions.
THE PRESIDENT: Which book are they in?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: They are in Book 6, My Lord. There are some rather strongly worded opinions about the position of Soviet Russia.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Number 196 and 197 are German memoranda and reports for Foreign Office use, and they cover the same category as 193 and 194. One of them is internal to the Foreign Office and the other from the German charge d'affaires in Washington.
Numbers 198 to 203 are all right.
Number 204 is objected to as not being evidence; it is a memorandum of the Director of the Political Department of the Foreign Office in Berlin, and it merely talks of a report in the Berliner Borsenzeitung. It is merely secondhand evidence.
Number 205 and 206 are not objected to..
The next one, TC-72, Number 74, is not objected to.
Number 207 is the same document as the previous one. It is a mere repetition.
Now, Number 208, My Lord; consists of a collection of extracts from the British Blue Book, and I am afraid I have not had time to
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check up which of them are actually in evidence already. But it is clear that the majority of them are obviously relevant, but it is suggested that those in the left-hand column do include unnecessary detail in view of the rest of them.
Number 209, there is no objection.
Number 210 is a conversation between the Defendant Ribbentrop and Sir Nevile Henderson on the 30th of August 1939, and that of course has been the subject of evidence already and is perhaps in any event cumulative for that reason.
Number 211(a) and 211(b) are just repetitions of documents quoted from the British Blue Book.
Number 212 is a Polish wireless broadcast, and Number 213 is a German communique to the German public, and it is contended that those have no evidential value.
Number 214 is an extract from a book which the Tribunal has already refused to the defendants.
Now, the next page of the note, My Lord, deals with my next group, which is Norway and Denmark.
THE PRESIDENT: Group 4, is it? Group 4, is that right?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That is Group 4, My Lord, yes.
215(a) and 215(b) deal with the case of Iceland and Greenland.
They are not very long documents; they are just considered to be irrelevant. Objection to them could not be very strong.
There is no objection to 216(a) and 216(b), which are already in evidence, I think; and D-629 is also already in evidence.
Number 217 is simply an interview which the Defendant Ribbentrop gave to the press, which the Prosecution says is not proper evidence.
Number 004-PS is already in evidence.
Number 218 and 219, 1 think, are also in evidence.
Number 220 again is objected to as it is simply an interview with the press.
THE PRESIDENT: Why do you object to those two Ribbentrop communications to the press?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: It is self-created evidence, My Lord. He has presumably given that evidence already. He had not given it at the same time.
THE PRESIDENT: What he said 6 years ago might be relevant.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Well, if Your Lordship thinks so; but the point I was making is simply that it is self-created evidence and created at the time with a view to create an impression. It is propaganda.
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THE PRESIDENT: You may say that, yes.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: Then, My Lord, the next group is the Low Countries. That group really began at 218, of course, and it goes on to 240 ...
THE PRESIDENT: Is this another group? Communique of the 5th group?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: This is the fifth group, My Lord, yes. That goes on from 218 to 245, and I shall not deal in detail with that because the French Chief Prosecutor is going to speak about that. And the same with the next group, Number 6, which is the Balkans. The French Chief Prosecutor will deal with that, Documents 246 to 278.
The next group, Number 7, is Russia, that is, Documents 280 to 295, with the exception, I think of 285(a), which seems to have got there by mistake; it appears to refer to the United States.
Number 279 -- I cannot identify from the English translation what it is at all. Perhaps Your Lordship will be good enough to make an amendment against Numbers 232 and 283; they should be put into the middle column, there being no objection to them. But there is an objection to all the other Russian documents. Your Lordship will see, beginning at the bottom of the group, 291 to 295, they all concern the Anticomintern. Pact. Working up the page again from the bottom, 290, 1 to 5, are extracts from the book which the Tribunal has already refused. And, of the documents above that, 280 is Hitler's speech about Russia in October 1939. And 281 is a repetition of a document we have already had, Number 274, which is the Three Power Pact. That will be dealt with.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean that that is a textual reproduction?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I think I am right in saying that it is actually a textual reproduction.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): But why is there an objection if it is simply a textual reproduction? The Prosecution has been given textual reproduction.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: There is no objection at all.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You mean it is not in the right column?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I was putting in the Allied column only the ones which could make up a complete set according to the Prosecution's views.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Is that true of 284 also, the Soviet-German pact?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: I do not know whether that has come before ...
