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[The Defendant Von Papen resumed the stand.]
DR. KUBUSCHOK: The witness Guido Schmidt has referred to an incident involving a flag at Pinkafeld, in May 1937. Would you please describe your activities in settling that incident.
VON PAPEN: The flag incident at Pinkafeld is mentioned by myself, or rather by my defense counsel, because it is a typical example of Hitler's attempts to pass on to an aggressive policy in Austria, even in the days before 1938.
On 1 May 1937 in the small hamlet of Pinkafeld a flag of the German Reich was hauled down by an Austrian official. There was great excitement in the press; I instantly tried to settle the matter amicably with the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs. Thereupon I received a telegram to proceed to Berlin at once. I arrived in Berlin and reported to Hitler. Hitler did not receive me. I waited for 3 days. After 3 days, I wrote and told him, "It appears that you are trying to use the flag incident at Pinkafeld to introduce an aggressive policy against Austria. In that case there is nothing more for me to do, and I beg to hand in my resignation." A quarter of an hour later he called me to the Reich Chancellery. He gave me a lecture, which lasted half an hour, furious and beside himself with rage over the humiliations which the German Reich could no longer tolerate. After his rage had spent itself I told him that our agreement of 26 June ruled that the policy concerning Austria was to be conducted on evolutionary lines. The Agreement of 11 July emphasized that. "If you wish to pursue a different policy, then dismiss me," I said.
As a result of this very serious conversation he said, "No, no. Go back and settle everything; we do not want to change our peaceful policy." I returned to Vienna, and the incident was settled satisfactorily with the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs within 24 hours.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you talk to representatives of other powers regarding the policy which you pursued in Austria?
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VON PAPEN: Yes, I repeatedly discussed this policy with representatives of other powers. For instance, in the summer of 1937 I discussed it with the British Ambassador, Sir Nevile Henderson.
THE PRESIDENT: Has this letter which the witness speaks of been produced, or a copy of it? He has spoken of a letter to Hitler: "I wrote a letter."
DR. KUBUSCHOK: No, we have not got that letter, neither have we a copy of it. The files of the witness were destroyed in Berlin by air attacks.
VON PAPEN: May I add, Mr. President, that the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs has confirmed the incident in Court and the course it took. Herr Von Neurath also knows this incident very well indeed.
THE PRESIDENT: Who was the Minister for Foreign Affairs who confirmed it?
VON PAPEN: The Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Schmidt, who was here as a witness; the witness Guido Schmidt.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
VON PAPEN: With reference to that question, may I remark that I, of course, very often spoke to representatives of other powers about our Austrian policy. For instance, in June 1938 I discussed it with Sir Nevile Henderson, the British Ambassador to Berlin. In October 1937 I visited Paris, incognito, and there talked to many of the leading politicians about this problem, among them the President of France, M. Daladier, and M. Leon Blum. I assured these gentlemen that we would seek a solution of the Austrian problem exclusively on an evolutionary basis and that the hoped for union of the two States would never prove a threat to the interests of France, that on the contrary we were only looking for that solution within the European framework, that is, with the consent of France.
At that time, I was under the impression that in England as well as in France it was being increasingly understood that a general settlement was necessary.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: As proof that the defendant could actually have been convinced that the other powers-by virtue of an evolutionary development in Austria-might eventually be prepared to come to a peaceable agreement, I submitted Document Number 74, Page 169. It is a report from Von Papen to Hitler on the conversation just outlined with Sir Nevile Henderson on 1 June 1937.
I draw your attention to this document and should like to point out that Henderson has stated that he was well disposed toward
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an amicable solution of the Austrian problem and trusted that he too could exercise a corresponding influence in Paris.
I further draw your attention to Document Number 80, Page 177. It is a statement of the Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Spaak, after the Anschluss. I invite your attention to the last sentence: "I have believed, for a long time past, that the Anschluss complied with the logic of facts and had it been ratified in a normal manner, I should not have been surprised."
Mr. Messersmith alleged that Nazi propaganda in Austria had been paid for out of German funds. Did you ever give or arrange for any funds for that purpose?
VON PAPEN: The Party never received a penny, either from me personally or through the German Embassy. It is, however, quite possible-and even probable-that German Party funds did pour into Austria. I was never informed of this, for it was a wellknown fact that I did not enjoy the confidence of the Party in either country.
There is, however, one exception which I particularly wish to emphasize, namely, the donation-and it was known to me-of funds in support of the "Langot" subsidy.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Prosecution has reproached you for your anti-Semitic attitude in connection with your report to Hitler of 12 May, in which you suggested giving financial aid to the Freedom League for the furtherance of their fight against Jewry. What was this Freedom League?
VON PAPEN: The Freedom League was a focal point, a union of the former Christian Trade Unions and the Christian Workers' Union, under the leadership of the president of the Trade Unions. Dollfuss took over the leadership in 1934. It would be utterly ridiculous to accuse this Freedom League, mainly composed of Catholic workers, of an anti-Semitic attitude in the National-Socialist sense.
The Freedom League fought to purge the administration of Vienna of unsuitable Jewish elements. The problem of this undue alien penetration was absolutely similar to conditions then existing in Germany, conditions which I mentioned yesterday in detail. This fact is also proved by the report submitted yesterday to the Prosecution. I learned that the Czechs were endeavoring to establish close relations with the Freedom League and that for this purpose they desired to support the League with large sums of money.
I thereupon suggested to Hitler that this possible influencing of the Freedom League by Czech politics should be eliminated by supporting it ourselves. But we could not of course tell the Freedom League: "We are now going to subsidize you so that you do
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not go over to the Czechs." So I proposed to Hitler that he should give these moneys in consideration of the League's continued fight against Jewry, which was pure camouflage. Had I wanted to give this money specifically for the fight against Jewry, I would not have written "in consideration of" but "for the furtherance of its fight."
