Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 16

Previous Day Volume 16 Menu Next Day
Nuremberg Trials Page

Monday, 17 June 1946

Morning Session

MARSHAL: If it please the Tribunal, report is made that the Defendants Fritzsche and Speer are absent.

[The Defendant Von Papen resumed the stand.]

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I am now going to deal with the events of January 1933 and I should like to say that I shall then not require any more time. The rest of the examination will be shorter so that I shall be able to conclude my examination of the defendant in the course of today.

Witness, on Friday you told the Tribunal that during the well-known conversation with Hitler on 4 January 1933 at the home of Schroder, you did not discuss the formation of the Cabinet which took place later, on 30 January. You also said that up to 22 January you did not take part in any political discussion. The Prosecution, however, asserts that you influenced the Reich President to name Hitler Chancellor on 30 January. Did you influence Hindenburg to that effect?

VON PAPEN: Before I reply, may I make a brief correction? Your Lordship asked me on Friday for the date of the evacuation of Jerusalem. I said it was 1918, but of course Your Lordship was right; it was in 1917. I beg your pardon.

Now in reply to your question: I did not exert any such influence on Reich President Von Hindenburg, but even if I had done so, it would not have carried any weight in the final decision of the Reich President. The political situation, as we shall see, left the Reich President only the choice between a violation of the Constitution and a Hitler Cabinet.

Furthermore, and I already mentioned this at the conclusion of the last session, it is plain from the historical events of January as reproduced in Document 9, Pages 27 through 31, that during the entire month of January until the 22d almost daily negotiations without my participation took place between the Reich Government and the various parties or among the parties themselves. All of these negotiations were concerned with the possible formation of a


17 June 46

majority in the Reichstag, but all of them were of no avail. I have explained that the Reich Chancellor, Von Schleicher, was trying to bring about a majority in the Reichstag by splitting the Party. This attempt, too, finally failed on 20 January; and that was obvious to the world, for on that day the Reich Chancellor authorized a statement in the Reichstag to the effect that he no longer attached importance to forming a majority in the Reichstag.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection I should like to refer to Document 9 in the first document book. I shall just read a few extracts from this document, Document 9, Page 27. The heading is:

"January 11, Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher receives leader of the German People's Party, Dingeldey."

On the next page, Page 28, is proof that on 12 January efforts to split the NSDAP through Strasser had not yet been abandoned. I shall quote from the beginning of the page:

"At the same time it has only now become known that the Reich President received Gregor Strasser last week for a conference. Strasser apparently expressed his intention of keeping in the background for the time being; only in the event of an unexpectedly sharp conflict between Hitler and Schleicher's Reich Cabinet would Strasser be likely to play a definite part."

In the meantime the Lippe elections took place and gave a clear picture of the development of the NSDAP.

I am quoting now from the middle of the paragraph under 15 January:

"The electoral victory of the NSDAP not only surprisingly refutes the assertions of the opposition concerning a decline of the National Socialist movement, but is also proof that the Movement is no longer at a standstill, and that a sharp rise has now become apparent."

Significant for the talks on the creation of a parliamentary majority were Schleicher's negotiations with the Center Party, led by Prelate Dr. Kaas. I quote from the last paragraph on Page 28:

"Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher receives Prelate Dr. Kass, Chairman of the Center Party, for a lengthy conference.

"In regard to the predictions on a reorganization of the Cabinet, the fiction is kept up in government circles that a Strasser-Hugenberg-Stegerwald combination is possible, despite the difficulties which these plans have undoubtedly encountered. Privy Councillor Hugenberg is said to have laid down the condition that undisturbed activity within the Cabinet for at least 1 year should be guaranteed."


17 June 46

On the next page, Page 29, I would like to refer to the last 10 lines or so of the statement of State Secretary Planck before the Council of Elders of the Reichstag.

"In the conversations referred to, the National Socialists are to assume the lead and to attempt to form all groups, from the National Socialists to the Center, into a majority front of the sort which failed to materialize at the end of 1932. The conduct of these negotiations, in which the Schleicher Cabinet is in no way involved, rests with Hitler. If on 31 January the Reichstag should be summoned and a conflict arise between Government and Reichstag or if such a conflict is brought about by other events, the proclamation of the often discussed state of emergency must to an increased extent be expected; The Government would then dissolve the Reichstag and set the date for the new elections in the early fall."

On the following page, Page 30, I should like to refer finally to the first heading...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, the Tribunal does not think it necessary to read all this detail. It is evident from the headlines of these entries that there were political negotiations which led to the assumption of power by the National Socialist Party. Is that not all that you want to say?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I want to prove that the formation of the Government on 30 January was an imperative solution arising out of the political parliamentary incidents of the day. Therefore, it is of relevance to note what took place at the time, what attempts failed, what other possibilities existed, and what...

THE PRESIDENT: What I mean is this: It appears, does it not, from the headlines of these entries. Really, you can read the headlines without reading the details. For example, on Page 30, the entry on 21 January, and those other entries, give the substance of the matter.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Very well, Mr. President. May I then be permitted to read Page 31, part of the text describing the historical events of the overthrow of Chancellor Schleicher on the 28th? Regarding the decisive conversation between the Reich Chancellor and the Reich President the following was officially announced:

"Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher submitted to the Reich President today his report on the situation, and declared that the present Reich Cabinet, on account of its character as a minority Government, would be in a position to represent its program and its views in the Reichstag only if the Reich President placed the dissolution order at his disposal. Reich President


17 June 46

Von Hindenburg stated that in view of the prevailing situation he could not accept this proposition. Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher hereupon submitted the collective resignation of the Reich Cabinet, which the Reich President accepted; the Cabinet was entrusted with continuing provisionally to discharge official business."

As proof for the fact that the possibility of Hitler forming a parliamentary government did not exist, I want to refer to a brief extract on Page 32:

"National Socialist sources again state categorically that for the National Socialists only a Hitler government can be considered. Any other attempts towards a solution must be prevented with the utmost vigor. This, of course, applies to a Papen cabinet; but a Schacht cabinet also is out of the question."

I should now like to refer to the next document, Document 8. In this document all the possibilities for the formation of a government are discussed in detail.

Witness, how did Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher react to this political situation?

VON PAPEN: After his efforts to split the Party and to bring about a majority in the Reichstag had failed, Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher asked the Reich President to give him dictatorial powers, which meant a violation of the Constitution. Thus he wanted the very thing which I had proposed to the Reich President on 1 December 1932 as the only way out of the situation, a proposal which the Reich President had accepted at that time but which General Von Schleicher had thwarted.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: A discussion took place on 22 January at the home of Von Ribbentrop at which, besides yourself, Goering, Meissner, and Oskar von Hindenburg were present. Was this discussion arranged on your initiative, or who suggested it?

VON PAPEN: The initiative for this discussion on the 22d was Hitler's, and he also suggested that Herr Von Ribbentrop should place his home at our disposal. The Reich President wished to know what Hitler thought about the solution for the political crisis, and what his proposals were. Therefore, the conversation of the 22d concentrated exclusively on the demands of the National Socialists, while the formation of a government as it took place on the 30th was not discussed.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On 28 January, at noon, the Reich President instructed you to begin negotiations for the formation of a new government. What possibilities for the formation of a government did you consider the political situation offered?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: The idea of forming a parliamentary majority government had been abandoned since 20 January; it was impossible. Hitler was not willing to lead or participate such a government.

Secondly, further support of the Schleicher presidential cabinet by means of a declaration of a state of emergency and the prorogation of the Reichstag, which was against the Constitution, had been rejected by the Reich President on the 23d. He had rejected these proposals, as we know, because Von Schleicher had told him in December that a violation of the Constitution would mean civil sitar and a civil war would mean chaos, "because I am not in a position," he said, "to maintain law and order with the Army and with the Police."

Thirdly, since Hitler offered to participate in a presidential cabinet, this was the only remaining possibility, and all the forces and political parties which had supported my Government in 1932 were available for this.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What were the instructions which the Reich President gave you?

VON PAPEN: The instructions given me by Von Hindenburg were as follows:

Proposal for the formation of a government under the leadership of Hitler, with the utmost restriction of National Socialist influence and within the framework of the Constitution.

I should like to add that it was quite unusual for the Reich President to ask any person to form a government which would not be headed by the person himself. In the normal course of events Hindenburg should, of course, have entrusted Hitler himself with the formation of a government; and he entrusted me with this task because he wished to minimize Hitler's influence in the government as far as possible.

. DR. KUBUSCHOK: And with whom did you negotiate?

VON PAPEN: I negotiated with the leaders of the rightist groups which might participate in the formation of this government; namely, the NSDAP, the German National People's Party, the "Stahlhelm," and the German People's Party.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On what lines did you suggest the formation of the new cabinet to the Reich President?

VON PAPEN: I suggested the only possibility which existed, namely, a coalition cabinet consisting of these groups.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, the Tribunal thinks that the defendant is going into far too much detail about this, because he has given his account of why the President sent for him and why he


17 June 46

had anything to do with it. And that is the only matter that concerns him. After he has given that explanation, it should not be necessary to go into any further detail about it at all.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, the Prosecution has made the charge that the very act of forming the government was a crime; he is therefore defending himself by stating that he tried to provide for a safeguard against the preponderant influence of Hitler in the government. It is relevant...

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; but that is what I said. He has given that explanation. He does not need to add all sorts of details to support that explanation.

I have written down, some moments ago, that the President asked him because he wished to minimize the influence of Hitler. Now he is going on with all sorts of details.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, he is merely trying to set forth in what way he wanted to limit Hitler's influence, and that is a very important point. He is going to tell us for what safeguards within this government he provided; the selection of personalities, all the other restrictions which were agreed upon to rule out the possibility of Hitler's influence becoming overpowering. This is a very important point in reply to the Prosecution's charges.

THE PRESIDENT: The defendant can do it as shortly as possible, and not do it in too great detail. That is all the Tribunal wants.

VON PAPEN: I shall be very brief, My Lord.

The safeguarding measures which I introduced at the request of the Reich President were the following: 1) A very small number of National Socialist ministers in the new cabinet; only 3 out of 11, including Hitler. 2) The decisive economic departments of the cabinet to be placed . in the hands of non-National Socialists. 3) Experts to be put into the ministry posts as far as possible. 4) Joint reports of Reich Chancellor Hitler and Vice Chancellor Von Papen to Hindenburg in order to minimize the personal influence of Hitler on Hindenburg. 5) I tried to form a parliamentary bloc as a counterbalance against the political effects of the National Socialist Party.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: To what extent did Reich President Von Hindenburg himself select the members of the new cabinet?

VON PAPEN: The Reich President reserved the right to appoint the Foreign Minister and the Reichswehr Minister. The first of these two key posts was given to Herr Von Neurath, in whom the President had special confidence; and the Reich Defense Ministry was given to General Von Blomberg, who also enjoyed the particular confidence of the Reich President. The National Socialist members


17 June 46

of this cabinet were only the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick, whose activity as Minister of the Interior for the State of Thuringia had been completely moderate, and the Minister without Portfolio, and later Prussian Minister of the Interior, Goering.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection I should like to refer to Document Book 3, Document Numbers 87 and 93, namely, an affidavit of the former Minister, Dr. Alfred Hugenberg, and an interrogatory of Freiherr von Lersner.

THE PRESIDENT: What page in Book 3 did you say?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Hugenberg's statement is on Pages 194-195; Lersner's on Pages 210-212.

The Prosecution asserts that the Government formed on 30 January took over the program of the NSDAP as its own. Will you explain now, Witness, what the basis of that Government's policy was.