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THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Why do you object to that then?
THE PRESIDENT: By "Pact," is it the German Pact of the 28th of September 1939?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: This is the 28th of September 1939. 1 am told that there is no objection to that.
Number 285 is again simply a German report which draws conclusions of facts, and the Prosecution says that has no proper evidential value. It is a very long report by the German Foreign Office concerning the agitation in Europe against the German Reich by the Soviet Union, and it is full of conclusions of fact and opinions.
THE PRESIDENT: It is after the date of the beginning of war against Russia?
MAJOR BARRINGTON: It is after the beginning of that war, My Lord, yes. Number 286 and 287, those are objected to as being without value as evidence. They come from the Volkischer Beobachter.
Number 288 is said to be a captured Soviet document; but it has deteriorated generally in the English version, had no date and no signature, and it seems of very doubtful value.
Number 289 is a report from the Yugoslav military attache in Moscow, which is also thought to be irrelevant by the Prosecution.
Then Group Number 8, My Lord, is the group concerning the United States of America, Documents 299 to 310, and including 285(a). The first ten documents, Your Lordship will see, are reports from, we would say they come from a very indirect source, the process report by the Polish Ambassador on the political situation in the United States in 1939. The next one seems to come from Portugal, the next from the Polish Ambassador again, the next two also from the Polish Ambassador. Then the next one, Number 300, is President Roosevelt's Quarantine Speech in 1937, which seems too far back to be of any proper relevance. Number 301 is a German summary of events in the United States, which we say is irrelevant for the reasons I have stated: That they are German summaries, rather more unreliable than irrelevant. Number 302 again is the Polish Ambassador's report. Number 303 is a statement by President Roosevelt in 1936, and Number 304 is President Roosevelt's message to Congress on the 4th of January 1939. I do not think there is anything very objectionable about that. To numbers 305 to 308, there is no objection; 309 -- in my copy there are two different versions of 309. The first one is a German summary of the facts without any dates and with no sources indicated. It seems to be of no proper value as evidence, and the second one, 309 and 309(a), are declarations of the Pan-American Conference and the German note in reply to it. I do not think the Prosecution can take a very strong objection to that, but it does not seem to be very closely in point.
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TC-72, Number 127, and TC-72, Number 124, are both appeals of President Roosevelt to Hitler and are not objected to. 310 is another German summary of facts without any sources indicated.
The ninth group is simply a miscellaneous group; and, if My Lordship will turn back to the first page of my note, it is the first 8 documents on that page, down to Number 45. They are all allowed. There is no objection to them, except Number 12, which is the announcement of the Reichstag election results. It does not seem to matter one way or the other whether that is in.
Number 45 is Lord Rothermere's book of predictions and prophecies, Warnings and Prophecies. I think the Prosecution contends that it is not relevant evidence in this case.
The next lot of miscellaneous ones is on Page 2, Numbers 70 to 73. Number 71 is the German-Lithuanian treaty about Memel, and there is no objection. Number 70 is thought to be rather irrelevant. Numbers 72 and 73 are objected to because they deal with the Fourteen Points of President Wilson.
The next lot of miscellaneous ones is on the last page of one of my notes right down at the bottom, Number 296, and that is a speech by Hitler on the Rhineland. You have all the evidence that has been given. It appears to be rather cumulative, if it is not in already. I have not actually checked whether it is in.
Number 298 on the top of the next page is, in fact, superfluous. It is the same as Number 274. And down at the bottom of the last page, My Lord, 311, is a paper written by the Defendant Ribbentrop on the Fuehrer's personality.
THE PRESIDENT: That has already been ruled out.