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Number 32, Page 112 of the document book. It is an excerpt from the Austrian Yearbook of 1933-1934, which is an official publication. I draw your attention to the beginning of the second paragraph, where it is explained that the Freedom League originated in the Christian Workers' Unions and the Christian Trade Unions.
I further draw your attention to the fifth line from the bottom, and I quote, "At the beginning of 1934 the late Federal Chancellor, Dr. Dollfuss, took over the supreme leadership of the Freedom League."
I also draw your attention to Document Number 72, Page 166. It is a report of Von Papen to Hitler in which he quotes a report from the Prague Secret Service. Of interest, in this connection, is a reference to the fact that the Freedom League was striving for an understanding with Social Democracy.
The next document, Number 70, has already been presented as GB-243. I draw your attention to the first paragraph which reflects the efforts of the Czech diplomats. Document Number 70, Page 164. This is the document mentioned by the Prosecution, part of whim has been submitted under GB-243. The first paragraph is important in that it deals with the activities of Czech diplomacy, mentioned a short time ago by the defendant. Furthermore, there is, with reference to this Freedom League, Von Papen's report, Document Number 73, Page 176, to which I wish to invite your attention.
Another report of Von Papen's is interesting, Document Number 69, Page 163. It shows the efforts of the Freedom League to gain a foothold in the political constellation of that day.
Witness, in the summer of 1937 Schuschnigg was making efforts to persuade the National Opposition to collaborate. What do you know about it and what were the subsequent developments?
VON PAPEN: In the summer of 1937 Schuschnigg was making efforts to keep his promise to induce the National Opposition to collaborate. The visit of Minister Glaise-Horstenau to Hitler in June 1938 took place with Schuschnigg's consent.* This choice of members was effected without any participation on my part. But with regard to this "Committee of Seven" I should like to make a statement. Obviously the Chancellor's attempts for appeasement
Later he founded the so-called "Committee of Seven" with Dr. Jury and Dr. Tafe.
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were either not sufficiently far-reaching for the Party in Austria, or they were too slow. In November 1937 the Austrian police discovered in the office of this "Committee of Seven" documents known as the "Tats which led us to believe that new, illegal, and radical purposes were already prevailing. The Austrian Government did not inform me of these papers, and no official demarche took place. But I did learn that amidst the documentation was a plan for my assassination. It was suggested that an attempt be made on my life which would provide a pretext for marching into Austria.
The Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Schmidt, confirmed this fact the day before yesterday before the Tribunal, and it appears to me that this suggestion, this plan against me' best proves exactly how great was the harmony between my policy and that of the Austrian or German National Socialists, which the Prosecution insists on taking for granted.
At that time I was very pleased that the Austrian Chancellor had also included Dr. Seyss-Inquart, whom I knew personally, in this work of appeasement. At this point I consider it only fair to make a correction. The Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs has reported a conversation which he had with me at Ankara, in October 1943. I told him at the time-and I also repeated my statement during my preliminary interrogation-that Dr. Seyss-Inquart had proved to be the greatest disappointment of my life. I had assumed that it was he who had called for the entry of the German troops into Austria and who was responsible for the Nazification of Austria after the Anschluss. In the light of the knowledge we have gained from various documents, I must correct my previous verdict.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: At the end of 1936 your foremost collaborator, Counsellor of Embassy Prince Erbach, was recalled from Vienna. His successor was Counsellor of Embassy Von Stein. Since he took over your duties after you had been recalled on 4 February 1938, it would be interesting to know what his attitude was toward both the Party and you.
VON PAPEN: Later I learned that Counsellor of Embassy Baron von Stein was appointed my Embassy Counsellor by special request of the Party because he was to have control over my policy as regards the Party. Herr Von Stein was an ardent National Socialist. His relations with me were entirely different from those I had with his predecessor, Prince Erbach. But I want to state that also during that period I continued to pursue my original line of policy and that Von Stein merely had the management of technical matters.
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DR. KUBUSCHOK: The Hossbach Document of 5 November 1937 has been frequently mentioned-did you know of this conference at Berchtesgaden that this report was based on?
VON PAPEN: Of this sensational conference, of this truly important document in the hands of the Prosecution, I, of course, never even had an inkling. I first became acquainted with the document here in this courtroom. But if I may be permitted to say something more: The concatenation of ideas between the events of 11 March and this document appears to be rather tenuous. This document indicates that Hitler only intended to march into Austria by force, only intended to carry out the Anschluss by force, if a certain European constellation would make this possible. He expected this constellation to appear between 1943 and 1945.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, this is mere argument, isn't it? He says he never saw the document until he came into this Court. He is now arguing to us about his connection with the events of March 1938. Well, that is a matter for you, not for the defendant.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Very well, then I shall deal with that later.
Witness, on 4 February 1938 you were, much to your surprise, dismissed from your post in Vienna. Please inform the Tribunal on the matter.
VON PAPEN: At the end of January 1938 I had been to Berlin to see Hitler; I talked to him about the conversation which I had had with Dr. Seyss-Inquart at Garmisch, and I received no indication of any kind that he intended to dismiss me from his service I was notified to this effect by a telephone call from Dr. Lammers on 4 February. This sudden dismissal, for which I was given no reasons, coinciding with the dismissals of Von Fritsch and Blomberg and of other leading diplomats, led however to one final conclusion. I was quite aware of the fact that this recall meant a change, at the very least, of the political direction. The following day I discussed the situation with the Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs and told him of my troubles. Subsequently I took leave of the Austrian Government in an official note, and on the following day I went to see Hitler. I must, however, introduce the following: I considered this development, through the very fact of my recall, so serious that I decided on the evening of the 4th that all my political reports, compiled during those 4 years, were to be removed to Switzerland. I wanted to be in a position to prove to the whole world that I had pursued a peaceful and evolutionary policy in Austria during those 4 years; I wanted to be in a position to prove this to the outside world in case Hitler should commit an act of aggression. This decision, particularly on the part of a high-ranking official, was certainly not an easy one to reach, because l
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would have to suffer the consequences which this forbidden action might entail.
