4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
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1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
MARSHAL (Col. Charles W. Mays): If it please the Tribunal, the Defendants Sauckel and Von Papen are absent.
[The Defendant Raeder resumed the stand.]
DR. WALTER SIEMERS (Counsel for Defendant Raeder): Admiral, yesterday we finished with the somewhat involved Document C-32, and we had got as far as Point 11. We now come to Point 12, "Ammunition stocks in excess of the armament permissible." May I remind the Tribunal that this is Document C-32, Exhibit USA-50, in Document Book 10 a, Page 8, Point 12, which contains three columns.
Defendant, may I ask what you have to say to the accusation that you exceeded the permissible amount of ammunition?
ERICH RAEDER (Defendant): Certain ammunition stocks were in excess of the permissible amount and some were below it. I cannot tell you at this date what the reason was in each particular case. I assume that this depended to a considerable extent on the amounts left over from the last World War.
In the case of the first two items, the 17- and 15-centimeter shells, the actual stocks rather exceeded the quantity permitted, whereas the third item, the 10.5-centimeter, falls very far short of it-instead of 134,000 there were 87,000. In the case of the 8.8-centimeter shells there was an excess, then again a deficit, and the same thing applies to the last item. But they are all very insignificant amounts.
DR. SIEMERS: In the copy before the Tribunal there appears to be a note in the third column-on the next page in yours, Defendant-saying that quantities of ammunition are partly manufactured and partly in course of delivery, and that the total amount permissible will soon be exceeded.
I only wanted to ask you: The list was made out in September 1933. Then are the figures stated correct for September 1933 or autumn 1933?
RAEDER: I did not quite understand you.
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DR. SIEMERS: If it says in this document that measures to be taken later will bring the totals above the quantities permissible, which-according to this statement-they had not yet reached, then that is calculated as from autumn 1933.
RAEDER: That may be assumed, yes. Because new ammunition as well as new guns were being manufactured, and old ammunition then had to be scrapped.
It also must be noted that ammunition for heavy artillery, which is not listed here, was in every case short of the permissible amount. A comparatively large amount of heavy artillery ammunition had been granted us for heavy coastal guns, and we had by no means as much as we were allowed to have.
DR. SIEMERS: For the assistance of the Tribunal, I may point out that this last point is proved by the actual documents in the hands of the Tribunal. In the Tribunal's copy under the Figure 12, Column 2, just beside the separate figures, there is a sentence which says, "...that the whole quantity permitted for heavy artillery has not been reached."
We now come to Number 13: "Exceeding the permissible stocks of machine guns, rifles, pistols, and gas masks."
RAEDER: Here, too, it must be admitted that in isolated cases stocks were a little higher than permitted. There were, for instance, 43,000 gas masks instead of the 22,500 permitted. Large numbers of rifles and machine guns were taken away even by individuals after the World War to farms, et cetera. They were later collected, and for that reason there was a comparatively large stock of them. But we are not dealing here with any considerable quantities. Similarly ammunition, bayonets, hand grenades, searchlights, fog equipment, et cetera, also exceeded the prescribed limits but not to any great extent.
DR. SIEMERS: Now, Figure 14: "Obtaining 337 M.G. C/30's without scrapping equally serviceable weapons." As I did not...
THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): Surely, Dr. Siemers, it would be possible to deal with all these various points in the documents in one statement as to why there were these excesses. We have a statement here which contains 30 different items, and you have only got as far as 13, and you are dealing with each one.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, personally I agree entirely. I am sorry that I caused the Tribunal so much trouble in connection with this document. As I am not a naval expert, I had a great deal of trouble finding my way through it; but I do not think that I was the cause of the trouble. The Prosecution, you see, have made use of the single points in evidence.
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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the question is-I am not blaming you, but we want to get on. We are not blaming you. Can't it be done in one explanatory statement, one short statement?
DR. SIEMERS: I will try, Mr. President, and I will shorten it.
There is no need to say anything more about Numbers 15 to 17. I think these were the most important points. The points planned for a later date were not to be effective until the years '33 and '34. I may perhaps just point out to the Tribunal that Number 17 refers to the intended construction of reserve destroyers. The Versailles Treaty permitted the construction of these.
I pass over Number 18 because we have already dealt with that. Number 19, again, refers only to intended construction. Number 20 I may consider irrelevant; it concerns only the arming of fishing vessels. Numbers 21 to 29...
THE PRESIDENT: I think, perhaps, you should ask the Defendant to explain some of these observations in the third column. I mean in Number 18, for instance: "Difficult to detect. If necessary can be denied."
RAEDER: These were explanations given to our League of Nations representative at the Disarmament Conference by the competent expert. It does not refer to local conditions. Construction of submarine spare parts, for instance, took place abroad or was to be prepared. It was actually carried out in 1934 and '35, and the first submarine was launched at the end of June 1935.
DR. SIEMERS: I may take it, Defendant, that only the construction and purchase of submarines was prohibited.
RAEDER: Yes, the construction in Germany.
DR. SIEMERS: I cannot prove until a later stage that no violation of the Treaty was involved by the construction of these spare parts; but I think you will have to give some indication of your reason for wishing to conceal it, in view of the fact that spare parts were not forbidden. I may remind you that this took place in September 1933 at a time when negotiations had already been planned.
RAEDER: At that period, before the German-English Naval Agreement was concluded on the basis of 35 to 100, Hitler was particularly eager to avoid everything which might embarrass the negotiations in any way. The construction and preparation of submarine parts came under this heading as being a subject on which England was peculiarly sensitive.
DR. SIEMERS: Was there not an additional reason for this appendix and other remarks in this second column-namely, the unfortunate experiences which the Navy had caused in home
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politics, the fact that whenever the slightest action was taken a quarrel immediately ensued on the home political front?
RAEDER: Yes; and that went so far that the Reichswehrminister was attacked on occasions by Prussian ministers who disagreed with the Reich Government-for instance, Mueller, Severing, Stresemann and later Bruening, who alleged to the Reich Chancellor that he took steps which he was not authorized to take. In reality, however, the Reich Government itself had sanctioned these things already and had accepted the responsibility for them.
DR. SIEMERS: So these things were kept secret for reasons of home policy, so that they should not be apparent. . .
DR. SIEMERS: With the approval of the Reich Government?
RAEDER: With the approval of the Reich Government. As regards the firms, a number of firms...
DR. SIEMERS: I would prefer now to refer back to Column 2, Number 20, as I see from the record that the Prosecution have also expressly raised this point in connection with the arming of fishing craft, emphasized it, and made it the basis of a charge, "Warning shots, play it down."
RAEDER: The two fishing boats were quite small vessels and were normally unarmed. They served to supervise the fishing boats in the North Sea right up to Iceland, to help them in case of emergency, to take sick men aboard and to afford protection against fishermen of other nations. We thought it advisable to mount at least a 5-centimeter gun on these ships since they were actually warships. "Warning shots" means that they fired a salute when they wanted to draw the fishermen's attention to something; so it was quite an insignificant affair and had no need to be artificially reduced to a bagatelle but was in fact a bagatelle.
DR. SIEMERS: We now come to Numbers 21 to 28. This is a list of various firms, including industrial firms working on armament contracts. The Versailles Treaty admitted certain firms for this type of work while it excluded others. In actual fact, other firms had received contracts. Perhaps you can make a general statement on this point.
RAEDER: This was at a time when we had strong hopes that progress would be made at the Disarmament Conference. The Macdonald Plan, which brought about a certain improvement, had already been accepted; and we might have expected, in consequence, that the few factories still left to us would have to increase their output during the next few years. I may refer you to the shipping replacement scheme. Consequently, factories producing specialized
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articles were better equipped and supplied. There was, however, never any question of heavy guns or anything of that kind but of automatic fuse-igniters, explosives-for instance, mine containers, et cetera, small items but special items which could be made only by certain firms. But, apart from the firms admitted, other firms which had been excluded were also employed. Thus, for instance, the Friedrich Krupp Grusenwerke A. G. at Magdeburg, Number 25 , was equipped to manufacture antiaircraft guns and antiaircraft barrels from 2-centimeters to 10.5-centimeters; similarly Number 26, a firm manufacturing antiaircraft ammunition, explosives; Number 27...
DR. SIEMERS: I do not think we need the details.
RAEDER: No. And then engines for which there was also a great demand.
DR. SIEMERS: I have some questions which apply to all these figures. Is this not offset to a certain extent by the fact that some of the firms admitted had already dropped out for economic reasons?
RAEDER: Yes, you can certainly say that. These firms had comparatively few deliveries which were not sufficient to keep them going.
DR. SIEMERS: Defendant, I think one not only can-I think one must-say so. May I draw your attention to Point 22, Column 3, which reads, "The list in any case is out of date, as some firms have dropped out."
DR. SIEMERS: That leaves us with Numbers 29 and 30. Number 29, "Preparations in the field of experiments with motorboats." I think that these were preparations in a very small field.
RAEDER: At the moment I cannot tell you exactly what this means.
DR. SIEMERS: I do not believe in any case that the Prosecution will attach any importance to it.
Then I only want you to make a final statement on Number 30, "Probable further concrete violations becoming necessary in the near future" up to 1934 inclusively. To all intents and purposes you have already answered the question by your reference to the negotiations planned with the British Government, some of which were already in progress.
RAEDER: Yes, that was the point.
DR. SIEMERS: These are matters, therefore, which were in any case due to be discussed in the course of the negotiations with the British Government, or rather the Admiralty.
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RAEDER: You cannot say that of them all. For instance, Points 1 to 3 deal with mines. The number of mines was to be increased and modern material was to replace the old. It goes on in the same way with the transfer of guns from the North Sea to the Baltic "A" batteries, not with the scrapping of guns.
DR. SIEMERS: To conclude the whole matter, may I ask you to say what impression the whole thing made on a naval expert like yourself. All things considered, would you say that these are minor violations, and how far are these violations of an aggressive nature?
RAEDER: As I said yesterday, most of them are very inadequate improvements in defense of an almost entirely defenseless position. The separate items, as I explained yesterday, are so insignificant that it is really impossible to spend very much time on them. I believe that the Control Commission also had the impression that very little weight need be attached to all these matters; for in 1925 when the Control Commission left its station at Kiel where it had worked with the organizations of the Naval Command, Commander Fenshow, Admiral Charlton's chief of staff and head of the Commission, whose main interest was guns and who had worked with a Captain Raenkel, a gunner and a specialist in these matters, said:
"We must leave now, and you are glad that we are going. You did not have a pleasant task, and neither did we. I must tell you one thing. You need not think that we believed what you have said. You did not say a single word of truth, but you have given your information so skillfully that we were able to accept it, and for that I am grateful to you."
DR. SIEMERS: I now come to Document C-29, which is Exhibit USA-46. Mr. President, it is in Raeder's Document Book 10, Page 8 of the Prosecution's document book.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean 10a?
DR. SIEMERS: Number 10, Page 8. This document, too, was submitted during the general Indictment made by the Prosecution at the beginning of the Trial on 27 November. It consists of a speech, a document signed by Raeder, dated 31 January 1933, "General Directives for the Support of the German Armaments Industry by the Navy."
[Turning to the defendant.] The Prosecution pointed this out; and they have thought fit to conclude from it that on the day after Hitler's nomination as Chancellor of the Reich, you were already acting positively in his support through this letter. Will you define your attitude, please?
RAEDER: There is no connection whatsoever between this letter and Hitler's accession to power. You must admit that it would be
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impossible to compile so long and complicated a document-which was, after all, carefully prepared-between the evening of 30 and the morning of 31 January. This document results from the hope, which I mentioned before, that already under the Papen and Von Schleicher Government the stipulations of the Versailles Treaty and the Disarmament Conference might be gradually relaxed, since the British Delegation had repeatedly said that they favored the gradual restoration of equal rights. We had, therefore, to get our industries into the best possible condition, as far as the manufacture of armaments was concerned, by increasing their output and enabling them to overcome competition.
As I say in Paragraph c of this letter, almost every country was at that time making efforts in the same direction, even those which, unlike Germany, had no restrictions imposed on them. Great Britain, France, North America, Japan, and especially Italy made the most determined efforts to gain markets for their armaments industry; and I wanted to follow them in this particular sphere. In order to do this, there had to be an understanding between the various departments of the Naval Command Staff to the effect that industry must be given support in a way which avoided the secrecy of technical matters and developments to too petty a degree. That is why I explain in Paragraph c that secrecy in small matters is less important than maintaining a high standard and keeping the lead.
I state in the final sentence:
"To sum up, I attach particular importance to the continued support of the industry in question by the Navy, even after the expected relaxation of the present restrictions, so that the industry would command confidence abroad and would find a market."
This has nothing at all to do with Hitler nor with any independent rearmament on my own behalf.
DR. SIEMERS: Can you tell us when, approximately, you drafted these directives?
RAEDER: During the month of January. I may say that we had a conference-perhaps at the beginning of January-and after that I had it put in writing.
DR. SIEMERS: That would be certainly 2 to 3 weeks before this letter was written?
RAEDER: Yes, certainly.
DR. SIEMERS: I think it happens rarely that one receives a letter from a government office one day after its being conceived by the head of that office.
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May I ask you now to tell me one thing more in connection with the "relaxation of the present restrictions." That means the relaxation of the Versailles Treaty, I presume, through the Disarmament Conference. You have mentioned that four times in this document, so that I assume that was your basis.
RAEDER: Yes, it was. The whole atmosphere at that time under both the governments I mentioned, was such that one could expect an improvement.
DR. SIEMERS: And this was the basis for which, to quote a few names only, Stresemann, Bruening, fought.
DR. SIEMERS: As they felt it their duty to take certain advance precautions?
DR. SIEMERS: I think there is no need for me to go into further details. I have read this document again and again, and have been unable to find any point on which the Prosecution could base the conclusion that you had National Socialist ideas.
I now come to Document C-140. It is Exhibit USA-51, and is in the Document Book 10a, Page 104.
RAEDER: May I interrupt you, please? Would it not be appropriate that I should say now what I wanted to say to supplement the statement in C-156 regarding aircraft?
DR. SIEMERS: I apologize. It might be practicable to finish with the infringements of the Versailles Treaty before going on to another subject. I had forgotten that.
The Prosecution have submitted Document C-156. It is Captain Schuessler's book from the year 1937 and contains almost the same list of infringements as Document C-32, so that that document can be disposed of at the same time. In addition, it deals with the case of the designing office for submarines in Holland, with which we have already dealt. But there is still one point on which I should like to have your comments, and that concerns certain preparations in connection with navy aircraft which might be permitted later.