MAJOR BARRINGTON: That, I think, has been ruled out this morning by Your Lordship. Number 312 is an affidavit of Frau Von Ribbentrop. Number 313 is an affidavit of Dr. Gottfriedsen. I understand from Dr. Horn that, although he had been allowed Dr. Gottfriedsen as a witness, he thinks it will save time if he reads the affidavit or a part of it. Perhaps, if Your Lordship will allow the Prosecution to make what comments they think fit when he comes to do that, it would be the best way of treating it.
That is all -- all my points, My Lord. There are just the Low Countries and the Balkans.
MR. DODD: May it please the Tribunal, it is true that Mr. Barrington has spoken for all of us; and I do not intend to go over any of these documents, except this, because I fear there is some question in the minds of the members of the Tribunal about our objection running from 76 through 116, 118 to 122, and 114 to 148, the Polish documents. We also say, of course, with Major Barrington that they are cumulative, but it seems to me there is a much more basic
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objection. Perhaps they all have to do with the alleged incidents inside Poland and they were published in these White Papers. These incidents involved the mistreatment of Polish citizens inside Poland who were perhaps of German extraction. Well, it is our view that such documents are irrelevant here because that is no defense at al to the charges; and we cannot permit, we say, a nation to defend itself or these defendants to defend themselves on charges such a have been preferred here, by proving that citizens of another state although they may have been of German extraction or any other extraction, were mistreated inside that state. Beginning with 7 running through to 116, 118 through 122, 114 through 148, and 15 through 152 -- it is 124 through 148 rather than 114 through 148 124 through 148. The last are 151 and 152.
M. AUGUSTE CHAMPETIER DE RIBES (Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic): I will ask the Tribunal's permission to make two short remarks about documents which are part of the fifth and sixth group, and which concern entirely French documents taken from the German White Book. It is, as a matter of fact only for this reason, that the French Prosecution has any knowledge of them, for, contrary to what the Tribunal believes, the French Prosecution has not yet received a translation of the documents submitted by Dr. Horn. The first group, Number 5, Documents 221 to 245; these are General Staff documents; and it appears that from them Dr. Horn wishes to draw the conclusion that England and France violated the neutrality of Belgium. If we ask the Tribunal to reject the 25 documents, it is only because we see a grave risk of the Tribunal's losing time in useless discussions. Far from having any reason to fear discussion, we feel that on the contrary France and Britain would both be found to have respected scrupulously the two pacts which they had signed: The first being to respect the neutrality of Belgium, and the second being to respect the pact by which they had guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium.
What is the precise issue here, Gentlemen? Only to find out whether Germany, France, or England violated the neutrality of Belgium. The Defendant Ribbentrop has been asked this by his counsel, and has answered it in the clearest possible manner, during Saturday's session, in a statement which the Tribunal is certain to remember. The Defendant Ribbentrop said, "Of course it is always very hard in a war like this to violate the neutrality of a country; and you must not think that we enjoyed doing things like that."
That, Gentlemen, is a formal admission that Germany violated the neutrality of Belgium. Why should we waste time in discussing the relevance of these 25 documents now?
I go on to the second group, Group Number 6. These are General Staff documents, which Germany claims to have seized; and they
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concern events in the Balkans in 1939 and 1940. The French Prosecution asks you to reject the 22 documents submitted by Dr. Horn for the two reasons following: They have absolutely no claim to be considered authentic, and they are not relevant. They have absolutely no claim to be considered authentic -- they are all extracts from the White Book; and the Tribunal knows the Prosecution's views on this point. Moreover, the great majority of these documents are extracts from documents originating with the Allied general staffs. No originals have been produced; and the supposed copies are not even submitted in their entirety. In the second place, they are not relevant, for they all concern plans studied by the general staff; in the last months of 1939 and the early part of 1940. These plans for French or British intervention in Yugoslavia and Greece naturally presupposed the consent of the governments concerned as an indispensable condition. The plans were never carried through. They were definitely abandoned after the Armistice of June 1940. The documents date from 1939 and 1940; and the Tribunal will remember that the aggression against Yugoslavia and Greece occurred on 6 April 1941 at a time when the Hitler Government no longer had any reason to fear plans made in 1939.