On the following day, I went to Hitler. I felt the urge to tell him that even if he no longer wanted me, he should at least send another reasonable and moderate man to Austria. During the discussion I had with him he did not mention the reasons for my dismissal. I had suspected that this was due to a wish of Herr Von Ribbentrop, who had become Minister for Foreign Affairs on this 4 February; but Hitler told me that this was not the case. During the discussion on the Austrian situation I told Hitler, inter alia, that I very much regretted that he had recalled me because, particularly during recent weeks, Chancellor Schuschnigg had declared himself willing to have a personal discussion with Hitler in order to eliminate all differences between the two States. When Hitler heard this, he told me, "If that is the case, then I should be very glad if you would go back to arrange for this discussion with Herr Schuschnigg." I told him, "That is rather a peculiar task. Yesterday you recalled me, and today you want me to go back. But if there is something I can do in the interest of the Austrian problem-if I can bring about such a discussion, I am only too willing to do it."
DR. KUBUSCHOK: How did you prepare that conference?
VON PAPEN: On my return, I went to see Herr Schuschnigg, and with him too, I discussed the change in the situation created by my recall and the appointment of the new German Minister for Foreign Affairs. I told Herr Schuschnigg, "It appears to me that in this situation a discussion between the two heads of State regarding the differences which have arisen from the interpretation of the July Agreement could be nothing but helpful." The Austrian Minister for Foreign Affairs has, as a matter of fact, confirmed that we had discussed those personal meetings as far back as November 1937. The proposal was that there should be in Berchtesgaden discussions about all the differences. No definite program was drafted. It was arranged that these conferences should take place on the basis of the July Agreement, that is to say, on the basis of the maintenance of Austria's sovereignty. The only essential problem discussed was the inclusion of a minister in the Austrian Cabinet who would act as the homme de confiance of both States and whose task would be to keep the peace between the Austrian and German National Socialist Parties, in other words, to eliminate in future all interference by the German Party in Austrian affairs.
Later on, during the Berchtesgaden conference, it was demanded that the Ministry for Security should be handed to Dr. Seyss-Inquart. This demand was entirely unknown to me, nor had I discussed it with Schuschnigg. It was merely mentioned that a suitable man,
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perhaps Seyss-Inquart, should be given the Ministry of the Interior. Today we know from the testimony of witnesses that, in addition to this official conference of mine, there were Austrian Party channels through which proposals were sent to Hitler, proposals that were unknown to me.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Please give us an idea of the course of the discussion at Berchtesgaden.
VON PAPEN: This conference has been repeatedly described here. I accompanied Herr Schuschnigg and Herr Schmidt there personally; and it is quite possible that when I received them at the Austrian or the German frontier, I told them that, in addition to Hitler, they might find one or several generals up there, because quite possibly I had telephoned to Berchtesgaden in the morning and learned that these generals were present.
The course of the conference differed, of course, very much from that of customary conferences of diplomatic life; but it was not quite so dramatic as has been described here by various sources. To my knowledge, these generals, called in by Hitler on the previous evening and unknown to me, were merely effective by their presence and were only meant to have that effect. As far as I know and within the framework of my own participation, they were not called in to join the political conferences.
The tone in which Hitler negotiated, the accusations which he hurled against Schuschnigg, were to my mind most unpleasant; and for that reason I repeatedly intervened as a mediator. I remember very well an incident which occurred when Hitler and Schuschnigg were negotiating together and the discussion became extraordinarily loud. I entered the conference room to find that Hitler was accusing Herr Schuschnigg of being no German, of lacking in national feeling, so that I intervened and told Herr Hitler, "You are completely misjudging Herr Schuschnigg. Herr Schuschnigg's way of thinking is as German as yours and mine, only he does not want a union of our two countries under the state doctrine which you are now representing in Germany." During this conference, a program was submitted to Herr Schuschnigg and Herr Schmidt, which was unknown to me personally, as I already said. After negotiating, a number of points were removed from this program, for instance, the commanding of the Austrian Army by General Ton Glaise, and all economic demands; and therefore, toward evening, when the conference was coming to an end, I told Herr Schuschnigg that he had better accept the remainder so that further peaceful development should not be prejudiced. Apart from this, Herr Schuschnigg only made the express reservation in connection with this program or this agreement that the stipulations would have to be confirmed by the Austrian Government and the Austrian President. Therefore
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the possibility for later correction on the part of Austria certainly was provided.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: In one point your relation has not been quite clear. Did you arrive at Berchtesgaden only when Schuschnigg and Dr. Schmidt did? Were you already in Berchtesgaden, or had you spent the night elsewhere?
VON PAPEN: I traveled from Vienna to Salzburg with Herr Schuschnigg, spent the night there with him, and went on with him the next morning to Berchtesgaden. In other words, I was not in Berchtesgaden before him. However, Herr Schuschnigg has alleged that the morning before our visit I told him that generals were up there. I cannot remember that; but it is possible, because it may be that I put a telephone call through from Sandburg in the morning and was told of it.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: There is one more point to be supplemented. Schuschnigg said that you met him at the border. Perhaps you can clear up that point, too.
VON PAPEN: Well, Herr Schuschnigg and I had spent the night together in Salzburg, as I have said. The next morning I went ahead as far as the border, and waited for him at the German border.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did the Berchtesgaden agreement differ basically from the Agreement of 11 July 1936?
