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[The Defendant Raeder resumed the stand.]
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, with reference to your examination yesterday, I have to put the following questions to you in re-examination. Sir David was talking about the fact that before 1933 you had carried out rearmament behind the backs of the lawmaking bodies. I think that question as such, has been clarified; but there is one supplementary question. On whom did it depend just what was submitted to the Reichstag?
RAEDER: On the Reichswehrminister.
DR. SIEMERS: And who was the Reichswehrminister at that time?
RAEDER: He was a member of the government and my direct superior. I had to submit everything to him which I wished to get.
DR. SIEMERS: And his name was Groener, wasn't it?
DR. SIEMERS: May I draw the Tribunal's attention to the extract from the Constitution which I have recently submitted as Exhibit Number Raeder-3, according to which Article 50 lays down that the Reich President gives all orders and decrees even where the Armed Forces are concerned. For their validity decrees require to be countersigned by the Chancellor or the Minister concerned. By the act of countersigning responsibility is accepted. In this, our case, the Reichswehrminister was the competent Reich Minister; and anything that was done afterwards with reference to the law-making bodies was a matter for the government to decide.
[Turning to the defendant.] Sir David has submitted to you Document C-17. It is the index of a book written by Colonel Scherff, called The History of the German Navy from 1919 to 1939. Was this book ever written?
RAEDER: As far as I know, only the index was compiled. I assume that if anything had been written, then it would have been submitted to me a long time ago, but I never heard of that at all.
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DR. SIEMERS: May I remind the Tribunal that the American Prosecution, at the time when they submitted the document, pointed out that as far as they knew the book was not written.
[Turning to the defendant.] I believe that it is very difficult to base accusations on an index, but I want you to tell me, Defendant, when did you learn of this index?
RAEDER: It became known to me during my first interrogation by an American prosecutor.
DR. SIEMERS: Furthermore, Document D-854, which is GB-460, was put to you yesterday. May I come back to one question put by Sir David. On Page 1 Sir David had been reading as follows:
"But if-as was stated-in nearly all spheres of armament where the Navy was concerned, the Treaty of Versailles was violated in the letter and all the more in the spirit-or at least its violation was prepared-a long time before the 16th of March 1935...."
Then Sir David asked you: "Do you want to say that this is untrue?" You answered but you did not quite finish your reply, at least it never became quite clear what you said in the German or the English record. I want you to tell me why you are of the opinion that Assmann was not quite right in this respect?
RAEDER: It is an utter exaggeration. First of all, violations-as have been proved here in detail-were mostly of a very minor nature; and only the number of deviations may have given the impression that there were many violations. Secondly, in its essential points, we never actually filled the quotas allowed by the Versailles Treaty; in fact, we remained below the figures granted. Besides, only defense measures are involved, very primitive defense measures-Assmann's representations are just a great exaggeration.
DR. SIEMERS: What you are trying to say, therefore, is that Assmann's way of putting it "in practically every sphere of rearmament" is wrong?
RAEDER: Yes, probably Document C-32 will have led him to that conclusion because there were so many points. However, on closer examination they turn out to be very minor points.
DR. SIEMERS: With regard to the important points of rearmament, that is to say construction of large ships, the Navy did not violate the Treaty, did it?
RAEDER: No, no.
DR. SIEMERS: By repeating it three times, Sir David emphasized the fact that you had a great deal of confidence in Assmann. I have nothing to say against it, but beyond that I would like to put a supplementary question to you: Did you have that much confidence
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in him, that in your opinion Assmann could pass a proper legal judgment? Was he a lawyer?
RAEDER: No. Assmann was a naval officer who was not used at the front any more. He was a very clever writer who had written a few volumes about the first World War. He wrote very well, but even the volumes on the naval warfare during the first World War were corrected a great deal by the persons concerned; but against him and his ability to write history nothing can be said.
DR. SIEMERS: I think you remember this document from yesterday. Is It a final historical work? Is it a final and corrected edition?
RAEDER: No. So far as I know, he had not got that far. He was making summaries and extracts from war diaries and records.
DR. SIEMERS: Assmann has written (Document D-854, GB-460):
"If, in this light, there were plans for 'preparing the construction' in 1935 of twelve 275-ton submarines, six 550-ton submarines, and four 900-ton submarines, then one will have to consider the strategic points of view valid at that time."
Added together 22 were planned, and for the following year 14 submarines-by no means built, just planned. Are these figures correct in your opinion?
RAEDER: They are correct in my opinion. The only thing I am not sure about is the 900-ton type; I cannot quite explain that. I cannot remember that at that time we were building 900-ton boats. Apart from the 250-ton type, our first types were 550-tons, and only then did the 740-ton boats come. Perhaps he is thinking of those when he says 900-tons. We did not actually build 900-ton boats.
DR. SIEMERS: On Page 158, Sir David has read to you the following sentence, which I want to repeat because it needs clarification.
"It is probably in this very sphere of submarine construction that Germany adhered least to the restrictions of the German-British Treaty. Considering the size of U-boats which had already been ordered, about 55 U-boats could have been provided for up to 1938. In reality, 118 were completed and constructed."
I want to remind you that in the original there is the Note Number 6 referring to a letter of the Chief of the Naval Budget Department . . .
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DR. SIEMERS: . . . from the year 1942, presumably containing statistics on the construction of submarines as the years went by. I believe that these figures need to be clarified.
According to material at my disposal, it appears that these 55 U-boats were in accordance with the London Agreement; that is to say, in accordance with the 45 percent agreed on in 1935. You probably have not got the exact figure in mind, but is that roughly correct?
RAEDER: Yes, that is probably right.
DR. SIEMERS: And now, the Figure 118. That, according to material at my disposal, is also well-founded. That is the figure which corresponds to the 100 percent equality in regard to the tonnage of submarines. If we had 118 submarines, then our submarine equipment corresponded to that of Britain at that time. Is that so?
RAEDER: Yes, it is correct; and it is also correct that we included these later boats in the budget and had ordered them after we had seen Admiral Cunningham and his staff in Berlin on 30 December and had reached a friendly understanding in accordance with the agreement, allowing us to build 100 percent. The remark read at the beginning, saying that we had committed most violations in this sphere, is a complete untruth. Until the beginning of the war we only built such U-boats as we were allowed to build; that is to say, first 45 percent and later 100 percent. It was a great mistake, of course, that we did it.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, you have just said that it was a complete untruth. I think that, even if Sir David used that word against you, one ought not to pass such sharp judgment against Assmann. Do you not think, Admiral, that there was possibly h legal error on his part when...
RAEDER: Yes, that may be.
DR. SIEMERS: ...he wrote these details and that he was not really thinking of what you have just told us had happened; namely, that in 1938 there had been an agreement between England and Germany, according to which Germany could now build 100 percent?
RAEDER: That is quite probable. When I said "untruth," I meant incorrectness.
DR. SIEMERS: May I remind the Tribunal that in the Naval Agreement of 1935, 100 percent was planned from the beginning and that Germany at first renounced that but had the right at any time to increase to 100 percent, provided that Great Britain was notified. The notification is presumably what you described, Witness; that is the negotiation with Admiral Cunningham?
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RAEDER: Yes, that was on 30 December 1938, or it may have been 31 December.
THE PRESIDENT: Is the defendant saying that there was a notification to Admiral Cunningham on the 30th of December 1938? Is that what you said; that there was notification to Admiral Cunningham on the 30th of December 1938?
RAEDER: Admiral Cunningham came to Berlin, to this friendly negotiation which had been provided for in the agreement. On that 30 December we arranged with him that from now on, instead of 45 percent, 100 percent would be built.
THE PRESIDENT: Was that an oral arrangement or a written one?
RAEDER: It was a conference between the Chief of Staff of the Naval Operations Staff and Admiral Cunningham, and certain other individuals, but I cannot remember the details. However, I am pretty certain that minutes were taken.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, unfortunately, I have not been able to trace any written evidence. I only know from Exhibit Number Raeder-11, that is the agreement of 1935, that Germany could increase the tonnage, and the agreement of '37, that Germany had the duty to give notification. Generally, notification is only in writing in diplomatic relations, although, in my opinion, it was not necessarily a duty in this case. Negotiations, as the witness said, did take place.
RAEDER: May I, perhaps, add that apart from the submarine problem, the question of two heavy cruisers, which we had originally dropped, was also settled. We only wanted to build three for the time being; and now we were asking for assent to build the other two, to which, we were entitled. That was also agreed upon in accordance with the agreement.
DR. SIEMERS: Document C-140 was put before you yesterday; it is USA-51. You will find it in the British Document Book 10a on Page 104. I want to put one sentence from that document to you again, which has not been quoted by the Prosecution, neither in November nor yesterday. It appears under Figure 2-c. There is the following statement-I want to add that this is the question of sanctions and the possible preparation of a defense against sanctions in 1935. I quote from 2-c: "For the time being I prohibit any practical preparations."
Witness, I want to ask you...
THE PRESIDENT: That is not 10a, 104.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. Elwyn Jones has just been kind enough to point out to me the English translation. It appears from it that-as
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I have also the English translation before me-that there are two documents C-140; one has one page and the other has two. One has not got a heading and is dated, Berlin, 25 October 1933. In my opinion it is the document...
THE PRESIDENT: That is the one on Page 104?
DR. SIEMERS: No, on Page 104 there is, as I just heard from Major Elwyn Jones, the other document, C-140, which has the heading, "Directive for the Armed Forces in Case of Sanctions."
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, and the date of it is 25 January 1933?
DR. SIEMERS: 25 October 1935, but that is a clerical error. It is 1933.
MAJOR F. ELWYN JONES (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): There appears to be another document which is not in the document book.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, perhaps I may point out that the Document C-140, USA-51, presented by the Prosecution, must be the one I have referred to, because it tallies with the record; I mean the record of the session of 27 November. That is the document to which I have just now referred.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it C-140 or C-141?
DR. SIEMERS: C-140, the same number, and that is the same as USA-51.
Mr. President, perhaps to simplify matters, I may later, after today's session or tomorrow submit the Document C-140 in the, here presented, English and German text.
THE PRESIDENT: Read the document now and you can settle with Mr. Elwyn Jones about the proper notation of the document, whether it should be C-140 or whatever the exhibit number ought to be.
DR. SIEMERS: [Turning to the defendant.] In the version submitted by the Prosecution, preparation for the defense against sanctions is mentioned. I shall now read a further sentence to you, and I quote, "For the time being, I prohibit all practical preparations." Would it be right, therefore, that in 1933 nothing whatever was prepared by you in the Navy?
RAEDER: No. Apart from the ordinary state of preparedness, nothing was allowed to be done, in accordance with this order.
This was merely a precaution on the Fuehrer's part in order to take preparative measures in case the opponent might do something.
DR. SIEMERS: You see, the reason why I am asking you this is that yesterday in the cross-examination the preparations that you were supposed to have made in this connection were held against you.
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I now come to Document C-189, which is USA-44. I beg to apologize for troubling the Tribunal in that I am asking them, if possible, to look at the document again. It is contained in Document Book Raeder 10, Page 14; and, incidentally, Sir David re-submitted it yesterday. Sir David attached great importance to the two words "against England." There under Figure 2 it says:
"The Ob.d.M. expresses the opinion that later on the fleet must anyhow be developed against England and that, therefore, from 1936 onward, the large ships must be armed with 35 centimeter guns like those of the King George class."
Would this mean that you were using the plans of the English for building ships of the King George class?
The only reason, therefore, why you were pointing this out was that you were considering the 35 centimeter guns used in the King George class by the British Admiralty?
RAEDER: Yes, it was the aim of every navy at that time to know as early as possible which was the largest caliber of guns being used by other navies. I said yesterday that, to start with, we had chosen as a model the French Dunkerque type, but later on we discovered that the British used up to 35.6 centimeters. Ships have to be used, if war breaks out, in their actual state; their gun caliber cannot be changed any more. Therefore we always went as high as possible.
DR. SIEMERS: Would I be right, therefore-please excuse me- if I said that the expression "against Britain" in this connection is not correct grammatically, that according to German language usage it should have said "with reference to England"?
RAEDER: Yes, it should have said "developing with regard to England." I said yesterday that it would have been quite senseless if I were to do something against Great Britain before the conclusion of the pact.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, that was fully gone into in cross-examination, and the defendant stated his explanation of the words used.
DR. SIEMERS: From Document C-190, which is the conversation on 2 November 1934 aboard the Emden between you and Hitler, Sir David has held up to you that Hitler, in a discussion with you and Goering, said that he considered the expansion of the Navy in the planned manner an absolutely vital necessity, since war could not be conducted unless the Navy safeguarded the ore imports from Scandinavia. It was said that this would have to be understood to mean that the Navy was planned in view of a war and in view of safeguarding the ore imports, which really meant aggressive intentions. Are you of the opinion that the British Navy was not planned
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to safeguard imports to England or for the event of war and was not equipped accordingly?
RAEDER: No, there is not the slightest doubt about that.
DR. SIEMERS: Six submarines are mentioned in this document. Considering that figure, may I ask you to tell me the number of submarines that Germany would have needed in order to conduct an aggressive war?