These documents, which have no claim to be considered authentic, are also in no way relevant to the present discussion; and for that reason the French Prosecution asks the Tribunal to reject them.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Horn. Dr. Horn, the Tribunal thinks that you may possibly, in view of the evidence which the Defendant Ribbentrop has given, find it possible to withdraw some of these documents, in view of the time that has been taken up. I mean the Defendant Ribbentrop has dealt with the subject very fully; and it may be, therefore, that you will be able to withdraw some of these documents in order to save time.
DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President, I will withdraw all the documents which are cumulative. I should like first ...
THE PRESIDENT: If you let us know now what it is you wish to withdraw ...
DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President.
To begin with may I state my position on a few basic questions? That is the probative value of the White Books and the ambassadors' reports. I would like to point out that these documents had a decisive influence on political opinion. That applies to the Defendant Von Ribbentrop as well as Hitler. And in addition, I would like to point out that the Prosecution have relied largely on reports of this kind. I should like, therefore, to ask for equal rights for the Defense.
Then I would like to say a few words about the documents of the French General Staff which were found in the town of La
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Charite during the French campaign. If the High Tribunal shares the doubts and misgivings expressed by the representative of the French Prosecution, I ask permission to question the Commander of Army Group 10, Field Marshal Leeb, as to the fact that these General Staff documents were found in the town, of La Charite.
The Polish documents to which I have referred were found in the Polish Foreign Ministry at Warsaw. The Commander-in-Chief at that time, Field Marshal or Generaloberst Blaskowitz, can testify to that effect. And in this connection I would also name Generaloberst Blaskowitz as a witness, if the Tribunal has any misgivings.
Moreover, I can summarize the opinion of the Defense by saying that I believe that objections can be raised against a document only if its inaccuracy is obvious from the contents or if it can be shown to be a forgery. I ask the Tribunal to admit all the other documents contained in the White Books or the ambassadors' reports.
As to the documents on Polish minority questions I would like to point out that Prime Minister Chamberlain himself described the minority question as being the decisive question between Germany and Poland. Since these negotiations, of which the main subject, besides Danzig and the Corridor, was the minority question, led to war, the minority question is therefore one of the causes of the war. Therefore I ask that the documents on this point, which prove continuous violation of the minority pacts on the part of Poland be admitted in evidence.
If the High Tribunal agree, I will now begin to submit the documents to the Tribunal for judicial notice or to read certain essential passages; and I would like to tell the Tribunal now which documents I will dispense with.
DR. DIX: I should be grateful to the Tribunal if I might just state my position -- not as regards the case of Ribbentrop, with whom I am not concerned; my colleague, Dr. Horn, is dealing with him -- but simply on principle, not exclusively from the Defense point of view, but quite objectively and basically in regard to the various problems which the Tribunal must consider before making their decision as to the admissibility of any piece of evidence -- either in the form of a question put to a witness or a document to be submitted.
I am not asking for permission to talk for the sake of talking, but because I believe that by doing so I can shorten the later stages of the proceedings; because I hope that the Tribunal will be in agreement with the main points of my statements and that therefore it will be unnecessary for the Defense to make these statements at a later stage.
I have naturally to leave it entirely to the Tribunal whether they consider it now the appropriate time or whether I shall do
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it only after my colleague Horn has finished with his documentary evidence. At any case I should like to make the statements before the Tribunal have ruled upon the applications of the Prosecution and of Dr. Horn.
I should like to ask Your Lordship whether the Tribunal will allow me now to make clear, as shortly as possible, the position I take up in principle on the questions which I consider of vital importance for the decision. May I do this?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. DIX: I believe, without wishing to criticize the juridical value of the statements which we have heard here, that there has been some confusion of ideas. We must keep the distinction quite clear in our minds: 1. Is an item of evidence -- and that applies to witnesses as well as documents -- relevant? 2. Is an item of evidence useful as such? 3. Is an item of evidence cumulative and therefore to be rejected?