VON PAPEN: The result of the Berchtesgaden arrangements was certainly an enlargement compared with the Agreement of July. But there was no departing from the basis of the July Agreement- from its principles, that is, the maintenance of Austrian sovereignty. This is evident also from the two communiqués by the Governments which were issued on the occasion of the acceptance of the agreement.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to the official communiqué, Document Number 78, Page 174; and also to Document Number 79, Page 175, Hitler's Reichstag speech of 20 February, with reference to this question.
On 26 February you paid an official farewell visit to Schuschnigg. The Prosecution have presented a file memorandum in this connection, Please tell us about this farewell visit.
VON PAPEN: This note from the files obviously contains the information I gave Herr Von Ribbentrop over the telephone regarding my farewell visit. In this note I drew the attention of the Foreign Office to the fact...
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of this note?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: The file note is dated 26 February and was submitted by the Prosecution.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Document Book 11a, Page 1.
VON PAPEN: In this memorandum I mention the pressure brought to bear on Schuschnigg and under which he acted. The fact that I informed the Foreign Office should really indicate that I personally disapproved of this pressure; otherwise I would not have made a report on it. On 26 February my temporary activities, then, were also fully at an end.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: On 9 March 1938 Schuschnigg proclaimed the plebiscite. Kindly comment on this.
VON PAPEN: The plebiscite announced by Herr Schuschnigg was, of course, a complete surprise. In my view it was contrary to the spirit of the arrangements agreed upon at Berchtesgaden and contrary to the tendency of a peaceful settlement of the tension.
The plebiscite was a violation of the Austrian Constitution, too. It was not a decision of the Austrian Government but was a spontaneous measure of the Austrian Chancellor, and in my opinion it was quite evident that those elements in Austria who were in favor of a union of the two States were most displeased with this plebiscite.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: The witness Rainer has said in his testimony, and in the speech which was quoted, that on the evening of 9 March he was at your apartment. Was this a prearranged conference, a conference at all, or an exchange of views?
VON PAPEN: Not at all. I was absent from Vienna from the evening of the 26th, as far as I remember, until about 9 March. On that day I returned to Vienna, and it is naturally possible that these gentlemen came to my Embassy and talked to me there. There was no question of anything prearranged on my part.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Were you in Berlin on 11 March?
VON PAPEN: On the evening of 10 March a telephone call from the Reich Chancellery reached me at the Embassy with the order from Hitler to go to Berlin immediately that very night. I flew to Berlin the following morning and approximately between 9 and 10 in the morning I arrived at the Reich Chancellery. Why Hitler sent for me I do not know; I assumed that as this crisis developed he might want my advice; perhaps, too, he may have thought that my presence in Vienna would interfere with his plans. At any rate, on this fateful day, 11 March, I was in Berlin and at the Reich Chancellery. I met Hitler surrounded by numerous ministers, Herr Goering, Dr. Goebbels, Von Neurath, state secretaries, and also military people. He greeted me with the words: "The situation in Austria has become intolerable; Herr Schuschnigg is betraying the German idea and we cannot admit this forced plebiscite."
And when I saw how aroused he was, I reminded him again of his promise to me at Bayreuth and warned him urgently against
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over-hasty decisions. But on this morning he told me, "Either the plebiscite must be canceled or the Government must resign."
Today we know from the letter, which he sent to Dr. Seyss by special courier, of this ultimatum to the Austrian Government. At that time he did not inform me of this active intervention on his part. Then during the day I, along with most of the persons present, remained in the large hall while Goering telephoned from Hitler's private office. What was telephoned is something we, who were waiting in the large hall, could only gather fragmentarily; but of course today we know it from the documents here.
There is only one incident which I want to mention. Toward 5 o'clock in the afternoon, the report came from Vienna that Schuschnigg's Government was prepared to resign. Thereupon I pressed Hitler to cancel his military orders. Herr Hitler did that. Between 5 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon the order to the military forces standing by was withdrawn. On that occasion I congratulated General Keitel and General Von Brauchitsch, who were present, on our being spared this issue. But 1 hour later the situation was once more entirely different. When a telephone call came through from Vienna stating that the Federal President refused to nominate a Seyss-Inquart Government, Hitler again issued the orders to the troops. Following that, late in the evening, it was learned that the Austrian Government had requested the entry of German troops, since otherwise they could not control the situation. I can still see Herr Von Neurath standing next to me telling me, "This is such an important report from Vienna that we absolutely have to have it in writing."
Thus we were under the impression that this call for assistance came to us from Vienna. The further events of the evening are known, and I can only say that I personally was deeply shaken by this turn of events because it was perfectly clear that marching in with the Army could lead to incidents and to bloodshed, and new bloodshed between our two nations would not only have badly compromised the German problem again, but would also leave the worst possible impression of the conduct of German policy.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I draw your attention here to Document Number 97, Page 241, of the third document book. I beg your pardon, it is not yet contained in the book, it is just being presented-Document 97, Page 241. It is an affidavit by Thass, a friend of the witness Papen, who talked to him on the evening of 11 March. I quote approximately from the middle of the document:
"On 11 March 1938, the beginning of the march of German troops into Austria, Herr Von Papen appeared at the Union Club late in the evening where he very excitedly and despairingly declared:
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" 'I have just come from the Reich Chancellery. I tried to talk Hitler out of marching into Austria and strongly advised against it, but he has carried through with the madness and has just given the order to march into Austria."'
Did you, Witness, know anything about the military plan "Case Otto"?
VON PAPEN: I have heard about this Case Otto for the first time during this Trial. The Case Otto was, it was stated, a theoretical preparation for a military attack in the event that, as a consequence of the restoration of the Hapsburgs, the Czechs and Hungarians should march into Austria.
THE PRESIDENT: This is exactly what the defendant was doing just now when I interrupted you. He said he did not know anything about the document and he is now trying to explain it. This is argument, not evidence.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes, quite, Mr. President.