RAEDER: All sorts of preparations had been made in the field of aviation long before I came into office. A number of aircraft had been purchased, as I see from this book. They were stored with a firm called "Severe G.m.b.H.," which was known to the Reichswehrminister. The Versailles Treaty had permitted us antiaircraft guns both on ships and on the coast, as was mentioned yesterday; and for these antiaircraft, firing practice had to be arranged. The Control Commission had allowed us a certain number
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of aircraft to tow the necessary targets. These aircraft were flown by ex-naval pilots employed by this company. The company, in turn, was managed by an old naval pilot.
Since we were not allowed to train naval pilots or were not allowed to have any naval air force, we gave a year's training in the civil aviation school to a number of prospective naval officers before they joined the Navy, so that through this 1-year training they developed into very good pilots. Then they joined the Navy and went through their ordinary naval training. The aircraft purchased in this way was temporarily in the possession of the "Severa," which also had a good deal to do with the Lohmann affairs and for that reason was dissolved by Reichswehrminister Groener in the summer of 1928. Reichswehrminister Groener established a new company with similar assignments in the autumn of 1928, soon after I assumed office. But he had signed the agreement himself in order to control the correct management of the whole affair.
In this company, in addition to their ordinary work, the Navy pilots carried out experiments in connection with the development of aircraft for a later Navy air force. We had the Government's permission to manufacture a model of every type likely to be of use, but we were not allowed to accumulate aircraft. The Government had expressly forbidden that. The result was that in the course of years the company developed a number of aircraft types which would be useful at a later date when we were once more allowed to have aircraft.
In the early period exercises in the Navy were carried out by the old naval pilots-that is to say, it was demanded that exercises in observation be taken and that the crews of ships learn how to act against aircraft. When these young naval pilots were assigned to such exercises, they were discharged from the Navy for that time. It was an awkward affair, but it was always carried out punctiliously.
DR. SIEMERS: I may now turn to Document C-140, which is in Document Book 10a, Page 104. It is a letter from Reich Defense Minister Von Blomberg dated 25 October 1933. It is addressed to the Chief of the Army, the Chief of the Navy, and the Reich Minister for Aviation.
On this document the Prosecution based their accusations that you, Witness, prepared military plans for an armed resistance which might become necessary in consequence of Germany's withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations. Perhaps you can briefly state your view.
RAEDER: I had no previous knowledge of our imminent withdrawal from the League of Nations. This directive came out 11 days after we had left the League of Nations, and it merely provides
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defensive measures in the event of sanctions being applied against Germany by other powers in consequence of her departure from the League of Nations. It says under 2c: "I prohibit any practical preparations in the meantime." So, at first, nothing was done in consequence of this directive, and the Reich Defense Minister merely asked for a report from me as to what should be done.
As far as I remember, no practical preparations of any kind were carried out by the Navy at the time, because the situation remained absolutely quiet and there was no reason to assume that there would be any need for defense.
DR. SIEMERS: That is probably indicated by the words under Point 2a, "Preparation for defense against sanctions." It concerns the defense only.
RAEDER: The defense only.
DR. SIEMERS: That the withdrawal from the League of Nations occurred 14 October 1933, 11 days before the document was written, is a well-known fact and has been mentioned by the Prosecution on Page 257 of the record (Volume II, Page 304).
Now we come to Document C-166. This is Exhibit USA-48. Mr. President, this is in Document Book 10, on Page 36. It is a document dated 12 March 1934. It emanates from the Command Office of the Navy and refers to the preparation of auxiliary cruisers for action. The Prosecution have quoted only the first two paragraphs of this document and have pointed out that it shows that auxiliary cruisers were to be built and describes transport ships "O" for camouflage purposes.
The two paragraphs sound incriminating, but they can very easily be explained. May I refer to Lohmann's affidavit, Document Number Raeder-2, my Document Book 1, Page 5. I refer to Paragraph II. I quote:
"The Document C-166, submitted to me, a communication from the Office of the Naval Command of 12 March 1934, deals with the 'availability of auxiliary cruisers' which, as stated in the document, were marked as 'Transport Ships O.' These ships were not to be newly constructed but were to be selected from the stock of the German merchant marine in accordance with the demands enumerated in the document and were to be examined as to their suitability for the tasks to be assigned them. Then plans were made for reconstruction in case of necessity, but the boats remained in the merchant marine."
May I state at this point that in the English translation the word "Umbau" has been translated by the word "reconstruction." I have my doubts as to whether this is quite correct. I presume
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that the interpreter has now translated it as "Umbau" accordingly. As far as I know, the German word "Umbau" only means much the same thing as the English word "changes"-that is, "Veranderung."
I continue to quote:
"The order to select such boats from German shipyards was received, among others, by the Hamburg Office of the Naval Command where I was serving at the time."
Thus far Admiral Lohmann.
Witness, is Lohmann's statement correct? Have you anything to add?
RAEDER: No. I can only emphasize again that there was no question of immediate construction but only of selecting suitable ships and examining them with a view to ascertaining the alterations necessary to enable them to function as auxiliary cruisers in the case of a general mobilization. The preparation of the plans and the plans themselves were to be ready by 1 April 1935, as laid down in Number 12. They were to be submitted to the naval administration so that in the case of mobilization the ship concerned could be taken from the stock of the merchant marine and converted.
All these proposals for mobilization were, of course, kept secret.
DR. SIEMERS: I believe, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, that the whole misunderstanding would not have arisen if the Prosecution had translated two further sentences. The English version is very short. and Point 11 is missing. I quote the text of Point 11:
" 'B' is requested in co-operation with 'K,' first of all, to select suitable vessels and to ascertain how many 15-centimeter guns have to be mounted to achieve the required broadside..." The word "selected" is used here so that the intention is not-as the Prosecution assert-the building of auxiliary cruisers but the making of a selection from merchant vessels.
RAEDER: Yes; and the ships continued to sail in the service of the merchant marine.
DR. SIEMERS: The second sentence, which I find has been unfortunately omitted from the English translation of the Prosecution, reads as follows:
"As long as only a restricted number of guns-at present 24- can be placed at our disposal for this purpose, preparations are to be made for only four transport ships (O). An increase of this number, presumably to six, will be postponed to a date when more guns are available. Until then we must await the results of the preparations for the first auxiliary cruisers."
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The fact that only four, or at the most six, merchant navy vessels were involved shows the insignificance of the whole matter.
I now come to Document C-189, USA-44. It is in Document Book Number 10 of the British Delegation, Page 66.
I should like your comments-I beg your pardon. I should remind you that this concerns the conversation between Grossadmiral Raeder and the Fuehrer aboard the Karlsruhe in June 1934.
Grossadmiral, will you please state your views on the three points mentioned in this brief document and which you discussed with Hitler in June 1934.
First question: Why was Hitler unwilling to reveal the increase in displacement of D and E-that is, the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau-when, according to this document, these were defensive weapons and every expert would notice the increased tonnage of these ships and, as far as I know, did notice it?
RAEDER: At that time we were considering what we could do with the two armored ships D and E, after the signing of the impending naval pact with England-that is, the two ships which Hitler had granted me for the Navy in the 1934 budget. We had definitely decided not to continue building these armored ships as such, since we could make better use of the material at our disposal.
DR. SIEMERS: But surely you realized that every expert in the British or American or any other Admiralty would see on a voyage, as soon as he had sighted the ship, that the 10,000 tons had now become 26,000?
RAEDER: Yes, of course.
DR. SIEMERS: So that there was merely the intention...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, when you are examining a witness directly, you are not to ask leading questions which put into his mouth the very answer that you desire. You are stating all sorts of things to this witness and then asking him "isn't that so?"
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon. I shall make every effort to put my questions differently.
RAEDER: My answer is different anyway.
DR. SIEMERS: Yes?
RAEDER: We are dealing here, in the first place, with plans. I asked permission to revise the plans for these two armored ships; first, by strengthening their defensive weapons-that is, the armor-plating and underwater compartments-and then by increasing their offensive armaments-namely, by adding a third 28-centimeter instead of 26-centimeter tower. The Fuehrer was not yet willing
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to sanction a new 28-centimeter tower because, as I said before, he did not in any circumstances want to prejudice the negotiations going on with Great Britain. To begin with, therefore, he sanctioned only a medium displacement of 18,000 to 19,000 tons; and we knew that when matters reached the stage where a third 28-centimeter tower could be mounted, the displacement would be about 25,000 to 26,000 tons.
We saw no cause to announce it at this stage, however, because it is customary in the Navy that new construction plans and especially new types of ships should be announced at the latest possible moment. That was the principal reason; and apart from that, Hitler did not want to draw the attention of other countries to these constructions by giving the figures mentioned or stating the very high speed. There was no other reason for not announcing these things.
DR. SIEMERS: I should like your comments on Number 2 of the document. That has been specially held against you by the Prosecution, because there you state the view that the fleet must be developed to oppose England later on.
RAEDER: At first-as I intended to explain later-we had taken the new French ships as our model. The French Navy was developing at that time the Dunkerque class with eight 33-centimeter guns and a high speed, and we took that for our model, especially since, in Hitler's opinion-as you will hear later-there was no question of arming against England. We intended to reconstruct these two armored ships on this pattern as battleships with nine 28-centimeter guns and capable of a high speed. But then we heard that the King George class was being designed in England with 35.6-centimeter guns and, therefore, stronger than the French type; and so I said that we would in any case have to depart from the French type eventually and follow the English model which is now being built with 35-centimeter guns.
There is an error in the translation-namely, "oppose England." It says in my text that developments should follow the lines of British developments-in other words, that we should design vessels similar in type to the English ships. But they were out of date, too, shortly afterwards, because France was then building ships of the Richelieu class with 38-centimeter guns. Therefore, we decided that we too would build ships with 38-centimeter guns. That was how the Bismarck came to be built. The word "oppose" would have been quite senseless at a time when we intended to come to an agreement with Britain on terms under which we could in no way vie with her.
DR. SIEMERS: Now we come to Point 3 of this document, which the Prosecution regard as equally important. I quote:
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"The Fuehrer demands complete secrecy with regard to the construction of U-boats-in consideration, also, of the Saar plebiscite."
RAEDER: I have already referred to the Fuehrer's wish for secrecy in connection with both the construction of submarines and the preparations for that construction. This is one of the points on which he was most sensitive, because in no circumstances did he wish to prejudice the negotiations. He himself was generally extremely cautious during this period and would not in any circumstances do anything which might sabotage the naval pact which he was so eager to conclude.
DR. SIEMERS: I do not quite understand the reference to secrecy in connection with the construction of submarines. These were as yet not under construction, were they?
RAEDER: No. I said secrecy in connection with the preparations for the construction of submarines; that is just a short way of expressing it.
DR. SIEMERS: We now come to Document C-190, Exhibit USA-45. It is in Document Book Number 10 of the British Delegation, Page 67. This is a conversation which took place between Hitler and Raeder on 2 November 1934 aboard the Emden. In the document before you Hitler informs you that he considers it necessary to enlarge and improve the Navy by 1938 and that, if necessary, he would instruct Dr. Ley to place at the disposal of the Navy 120 to 150 million marks from the Labor Front.
Did you have anything at all to do with raising funds for rearmament?
RAEDER: No, not actually with the raising of funds. I applied for funds to the Reich Defense Minister, who allocated them to me for the purpose of this rearmament. I presume that this statement was made because the allocation sanctioned for the Navy appeared too small to me, and for this reason the Fuehrer said that if necessary he would get Ley to act. This did not actually happen. I received my funds only through the Reich Defense Minister.
DR. SIEMERS: Although the charge made by the Prosecution is not quite clear to me, since it is based on Hitler's views-which have nothing to do with you-I want to come back to this sum once more. I may remind you that an armored cruiser of the old 10,000-ton class, which after all was small, cost 75 to 80 million. Could this figure of 120 to 150 million be large enough to put the Navy in a position to carry out rearmament on a large scale?
RAEDER: No, certainly not. Two battleships were also under construction, apart from those two armored cruisers. You can imagine that the costs continually increased.
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DR. SIEMERS: So that this sum was not final?
RAEDER: No, it was not final.
DR. SIEMERS: Will you please go on, then, to Point 2. According to Point 2 of the document, you pointed out to Hitler during this conference that it might be necessary to assemble six submarines during the first quarter of 1935.
RAEDER: I said this because I knew that at the beginning of 1935 we were going to aim at the re-establishment of the Armed Forces; and I thought that this might create a critical situation in respect to sanctions, which Hitler always expected, too. I assume that we were talking about this and that is why I suggested that if the necessity for any special preparations should arise out of the re-establishment of the Armed Forces then six submarines should be assembled, at a date previous to their proper date of assemblage, from those parts which were obtained from abroad.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Hitler actually give the order?
RAEDER: No, the order was not given.
THE PRESIDENT: We might break off now.
DR. SIEMERS: I now come to Document C-159, Exhibit USA-54. This document may be found in the British Delegation's Document Book 10a, Page 110. This document is a letter written by Von Blomberg on 2 March 1936, dealing with the demilitarized zone. Did you, Witness, make lengthy military preparations for the action which took place on 7 March 1936?
RAEDER: No, I made no lengthy preparations; I heard of the plan only through this document of 2 March. I may refer you to Point 6 which says, "To preserve the peaceful character of the operation, no military security or advance measures are to be taken without my express orders." It was made clear, therefore, that the entire action was to have a peaceful character.
DR. SIEMERS: You knew nothing at all about this entire action until the beginning of March?
RAEDER: No, I believe that this action was kept especially secret.
DR. SIEMERS: Then I will turn to Document C-194, Exhibit USA-55, in the British Delegation's Document Book 10a, Page 128. This document is a communication from the High Command of the Wehrmacht to the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy dating from
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1936-the wording seems to indicate 6 March 1936. It deals, therefore, with the same subject as the last document. May I have your comments.
RAEDER: The Reich Defense Minister had sanctioned a certain air reconnaissance to take place over the North Sea on 6 March- that is to say, the day before the occupation of the Rhineland. He intended to withhold his decision as to whether U-boats were also to be sent out on reconnaissance assignments in the West as far as the Texel until the next day. I thereupon issued an order on 6 March 1936 and gave special instructions...
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon.
[Turning to the Tribunal.] I would like to point out that Raeder's order of 6 March 1936 is appended to the same document and that the text is therefore before the Tribunal.
[Turning to the Defendant.] Please go on.
RAEDER: I prepared this decree of 6 March concerning the planning of the U-boat line and the reconnaissance to take place in the German bay on 7 March. I pointed out especially that everything must be avoided which might create a false impression of the Fuehrer's intentions and thus put difficulties in the way of this peaceful action.