If the Tribunal rule that something offered in evidence is not relevant, not useful, or cumulative, then it must refuse the application for it at this stage of the proceedings. On the other hand, the question of the credibility of something offered in evidence -- that is, whether the answer of a witness is to be believed or not, whether the contents of a document may be considered credible, whether expositions set forth in a White Book, for instance, are to be believed or not believed -- that, in my opinion, is a question which can be decided only when the evidence in question has been brought into the proceedings and the Tribunal have taken judicial notice of it and are able, when freely evaluating the evidence -- a course which is open to the Tribunal -- to pass judgment on its credibility or otherwise. For that reason I think that at the present moment there seems to be no reason for saying, for instance that this document cannot be used at all because it is part of a White Book published by the German Government. No one will deny that a White Book that is, a publication, an official publication, issued by any government, can as such be useful and relevant evidence. Whether the passage read and introduced into the proceedings is such that tile Tribunal can give it credence is a question that can be decided after the evidence in connection with the White Book has been introduced into the proceedings, and the Tribunal have taken official notice of the passage in question.
Now, I turn to the question of relevancy and effectiveness. The representative of the British Prosecution has stated here that the reports sent by the German ambassadors to their Foreign Minister are, per se, not useful. At least, that is the way I understood him. They will be admitted only if the Prosecution wishes to use them.
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In other words, they are to be admitted only if the Prosecution wishes to use them to the detriment of the defendants. I do not think that this point of view can be maintained. The representative of the British Delegation cited Article 21 of the Charter in this connection. Article 21 of the Charter has nothing whatsoever to do, with this question. Article 21 of the Charter merely states, so far as I remember it -- I do not have the Charter on hand but I believe I know the contents of it very well -- that documents referring to the investigation by the governments of the victorious powers of war crimes committed in their own countries do not have to be read but may merely be submitted to the Tribunal for judicial notice. This question however has nothing whatsoever to do, with the question of the usefulness or relevancy of a report submitted at any time by a German ambassador to his Foreign Office. Whether this report has been admitted, or is to be admitted, can be decided according to whether the Tribunal consider as relevant the subject which it concerns and which it is to prove -- if the fact which is to be proved by it is considered relevant by the Tribunal and is adequately established by one or both parties. Then, in my opinion, this ambassador's report should be admitted; and after its admission the Tribunal can, by freely weighing the evidence, consider the value of the evidence, that is, its credibility, and moreover its objective as well as its subjective credibility. So much for the clear-cut differentiation of the concepts of relevancy and usefulness and for the concept of the value of evidence, that is, the objective and subjective credibility of evidence.
Now, with regard to the question of whether evidence is cumulative. It is certain that every jurist in this courtroom agrees that cumulative evidence should not be admitted; but the question of whether evidence is cumulative may in no circumstances be judged formally, so to speak, mechanically. I can well imagine that a question with the same wording as one that has already been put, need not necessarily be cumulative, for reasons which I will enumerate in a moment and that a question which in form does not resemble one already put, may nevertheless be cumulative because it requires an answer from the witness regarding the same evidence, but expressed in different words. The fact that a question may be identical in wording with one which has already been put does not necessarily mean that it is cumulative as shown by the old proverb, Si duo faciunt idem non est idem. If, for instance, I ask a witness; who bears the stamp of a fanatical adherent of the Nazi regime for his subjective impression of something and then put the same question on the same impression to a witness who is known to be a fanatical opponent of the Nazi regime, then these two questions, are certainly not cumulative, for it is of paramount importance, if
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the Tribunal is to be in a position to form an opinion and make a decision, to find out whether an impression is registered in the same way by two worlds, so to speak -- by two diametrically opposed persons. Therefore one has to take the witness into consideration in judging whether a question is cumulative or not. A further example of the fact that a question which is exactly similar to one previously put need not be cumulative would be, for instance, if I put the question to the defendant and then to a witness who is not interested. In saying this I wish in no way to disparage the evidence given by the defendant under oath. That is far from being my intention. In principle, the testimony of both the witnesses is alike. There is, however, a great difference. In order not to take too long I will cite only one example -- whether when investigating some phase of the defendant's inner life about which he himself is best informed, I question a witness who had an impression of this incident concerning the defendant, or whether I question the defendant himself for whom this inner impression is a part of the psychological background of his deed.