[Turning to the defendant.] Let us pass on to the next question. A little while ago you mentioned that you had decided that the files which were documentary proof for your activity in Vienna should be taken to Switzerland. Was this actually carried out later on?
VON PAPEN: Yes, that was done. My secretary, Herr Von Ketteler, took the files to Switzerland at the beginning of March 1938.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Describe briefly the circumstances of the assassination of your assistant, Baron von Ketteler, after the entry of German troops into Austria. In particular, what did you do to have that case cleared up?
VON PAPEN: During the days of the march into Vienna my secretary and friend, Herr Von Ketteler, had suddenly disappeared. I informed the Viennese police at once, as well as Herr Himmler, Herr Heydrich, and Dr. Kaltenbrunner. They promised investigation. The investigation was for a long time without success. Originally I had assumed that Herr Von Ketteler had fled, since his relations with the Austrian Party had been very bad. But then a few weeks later it transpired that Von Ketteler's body was found in the Danube below Vienna. I filed a charge of murder by an unknown person with the public prosecutor. I requested a post-mortem examination of the body. The post-mortem examination took place with the result that no signs of death by force were found.
Nevertheless, I am perfectly certain that this new act was an act of revenge by the Gestapo against me and my policies and my friends. I addressed myself to Goering, who was in command of the Gestapo, and asked for his assistance. Goering demanded the files
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from the Gestapo and told me that there was proof that Herr Von Ketteler had prepared an attempt on Hitler's life. I stated that that was quite out of the question. But then it was ascertained by Goering, through the Gestapo, that I had taken my files to Switzerland and that Herr Von Ketteler had assisted in this. Herr Goering promised me to negotiate with Hitler and to demand the punishment of the Gestapo people who had taken part in this case. I believe that he did that, but this intervention met with no success.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: After your departure from Vienna you retired to private life. Did you have new offers for posts abroad?
VON PAPEN: I retired to private life, since my experiences after the 30th of June and later in Austria were not such as to make me desire a new post. I can only say that, during the period following, Herr Von Ribbentrop asked me twice to go to Ankara as Ambassador and that I refused it twice.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: As a last question with reference to the Austrian complex, I want to ask whether Hitler awarded you the Golden Party Badge after the march into Vienna? Please make a statement on that.
VON PAPEN: That is correct. As we know, Hitler was accustomed to make sudden dismissals; and he had dismissed me abruptly on 4 February and solved the Austrian question without me. For public consumption he used to camouflage such acts with cordial letters and decorations. Perhaps I should have turned down this Golden Party Badge at that time, because I was no longer in any official position and there was no reason for my accepting it. However my position in those days was so difficult that I did not want to make it any worse. My assistant Ketteler had disappeared, and I had to expect that I might be involved in a State trial because I had removed my files to Switzerland. Thus I accepted the badge. But I deny that doing this established my Party membership. I believe that no one who knows me-even among the gentlemen sitting in this dock with me-will maintain that I was ever in my life a National Socialist.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I now come to the discussion of a relatively brief period, that is, your time in Turkey. May I start on that now?
THE PRESIDENT: Why is it necessary to go into the affairs after the Anschluss in March 1938, in view of what the Prosecution has stated? I mean, does it throw any light upon the past? As I understand it...
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Mr. President, I have finished then with the entire Austrian complex. I now have to deal only with a brief subject, the defendant's activities during his time as Ambassador to
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Ankara. I am only asking whether this would be a suitable moment to begin with this, or whether the Court wishes to recess. I shall have completely finished in about an hour.
THE PRESIDENT: We Will in a moment, but what I was asking you was why is it necessary to go into the history of the defendant in Ankara in view of what the Prosecution have said with reference to their charges against the defendant? As I understand it, the Prosecution have said that they make no charges against the defendant in connection with his work at Ankara. Unless the history of that time throws light upon the past, upon the time up to March 1938, it does not appear to be relevant to this Trial.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: In discussing his activities in Turkey, I shall confine myself to a few points, for the sole purpose, as the Tribunal have observed, of throwing light on the previous activities of the Defendant Von Papen. The evidence will, therefore, refer to the fact that through his activities the defendant made it quite clear that he was a definite opponent of the war in every phase, and that in every phase of the war he merely tried to achieve peace. This material from the period in Turkey is, therefore, to furnish the counter-evidence against the charge that previously the defendant had been in any way an active participant in the war policy. We must also get a complete picture of a man who is under the indictment of conspiracy. If he was in an official position directly before the outbreak of the war and during the war, then certainly we must investigate whether his attitude during that time does not supply precise counter-evidence against his having been previously in any way in agreement with the plans which, it is true, were first executed during his early days in office. The questions are brief, and we shall
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Under what circumstances were you appointed Ambassador to Ankara in April 1939? Why did you accept this post?
VON PAPEN: I accepted the post, after I had refused it twice, under quite extraordinary circumstances. On the day of Italy's occupation of Albania, Herr Von Ribbentrop called me up and urgently asked me to come to Berlin. There he explained to me that the post in Ankara, which had been vacant for 6 months, would have to be filled immediately because of the complications which might arise in the southeast from the occupation of Albania. Before I accepted this post I carefully considered whether I could do and had
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to do anything more for the Hitler Government. After 15 March, the entry into Prague, we knew that we were sitting on a powder keg. In this European problem there were two possibilities of conflict; one was the Polish problem, where I could do nothing; the other was the southeast problem which had become acute through the occupation of Albania. I felt that I could do something here and could contribute to the maintenance of peace in Europe. For that reason I offered to go to Ankara at this moment.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: First you went to Ankara to obtain information; you obtained a picture of the situation there, and then in an oral and a written report you explained your opinion. Please comment on this.