VON PAPEN: The view held by the Prosecution is completely incorrect. The program which on 30 January we decided to adopt was not the program of the Nazi Party, but it was a coalition program. And this is perfectly plain from the proclamation which this Government issued to the German people on 1 February. And to give historical proof of this, may I quote two sentences from that proclamation? It says:

"The National Government will consider it as its first and foremost task to restore the spiritual and political unity of our people. It will consider Christianity as the basis of its general moral outlook and will firmly protect the family as the determining unit of the nation and the State.

"The tremendous problem of reorganizing our economy will be solved with two large Four Year Plans."

I should like to add just one sentence:

"This Government is fully conscious of the magnitude of its duty to support the maintenance and affirmation of peace, which the world now needs more than ever."

In addition, this coalition program, which the Prosecution describes as the Nazi program, contained the following points: Continued existence of the Lander and the federal character of the Reich; protection of justice and the legal system, permanent tenure of office for judges; reform of the Constitution; safeguarding of the 'rights of the Christian churches; and, above all, abolition of the class conflict through a solution of social problems, the restoration of a true national community.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you yourself do anything else to assure the application of your own political ideas?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: I did everything within my power, together with my political friends, to carry through the ideas which I myself had contributed to this political program. At that time the essential point seemed to me the creation of a counterbalance to National Socialism; and therefore, I asked the leaders of the rightist parties to give up the old party programs and to unite in a large, common political organization with the aim of fighting for the principles which we had enunciated. However, the party leaders did not act on this suggestion. Party differences were too marked and no changes took place. The only thing I accomplished was the establishment of a voting bloc of all three parties, and on behalf of this voting bloc I made many speeches in which I presented this program, this coalition program, to the country.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I want to refer to a speech delivered by the witness on 11 February on behalf of the voting bloc; it may be found in Document 12, Pages 54 and 5S. I quote from about the middle of Page 55, the following brief passage:

"Therefore, I consider the circumstance that the present Reich Cabinet is not made up of one single party or movement, but of various groups of the national movement, of free politicians and experts, not a disadvantage, but rather an advantage."

What specific questions were emphasized and underlined in the program of this voting bloc? You spoke of these questions in various speeches. In order to save time, I should like only to submit to the Tribunal the document dealing with this point, Document Number 10. Will you briefly explain your attitude, and comment on the various questions; first of all, the social problem?

VON PAPEN: The social problem was, of course, at the head of my program, because this question dominated all others. It was our task to make well-satisfied citizens out of the workers who were now engaged in class conflict and to give to each the opportunity of a livelihood and a home. I stated in the speech, which is contained in this document, that there would always be differences in property but that a small group should not possess everything while the great mass of the people had nothing. And above all, I again and again emphasized the fact that if we could succeed in solving the social problem we would, in that way, make an eminent contribution to peace in Europe.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was your program in foreign political matters?

VON PAPEN: The program was very simple. It consisted merely of the desire to do away, in a peaceful manner, with the discriminations against the German people and against our sovereignty.


17 June 46

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was your platform on religious questions?

VON PAPEN: It is plain from all of my speeches that I considered the regeneration of the German people in a Christian sense as the prerequisite for the solution of the social and all other problems which confronted us. I shall return to this point later.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to submit as evidence the document which I have already mentioned, Document Number 10; and I ask that the High Tribunal take judicial notice of it. Since a mistake affecting the sense of the translation has been made on Page 39 and since the question of dissolving the trade unions will play an important role later, I should like to read a brief paragraph on Page 39, about the middle of the page:

"I recognize that the trade unions have done much to imbue the working classes with professional honor and professional pride. Many trade unions, for instance the Union of Clerks, have made exemplary achievements in this respect. The conception of class conflict, however, stood in the way of real reform and constructive work in this direction.

"The Socialist parties prevented the trade unions' efforts to convert the workers into a class. If the trade unions would recognize the signs of the times and remain out of politics to a greater extent, then they could, especially now, become a strong pillar of the national life."

Please comment on the results of the elections on 5 March 1933.

I just want to draw the Court's attention in this connection to Document Number 98, in which I have set down a diagram of the election results in the years in question.

VON PAPEN: This election became extremely significant for later developments. First of all, I should like to state that this election was a truly free one, for it was conducted together with the old functionaries of the Republic; and that it was actually free is also shown by the fact that the votes of the Communists and of the Social Democrats did not decrease at all. I, personally, had expected that the NSDAP would be successful at the polls. In November 1932 I had taken away 36 of its seats in the Reichstag, and I expected that it would regain some of those seats. I had also Hoped that my own voting bloc would be very successful. I hoped that the people would realize the necessity of creating a counterbalance. However, this did not happen...

THE PRESIDENT: Surely the figures are sufficient for us. We

can form our own conclusions from the figures. We can see the figures. We do not need to have them all explained and commented


17 June 46

on to us. There are very much more important things for us to consider.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, will you now describe the events leading up to the Enabling Act of 23 March 1933.

VON PAPEN: The Enabling Act arose out of the necessity to have the economic measures carried out in an untroubled Reichstag session. Negotiations were conducted with the Center Party to obtain a 1-year parliamentary truce, but these negotiations failed. Hence this law which had some parallels in the past became a necessity. The Prosecution has emphasized this law as clear proof for the existence of a conspiracy. May I say, therefore, that I myself tried to provide for a certain check by desiring to maintain the veto power of the Reich President. The Cabinet records of 15 March show, however, that State Secretary Meissner did not consider the participation of the Reich President necessary.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to refer to Document Number 25, which is identical with Exhibit USA-578, to the attitude taken by Von Papen in this Cabinet discussion and to the standpoint just mentioned of State Secretary Meissner.

"Meissner, State Secretary of the minority Cabinet, of the Cabinet of the Reich President, and his excellent assistant."

I should also like to refer to Document 23, because from the enumeration of the emergency decrees in that document it is clear that in the state of emergency which obtained then it was not possible to govern by means of Reichstag laws and that the Enabling Act was to be a substitute for these emergency decrees which were being repeatedly issued.

I must make one correction: The standpoint of State Secretary Meissner is contained in Document 91, Exhibit USA-578.

[Turning to the defendant.] On 21 March 1933, an amnesty decree was issued. The Prosecution has described this decree as an unheard-of law. What can you say about it?

VON PAPEN: The Prosecution calls this law "sanction of political murder."

I should like to say the following about it: This law was issued in an emergency decree of the Reich President, not of the Cabinet; and it was a natural end of a revolutionary period which had lasted 7 weeks. There are very many historical parallels for this amnesty decree; for example, the law which was issued by the young German Republic on 21 July 1922 and which includes murder in the amnesty measures.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I now refer to Document 28, Page 99 of Document Book 1. This contains the law of 21 July 1922, which


17 June 46

concludes "the period of a state of unrest which obtained in the years 1920 and 1921." May I also refer to Page 100 of this Document Number 28 which contains the law of 20 December 1932 which has been mentioned.

On 23 March the law dealing with the special courts was issued. What can you say in that connection?

VON PAPEN: These special laws, or special court laws, are also not entirely new. I, personally, as Chancellor of the Reich issued such a law on 9 August 1932; and I based my action then on a directive of the Bruning Cabinet dated 6 October 1931. In revolutionary periods punishable political acts must be brought to speedy trial under the law.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I now point out Document 27, Page 89 of Document Book 1, especially the introduction preceding Paragraph 1, which shows that this emergency decree was based on the Bruning emergency directive of 1931.

On 1 April 1933 the Jewish boycott was carried out. Was this a measure taken by the Government? Did you participate in it in any way?

VON PAPEN: The assertion of Dr. Goebbels that the Cabinet had approved this measure was completely false. On the contrary, at the suggestion of the Cabinet Hitler had on 10 and 12 March made public announcements which my counsel will submit.

The Prosecution refers to the telegram which I sent to New York on the 25th as a "white lie of the greatest magnitude"; I can only say, however, that this assertion is completely unfounded. The public statements of Hitler gave us, in fact had to give us, the assurance that such excesses would not take place again. In that belief I sent my telegram. It would be inconceivable that on the 25th I should send a telegram to New York...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, I thought your question was: Did the defendant participate in these measures? I do not know what his answer is. He has been answering for some minutes, but I do not know what the answer is.

The question was: Did you participate? And I do not know what he has answered.

VON PAPEN: I said that the assertion of Goebbels that the Cabinet had approved this Jewish boycott was a lie.

THE PRESIDENT: Why not answer directly; did you or did you not participate?

VON PAPEN: No, we did not participate.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I refer to Document 33, Page 113, a statement by Hitler on 10 March, the last two lines:


17 June 46

"Annoying individuals, obstructing automobiles, or disturbing business life must absolutely be discontinued."

On the same page, Page 113, a declaration of Hitler on 12 March, last sentence of the paragraph next to the last:

"Whoever, from now on, attempts by individual action to cause disturbances in our administrative or business life, acts consciously against the National Government."

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, I did not intend to prevent the defendant telling the Tribunal what he had done with reference to his telegram to the New York Times, but I wanted him in the first instance to answer your question.

Now, if he wants to add anything about what he telegraphed to the New York Times, let him do so.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Will you then, please, go back to this point in connection with the New York Times.

VON PAPEN: I can only add, My Lord, that it would be quite inconceivable that on 25 April I should send this telegram to New York knowing that 3 or 4 days later a new Jewish boycott would be carried out; that is completely nonsensical. Moreover, I might point out that on the same day Herr Von Neurath sent a similar wire to Cardinal O'Connell.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Will you now give an account of your attitude to the Jewish problem?

VON PAPEN: My attitude toward the Jewish problem can be briefly delineated; it has always, throughout my life, been the attitude expected by the Catholic Church of its members. I stated my

view on the question of race, as regards National Socialist doctrine, quite publicly in a speech in Gleiwitz in the year 1933, and my counsel will submit that speech as evidence.

A completely different question not connected with my basic attitude toward the Jewish problem was, however, the kind of foreign monopoly, the overwhelming influence of the Jewish element in the spheres which form the nation's public opinion, such as press, literature, theater, film, and especially law. There seemed no doubt in my mind that this foreign monopoly was unhealthy and that it should be remedied in some way. But as I said, that had nothing whatever to do with the racial question.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer now to Document 16, Page 68, which contains an extract from the speech which, as the defendant mentioned, he made in the year 1934 at Gleiwitz. I quote:

"There are certainly no objections to race research and eugenics which endeavor to keep the characteristics of a nation as pure as possible and at the same time to kindle


17 June 46

the feeling of a racial community. This love of one's own race will never degenerate into hatred of other nations and races. That is the decisive point. Eugenics must never be brought into conflict with Christianity for they are not opposed, they only differ. It was Christianity which first made of the German tribes a German nation, and it is really not necessary to create a new Nordic-Germanic religion in order to give testimony to our race."

May I refer also to Document 29, Page 103, which deals with the second topic discussed by the defendant; it is an excerpt from the diary of Mr. Dodd on 4 July. I then refer to Document 35, Page 115, which contains an article from the Volkischer Beobachter dated 19 August 1932. The heading of that article is:

"The Papen Government Has Inscribed the Protection of Jews on its Banner."

THE PRESIDENT: That was August 1932? Where is it?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Document 35, Page 115. I just read the heading of this article in the Volkischer Beobachter dated 19 August 1932.

"The Papen Government Has Inscribed the Protection of Jews on its Banner."

The article deals with a statement of Herr Kareski, Berlin, as representative of the Jewish People's Party. Kareski was head of the synagogue in Berlin. He stated at that time-and I quote the last paragraph of this article:

"Fortunately, the Constitution of the German Republic still protects the legal position of the Jews and the Papen Government has inscribed the protection of the Jews on its banner."

The Civil Service Law of 7 April 1933 contains certain exceptions applying to Jews. Originally these exceptions were planned to be much more extensive; did you do anything to restrict them to the form in which they were then issued?