DR. SIEMERS: I would like to add to your statement that these words taken from the decree of 6 March 1936 are to be found under Point 5. They are in the last two lines.
RAEDER: Those were all precautionary measures in case of a hostile counteraction.
DR. SIEMERS: Were there any preparations on a large scale?
RAEDER: No, no.
DR. SIEMERS: I come now to the two last documents dealing with the topic of the Versailles Treaty and rearmament, Document C-135, Exhibit GB-213, Document Book 10, Page 20-that is the British Delegation's Document Book 10-which is headed, "History of the War Organization"-that is, the "War Organization and Mobilization Scheme." This dates from 1938. This document was read in its entirety by the Prosecution and a very grave charge was based upon it, because the document contains a statement to the effect that Hitler had demanded that in 5 years-that is, by 1 April 1938-a Wehrrnacht should be created which he could employ as a political instrument of power and also because the document mentions the Establishment Organization Plan 1938 and the Combat Organization Plan.
Considering the significance of this point, I asked Vice Admiral Lohmann for his comments on this rather technical question. We
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are dealing with Exhibit Number Raeder-2, in my Document Book 2, under part III, on Page 5. I think the Prosecution have misunderstood the meaning of certain terms. The terms "Kriegsgliederung" (Combat Organization Plan) and "Aufstellungsgliederung" (Establishment Organization Plan) have been misunderstood.
I ask permission, therefore, to read this affidavit in conjunction with the documents I have submitted in evidence. I quote:
"III. Referring to Documents C-135 and C-153, Armament Plan, Mobilization Plan, Establishment Organization Plan -Aufstellungsgliederung, A.G.-and Combat Organization Plan-Kriegsgliederung, K.G...."
I would like to add that C-153 and C-135 are connected. I have taken them together for the sake of simplicity. Therefore, I would like to state for the record that 153 is Exhibit USA-43 and may be found in British Document Book 10 a, Page 107. It is headed, "Armament Plan (A.P.) for the Third Armament Period." It is a rather long document and is dated 12 May 1934.
I quote Lohmann's affidavit on these two documents:
"The above-named documents submitted to me deal with the Establishment Organization Plan, the Combat Organization Plan, the Mobilization Plan, and the Armament Plan. The first three plans, or orders of distribution, deal with the same matters and differ only in manner of composition. The Armament Plan differs from the other plans inasmuch as it deals with new construction and the required new materials and is hence less extensive.
"The German Navy, like the Armed Forces as a whole-and, no doubt, the Armed Forces of every nation-made such plans in order to be able, in the case of a conflict or of military complications, to prepare in time and use efficiently the means of combat available. Owing to changing conditions, military developments, changes in personnel, and advances in technique, such plans were revised every year. An essential part of these preparations, self-evident in the case of any Armed Forces, consisted of the establishment, mobilization, or combat organization, which provided a survey of all naval installations on land and sea, their local defenses, and tactical subordination-as well as of all combat material on hand or to be secured, increased, or reorganized by a specified date. All operations envisaged by the military command were based on this Combat Organization Plan, and it also served the political leaders as an indication of the possibilities according to the strength and number of the military resources available.
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"The Combat Organization Plan always had to be prepared with great foresight and was issued by the High Command of the Navy generally 1 1/2 years before it was to go into effect, in order to enable the responsible offices to attend in time to such necessary preliminaries, such as applying to the Navy Budget Office for funds and materials-such as iron, steel, et cetera-and for the preparation of accommodation insofar as all this was not already covered by the peacetime development of the Navy.
"In 1933, when Hitler in his Five Year Plan demanded that by 1 April 1938 an armed force should be created which he could throw into the balance as an instrument of political power, the Combat Organization Plan for 1938 was worked out independently of the scheduled yearly Combat Organization Plan, and up to 1935 it dealt mostly with the possibilities of the Treaty of Versailles which had not yet been exhausted and with the question of supplementing the naval strength with craft not subject to limitation in type or number. After the Naval Pact of 1935, the Combat Organization Plan 1938 was replaced by a "Combat Organization Plan Ultimate Goal" (K.G. Endziel), which regulated the number of warships of all types existing or to be built in the proportion of 35:100 measured by the tonnage actually existing in the English Fleet. In consideration of monetary and material resources, the capacity of the shipyards, and the length of time required to build large warships, this ultimate goal was in the meanwhile fixed for the year 1944-45.
"There remained always the possibility of postponing it further, in accordance with the building program of the English Fleet.
"The various terminologies have only a naval technical significance and do not permit conclusions as to political plans."
I would like to indicate a slight error in translation in the English text. The translation of the word "Terminierungen" by "terminology" is, in my opinion, not correct. It should probably be "dates" or "deadlines."
Witness, are Vice Admiral Lohmann's statements correct? Can you add anything to this basic point of view?
RAEDER: These statements contain everything which can be said on this matter. All these arrangements are, in my opinion, preparations which must be made by every navy if it is to be systematically equipped and made ready for operation.
It says somewhere-in Document Number C-135, Page 1, under Point 2-that, "The growing tension between Germany and Poland
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forced us to make practical instead of theoretical preparations for a purely German-Polish conflict." That was interpreted to mean that at some time-I believe in 1930-we planned a war of aggression against Poland.
I testified yesterday that our main object was and had to be, nor could it have gone any further than, to oppose with force any aggression committed by Poland against East Prussia. That was the object of our work-to protect Germany from an invasion by the Poles. At that time, it would have been madness for German forces, which were still very inadequately armed, to invade Poland or any other country.
Then too, since the dates 1938 and 1944-45 constantly recur, I would like to point out again that the year 1938 first came into question as the final date for the first phase of the Shipping Replacement Plan. The last ship of this Shipping Replacement Plan was to be built from 1936 to 1938.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon.
[Turning to the Tribunal.] I would like to call your attention to the fact that this is Document Number Raeder-7.
RAEDER: [Continuing.] Then Hitler decreed a Five Year Plan, which happened also to cover the years 1933 to 1938 and in accordance with which the Combat Organization Plan was to be fixed for the year 1938. The Combat Organization Plan Ultimate Goal was fixed for 1944-45; and the reason for fixing this date, as stated in the document which you have just read, was the fact that in fixing our program we had to take into consideration the funds and material at our disposal, the capacity of our shipbuilding yards, and the length of time needed to build big warships. A reasonably strong fighting force could not be created before that date. Later on the Combat Organization Plan appears again in several of my letters. But there was no date given which, on our part, was intended as the appointed time of attack.
DR. SIEMERS: The statements in Document C-135 are in accordance with the German-English Naval Agreement. Is that correct?
Perhaps I did not formulate my question clearly. The statement that a new program was set up implies then that it was done in accordance with the German-English Naval Agreement?
RAEDER: Yes, of course.
DR. SIEMERS: In any case, the reference to Document C-135, Point 8, is probably to be interpreted in that way since it says, ". . . A modern fleet, bound only by the clauses of the German-British Naval Agreement."
RAEDER: Of course.
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DR. SIEMERS: Now I turn to another topic and go back to the year 1933.
Grossadmiral, when did you meet Hitler, and did you have any connection with National Socialism before 1933?
RAEDER: I met Hitler on 2 February 1933 when I saw him and talked to him for the first time. It was at an evening party arranged by General Von Blomberg at the home of General Von Hammerstein, the Chief of the Army Command Staff, at which Reich Defense Minister Von Blomberg intended to present to Hitler senior generals and admirals. I shall describe the proceedings later.
Up to that time, I had had no connection whatsoever with National Socialism. I knew Admiral Von Levetzow only from the first World War. He was on the staff of Admiral Scheer whom I knew well and who had obviously met Hitler at a comparatively early date. It was through him, however, that I heard that Hitler took a very active interest in naval matters and was surprisingly well informed about them. On the other hand, I believe that Von Levetzow had also spoken to Hitler about the reputation of the Navy and his own opinion of the Navy at that time. But I had no connections beyond that.
DR. SIEMERS: What were your reasons for remaining in of lice in 1933, Grossadmiral, when you had no connection with National Socialism?
RAEDER: The Reich President, Field Marshal Von Hindenburg, at the same time Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, had appointed the leader of the largest party as Chancellor of the Reich. I think that, if I had gone to him and told him I wanted to resign-or intended to resign-because he had appointed a new Chancellor, he would quite certainly have taken it as an insult and would then really have dismissed me. I had not the slightest reason to ask my Supreme Commander to release me from my military post because he, in his capacity of Reich President, had appointed a new Reich Chancellor of whom I, perhaps, might not approve.
DR. SIEMERS: When and where did you first hear Hitler state his basic political principles?
RAEDER: I heard him for the first time on the afore-mentioned 2 February, after the dinner at General Von Hammerstein's home. I was introduced to him before dinner, and after dinner he made a speech. He was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Herr Von Neurath. There were no other members of the Party present.
In his speech, he first of all spoke of his career and of his social and national aims. He said that he wanted to regain equal rights
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for the German Reich and that he would try to rid the country of the shackles of the Versailles Treaty and restore to Germany her internal sovereignty; and he also discussed his social aims: the establishment of true community among the people, the raising of the workers' standard of living, assistance to be given to the farmers, and the promotion of agriculture, the establishment of a labor service, and the elimination of unemployment. He specially emphasized-and this was really the main point-that both domestic and foreign policy were to be left entirely in his hands, that the Wehrmacht was to have nothing at all to do with this, that the Wehrmacht was not to be used even to deal with unrest at home, and that he had other forces to deal with these affairs. He wanted to insure an undisturbed period of development for the Wehrmacht so that it could become the factor necessary to prevent the Reich from becoming the sport of other nations; and for that reason it would be necessary in the next few years for the Wehrmacht to devote its entire attention to the preparation of its main objective, training for the defense of the fatherland in the case of aggression. The Wehrmacht would be the sole bearer of arms, and its structure would remain unaltered. He spoke of no details.
There was a comparatively large party assembled. As far as schemes for war were concerned-none was mentioned, and all those present were uncommonly pleased with this speech. He spoke with particular respect of Reich President Von Hindenburg, the Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht, and we had the impression that he would respect this much-revered personality.
This speech was the only account of his basic principles which he gave me as Chief of the Naval Command Staff, as well as to the Chief of the Army Command Staff and others.
DR. SIEMERS: Grossadmiral, when did you report to Hitler for the first time on the Navy; and what was Hitler's general attitude on this occasion-toward the Navy in particular?
RAEDER: The first naval report I gave was a few days later in the presence of General Von Blomberg, who in his capacity of Reich Defense Minister was my superior. I cannot give the exact date, but it was shortly afterwards.
On this occasion, Hitler gave me a further account of the principles on which I was to command the Navy. I reported to Hitler first of all on the state of the Navy; on the rather slight degree to which the provisions of the Versailles Treaty had been carried out by the Navy, its inferior strength, the Shipping Replacement Plan, and incidents concerned with naval policy, such as the Treaty of Washington, the Treaty of London, 1930, the position of the Disarmament Conference. He had already been fully informed on all these matters.
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He said he wanted to make clear to me the principles on which his policy was based and that this policy was to serve as the basis of long-term naval policy. I still remember these words quite clearly, as well as those which followed.
He did not under any circumstances wish to have complications with England, Japan, or Italy-above all not with England. And he wanted to prove this by fixing an agreement with England as to the strength to be allotted to the German Fleet in comparison with that of the English Navy. By so doing, he wanted to show that he was prepared to acknowledge, once and for all, England's right to maintain a navy commensurate with the vastness of her interests all over the world. The German Navy required expansion only to the extent demanded by a continental European policy. I took this as the second main principle on which to base my leadership of the Navy. The actual ratio of strength between the two navies was not discussed at the time; it was discussed later on.
This decision of Hitler's afforded extreme satisfaction both to myself and to the whole of the Navy, for it meant that we no longer had to compete senselessly with the first sea power; and I saw the possibility of gradually building up our Navy on a solid foundation. I believe that this decision was hailed by the whole Navy with joy and that they understood its significance. The Russian Pact was later greeted with the same appreciation, since the combination of the Russian Pact and the naval agreement would have been a guarantee of wonderful development. There were people-but not in the Navy-who believed that this amounted to yielding ground, but this limitation was accepted by the majority of Germans with considerable understanding.
DR. SIEMERS: Grossadmiral, what were your personal relations with Hitler? How did you judge him in the course of the years, and what was Hitler's attitude toward you?
RAEDER: I welcomed this vigorous personality who was obviously most intelligent, had tremendous will power, was a master in handling people, and-as I myself observed in the early years-a great and very skillful politician whose national and social aims were already well known and accepted in their entirety by the Armed Forces and the German people...
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal think this might be taken more shortly. We have heard it from so many of the others.
DR. SIEMERS Yes. Is the defendant not to describe his relations with Hitler? Do the Tribunal consider them irrelevant?
THE PRESIDENT: He might do it shortly.
DR. SIEMERS: Yes. Good. Grossadmiral, please do it shortly.
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RAEDER: I would just like to say what I thought of Hitler in order to make clear my reasons for not at any time leaving him, which fact the Prosecution have raised very strongly against me. His first steps in both domestic and foreign policy undoubtedly called forth admiration for his political ability and awakened the hope that, since he had taken these first steps without bloodshed or political complications, he would be able to solve in the same way any problems which might arise later.
THE PRESIDENT: We have heard this as I have pointed out- this quality or power of Hitler's ability from nearly every one of the defendants and it is very cumulative, and if this defendant wishes to say he was greatly impressed by Hitler's qualities, that is quite sufficient. All of the rest is cumulative.
RAEDER: Very well. Then I shall only say that during the early years I had no reason to wonder whether I should remain in my position or not.
DR. SIEMERS: Grossadmiral, we shall automatically come to the later complications at a later stage of the hearing.
I come now to the German-British Naval Agreement and would like to ask you briefly how this Naval Agreement of 1935 came about. I am referring to Document Number Raeder-11, Document Book 1, Page 59, which contains the Naval Agreement in the form of a communication from the German Foreign Minister to the British Government. The actual content was fixed by the British, as the first few words show:
"Your Excellency, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your Excellency's note of to-day's date, in which you were so good as to communicate to me on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom the following":
Then come the following statements by the British:
"1. During the last few days the representatives of the German Government and His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom have been engaged in conversations, the primary purpose of which has been to prepare the way for the holding of a general conference on the subject of the limitation of naval armaments. It now gives me great pleasure to notify your Excellency of the formal acceptance by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of the proposal of the German Government discussed at those conversations, that the future strength of the German Navy in relation to the aggregate naval strength of the Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations should be in the proportion of 35:100. His Majesty's Government in the United
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Kingdom regard this proposal as a contribution of the greatest importance to the cause of future naval limitation. They further believe that the agreement which they have now reached with the German Government and which they regard as a permanent and definite agreement as from to-day between the two Governments..."