VON PAPEN: In Ankara I immediately obtained a picture of the whole situation because I knew all the leading personalities there.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Kubuschok, you aren't proposing to take the defendant through all the intricacies of Turkish politics, are you?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: No, that is not my intention. The problem is -dealt with in a report which the defendant made in Berlin not only to Hitler but also to other offices. The making of this report and its contents show a positive activity for the maintenance of peace. That is why I have gone into this affair briefly. And, Witness, I ask you to outline...
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the report?
DR. KUBUSCHOK: No, this report is also in the files of the Foreign Office to which I do not have access.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you had better deal with the subject, but deal with it shortly.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Witness, please continue.
VON PAPEN: I will be very brief, My Lord. I came back from Turkey, and told Hitler in a report what had to be done in order to maintain European peace. I sent this memorandum also to Keitel and Brauchitsch. I stated in this report that it was necessary, in order to keep the situation in the southeast under control, for Italy immediately to give positive promises indicating that her military forces would be withdrawn from Albania and her relations with Turkey would be adjusted, in order to remove there any doubt in the sincerity of Italian policy. A very heated discussion on this advice followed between Count Ciano and myself. Count Ciano was in Berlin on that day to sign the German-Italian Alliance. When I made my suggestions to him, he was most indignant at these demands and complained about me to Herr Von Ribbentrop. A very heated discussion then took place with Herr Von Ribbentrop who told me that he was in charge of German foreign policy and not I,
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and that it was after all not my task to make suggestions for keeping the peace. Then I offered my resignation to Herr Von Ribbentrop and told him it was useless under the circumstances to send me to Ankara; but Herr Von Ribbentrop withdrew his statement, and I returned.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: In this report, did you warn in general against a war adventure and what reasons did you give for this warning?
VON PAPEN: The memorandum which I gave also to General Keitel and General Brauchitsch also contained a military presentation of the situation, in which I stated that to begin a war over the Polish Corridor would of necessity lead to a world war. If such a world war were to break out, Germany's position would be hopeless, for there was no doubt that England would keep its promise to Poland and that England and France would come to Poland's aid.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was your reaction to the news about the outbreak of war on 1 September 1939?
VON PAPEN: When the news of the outbreak of the Polish war reached me in Ankara, I was profoundly shocked. I had, of course, hoped that Hitler would avoid this step which must plunge us into the greatest misfortune.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document 14, Page 62, an affidavit of the lady who was for long years private secretary of the witness Von Papen. I will quote a brief passage from Page 64, the second paragraph from the end:
"I heard the radio announcement of the outbreak of war in the Embassy at Ankara with the Ambassador and the entire staff. Afterwards I walked in the Embassy park with the Ambassador. The Ambassador was extraordinarily excited and shaken. I had never seen him like this, not even after the darkest days of June 1934 and not even after the murder of his friend Ketteler.
"That is why I can recall exactly every word which the Ambassador said to me on that occasion: 'Remember my words: To have provoked this war is the greatest crime and the greatest madness which Hitler and his people could have committed. Germany cannot win this war. All will be buried under the ruins."'
Witness, what were your decisions for the future?
VON PAPEN: What could I do? I could either protest-then, in order not to be shot as a traitor in Germany, I would have to remain abroad. I could emigrate. I would never have done that, for I have always believed that one can work better in one's own country than
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as an emigrant. I could resign; then I would return to Germany and become a soldier. The best thing, it seemed to me, was to remain where I was and where I could best help my fatherland.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Now I come to discuss your various efforts toward peace. Please describe first your negotiations with the Dutch Minister, Dr. Visser.
VON PAPEN: Immediately after the Polish campaign I had negotiations with the Dutch Minister in Ankara, at that time Dr. Visser, who declared himself willing to have his Foreign Minister mediate in London. The condition for a peace would, of course, have been the restoration of Poland with a corresponding adjustment of the Corridor problem, the problem of the German sections.
I reported this possibility for peace negotiations to Herr Von Ribbentrop, but it seemed to me that it was not followed up in Berlin; and therefore in November 1939 I went to Berlin myself. Herr Von Ribbentrop told me, "The Fuehrer does not want to hear anything of peace negotiations; please do not undertake any further steps."
Nevertheless I went to Hitler, reported the Dutch offer to him, and expressed the wish of the Dutch Minister, Dr. Visser, to come to Berlin personally. Unfortunately Hitler rejected all my arguments.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I wish to point out that with the approval of the Court an interrogatory. on this subject was sent to Minister Dr. Visser, but the interrogatory has not yet been received.
Did you make further suggestions as to ending the war in 19391 I am thinking in this connection of a report on the restoration of legal life in Germany.
VON PAPEN: Yes. In December of 1939 I sent a detailed report for Hitler to Herr Von Ribbentrop, and in this report I said that the first condition for any conclusion of peace and for any readiness abroad to conclude a peace would be the renunciation of the present government methods in Germany; that is, a return to constitutions conditions in Germany. Then I told Hitler, "If you do this, you wit have more credit abroad; and it might be possible to prepare the way for peace negotiations."
DR. KUBUSCHOK: What was the instruction which you receiver from Berlin in regard to peace efforts, and what did you do never the less?
VON PAPEN: The Reich Foreign Minister repeatedly issuer strict orders to the chiefs of missions under no circumstances t' extend any peace feelers. In the opinion of the Foreign Office, such attempts would be a sign of weakness.
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I did not observe this ruling because I was determined on my own initiative to do everything to shorten the war. For that reason, in the spring of 1941 before the Balkan crisis, I addressed myself to His Majesty the King of Sweden with the request to begin a peace mediation. I also asked the President of Turkey, Ismet Inonu, to consider the possibilities of mediating. President Inonu agreed to do so, while His Majesty the King of Sweden refused, saying that the situation did not seem to him suited to such efforts. The Turkish President asked only that he be officially requested to mediate. That, of course, was not done.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: What did you think about the events of 10 May 1940, the entry of German troops into Holland and Belgium; and what statement did you make in this connection?