RAEDER: Well, at any rate, many more than we had in October 1939, a multiple of that.
DR. SIEMERS: From a document, Mr. President, which was submitted yesterday, D-806, I want to quote, in addition to the second paragraph which has been quoted, the first paragraph and put it to the witness. It is D-806, GB-462, submitted yesterday at noon.
[Turning to the defendant.] There it says:
"1.) Reference: Submarine Construction Program. On 27 October 1936 I made decision regarding the full utilization of the still available U-boat tonnage according to the Naval Agreement of 1935 and regarding the immediate ordering of the construction of U-41 to U-51."
Were these the rest of the submarines within the 45 percent limit to which we were entitled according to the Naval Agreement of 1935?
RAEDER: Yes, that is right, judging from the figures.
DR. SIEMERS: And then, Admiral, you have been very thoroughly questioned about Austria and Czechoslovakia. Since that subject has been gone into in detail, I shall confine myself to just one question: Did you, at any time, receive any tasks or orders of a foreign political nature from Hitler? And did he ask you for your advice especially in foreign political matters?
RAEDER: I was never asked for advice, and I had no foreign political tasks, unless you consider the duties which I had to fulfill in Bulgaria and Hungary after my resignation of a foreign political nature.
DR. SIEMERS: Regarding Czechoslovakia, that is, concerning the document about the "Rest Tschechei," you were asked whether Hitler had aggressive intentions against Prague at that time. I think the question ought to have been whether his intentions were for an aggressive war.
In connection with that, you have been asked about Goering's threat to bombard Prague, and you quite rightly admitted to Sir David that such a bombing would be a threat. Sir David commented on it as being near to aggressive war; but in order to be
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quite clear, I want you to tell the Tribunal when you learned of this planned bombing.
RAEDER: Only after the whole matter had been settled, and only by way of conversation. I heard no announcement and I knew nothing else of it beforehand.
DR. SIEMERS: So you knew nothing of it before the occupation of Prague?
RAEDER: No, because military undertakings against Prague were altogether unknown to me.
DR. SIEMERS: Then there is the Document C-100. Mr. President, it was presented yesterday under the Number GB-464.
THE PRESIDENT: 463, I've got it.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon; 463.
[Turning to the defendant.] From that document I want to quote to you from Page 10. It is Page 3 of the attached document. I want to put the following sentence to you. I quote:
"Fuehrer asked Ob.d.M. whether there were any special wishes of the Navy with reference to bases on Dutch-Belgian coast. Ob.d.M. says no, since bases are within reach of the British coast and are therefore useless as submarine bases."
According to this, Witness, you were not in favor of an occupation of Belgian and Dutch bases, nor did you in any way occupy yourself with this question.
RAEDER: This was always my point of view, that from the experience of the first World War Belgium and Holland, as far as the Navy was concerned, could not offer any useful bases, since all forces were under the control of the British Air Force. In the first World War serious fighting occurred between the submarines leaving their ports and destroyers stationed nearby. Therefore I declared myself not to be interested in Belgium and Holland.
DR. SIEMERS: Skipping various documents, I now come to D-843, GB-466. This is a document in which Dr. Breuer from the Oslo Embassy expresses the view that the danger of a British occupation of Norway was not really very great and that certain actions were only taken in order to provoke Germany.
I have one more question on that. Did the Embassy in Oslo, that is to say Breuer, know about the information that Admiral Canaris was supplying to you?
RAEDER: I cannot tell you that, as far as I am concerned. I was never in direct contact with Dr. Breuer, only with the naval attache; but I must add that Dr. Breuer had only been in Oslo for a comparatively short period and that apparently he was not
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particularly well informed. The statements made by Norwegian Ministers were certainly not properly judged by him.
DR. SIEMERS: Was there not an order from Hitler that the Foreign Office should not be informed about probable plans concerning Norway?
RAEDER: Yes, he expressly ordered that, and it is obvious that for that reason the Reich Foreign Minister himself was informed very late.
DR. SIEMERS: In other words, as far as you can see, the ambassador could not have had Canaris' information through military sources.
RAEDER: No, hardly.
DR. SIEMERS: Then there were several documents, D-844 and D-845. It was put to you from those that there was no danger in Scandinavia. Was the information that you received at the time different?
RAEDER: Yes. I had continual information...
THE PRESIDENT: All this was gone into yesterday, and the witness gave the same answer.
DR. SIEMERS: I believe that the following has never been mentioned before. Did you know whether as early as 5 April mines had been laid in the territorial waters off Norway?
RAEDER: The Allies had announced it on 7 April, but the actual operations must have taken place a few days earlier.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, yesterday...
THE PRESIDENT: [Interposing] Dr. Siemers, the only purpose of re-examination is to bring out matters which are favorable to your client which have not been raised in crossexamination, that is to say, to explain anything which has not been given in cross examination. When he has given this account in cross-examination it is no good putting it to him again in re-examination. We have heard it.
DR. SIEMERS: I think that on this particular point one explanation is missing.
[Turning to the defendant.] Yesterday you were asked, rather unexpectedly, what had been the technical changes since 1936 and how the legal situation regarding submarine warfare would have been influenced thereby.
DR. SIEMERS: It is a somewhat difficult question to answer in two seconds. You have mentioned aircraft. Can you not supplement your statement?
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RAEDER: Yes, I forgot the most important point due to the fact that there was a rather lively controversy. The important point is that the spotting of vessels at sea by aircraft was something quite new and had been developed very efficiently. That development continued very rapidly during the war, until submarines could very quickly be located and pursued.
DR. SIEMERS: Regarding D-841, which is the affidavit from Dietmann, may I, with the Tribunal's permission, make a formal application? In this affidavit, there is the following sentence:
"It is my personal opinion that the higher authorities of the Navy in Kiel and other places in Germany had knowledge of these dreadful things."
THE PRESIDENT: It isn't "had knowledge" but "must have had knowledge." It seems to me it is in the translation "must have had knowledge."
DR. SIEMERS: Yes. I have not got the German and I do not know how the original is worded. I only have the English translation. It is not quite clear to me how the German version was worded. May I ask the Tribunal...
THE PRESIDENT: Is the document put in the original German or is it put in the English? The deposition is in German presumably.
DR. SIEMERS: I presume that originally the statement was in German. The copy I have states that this is a translation and that is English, but I have not seen the German original.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, there must have been a German copy for the witness yesterday. I don't know whether or not it is the original. I didn't see it but I assume it was.
THE PRESIDENT: It isn't the case that the deposition was made in German, then translated into English, and then translated back into German, was it?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, that is why I assume it was the original. I am sorry this was done. I haven't got the original document in front of me but I assume that was so. I will find out in a moment for you.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. What is the point, Dr. Siemers?
DR. SIEMERS: I believe that this sentence should be struck from the document. It does not record a fact.
THE PRESIDENT: You mean you are asking to have it struck out or...
DR. SIEMERS: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: What do you say, Sir David?
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, the witness sets out fully the facts in the preceding paragraphs of the affidavit and then it is true that he introduces the sentence "By my personal opinion...." but the gist of the statement is that from these facts which I have stated the higher formations of the Navy in Kiel and in other places in Germany must have had knowledge of these terrible conditions. A man who has been working in that detachment of the German Navy and knows the communications between that detachment and the headquarters is in a position to say whether headquarters would have knowledge from the facts he has stated. His inference has a greater probative value than the inference which the Court can draw. The objection to the statement of a matter of opinion is where the witness gives his opinion on a matter on which the Court is equally capable of drawing an opinion from the same facts, but the importance of that statement is that he is saying "working in the bow and being familiar with the chain of command and communications." I say that anyone at Kiel must have been able to learn from these facts what was going on at these places-so that is the narrow point, whether his special knowledge entitles him to express a view which the Court, without that special knowledge, would not be in a position to draw.
THE PRESIDENT: But ought he not theoretically to state all the facts; and if he does state all the facts, then the Tribunal will be in the same position as he is to form a judgment; and it is for the Tribunal to form the judgment.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, that is exactly the point to which I was addressing my argument, that there is the additional fact, that because he was working there, was part of the chain of naval command and he is speaking of the knowledge of the naval command from the point of view of somebody who was working in it, and, therefore, he has on that point his opinion as to the sources of knowledge; and the necessity of constructive knowledge is an additional fact. My Lord, the state of a man's mind and the expression of his knowledge may be a fact in certain circumstances, just as much a fact as that stated, as Lord Bowen once put it.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, if the state of his knowledge is directly relevant to an issue.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord, that is the point here.
THE PRESIDENT: It is a form of expert evidence.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, in a sense, it is not as Your Lordship says, in a form, it is not in a usual form, but it is the evidence of somebody who has special knowledge. My
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Lord, it is a well-known distinction, for example, in the laws of libel between the persons who have expert knowledge and the public at large; and, My Lord, the opinion of someone with a special knowledge of the facts must have probative value within Article 19 of the Charter. My Lord, if the provision that this Tribunal is not bound by the technical rules of evidence is to mean anything at all, I submit it should cover the expression of opinion on a point such as this; that is the ability to have knowledge, which is given by somebody who is in a special position to state such an opinion.
THE PRESIDENT: It is a very small point, Sir David, and we have got to decide the matter and form our own opinion about it; and this man isn't here for the purpose of being cross-examined for anything of that sort.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, that is so, My Lord, but, of course that, with respect, cuts both ways. I mean here he gives an affidavit and part of it as the basis leads up to that conclusion. I should respectfully submit that that conclusion is a statement of fact-but, if Your Lordship says so, the time will come when we can ask Your Lordship to draw that conclusion as a matter of argument ourselves; but, My Lord, on the general position, the only reason that I have occupied even this much of the Tribunal's time is that Article 19 is an important matter in the view of the Prosecution and, therefore, we have to argue against its being whittled down. It is the only reason that I've taken up the Tribunal's time.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I just draw your attention to one point. Sir David has just been mentioning the well-known legal difference. That is just what I want to base my argument on, the difference between facts and opinions. Here it is a question of opinion and please note the following sentence does even go further; there, the witness is coming to a legal opinion and he is stating who is responsible; therefore, he is passing some sort of judgment. Furthermore, I beg you to consider that this is quite a minor official who, after all, cannot possibly make statements of such portent to the effect that higher formations in Kiel and some other places in Germany-he is quite vague-had some sort of knowledge.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, before the Tribunal adjourn, might I make a correction and an apology? My Lord, I thought that a copy in German had been put to the witness yesterday-of this affidavit; and apparently it was a copy in English. The original affidavit was sent off on the 6th of May; it was verified
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over the telephone by Colonel Phillimore and it has not yet arrived. An English copy was sent and has been processed and the original will be put in as soon as it arrives. My Lord, I thought that we had got the original but apparently it has not yet arrived, but it is an English document put to the defendant.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you let Dr. Siemers see the original as soon as it arrives?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has carefully considered Dr. Siemers' application and it has decided that the passage to which he objects and which he asks the Tribunal to strike out in the affidavit of Walter Kurt Dietmann shall not be struck out in view of Article 19 of the Charter. The passage contains an opinion only, and the Tribunal will consider that opinion in relation to the whole of the evidence when it is before the Tribunal and will decide at that time the probative value of this opinion as well as the probative value of the other evidence.
DR. SIEMERS: Then I just have . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, may I remind you that you told us that your re-examination would take, you hoped, about half an hour?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes, Mr. President, I shall conclude very shortly.
[Turning to the defendant.] Admiral, in connection with this Commando decree which we discussed a good deal, Sir David yesterday put a case to you regarding the attack on the ship Tirpitz. In this connection I should like to ask you: Do you recall that in the testimony of Wagner there was the question of a British sailor named Evans?
DR. SIEMERS: And do you recall also that, according to the affidavit of Flesch, Number D-864, GB-457, Flesch declared, "I am unaware of the fact that Evans wore a uniform"?
DR. SIEMERS: Then I do not need to submit the document to you?
RAEDER: No, I recall it.
DR. SIEMERS: Do you recall further that it is said in Document UK-57, submitted on the same day as Wagner's testimony: "The British sailor Evans was captured wearing civilian clothing"?
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RAEDER: Yes. I have the document here.
DR. SIEMERS: And that was one case where the SD, obeying the Commando order, committed a murder without the knowledge of the Navy?
RAEDER: Yes. This man had been apprehended by the SD or the Police, not by the Navy. He had only been interrogated in the meantime by the admiral.
DR. SIEMERS: The second case of which you are accused is the sabotage attack on German ships near Bordeaux. I clarified this situation in Wagner's testimony the other day.
Do you recall that his document also states that these men tried to escape to Spain in civilian clothes?
RAEDER: Yes, that is true.
DR. SIEMERS: Admiral, when using the small fighter craft mentioned yesterday under the command of Vice Admiral Heye, did our soldiers ever wear civilian clothing?
RAEDER: No, never.
DR. SIEMERS: Always in uniform?
RAEDER: Yes, always in uniform. These craft were a weapon just like submarines, speed boats, et cetera.
DR. SIEMERS: As my last point, Mr. President, I should like to point out that yesterday Colonel Pokrovsky submitted a document, USSR-460, which deals with the Moscow notes.