I should like to stop at this point, in order not to take up too much of the Tribunal's time with theoretical expositions. My intention in making this statement was only to request the high Tribunal in making their decision, I repeat in regard to relevancy and usefulness, to make a clear distinction in the question of the value to be attached to subjective evidence, which should be decided after its admission, and to ask the Tribunal, when considering whether evidence is cumulative, not to be guided solely by the outward form of the question or the document but to investigate whether it would not be in the interest of truth and give a deeper insight into the case to put the same question to different people, or to have the same question confirmed, or not confirmed, by written statements by different people.
My conscience is uneasy about this academic exposition, but I hope that the clarification which I have tried to make and in which I may perhaps have succeeded to some extent, may help to shorten somewhat later stages of the proceedings.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know how long you think you are going to be over these documents, because we are getting further and further behind. And how long do you anticipate you will be? Have you made up your mind yet what documents you are prepared to withdraw, if any?
DR. HORN: Mr. President, I should need about two more hours that is without objections on the part of the Prosecution, and I believe that in that time I can finish my entire presentation including the reading of the most important passages, which are
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limited to a very few documents. Therefore, without objections about two hours.
THE PRESIDENT: You have heard the Prosecution's objections. We have heard them. We will consider them, and we will consider any answer that you make to them; but we do not desire at this stage, when we have all these other defendants' cases to be heard, that you should go into these documents in detail now and read them, and we hope that you will not think it necessary to read from these documents after you have answered the objections of the Prosecution to certain of the documents.
DR. HORN: I have the intention ...
THE PRESIDENT: Have you the idea that you had finished your argument in answer to the Prosecution's objections or not? Did you intend to deal further with the admissibility of any of these particular documents or not?
DR. HORN: In accordance with the wishes expressed by the Tribunal I intend to submit these documents in groups, with a brief connecting text and in each group where the Prosecution has made objections to add a few remarks on the points raised. I do not intend to do any more.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, you see, the position is this. The Prosecution have objected to certain documents on certain grounds, and we want to give you a full opportunity to answer those objections. When you have your full answer to those objections, we think it will be appropriate we should adjourn and decide upon those objections and upon your arguments. Do you see? That we should rule that, after you have given your answer to the objections, we should adjourn and decide which of the documents we rule to be admissible in evidence.
DR. HORN: If the Tribunal intends to give its ruling after I have taken my position on the objections of the Prosecution, then I ask that I be given an opportunity now, for, to begin with, I would like ...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a moment, Dr. Horn. Because you see, it is 5 o'clock, and we shall not be able to conclude it tonight.
Dr. Horn, if you could conclude your arguments in answer to the questions of principle which have been raised by the Prosecution now, we think it would be the most convenient course if you could do it in a fairly short time. I mean, you have heard what the Prosecution say about these various groups, and it would be more convenient, we think, if you could answer that in the space of a quarter of an hour now.
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DR. HORN: First of all, I would like to refer to documents numbered 48 to 61. In regard to these I can take only the following position.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. HORN: Number 48 to 61. Perhaps I may again use these pages of the Prosecution, with their objections, as a basis. Documents 48 to 61 were rejected as irrelevant, but these documents deal with rearmament and preparation for war by the opposite side. I can arrive at the basic motives animating Hitler and Ribbentrop, only by contrasting the German evidence with the evidence given by the other side. I cannot judge of the illegality of an action unless I know all the facts. To know all the facts, I have to know the attitude taken by the other side. Therefore, I consider these documents highly relevant.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
DR. HORN: The next group of decisive importance consists of the documents dealing with the Polish minority problem. The representative of the Prosecution has said that by the German-Polish agreement of 5 November 1937, the minority problem was sanctioned by both countries. That is, all violations of international law in regard to minority questions would be considered a closed chapter if they had occurred before that year. This view is certainly not correct, because one agreement cannot sanction the violation of a prior agreement. Moreover, during the negotiations for the 1934 pact between Germany and Poland it was expressly agreed, as I can prove by means of these documents that, after a general political agreement had been made, the minority question as well as that of Danzig and of the Corridor should be settled.