THE PRESIDENT: This is a well-known document, and the Tribunal will take judicial notice of it, of course. It is not necessary to read it all.
DR. SIEMERS: Very well. I should nevertheless like to point out that, according to Point 2f of this document, the British Government recognized that, as far as submarines were concerned, Germany should be allowed the same number as Britain. At that time that amounted to about 52,000 tons, or rather more than 100 U-boats. The Government of the German Reich, however, voluntarily undertook to restrict itself to 45 percent of the total submarine tonnage of the British Empire.
[Turning to the defendant.] Did you and the Navy regard such considerable restrictions as the basis for Germany's peaceful development, and was it received favorably by the Navy in general?
RAEDER: Yes, as I have already said, it was received with greatest satisfaction.
DR. SIEMERS: Since a judgment formed some years ago carries more weight than a declaration made now in the course of the Trial, I wish to submit Document Number Raeder-12, Document Book 1, Page 64. This document deals with a communication made by Grossadmiral Raeder for the information of the Officers' Corps. It is dated 15 July 1935, a month after the signing of the naval agreement. Raeder says-and I quote the second paragraph:
"The agreement resulted from the Fuehrer's decision to fix the ratio of the fleets of Germany and the British Empire at 35:100. This decision, which was based on considerations of European politics, formed the starting point of the London conferences. In spite of initial opposition from England, we held inflexibly to our decision; and our demands were granted in their entirety. The Fuehrer's decision was based on the desire to exclude the possibility of antagonism between Germany and England in the future and so to exclude forever the possibility of naval rivalry between the two countries." A sentence on Page 66 is also important. I wish to ask the High Tribunal to take judicial notice of the rest of it:
"By this agreement, the building-up of the German Navy to the extent fixed by the Fuehrer was formally approved by England."
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This is followed by individual statements as to tonnage.
Then I should like to call attention to the final sentence, which is indicative of Raeder's attitude at the time:
"This agreement represents a signal success in the political sphere since it is the first step towards a practical understanding and signifies the first relaxation of the inflexible front so far maintained against Germany by our former opponents and implacably demonstrated again at Stresa."
DR. SIEMERS: Grossadmiral, were the lines of peaceful development laid down by you at that time followed in the next years?
DR. SIEMERS: In this connection I should like to submit Document Raeder-13. This is a document which enables me-in order to save time-to dispense with the testimony here in Court of Vice Admiral Lohmann. This document will be found in Document Book 1, Page 68, and is entitled, "The New Plan for the Development of the German Navy," and is a standard work. It is a speech made by Vice Admiral Lohmann in the summer of 1935 at the Hanseatic University in Hamburg. I ask the High Tribunal to take judicial notice of the essential points of this document; and as this is an authoritative work done at the request of the High Command, I may perhaps just quote the following. Admiral Lohmann sets forth first of all that since we now had the liberty to recruit and arm troops, the Navy was then free of restrictions, but that that was not Hitler's view. I now quote:
"The Fuehrer, however, chose another way. He preferred to negotiate on German naval armament direct with Britain which, as our former adversary"-I beg your pardon; I am quoting from Page 70-"has tried for years to show understanding for our difficult position."
And on Page 71 Lohmann speaks about misleading reports published in the press, et cetera, and continues literally:
"All the more surprising, then, was the ratification of the treaty which expressed the full agreement of both governments and did not, like some armament treaties of former time, leave more embitterment than understanding in its wake. The sense of fairness which British statesmen have retained, despite the frequently dirty ways of higher politics, came through when confronted with the unreserved sincerity of the German declarations, the dignified firmness of the German representatives, and the passionate desire for peace inspiring the speeches and acts of our Fuehrer. Unlike former times, the speeches of the British leaders expressed respect and recognition. We have acknowledged this as a sign of
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honest willingness to understand. The voices from the circles of British war veterans are hardly less valuable than the attitude of the official leaders. In November 1918, for instance, when the German Fleet was taken by British squadrons to be interned in Scapa Flow, the British Commander in Chief, Lord Beatty, the great foe of our Admiral Hipper, sent the famous signal, 'Do not forget that the enemy is a contemptible beast.' This Grand Admiral expressed his dislike for Germany on many occasions, but on 26 June this same Lord Beatty stated in the House of Lords, 'I am of the opinion that we should be grateful to the Germans. They came to us with hands outstretched, announcing that they agreed to the ratio of 35:100.' If they had submitted other proposals, we could not have prevented them. We may be truly grateful for the fact that there is at least one country in the world whose competition in regard to armament we do not need to fear."
Then I should like to refer to Page 73, which limits battleships to 35,000 tons. This limitation plays a part in the Prosecution Document C-23. The fact that in this document next to the words "Panama Canal" are placed the words "battleships 35,000 tons" has a certain significance. The limitation to 35,000 tons is not so decisive and important as the Prosecution would like us to believe. This is the origin: The United States of America at that time wanted to limit the tonnage to 35,000 tons on account of the width and depth of the Panama Canal, for the Panama Canal would have had to be enlarged in order to admit ships of greater tonnage. I shall return to this point later since this limit of 35,000 tons was not maintained.
Then as evidence of the basis for comparison with German U-boats, I should like to point to Page 76 where the figure mentioned is 52,700 tons. It is a historical fact-which is set down here-that France took no part in this limitation and at that time was the strongest U-boat power with her 96,000 tons, 96 ready and 15 under construction. It is also a historical fact that Germany-and this is shown on the same page-had agreed to abolish submarines, having had to destroy 315 after the first World War.
Grossadmiral, did this accord with the British Fleet apparent in these documents show itself on another, or on any particular occasion?
RAEDER: I tried to maintain this good understanding and to express these sentiments to the British Navy as, for instance, when I was informed of the death of Admiral Jellicoe through a phone call from an English news agency. He stood against us as the head of the English Fleet in the first World War, and we always
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considered him a very chivalrous opponent. Through this agency I gave a message to the English Fleet.
THE PRESIDENT: I doubt if this really has any effect on the issues we have to consider.
RAEDER: In any event, I tried to bring about a good understanding with the British Navy for the future and to maintain this good understanding.
DR. SIEMERS: On 17 July 1937 a further German-English Naval Agreement was signed. I am submitting this document as Document Raeder-14, Document Book 1, Page 81. This is a rather lengthy document only part of which has been translated and printed in the document book; and in order to understand the violation with which the Prosecution charge us, I must refer to several of the points contained in this document.
The agreement concerns the limitation of naval armaments and particularly the exchange of information on naval construction. In Article 4 we find the limitation of battleships to 35,000 tons, which has already been mentioned; and in Articles ll and 12-which I will not read because of their technical nature but would ask the Tribunal to take note of-both governments are bound to report annually the naval construction program. This must be done during the first 4 months of each calendar year, and details about certain ships-big ships in particular-4 months before they are laid down. For a better understanding of the whole matter, which has been made the basis of a charge against the defendants in connection with the naval agreement, I may refer to Articles 24 to 26. The three articles show...
THE PRESIDENT: Can you summarize these articles?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes. I did not intend to read them, Your Honor. I just want to quote a point or two from them.
These articles enumerate the conditions under which either partner to the agreement could deviate from it. From the start, therefore, it was considered permissible under certain conditions to deviate from the agreement, if, for instance, (Article 24) one of the partners became involved in war, or (Article 25) if another power, such as the United States or France or Japan, were to build or purchase a vessel larger than those provided for in the agreement. In this article express reference is made to Article 4-that is, to battleships of 35,000 tons-in the case of deviation, the only obligation was to notify one's partner. Article 26 states a very general basis for deviation from the agreement-namely, in cases where the security of the nation demands it such deviation is held to be justified. No further details are necessary at this point.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): My Lord, the deviation is subject to notification of the other party under Subarticle 2. It was just relevant in Article 26-any deviation is subject to notification to the other party of the deviation to be embarked on.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it, Dr. Siemers?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes, of course. I believe...
THE PRESIDENT: Do the Prosecution say that this agreement was broken?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes. With reference to the remarks just made by Sir David, I would like to say that I pointed out that such deviation was permitted under these conditions, but that there was an obligation to notify the other partners. Perhaps that did not come through before.
[Turning to the defendant.] Was this agreement concluded, Admiral, in 1937, from the same point of view which you have already stated? Are there any other noteworthy facts which led to the agreement?
RAEDER: In 1936, as well as I remember, the treaties so far made by England with other powers expired, and England was therefore eager to renew these treaties in the course of 1936. The fact that we were invited in 1937 to join in a new agreement by all powers meant that Germany would henceforth be completely included in these treaties.
DR. SIEMERS: The Prosecution have accused you of violating this German-English Naval Agreement, and this charge is based on Document C-23, Exhibit USA-49, in the British Delegation's Document Book 10, Page 3. This document is dated 18 February 1938. It has been mentioned repeatedly in these proceedings and begins as follows, "The actual displacement of the battleships Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and F/G is in both cases 20 percent greater than the displacement stated to the British." Then we find a list which shows that the displacement of the Scharnhorst was given as 26,000 tons but was actually 31,300 tons, and that the draught stated one meter less than was actually the case. And the "F" class, that is, the Bismarck and Tirpitz, were listed as 35,000 tons but had an actual displacement of 41,700 and a difference of 80 centimeters in draught. Therefore, according to what we have seen, there is an evident infringement of the treaty. Grossadmiral, I am assuming that you do not dispute this violation of the treaty?
RAEDER: No, in no way.
DR. SIEMERS: Certainly, at the time of this document there were only four battleships in question: Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Bismarck, and Tirpitz...
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THE PRESIDENT: It seems you are again stating these things to the Tribunal, making statements instead of asking questions of the witness.
DR. SIEMERS: I believe, Mr. President, that I was incorporating my documentary evidence in order to show the connection, so as to make clear what we are dealing with. I was about to put the question: Were the four battleships mentioned actually in commission when this document was drawn up?
RAEDER: No, they had not yet been commissioned.
DR. SIEMERS: None of these four battleships?
DR. SIEMERS: If I am permitted to do so, I may say that the exact dates on which these ships were commissioned-dates which the defendant can hardly repeat from memory-can be seen from Point IV of Lohmann's affidavit, Document Number Raeder-2.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you must prove them. You cannot state them without proving them.
DR. SIEMERS: Yes, certainly, Your Honor.
I am referring to Document Number Raeder-2, which has been submitted to the Tribunal already. This is the affidavit by Lohmann, on Page 5. I quote from Document Book 1, Page 8:
"Within the limits defined by the German-English Naval Agreement, the German Navy commissioned four battleships. I append the dates of laying down the keel, launching, and commissioning, as far as I can still determine them. Scharnhorst: laid down keel, exact date cannot be determined; launched, 3 October 1936; commissioned, 7 January 1939. Gneisenau: laid down keel, date cannot be determined; launched, 8 December 1936; commissioned, 31 May 1938. Bismarck: laid down keel, 1936; launched, 14 February 1939; commissioned, 2 August 1940. Tirpitz: laid down keel, 1936; launched, 1 April 1939; commissioned, 1941."
Admiral Lohmann was unable to ascertain the exact date. The "H"-I may add that the other ships mentioned under Document C-23 were planned but were broken up later. They had already been broken up in the summer of 1939, and this applies only to the first "H." So far there is no question of final preparation or construction. Since an obvious violation of the treaty exists, we now have to consider in what light this violation should be regarded. The Prosecution have said that this violation of the treaty is criminal since it implies intended aggression. In order to save time, especially since technical problems are involved, I should like, before questioning the defendant further, to submit Document
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Number Raeder-15, within the scope of the documentary evidence which I have submitted with the Tribunal's permission. In my opinion, this document proves that there was no intention of aggression.
Document Number Raeder-15 is an affidavit-I beg your pardon-it is in Document Book 1, Page 94. This document deals with an affidavit deposed before a notary at Hamburg by Dr. Ing. h.c. Wilhelm Suechting and is important for the refutation of Document C-23, and for that purpose I should like to quote:
"I am the former Director of the shipbuilding yard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. I was with this firm from 1937 to 1945"-pardon me-"from 1907 to 1945 and I am conversant with all questions concerning the construction of warships and merchant ships. In particular, as an engineer I had detailed information about the building of battleships for the German Navy. Dr. Walter Siemers, attorney at law of Hamburg, presented to me the Document C-23, dated 18 February 1938, and asked me to comment on it. This document shows that the Navy, contrary to the previous agreement, informed the British that the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau-as well as other intended constructions-had a displacement and draught of about 20 percent less than was actually the case.
"I can give some details to explain why this information was given. I assume that the information given to the British- information which according to naval agreement 4 had to be supplied 4 months before the keel was laid down-was based on the fact that the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenan were originally intended to have a displacement of 26,000 tons and a draught of 7.50 meters and the battleship "F" (Bismarck) a displacement of 35,000 tons and a draught of 7.90 meters, as stated.
"If these battleships were afterwards built with a greater displacement and a greater draught, the changes were the result of orders given or requests made by the Navy while the plans were being drafted and which the construction office had to carry out. The changes were based upon the viewpoint repeatedly expressed by the Navy-namely, to build the battleships in such a way that they would be as nearly unsinkable as possible. The increase of the tonnage was not meant to increase the offensive power of the ship"-I beg your pardon, Mr. President. I shall be finished in a moment-"The increase of the tonnage was not meant to increase the offensive power of the ship but was done for defensive and protective purposes."
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I may perhaps point out that in the English text there is a mistake in translation. In this text the word "not" is missing. It should read, "was not meant," and not "meant."
"As time went on, the Navy attached more and more importance to dividing the hull of the battleship into a greater number of compartments in order to make the ship as unsinkable as possible and to afford the maximum protection in case of leakage. The new battleships were therefore built broad in the beam with many bulkheads, only about ten meters apart, and many longitudinal and latitudinal bulkheads outside the torpedo bulkhead. At the same time, both the vertical and the horizontal armor-plating were, as far as my information goes, heavier and composed of larger plates than those used by other navies. In order..."
THE PRESIDENT: In other words, his explanation is that they were altered in the course of construction for technical reasons. It does not matter what the technical reasons are.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon, Mr. President, but I do believe that when we are dealing with a clearly-established violation of a treaty, the manner of this violation is of some importance. I do not believe that each and every violation of a treaty can be described as a war crime. The point is whether this violation of the treaty was a war crime in the sense of the Charter-in other words, whether it was motivated by the intention of waging a war of aggression. An insignificant violation of a kind which, after all, is found in every commercial lawsuit cannot be a crime.
THE PRESIDENT: The affidavit is before us. We shall read it. In fact, you have already read the material parts of it.