VON PAPEN: May I just add one thing? I believe you forgot to submit to the Tribunal Document 33, relevant to the question of foreign monopoly in the German legal system.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I shall submit that document after your answer to the question I have just put.

VON PAPEN: I approved of the Civil Service Law of 7 April 1933 only insofar as it applied to Jewish civil servants appointed

after the year 1918. For after the war large-scale immigration into Germany had taken place from the east, especially from Poland, a country which was strongly anti-Semitic at the time.


17 June 46

I successfully pleaded with Hindenburg that soldiers who had taken part in the war should under no circumstance be affected by this law, for I always held the view that a German, no matter of what race, who had done his duty to his country should not be restricted in his rights.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer now to Document 33, Page 114. It is a report of the Ministry of Justice, which shows that when the Civil Service Law was issued 3,515 Jewish attorneys were practicing. On the basis of the mitigation which the witness has just mentioned, 735 ax-service men and 1,383 other attorneys who had keen admitted to the bar before 1914 were exempted from this law. Thus 2,158 Jewish attorneys remained, whereas 923 had to resign from office.

What was your view of the Civil Service Law as a whole?

VON PAPEN: I think it was completely normal that the National Socialists, since they were partners in the coalition government and controlled more than 50 percent of the German people's vote, should have a part in filling civil service posts.

I might point out that the National Socialists, in the propaganda which they conducted for years, fought with all means against the so-called "Bonzentum" (boss rule); but one could not, of course, predict that they themselves would later make that same mistake.

THE PRESIDENT: Would this be a convenient time to adjourn?

[A recess was taken.]

DR. KUBUSCHOK: We have been speaking of the Civil Service Law, which in the points we have discussed corresponds to some extent to the trend of thought of the NSDAP. Why did you feel impelled to urge certain concessions which were then, in fact, made?

VON PAPEN: I was convinced at the time that with this Civil Service Law we were creating something basic. I did not anticipate, and I could not guess, that the Party would continually in the following years introduce new laws in this field and would thereby completely ruin the civil service.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was your attitude towards the dissolution of the parties?

VON PAPEN: The exclusion of parties was a necessary result of the Enabling Act. For 4 years Hitler had demanded the reforms which we wanted to make. Document 25 shows that I asked Hitler to create a new basic State law, and, in his speech of 23 March Hitler


17 June 46

promised that. In that speech he spoke of a reform of the Constitution to be carried through by the appropriate existing constitutional organs. That reform would have given us, in my opinion, in a revolutionary way, a new and sounder democratic and parliamentary form of government. Moreover, I must say that I saw no danger in the temporary use of the one-party system. There were excellent examples for it in other states, for instance in Turkey and Portugal, where this one-party system was functioning very well. Finally, I should like to point out that in my speech at Marburg on 17 June 1934 I criticized this development and said that one could only regard it as a transitional stage which a reconstructed Constitution would have to terminate.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What is your view of the Reichsstatthalter Law of April 1933? Will you also state your attitude to the question of German federation?

VON PAPEN: This question, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, has been brought up by the Prosecution in order to accuse me of duplicity, untruthfulness, or deceit. The Prosecution has alleged that in 1932 my views on the federal character of Germany were different from those I expressed in 1933. But even if I had changed my mind in this respect, I cannot see why the question of a federal or a central government should be a crime within this Charter. Besides, I did not change my mind at all. The view I expressed in 1932 was this: I recognized the advantages of a federal system for Germany, and I wanted to maintain it; but I always wished, even in 1932,

that there should be joint agreement on the bigger political issues in Germany. That a federal country is governed on uniform principles is surely a matter of course. That was the only question, and it was also the basis of my intervention in Prussia on 20. July.

If one knows the history of Germany, one will be aware that Bismarck overcame that difficulty by combining the offices of the Reich Chancellor and the Prussian Prime Minister. Therefore, when in 1933 we appointed Reichsstatthalter in the various Lander, we merely intended to establish a common political line. Besides, the rights of the Lander remained unaffected. They had their own financial, legal, and educational systems, and their own parliaments.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: With regard to the Reichsstatthalter Law, may I refer to Document 31, particularly Page 111 of that document. The passage quoted there from the Pfundtner-Neubert works shows that the authority of the Lander was abolished only by the later Reichsstatthalter Law in the year 1935, when the Defendant Von Papen was no longer in office.

Why did you on 7 April 1933 resign as Prime Minister of Prussia?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: My letter to Hitler dated 10 April 1934 has been submitted by the Prosecution. It contains the reasons for my resignation. In Prussia-I have already stated this-I had already carried through the co-ordination of political aims on 20 July. The Reichsstatthalter Law enabled the Reich Chancellor to be Prime Minister of Prussia himself or to nominate a substitute. And so my task in Prussia was completed. Apart from that, I should like to mention the following point: The elections of 5 March had given the National Socialists a strong majority also in the Prussian Parliament. The Prussian Parliament then met and naturally desired that a National Socialist should become Prime Minister of Prussia.. For all these reasons I resigned.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Prosecution charges that, as a prominent lay member of the Catholic Church, you were particularly able to consolidate the Nazi regime in the field of the churches. We must therefore discuss your attitude regarding the Church Will you give an account of the situation of the German Church at that time?

VON PAPEN: This charge, Gentlemen of the Tribunal, is for me the most serious of the entire Indictment-the charge that I, as a Catholic, contributed to this conspiracy against world peace. May I be permitted, therefore, to discuss my attitude in the Church question quite briefly.

The Catholics in Germany had organized themselves in the Center Party. Before 1918 the Center Party, as a moderate party, had always endeavored to establish a balance between the left and the right political wings. After the war that picture was altered entirely.

We then find the Center Party mostly in coalition with the left. In Prussia, this coalition was maintained during all the years from 1918 until 1932. Undeniably the Center Party deserves much credit for the maintenance of the life of the State during the years after the collapse; but the coalition with the Social Democrats made co-operation of the Center Party with the right impossible, particularly with regard to Church policy. In political questions and matters of internal party policy the Center Party, therefore, followed a line of compromise which was the result obtained through the concessions of others in the field of Church policy. That this state of affairs...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, to what is this all relevant? DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Prosecution has said:

"Papen used his position of a prominent Catholic to consolidate the Nazi regime. He was double-faced, and that characteristic is especially obvious in this connection and throws light on his personality."


17 June 46

The defendant is now explaining what his attitude in Church matters has been from the beginning of his political activity. Since he was first a member of the Center Party and then left it, it is necessary to discuss the split which developed between him and the leaders of the party. Later we shall...

THE PRESIDENT: Why is it necessary to go into this extreme detail? Surely the thing that he wants to show is that he was not assisting the Nazi Party. He was undoubtedly a Catholic, and he wants to show that he was not assisting the Nazi Party. He does not want to go into all of these details about Catholic influences and his part in Catholic influences.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, may I say quite generally that in dealing with the case of Papen it is our intention to prove that from the very beginning the defendant consistently adhered to his principles. For this purpose it is essential that the conditions prevailing at particular times should be elucidated. We are now not very far from the point at which we can leave the internal political conditions, and the other subjects will be very much briefer. I do think, however, that for the sake of completing the picture of the defendant's personality, I must go into certain details; but of course we shall make every effort to omit all superfluous and avoidable particulars.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, we are perfectly well aware that the case of every one of these 21 defendants is different from the others. We are perfectly aware of that, but what we desire is that their cases should be put forward fairly but without unnecessary and burdensome detail. They hope that you will try to confine the defendant to the really essential matters. Will you go on?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Very well, Mr. President. We shall do our best.

[Turning to the defendant.] Will you continue, please.

VON PAPEN: Perhaps I may wind up this question by saying that my opposition within the Party, my plea for the use of conservative forces, gave me the reputation of being a bad Catholic. A foreign judge, a non-German judge cannot know that in those years a Catholic who was not a member of the Center Party but belonged to the right-wing parties was regarded as a bad and inferior Catholic; and that is the state of affairs against which I always fought.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In his government statement of 4 June 1932 Von Papen referred to the fact that the outcome of the previous coalition policy in Prussia was fully evidenced in the entire public life of Germany. I refer to Document 1, Page 2, and I quote the last part of the first long paragraph:


17 June 46

"The disintegration of atheistic-Marxist thoughts has already too deeply invaded all the cultural fields of public life, because the Christian forces of the State were all too easily ready for compromises. The purity of public life cannot be maintained or re-established by way of compromises for the sake of parity. A clear decision must be made as to what forces are willing to help reconstruct the new Germany on the basis of the unchangeable principles of the Christian ideology."

I also refer to Document Number 37, on Page 119, a speech at Munich on 1 March 1933, when the witness discussed the aspects which he has just mentioned.

Witness, how did you think the position of the churches was safeguarded by the new Government, and what did you do in that respect?

VON PAPER: First of all, I asked Hitler to make a clear-cut statement on this question; and he did so in a positive manner. In the foreword to my speeches made at that time, there is the observation that it is the first and most important task to revise the Nazi program with reference to the religious problem, since such a revision is a prerequisite for a united front of the two Christian confessions in that coalition. Secondly, I attempted to protect Church policy by giving it, after the conclusion of the Concordat, a certain foreign political context.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection may I refer to Document 37, Pages 119 and 120, containing an extract from several speeches delivered by the witness, and to Volume I, Document 38, further down on Page 119, which is a speech made at Dortmund in February 1933. In it the Defendant Von Papen said...

THE PRESIDENT: We have that document before us.

DR. KUBUSCHOK Document 37, Page 119.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I have got that, yes. All I was suggesting was that it was sufficient to refer us to the document. As a matter of fact, you have already got to the time when he resigned his post as Prime Minister of Prussia in 1934, and now you are going back to 1933.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: He resigned in Prussia in 1933. May I draw the Tribunal's attention, then, to this speech on Page 120.

THE PRESIDENT: Did he resign in 1933 or 1934?


I draw the Court's attention to this speech, and to Page 120, a proclamation of the Reich Government of 1 February 1933.


17 June 46

[Turning to the defendant.] What were the events leading up to the Concordat?

VON PAPEN: I reiterate that I wanted to secure a Christian basis for the Reich at all costs. For that reason, I suggested to Hitler in April 1933 that the rights of the Church should be firmly laid down in a Concordat, and that this Concordat should be followed by an agreement with the Evangelical Church. Hitler agreed, although there was strong opposition in the Party; and thus the Concordat was concluded. The Prosecution has adopted the view that this Concordat was a maneuver intended to deceive. Perhaps I may in this connection point to the facts that the gentlemen with whom I signed this Concordat were Secretary of State Pacelli, the present Pope, who had known Germany personally for 13 years, and Monsignor Kaas, who for years had been the Chairman of the Center Party, and that if these two men were willing to conclude a Concordat, then one can surely not maintain that this was a maneuver intended to deceive.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document 39, Page 121. I should like to read now a quotation from Document 40, on Page 122. After the conclusion of the Concordat, Hitler published a decree, which is worded as follows-near the middle of Page 122:

"I therefore order:

"1. All Catholic organizations which are recognized by the present Treaty and which were dissolved without directions from the Government are to be immediately reinstated.

"2. All measures of coercion against members of the clergy and other leaders of these Catholic organizations are to be rescinded. A revival of such measures is prohibited in the future and will be punished under prevailing laws."

I read that quotation to prove that only later did Hitler change his mind, probably under the influence of the circle nearest to him.

I refer to Document 41, Page 123, a telegram of Von Papen. In the English translation of this telegram there is a mistake which changes the sense considerably. Paragraph 2 of the telegram says, "Thanks to your generous and wise statesmanlike conception..." The English translation reads "sportsmanlike" instead of ' "statesmanlike."