VON PAPEN: On 10 May 1940 I visualized the impression which had dominated the whole first World War, the question of why Germany had violated Belgian neutrality. It was completely incomprehensible to me that this psychological error should be repeated a second time and I expressed this opinion of mine in a letter which I sent to the Dutch Minister, Dr. Visser, on 10 May.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: What did you do in order to check the spread of the war to the Balkans?
VON PAPEN: When the Yugoslav crisis broke out and our troops marched through Bulgaria, I had Hitler send a personal letter to the Turkish President. In this letter he assured the Turkish President that under no circumstances did he intend to fight Turkey, and for that reason he had ordered German troops to keep at 40 kilometers distance from the Turkish border.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: In June 1941 you concluded a treaty of friendship with Turkey. Will you state briefly the reasons for that?
VON PAPEN: The reasons were very simple: To limit the war. Turkey was to know that in spite of our alliance with Italy, in spite of the war in the Balkans, in spite of the war with Greece, we would never threaten Turkey. Turkey was also to know that we would not attempt to advance through Turkey to the Suez Canal. The negotiations were very long and difficult, because Herr Von Ribbentrop did not want in this treaty any mention of Turkey's contractual obligations to the Allies. I then pointed out to Herr Von Ribbentrop by cable that the Turks were faithful to their treaties.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you know of Hitler's intentions against Russia? What did you think about this war?
VON PAPEN: The beginning of the war with Russia was, of course, a complete surprise to us. We had heard of the massing of troops on both sides, but of course I assumed and hoped that Hitler
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would keep his pact with Russia and that he would not begin this war. I considered the beginning of the war against Russia a crime, from the point of view of German as well as European interests.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Did you, after you returned from a visit to Germany in the fall of 1943, continue your efforts toward peace?
VON PAPEN: In the fall of 1943, after Stalingrad, it had become clear that no peace could be established with the Hitler Government. Regarding this, there was much discussion between me and my friends, including my military friends. In the fall of 1943 I was initiated into the so-called Beck Plan, which has been mentioned here by the witness Gisevius. At that time this plan did not intend to eliminate Hitler through an attack on his life, but the intention was to have his headquarters surrounded by troops and then to put Hitler on trial. The reasons for this were obvious. Even if many generals were of the opinion that this war had to be stopped, they were afraid of taking action against Hitler because they were of the opinion that Hitler still enjoyed very great prestige. Moreover, there was the further difficulty that if Hitler were removed, no one knew what the Allies would do with us.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks this should be taken more shortly, Dr. Kubuschok.
VON PAPEN: As a result of all these considerations, I attempted To learn what the Allies would do with Germany in such a case; and for this purpose I turned to the American Minister, at that time Mr. Earle, who reported on the matter in the press, too.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Number 93, Page 214. This is the interrogatory of Freiherr von Lersner, whom I wanted to call as a witness but who could not come here because of transportation difficulties. On Page 214, the answer to Question 7 is:
"My activities for the mediation of peace negotiations were always based on my own initiative and extended to the attempt to mediate general world peace between all belligerent states. Prior to all peace measures, I engaged in detailed discussions with Ambassador Von Papen and was always warmly supported by him to the utmost, although every peace measure was forbidden him and was at least as perilous for him as for me. "He also made me acquainted with a number of foreigners, above all with the Apostolic Delegate to Istanbul, Archbishop Roncalli. "When in 1942 I resolved to go to the Vatican, not only did Ambassador Von Papen urgently advise me to make the trip; but he also personally procured for me all the necessary PAPENs and passports for Rome, where in spite of the express
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prohibition of the Reich Government I suggested to Cardinal Maglione and the diplomatic director of the Curia, Bishop Montini, a world peace drive by Pope Pius XII with all belligerent powers.
"When in April 1944 I had the opportunity to establish contact with Mr. George Earle, the former American Minister to Vienna and Sofia, the friend of President Roosevelt, with whom I had long been personally acquainted, Papen again helped me in every way. He even took it upon himself..."
THE PRESIDENT: These are details. Is it not sufficient to say that the defendant said that he endeavored in every way to make peace? Then you can refer, if you like, to any interrogatories or affidavits which confirm what the defendant says.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Very well. I will dispense with any further reading of this answer to Question Number 7, and I refer then to Document 94, Page 217, a letter of the witness Lersner to Mr. Kirkpatrick. He makes reference in the letter to the fact that as early as 1939 the Defendant Von Papen intended to bring Lersner to Turkey, so that on the basis of his international connections he could work for peace. He describes the difficulties in connection with this plan, which, however, was carried out by Papen. The letter also mentions further peace efforts with Admiral Von Horthy and with King Boris of Bulgaria. I should like briefly to give documentary corroboration to the questions raised by the witness Gisevius. I wish to present evidence that Von Papen was by no means unfavorably received in the circle of the conspirators of 20 July, but that on the contrary he was scheduled for the office of Foreign Minister. I refer to the affidavit of Count Bismarck, Document Number 90, Page 201. Count Bismarck, in the course of the events following 20 July, was sent to a concentration camp. This indicates the character of the witness. In Document Number 90 Bismarck points out that in case of a change of government Papen would have placed himself at their disposal. There was an agreement to send communications through Herr Von Trott, who worked in the Foreign Office. Trott was condemned to death following the events of 20 July.
Finally I refer to Document Number 89, Page 199, a letter from Pfeil to the son of the witness Papen. Pfeil points out that Colonel Count von Stauffenberg, the would-be murderer of 20 July, had proposed to the defendant that he serve as Foreign Minister later. The Court has already admitted this letter.