Now, I think we had better adjourn. How long do you expect to be?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, it is very difficult for me to judge that accurately, but I imagine I shall be able to conclude sometime tomorrow. I hope, Mr. President, that I shall be able to conclude at noon; but I am asking Your Honor to take into consideration the fact that I am incorporating my documentary proof in the interrogation and that this documentary proof, which in many other cases has taken hours to present, is thus dealt with simultaneously.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal hope that you will make your presentation as short as you possibly can. We have already been so long a time over this defendant.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I must first make a formal request, namely, that in addition to my own secretary I may have another here in Court. She was here this morning but has just been told that she may not come into the courtroom, and she is now standing outside the door.
THE PRESIDENT: All right.
[The Defendant Raeder resumed the stand.]
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Grossadmiral, you just saw the affidavit of Dr. Suechting. I ask you: Is it true, or rather-not to confuse you I will ask-on what did the Navy base its ideas about enlarging the battleships by about 20 percent?
RAEDER: Originally there was no intention to enlarge the ships by 20 percent. But at the time when we resumed battleship construction, when we could see that we would have a very small number of battleships in any case, it occurred to us that the resistance to sinking of ships should be increased as much as possible to render the few we had as impregnable as possible. It had nothing to do with stronger armament or anything like that, but merely with increasing the resistance to sinking and to enemy guns. For this reason a new system was worked out at that time in order to increase and strengthen the subdivision of the space within the ship. This meant that a great deal of new iron had to be built into the ships. Thereby the draught and the displacement were enlarged. This was unfortunate from my point of view, for we had designed the ships with a comparatively shallow draught. The mouths of our rivers, the Elbe, Weser, Jade, are so shallow that ships with a deep draught cannot navigate all stages of the rivers. Therefore, we had these ships built broad, intending to give them a shallow draught; but by building in these many new latitudinal and longitudinal bulkheads, we increased the draught and also the displacement.
DR. SIEMERS: Were these disadvantageous changes, which took place during construction, due in part to a comparatively limited experience in battleship construction?
RAEDER: Yes. Since the designers in the High Command of the Navy and the designers and engineers in the big shipyards had not built any heavy warships for a very long time, they lacked experience. As a result, the High Command of the Navy had to issue supplementary orders to the shipyards. This in itself was a drawback which I tried hard to overcome.
DR. SIEMERS: Did the construction of these four battleships surpass the total tonnage accorded by the naval agreement?
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RAEDER: No, the total tonnage was not overstepped until the beginning of the war.
DR. SIEMERS: Your Honors, in this connection I should like to refer to Document Raeder-8, which has already been submitted in Raeder Document Book 1, Page 40, under II. In this affidavit Lohmann gives comparative figures which show how much battleship tonnage Germany was allowed under the naval agreement. Please take notice of it without my reading ad the figures. What is important is that, according to comparison with the British figures, Germany was allowed to have 183,750 tons. At that time she had three completed armored cruisers with 30,000 tons-which is shown here-so that according to this affidavit 153,750 tons still remained.
With reference to Document Raeder-127, I should like to submit a short correction, because Grossadmiral Raeder, in looking through the affidavit, observed that Vice Admiral Lohmann made a mistake in one figure. The mistake is unimportant in terms of the whole, but in order to be absolutely fair and correct I thought it necessary to point it out to Vice Admiral Lohmann. Instead of 30,000 it should actually read about 34,000 tons, so that there is a difference, not of 153,750 tons but of 149,750. According to the naval agreement, we were allowed to build 146,000, the final figure, so that the result is not changed. Admiral Lohmann's mistake-as the Tribunal know-can be attributed to the fact that we were very limited in our material resources.
RAEDER: May I add a remark to what I said before? The statement of these displacements deviated from the terms of the treaty insofar as only the original construction displacement or draught was reported and not the draught and displacement which gradually resulted through these changes in the course of the planning of the construction.
DR. SIEMERS: In addition, may I refer the honorable Court to the following: The Naval Agreement of 1937 was changed by the London Protocol of 30 June 1938. I refer to Exhibit Raeder-16. My secretary just tells me it is not here at the moment; I will bring it up later. It is the last document in Raeder Document Book 1, Page 97.
May I remind the Court that Document C-23 is of February 1938. By this London Protocol, at the suggestion of the British Government, the limitation on battleship tonnage to 35,000 tons was changed because the British Government, as weR as the German Government, realized that 35,000 tons was too low. As the protocol shows, effective 30 June 1938, the battleship tonnage was raised to 45,000 tons. Thereby this difference in the battleships, referred to in Document C-23, was settled a few months later.
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Now, I shall take up a new subject, the question of your participation in the planning and conspiracy to wage wars of aggression. This is the question of the so-called key documents which the Prosecution presented. Since you, Admiral, were present during these speeches of Hitler's to the commanders-in-chief, I must ask you to comment on these documents. The first document is Document 386-PS, the so-called Hossbach Document, Exhibit USA-25, in the Document Book of the British Delegation, Number 10, Page 81. It is Hitler's speech of 5 November 1937.
Herr Grossadmiral, did you ever see this document of Hossbach before the Trial began?
RAEDER: No, I saw no document and no protocol of any speeches which Hitler made. No minutes were taken officially. Only in later years-I believe since 1941-were stenographers present who wrote down every word. These are really not minutes at all, since the document is written in indirect discourse. It was written down by the author 5 days after the speech itself, as we have heard.
DR. SIEMERS: Although it is a very important document, I have noted that in contrast to other documents it has no distribution list; it was written down 5 days after the speech and is not even marked "secret." Can you explain where these minutes were set down?
RAEDER: I cannot recollect in detail the conditions that prevailed. I can only imagine that the adjutant in question kept the minutes in his safe.
DR. SIEMERS: Then you have only an over-all impression of this speech, after 8 or 9 years?
DR. SIEMERS: The document was read in full here by the Prosecution and, as cannot be denied at all, it contains serious references to a war of aggression. It mentions, for instance, something bequeathed by will, the problem of space, the hatred against England and France; it says that, armament now being
completed, the first goal is the overthrow of Czechoslovakia and Austria.
Please explain to the Court what effect the speech had on you at that time, and how it happened that you ascribed no such importance to the speech as did Herr Von Neurath, for example, who was also present? And in spite of the speech how did you retain your opinion that Hitler would hold the old line and not seek a solution by force?
RAEDER: By way of introduction I may say that the assertion contained in the trial brief, that an influential group of Nazis met
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in order to examine the situation, does not give a correct picture of the situation at all. Hitler called together the persons mentioned in the document to explain to them the possibilities for political development and in order to give them any instructions he might have.
And here I should like to say something in general-since there are quite a number of Hitler's speeches coming-about the nature of his speeches. Hitler spoke at great length, going very far in retrospect. Above all, in every speech he had a special purpose depending on the audience. Just as he was a master of dialectics, so he was also a master of bluff. He used strong expressions again according to the objective he was pursuing. He afforded his imagination full play. He also contradicted himself frequently in successive speeches. One never knew what his final goads and intentions were. At the end of such a speech it was very difficult to determine them. As a rule, his speeches made a greater impression on people who heard him infrequently than on those already acquainted with his whole manner of speaking on such occasions. It was never a question of taking counsel but, as has been said, always of giving undisputed orders.
The purpose of the speech on 5 November 1937 was, as Reich Marshal Goering said at the beginning...
DR. SIEMERS: Excuse me. That is at the beginning of this speech of 5 November?
RAEDER: Yes, at the beginning of the speech.
He told me he had spoken with the Fuehrer beforehand. The Fuehrer wanted to spur on the Army to carry out its rearmament somewhat faster. It was going too slowly for the Fuehrer. The subject of the speech was Austria and Czechoslovakia, which he said in one place he wanted to overthrow. He said that the latest date would be 1943-1945, because after that our situation would become worse. But the case could come up earlier due to two conditions: In the first place, if internal unrest occurred in France; in the second place, in the event of the outbreak of a Mediterranean war in which England, France, Italy, and probably Spain, would participate, which in my opinion was fantastic.
The assertion that the arming of the Army, Navy, and Air Force was as good as completed in November 1937, I could not understand. The Navy still had not a single battleship in service. The situation was similar in the Air Force and Army. In no way were we armed far war, and a war against England, for example, would have been sheer madness. For me, the decisive sentences in his speech were that first, England and France-I believe-had already written off Czechoslovakia, and secondly, that he was convinced
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that France and England would not interfere. In the third place was the fact that just a few months before, in July 1937, the second naval agreement had been signed. These three facts seemed to me to make it certain that Hitler would not seek a warlike solution to these problems of Austria and Czechoslovakia. At that time it was a question of the Sudetenland under any circumstances and it seemed he would strive for a peaceful solution. For that reason the speech did not impress me with the fact that Hitler at that time wanted to change his policy-that he wanted to turn from a policy of peace to one of war. I can imagine that Herr Von Neurath, not knowing the purpose of this speech, received a different impression. But' as I now think back over the matter, I can imagine that the exaggerated character of the speech was specifically intended to force Von Neurath out of the Cabinet, because I have learned that at that time the Fuehrer was already inclined to replace Von Neurath by Von Ribbentrop. That was only an assumption which I made afterwards.
For me the conclusions to be drawn from the speech were none other than these: The construction of the fleet in the ratio of one to three, relative to England, was to be continued, and a friendly relationship with England was still to be striven for. The ratio agreement which had just been reached was to be observed.
DR. SIEMERS: And, it is obvious at the end of the document- namely, in the fourth paragraph from the end-that Field Marshal Von Blomberg and Colonel General Von Fritsch, in giving their estimate of the situation, repeatedly pointed out the necessity of England and France not playing the role of our enemies. This is commented on further, and one sees that Blomberg and Fritsch were disturbed and for once opposed Hitler.
After the speech you talked to Blomberg. Is it true that Blomberg, who can unfortunately not be examined and Fritsch, who is also dead, saw through this exaggeration of Hitler's and therefore pointed out their misgivings and in this way intended to intervene? About what did you talk to Blomberg after this speech?
RAEDER: In the first place, Blomberg and Fritsch...
THE PRESIDENT: You must try not to put leading questions, Dr. Siemers. You are putting into the witness' mouth what you want him to answer. If you want to. . .
DR. SIEMERS: I am sorry if I did so. It is a little difficult when the two men who were there, Blomberg and Fritsch, are dead. I can only point out that they are not alive now. My final question is...
THE PRESIDENT: That cannot be helped, the fact that they are dead. But, if you want to get anything in about that, you must get it from the witness, not from yourself.
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DR. SIEMERS: What impression did Blomberg have after this speech? What did he say to you afterwards?
RAEDER: I believe Blomberg himself in a questionnaire stated to Field Marshal Keitel that when we military men left the room Blomberg, who was with the Fuehrer frequently, said that this again had not been meant so earnestly and was not to be judged so seriously. He believed that the Fuehrer would settle these questions peacefully, too. And as Dr. Siemers said, Blomberg and Fritsch had both already called the attention of the Fuehrer to the fact that under no circumstances should England and France be allowed to intervene, since the German Wehrmacht would not be able to cope with them.
I may add that in this case I intentionally did not make any such objections because it was, after all, a daily occurrence that whenever I met the Fuehrer, I told him, "Ceterum censeo, we must stay on the course in order to avoid entanglements with England." And the Fuehrer repeatedly confirmed this intention of his. It is typical that as soon as the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Colonel General Von Fritsch, said that after these remarks he would not be able to take the vacation in Egypt in the winter of 1937-38 which he had planned for his health, the Fuehrer immediately retracted his statement and said that the affair was not so urgent, that he could go ahead on his vacation undisturbed, which he then did.
This shows that it was again a question of exerting pressure. That was the speech of 5 November 1937. In fact he did not crush either Austria or Czechoslovakia at that time; but in 1938 the question was settled peacefully without bloodshed, and even with the agreement of the other powers.
DR. SIEMERS: In this connection may I submit the document dating from the following year, Exhibit Raeder-23, Raeder Document Book 2, Page 127. On 30 September 1938-I need not say anything further about Munich, because the defendant was not directly participating-Hitler and Chamberlain jointly declared that the agreement signed the previous night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement were considered symbols of the desires of both nations never again to wage war against each other. The rest of the contents is well known.
Then I come to the second key document which the Prosecution submitted-namely, Document L-79, the so-called "Little Schmundt." It is Exhibit USA-27, Number 10 in the document book of the British Delegation, Page 24. The document in spite of its astonishing length was also presented in full by the Prosecution, so that I shall not read from it. May I remind the Court that it states that further successes could not be achieved without bloodshed, and
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on 23 May 1939 with reference to Poland it states that not Danzig but the readjustment of Lebensraum was the issue at stake.
It speaks of the readjustment of Lebensraum and of the fact that the Polish problem could not be separated from the conflict with the West. Thereupon Hitler said that the only way out was to attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity. Unfortunately, this is again a document which is undated.
Do you know when Lieutenant Colonel Schmundt prepared this report?
RAEDER: No, unfortunately I cannot say that.
THE PRESIDENT: Why do you say it is undated?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, there is no date stating when the document was prepared. There is only the date referring to the minutes of the conference of 23 May. In the case of the Hossbach Document the conference was on 5 November, but it was written down by Hossbach 5 days later from memory, on 10 November. In the case of Schmundt, we do not know whether it was written down after 1 day, 5 days, or 4 weeks.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it in evidence that the document of 5 November was written down 5 days later?
DR. SIEMERS: No. The document of 5 November shows that it was prepared 5 days later. The document is dated at the top, "Berlin, 10 November 1937; Notes of the Conference in the Reich Chancellery on 5 November 1937...."
THE PRESIDENT: Well, that is right, then there is evidence.
DR. SIEMERS: [Turning to the defendant.] In the case of Schmundt, there is no indication?
DR. SIEMERS: You do not know when it was written down?
RAEDER: No, I never heard when.
DR. SIEMERS: Did you ever see this document before this Trial?
DR. SIEMERS: Does this document contain a correct reproduction in all points of Hitler's speech, or does what you said about the Hossbach Document apply here also?
RAEDER: It applies even more here. In my opinion it is the most abstruse document concerning a Hitler speech in existence, for a large part of the statements in my opinion makes no sense whatsoever, as I have tried to show. The adjutant stated that he was only paraphrasing.
DR. SIEMERS: This is on the first page in the center where it is written, "Reproduced in Substance."
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Please explain to the Court what impression this speech made on you at the time and why you believed, in spite of this speech, that Hitler was not planning any war of aggression.