COL. POKROVSKY: My Lord, the point is that yesterday the Tribunal made a decision about submitting to the attorneys for the Defense extracts from USSR-460. Today the prosecutors have exchanged opinions among themselves; and the Prosecution of the United States, represented by Mr. Dodd; Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe for Great Britain; and myself for Russia, have agreed that it is necessary for us to request you to permit us to read into the record here today the three brief extracts referring to Doenitz, to Keitel, and to Jodl so that they will be included in the record. These are the excerpts which yesterday the Tribunal did not allow to have read into the record as evidence. If we understood the Tribunal rightly it was due to lack of time as the session was dragging on.
Due to these circumstances these three extremely important excerpts-important from our point of view-the accuracy of which was confirmed yesterday by the Defendant Doenitz, have not been included in the transcript of the session. For that reason I am requesting just about 5 minutes time to read these excerpts into the record today, on behalf of the Prosecution of the three countries.
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THE PRESIDENT: What would be the most convenient course, Dr. Siemers? Would you like to have them read now so that you can put any questions upon them?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I make some remarks about this document? The Soviet Delegation has been kind enough to put the original at my disposal. I perused the original yesterday, and I looked at the extracts. The Soviet Delegation desires to retain the original but has also been kind enough to put instead a photostatic copy of the extracts involved at the disposal of the High Tribunal. I am completely in agreement with the suggestion, but I personally do not have the intention of putting any questions on this document, which is clear to me.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. SIEMERS: And so I would like to ask that the resolution put forth by the High Tribunal yesterday be upheld, that this should not be read, just as other documents were not read out either.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky, the document was originally in German. Presumably it has been translated into Russian; it has certainly been translated into English. Unless the French members of the French Prosecution want it read if it hasn't been translated into French there doesn't seem to be any use in taking up the time of the Tribunal by reading it into the record. We have got the document in English, and we have all read it.
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I think there is one reason. Even if it is read into the record, it will at least be tomorrow before the transcript is available for the defendants who are referred to, and this witness, or this defendant, will be off the stand. If they want to cross-examine about what he has said about them, then we will have, I suppose, to bring this defendant back on the stand. I think we will lose far more time by doing that, rather than now having Colonel Pokrovsky take 5 minutes to read it. They will all hear it, and then if they want to examine about it, they can do so promptly.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, very well.
Dr. Siemers, if you don't want to ask any questions about it, you can conclude your re-examination now, and then Colonel Pokrovsky can read the document. Then any of the other defendants can question the witness if they want to, upon it.
DR. SIEMERS: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Would that not be the best way, Colonel Pokrovsky?
COL. POKROVSKY: Yes, certainly.
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DR. SIEMERS: I agree, Mr. President, but I do believe that this document need not be read, because Mr. Dodd was somewhat mistaken when he said that the defendants are not familiar with this document. They and their counsel are thoroughly familiar with it. I believe everyone knows it, and I do not think that it needs to be read. However, in the final analysis, it really makes very little difference to me personally.
THE PRESIDENT: If the defendants' counsel do not want it read then the Tribunal does not want to have it read unless defendants' counsel want to ask questions upon it.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Mr. President, I, as defense counsel for Admiral Doenitz, am not interested in having the document read. I know the document.
DR. SIEMERS: I have just been advised that the Defense Counsel know the document and do not put any value on having it read nor do they wish to put any questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Well then, Mr. Dodd and Colonel Pokrovsky, it does not seem that it serves any useful purpose to have it read.
MR. DODD: No, I am satisfied, Your Honor. I have not heard from Keitel's attorney; I assume he is satisfied. I am just concerned that at some later date-a very interesting document to us, of course-and I am just concerned some question may be raised and I am also sympathetic to the desires of these defendants not to have it read publicly.
The Defendant Schacht's counsel has not spoken either. I think it might be well, Mr. President, if we had a careful statement from counsel for each of these men that they do not want to question or, if so, that we can be completely sure that it will not be raised again.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the defendants' counsel are all here or all the defendants are represented and they must clearly understand what I am saying and I take it from their silence that they acquiesce in what Dr. Siemers has said, that they do not wish the document to be read and they do not wish to ask any questions.
COL. POKROVSKY: I have not understood your decision, My Lord. Are you permitting me to read into the record these few excerpts or are you not?
THE PRESIDENT: No, Colonel Pokrovsky; I am saying that as the defendants' counsel do not wish the document to be read it need not be read.
COL. POKROVSKY: We do give a great deal of importance and significance to this document as it involves not only the interests
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of the Defense but also the interests of the Prosecution. The document was accepted by the Tribunal yesterday but for some reason only a very small part of the characterization given therein by
Admiral Raeder was included in the stenographic record for the day. I do not see any reason why these excerpts should not be read into the record now, and why the witness Raeder, who intimately knew the Defendants Doenitz, Keitel, and Jodl, should not hear the excerpts here and now.
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Pokrovsky and Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal ruled yesterday that it was unnecessary that the document should be read and the Tribunal adheres to that decision in view of the fact that the defendants' counsel do not wish it to be read and have no questions to put upon it.
Yes, Dr. Siemers.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I will now conclude my examination of Admiral Raeder. I do not know whether other questions will be put to Admiral Raeder.
THE PRESIDENT: Is there any question which has arisen out of the cross-examination which the defendants' counsel want to put?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I should like to put two questions, Mr. President.
[Turning to the defendant.] Admiral, in cross-examination you were confronted with orders and memoranda as to the U-boat warfare.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Do you consider yourself responsible for these decrees dealing with the U-boat warfare which you issued during your term as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy?
RAEDER: I consider myself fully responsible for all decrees issued as to the U-boat warfare which took place under my responsibility as well as every naval operation which I ordered. In the Naval Operations Staff: and together with the officers of the Naval Operations Staff I worked out these directives; I approved memoranda and in accordance therewith I gave my orders. The Commander of the U-boat fleet was solely the tactical commander of U-boats. He transmitted the orders and he carried through the details of the operations.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Admiral, yesterday Sir David charged you that he could not determine who actually gave the orders to change the log book of the U-boat which sank the Athenia. Admiral Godt testified in answer to my question that he had issued this order at the request of Admiral Doenitz. Do you know of any facts which would show this testimony of Admiral Godt to be incorrect?
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RAEDER: Actually I was never concerned with this case. I only decreed the three points which have come up here several times.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: Therefore, you consider Admiral Godt's testimony as being correct?
RAEDER: I assume that it is correct since everything else he said was very reliable.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUEHLER: I have no further questions, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: The defendant can return to the dock.
DR. SIEMERS: Then, with the permission of the High Tribunal I should like to call my first witness, the former Reich Minister of the Interior, Severing.
[The witness Severing took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please.
KARL SEVERING (Witness): Karl Severing. I am 70 years old and I live at Bielefeld.
THE PRESIDENT: Wait one minute. Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
You may sit down.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, please tell the High Tribunal what role you played in the Social Democratic Party up until the year 1933 and the principal ministerial posts you held up until the year 1933.
SEVERING: At the age of 16 1/2 I entered the labor union movement and when I was 18 years old I entered the Social Democratic Party and as a result of that fact I held honorary positions in the Party at a relatively early age.
In the year 1905 I became councillor in the city of Bielefeld. I was member of the Reichstag from 1907 until 1912; and I again became a member of the Reichstag and at the same time a member of the Prussian Diet in 1919. I was in the Reichstag and in the Prussian Diet until 1933. I was Minister in Prussia from 1920 until 1921; then again from 1921 to 1926, and from 1930 until 1933; from 1928 until 1930 I was Reich Minister of the Interior.
DR. SIEMERS: When and why did you leave public life?
SEVERING: I retired from official public life in July 1932, and from political life when the Social Democratic Party was prohibited.
DR. SIEMERS: Were you arrested when leaving public life in 1933, or perhaps at a later date and, if so, at whose order?
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SEVERING: I was arrested on the very same day on which the Enabling Act was scheduled to be read and passed in the Reichstag. The order for my arrest was signed by the then Minister of the Interior, Herr Goering, who at that time was also President of the Reichstag and, if I may utter an opinion, who would have had the obligation, as President of the Reichstag, to protect the immunity of the members of the Reichstag. Under breach of this immunity I was arrested the moment I entered the Reichstag building.
DR. SIEMERS: But you participated in the vote on the Enabling Act?
SEVERING: The Chairman of the Social Democratic Reichstag faction had complained to Goering against the treatment to which I was subjected with the result that I was given leave to vote. But the voting had already come to a close. However, Reichstag President Goering still permitted me to give my "no" vote for the Enabling Act.
DR. SIEMERS: You were arrested thereafter but only for a very short time?
SEVERING: On the next day I had to appear for further interrogations. I was permitted to leave Berlin on the second day and was given the order to hold myself ready at my home in Bielefeld for further interrogations.
DR. SIEMERS: Despite your well-known anti-Nazi attitude, you were not arrested later and put in a concentration camp, if I am not mistaken.
SEVERING: I was never in a concentration camp; thanks to the respect-and I say this with all modesty-which the old Prussian officials, my previous subordinates, had for me. At the end of October 1933 I heard from the Police Chief in Bielefeld that trouble was brewing for me. The police notified me that they would not be able to give me any protection and advised me, therefore, to leave Bielefeld for several months. I followed this advice and, from October 1933 until the end of March 1934, I lived in Berlin using a false name. I first stayed with friends, and then I went to a small Jewish sanatorium at Wannsee. I feared another arrest in August 1944; according to someone whom I knew in the police my name was on a list of people who were to be arrested summarily-men and women who were suspected of having plotted against Hitler in July 1944.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you say '44 or '34?
DR. SIEMERS: '44. After the attempted assassination of Hitler of July 1944.
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SEVERING: May I continue?
DR. SIEMERS: Please do.
SEVERING: After the attempted assassination of Hitler orders were given to the police to arrest certain people. My name was on the Bielefeld list. Then a police official whom I knew from the past pointed out that I was close to my seventieth year and had lost my son in the war. Thus he succeeded in having my name struck off the list.
DR. SIEMERS: Aside from what you have told us now, did you suffer any further disadvantage at the hands of the National Socialists?
SEVERING: Well, I was considerably hindered in my movements. I was not especially surprised that my mail was censored and my telephone tapped. I considered that as a matter of course. But I could not even take a trip without being followed and watched by the police.
If you do not mind, I should like to call your attention to the fact that in addition to material damages there is also harm to one's ideals (ideelle Schaedigungen), and in this respect I suffered a great deal at the hands of the National Socialist Party after it assumed power. A political measure, taken in connection with the polls of 1932, was used against me, I might say, in a criminal way. They talked about me and my friend Braun as the "thieves of millions," and this epithet was also applied to the members of my family.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, is this witness going to give any evidence which has relevancy to the defendant's case?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, bring him to it then as quick as possible.
DR. SIEMERS: Very well.
[Turning to the witness.] Herr Minister, try to be as brief as possible in this connection. It is of course true that with respect to your ideals you suffered harm as well, but as the basis of my examination and your testimony I would like to ascertain whether serious harm was caused to you and I would like to have you tell us, but briefly, whether National Socialism...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, what relevancy has this got to Raeder's case?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, my intention is to show that Minister Severing, after a brief description of his life during Nazism can, without bias, give entirely impartial answers in reference to Raeder. Since he had no advantages but rather disadvantages at
the hands of the Nazis and on the other side...
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THE PRESIDENT: Well, you have dealt sufficiently with the disadvantages now. Go to the matter which relates to Raeder. He has given us, from 1933 to 1944, a fairly general account of his life and that ought to be sufficient.
DR. SIEMERS: The Prosecution accuses the Defendant Raeder, that in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy he violated the Treaty of Versailles, in the intention of carrying on aggressive wars, and that behind the back of the Reich Government. In order to shorten the testimony, I would like to point out to you that it is an undisputed historical fact that Germany, in developing her Navy within the framework of the Versailles Treaty, violated the stipulations of the Versailles Treaty. All that is known to the Tribunal. Even before this time, the government applied for the construction of armored cruiser A within the compass of the Versailles Treaty. A great inner political conflict arose over the construction of this cruiser and, in connection with a debate before the Reichstag on this cruiser, the witness made a speech. I have a brief excerpt from this speech which I should like to submit to you and which I should like to read. Mr. President, this is Exhibit Number Raeder-5, to be found in Document Book 1, Page 13. This is an extract from a speech by the former Reichsminister Karl Severing before the German Reichstag on 20 January 1928.
[Turning to the witness.] Herr Minister, at this period of time you were not a Minister; rather, you gave this speech as a deputy of the Social Democratic Party?
SEVERING: Yes, that is correct.
DR. SIEMERS: The extract reads:
"Now the armored cruiser. The fact that a government, which knows precisely what gigantic sums we must raise during the coming year, should make such demands, is, to say the least, quite surprising. It says, the Peace Treaty permits it- yes, but the Peace Treaty also decrees the payment of reparations. The 9,300,000 marks demanded for this year will play their decisive part only in the consequences entailed which would require the raising of several hundred million marks, which during the next few years seems to me absolutely impossible. Considering the development of weapons for naval warfare, I am not convinced of the military value of armored cruisers. It may be that armored cruisers are the backbone of the defense at sea, as the government says. But, to form an active fighting unit (Gefechtskoerper), the backbone must also be made up of other elements, of U-boats and airplanes; and as long as we are not allowed to build these, armored cruisers are of very little value even for defense."