On the next page I draw attention to the telegram addressed by Von Papen to the Bishop of Treves. There are also affidavits relevant to the questions which have been discussed. Document 43, Page 127 is the affidavit of Freiherr von Twickel, and it takes the place of an affidavit which the late Cardinal Von Galen was to have signed. The matter had already been discussed with Cardinal Von Galen; but before being able to put it into writing, he died.


17 June 46

Freiherr van Twickel, who discussed the questions with him, has now stated the details in his affidavit, Document 43, on Page 127.

I also draw particular attention to Document 52, on Page 139. This is an affidavit of the Abbot of the Benedictine Abbey at Grdssau, Schmitt, who for many years had been the spiritual adviser of the defendant. In the last but one paragraph on Page 139, he discusses the question of the Concordat, and says:

"Herr Von Papen was deeply upset by the disloyal attitude of the German Government, which became apparent soon after the conclusion of the Concordat. He continually and fully discussed with me his great anxiety in this respect, and he pondered ways and means of ending these violations. I can also testify, from my own experience, that he personally worked actively in the interests of the Church to assure a loyal observance of the Concordat."

Witness, did you, apart from the Concordat, endeavor to see to it that your views on Church policy were adopted?

VON PAPEN: Yes. On 15 June 1933 I created an organization in Berlin which we called the "Cross and Eagle," and a little later I founded the Union (Arbeitsgemeinschaft) of Catholic Germans. Catholic forces were to gather within these two organizations, outside the political parties. The Union of Catholic Germans had the particular task of collecting complaints and reporting them to me, so that I could try my best to help.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Prosecution charges that by dissolving the Union of Catholic Germans you yourself violated the Concordat. What can you say to that?

VON PAPEN: Yes, and furthermore the Prosecution already describes the period which followed the Concordat as "the characteristic development of the Church policy of the conspirators, and Papen's participation in it."

The accusation raised by the Prosecution, with regard to my own sabotage of the Concordat, is a tremendous accusation, which is connected with the dissolution of the Union which I have just mentioned. The documents show that this Union had already been paralyzed during the Rohm Putsch on 30 June 1934 and that its later dissolution through me was merely a formal affair. Moreover, this Union had no connection whatever with the Concordat. It was a political union which never enjoyed the protection of the Concordat.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document 45, on Page 129. It is an exchange of telegrams between Hitler and Hindenburg on the question of the appeasement of the Evangelical Church.


17 June 46

For the subject of the Union of Catholic Germans I refer to Document 74, Pages 130 to 132. This document contains an affidavit-I beg your pardon, I gave a wrong figure-I refer to Document 47, on Page 130, which is an affidavit of the executive of the Union of Catholic Germans, Count Roderich Thun. He discusses the dissolution on Page 131, and I quote the second paragraph:

"On 30 June 1934 the office of the Union of Catholic Germans was occupied by officials of the Gestapo. The files were confiscated and taken away. I myself was arrested."

The fact that as a result of these measures the dissolution became a mere formality is mentioned in the last paragraph of Page 131:

"Even after my release, which was effected after a time, the confiscated files were not returned. In view of the attitude taken up by the Party authorities, a revival of any further activity on the part of the organization could no longer be considered. Furthermore, in practice, any further activity of the Union of Catholic Germans was no longer possible, as the only person who could have undertaken the constantly necessary interventions, Herr Von Papen, was out of the picture since he had moved to Vienna. The only question which remained for the heads of the Union was that of officially declaring an end of the Union's activities, which in practice had already occurred. But one had to consider that in the event of an official announcement of the enforced dissolution, the large number of Catholics who had distinguished themselves through their work for the organization would be persecuted. In order to prevent this the dissolution was pronounced by the Union's own leaders."

Then I quote the last sentence:

"In order to do everything still possible to safeguard Catholic interests, this pronouncement did not neglect to point out again that official authorities, above all Hitler himself, had solemnly vowed to protect Christian and ecclesiastical interests."

THE PRESIDENT: Will you remind me of the date when the Defendant Von Papen moved to Vienna?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On 15 August 1934 he went to Vienna; he was appointed at the end of July 1934.

[Turning to the defendant.] In the summer of 1934 it became obvious that the Party was sabotaging the Concordat, and that Hitler's assurances were not being kept. How do you explain Hitler's behavior in this respect?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: I believe that in those days Hitler himself had been entirely willing to keep peace with the Church, but that the radical elements in his Party did not wish it, that most of all Goebbels and Bormann continually instigated Hitler to violate assurances in the Church question. Often and repeatedly I protested to Hitler, and in my speech at Marburg I branded these violations publicly. I stated at Marburg, "How can we fulfill our historic mission in Europe if we ourselves strike our name from the list of Christian peoples."

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I draw attention to Document Number 85 on Page 186 and ask that judicial notice be taken of it. It is an affidavit by Dr. Glasebock, former leader of the Front of German Conservative Catholics.

Witness, on 14 March 1937 Pope Pius XI expressed his burning anxiety in an Encyclical and solemnly protested against the interpretation and the violations of the Concordat. The Prosecution said that if you had been serious in giving the assurances contained in the Concordat, you would at that point have had to resign from your official post. What do you say to that?

VON PAPEN: What could I have improved by resigning? Apart from the Austrian affair, I no longer had any political influence at all on Hitler; and my own conviction that in the critical time of 1937 there was an urgent necessity for me to remain in Austria did not permit me to leave my post there, We shall see that later from the developments.

Besides, if the Prosecution assumes that on account of the certainly quite justified Encyclical of the Pope I should have left my post, then I must ask what did the Church do? The Church did not recall the Papal Nuncio from Berlin, and Bishop Berning did not leave the State Council in which he represented Catholic interests. No doubt all this was quite justified, because all of us at that time still hoped for inner changes.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I draw attention to Document 48, Page 133. The document has already been submitted as Exhibit USA-356; it is on Page 133 in my document book. It is the speech of Pope Pius XII on 2 June 1945. I quote:

"It must, nevertheless, be recomputed that the Concordat, in the years that followed, brought some advantages, or at least prevented worse evils. In fact, despite all the violations to which it was subjected, it gave Catholics a juridical basis for their defense, a stronghold behind which they could shield themselves in their opposition-as long as this was possible-to the ever-growing campaign of religious persecution."


17 June 46

A practical effect of the Concordat is shown in Document 49, on Page 134 of my document book. It has already been presented as Exhibit USA-685. It is a letter from the Deputy of the Fuehrer to the Reich Minister of Education and deals with the dissolution of the theological faculties of the universities. I quote the last paragraph of that letter:

"In this case, as you have likewise pointed out in your letter, the directives of the Concordat and the Church treaties are to be taken into consideration. In the case of those faculties which are not mentioned by a specific directive in the Concordat and the Church treaties, as for example, Munich and a few others, the dissolution may begin at once. This is equally true of the theological faculties in Austria: Vienna and Graz."

[Turning to the defendant.] During the following years public discussion of questions regarding Church policy was almost entirely suppressed, since the Catholic press and, in violation of the Concordat, even Catholic Church papers were to a large extent banned. What did you do against this?

VON PAPEN: It appeared to me necessary, since the Catholic press had been completely muzzled, to do something to continue public discussion of the struggle against tendencies inimical to the Church. I very often talked about this question with Bishop Hudal, an outstanding churchman in Rome, whose book written in 1936 will be submitted to the Tribunal by my counsel. This book contains my severe criticism of the anti-religious tendencies and contains also an objective appreciation of the positive social ideas of National Socialism; it is all the more notable because a high authority of the Church was then, in 1936, making yet another attempt to create a synthesis between Christian ideas and the healthy doctrines of National Socialism.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In what way do you consider the book of importance with regard to the charge brought by the Prosecution?

VON PAPEN: I consider it to be relevant for the following reason: The Prosecution makes its task very easy: In view of the criminal end of National Socialism, it shifts all blame to the initial years of development and brands as criminals all those who, out of pure motives, attempted to give the Movement a constructive and creative character. But here in this book of 1936 a churchman of high rank lifts his voice in an attempt, made on his own initiative, to bring about an improvement of conditions. Today we know that all such attempts failed and that a world crumbled in ruins. But is it right, on that account, to accuse millions of people of crimes because they tried to attain something good in those days?


17 June 46

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Is refer to extracts from Bishop Hudal's book, contained in Document 36, Page 116, and ask that judicial notice be taken of that document. With reference to the subject which the witness has just mentioned, the attitude of high-ranking churchmen to the question of a possible synthesis of ideas, I refer to Document Number 50, Page 135, which is an appeal made by Cardinal Innitzer on behalf and at the request of the Austrian bishops.

Witness, as you have said, Bishop Hudal aimed at a change in Hitler's ways along the lines proposed in his book. What was Hitler's reaction to the book?

VON PAPEN: At first Hitler was, I thought, very much impressed by this book; but then the anti-Christian forces among his advisers gained the upper hand once more and convinced him that it would be dangerous in the extreme to allow such a book to appear in Germany. The book had been printed in Austria, and therefore a permit for its publication in Germany was required. All I could obtain was permission to print 2,000 copies, which Hitler wanted to distribute among leading Party members for a study of the problem.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you think that the foreign policy of the Reich was being pursued on the principles laid down when the Government was formed?

VON PAPEN: Yes. While I was a member of the Cabinet it was certainly conducted on the agreed principles. I might mention the Pact of Friendship with Poland, which was concluded at that time and which was an important step towards peace. Hitler concluded this treaty although, on account of the problem of the Corridor, it was most unpopular. I might also mention the Four Power Pact concluded in the summer of 1933, which affirmed the Locarno Treaty and the Kellogg Pact. I mention also the visit in January 1934 of Mr. Eden, to whom we submitted proposals for the demilitarization of the SA and the SS. Thus we tried to remove the discriminations against Germany by peaceful means. In my opinion, the great powers made a disastrous mistake by not showing understanding and assisting Germany during that phase and thus checking radical tendencies.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On 14 October 1933 Germany left the Disarmament Conference. Was this a departure from the previous policy which you have just discussed?

VON PAPEN: The withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference was not in any way intended to be a departure from our political principles, but it took place because the equality of which


17 June 46

we had been definitely assured on 11 December 1932 was then revoked.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, would you tell me, is the defendant saying that the principles adopted in 1933 were contained in any document or not?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The proclamation of the Reich Government of 1 February 1933 contains the principles of the policy of the new Cabinet. These principles are supplemented in the statement of the Reich Government dated 23 March 1933, a statement which deals with the Enabling Act.

Thy' PRESIDENT: Could you give me the reference to the first document that you mentioned?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I shall give it to you after the recess, Mr. President.

[Turning to the defendant.] What were the reasons for, and what was the attitude regarding Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations?

VON PAPEN: The withdrawal from the League of Nations was a question on which there could be many differences of opinion. I myself was in favor of remaining in the League of Nations; and I remember that on the day before Hitler decided on this step, I myself traveled to Munich in an effort to persuade him to remain a member of the League. I was of the opinion that we would have gained much by remaining in the League, where we had many good connections dating even from the time of Stresemann. Nevertheless, if we left the League it was perhaps a tactical question insofar as we might then hope that direct negotiations with the major powers would be more promising. Besides, Herr Von Neurath's discussion with Ambassador Bullitt, which is Document L-150, shows-Herr Von Neurath says in that document that Germany had proposed a reorganized League of Nations, which she would rejoin.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Lersner's interrogatory, Document 93. In question Number 5, the witness speaks of Von Papen's journey to Munich; this is Page 213, Document 93.

Mr. President, I come now to a rather more lengthy question; may I ask therefore whether this would be a suitable moment for a recess?

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn at this time.

[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]


17 June 46

Afternoon Session

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Before the recess, I was questioned about the documents on the Governmental Proclamations of 1 March 1933 and of 23 March 1933. Excerpts from the Governmental Proclamation of 1 March 1933 are contained in Document Papen-12, Page 53. This is only a short extract. I shall submit the proclamation in its entirety later.