RAEDER: I should like to point out again here that the trial brief makes the comment that consultation took place regarding the scale on which the plan should be executed. Particularly in this case this does not at all represent the character of the speech correctly. The meaning of the whole first part of the speech, as I said, is extremely vague. Whereas in the 1937 speech he gave 1943 to 1945 as the latest deadline and the possibility of an earlier date under certain improbable circumstances, here Hitler speaks of a solution as being possible in 15 to 20 years He says that Poland is always on the side of the enemy, in spite of the treaty of friendship, that her secret intention is to take advantage of any opportunity to act against us, and that he, therefore, wants to attack Poland at the first opportunity. The Polish problem cannot be separated from the conflict in the West, but a conflict in the West must not be permitted to arise simultaneously. If it is uncertain as to whether a war with the West will or will not take place in the wake of the German-Polish conflict, then a line of battle first against England and France is perhaps of greater importance. Then again, he says that we cannot allow ourselves to be drawn into a war with England on account of Poland, a war on two fronts such as the incapable men of 1914 had brought about.
Then again, England-and that is comparatively new here-is the driving force against Germany. We must prepare for a long war in addition to a surprise attack, obviously against England. It is astonishing that we were to endeavor, at the beginning of such a war, to strike a destructive blow against England. The goal is to force England to her knees. Then follows quite a new part...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the defendant appears to be reading from a document an argument about this document. That is not giving evidence. If he can tell us anything about what happened at this meeting, it is open to him to do so.
DR. SIEMERS: He is repeating, with the aid of this document, the involved thoughts which Hitler expressed at that time, and he is pointing out the contradictions contained in Hitler's speech at that time.
THE PRESIDENT: That is a matter of argument, to point out that there are conflicts between one part of the document and another. That is not the subject of evidence. He has already told us that Hitler's speeches generally were-that one speech generally contradicted another, but we can see for ourselves from the document if one part of it conflicts with another.
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DR. SIEMERS: Is it not of importance, Mr. President, that the abstruse statements of Hitler at that time had such an effect on the witness that he says so and so many points are false? Then the whole tendency which we read out of it cannot be true. As I understand the witness, Hitler must have had mental reservations back of such conflicting remarks to commanders. But I believe we can shorten this.
Herr Grossadmiral, according to the wish of the Court, just explain what the effect was on you and what in your opinion were the special designs connected with this document.
RAEDER: By contrasting these sentences, I wanted only to show how muddled the speech was. At the end there is a second part in which a number of doctrinaire, academic opinions on warfare are expressed and a conclusion to the effect that it was also a wish of Hitler to have formed in the OKW a research staff to work out all these plans for war preparation, evaluation of individual weapons, et cetera, without the participation of the general staffs, with which he did not like to collaborate. He wanted these things to be in his own hands. Thus it was the formation of a research staff which motivated this speech.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, I have already told you that the Tribunal thinks that argument is not evidence. This seems to be purely argument upon this document. If there is anything in the shape of recollection as to what passed at this meeting, that would be evidence; but merely to argue upon the document is not in evidence.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may the witness not say what effect Hitler's processes of thought had on him? The Prosecution say that Hitler and Raeder entered upon a conspiracy together.
THE PRESIDENT: He can say he did not understand it or did not think it was sincere.
DR. SIEMERS: In this connection I should like to point out that the witness referred to this point because this is the only passage from this document which the Prosecution have not read. In this document the sentences about the research staff, as I noticed immediately, were not read. This research staff was what Hitler wanted to obtain.
Herr Grossadmiral, after this speech, was anything changed in your department?
RAEDER: No. The conclusion drawn was: First, that the ship construction program was to be continued in the same way as in the past-so Hitler himself said-and in the second place, he said that the armament programs were to be geared for the year
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1943-1944. That was the positive thing which I could conclude for myself.
At that tine, moreover, I was strongly impressed by the speech which Hitler himself made at the launching of the battleship Bismarck in Hamburg. There he said that the Wehrmacht, as the keenest instrument of war, had to protect and help to preserve the peace founded on true justice. That made the greatest impression on me at that time with regard to Hitler's intentions.
DR. SIEMERS: Was the fleet at that time in a position to do this?
RAEDER: No. It was completely incapable.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, if there are any passages in this document which have not been read and to which you attach importance, you may read them now; and for the rest, all that the Tribunal thinks you ought to do is to ask the defendant what his recollection was or what happened at that meeting, and if he can supplement the document as to what happened at the meeting, he is entitled to do so. The Tribunal does not intend to prevent your reading anything from the document which has not yet been read nor from getting from the witness anything which he says happened at the meeting.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I understood the witness to mean that he recalled the research staff which the Prosecution had not mentioned. Thus it came about that the witness, since he too knows the document, at the same time pointed out that the research staff was also mentioned in the document. I believe that can explain the misunderstanding. The situation is clear to me, and perhaps I may read this sentence in that connection.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.
DR. SIEMERS: Under Number 3, toward the end of the Document L-79, it says:
"To study weak points of the enemy.
"These studies must not be left to the general staffs. Secrecy would no longer be guaranteed. The Fuehrer has, therefore, decided to order the formation of a small research staff within the OKW composed of representatives of the three branches of the Wehrmacht and, as occasion arises, the three commanders-in-chief-that is to say, general staff chiefs.
"The staff shall keep the Fuehrer constantly informed.
"The research staff shall undertake the planning of operations from the theoretical side and the preparations which of necessity arise therefrom..."
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. A passage is left out in the English translation. The copy I have before me says, "These studies
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must not be left to the general staffs; secrecy would no longer be guaranteed." And then it goes on, "This staff shall keep the Fuehrer informed and shall report to him." I do not think it is very important. Go on.
DR. SIEMERS: Apparently the paragraph about the research staff in the Armed Forces High Command was left out in the English. Continuing the document:
"The purpose of certain regulations concerns no one outside the staff; however great the increase in armament of our adversaries may be, they must at some time come to the end of their resources and ours will be greater. The French have 120,000 men in each class! We shall not be forced into a war, but we shall not be able to avoid one."
This research staff, in effect, eliminated the commanders-in-chief and that was what Hitler wanted to achieve.
If I am correctly informed, the rest has been read by the Prosecution-namely, the subsequent aim and the principle, to be specific, the well-known order to keep everything secret and, at the end, that which the witness remembered, that the shipbuilding program should not be changed and the armament program should be fixed for 1943-1944.
[Turning to the defendant.] Had Hitler at this time intended a war of aggression, would he have had to speed up any particular part of the Navy's armament?
RAEDER: Yes, indeed. He would have had to speed up all naval construction.
DR. SIEMERS: Would not the construction of submarines especially have had to be speeded up?
RAEDER: Yes, of course, particularly because they could be built most quickly.
DR. SIEMERS: How many submarines did you have at this time?
RAEDER: I cannot say exactly. I think about 26.
DR. SIEMERS: If I remember rightly, Admiral Doenitz has already answered that there were 15 capable of sailing in the Atlantic-by the way, there were altogether 26.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, in the winter of 1938-1939, did you have a talk with Sir Nevile Henderson on relations between Germany and England?
RAEDER Yes, a very short talk at an evening reception in the Fuehrer's house, where I stood near Ambassador Henderson and Herr Von Neurath, and wherein the question was discussed-it was
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brought up by me-as to whether England had not welcomed Germany's offer to set the proportion of strength at 1 to 4 and would not draw certain conclusions from this reciprocal relationship. Ambassador Henderson answered, without anyone else having brought up this question, "Yes, that would be shown in the future when the colonial question was settled." I later reported this answer to the Fuehrer in order to use it to maintain a friendly policy toward England.
DR. SIEMERS: We are now at the summer of 1939. Admiral, in the course of the summer, after the speech of 23 May 1939, did you talk to Hitler in view of the generally known danger of war, and what did he tell you?
RAEDER: Whenever I talked to the Fuehrer, I always brought up the question of England, whereby I annoyed him to a certain extent. I tried to convince him that it would be possible to carry out the peace policy with England which he himself had urged at the beginning of his regime. Then he always reassured me that it remained his intention to steer a policy of peace with England, always leaving me in the belief that there was no danger of a clash with England-in any case, that at this time there was no such danger.
DR. SIEMERS: Now I come to the third key document-namely, Hitler's speech before the commanders-in-chief on 22 August 1939, at Obersalzberg. There are two documents: Document 1014-PS and Document 798-PS. Document 1014-PS is Exhibit USA-30, in Raeder Document Book 10a, Page 269; and Document 798-PS is Exhibit USA-29, in Document Book 10a, Page 266. In regard to this Document 1014-PS, which I have here in the original in the form submitted by the Prosecution, I should like to make a formal request. This Number 1014-PS was read into the record in the afternoon session of 26 November 1945 (Volume II, Page 286). I object to the use of this document. I request that this document be stricken from the trial record for the following reason...
THE PRESIDENT: What document are you speaking about now, 1014-PS?
DR. SIEMERS: In Raeder Document Book 10a, Page 269, Exhibit USA-30.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, what are your reasons?
DR. SIEMERS: The deficiencies which were already mentioned in the other transcripts are much greater here. This document is nothing but two pieces of paper headed "Second Speech by the Fuehrer, on 22 August 1939." The original has no heading, has no file number, no diary number, and no notice that it is secret; no signature, no date, no...
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the original. Yes, Dr. Siemers.
DR. SIEMERS: It has no date, no signature-in the original in the folder, it has no indication of where the document comes from. It is headed "Second Speech..." although it is certain that on this date Hitler made only one speech, and it is hardly 1 1/2 pages long, although . . .
THE PRESIDENT: When you say it has no date, it is part of the document itself which says that it is the second speech of the Fuehrer on the 22d of August 1939.
DR. SIEMERS: I said, Mr. President, it has a heading but no date.
THE PRESIDENT: But you said it has no date.
DR. SIEMERS: It has no date as to when these notes were put in writing. It has only the date of when the speech is supposed to have been made. On all documents which the Prosecution submitted, also in the case of minutes, you will find the date of the session and the date on which the minutes were set up; also the place where the minutes were set up, the name of the person who set it up, an indication that it is secret or something like that. Furthermore, it is certain that Hitler spoke for 2 1/2 hours. I believe it is generally known that Hitler spoke very fast. It is quite out of the question that the minutes could be 1 1/2 pages long if they are to give the meaning and the content, at least to some extent, of a speech which lasted 2 1/2 hours. It is important-I may then refer to still another point. I will submit the original of Document 798-PS afterwards. I am no expert on handwriting or typewriters, but I notice that this document, which is also not signed, whose origin we do not know, is written on the same paper with the same typewriter.
THE PRESIDENT: You say we do not know where it has come from-it is a captured document covered by the affidavit which was made with reference to all other captured documents.
DR. SIEMERS: Well, but I would be grateful to the Prosecution if, in the case of such an important document, the Prosecution would be kind enough in order to determine the actual historical facts to indicate more exactly where it originates. Because it is not signed by Schmundt or Hossbach or anyone and has no number, it is only loose pages.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not know whether the Prosecution can do that, but it seems to me to be rather late in the day to ask for it.
MR. THOMAS J. DODD (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): Mr. President, I do not know what the exact origin of this document is offhand, but I expect that we could probably get some
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information before the Tribunal if the Tribunal wishes us to do so: But as the President pointed out, it is a captured document and everything that counsel says about it seems to go to its weight rather than to its admissibility.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know where the document was found, if that is possible.
MR. DODD: I will make an effort to find that out.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, Mr. Dodd just pointed out that my objection comes rather late. I believe I recall correctly that repeated objections were raised...
THE PRESIDENT: I think it was I who pointed it out, not Mr. Dodd.
DR. SIEMERS: Excuse me. I believe I recall correctly that the Defense on several occasions raised objection during the Prosecution's case, and it was said that all statements could be made during the Defense's case at a later time-namely, when it is the defense counsel's turn to speak.
THE PRESIDENT: I only meant that it might not be possible at this stage to find out exactly where the document came from, whereas, if the question had been asked very much earlier in the Trial, it might have been very much easier. That is all I meant. Have you anything more to add upon why, in your opinion, this document should be stricken from the record?
DR. SIEMERS: I should like to point out, Mr. President, that I do not do it for formal reasons but rather for a very substantial reason. Most important words in this document have constantly been repeated by the Prosecution during these 5 or 6 months- namely, the words "Destruction of Poland, main objective... Aim: elimination of vital forces, not arrival at a certain line." These words were not spoken, and such a war aim the German commanders-in-chief would not have agreed to. For that reason it is important to ascertain whether this document is genuine.
In this connection, may I remind the Court that there is a third version of this speech as mentioned in this courtroom-namely? Document L-3, which is even worse than these and which was published by the press of the whole world. Wherever one spoke to anyone, this grotesque and brutal speech was brought up. For that reason it is in the interest of historical truth to ascertain whether Hitler spoke in this shocking way at this time. Actually, I admit he used many expressions which were severe, but he did not use such words, and this is of tremendous significance for the reputation of all the commanders who were present.
Let me point out the next words. They say expressly, "close your hearts against pity, brutal measures." Such words were not
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used. I will be in a position to prove this by another witness, Generaladmiral Boehm.
I therefore request the Court to decide on my request for striking this document from the record. I should like to point out that the document is mentioned in the record at many points. Should the honorable Court so wish, I would have to look for all the points. I have found only four or five in the German record. If necessary, I would give all the points in the English record. It was submitted on 26 November 1945, afternoon session (Volume II, Page 286).
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need bother to do that. You are now only upon the question of whether the document should be stricken from the record. If it were to be stricken from the record, we could find out where it is. Is that all you wish to say?
DR. SIEMERS: One question to Admiral Raeder.
The words which I just read, "brutal measures, elimination of vital forces"-were these words used in Hitler's speech at that time?
RAEDER: In my opinion, no. I believe that the version submitted by Admiral Boehm, which he wrote down on the afternoon of the same day on the basis of his notes, is the version nearest to the truth.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, in order to achieve clarity on this question, I submit as Exhibit Raeder-27, in Raeder Document Book 2, Page 144, an orderly reproduction of this speech.
RAEDER: May I also have Document Book 2?
DR. SIEMERS: This is the speech according to the manuscript of Generaladmiral Hermann Boehm. Generaladmiral Boehm was present at Hitler's speech on 22 August 1939 at Obersalzberg. He made the notes during the speech. He transcribed them in the present form on the same evening-that is, on 22 August 1939-in the Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel in Munich. I have certified the correctness of the copy. The original is in the handwriting of Generaladmiral Boehm. Boehm has been called by me as a witness for various other questions. He will confirm that the speech was made in this form as I have submitted here. A comparison of the two documents shows that all terms, such as "brutal measures," are not contained in this speech. It shows further...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Surely this part of Dr. Siemers' argument must go to weight. He has said that a comparison of the two documents shows such and such. I have just looked at the end of Admiral Boehm's affidavit and it contains, I should argue, every vital thought that is contained in Document 1014-PS. But whether it does or not, that is a matter of weight, surely. We
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cannot, in my respectful submission, go into intrinsic comparisons to decide the admissibility of the document. As I say, on that I should have a great deal to say by comparing the documents in detail. That is not before the Tribunal now.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. The Tribunal was only wanting to hear whatever Dr. Siemers has got to say upon the subject.