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Is that extract from the speech correct?
SEVERING: Yes, that extract is reproduced correctly.
DR. SIEMERS: Is it right to conclude here that the Social Democratic Party and you, personally, at that time, were of the opinion that the Wehrmacht which was granted Germany by the Versailles Treaty might not be sufficient for a defensive war?
SEVERING: That is correct.
DR. SIEMERS: Will you please comment on that a little more extensively.
SEVERING: That the 100,000-man army granted to Germany was not sufficient even for a defensive war was and is known today possibly to everyone in Germany concerned with politics. Germany got into a very bad situation with regard to her eastern neighbors since the establishment of the Corridor. The insular position of East Prussia forced Germany even at that time to take measures which I reluctantly helped to carry out; but the population of East Prussia had a right to be protected against attacks which were threatening from the East. I am not speaking about an aggressive war and I am not speaking of any plans of the Polish Government; but I would like to refer you to the fact that in the years 1919, 1920, and 1921, there were aggressive groups in Poland who set foot on German soil, possibly with the idea of establishing a fait accompli...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, this evidence is all a matter of argument. Not only is it a matter of argument, but we have had it over and over again from nearly all the defendants and a good many of their witnesses; and, surely, it is not assisting the Tribunal in the very least to know what this witness said in 1928 or what view he took in 1928.
DR. SIEMERS: May it please the High Tribunal, I believe this will become clear in the following. Minister Severing was a member of the government that held this cabinet meeting of 18 October 1928. I agree with the High Tribunal that the matters have been heard frequently-these things only once, however-but I should like to point out that Sir David even yesterday in crossexamination accused the defendant, despite his testimony, that, against the will of the Reich Government and against the wish of the Parliament, he had violated the Treaty of Versailles. If, therefore, after the testimony of Raeder, the Prosecution persists in their opinion, I have no other possibility to prove the incorrectness of the opinion of the Prosecution than by questioning a witness who...
THE PRESIDENT: The question whether the Treaty of Versailles was violated is a question of fact and, of course, upon that
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you can give evidence and you did give evidence through the Defendant Raeder; but this witness is not talking about the question of fact. He is arguing that Germany was entitled to defend herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. That is what I understood his evidence to be and that is a question of argument, not a question of fact.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, as far as I know juridically . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the class of evidence which has just been given by this witness will not be listened to by the Tribunal; If you want to prove facts by him, you can prove them, but you cannot prove arguments or his views upon arguments.
DR. SIMMERS: Could Germany with her Wehrmacht protect herself against the incursions in Silesia by Poland?
SEVERING: In the year 1920 the Wehrmacht would not have been able to protect Germany in East Prussia; therefore, it was necessary to protect the population of East Prussia, and this was achieved in that I, personally, agreed that all weapons which were found in East Prussia were to be given to the population. Under conditions which applied at that time, it was, even for purposes of inspection, very hard to pass through the Corridor by rail; so that in 1920, I had to make a tour of inspection by way of water from Stolpmuende to Pillau. I am mentioning this fact to show the difficulties of transportation through the Corridor. In 1920 and '21, it was not possible for the German Wehrmacht to prevent attacks of Polish insurgents in Upper Silesia and, I am sorry to say, and I emphasize "I am sorry" that a certain self-defense had to be created in order to protect and defend German life and German property.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, were the measures with regard to rearmament as they were wanted and accounted for since January 1928 by Reichswehrminister Groener based on defensive or offensive ideas as far as you know Groener?
SEVERING: As far as I am acquainted with Groener and his own personal way of carrying on his office, everything that he conceived and carried out was in view of defense.
DR. SIEMERS: Then this should also apply to the armored cruiser A. I should like to know why the Social Democratic Party, which was interested in the idea of defense, was against the building of this armored cruiser.
SEVERING: In 1928 the Social Democratic Party was against the building of the armored cruiser as the economic situation did not warrant expenses which were not absolutely necessary. And the Social Democratic Party wanted to prove and to show that
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they did everything within their power in order to make the much-discussed disarmament a reality. They did not believe that the building of an armored cruiser would be a favorable gesture for the bringing about of appropriate negotiations.
DR. SIEMERS: On 28 June 1928 a new Reich Government was formed. Mueller was Reich Chancellor; Stresemann was Foreign Minister, and you were Minister of the Interior. What position did your government take to the then pending problem of universal disarmament stipulated in Versailles, or to the then pending problem of rearmament by Germany?
SEVERING: I have just made a reference to this problem. We were of the opinion in the Social Democratic Party, even after entering the Mueller government, that we would have to use all our efforts in order to solve just this problem. In September of 1928 the then Reich Chancellor Mueller, replacing the Foreign Minister Stresemann who was ill, went to Geneva in order to bring this problem up before the League of Nations. Mueller made a very resolute speech which, if I remember correctly, was received very coolly by Allied statesmen; so that any practical- suggestions for the realization of disarmament could not be hoped for in the near future.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, in July 1928 you spoke with Reichswehrminister Groener about the budget and specifically about the fact that secret budgets of the Wehrmacht, on the armored cruiser and so forth, had become known. What attitude did you take in this connection and what were the results following your agreement with Groener?
SEVERING: In order to answer this question I would like to touch again on the extract from my speech, which you just submitted to the High Tribunal. In the same Reichstag session in which I gave this speech, the Reichswehrminister Groener appeared for the first time as successor of Gessler. I had said a few farewell words in honor of Gessler who was leaving. I greeted the new Minister with the remark that my political friends would show him respect, but that he would have to earn our confidence first. It was probably while thinking of this remark that Groener came up to me in the first session of the Mueller Government and said that he was looking forward to a sincere collaboration with me. I quoted a passage from Iphigenie on that occasion, "May there be truth between us." Only complete sincerity would make possible fruitful co-operation, I said.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal thinks that this is an absolute waste of time and this speech of the witness is entirely irrelevant. Why do you not ask him some questions which have some bearings on the case of Raeder?
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DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I remind you that the Prosecution has made the accusation that the rebuilding was undertaken by means of a secret budget and that a secret rearmament was carried on with the idea of starting wars of aggression. It is not quite clear to me how I can cross-examine the witness in any other way than by asking him how these secret budgets, which to a certain extent are practically identical with violations of the Versailles Treaty, were dealt with in his government. That is exactly what I just questioned the witness on.
THE PRESIDENT: This speech that you have drawn our attention to is simply a speech in which he said that he did not think that armored cruisers were of any use. That is the only meaning of the speech, except insofar as it refers to the fact that reparations had not been paid. For the rest it simply says that armored cruisers, in his opinion, are of no use.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I may not and do not wish to make a plea here. In the speech which I read something else is said. It says there that the Social Democratic Party was against the building of this armored cruiser, because of economic reasons and not because of strategic reasons, and that if an armored...
THE PRESIDENT: What has that got to do with a charge of making an aggressive war in 1939?
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, I did not raise the accusation of an aggressive war; the Prosecution did that, but I have to protect my client against the accusation that in 1928 he had intentions of carrying on an aggressive war; I assert that he had no intention of that sort, that the Reich Government knew about the violations of the Treaty, that the Reich Government took the responsibility for them, and the testimony of the Minister will show that these are actual facts which were challenged only yesterday.
THE PRESIDENT: Ask him some direct questions on issues of fact. Then the Tribunal will listen to them if they are relevant, but the Tribunal considers that the evidence of his speech that you have been dealing with is an utter waste of time.
DR. SIEMERS: I shall try to be brief. As a result I shall put questions to the witness which he will answer one by one.
[Turning to the witness.] You just said that you demanded of Groener confidence and absolute truthfulness. Did you ask him in this connection for enlightenment on the secret budgets and the violations of the Treaty of Versailles which had taken place up to that time?
SEVERING: I specifically asked him for enlightenment since, in January of 1928, the then Reich Chancellor Marx had frankly admitted that under Kapitaen Lohmann in the Navy Department
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there had been misrepresentations in the budget which could not be in accordance with good bookkeeping and political honesty.
DR. SIEMERS: What did Groener reply?
SEVERING: Groener then told me that he had the intention of discussing these matters at a cabinet meeting and of clarifying all these matters.
DR. SIEMERS: Were the commanders-in-chief of the two branches of the Wehrmacht to be present at this meeting?
SEVERING: On 18 October they were to appear and did appear.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, when did you meet Admiral Raeder for the first time?
SEVERING: The first official contact, according to my recollection, was made the beginning of October 1928, probably on the day when he paid me an official visit on my assuming office.
DR. SIEMERS: As Exhibit Number Raeder-6, I submitted to the High Tribunal, as the High Tribunal will probably recall, a speech by Raeder dated 23 January 1928. There was a covering letter with this document. This letter will now be submitted to the witness.
[Turning to the witness.] According to this document, did your meeting with Raeder take place on 5 October 1928, 5 days after the appointment of Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the Navy?
SEVERING: This discussion probably took place on that day. May I mention...
DR. SIEMERS: Just a moment, Herr Minister. I think it will be safer if you look at the letter. There it says: "Following our discussion of 5 October. . ." May I ask you to confirm to the High Tribunal that this report made by Raeder was saved by you and that it is a true and authentic copy?
SEVERING: The letter which I put at your disposal is the original of the letter by Raeder. It is in accordance with the incidents which you just mentioned.
DR. SIEMERS: Then, on 5 October this conversation with Raeder did take place. Were the conversations between you and Raeder basically in accordance with the ideas expressed in this speech?
DR. SIEMERS: Do you recall that in this speech Raeder declared emphatically that a war of aggression was a crime?
SEVERING: Yes, I remember that.
DR. SIEMERS: Did you on the occasion of this conversation tell Raeder that you had agreed with Groener that the actual violations of the Treaty of Versailles would have to be discussed and clarified and that a cabinet meeting would have to be held?
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SEVERING: I do not recall this detail, but it was quite probable.
DR. SIEMERS: Did you demand of Raeder that between yourself and him there should be absolute sincerity and truthfulness?
SEVERING: Of Raeder, too, but especially of the chiefs of the Army.
DR. SIEMERS: As a result of this discussion with Raeder, did you have the impression that you could work with Raeder in a satisfactory manner and that he would tell you the truth?
SEVERING: Yes, I had that impression.
DR. SIEMERS: On 18 October 1928 the cabinet meeting which we have already mentioned took place. May I ask you to describe briefly that cabinet meeting, provided it is agreeable to the High Tribunal to have the witness picture this session. I believe that a description of this session would save time, rather than to have me ask single questions. Therefore, Herr Minister, be brief in telling us what happened.
SEVERING: At this session, members of the cabinet were familiarized with the details of what might be considered a concealment of the budget or violations of the Versailles Treaty. Both gentlemen, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, spoke, if I remember rightly.
DR. SIEMERS: Did the entire cabinet attend?
SEVERING: Yes, perhaps with the exception of one or two members who were ill, but it was a session which in general might be called a plenary session.
DR. SIEMERS: The principal members were present?
DR. SIEMERS: Were Mueller, Stresemann present?
SEVERING: I cannot tell you whether Stresemann was present. He was still ill in September and whether he had recovered by 18 October, I cannot say. But I might add, that if Herr Stresemann was not present, certainly someone else was present as an authorized deputy from the Foreign Office.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Admiral Raeder and General Heye at this meeting expressly give the assurance to the cabinet-as I remember, in form of an affidavit-that only those violations had occurred which were mentioned by them?
SEVERING: Whether that was proclaimed in a solemn manner by affidavit or by word of honor, I cannot say; but, in any event, at the request of the Reich Chancellor and especially at my own request, they said that no further violations would take place.
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DR. SIEMERS: They assured you specifically that there would be no further violations without the knowledge of the Reich Government?
SEVERING: Yes, exactly that.
DR. SIEMERS: And over and above that, they stated that now the Cabinet knew about everything?
DR. SIEMERS: A declaration to that effect was made?
SEVERING: Yes, such a declaration was made.
DR. SIEMERS: Were important matters connected with these secret budgets or violations of the Treaty of Versailles?
SEVERING: I may state here and have to admit even that since I was used to violations of the Versailles Treaty, I was especially interested in the extent of the violations with regard to the sum. I wanted to know what I could do in my new capacity against secret arms-bearers and against illegal organizations; and I asked what was the total sum involved. I was thereupon told-and I believe that this was set down and confirmed in writing later- that perhaps 5 1/2 to 6 million marks was the amount involved in these secret budgets.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, you remember the budget figures of those days better than I do. What can we gather from these figures? Must we conclude that they were grave violations involving aggressive intentions or may we gather that in the final analysis they were just trifles?
SEVERING: I do not have the figures as they apply to the budget plans of the Navy and the Army. I cannot quote the figures from memory. But the impression I gained from the reports of the two Wehrmacht leaders was that only trifles were involved. It was this impression which caused me to assume a certain political responsibility for these things, and especially in view of the fact that we were assured that further concealment of budget items or other violations were not to occur in future.