These questions were expressly held in abeyance pending a further settlement by agreement, and as no such settlement of the two questions was made, the documents dealing with the violations by the Poles of international law with regard to minority pacts cannot be rejected on account of this agreement. For this agreement, as I should like to emphasize once more, particularly deals with a further agreement for the settlement of this question.
The second objection for this group is the fact that the minority problem on the whole is called irrelevant. Previously I stated briefly that the British Prime Minister Chamberlain himself realized the need for regulating this problem. I will submit this document too; it is Document Number 200 in my document book. All the political circles concerned thought that the solution must be found for this question and therefore considered it relevant. I ask the Tribunal therefore to admit the documents referring to it. These documents cannot be rejected in part as cumulative, as was done here, for on
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the strength of these documents, I wish to prove that these minority pacts have been repeatedly violated since 1919, and I submit documents from the international tribunal of The Hague and the League of Nations at Geneva, showing that these violations took place during a period of over 20 years.
I accept the objections made by the Soviet Delegation to Documents 286 to 289, and I withdraw Documents 286 to 289.
Since the Tribunal recently objected to the book America in the Battle of the Continents, I also withdraw documents presented under Number 290, 1 to 5. I have also referred to that book under several other numbers, and I withdraw also all those numbers which refer to the book, America in the Battle of the Continents. As for the ambassadors' reports, I again refer to my statement and the basic statements made here a moment ago by my colleague, Dr. Dix. I am convinced that, on principle, and on the strength of the legal arguments adduced and also in view of the fact that the Prosecution have used such reports extensively, the Defense should also be granted the right of referring to these reports, especially as they formed the foundation on which German political opinion was based.
I shall not be able to dispense with the files of the French General Staff either, for the reasons I have stated. It has been said that Documents 221 to 269 are irrelevant. They are not irrelevant, because we had neutrality pacts with those countries, and in the neutrality pacts it was agreed that Germany would respect their neutrality as long as the other side also respected it. As it would now be possible here to prove that the other side did not respect this neutrality, the proof of whether a war of aggression against these countries by Germany...
THE PRESIDENT: The point that M. Champetier de Ribes was making was that France was out of the war by 1940. Therefore documents which were drawn up, by the French General Staff in 1940 had no relevance in 1941. Isn't that so? That is the point that he was making.
DR. HORN: You mean the French Prosecutor?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the French Prosecutor.
DR. HORN: Yes. However, the fact that breaches of neutrality were committed by France and were known to the German Government at the time alters the legal situation completely. You cannot say that Germany waged an aggressive war against these countries when we knew through our intelligence service that our opponents intended to occupy these countries, and did in fact do so, by sending out General Staff officers. Thus it was the other side which was guilty of violation, and the files which have been found have only
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confirmed the intelligence reports submitted to us at the time; I say, at the time.
Therefore, you cannot accuse Germany of violating the neutrality pact in these cases. I would like to ask the Tribunal, therefore, to admit those files as relevant for the reasons stated. With reference to the other documents, I ask to be permitted to make my statement when I submit the documents to the Tribunal in the presentation of evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: You see, Dr. Horn, we want to rule upon it when we have heard your arguments; we do not want to have to rule again over every document. We want you to take them in groups, in the way the Prosecution has, so that we may make up our minds and rule.
DR. HORN: These are the main objections which I have to make to the arguments of the Prosecution. I ask the Tribunal once more to differentiate between considerations of principle raised by Dr. Dix, and between the factual considerations raised by myself with regard to the individual groups.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 3 April 1946 at 1000 hours.]