The Proclamation of 23 March 1933, in Document Papen-12, Pages 56 to 58, has also been submitted in extract form. This proclamation has already been submitted in full under USA-568.

[Turning to the defendant.] On 2 November 1933, in a speech in Essen, you stated your opinion in connection with the forthcoming plebiscite on the withdrawal from the League of Nations, and you approved the Government's policy. The Prosecution has drawn conclusions from this speech which are unfavorable to you.

What reasons caused you to make that speech at that time?

VON PAPEN: Our withdrawal from the League of Nations was an exceptionally important decision of foreign policy. We wished to emphasize to the world that this withdrawal was not to be construed as a change in our methods of foreign policy. Therefore, Hindenburg and Hitler in free appeals emphasized that the German people should decide by means of a plebiscite the question of whether a withdrawal from the League of Nations would be in the exclusive interests of peace and our equality of rights.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to refer to Document Papen-60, Page 167, and Documents Papen-61 and Papen-62, on Pages 147 to 152 of the document book. These are the statements made by Hitler, by the Reich Government, and by Hindenburg. The purport of all these proclamations: Only a change in method, not a change in our attitude toward affairs.

[Turning to the defendant.] At that time you were Reich Commissioner for the return of the Saar. What policy did you follow in connection with the Saar question?

VON PAPEN: As far as the Saar question was concerned, I always worked on the basis of a friendly understanding with France, and with a view to finding a solution for the Saar problem without recourse to a plebiscite. Our reasons for not wanting this plebiscite were not in any way selfish, for the plebiscite was at all times certain to be in favor of Germany. My proposal was rather a sacrifice willingly made in the interest of understanding, and at the same time I proposed that France should receive compensation to the amount of 900 million francs for the return of the Saar mines. And I should like to repeat that even after our withdrawal from


17 June 46

the League of Nations, my commissioner for Saar questions, Freiherr von Lersner, always negotiated with the League of Nations organs about the Saar on the principle of a friendly settlement of the Saar. In the summer of 1934 my commissioner negotiated with the French Foreign Minister M. Barthou on this question.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to refer to Document Papen-59, Page 145. This document contains the published comments of the witness with regard to the Saar problem. Freiherr von Lersner in his interrogatory (Document Papen-93, Page 212) in reply to Question 3 defined his attitude on this question of the Saar.

[Turning to the defendant.] Were there any signs that after leaving the League of Nations this generally peaceful policy was just a policy of expediency and that a policy of aggression was planned for the more remote future?

VON PAPEN: Not at all. Leaving the League of Nations was for us simply a change in method. And at that time we were conducting direct negotiations with the major powers. The fact that we were pursuing a policy of peace was something I emphasized in many public statements. And in this connection I should like to refer to Document Papen-56, which will be submitted by my counsel.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Document Papen-56, Page 44, contains a speech made by the witness at Kottbus on 21 January 1934. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this document.

[Turning to the defendant.] Did you know of any rearmament measure which might have led to the expectation of an aggressive policy in the future?

VON PAPEN: It seems to me that the proceedings so far conducted before this Tribunal have shown clearly that the actual rearmament did not begin until much later. If Hitler, in fact, did take steps to rearm in 1933 or 1934, then he discussed these measures personally with the Defense Minister and the Air Minister. In any event I was never concerned with such measures. Apart from that, it has already been ascertained here that this much-talked-of Reich Defense Committee in 1933 and 1934 was purely a committee of experts under the direction of a lieutenant colonel.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: A short time ago you mentioned the safeguards adopted when the Hitler Government was formed, in order to minimize the influence of the Party. How did Hitler's position and the influence of the NSDAP develop in the course of the year 1933 and at the beginning of 1934?

VON PAPEN: A confidential relationship gradually developed between Hitler and Hindenburg.

This led in the end to the joint report which was agreed upon at that time. The influence exerted by Hitler on Reichswehrminister


17 June 46

Blomberg was a very decisive factor in this development. Even at that time, in 1933, Hitler tried to exert a decisive influence on the Army. He wanted to have the then General Von Hammerstein removed and replaced by General Von Reichenau, who at that time passed for a friend of the Party. At that time I persuaded the Reich President not to grant Hitler's wish in this connection and advised him to take General Von Fritsch. Another reason for this development was the integration of the "Stahlhelm," that is, a rightist conservative group, into the SA of the NSDAP. Then there were new cabinet members who were selected from the Party. Hugenberg, the leader of the conservative Right, left the Cabinet, and the two important ministries which he filled, the Ministries of Economy and Agriculture, were occupied by National Socialists. A decisive psychological factor, as I have already mentioned, was the election result of 5 March, for the governments of all the Lander had National Socialist majorities, and these local governments exerted constant pressure on Hitler. Hitler drew his support now from Party dynamics and thus changed in an ever-increasing degree from a coalition partner ready for compromise into an autocrat who knew no compromise.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to refer to the affidavit of the former Minister Hugenberg, Document Number Papen-88, Pages 196 to 198 in the document book. I should further like to refer to Document Papen-13, Pages 59 to 61 in the document book, an affidavit by Dr. Conrad Josten.

On what was your position as Vice Chancellor based?

VON PAPEN: As Vice Chancellor it was intended that I should be the Reich Chancellor's deputy, but without a department of my own. It very soon became apparent that the position of deputy was quite impossible, as Hitler dealt with every question himself. The fact that I had no department of my own weakened my position, for this position was now based upon nothing but the confidence of Hindenburg, a confidence which decreased proportionately with the growth of Hitler's importance.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was the constitutional basis of Hitler's position in the Cabinet?

VON PAPEN: The position of the Reich Chancellor in the Cabinet is constitutionally provided for in Article 56 of the Constitution of the Reich. This article says: "The Reich Chancellor will lay down the general principles of policy and will be responsible for them to the Reichstag." If the policy of a department minister is not in accordance with these principles laid down by the Reich Chancellor, no decision will be made by the Cabinet on a majority ruling, but the Reich Chancellor alone will decide the point in


17 June 46

question. And under Article 58 of the Constitution, it says: "The Reich Chancellor cannot be outvoted by the Cabinet in cases where his policy is opposed."

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In connection with this question, which has so far been incorrectly submitted in the evidence taken, I should like to refer to the leading commentary on the Weimar Constitution by Gerhard Anschutz, Document Papen-22, Pages 80 and 81 of the document book.

I should like to refer to Page 81, Note 4 to Article 56. This note states clearly that if differences of opinion should arise as to the application of the basic principles of the policy, the Reich Chancellor alone will decide, and that in these basic problems no vote will be taken and no majority decision made.

[Turning to the defendant.] What conclusions did you think had to be drawn from this development of affairs?

VON PAPEN: In the middle of the year 1934 the internal tension in Germany grew more and more serious. The situation was such that the concessions which we as partners of the coalition had made did not lead to any definite internal agreements but were considered by the Party as being only the beginning of a new revolutionary movement. This was quite obviously a divergence from the Coalition Pact concluded on 30 January. The many objections which I made in the Cabinet were without success. Then, since there was no possibility in the Cabinet of forcing the Reich Chancellor to change his policy, as we have just shown from the Constitution, the only possibilities left were a resignation or a public statement. If I resigned, I should no longer be in a position to speak. Therefore, I decided to speak at once, and publicly, and I decided to appeal on principle in this matter to the German people. If, as the Prosecution asserts, I had been an opportunist, I would have kept silent and remained in office, or I would have accepted another of lice. But now I decided to put my case before the public and to shoulder all the consequences that might follow.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On 17 June 1934 you made that speech at Marburg. What did you expect to accomplish with this speech?

VON PAPEN: In this speech I brought up for discussion and put up to Hitler for decision all those points which were essential for the maintenance of a reasonable policy in Germany. In this speech I opposed the demand of a certain group or party for a revolutionary or national monopoly. I opposed the coercion and abuse of others. I opposed anti-Christian endeavors and totalitarian encroachment on religious domain. I opposed the suppression of all criticism. I opposed the abuse and regimentation of the spirit. I opposed violation of fundamental rights and inequality before the law, and


17 June 46

I also opposed the Byzantine principles followed by the Party. It was clear to me that if I succeeded in penetrating, even at one point only, the circle of Nazi ideology, we could force the system into order and restore, for instance, freedom of thought and speech.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: This speech may be found in Document Papen-11, Page 40. The Prosecution has already stressed its significance. First of all, I may say that the English text contains a misprint. The date is not 7 July, as appears in the translation, but 17 June. Because of the basic significance of this speech, the critical nature of which is unique in German history since 1933, I am going to read a few passages from it.

I am starting at Page 41, about the middle of the page:

"We know that rumors and whispering propaganda must be brought out from the darkness where they have taken refuge. Frank and manly discussion is better for the German people than, for instance, a press without an outlet, described by the Minister for Propaganda 'as no longer having a face.' This deficiency undoubtedly exists. The function of the press should be to inform the Government where deficiencies have crept in, where corruption has settled down, where grave mistakes have been committed, where incapable men are in the wrong places, where offenses are committed against the spirit of the German revolution. An anonymous or secret information service, however well organized it may be, can never be a substitute for this task of the press. For the newspaper editor is responsible to the law and to his conscience, whereas anonymous news sources are not subject to control and are exposed to the danger of Byzantinism. When, therefore, the proper organs of public opinion do not shed sufficient light into the mysterious darkness, which at present seems to have fallen upon the German public, the statesman himself must intervene and call matters by their right names."

Then on Page 42, just below the middle of the page:

"It is a matter of historical truth that the necessity for a fundamental change of course was recognized and urged even by those who shunned the path of revolution through a mass party. A claim for revolutionary or nationalist monopoly by a certain group, therefore, seems to be exaggerated, quite apart from the fact that it disturbs the community."

And now Page 43, a sentence from approximately the middle of the page:

"All of life cannot be organized; otherwise it becomes mechanized. The State is organization; life is growth."


17 June 46

And on Page 45, just a little beyond the center of the page:

"Domination by a single party replacing the majority party system, which rightly has disappeared, appears to me historically as a transitional stage, justified only as long as the safeguarding of the new political change demands it and until the new process of personal selection begins to function."

As to the religious question, the witness states his view on Page 46, near the middle of the page:

"But one should not confuse the religious State, which is based upon an active belief in God, with a secular State in which earthly values replace such belief and are embellished with religious honors."

Then, about five lines following:

"Certainly the outward respect for religious belief is an improvement on the disrespectful attitude produced by a degenerate rationalism. But we should not forget that real religion is a link with God, and not substitutes such as have been introduced into the consciousness of nations especially by Karl Marx's materialistic conception of history. If wide circles of people, from this same viewpoint of the totalitarian State and the complete amalgamation of the nation, demand a uniform religious foundation, they should not forget that we should be happy to have such a foundation in the Christian faith."

Then, the third line from the end on this page:

"It is my conviction that the Christian doctrine clearly represents the religious form of all occidental thinking and that with the reawakening of religious forces the German people also will be permeated anew by the Christian spirit, a spirit the profundity of which is almost forgotten by a humanity that has lived through the nineteenth century. A struggle is approaching the decision as to whether the new Reich of the Germans will be Christian or is to be lost in sectarianism and half-religious materialism."

Then, on Page 48, just a little beyond the center of the page: "But once a revolution has been completed, the Government only represents the people as a whole and is never the champion of individual groups."

Then, a little further down, about 10 lines from the bottom: "It is not permissible, therefore, to dismiss the intellect with the catchword of 'intellectualism.' Deficient or primitive intellects do not justify us in waging war against intellectualism. And when we complain frequently today about those of us who are 150 percent Nazis, then we mean those


17 June 46

intellectuals without a foundation, people who would like to deny the right of existence to scientists of world fame just because they are not Party members."