DR. SIEMERS: Do you remember that Groener at this session declared that the small infringements of the Treaty dealt purely with defense measures, with antiaircraft guns, coastal fortifications, et cetera?
SEVERING: I cannot give you the details today, but I might remind you that all the speeches which Groener made at the time when he was Defense Minister were along these general lines. In all of his speeches in the Reichstag, Herr Groener expressly declared that he was an advocate of sound pacifism. In answer to your
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question I reply that Groener's statements, and also my own, were based on defense and defensive measures.
DR. SIEMERS: In other words at the end of this session, the Reich Government expressly accepted the responsibility for these infringements and the small secret budget items?
SEVERING: To the extent that we have mentioned.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Raeder in the future adhere to the clear directives of the Reich Government?
SEVERING: I cannot answer that in a positive manner, but I can say that I did not observe any violations on the part of the Navy in respect to the agreements during my term of office as Minister of the Interior.
DR. SIEMERS: Are you personally of the opinion, since you know Raeder sufficiently well, that he kept the promise he made to you not to resort to secret violations?
SEVERING: Raeder gave me the impression that he was an honest man and I believed that he would keep his word.
DR. SIEMERS: Just one more question, Herr Minister. Of course, you cannot remember the details, but do you perhaps recall that on the occasion of the cabinet meeting of 18 October there was discussion about a Dutch firm which was designing U-boats?
SEVERING: No, I cannot give you details of the discussion; but I do know that at that period of time, there was much talk-either in another cabinet meeting or by a subcommittee of the Reichstag or by a different parliamentarian body-of experimental workshops which had been established for the Army and the Navy in Russia, Sweden, and Holland.
DR. SIEMERS: Purely experimental workshops?
SEVERING: I can say only that there was talk to this effect. Whether these experimental workshops had been established I cannot tell you from my own experience.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, could Germany, by reason of governmental discussions going on at the time, hope that some day, despite the Versailles Treaty, she would be permitted to build U-boats?
SEVERING: The leading statesmen...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, how can he answer that there was a hope that they would be allowed to build U-boats? That is what your question was, was it not; was there a hope?
DR. SIEMERS: I know, Mr. President, these questions were already dealt with by the governments which obtained through the years 1928 to 1932; and I believe that Stresemann carried on these
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discussions. Since Stresemann is no longer alive, I would like to ask Herr Severing on this point.
THE PRESIDENT: It seems to the Tribunal that it is mere political gossip.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, on whom did it depend what was brought up in the Reichstag? Raeder is accused of acting behind the back of the Reichstag. Who submitted this to the Reichstag? Did Raeder do that?
SEVERING: I do not quite follow you. Who submitted the budget, you mean?
DR. SIEMERS: Yes.
SEVERING: The budget went through the hands of the experts of the various Ministries and the entire Cabinet, and the budget was submitted to the Reichstag by the Cabinet.
DR. SIEMERS: The matter of dealing with the budget before the Reichstag was a matter for the Reich Government and not for the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, is that right?
SEVERING: Inasmuch as a budget item was submitted to the Reichstag, the competent Reich Minister took care of it in the main committee and the plenary session of the Reichstag, but the political responsibility was assumed by the entire Reich Cabinet.
THE PRESIDENT: It was never alleged as to the Defendant Raeder that he had submitted the budget to the Reichstag; it was never put to him.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, yesterday it was asserted...
THE PRESIDENT: Don't argue! Go on with any other questions.
DR. SIEMERS: Do you recall whether at the end of 1929 you talked with a member of the government with regard to the various leading personalities in the Wehrmacht, and that you made a comment which subsequently became known concerning certain personalities?
SEVERING: Yes, it is correct that on one occasion I had been asked to give a personal estimate of certain military personalities. I named Groener and Raeder in this connection.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, how many concentration camps do you know of?
SEVERING: How many do I know of now?
DR. SIEMERS: I am sorry; not now. How many did you know of before the collapse of Germany?
SEVERING: Perhaps 6 to 8.
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DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, did you know before the collapse of Germany or rather did you know in 1944 already about the mass murders which have been dealt with so frequently in this proceeding?
SEVERING: I gained knowledge of concentration camps when murder, if I may say so, became professional and when I heard of a few cases which affected me personally very deeply. First of all, I was told that the Police President of Altona, a member of the Reichstag and a Social Democrat of the right wing of the Party, had been murdered in the concentration camp at Papenburg. Another friend of mine, the chairman of the Miners Union, Fritz Husemann, is said to have been murdered shortly after his being committed to the same concentration camp. Another friend of mine, Ernst Heimann, was beaten to death in the Oranienburg Camp according to the reports received by his family.
Dachau was known even in the north of Germany as a concentration camp. Some Jewish inmates returned from Buchenwald in the spring of 1939, and in that way I learned of this camp. Columbia House at Berlin I figured to be a concentration camp also.
That was my only knowledge of camps and their horrors up until the time when the London radio started to report about concentration camps. I perhaps might mention another case. In 1944 a friend of mine, a member of the Reichstag, Stefan Meier, who had served 3 years in the penitentiary, was put into a concentration camp in or near Linz. After a brief stay there he was murdered, according to reports received by his family.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, you just heard of these and similar individual cases?
DR. SIEMERS: You were not familiar with the fact that thousands were murdered every day in gas chambers or otherwise in the East?
SEVERING: I believed I should tell the High Tribunal only of those cases which were, so to say, authentically reported to me. Everything I learned of later through indirect reports, from my friend Seger or from the book of the now Generalintendant Langhoff, had been told me but I had no possibility of checking up on their accuracy.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Minister, did you and your Party friends have the possibility...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, are you going to finish this examination, or are you going on? Do you see the clock?
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DR. SIEMERS: Yes, I should like to leave the decision to the High Tribunal as to whether we shall have a recess now. I understand there will be a cross-interrogation so that.. .
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but presumably you know what questions you are going to ask; I don't.
DR. SIEMERS: I cannot say exactly what answer the witness is going to give. It might take perhaps another 10 minutes, Your Honor.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will adjourn now till a quarter past 2 o'clock.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1415 hours.]
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will not sit on Saturday morning.
Now, Mr. Dodd, could you tell us what the position is with reference to the documents of the Defendants Von Schirach, Sauckel, and Jodl?
MR. DODD: As far as Von Schirach is concerned, we are waiting for a ruling on those documents concerning which we were heard on Saturday. I'm sorry, that was on Seyss-Inquart. I wasn't sure the documents were ready.
These documents are all ready; they are all translated and in book form.
THE PRESIDENT: Will it be necessary to have any further discussion of them?
MR. DODD: I believe not, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, then, we can take it that we needn't have another argument about those documents.
MR. DODD: No, Sir, I comprehend no need for any further argument on Von Schirach's documents.
With reference to Sauckel, I have asked our French colleagues what the situation is, since they have the primary responsibility. And so far as the Prosecution is concerned, I am told that Mr. Herzog of the French Prosecution staff is on his way here and he will be able to report more accurately.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we can mention that at a later stage then. Schirach at any rate then is ready to go on?
MR. DODD: He is ready to go on.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MR. DODD: Sir David has the information about the Defendant Jodl.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Mr. Roberts.
MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, the position with regard to Jodl's documents is that Dr. Jahrreiss produced for me a draft book, just before Easter, which had a certain number of documents, all except four of which had already been exhibited, and therefore no objection could be taken to them.
My Lord, the other four were all short. Two, I thought, were objectionable on the ground that they referred to alleged war crimes by one of the Allies. But, My Lord, they were so short that I thought the best course would be for them to be translated-they were only
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a page or so, each of them-so that when the books had been translated any objection could be taken, and then the Tribunal could shortly decide the matter.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, as there are only four of them and only two which might be objected to, that can be dealt with when we come to hear the case.
MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, there are only two.
THE PRESIDENT: We needn't have any special hearing for it.
MR. ROBERTS: No, My Lord, certainly not. It could be disposed of in a very few minutes.
PROFESSOR DR. FRANZ EXNER (Counsel for Defendant Jodl): Mr. President, I should like to say one more word about these Jodl documents. We are having difficulties over one document. It is the affidavit of Lohmann, which we submitted in German, but which was not translated into English for us on the grounds that only such documents could be translated which the Prosecution had already accepted; and the Prosecution had adopted the standpoint that it cannot express any opinion on that document as it has not been translated into English.
I have mentioned this in a brief petition to the Tribunal, and I hope that the Tribunal will settle the matter.
MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, Lohmann's affidavit which is very short-it goes principally to character-and it is really not objectionable, but I had to point out that it hadn't actually been allowed by the Tribunal in their order. The Tribunal ordered it in regard to...
THE PRESIDENT: If it is accepted in the translation, that is al} that is necessary.
MR. ROBERTS: My Lord, I entirely agree, and it is all on one page.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, very well. Let it be translated.
MAJOR JONES: May it please the Tribunal, it may be convenient for me to indicate to the Tribunal at this stage of Raeder's case that with regard to the witness Lohmann, the Prosecution does not now desire to cross-examine that witness in view of the documents which are before the Court, and the fact that the matters his affidavit dealt with were dealt with yesterday by my learned friend Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, in his cross-examination of Raeder, and finally, in view of the passages of time.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any other members of the Prosecution want to cross-examine Lohmann?
MAJOR JONES: No, My Lord.
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THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel want to ask any questions of Lohmann?
Very well, then I understand that the witness Lohmann is being kept here and perhaps a message could be given to the Marshal that he needn't remain.
M. JACQUES B. HERZOG (Assistant Prosecutor for the French Republic): Mr. President, in the name of the French Prosecution I should like to say a word about the documents presented by Sauckel's defense. I have no objection to the presentation of these documents with the reservation, of course, that a ruling on them be made after they are presented. We have no objection to the documents being translated or presented.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you think it is necessary or desirable for there to be a special hearing with reference to the admissibility, or can that be done in the course of the Defendant Sauckel's case? At the moment I apprehend that the documents have been looked at for the purpose of translation. They have now been translated. If you think it necessary that there should be any special hearing before the case begins, as to admissibility, we should like to know. Otherwise they would be dealt with in the course of the case, in the course of Sauckel's case.
M. HERZOG: I think, Mr. President, it will be sufficient if the Tribunal deals with these documents during the course of the defendant's case. I do not think we need a special hearing as far as these documents are concerned.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
DR. SIEMERS: Minister Severing, as far as I have been able to ascertain, you have inadvertently not yet answered one of my questions clearly.
With reference to the concentration camps you said that you had heard of certain individual cases, and you named the individual cases. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I just want to ask you in conclusion: did you hear of the mass murders which have been mentioned in this Trial, whereby at Auschwitz, for instance, an average of about 2,000 persons a day were exterminated in the gas chambers? Were you in possession of this knowledge before the collapse, or did you not know anything about that either?
SEVERING: I knew nothing whatsoever about these mass murders, which only became known in Germany after the collapse of the Hitler regime, partly through announcements in the press and partly through trials.
DR. SIEMERS: Minister Severing, what could you and your friends in the Party do during the National Socialist regime, against
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the National Socialist terror which you have partly mentioned, and did anyone abroad support you in any way in this respect?
SEVERING: If you will limit the question to asking what I and my political friends could do and did do after 30 January to combat the Hitler regime, then I can only say-but little. If there was any question of resistance against the Hitler regime, then that resistance was not a centrally organized one. It was restricted to the extent that in various cities the opponents of the Nazis met to consider how one might, at least by propaganda, overcome the mental terror. No open resistance was possible.
But perhaps I should here draw your attention to the following: On 30 January I personally made a decisive attempt-or rather an attempt which, in my opinion, might have proved decisive-to oppose the Hitler regime. In the autumn of 1931 I had an interview with the Chief of the Army Command, Von Hammerstein, during which Von Hammerstein explained to me that the Reichswehr would not allow Hitler to usurp the seat of the President of the State. I remembered that conference, and on 30 January 1933 I inquired whether Von Hammerstein would be prepared to grant me an interview. I wanted to ask him, during that interview, whether he was still of the opinion that the Reichswehr would not only declare itself to be against the Hitler regime, but would oppose such a regime by force of arms.
Herr Von Hammerstein replied to the effect that, in principle, he would be prepared to have such an interview with me, but that the moment was not a propitious one. The interview never took place.
If you were to ask me whether in their efforts to fight the Hitler regime, at least by propaganda, my political friends had received any support from foreign personalities whom one might have called anti-Fascists, then I must say-unfortunately no. On the contrary, we quite often noticed, with much sorrow, that members of the English Labor Party, not officials but private individuals, were Hitler's guests and that they returned to England to praise the then Chancellor Hitler as a friend of peace. I mention Philipp Snowden in that connection and the doyen of the Labor Party, Lansbury. In this connection I would like to draw your attention to the following facts: In the year...
THE PRESIDENT: The attitude of political parties in other countries has nothing to do with any question we have to decide, absolutely nothing.
DR. SIEMERS: I believe that this is sufficient. I have no further questions to ask, Herr Minister, and I thank you.
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DR. LATERNSER: Minister Severing, during your term of office was the figure of 100,000 men, conceded by the Peace Treaty of Versailles for a normal army, ever exceeded?