DR. SIEMERS: A comparison of the document with Document 798-PS, in the longer and better version, as the Prosecution submitted . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, as Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe has just pointed out, a mere comparison of the documents-of the two or three documents does not help us as to its admissibility. We know the facts about the document. It is a document in German, captured among German documents.
DR. SIEMERS: I understand. I made the statement only in order to show that I am not raising objections for formal reasons, but because the thing is actually of great importance. In proof of my...
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you will be able to urge that when you make your speech in criticism of the document as to its weight. You will be able to point out that it does not bear comparison with a fuller document taken down by Admiral Boehm or with the other document.
DR. SIEMERS: Absolutely right. To explain my formal request, I refer to my statement on the formal character of the document which I submitted.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
The application to strike out Document 1014-PS is denied.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Has Counsel for the Prosecution understood that the Tribunal wishes to have information as to where that document was found?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord; we will do our best to get it.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, and also the other, Document 798-PS.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, if Your Lordship pleases.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, I submitted Document Raeder-27, which is the Boehm version, to you. You have read the speech in this version. Is this reproduction correct on the whole, in your recollection?
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RAEDER: Yes. In my opinion, this version is that one which corresponds most closely to reality. I remember especially that Hitler devoted a large portion of his remarks to the point that England and France would not intervene, giving reasons why they would not. He mentioned a number of reasons, and I missed just that portion, in its elaboration, in the other reproductions of the speech.
DR. SIEMERS: In the version of the speech Document 798-PS or Exhibit USA-29 it says verbatim: "I am only afraid that at the last moment some swine will offer me some plan of arbitration." Were those words used in the speech at that time?
RAEDER: In my recollection, certainly not. The Fuehrer was not accustomed to using expressions like that in speeches which he made to the generals.
DR. SIEMERS: On the other hand, the version put forth by Boehm shows that Hitler had, by this time, decided to attack Poland. I am asking you to give us briefly the impression, which the speech made on you at the time. Tell me also why, despite this speech which even in this version is severe, you retained your office as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy.
RAEDER: Without doubt, I had the impression that the situation was serious and tremendously tense. The fact, however, that Hitler in his speech put too great a stress on proving that France and England would not intervene, and the second fact that Herr Von Ribbentrop, the Reich Foreign Minister, left for Moscow on the same day to sign a pact there, as we were told-these things filled not only me but all listeners as well with the strong hope that here again was a case of a clever move by Hitler, which in the end he would successfully solve in a peaceful way.
Therefore I saw no reason to resign my office at that moment. I would have considered that pure desertion.
DR. SIEMERS: May it please the Tribunal, in this connection I would like, because of their chronological correspondence, to submit the two documents Exhibits Raeder-28 and 29, and I ask that the Tribunal only take judicial notice without my making further reference to them.
The Prosecution have cited Document C-155 and have accused you, through this document...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, of the documents to which Dr. Siemers has just referred-Documents Raeder-28 and 29- the first is a memorandum of General Gamelin and the second is a letter from General Weygand to General Gamelin of 9 September 1939.
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Your Lordship will remember that the Prosecution objected to these documents as being irrelevant, and, My Lord, the Prosecution maintain that objection.
I do not wish to interrupt Dr. Siemers' examination any more than is necessary. If at the moment he is merely asking the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the documents and does not intend to use them, it would probably be convenient-in order not to interrupt the examination-in-chief-that I merely indicate formally that we are maintaining our objection to the document. Of course, I am at the disposal of the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Is this the position, that they were allowed to be translated and put in the document book but that no further order of the Tribunal has been given?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No further order has been given and therefore, My Lord, it is still open to us to object, as I understand the position.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, perhaps we had better deal with it now, then.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship pleases.
DR. SIEMERS: May I make a few remarks on this point? I believe...
THE PRESIDENT: But we had better hear the objection first, had we not? And then we will hear you afterwards.
DR. SIEMERS: Yes, Mr. President, as you wish. This is a purely formal point. I believe that Sir David erred slightly in referring to Document Raeder-28. There was no objection to this document by the Prosecution, but only against Document Raeder-29.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My friend is quite right; we did not object to the translation of 28. However, My Lord, it falls into the same category as 29, and I would still raise an objection. I apologize to Your Lordship if I conveyed the impression that we had made an objection before.
My Lord, the Number 28 is a letter from General Gamelin to M. Daladier on the 1st of September 1939, in which General Gamelin gives his views as to the problem of the neutrality of Belgium and Luxembourg and contrasts that view with the view of the French Government.
Now, My Lord, I submit that that expression of opinion on the part of General Gamelin is in itself intrinsically too remote from the issues of this Trial to be of any relevance or probative value.
Then, apart from its intrinsic nature, the position is that this was a document which, as I understand from Dr. Siemers' verification on Page 158, is taken from the White Book of the German
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Foreign Office, from the secret files of the French General Staff, which could not have been captured until sometime after June 1940. Therefore, as a secondary reason, it can have no relevance to any opinion formed by the Defendant Raeder in September of 1939.
My Lord, the second document is, as I said to the Tribunal, a letter to General Gamelin from General Weygand, who was then the Commander-in-Chief of the French Army in the Levant. It describes a plan which General Weygand had in mind with regard to possible operations in Greece. Nothing came of these operations before June 1940 when an armistice was made by Marshal Petain on behalf of part of the French people-although not, of course, of the whole-and it can have no relevance to October 1940 when Greece was invaded by Italy, or to the position at the end of 1940 and the beginning of 1941 when the invasion of Greece begins to be considered in the German directives and operational orders which have been put in before the Tribunal.
That is the first point. And the same secondary point applies, that it was also a captured document which could not have been captured before June 1940; therefore, it can have no relevance to this defendant's state of mind in August or September of 1939.
My Lord, as a matter of convenience, I have just made a list of the documents to which objections will be made and, My Lord, there are one or two additions which my French and Soviet colleagues have asked me to make, and I will deal with them when they arise.
My Lord, I would just like the Tribunal to have in mind that there are four geographical groups of documents as opposed to the groups under which they are arranged here, which the Tribunal will have to consider. One is formed by documents relating to the Low Countries, the second, which is Group G on the list which I have just put before the Tribunal, deals with Norway; a third deals with Greece, of which Document Raeder-29 is an example; and a fourth is Group E in the list which I have just put in, dealing with tentative proposals and suggestions made by various military figures with regard to the oil field in the Caucasus or operations on the Danube.
My Lord, the same objections which I have made particularly with regard to Documents Raeder-28 and 29 will apply generally to these groups, and I thought that I ought to draw the Tribunal's attention to that fact. In addition, my friend Colonel Pokrovsky has intimated to me some special objections which we will have to certain documents on which he can assist the Tribunal himself when they arise.
But, My Lord, I do take these specific cases, 28 and 29, as objectionable in themselves, and I draw the Tribunal's attention
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to the fact that they are also typically objectionable as belonging to certain groups.
The decision of the Tribunal, Your Lordship, is given in the morning session of 2 May 1946. Your Lordship said, "The question of their admissibility will be decided after they have been translated."
M. CHARLES DUBOST (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic): May it please the Tribunal, I would ask the Tribunal for an opportunity to associate myself publicly with the declaration just made by Sir David and to propose a few examples which will show the degree of importance which should be attached to the documents in question.
The Defense is asking that the Tribunal take into account a document published in the German White Book Number 5, under Number 8. This document reports a statement by a French prisoner of war who is supposed to have said that he had been in Belgium since 15 April. However, the German White Book gives neither the name of this prisoner nor any indication of his unit. We have none of the information which we need in order to judge whether the statement is relevant. We are therefore faced with a document which is not authentic and which has no value as evidence.
The Defense is asking that Document Raeder-102 of the same document book be admitted by the Tribunal. I ask the Tribunal to let me make a few observations to show the one-sided manner in which these documents have been assembled by the German authorities in the White Book.
I would say, first of all, that this Document Raeder-102 has not been quoted at length. The French Delegation has referred to the text of the German White Book. We have read it carefully. This document is only a preparatory order in view of defensive preparations organized by the Belgians on the French-Belgian frontier
facing France. We have consulted the Belgian military authorities. This order was a manifestation of the Belgian Government's determination to defend Belgium's neutrality on all its frontiers.
It is therefore contrary to the truth to try to prove by means of this document the existence of staff contacts between Brussels, London, and Paris, which, if they had existed, would have been contrary to the policy of neutrality.
The commentary made by the German Minister for Foreign Affairs in the introduction to the German White Book, Page 11 of the French text, took the counsel by surprise and certainly did not mislead Admiral Raeder, who is a serviceman. In fact, it is at the price of a lie that the official commentator affirms, on the one hand, that the expression "les forces amies" (friendly forces) used
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in this document means French and British troops, whereas in reality it is a regular expression used in the Belgian Army to describe Belgian units in the immediate vicinity of those actually fighting. On the other hand, the German commentator claims, and I quote, "The general line Tournai-Antoing, of the canal from Mons to Conde, Saint Ghislain and Binche, is partly in Belgian and partly in French territory." It is sufficient to look at a map to see that all those localities are in Belgian territory and they are all at least some dozens of kilometers distant from the French-Belgian frontier, and in places, 60 kilometers from the French frontier.
I ask the Tribunal to excuse this interruption. I thought it was advisable to enlighten them by giving a convincing example of the value of the evidence furnished by the German White Book.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal thinks the most convenient course would be to hear your argument now upon these documents, not only upon 28 to 29, but upon the other documents specified in Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe's list, and then the Tribunal would consider these documents after the adjournment and would give its decision tomorrow morning.
DR. SIEMERS: May it please the Tribunal, I should be very grateful if it would be possible to proceed in a somewhat different manner. I should like to call attention to the fact that a rather lengthy debate regarding documents has already taken place, and the decision of the Court followed. I believe that if I comment upon all the documents at this point a great deal of time will be lost, since the coherence of the documents will emerge of itself later during my presentation of evidence. If I now deal with the list submitted by Sir David, I would, in order to show my reasons, have to set forth all that which will appear again in the regular course of testimony later on. I thought that the decision of the Tribunal first to present the documents in the document book was specifically to save time, and then objections could be made one by one as individual documents are presented.
THE PRESIDENT: I know; but there are a very great number of documents. The Tribunal will have to hear an argument upon each document if we do what you suggest, reading the list of Sir David. There are 30 or 40 documents, I suppose.
DR. SIEMERS: Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe has already stated that he will be guided according to different geographical groups. Therefore, there will not be objections with regard to each document but rather with regard to each group of documents and each group of questions-for instance, an objection in the Norway case against all Norwegian documents or in the Greek case against all Greek documents. It would be easier to deal with matters that way, since
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in my testimony I shall be dealing with Greece and Norway anyway, whereas if I do so now I shall have to say everything twice. But I shall of course be guided by the decision of the honorable Tribunal. I only fear that an unnecessary amount of time will be lost that way.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I only want to say one word on procedure. I did hope that Dr. Siemers and I had already occupied sufficient of the Tribunal's time in arguing this point because, of course, the arguments as to relevancy must be the same. Whether they are so obviously irrelevant as not to be translatable, or whether they are inadmissible, at any rate my arguments were the same, and I did not intend to repeat the argument which I had made before the Tribunal.
Dr. Siemers already assisted the Tribunal for an hour and a half on this point, which we discussed before, and I hoped that if I stated as I did state that I have maintained the points which I put before the Tribunal in my previous argument, that Dr. Siemers might be able on this occasion to shorten matters and to say that he relied on the-if I may say so-very full argument which the Tribunal had on the other occasion. That is why I thought it might be convenient if we dealt with them now and put this problem out of the need for further consideration.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal thinks that you must argue these questions now, and it hopes that you will argue them shortly, as your arguments have already been heard in favor of them. But we think that you must argue them now and not argue each individual document as it comes up, and it will consider the matter. It already has these documents, but it will consider the matter again and decide the matter tonight.
COLONEL Y. V. POKROVSKY (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): My Lord, inasmuch as the Tribunal decided to have Dr. Siemers argue the point which was expressed by Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe and other prosecutors, I think it is my duty to name -three documents to which our Prosecution object.
The Soviet Prosecution would like to object altogether to five documents. Two of them-I have in mind Documents Raeder-70 and 88-have already been included by my friend Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe in the list which has been given to the Tribunal. So all I have to do now is to name the three remaining numbers, so that Dr. Siemers would have it easier in answering all together. I name Documents Raeder-13, 27, and 83.
Document Raeder-13 is a record of a report of Captain Lohmann. There is an idea expressed in this report which I cannot call other than a mad and propagandist idea of a typical Nazi. The idea
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is that the aim of the Red Army is world revolution, and that the Red Army is really trying to incite world revolution. I consider that it would not be proper if such nightmares and politically harmful ideas were reflected in the documents which are to be admitted by the Tribunal.
My second objection is in connection with the Document Raeder-27. This is a record which was made by a voluntary reporter, Boehm, of an address of Hitler's at Obersalzberg. The Tribunal already rejected Dr. Siemers' application to include two documents pertaining to the same questions and emphasized the fact that the Tribunal does not wish to compare the authenticity of different documents pertaining to or dealing with the same question.
I consider that inasmuch as the Tribunal already has at its disposal among documents which were admitted two records dealing with Hitler's address at Obersalzberg, therefore, there is no necessity to admit the third record of his speech, especially since in this third version there are altogether shameless, slanderous, and calumnious remarks against the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union and the leaders of the Soviet Government. Neither the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union nor we as representatives of the Soviet State would ever agree to have such remarks included in the record. `~
The third document is Document Raeder-83. Document 83 is an excerpt from the German White Book. Since the authenticity of this White Book has already been questioned by Dr. Dubost, I consider it material which cannot be relied upon, and in particular with regard to the Document Raeder-83. There are several remarks, harmful to the Soviet Union, which have absolutely no political basis-that is, the passage pertaining to the relations between the Soviet Union and Finland. So on the grounds of such general political motives, I would ask the High Tribunal to exclude as evidence Document Raeder-83 from the list of documents which were presented to the Tribunal by Defense Counsel Siemers. Furthermore, strictly speaking, it is absolutely clear that this document is irrelevant. That is all I want to say.