Then, on the first line of the next page-Page 49-it says:

"Nor should the objection be made that intellectuals lack the vitality necessary for the leaders of a people. True spirit is so vital that it sacrifices itself for its conviction. The mistaking of brutality for vitality would reveal a worship of force which would be dangerous to a people."

In the next paragraph he speaks of equality before the lava. I read the last few lines:

"They oppose equality before the law, which they criticize as liberal degeneration, whereas in reality it is the prerequisite for any fair judgment. These people suppress that pillar of the State which always-and not only in liberal times-was called justice. Their attacks are directed against the security and freedom of the private sphere of life which the German has won in centuries of hardest struggle."

In the next paragraph he speaks against Byzantinism; the second sentence reads:

"Great men are not made by propaganda, but rather grow through their deeds and are recognized by history. Even Byzantinism cannot make us believe that these laws do not exist."

He deals with education in the next paragraph, and I should like to begin with the second sentence:

"But we must have no illusions regarding the biological and psychological limits of education. Coercion, too, ends at the will for self-expression of the true personality. Reactions to coercion are dangerous. As an old soldier I know that the most rigid discipline must be balanced by certain liberties. Even the good soldier who submitted willingly to unconditional authority counted his days of service, because the need for freedom is rooted in human nature. The application of military discipline to the whole life of a people must remain within limits compatible with human nature."

Then on the next page-Page 50-I should like to read the second sentence of the last paragraph:

"The Movement must come to a standstill sometime; a solid social structure must sometime come into existence which is held together by an impartial administration of justice and by an undisputed governmental power. Nothing can be achieved by means of everlasting dynamics. Germany must not go adrift on uncharted seas toward unknown shores."


17 June 46

As my last quotation, I shall read the first paragraph on the following page:

"The Government is well informed on all the self-interest, lack of character, want of truth, unchivalrous conduct, and arrogance trying to rear its head under cover of the German revolution. It is also not deceived about the fact that the rich store of confidence bestowed upon it by the German people is threatened. If we want a close connection with and a close association among the people, we must not underestimate the good sense of the people; we must return their confidence and not try to hold them everlastingly in bondage. The German people know that their situation is serious, they feel the economic distress, they are perfectly aware of the shortcoming of many laws born of emergency; they have a keen feeling for violence and injustice; they smile at clumsy attempts to deceive them by false optimism. No organization and no propaganda, however good, will in the long run be able to preserve confidence. I therefore viewed the wave of propaganda against the so-called foolish critics from a different angle than many others did. Confidence and readiness to co-operate cannot be won by provocation, especially of youth, nor by threats against helpless segments of the people, but only by discussion with the people with trust on both sides. The people know what great sacrifices are expected from them. They will bear them and follow the Fuehrer in unflinching loyalty, if they are allowed to have their part in the planning and in the work, if every word of criticism is not taken for ill-will, and if despairing patriots are not branded as enemies of the State."

Witness, what were the consequences of the Marburg speech?

VON PAPEN: This speech was banned at the instigation of Propaganda Minister Goebbels. Only one or two papers were able to publish the contents, but that sufficed to attract attention to it both at home and abroad. When I heard of the ban placed on it by the Propaganda Minister, I went to the Reich Chancellor and tendered my resignation. I told him: "It is an impossible situation for the Vice Chancellor of your Government to be forbidden to open his mouth. There is nothing to be done but to take my leave."

However, Hitler said: "That is a blunder on the part of the Propaganda Minister; I shall speak to him and have him rescind this decree."

In that way he stalled me along for several days. Today I know that even at that time he lied to me because my Codefendant Funk had stated that he was instructed by Hitler to go to Hindenburg


17 June 46

and tell Hindenburg that the Vice Chancellor had uttered sentiments contrary to the policy of the Cabinet and of Hitler, and must Be dismissed. If the witness Gisevius testified here to the effect that Herr Von Papen was silent and that he should at least have mobilized the diplomats then I should like to point out that Mr. Dodd's diary makes it very evident that the world-the outside world-was well informed of this last appeal of mine.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I should like to refer to the last remark made by the witness, which may be found in Document Papen-17, Pages 71 and 72, in Ambassador Dodd's diary.

I beg your pardon, it is on Pages 69 and 70 of the English text. I quote from the second paragraph, the first line:

"There is great excitement everywhere in Germany."

He had previously mentioned the Marburg speech.

"All the older and more educated Germans are highly delighted."

Then, under the date of 21 June, he reports that the speech was cabled to The New York Times, that the papers in London and Paris were featuring the "don Papen episode," as he calls the Marburg speech. I refer in this connection to the beginning of Page 72, in the English text on Page 70.

As regards the Government's measures against the Marburg speech and its propagation, I want to refer you to Document Papen-15, Page 66, an affidavit by Westphalen, which shows that even possession of a copy of the speech was sufficient to cause disciplinary action to be taken against an official.

Witness, the events of 30 June 1934 took place in the meantime. To what extent did these incidents affect you personally?

VON PAPER: On the morning of 30 June, I received a telephone call from Minister Goering, asking me to come to have a talk with him. I went to see Goering; he told me that a revolution had broken out in the Reich-an SA revolution-that Hitler was in Munich to put down this uprising there, and that he, Goering, was charged with restoring law and order in Berlin. Herr Goering asked me, in the interests of my own safety, as he said, to return to my apartment and stay there. I protested quite vehemently against this demand, but Herr Goering insisted. On my way back to my apartment, I went first to my office in the Vice Chancellery. On arriving there, I found my office occupied by the SS, and I was permitted only to enter my own room and get my files. I went on home to my apartment, where I found a large number of SS. The telephone was disconnected; the radio was disconnected; and I was completely cut off from the outside world for 3 whole days.


17 June 46

DR. KUBUSCHOK: What measures were taken against your staff?

VON PAPEN: I naturally did not hear about the measures taken against my staff until 3 July, after I had regained my freedom. I learned that my press adviser, Herr Von Bose, had been shot in his office. I further learned that two of my male secretaries, Herr Von Tschirschky and another gentleman, had been taken to a concentration camp and a few days later, I learned of the death of my friend and colleague-a private colleague of mine-Herr Edgar Jung.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you try to inform the Reich President?

VON PAPEN: I finally succeeded, on the third day of my arrest, in contacting Goering by telephone. I demanded tome set free at once. Herr Goering apologized and said that it was only a mistake that I had been kept under arrest for this long period of time. I then went immediately to the Reich Chancellery. There I met Hitler, who was about to start a Cabinet session. I asked him to step into the next room so that I could speak to him and I refused to comply with his request that I should attend the Cabinet meeting. I said to him: "What has happened here to a member of your government is so incredible and fantastic that there is only one answer for me to give: A repetition of my request to resign-and at once."

Herr Hitler tried to persuade me to remain. He said: "I will explain to you in the Cabinet and later in the Reichstag how everything happened, and why it happened."

I said to him: "Herr Hitler, there is no explanation and no excuse for this incident; I demand that the fate of these members of my staff be made the subject of immediate investigation and the facts be cleared up." I demanded that he publish my resignation immediately.

When he saw that I could not be persuaded to remain, Herr Hitler told me that he could not make my resignation public because the agitation among the German people was too great. He said that he could not make my resignation public for some 3 or 4 weeks.

When I left Hitler, I tried personally and through one of my secretaries to get in touch with Hindenburg, but that attempt failed. My secretary found out-I must add that Herr Von Hindenburg was then in Neudeck in East Prussia-my secretary, who had gone to East Prussia, found that it was impossible to reach Hindenburg. He was completely cut off. My own telephone calls did not get through.

I went to my friend General Von Fritsch, the Chief of the Armed Forces, and said to him: "Why don't the Armed Forces intervene? The Armed Forces are the only means for maintaining order that


17 June 46

we still have in the country. When General Von Schleicher and hi wife were murdered, as well as other officers, it would in m' opinion have been quite proper for the Wehrmacht itself to try t' restore order in this situation."

Herr Von Fritsch said to me: "I can take action only when have Field Marshal Von Hindenburg's order in my hands."

But Hindenburg was not accessible to us. He had obviously beer informed by the other side of the complete legality of the event which had taken place, and which Hitler declared in the Reichstag to be in conformity with the law. I did not attend that session o the Reichstag, either, as the witness Gisevius testified; and during the time that elapsed between 30 June and my appointment to Austria, I did not participate in a single act carried out by the Government.

I should like to add that at the same time I asked the Reich Chancellor to hand over to me the body of my friend Bose. We knew that the Gestapo had cremated the bodies of the others.: succeeded . . .

THE PRESIDENT: I believe it would be a good time to recess now.

[A recess was taken.]

MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal, the Defendant Hess is not present in this session.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Will you please go on. You were just answering the last question.

VON PAPER: I was only going to finish the question by saying that I succeeded in having the mortal remains of my friend Bose properly buried and that on that occasion, at his grave, I made c speech emphasizing that one day this injustice would be avenged

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection I draw your attention to Document Number Papen-14, Pages 62 and 63, an affidavit by Maric Rose, who for years was the private secretary of the witness. Or Page 63 she refers to Bose's funeral service which we have jus discussed.

I further refer to Document Number Papen-19, Pages 77 and 78 an affidavit by Schaffgotsch who devotes particular attention to the witness' vain attempts to reach Hindenburg in Neudeck. This was Document Number 19, Pages 77 and 78.

Witness, you were offered a Vatican post at that time-a post as Ambassador to the Vatican. Will you please tell us the exact circumstances?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: It is true that Hitler tried to keep me attached to his staff, and that about a week after the incidents I have described he sent State Secretary Lammers to ask me if I was prepared to accept the post of Ambassador to the Vatican. Of course, I refused this unreasonable request, which I mention here only because a few weeks later I accepted the Vienna post for an entirely different reason, and to prove that I was not interested in obtaining a post as such. I refused this request of Hitler's most bluntly at the time.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer you to Document Number Papen-18, Pages 75 and 76 of the document book; an affidavit by Martha von Papen, the wife of the witness, who describes Lammers' visit.

With regard to the subject with which the witness has been dealing, namely, nonparticipation in the Reichstag meeting of 13 July, I refer to Document Number Papen-21, Page 79, an extract from the Volkischer Beobachter regarding the Reichstag meeting.

The names of the ministers present are listed there. The name of the witness Von Papen does not appear.

[Turning to the witness.] When did Hitler approach you on the subject of going to Vienna as Ambassador Extraordinary?

VON PAPEN: It was on the day of the murder of Dollfuss, 25 July 1934...

THE PRESIDENT: Can you remind me, Dr. Kubuschok, whether any question was put to the witness Lammers about this offer?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes, a question was put to the witness Lammers. The witness Lammers was asked about it when he was examined.

THE PRESIDENT: What did he say?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: He said that Papen had refused.


VON PAPEN: On 25 July, the day of the murder of Dollfuss, Hitler rang me up in the middle of the night, and asked me to go to Vienna at once as his Ambassador. I asked: "What gave you this odd idea?" He informed me of Dollfuss' murder, of which I had not yet heard, and said: "It is absolutely essential that someone who knows the conditions there should take over affairs at once." I replied that I could not possibly give my decision on such a step over the telephone, whereupon he asked me to come to Bayreuth at once to discuss it.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: How did these negotiations in Bayreuth turn out? Did you state your own terms for accepting the appointment?


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: In the discussion in Bayreuth. Hitler put it to me that I was the only available person who could re-establish a favorable situation in Austria, because, of course, Hitler knew my attitude toward that problem from the numerous protests I had

raised in the Cabinet against Austria's treatment. He also knew that I had been a friend of the murdered Dr. Dollfuss and that I knew Herr Von Schuschnigg. I stated my conditions and these conditions were: The immediate recall of the Party Gauleiter, Herr Habicht, who was in Austria by Hitler's order. Hitler was of the opinion that if he did this it would amount to an admission of guilt.