SEVERING: I have no official knowledge of that. I would assume, however, that that was not the case.
DR. LATERNSER: Do you know at all whether, at the end of 1932, the League of Nations made a promise or held out prospects that this Army of 100,000 could be increased to 300,000 men?
SEVERING: Here too I am unable to give you any official information. I can, however, give the following explanation: In 1932 I received a letter from a party friend of mine, Dr. Rudolf Breitscheid, who was a member of the League of Nations Delegation and in which he mentioned rumors of that kind but he also added other information...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, we don't think that rumors are relevant in the Trial. He says he can't give us any official information. He then begins to give us rumors. Well, we don't want to hear rumors.
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, what the witness is now saying is rather more than a rumor and I think you will probably be able to judge for yourself when he has entirely answered the question.
THE PRESIDENT: He is speaking of rumors. If you have any fresh question to ask him, you can ask him.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the increase of the Army from 100,000 to 300,000 men ever assume any palpable shape in the sense that the question was discussed elsewhere, too?
SEVERING: I have just told you that Dr. Breitscheid was a member of the League of Nations Delegation and that his information to me was not a fabric of his own invention. That information stated that an extension of the Army had been envisioned but that this extension would probably be made at the expense of the police. Dr. Breitscheid informed me accordingly.
DR. LATERNSER: Thank you very much, I have no further questions to ask.
DR. HAENSEL: You have just told us that you had no knowledge of the Jewish mass murders in Auschwitz before the collapse. Did you have any knowledge of other measures or deeds perpetrated against Jews which you could define as criminal?
SEVERING: I experienced one such case personally. In 1944 a friend of mine in Bielefeld, Karl Henkel, was arrested and transferred to a labor camp near Emden, and he was shot on the third day.
DR. HAENSEL: Do you know who arrested him, what authority?
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SEVERING: He was arrested by the Bielefeld Gestapo.
DR. HAENSEL: Did that occur in connection with some large-scale action or was it an individual case?
SEVERING: It appeared to me to be an individual case.
DR. HAENSEL: Did you hear of a number of such individual cases at that time, that is in 1944?
SEVERING: In 1944 I did not hear of any individual cases of murder, but I did hear of deportations from Westphalian towns to unknown destinations.
DR. HAENSEL: What authorities dealt with these deportations?
SEVERING: I cannot say for certain, but I assume that it was the Gestapo.
DR. HAENSEL: Are you of the opinion that considerable sections of the population knew of these occurrences?
SEVERING: You mean, of the deportations?
DR. HAENSEL: Yes.
SEVERING: They usually took place quite publicly.
DR. HAENSEL Are you of the opinion that the people were generally just as well acquainted with these events as the members of the organizations as, for instance, the ordinary SS man, or would you say that the ordinary SS man knew more than other people?
SEVERING: Oh yes. He was informed of the places of destination of these transports.
DR. HAENSEL: But I understood you to say, that the convoys were not escorted by the SS; you said it was the Gestapo.
SEVERING: Yes, I have just stated that I assumed that the Gestapo had conducted the arrests and the lootings, but I did not receive any assurances that this was exclusively the work of the Gestapo.
DR. HAENSEL: And as to the other measures-apart from such deportations-which might be called a kind of local pogrom, have I understood you to say that you did not hear of them often?
SEVERING: Local pogroms occurred in November 1938.
DR. HAENSEL: Did you, during the execution of such measures, of which we have frequently heard, make your own observations or did you remain at home?
SEVERING: I remained at home. I only saw the results of these pogroms afterwards in the shape of destroyed Jewish firms, and in the remains of the synagogues.
DR. HAENSEL: And to which organizations or groups do you attribute these events of November 1938?
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SEVERING: My own judgment would not have any decisive value, but I tell you quite frankly, it was the SA or the SS.
DR. HAENSEL: And what makes you think that it was precisely these two groups?
SEVERING: Because the members of these groups, in my home town of Bielefeld, were called the instigators of the synagogue fires.
DR. HAENSEL: By whom?
SEVERING: They were indicated by name by the population in general.
DR. HAENSEL: You knew about the concentration camps. Can you still remember when you heard about them for the first time? It is important at least to determine the year.
SEVERING: No. I cannot tell you that at the present moment. I can only reply to your question by referring to individual dates. The first murder in a concentration camp became known to me when I heard that, in the Papenburg Concentration Camp, the former member of the German Reichstag and Police President of Altona had been shot. That could have been either in 1935 or 1936, I am no longer sure when.
DR. HAENSEL: And later, did you hear of many other such cases, or did you have personal knowledge of them?
SEVERING: From personal knowledge which is so certain that I could give it with a clear conscience to the Tribunal only in the cases I mentioned this morning.
DR. HAENSEL: Were you told that concentration camps were places in which the political opponents of the regime were to be interned without anything worse happening to them than loss of liberty?
SEVERING: Whether I was told that?
DR. HAENSEL: Whether you were told that, whether you heard that?
SEVERING: No. On the contrary, I heard that concentration camps meant to the population the very incarnation of all that is terrible.
DR. HAENSEL: What do you mean by "population"? Do you also mean those sections of the population who had some official connection with the Party: small Party members, small SA men and small members of the SS?
SEVERING: I cannot say anything about that since I conversed nearly exclusively with opponents of the system.
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DR. HAENSEL: Do you believe that these opponents with whom you conversed presented a united front against anyone who wore a party emblem or a badge of some organization?
SEVERING: No. This question upon which you are dwelling affects wide sections of the population, their general humanitarian feeling, and their feeling of indignation about conditions in the camps, as and when the facts became known.
DR. HAENSEL: I asked my question with the intention of hearing whether this feeling of indignation was noticeable even in people who actually wore the emblem of the Party.
SEVERING: I assume so, but I cannot offer it to the Tribunal as a fact.
DR. HAENSEL: But were even these people exposed to the considerable pressure which you have alluded to?
SEVERING: They probably felt that their Party membership rendered them, in a certain sense, immune.
DR. HAENSEL: Do you believe that many people became members in order to benefit by this immunization?
SEVERING: Yes, I believe so.
DR. HAENSEL: I heard that you yourself were a member of the NSV; is that true?
DR. HAENSEL: Is it true that you were arrested after 20 July 1944?
SEVERING: I have already answered that question this morning. I was not arrested.
DR. HAENSEL: You were never arrested at all?
SEVERING: No, with the exception of the one case which I also mentioned this morning.
DR. HAENSEL: Did you at any time express the opinion that what had been achieved in Germany in the social sphere after 1933 did, to a considerable extent, represent the ideal of previous governments?
SEVERING: Yes, I expressed this as follows: "What was new was not good, and what was good was not new."
DR. HAENSEL: Do you believe that any German, be he a Party member, a member of the SS or not, must have had any knowledge of events at Auschwitz of which you yourself knew nothing at all?
SEVERING: No. He would not necessarily have to possess this knowledge. I would not go so far as to say that. But he might, perhaps, have known about it.
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DR. HAENSEL: And what exactly do you mean by "He might, perhaps, have known about it"?
SEVERING: Through guards escorting the transport echelons. They did not always remain in the area of the concentration camps; they usually returned.
DR. HAENSEL: And if they were sworn to the strictest secrecy?
SEVERING: Then they could not tell anything.
DR. HAENSEL: Do you know of cases where people were condemned for speaking of such matters?
DR. HAENSEL: Did you ever hear anything about the activities of the "special courts"?
SEVERING: No, in any case I heard nothing in connection with these particular activities of the "special courts."
DR. HAENSEL: But the sentences pronounced against people who listened to foreign broadcasts (Schwarzhorer) and to people accused of spreading so-called false rumors, were published very often in the papers. Did you never read them?
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, I have only one question to ask you. You told us this morning that in 1919 you were a member of the Weimar National Assembly. May I ask what the attitude of the National Assembly was-particularly of the faction of the Social Democrats of whom you too were a leader-towards the problem of the Austrian "Anschluss"?
SEVERING: During the time of the sessions of the Weimar National Assembly I was Reich and State Commissioner for the Rhineland and Westphalia, and was seldom able to participate in the debates of the Weimar National Assembly. I therefore have no detailed knowledge as to how these matters were formulated or expressed. But one thing I do know and that is, that it was practically the unanimous wish of the Assembly to include a paragraph, or an article in the Constitution, ratifying the "Anschluss" of Austria to Germany.
DR. STEINBAUER: Thank you. I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
MAJOR JONES: Herr Minister, you have told the Tribunal that in 1928 the Defendant Raeder assured you solemnly that there would be no further violations of the Treaty of Versailles without the knowledge of the Reich Cabinet. Did Raeder fulfill that assurance?
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SEVERING: I have already stated this morning that I cannot answer that in any positive sense. I can only state that violations of the agreement of 18 October 1928 by the Naval Command did not come to my knowledge.
MAJOR JONES: Did you know, for instance, of the construction in Cadiz, in Spain, of a 750-ton U-boat under German direction between the years 1927 and 1931?
SEVERING: No, no.
MAJOR JONES: My Lord, the authority for that statement of fact is the Document D-854.
And, Herr Minister, did you know that after its completion in 1931 that U-boat carried out trial runs under German direction and with German personnel?
SEVERING: No, I did not know anything about that either.
THE PRESIDENT: I think he said he didn't know of any violations.
MAJOR JONES: I am putting to you certain matters, and I suggest to you, Herr Minister, that it may well be that you were being deceived during this time. Do you agree with me about that?
SEVERING: I would not deny the possibility of deception, but I must very definitely declare that I did not know anything of the construction of a submarine.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at the Document C-156. This is a new extract from Captain Schuessler's Fight of the Navy against Versailles. You will see that the following entry appears on Pages 43 and 44:
"In 1930 Bartenbach succeeded, in Finland also, in making preparations for the construction of a U-boat answering to the military demands of the German Navy. The Naval Chief of Staff, Admiral Dr.h.c. Raeder, decided, as a result of the reports of the Chief of the General Naval Office, Konteradmiral Heusinger Von Waldegg, and of Captain Bartenbach, to supply the means required for the construction of the vessel in Finland. A 250-ton plan was chosen for this U-boat, so that the amount of 1 1/2 minion Reichsmark was sufficient for carrying out the project.
"The fundamental intention was to create a type of U-boat which would permit the inconspicuous preparation of the largest possible number of units which could be assembled at shortest possible notice."
Herr Minister, did you know that 1 1/2 million Reichsmark were spent in 1930 in connection with this U-boat construction?
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SEVERING: I have stated this morning that I was Minister in the Reich Ministry of the Interior from 1928 to 1930. I consider it necessary to determine these dates a bit more precisely. I resigned on 30 March 1930. If the year 1930 is mentioned in a general way, then it is not impossible that everything mentioned here was carried out after 30 March 1930.
MAJOR JONES: You have said that the rearmament that went on when you were connected with the Government of Germany was purely defensive. When did you realize that the Nazi Government's rearmament was not defensive but aggressive? At what date did you come to that conclusion?
SEVERING: From 30 January 1933 on. That both the choice and the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor of the Reich meant war, was not in the least doubted by me and my political friends.
MAJOR JONES: So that you realized from the first day of Nazi power that the Nazi Government intended to use force or the threat of force to achieve its political aims; is that right?
SEVERING: I do not know if knowledge and conviction are identical. I was convinced of it, and so were my political friends.
MAJOR JONES: I want to ask you one or two questions about the Defendant Von Papen. Did Papen use force in carrying out the Putsch which brought him to power in July 1932?
SEVERING: Von Papen did not personally exercise such force, but he did order it. When, on the morning of 20 July 1932, I refused to surrender voluntarily the office of the Prussian Ministry of the Interior to the man who had been appointed by Von Papen as my successor, I explained to him that I had no intention of doing so and in order to make my protest more emphatic, I pointed out that I would only give way to force. And then force was used in the evening of 20 July in my office. The newly appointed police president of Berlin appeared in my office, accompanied by two police officers. I asked these gentlemen whether they were authorized by the President of the Reich or by the Reich Chancellor to carry out this mission. When they answered "yes," I stated that I would leave my office rather than cause the shedding of blood.
MAJOR JONES: Did the Defendant Papen, when he secured power, purge the police and the government of anti-Nazis?
SEVERING: Yes. There are numerous indications that the intention existed to purge the police of all republican elements and to replace them with men who were first devoted to Von Papen and then to the National Socialists.
MAJOR JONES: I want to ask you one or two questions about the Defendant Goering.
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The Defendant Goering has stated, and the entry is on Page 5837 of the transcript of the proceedings (Volume IX, Page 258), that the institution of protective custody existed in Germany before the Nazis came into power. Is that true?
SEVERING: I would say that the institution of protective custody did exist, theoretically, and it was last formulated in the Prussian Police Administrative Law, in Paragraph 15. During my term of office protective custody was never applied in normal civilian life. The regulations in Paragraph 15 of the Police Administrative Law stipulated quite definitely that if anybody was taken into protective custody the police administration was obliged to bring him before the courts within 24 hours. This procedure is in no way identical with that protective custody, the threat of which for decades remained suspended over the peaceful citizens of the State.
MAJOR JONES: And, of course, there were no concentration camps in pre-Nazi Germany, I take it?