DR. SIEMERS: May it please the Tribunal, I note to my regret that we are back at the beginning again in our debate about documents; for we are disputing about documents now which were not mentioned at all in the original debate concerning documents, which took place on 1 May. I had believed, however, that I could rely on this one principle, that at least those documents which at that time were not objected to would be considered granted. Now, however, I find that those documents which were not discussed at that time at all are under dispute. It is extremely difficult...
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THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal thinks you are entirely in error in that, because it is obvious that a document which has not been translated cannot be finally passed on by the Prosecution or by the Tribunal, and the fact that the Prosecution does not object to it at that stage does not prevent it from objecting at a later stage when it has been translated.
DR. SIEMERS: There were some documents to which I was told that the Prosecution did not object, and with regard to them I believed at any rate that that was final, just as with reference to some documents...
THE PRESIDENT: I thought I had made myself clear. What I said was this: The Prosecution in objecting or not objecting to a document before it is translated does not in any way bind them not to object to it after it is translated. Is that clear?
DR. SIEMERS: Then I shall take these documents one by one. First of all, I would like to start with those documents which Colonel Pokrovsky...
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal will not listen to these documents taken one by one. If they can be treated in groups they must be treated in groups. They have been treated in groups by Sir David, and I am not saying you must adhere exactly to the same groups, that the Tribunal is not proposing to hear each document one by one.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon. Then it is a misunderstanding. I wanted to discuss those documents at the beginning, because there are some things which are not clear and which were objected to by Colonel Pokrovsky. I did not realize that Colonel Pokrovsky mentioned the documents in groups. I believe he mentioned five documents-three of them individually-and I believe that, though I have not understood everything, I can deal with these individually mentioned documents one by one. However, I shall be glad to start with the group laid down by Sir David if that is to be dealt with first. Shall I first...
THE PRESIDENT: When you said you were going to deal with the documents one by one, you meant all the documents one by one? I am not suggesting that you...
DR. SIEMERS: No, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: You can deal with Colonel Pokrovsky first if you like.
DR. SIEMERS: Colonel Pokrovsky has as his first objection Document Raeder-13. This deals with a document dated 1935. Certainly Colonel Pokrovsky can offer some objection to the contents of this document, but how a document can be classed as
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irrelevant just because a certain sentence allegedly contains propaganda is not quite clear to me. I believe I could find sentences in other documents which have been submitted during these past 6 months which might be interpreted in some way as propaganda. I cannot quite imagine that that is an objection, and I would like to remind the Tribunal that right at the beginning of the proceedings, when we were dealing with Austria, the Tribunal rejected an objection made by the Defense regarding a letter. The Defense objected because the author of the letter was available as a witness. Thereupon, the Tribunal, and justly so, decided that the letter was evidence. The only matter for debate is the probative value. The Tribunal admitted this document. And in connection with this I should like to mention that a lecture at a university which is set down in writing is a document. The lecture deals with the naval agreement, and I believe that therewith the relevancy...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, have you not made your point on Number 13? You said the majority of the thing is clearly relevant, though there is one sentence which may be alleged to be propaganda, and, therefore, the document ought not be struck out. Is that not your point?
DR. SIEMERS: No, I am saying that it is a document which has a bearing on the evidence used in this Trial, and the Soviet Prosecution cannot dispute it because it was a lecture given in 1935. I cannot at all understand the use of the word "propaganda" by Colonel Pokrovsky in connection with this document.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I do not understand what you say in the least. I thought I put the point you had made. I thought you made it clear that the document in itself was relevant and could not be rejected because it contained one sentence which was alleged propaganda. That is your point, and I shall want it stated in one or two sentences, and the Tribunal will consider it. I do not see why the time of the Tribunal should be taken up with a long argument about something else.
DR. SIEMERS: Colonel Pokrovsky secondly, if I understood the interpreter, objected to Document Number Raeder-27. In this instance we are concerned with the speech of Hitler at Obersalzberg on 22 August 1932. It is Exhibit Raeder-27. It is very hard for me to comment on this document since I do not understand the objections of Colonel Pokrovsky. It deals...
THE PRESIDENT: The objection was that there was no necessity for a third record of the speech. There were two records which you objected to, and he said there was no necessity for a third.
DR. SIEMERS: I would like to add to that then, Your Honor, that the Soviet Delegation does not agree with the Delegation of
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the United States. In the record at that time the representative of the American Delegation said that if any one had a better version of that speech, he should present it. Therefore, I agree with the opinion of the American Prosecution and I believe, aside from that, that not a word about the relevancy of a speech which was made shortly before the outbreak of the war is necessary.
Document Raeder-83 is the third document objected to by Colonel Pokrovsky. This contains the sixth session of the Supreme Council on 28 March 1940, the drafting of a resolution with the heading "Strictly Secret." In this document the Supreme Council- that is, the constituents of the Allied leadership-agreed that the French and British Governments on Monday, 1 April, would tender a note to the Norwegian and Swedish Governments. The contents of this note is then given, and there is a reference to the point of view of vital interests, and it says there then the position of the neutrals would be considered by the Allies as one contrary to their vital interests, and that it would evoke an appropriate reaction.
Under Figure to of this document, it says "Any attempt by the Soviet Union which aimed at obtaining from Norway a position on the Atlantic Coast would be contrary to the vital interests of the Allies and would provoke the appropriate reaction."
THE PRESIDENT: You do not need to read the document, do you? I mean you can tell us what the substance of it is. It appears to be an objection to any further attack upon Finland, which would be considered by the Allies to be contrary to their vital interests. That is all.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, just this expression "vital interests" is the decisive one. I do not wish, as the Prosecution always seem to think, to bring up some sort of objection from the point of view of tu quoque. I want to show only what the situation was according to international law, and that at the same time when Admiral Raeder was entertaining certain thoughts regarding Norway, Greece, and so forth, the Allied agencies had the same thoughts and were basing these thoughts on the same concept of international law which, as I recently said, was upheld by Kellogg- namely that the right of self-preservation still exists. Now I can prove my point through these documents.
THE PRESIDENT: The point made against you by Sir David was that the document could not have come into the hands of the German authorities until after the fall of France.
DR. SIEMERS: Now I shall deal with the groupings designated by Sir David.
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Sir David made certain fundamental statements. Regarding Document Numbers Raeder-28 and 29, he pointed out specifically that in one case they were the thoughts of General Gamelin and in the other case those of General Weygand, and that these ideas were not known to the Germans at that time since these documents were not yet in our hands. The latter point is correct. The concept and the plan of occupying Greece, of destroying Romanian oil wells, those thoughts were known to the Germans-namely, through their intelligence service. The Prosecution did not present the data of the German High Command which show these reports. Since I do not have these documents, I believe it would be just if I am given the possibility of presenting the actual facts which were known to Germany and in this way prove them. I have no other proofs. That it is agreeable to the Prosecution to deprive me of the documents which I need for the defense, I can understand; but the Prosecution must also understand the fact that I consider it important that those documents which are definite proof of certain plans remain at my disposal.
The charge has been made against Admiral Raeder that it was an aggressive war-a criminal war of aggression-to formulate plans for the occupation of Greece. Document Raeder-29 shows that General Weygand and General Gamelin on 9 September 1939 concern themselves with planning the occupation of neutral Salonika. So if this is the case, I cannot understand how one can point an accusing finger at Admiral Raeder, on the German side, for having concerned himself with such plans a year and half later. I believe, therefore, that these and similar documents must be granted me, for only from them can the military planning and the value of the military planning, or the objectionable side-that is the criminal side of the planning, be understood. The strategic thinking of the defendant can be understood only if one knows approximately what strategic thinking prevailed at the same time with the enemy. The strategic reasoning of Admiral Raeder was shut up in an airtight compartment but depended on the reports received about the strategic planning of the opposition. It is a reciprocal activity. This reciprocal activity is necessary for an understanding. Therefore, in view of this very essential point, I ask to be granted this kind of document since, as I have recently stated, I do not know how I can carry on my defense at all in the face of these grave accusations regarding Greece and Norway if all of my documents are stricken. I believe that I am understood correctly when I do not assert that we were cognizant of these documents. -But Germany knew the contents of these documents, and I believe that is sufficient.
May it please the Tribunal, we are once again at Document Raeder-66 in Group A. This Document Raeder-66 is the opinion
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of Dr. Mosler, an expert in international law, about the Norwegian operation as judged from the standpoint of international law.
Since we are always talking about saving time in this courtroom, I would have my doubts about rejecting this article, for a refusal would force me to set forth the trend of thought point by point in detail, and I believe that it is much easier for the Tribunal, for the Prosecution and for me, if I submit general legal arguments in this connection.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, this is a document which is a matter of legal argument. If the Tribunal thinks it would be of any assistance to have the argument in documentary form, I willingly withdraw my objection to that. That is on quite a different project than the other one, and I want to help in any way I can.
While I am before the microphone: I did mention that there were two other documents that fall into the same group. Document Raeder-34 falls into Group B. and Document Raeder-48 into the Group E.
My Lord, I did mention 28 when I was addressing the Tribunal.
DR. SIEMERS: May it please the Tribunal, I do not wish to dispute Document Raeder-66, I have really done this just to ease the situation for everyone. The additional documents in this group are Raeder-101 to 107. I cannot say that this is a homogeneous group. One document deals with Norway, another deals with Belgium, a third deals with the Danube. The unity of this group escapes me. Basically these documents have this point in common: that, as I have already stated, a plan existed in the Allied General Staff, as well as in the German, and all were based on the tenet of international law regarding the right of self-preservation and vital interests.
In order to be brief at this point I should like to refer to Document Raeder-66 particularly, and to save time I ask that the quotations from this document be considered the basis for my remarks today on the right of self-preservation. I am referring to the quotations on Page 3 and Page 4 of this expert opinion. The legal situation is made very clear therein, and it is set forth very clearly in this expert opinion that, with regard to the question of the occupation of Norway, we are not concerned with whether the Allies had actually landed in Norway but only whether such a plan existed, that we are not concerned with the fact whether Norway agreed or did not agree. The danger of a change of neutrality according to international law gives one the right to use some compensating measure or to attack on one's own accord; and this basic tenet has been maintained in the entire literature which is
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quoted in this document, and to which I shall refer later in my defense speech.
Out of group 101 to 107, I have to mention Document Raeder-107 especially. Document Raeder-107 is not concerned at all with the White Books as the other documents are. 107 is an affidavit by Schreiber. Schreiber was naval attache at Oslo from October 1939 onward. From the beginning I have said that I needed Schreiber as a witness. In the meantime, I dispensed with Schreiber because even though we tried for weeks, we could not find him. I discussed this matter with Sir David and with Colonel Phillimore. I was advised that there would be no objection on this formal point since Schreiber suddenly and of his own accord reappeared again.
If, as the Prosecution wish, this piece of evidence is taken from me-namely, the affidavit of Schreiber about the reports which Admiral Raeder received from Oslo and, in addition to that, the documents from which the authenticity of these reports may be shown-then I have no evidence for this entire question at all. Besides, Schreiber was in Oslo during the occupation and he has commented in his affidavit with regard to the behavior of the Navy and the efforts of Admiral Raeder in connection with the regrettable civil administration of Terboven. Therefore, I am asking the High Tribunal to grant this affidavit to me or to grant Schreiber as a witness so that he can testify personally. This latter course, however, would take up more time. I have limited my evidence through witnesses to such a degree that I believe that, in view of the entire span of 15 years with which we are dealing, in the case of the Defendant Raeder at least, such an affidavit should be granted me.
With regard to Group B. I should like to refer to the remarks which I have already made. As far as I can see, the group seems to be thoroughly heterogeneous, but I believe they are all documents taken from the White Book. The same ideas should be applied which I have recently expressed to the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: I think Sir David recognized that there was a certain degree of lack of identity in these groups, but he suggested that they all fall into geographical groups: one group, the Low Countries; one group, Norway; one group, Greece; and one group, the Caucasus and the Danube-which agrees with "E." That is what he said. Could you not deal with them in those geographical groups?
DR. SIEMERS: Very well.
I have already talked about Norway and in that connection I therefore refer to the remarks I have already made. I have already briefly mentioned Greece. I would like to say that there
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was a double accusation made: One, that neutral ships were sunk- namely, neutral Greek ships, and secondly, the accusation of an aggressive war against Greece-that is, the occupation of all Greece.
With regard to the last point, I have already made a few statements. Dealing with the Greek merchantmen I would like to say only that in this case the action and attitude of the defendant appears justified in that he received reports which coincided with the documents which were found a month later in France. The same reports were received by Raeder when he expressed his views to Hitler. I would like to prove that these reports which came to him through the intelligence service were not invented by the intelligence service but were actual facts. The same applies to the oil regions. Plans existed to destroy the Romanian oil wells and furthermore there was a plan to destroy the Caucasian oil wells; both had the object of hurting the enemy; in the one case Germany alone-as far as Romania was concerned-and in the second case Germany and Russia, because at that time Russia was on friendly terms with Germany.
These plans are-and this is shown by the documents-in the same form as all other documents presented by the Prosecution. These documents as well, in their entirety, are "top secret," "personal," "confidential." Just as the Prosecution have always said, "Why did you do everything secretly? That is suspicious." These documents contain ideas based on strategic planning just as do the documents presented by the Prosecution. That is something which arises from the nature of war and which is not meant to be an accusation on my part, nor should it be construed as an accusation against Admiral Raeder by the Prosecution.
Then the group of Ribbentrop documents follows. I can say only what I said recently. And as I glance at it cursorily now, the documents in the Ribbentrop document book are not as complete as they are here. Therefore, I believe it is important to take the documents and to investigate their complete content from the point of view of Raeder rather than the point of view of Ribbentrop. That perhaps may have taken place, as the High Tribunal suggested the other day. Then I believe, however, it is not an objection which can be used by the Prosecution to say that in the case of Ribbentrop they were partially admitted and partially rejected. For some documents which were granted Ribbentrop were refused me.
Then we turn to Group "E" and that is tu quoque. I believe I have already spoken sufficiently on that point just recently. I dispute it again and I cannot understand why the Prosecution will not agree with me on that. I do not wish to object. I am not saying tu quoque; I am only saying that there is strategic planning
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which is carried on in every army and there are tenets in international law which applied to the Allies exactly in the same way as to us, and I beg to be granted these possibilities of comparison in foreign politics.
I believe herewith that I have dealt with all points so far as it is possible for me to define my position in such a brief period of time with regard to about 50 documents, and I am asking the High Tribunal not to make my work more difficult by refusing these documents to me.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will carefully consider these documents and your arguments.
The Tribunal will now adjourn.