THE PRESIDENT: Gauleiter of where?

VON PAPEN: Habicht?

THE PRESIDENT: I thought you said that was his name. I wanted to know what Gau he was the Gauleiter of.

VON PAPEN: Perhaps "Gauleiter" is the wrong word. He had been sent to Austria by Hitler as a liaison man, to exert influence on the affairs of the Austrian National Socialists.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, perhaps you ought to point out that his title was "Landesleiter," which probably corresponds to the title "Gauleiter" in Germany.

VON PAPEN: He was Landesleiter, which was the title given to people who directed the Party organization abroad. Hitler replied that if he recalled this man, it would look like a confession of complicity in the Dollfuss murder. I replied that the whole world was in any case convinced of the complicity of the Party in Germany or its organizations, generally speaking; and that as far as I was concerned, it was only important that those connections should be broken off forthwith. I further demanded an assurance in writing from Hitler that the German-Austrian policy of the future-what is generally termed the Anschluss policy-would move on a purely evolutionary level, that is to say, that no recourse would be had to forcible measures and aggression. Hitler immediately ordered this man Habicht to be recalled and gave me a written assurance with reference to the second question. And finally, I said that I was prepared to take over the pacification program ion Austria, but only until normal and friendly relations had been re-established. This meant that later on in Austria I had the additional tine of "Ambassador on a Special Mission."

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, we have heard of your political break with Hitler after the speech at Marburg, your resignation from the Cabinet and your treatment on 30 June. I should now like you to give us your reasons for accepting that post in Austria in spite of the events already described.


17 June 46

VON PAPEN: My decision to go to Austria has been made the subject of a special charge by the Prosecution. In order to understand this decision of mine you must be acquainted with German history and you must know that the Austrian problem was the central problem of German policy generally. As Dr. Seyss-Inquart has discussed this problem at length, I can dismiss it quite briefly; and I need only add that the achievement of German unity, for which we had fought for three centuries, was considered by Germany herself to be the most significant and important aim of our national policy. The events of 30 June had brought about the collapse of the coalition which I had formed on 30 January. It had been historically established that I had failed to achieve my intentions and aims in home policy. After the Dollfuss murder, the danger existed that Germany would now suffer bankruptcy also in her one great foreign political aim of the desired unity. All this was in my mind when' I weighed the very serious decision as to whether I should accede to Hitler's request. If he put a Party man in that post, then obviously all hope would be lost. If he appointed a diplomat from the Foreign Office, it could be assumed that that official would have no personal influence on Hitler. Therefore, if the situation was to be saved, it would have to be someone who was at least in a position to influence Hitler and moreover someone who, like myself, was independent and had his own political line. Today, just as at that time, I am fully aware that many of my friends did not understand the step I took and that they interpreted it as lack of character. But I hold the view that this is a question which the individual has to settle with his conscience, without regard to understanding or the lack of it; and my conscience told me that I must do everything to restore order in this one question at least.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: With reference to the subject of Austria generally, I call your attention mainly to the documentary material which has been submitted in the previous case. To supplement this, I will only refer to Document Number Papen-64, Page 157, Document Number Papen-65, Page 158 and Document Number Papen-81, Page 178. This last document has already been presented in connection with the case of Seyss-Inquart. It refers to the views held by State Chancellor Dr. Renner on the Anschluss question. I should like only to quote the last four lines on Page 179:

"As a Social Democrat, and therefore as a champion of the right of self-determination of nations, as first Chancellor of the Austro-German Republic and former president of its peace delegations to St. Germain, I shall vote in the affirmative."


17 June 46

I have produced the document at this particular point in order to support the testimony of the defendant, who considered the Austro-German question from both points of view as a fateful problem; and the fact that this leading statesman, Dr. Renner, also placed in a difficult situation, expressed himself as in favor of Austro-German friendship is best shown here.

Witness, on 26 July Hitler wrote a letter to you confirming your appointment as Ambassador Extraordinary to Vienna. That letter has been mentioned by the Prosecution. What is the explanation of the contents of that letter?

VON PAPEN: The contents of that letter can be explained very easily. If I was to have a chance of re-establishing normal and friendly relations, if I was to have a chance of creating a proper position for myself in relation to the Austrian Government, then after the events of 30 July a public statement of confidence had to be made. In that letter Hitler was to certify that my mission was one of pacification, and that he intended to disavow his terrorist methods. That is stated in the letter. And I find the Prosecution's statement that this letter was a "masterpiece of deceit" quite impossible to understand.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. Messersmith, in his affidavit, 2385-PS, alleges that you pursued from Vienna a policy of aggression towards the states of southeastern Europe and quotes as your personal verbatim statement, made on the occasion of the return visit he paid to you, the following:

". . . southeast Europe as far as Turkey constitutes the German hinterland; and I have been assigned to carry out the task of incorporating it into the Reich. Austria is the first country on this program."

Did you make any such statement?

VON PAPEN: I took up my position in Henna in the autumn of 1934; and one of the first colleagues whom I saw was Mr. Messersmith. I never received an assignment to pursue a policy such as Mr. Messersmith describes in his affidavit; and I never made any such statement to Mr. Messersmith.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this connection, I refer to Horthy's interrogatory, Document Number Papen-76, Pages 172 and 173.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, before you turned to the Messersmith affidavit, you were speaking, or the defendant was speaking, of some letter. Is that letter a document which is before us?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes, the Prosecution have already presented that letter. It is the letter written on the occasion of the defendant's appointment. It is Number 2799-PS.


17 June 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom): My Lord, if Your Lordship has the British Document Book Number 11, it is Page 37.


DR. KUBUSCHOK: The witness has just dealt with the statement in the Messersmith affidavit, 2385-PS. The same question, namely the return visit paid to Papen by Mr. Messersmith, is treated in a further affidavit by Messersmith, 1760-PS.

I should like to point out that the wording of the statement referring to the influence of Germany on the states of southeast

Europe differs considerably in Messersmith's two affidavits.

As I have already indicated in my previous question, Mr. Messersmith says in 2385-PS that Papen said that he had been assigned to carry out the task of incorporating southeast Europe into the Reich. In contrast to that, the statement is worded very differently in 1760-PS. There Mr. Messersmith states that Papen said on that occasion that he had been ordered to see to it that the whole of southeast Europe, up to the Turkish border, should be regarded as Germany's natural hinterland, and that German economic control over that entire area should be facilitated by his work; thus, in one affidavit, incorporation is mentioned and in the other the facilitation of economic control.

In connection with this latter much less strongly-worded affidavit 1760-PS, I ask the witness whether he did at that time make such a statement, namely, that the whole of southeastern Europe as far as the Turkish border was Germany's natural hinterland and that he had been called upon to facilitate German economic control throughout the entire area on Germany's behalf.

Did you make such a statement?

VON PAPEN: The actual remark I made to Mr. Messersmith is perhaps . . .

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: [Interposing.] My Lord, I don't know whether it would be useful for the Tribunal to have the two references, the two passages. The passage in 2385-PS Your Lordships will find in Document Book lla, that is, the second document book, at Page 24 at the bottom of the page. The reference in 1760-PS is in Document Book 11, Page 22, about one-third down the page, and then it goes on to the next third of the page.

VON PAPEN: My actual remark to Mr. Messersmith is perhaps not quite so far from my defense counsel's last quotation as the difference between Mr. Messersmith's two statements would seem to indicate. It is perfectly possible that we discussed the question of southeast Europe and I can well imagine pointing out to him that


17 June 46

the economic and political questions of the southeastern area were of great importance not only for Germany's policy, but also for Austria; for the expansion of our trade toward the Balkans was a perfectly legitimate aim. I kept Berlin informed of everything that I learned in Vienna regarding the policy of the countries of the southeastern area because naturally that was one of the functions of the Ambassador to Vienna. But except for that I did nothing in the whole course of my work in Vienna which tallies in any way with what Mr. Messersmith alleges here.

Apart from that, may I say that it would be extremely foolish and contrary to the most elementary rules of diplomacy if I had made such a disclosure to an unknown ambassador in the course of my first conference with him. That would have made a sensation and would certainly have come to the ears of the Austrian Government and the whole world the next day.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: On this point, I refer to Prince Erbach's interrogatory, Document Papen-96, Page 238, Questions 8 and 9, which deal with this subject. Page 232 of the English text.

VON PAPEN: Perhaps, My Lord, I might add that the Prosecution are in possession of all my reports from the Vienna period, and that these reports are bound to show whether I was pursuing such an objective.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you ever, during your time in Vienna, negotiate with Hungary and Poland about a division of Czechoslovakia? Mr. Messersmith makes such a statement.

VON PAPEN: No, I never did. The policy of the Reich in Czechoslovakia was the exclusive responsibility of our Legation in Prague.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to the Horthy interrogatory already presented as Document Papen-76. I also refer to Document Papen-68, Page 162, a report from Papen to Hitler, dated 31 August 1935.

[Turning to the defendant.] Mr. Messersmith asserts in the affidavit mentioned that you stated during this conference that you were in Austria for the purpose of undermining and weakening the Austrian Government. Did you make such a statement?

VON PAPEN: May I make a general statement with reference to this affidavit. If I may express myself in diplomatic terms, I must describe it as in the highest degree astonishing. In this affidavit, Mr. Messersmith himself relates that on the occasion of my first visit he received me icily. That is perfectly correct. I was quite well aware that Mr. Messersmith was the keenest opponent of the Nazi system. It is therefore all the more astonishing to read here that during the second visit I opened my heart, so to speak, to Mr. Messersmith; the passage quoted here-that I came to


17 June 46

undermine and weaken the Austrian Government-is, of course, not true either, because such a statement would naturally have been communicated to the Austrian Government by Mr. Messersmith at once, and would have rendered all my work of pacification and my position generally impossible from the outset. May I refer in this connection to the statement made by the Austrian Foreign Minister Schmidt, to whom such activities on my part were entirely unknown.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer in this connection also to Glaise-Horstenau's deposition in the case of Seyss-Inquart. Mr. Messersmith further alleges that you said to him during the discussion that you were trading on your reputation as a good Catholic with, among others, certain Austrians like Cardinal Innitzer. Further on in his affidavit he even asserts that you used your wife's reputation as a fervent and devout Catholic for this purpose, without scruples or qualms of conscience. Will you kindly state your views on this assertion of Mr. Messersmith's.

VON PAPEN: I think that of all the accusations raised against me, this is the most mortifying. I can understand that the policy pursued by a diplomat may be criticized and misinterpreted, but I cannot understand why anyone should be accused of misusing his own religious convictions for dirty, political, commercial purposes; I can understand even less-and find it the height of bad taste-that anyone should say that I even used the religious convictions of my wife for such purposes. Perhaps I can leave this to the judgment of this High Tribunal.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. Messersmith in his affidavit also refers to a document whose author he does not, however, mention. This document is alleged to have been shown him by Foreign Minister Berger-Waldenegg in January 1935, and is said to reveal the substance of your conference with Hitler, Schacht, and Von Neurath on the occasion of your visit to Berlin. An agreement is alleged to have been made at that conference to the effect that for the next 2 years intervention in the internal political affairs of Austria was to be avoided. Finally Dr. Schacht is said to have made available 200,000 marks monthly for support of the National Socialists in Austria.

What do you say about Mr. Messersmith's statement?

VON PAPEN: The details given by Mr. Messersmith show that this is obviously an agent's report received by the Austrian Foreign Minister on my trip to Berlin. The contents of that report are largely incorrect. The inaccuracy of the passage referring to Dr. Schacht has already been shown by Dr. Schacht's testimony. But in that report there is something which is true. At that time


17 June 46

there was-a so-called relief fund in Austria, which was managed by a certain Herr Langot.