MAJOR JONES: How many of your political associates and colleagues of the Social Democratic Party were murdered in concentration camps while Goering was still Chief of the Gestapo?
SEVERING: It is very difficult to make an estimate. You might say 500, you might also say 2,000. Reliable information is now being collected. My estimate is that at least 1,500 Social Democrats, or trade union officials, or editors were murdered.
MAJOR JONES: And how many Communist leaders do you think were murdered during Goering's period of power over the Gestapo?
SEVERING: I would assume that if you include among the Communist leaders also such trade union officials, who considered themselves members of the Communist Party, then approximately the same figure would be reached.
MAJOR JONES: Did Goering personally have any knowledge of these murders?
SEVERING: That I cannot say. If I were to answer that question, then I should have to ask myself what I would have done in case it had been one of my functions to administer camps in which the fate of tens of thousands was being decided.
I am not sure whether it is of any interest to the Tribunal if I were to give you one or two examples from my own experience.
In 1925 I had to create a camp for refugees from Poland.
MAJOR JONES: You need not trouble to go into that, Herr Minister.
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SEVERING: No? At any rate I would have considered it my first and foremost task to inquire whether, in the camps which I had installed, the principles of humanitarianism were being adhered to. I was under the impression that this was not being done. I always reminded my police officials that they were servants of the people and that everyone in those camps should be humanely treated. I told them that never again should the call resound in Germany, "Protect us from the police." ("Schutz vor Schutzleuten"). I myself demanded punishment for police or other officials when I was under the impression that defenseless prisoners were being ill-treated by members of the police.
MAJOR JONES: As Minister of the Interior, did you become familiar with the organized terror of the SA against the non-Nazi population of Germany in the years after 1921?
SEVERING: Oh yes. Keeping an eye on the so-called armed organizations was one of my most important tasks during my term of office in Prussia. The roughest of all the armed organizations proved to be the SA. They sang songs such as: "Clear the streets for the Brown Battalions" and with the same arrogance with which they sang these songs, they forcibly became masters of the streets, wherever they encountered no adversary worth mentioning. Another rowdy song of theirs seemingly illustrated their program: "Hang the Jews and shoot the bigwigs." Wherever the SA could exercise terror unhindered, they raged and blustered in such style. They waged beer-hall battles with people of different opinion. These were not the customary skirmishes between political opponents during election fights. No, this was organized terror. During the first Jewish boycott in 1933, they stood on guard to frighten those customers from buying in department stores who were accustomed to buy in these stores. As the Tribunal already know, they organized the terror actions of 8 November 1938. In 1930 they also damaged numerous Jewish shops in Berlin, possibly as a worthy prelude to the convening of the Reichstag into which 107 National Socialists entered at the time, as we know.
MAJOR JONES: Finally, I want to ask you one or two questions about the Defendant Schacht.
When did you first hear of Schacht's relations with the Nazi leaders?
SEVERING: In 1931 I received information from the police administration in Berlin, that interviews had been taking place between Mr. Schacht and the leaders of the National Socialist German Workers Party.
MAJOR JONES: Did you have any connections with Schacht in 1944?
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SEVERING: If the matter is of any interest here to anybody, I actually refused these connections. Schacht-although I held him in high esteem as an economic expert-was known to me as a rather unreliable person in political matters. By joining the Harzburg Front, Schacht betrayed the cause of democracy. This was not only an act of ingratitude, for it was only through the Democrats that he ever reached the post of President of the Reichsbank, but it was also a great mistake since he and others of the same social standing by joining the Harzburg Front first made the National Socialists-so to speak-socially acceptable.
I could not, for this very reason, agree to any co-operation with Schacht on 20 July 1944, and when in March 1943 I was asked to join a government which was to overthrow Hitler, I categorically refused to do so, giving Schacht's machinations and sundry other circumstances as my excuse.
MAJOR JONES: What was your reason for that?
SEVERING: I have just indicated these reasons. My friend Leuschner, who was hanged, together with other young Social Democrats-Von Harnack, Weber, Maas-my friend Leuschner and I discussed the composition of such a government. Leuschner informed me that a general would probably be the President of the Reich, and another general would be the Minister for War.
I pointed out that Schacht in all probability would become financial or economic dictator, since Schacht was suitable for such a post through his actual or alleged connections with American business circles. But these connections between Schacht and-in National Socialist parlance-between plutocracy and militarism, this connection, I say, appeared to me so compromising to the cause of democracy, especially to the cause of Social Democracy, that I was under no circumstances prepared to become a member of any cabinet in which Schacht would be the financial dictator.
MAJOR JONES: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to re-examine?
DR. SIEMERS: Minister Severing, the Prosecutor has just talked about the construction of a U-boat in Finland and of a U-boat in Cadiz. With regard to the construction of the U-boat in Cadiz, he has referred to D-854. I presume that this document is unknown to you.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Siemers, the witness said he knew nothing about either of those instances.
DR. SIEMERS: Thank you.
[Turning to the witness.] Do you not remember that during that discussion Admiral Raeder and Reichswehrminister Groener mentioned the Finland U-boat?
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SEVERING: I do not remember.
DR. SIEMERS: You do not know about it? And now-a leading question: Is it true that the agreement made on 18 October 1928 stipulated that the Chief of the Naval Command Staff was obligated to keep the Reichswehrminister informed and the Minister of the Reichswehr, in his turn, would inform the other Ministers of the Cabinet?
SEVERING: As far as I can remember, the agreement or the promise of the two Chiefs of the Command Staffs was that the Cabinet should, generally speaking, be kept informed about all questions. That was technically possible only in the manner in which you have just indicated, that is to say, that the Reichswehrminister would be the first to be informed and that he, in turn, would pass this information on to the Cabinet.
DR. SIEMERS: So that there was no obligation, on Raeder's part, currently to report to you or to appear before the Cabinet?
SEVERING: That would have been quite an unusual measure, just as the meeting of 18 October was in itself unusual; the members of the Cabinet consisted either of the Ministers or of their official representatives.
DR. SIEMERS: So that the further management of the matter would technically be handled by the Reichswehrminister?
SEVERING: Technically by the Reichswehrminister and politically by the Cabinet.
DR. SIEMERS: Thank you very much. I have no further questions to put to the witness.
DR. EGON KUBUSCHOK (Counsel for Defendant Von Papen): On what legal regulation was your exemption from the duties of Minister of the Interior in Prussia, on 20 July 1932, based?
SEVERING: The release from my duties?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes. The release from your duties.
SEVERING: It was based on Article 48.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Who, on the strength of Article 48, issued emergency decrees?
SEVERING: This emergency decree was issued by the Reich President, who alone was entitled to do so.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Was the fact that you were removed from office on 20 July, under the circumstances which you have just described, based on the fact that Von Papen and Hindenburg, who issued the decree, were of the opinion that the emergency decree was legal, whereas it was your point of view that the legal basis
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for the emergency decree did not exist and in consequence you remained in your office?
SEVERING: I was of the opinion, and it was later confirmed by the Supreme Court (Reichsgericht) that the President of the Reich was authorized on the strength of Article 48 to issue directives for the maintenance of peace and order; and if he did not see in the Prussian Ministers, and particularly in myself as Minister of Police, sufficient guarantee that this peace and order would be insured in Prussia, he had the right to relieve us of our police functions, and especially to exclude us from all other executive measures. But he did not have the right to discharge us as ministers.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Is it known to you that the highest court in Germany, the State Court of Justice, on 25 October 1932 issued a statement to the effect that the decree of the Reich President of 20 July 1932 was compatible with the Constitution insofar as it had appointed the Reich Chancellor as Reich Commissioner for Prussia and authorized him temporarily to deprive Prussian Ministers of their official functions and to assume these functions personally.
SEVERING: I have just explained the meaning of that decision of the High Court of Justice.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: One more question: Did Von Papen, then Reich Commissioner, in carrying out certain changes in personnel, bring National Socialists into the police force?
SEVERING: I cannot say. The political character of the police officials was not outwardly recognizable. That might be the case with Oberpraesidenten, Regierungspraesidenten and police presidents, but not with every simple police official.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Is it true that Von Papen gave the key position of police president in Berlin to the former police president of Essen, Melcher, who in your time was already police president
of a large city?
SEVERING: That is correct.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Now then, the witness can retire and the Tribunal will now adjourn.
How many more witnesses have you got?
DR. SIEMERS: I now have the witnesses, Freiherr Von Weizsaecker and Vice Admiral Schulte-Moenting, the Chief of Staff. The examination of Schulte-Moenting will take up some time, whereas I shall be through with Freiherr Von Weizsaecker in a short while.
THE PRESIDENT: All right.
[A recess was taken.]
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DR. SIEMERS: If it please Your Honors, may the Witness Freiherr Von Weizsaecker, be called?
[The witness Von Weizsaecker took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
ERNST VON WEIZSAECKER (Witness): Ernst von Weizsaecker.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. SIEMERS: Baron Von Weizsaecker, at the beginning of the war you were State Secretary in the Foreign Office, is that correct?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes.
DR. SIEMERS: You will recollect that on 3 September 1939, that is on the first day of the war between Germany and England-the English passenger ship Athenia was torpedoed northwest of Scotland. There were American passengers on board. The sinking of the ship naturally caused a great sensation. Please tell the Tribunal how this matter was treated politically, that is, by you.
VON WEIZSAECKER: I remember this incident, but I am not certain whether it was a British or an American ship. In any case, the incident alarmed me very greatly at the time. I inquired of the Naval Operations Staff whether a German naval unit could have sunk the ship. After this was denied, I begged the American Charge d'Affaires, Mr. Alexander Kirk, to call on me and told him that no German naval unit could have participated in the sinking of the Athenia. I asked the Charge d'Affaires to take cognizance of this fact and to cable this information to Washington without delay, adding that it was most important in the interests of our two nations-Germany and America.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, you had contacted the Navy before taking these steps?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes.
DR. SIEMERS: Did you, at this first conversation, talk to Admiral Raeder personally or did you speak with some other officer?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I could not say that now, but I did get definite information. I am sorry I cannot give you the full details. But I did receive a definite answer that no German naval unit was involved. That satisfied me.
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DR. SIEMERS: In connection with this subject did you, on the same day or shortly after, visit Admiral Raeder and discuss this matter further with him?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I believe that is true. I can recap. Yes.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Raeder tell you on this occasion that it could not have been a German U-boat, since reports coming in from the U-boats said that the distance from the nearest U-boat was too great, that is-about 75 nautical miles?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Raeder informed me that no German U-boat could have been involved. He may also have mentioned details, concerning the distance of the U-boats from the point where the ship went down, but I cannot today tell you about this with any certainty.
DR. SIEMERS: During this conversation with Raeder, did you declare that everything should be done to avoid war with the United States, referring particularly to incidents like the sinking of the Lusitania in the previous war?
VON WEIZSAECKER: That I certainly and emphatically did, for at that time the recollections of similar past incidents during the first World War were still very vivid in my mind. I am sure I drew his attention to the urgent necessity of avoiding all naval operations which might cause a spreading of the war and-as I used to say in those days-decrease the "neutral substance."
DR. SIEMERS: Did Raeder share your opinion?
VON WEIZSAECKER: To the best of my recollections-yes.
DR. SIEMERS: Are you convinced, Herr Von Weizsaecker, that Raeder gave you truthful answers in this report about the Athenia?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Of course.
DR. SIEMERS: Now U-boat Number 30 returned from her combat mission on 27 September 1939, that is-about three weeks after the sinking of. the Athenia, and her commander reported
that he had inadvertently sunk the Athenia. He had not noticed the fact at the time but was apprised of the incident later by various wireless messages. Raeder heard about it at the end of September, and discussed the matter with Hitler in order to decide what attitude should be adopted. Hitler issued an order enjoining silence. All this has already been discussed here. I would like you to tell me if you were informed of the fact, subsequently established, of the sinking by a German U-boat.
VON WEIZSAECKER: No, certainly not.
DR. SIEMERS: Did you hear of Hitler's order enjoining silence?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I naturally did not hear of that either.
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DR. SIEMERS: I shall now have Document Number 3260-PS handed to you and I must ask you to have a look at it. It is an article entitled "Churchill Sinks the Athenia," taken from the Voelkischer Beobachter of 23 October 1939. Do you remember this article?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes. Perhaps I may look through it.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, may I inform you, in order to assist the Tribunal, that this is GB-218 in the British Document Book Number 10a, Page 97, to be correct-Page 99.
[Turning to the witness.] Herr Von Weizsaecker, you have read this article. May I ask you to tell me whether you recall having read this article at the time of its appearance?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I do recall that such an article did appear at that time.
DR. SIEMERS: Then may I ask you further what your attitude was at the time when you heard about this article?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I considered it a perverted fantasy.
DR. SIEMERS: Then you condemned this article?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Naturally.
DR. SIEMERS: Even though at the time you did not know yet that it was a German U-Boat?
VON WEIZSAECKER: The question of whether it was a German U-boat or not could in no wise influence my opinion of the article.
DR. SIEMERS: Then you considered this article objectionable, even if it had not been a German U-boat?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Of course.
DR. SIEMERS: Now the Prosecution asserts that Admiral Raeder had instigated this article and is reproaching him very gravely on moral grounds for this very reason, and the reproach is all the graver since, as we have seen, Raeder at this time-unlike yourself -knew that it was a German U-boat which had sunk the Athenia. Do you consider such an action possible on Raeder's part? That he could have instigated this article?
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute, Dr. Siemers, you can only ask the witness what he knew and what he did. You cannot ask him to speculate about what Raeder has done.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon, Mr. President. I believed that, according to this morning's affidavit, it would be possible to voice an opinion; but I shall, of course, retract my question.
THE PRESIDENT: What affidavit are you talking about?
DR. SIEMERS: The affidavit in which I suggested the expunging of any expression of opinion, Dietmann's affidavit.
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THE PRESIDENT: That is a perfectly different matter.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, did you at that time hear that Raeder had instigated this article?
VON WEIZSAECKER: No, I did not hear that; I would never have believed it either. I consider it entirely out of the question that he could have instigated an article of that sort or that he could have written it himself.
DR. SIEMERS: To your knowledge, could this article be traced exclusively to the Propaganda Ministry?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I can only answer this question in the negative; not to Raeder and not to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, are you in a position to judge whether grave points were involved in the historically-known violations committed by the Navy against the Treaty of Versailles?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I can only answer that question indirectly. The details are unknown to me. But I can scarcely consider it possible that grave or important violations could have occurred, for it is precisely in naval matters that the observance of contract agreements is particularly easy to control. Ships cannot be built without being seen. I must therefore assume that these infringements were of an insignificant nature.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, in your opinion, did the Defendant Raeder prepare a war of aggression or do you know of any case from which Raeder's attitude...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, that is the very charge against the Defendant Raeder which the Tribunal has got to decide.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, in February 1939, when you traveled by train from Hamburg to Berlin with Admiral Raeder, did you converse with him? And what was the occasion and what did you discuss?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes. It is quite trite that I met Admiral Raeder on the train from Hamburg to Berlin, after the launching of a ship at Hamburg. On this occasion the Admiral told me that he had just made a report to Hitler in which he said he had made it quite clear that the size of the Navy would preclude any war against England for years to come. I presume that this is the reply to the question which you wished to receive from me.
DR. SIEMERS: That was in February 1939?
VON WEIZSAECKER: It was the launching of the Bismarck.
DR. SIEMERS: Then it is known to the Tribunal, for the launching of the Bismarck is entered in the records.
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VON WEIZSAECKER: It must have been in the spring-in February or March.
DR. SIEMERS: Did Raeder's declaration at that time have a calming influence on you?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I heard Raeder's declaration on the subject with very great pleasure because there could be no other. . .
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we do not care whether it had a calming influence on him or not.
DR. SIEMERS: In your opinion, and to the best of your knowledge, did Raeder-either as a politician or as a naval expert- exercise any influence over Hitler?
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, the witness can tell us what Raeder said, but he really cannot tell us in what capacity he was speaking, whether as a politician or an admiral. If you want to know whether he had his uniform on...
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, did you have any conversations with Raeder or with any other high-ranking personages?
VON WEIZSAECKER: About what?
DR. SIEMERS: About Raeder's influence on Hitler.
VON WEIZSAECKER: It was a well-known fact that political arguments expressed by soldiers scarcely influenced Hitler at all, although military arguments of a technical nature certainly did carry weight with him, and in this sense Raeder may have exercised some influence over Hitler.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, in the winter of 1938 to 1939, the usual large diplomatic dinner party took place in Berlin and you, as far as I know, were present at this dinner. On this occasion Raeder spoke to Sir Nevile Henderson about the probable return of Germany's colonies...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, why do you not ask him instead of telling him. You are telling him what happened.
DR. SIEMERS: No.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you are.
DR. SIEMERS: I beg your pardon; this was a conversation between Raeder and Sir Nevile Henderson, not between Herr Von Weizsaecker and Henderson.
I am now asking you, Herr Von Weizsaecker, did you have a conversation to this effect with Sir Nevile Henderson or with other British diplomats? And do you know anything about their attitude?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I cannot recall having spoken personally with any British diplomats about the question of the colonies. On
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the other hand, I do know that between 1934 and 1939 the question of the colonies was repeatedly handled by the British Government either officially, unofficially or semiofficially, and their attitude was expressed in a friendly and conciliatory manner. I believe I can remember reading a report on the visit of two British ministers to Berlin and that on this occasion the question of the colonies was also discussed in a conciliatory manner.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, can you tell us anything about the behavior or the reputation of the Navy during the Norwegian occupation?
VON WEIZSAECKER: An occupational force always finds it difficult to be popular anywhere. But with this one reservation I should like to state that the Navy, as far as I heard, enjoyed a good, even a very good, reputation in Norway. This was repeatedly confirmed to me during the war by my Norwegian friends.
DR. SIEMERS: You made these Norwegian friendships at the time you were Minister in Oslo? When was that?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I was Minister in Oslo from 1931 to 1933.
DR. SIEMERS: Now, one last question. A document, D-843, was submitted yesterday, signed by Breuer who was with the Oslo Legation in March 1940. May I submit this document to you?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Am I to read the entire document?
DR. SIEMERS: I think it would suffice if you were just to glance through it, especially over the middle part of the document.
[Turning to the President.] Mr. President, it is GB-466 and the document was submitted yesterday.
[Turning to the witness.] According to this document Breuer stated that the danger of a British landing in Norway was not so great as was assumed by the other side, and he speaks of measures only by which Germany might be provoked. What can you ten us about these statements of Breuer's? Are these statements correct?
VON WEISS SICKER: Breuer was not with the Legation-he was the Minister himself-and I take it for granted that he reported correctly on the subject from an objective or rather, if I may say so, subjective point of view. Whether this was really correct from an objective point of view or not, is quite another question. To put it in plain German, whether Breuer was correctly informed of the intentions of the enemy forces is another question.
DR. SIEMERS: Herr Von Weizsaecker, according to the information you subsequently received from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, were Raeder's misgivings justified or was the picture, as painted by Breuer, correct?
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VON WEIZSAECKER: I must confess that my personal opinion tallied with the opinion of Breuer, although both our opinions subsequently proved to be incorrect and the conjectures of the Navy were justified, or-at least-more justified than the opinion voiced by the Minister.
DR. SIEMERS: Thank you very much indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the Defense Counsel want to ask any questions of this witness?
DR. ALFRED SEIDL (Counsel for Defendant Hess): Witness, on 23 August 1939, a nonaggression pact was concluded between Germany and the Soviet Union. Were any other agreements concluded on that day by the two governments, outside of this pact of nonaggression?
GENERAL R. A. RUDENKO (Chief Prosecutor for the USSR): Mr. President, the witness is called upon to answer certain definite questions which are set forth in the application of counsel for the defendant, Dr. Siemers. I consider that the question which is being put to him at this moment by the defense counsel Seidl has no connection with the examination of the case in hand and should be ruled out.
THE PRESIDENT: You may ask the" question, Dr. Seidl, that you were going to ask.
DR. SEIDL: I ask you again, Herr Von Weizsaecker, whether on 23 August 1939, other agreements had been reached between the two governments, which were not contained in the nonaggression pact?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes.
DR. SEIDL: Where were these agreements contained?
VON WEIZSAECKER: These agreements were contained in a secret protocol.
DR. SEIDL: Did you yourself read this secret protocol in your capacity of State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Yes.
DR.SEIDL: I have before me a text and Ambassador Gaus harbors no doubt at all that the agreements in question are correctly set out in this text. I shall have it put to you.
THE PRESIDENT: One moment, what document are you putting to him?
DR. SEIDL: The secret addenda to the protocol of 23 August 1939.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that not the document-what is this document that you are presenting to the witness? There is a document
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which you have already presented to the Tribunal and which has been ruled out. Is that the same document?
DR. SEIDL: It is the document which I submitted to the Tribunal in my documentary evidence and which was refused by the Tribunal, presumably because I refused to divulge the origin and source of this document. But the Tribunal granted me permission to produce a new sworn affidavit by Ambassador Gaus on the subject in question.
THE PRESIDENT: You have not done it? You have not done it?
DR. SEIDL: No, but I should, Your Honor, like to read this text in order to stimulate the memory of the witness, and to ask him whether in connection therewith, as far as he can remember, the secret agreements are correctly reproduced in this document.
GEN. RUDENKO: Your Honors! I would like to protest against these questions for two reasons.
First of all, we are examining the matter of the crimes of the major German war criminals. We are not investigating the foreign policies of other states. Secondly, the document which defense counsel Seidl is attempting to put to the witness has been rejected by the Tribunal, since it is-in substance-a forged document and cannot have any probative value whatsoever.
DR. SEIDL: May I in this connection say the following, Mr. President. This document is an essential component of the nonaggression pact, submitted by the Prosecution in evidence as GB-145. If I now submit the text to the witness. . .
THE PRESIDENT: The only question is whether it is the document which has been rejected by the Tribunal. Is it the document which has been rejected by the Tribunal?
DR. SEIDL: It was rebutted as documentary evidence per se.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then the answer is "yes."
DR. SEIDL: But it seems to me that there is a difference as to whether this document may be put to the witness during the hearing of his testimony. I should like to answer this question in the affirmative since the Prosecution when cross-examining can put the document in their possession to the witness, and on the basis of his testimony we should then see which is the correct text or whether these two texts harmonize at all.
THE PRESIDENT: Where does the document which you are presenting come from?
DR. SEIDL: I received this document a few weeks ago from a man on the Allied side who appeared absolutely reliable. I received it only on condition that I would not divulge its origin, a condition which seemed to me perfectly reasonable.
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THE PRESIDENT: Do you say that you received it a few moments ago?
DR. SEIDL: Weeks ago.
THE PRESIDENT: It is the same document that you say just now that you presented to the Tribunal and the Tribunal rejected?
DR.SEIDL: Yes, but the Tribunal also decided that I might submit another sworn affidavit from Ambassador Gaus on this subject, and this decision only makes sense. . .
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I know, but you have not done so. We do not know what affidavit Dr. Gaus has made.
DR. SEIDL: Ambassador Gaus' sworn affidavit, the new one, is already in my possession, but it has not yet been translated.
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I certainly join General Rudenko in objecting to the use of this document. We now know that it comes from some anonymous source. We do not know the source at all, and anyway it is not established that this witness does not remember himself what this purported agreement amounted to. I do not know why he can not ask him, if that is what he wants to do.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl you may ask the witness what his recollection is of the treaty without putting the document to him. Ask him what he remembers of the treaty, or the protocol
DR. SEIDL: Witness, please describe the contents of the agreement insofar as you can remember them.
VON WEIZSAECKER: It is about a very incisive, a very far-reaching secret addendum to the nonaggression pact concluded at that time. The scope of this document was very extensive since it concerned the partition of the spheres of influence and drew a demarcation line between areas which, under given conditions, belonged to the sphere of Soviet Russia and those which would fall in the German sphere of interest. Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Eastern Poland and, as far as I can remember, certain areas of Romania were to be included in the sphere of the Soviet Union. Anything west of this area fell into the German sphere of interest. It is true that this secret agreement did not maintain its original form. Later on, either in September or October of the same year, a certain change, an amendment was made. As far as I can recall the essential difference in the two documents consisted in the fact that Lithuania, or-at least-the greater part of Lithuania, fell into the sphere of interest of the Soviet Union, while in the Popish territory the line of demarcation between the two spheres of interest was moved very considerably westwards.
I believe that I have herewith given you the gist of the secret agreement and of the subsequent addendum.
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DR.SEIDL: Is it true that in case al a subsequent territorial reorganization, a line of demarcation was agreed upon in the territory of the Polish State?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I cannot tell you exactly whether the expression "line of demarcation" was contained in this protocol or whether "line of separation of spheres of interest" was the actual term.
DR. SEIDL: But a line was drawn.
VON WEIZSAECKER: Precisely the line which I have just mentioned, and I believe I can recall that this Line, once the agreement became effective, was adhered to as a general rule with possible slight fluctuations.
DR. SEIDL: Can you recall-this is my last question-if this secret addendum of 23 August 1939 also contained an agreement on the future destiny of Poland?
VON WEIZSAECKER: This secret agreement included a complete redirection of Poland's destiny. It may very well have been that explicitly or implicitly such a redirection had been provided for in the agreement. I would not, however, like to commit myself as to the exact wording.
DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, did you see the original of the secret treaty?
VON WEIZSAECKER: I saw a photostat of the original, possibly the original as well. In any case I had the photostatic copy in my possession, I had a photostatic copy locked up in my personal safe.
THE PRESIDENT: Would you recognize a copy of it if it was shown to you?
VON WEIZSAECKER: Oh, yes, I definitely think so. The original signatures were attached and they could be recognized immediately.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has been considering whether it ought to put to the witness the document in the possession of Dr. Seidl, but in view of the fact that the contents of the original have been stated by the witness and by other witnesses and that it
does not appear what is the origin of the document which is in Dr. Seidl's possession, the Tribunal has decided not to put the document to the witness. The Tribunal will now adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 22 May 1946 at 1000 hours.]