It has already been testified here in the witness box that this relief measure, which was intended to benefit wives and children of Austrian National Socialists who had emigrated to Germany, existed with the knowledge of the Austrian Government and police. But I neither requested Herr Schacht to make available official funds for this relief fund, nor did I myself pay out such money. Obviously this money originated from Party sources in Germany.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: In connection therewith, I refer to the testimony of Glaise-Horstenau, who stated here that the Austrian Government knew of the Langot relief fund.

Mr. Messersmith believes that from information received from the Austrian Foreign Minister, Berger-Waldenegg, he can reproduce the following statement made by you at the beginning of 1935: "Yes, now you have your French and English friends, and you can maintain your independence a littler longer."

Did you make such a statement?

VON PAPEN: Such a statement would have been not only extremely foolish from a diplomatic point of view, but actually impossible, because it would certainly have put an end to all diplomatic activity. In no case could the co-operation, which Mr. Messersmith states was carried on successfully for years, or the political activity which he describes as also having been carried on for years, have been reconciled with an open admission of this kind to the effect that I wanted Austrian independence to be of short duration only.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. Messersmith goes on to say in this affidavit that you had publicly stated you wished to get rid of certain members of the Austrian Government, among them Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg. Is that true?

VON PAPEN: The contrary is true. I never aimed at the removal of Chancellor Schuschnigg; it was rather my aim to give him confidence in my policy, in the policy of reconciliation. I know Herr Von Schuschnigg as an upright Austrian patriot, but also as a man who was far from wishing to deny his German ties, and in spite of many differences in policy these German antecedents of his made an excellent basis for collaboration. I can only ask in addition whether a diplomat who desires a change to come about in the government to which he is accredited would proclaim it from the roof tops.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Prosecution have submitted a report which you made to Hitler, dated 17 May 1935, as proof of your desire to steer Schuschnigg into a government including the


17 June 46

National Socialists. This is Exhibit USA-64, included again in my document book as Document Papen-66, on Pages 159 and 160.

Witness, what were your intentions, actually?

VON PAPEN: I must be a lithe more explicit with reference to this document. This report was written 8 months after the Dollfuss murder, that is, within the first 2 years, during which period the Prosecution themselves admit that I had instructions to remain entirely passive. When this report was written we had news that Starhemberg, in conjunction with Mussolini, was pursuing a policy which would have put serious difficulties in the way of an understanding between Austria and Germany. For this reason I suggested to Hitler a drastic intervention: I proposed that Schuschnigg and the Christian Socialist elements, which were hostile to a Heimwohr dictatorship, should be played off against Starhemberg by the offer of a final agreement on German-Austrian interests. This report states that if Germany were to recognize the national independence of Austria and were to undertake to refrain from influencing the National Opposition in Austria, by which I meant the Nazis, a coalition between these factors would be bound to result. The consequence would be that Germany would participate in the Danube Agreement, which would be tantamount to a peaceful solution of the entire European situation.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: You have just explained that you were pursuing an honest policy of balancing interests?

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, the Tribunal would like to understand more clearly what the defendant means, by what he just said.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I have just been told that the translation came over very badly; the English translation is said to have come through very badly. Would you suggest, Mr. President, that the defendant repeat the entire answer?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, most certainly. That is the best way. I think it is very unlikely that the English translation came over badly.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, will you please repeat your answer but rather more slowly so that the interpreters will have no difficulty?

VON PAPEN: When this report was written, we had news that Starhemberg-Starhemberg was the chief of the Heimwehr- wanted to link himself with Mussolini in a policy which would be hostile in future to any Germanophile tendencies in Austria. In order to counter Prince Starhemberg's maneuver, I advised Hitler to suggest to Schuschnigg that, instead of forming a coalition with


17 June 46

the Heimwehr, he should do so with the Christian Socialist elements, who were not opposed to a reconciliation of Germany with Austria. In order to induce Schuschnigg to enter into such a coalition, Hitler was to offer him a final settlement of German and Austrian interests. In other words, Hitler was to tell him that Germany would recognize the national independence of Austria and would undertake not to interfere in future in the internal affairs of Austria.

And I went on to say to Hitler that if we achieved this pacification and established good and friendly relations with Austria, we could even join in the Danube Pact. This was the combination of the French, the Italians, and the Czechoslovaks, who were always in favor of a pact of the Danube powers including Austria. We in Germany had opposed the policy of those powers at the time, because we feared that if Austria joined a Danube Pact, she would be estranged from Germany once and for all. If, on the other hand, we were on good terms with Austria and friendly relations were established again, we could, as I pointed out to Hitler, join in this Danube Pact and by this means achieve something extraordinarily constructive for the cause of European peace.

THE PRESIDENT: You are not forgetting your hopes that you expressed this morning?

DR. KUBUSCHOK: You have just said that you pursued an honest policy of the amicable settlement of interests.

Is it true that you persuaded Hitler to make a statement in favor of Austria's independence in his Reichstag speech on 21 May 1936?

VON PAPEN: Yes, that is perfectly true, because that statement was the prerequisite for any normalcy and settlement of interests in a revolutionary way; for our joint policy could only be advanced by Austria. Austria had been ordered by the Peace Treaty of St. Germain and the Geneva Protocol to remain aloof from Germany. If Austria, therefore, were to take the initiative and improve her relations with Germany, it was essential that we should first recognize her sovereignty.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I draw your attention to a mistake in the translation. In the English translation, instead of the words spoken by the defendant, the words "revolutionary way" were said instead of "evolutionary way."

Will you please comment on the pact of 11 July 1936?

VON PAPEN: The Agreement of 11 July has been described by Sir David as a deceptive maneuver and an attempt to get the Austrian Government into new difficulties, to undermine it by introducing men of pro-German sympathies, like Glaise-Horstenau or


17 June 46

Foreign Minister Schmidt. This judgment passed upon the pact is entirely incorrect, and I think historically untenable; and I think that that has been demonstrated here by the hearings and testimony of the Austrian Foreign Minister.

The pact was the result of my efforts over 2 years to reestablish normal relations between the sister nations. The agreement was desired by both Governments, not by the German Government only, and Chancellor Schuschnigg admitted that himself, as mentioned in a report of mine dated 1 September 1936 on a speech made by Schuschnigg to Austrian workers. Why should the Austrian Government have concluded this pact? They were not compelled to conclude it, unless they themselves wanted to bring about normal, friendly relations with the German Reich.

For that very reason I had asked Hitler to proclaim Austrian sovereignty in his Reichstag speech. That agreement was certainly not intended to imply our willingness to give up the idea of union at a later date, which we wanted, but it acknowledged Austria's full independence of action. But the aim of union of the two States was now to be pursued in a regular and evolutionary manner.

This corresponded with the agreement which I had made with Hitler on 26 July. There was a second part to that agreement which was not published. That second part contained all the elements necessary for pacification: an amnesty, the regulation of our press relations, and the lifting of the so-called "1,000 mark bar." This was a frontier bar imposed by Hitler's decree upon people traveling into Austria. Any German wishing to go to Austria at that time had to pay 1,000 marks. This bar was removed. Herr Schuschnigg, for his part, promised in this unpublished part of the agreement that men in his confidence who were members of the National Opposition were to be drawn in to co-operate in Austria. It appeared to us that the inclusion of the Austrian Opposition in Austrian parliamentary procedure was an essential condition for any further peaceful solution. In other words, the Party was gradually to lose its illegal status and become a legal factor.

Mr. Messersmith, if I may add, stated incorrectly in his affidavit: "Part II of this pact contained a clause that a number of persons who were in the Chancellor's confidence should be called to positions in the Cabinet." That, obviously, is a mistaken conclusion on Mr. Messersmith's part, because we were not concerned with people who had Hitler's confidence, but with those who had Schuschnigg's confidence. This was an agreement made by Schuschnigg. Apart from this, Mr. Messersmith says with reference to this agreement that:

". . . the first penetration of German nationals into the Austrian Government was achieved through the nomination


17 June 46

of Dr. Guido Schmidt as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs."

This is entirely wrong. Dr. Schmidt was an Austrian and made Austrian policy; he represented Austrian interests, as was natural, and at no time did Germany exert any influence to make him, Dr. Schmidt, Foreign Minister.

On the whole, world public opinion at that time regarded this agreement as an instrument of peace and a great step forward. It was left to the Prosecution to call it a deceptive maneuver.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Prince Erbach's affidavit, Document Number Papen-96 of the English book, Pages 233 and 234, Questions 4 to 7 and Questions 12 and 13, dealing with the subject which we have just discussed.

Did you, after the conclusion of the July Agreement, regard your mission in Austria as terminated?

VON PAPEN: Yes, I regarded it as terminated. That is proved by the resignation which I tendered to Hitler on 16 July 1936.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Papen-71, Page 165 of the second document book. I quote the beginning:

"On 26 July 1934, you proposed to the late Field Marshal that I should be sent to Vienna on a temporary mission to restore normal and friendly relations.

"With the Agreement signed on 11 July, the decisive step has been taken in this direction."

In a later part of the document, he asks to be recalled; I go on to quote the second paragraph from the end:

"Even though the 'German question' will need very careful and considerate handling in the future too-especially after the incredible difficulties which have gone before-I would like now, at the end of the task you entrusted to me, to place my resignation in your hands."

The Prosecution have used the report you made to Hitler on 1 September 1936; 2246-PS, and they accuse you of remaining in contact with the illegal leaders of the Austrian National Socialists, of attempting to bring that Opposition into the Fatherland Front, and of desiring to change the Schuschnigg regime.

VON PAPEN: In the report mentioned I wrote:

"In the normalization of relations to Germany, progress has been hindered by the staying power of the Ministry of Security, where the old anti-National Socialist officials are located. Changes in personnel are, therefore, urgently required."


17 June 46

The expression which I used in this report: "Changes in the regime," actually means "Changes in personnel"; in that connection I also go on to say, in the following sentence, that economic negotiations will follow in the near future. This shows quite clearly that these words do not refer to a removal of Schuschnigg's person. Apart from that, this report speaks of the gravity of the situation in the Danube area, and makes proposals for a peaceful solution.

If I am accused by the Prosecution of having had contacts with the Nazi Opposition, although the July Agreement had excluded all intervention in Austrian affairs, I must point out that I was perfectly entitled to these contacts because I was interested in ascertaining whether and how far Herr Schuschnigg kept his promise to take in men from the nationalist Opposition in whom he had confidence for collaboration. Just how far the Nazi Opposition submitted to that Agreement of 11 July is shown by Leopold's statement in January 1937, which Mr. Messersmith has attached to his own affidavit.

DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Number Papen-75, Page 171, which contains this file note of Leopold's. The document is identical with the appendix, which has the number Exhibit USA-57. There is an error in the English translation. In the fifth line from the end, on Page 1, the word "Anschluss" has been translated by "annexation."

Witness, what do you have to say about Leopold's proposals?

VON PAPEN: Leopold's proposals show the following. The leaders of the Austrian Nazis fully accepted the policy of the July Agreement. They recognized that in future the question of the Anschluss would be an internal Austrian affair to be settled by the Austrian Government. They proposed that this solution should be found in an evolutionary manner by the Austrian Government and the Party. In favor of this solution is the fact that by means of the declaration of the sovereignty of Austria these arguments could in the future no longer represent foreign political dangers for Austria, that is, that the Agreement of July was understood by the Austrian National Socialists and approved of, and that they were prepared to proceed in a legal way with the Austrian Government.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 18 June 1946 at 1000 hours.]


Previous Day Volume 16 Menu Next Day
Nuremberg Trials Page

127 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511.