Witness, what was your position as regards the Party during your period in Turkey?
VON PAPEN: My position as regards the Party was exceptionally bad. For years I waged a battle with the Landesgruppenleiter
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of the Party in Turkey. This man told my Embassy officials, "Herr Von Papen belongs in a concentration camp, or he must be shot." I had to struggle a long time to have this man removed.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: What did you do during this time regarding Church matters?
VON PAPEN: During the war I did everything in my power to counteract an intensification of the fight against the Church. That means that I took all such institutions in Turkey under my personal protection.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer here to Document Number 53, Page 141, and Document Number 51, Page 138.
What did you do with respect to the Jewish problem during your period in Turkey?
VON PAPEN: I opposed all measures of the German Government against German Jews. A long Party trial took place because German members of my Embassy had consulted a Jewish doctor. I defended these officials of mine against this charge, and I refused to take away the passports of the German Jews in Turkey and to deprive them of their citizenship.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Number 95, Page 227, the interrogatory of Professor Marchionini. In Questions 4, 5, and 6 he discusses this problem. In the answer to Question 6, the last paragraph is very noteworthy, and as the witness Von Papen has not yet mentioned it I should like to quote it. Page 229, the last paragraph of the answer to Question 6:
"I remember particularly clearly an incident in the spring of 1944, when I called upon Herr Von Papen at the request of Mr. Barlas, the Refugee Commissioner of the Jewish Agency, in order to request his assistance in saving 10,000 Jews in France from deportation to Poland for extermination. These Jews had formerly held Turkish nationality but they had later given it up. Herr Von Papen complied with my wish and through his intervention the lives of these Jews were saved, as I learned later from Mr. Barlas himself."
I continue to quote:
"Details of this incident, on which Mr. Steinhardt, then United States Ambassador in Ankara, and Human Menemencioglu, then Foreign Minister of Turkey, were also informed, can be obtained by questioning Mr. Barlas."
THE PRESIDENT: I would like to point out to you again, Dr. Kubuschok, that you have taken very much longer than you said you were going to take.
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DR. KUBUSCHOK: In a very short time, in a few minutes, I will be through.
I ask the last question of the witness: When, on 2 August 1944 Turkey broke off relations with Germany, you returned to Germany, why did you not remain in Turkey and separate finally from Germany?
VON PAPEN: I can state that on the day of the severance of relations between Turkey and Germany the British Prime Minister Mr. Churchill said the following in the House of Commons: "The breaking-off of relations between Turkey and Germany will have many consequences, including consequences for Herr Von Papen. On 30 June he escaped the blood bath. This time he will not succeed."
As a result, I received requests from the Allies to remain in Turkey. I refused to do so. I said, "I shall return to Germany where I belong. I will not emigrate, for perhaps I might still do something for my fatherland." Thus I returned to Germany. When I arrived there I observed that as a result of the terror methods which had been launched after 20 July there was no possibility at all of doing anything. For the rest of the time a Gestapo guard was placed before my door.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I refer to Document Number 95, Page 226, which has already been mentioned, the interrogatory of Professor Marchionini. I refer to the answer to Question 3 and I should like very briefly to read the last half of this answer in connection with the problem just mentioned by the witness:
"The last conversation on this subject took place on 2 August 1944, on the day before his final departure from Ankara after the breaking-off of diplomatic relations between Germany and Turkey.
`'To my advice not to leave Turkey, but to address an appeal from here to the German people and the German Army to overthrow Hitler and discontinue the senseless war immediately, Von Papen answered in substance as follows:
"'I have learned from history that dictatorships cannot be done away with from a foreign country; one must be in the country itself in order to fight the regime effectively. Therefore, I have determined to return to Germany and to conduct the fight against the Hitler regime there and thus hasten the end of the war."'
DR. KUBUSCHOK: I have finished questioning the witness Von Papen.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of Defense Counsel want to ask any questions?
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DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Herr Von Papen, I should like to ask you a few questions, with the permission of the Court.
How long have you known Herr Von Neurath?
VON PAPEN: Since 1932.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Is it true that it was the express wish of the then Reich President Von Hindenburg that Herr Von Neurath was to be taken into the Government which you formed in 1932, as Reich Foreign Minister?
VON PAPEN: Yes, that is entirely true.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Were you aware, or did you know from previous activities of Herr Von Neurath in his various positions as Ambassador but especially in his last post in London, that; Herr Von Neurath was a faithful follower and an impassioned champion of a policy of peace?
VON PAPEN: That was known to me and to everyone in Germany.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: And you yourself approved of this also?
THE PRESIDENT: I think you are going a little too fast. Go on.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Did you yourself also approve of this peace policy?
VON PAPEN: Of course I approved of this policy. Otherwise we would not have found ourselves side by side in this Cabinet engaged in common work.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Did Herr Von Neurath, a few months later, take any part in the negotiations leading to the transfer of the Reich Chancellorship to Hitler?
VON PAPEN: In no way.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: But do you know that Reich President Von Hindenburg made the express condition that Herr Von Neurath was to remain as Reich Foreign Minister also in the new Hitler Government?
VON PAPEN: I have already mentioned here that this was an express condition of Hindenburg's.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: And what was Hitler's attitude to that in principle? Did he accept it only in order to be able to form the Government at all, or did he approve of Hindenburg's choice?
VON PAPEN: I believe that Hitler approved completely of the choice of Neurath as Foreign Minister.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Did you yourself ever talk to Hitler about this?
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VON PAPEN: Yes, frequently. And I learned from Hitler that he thought highly of Herr Von Neurath's personality and capacity.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: And did you ever talk to Herr Von Neurath himself about it?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Did he make the decision to form this Cabinet readily?
VON PAPEN: I imagine that Herr Von Neurath also had the same inner reservations I had at that time.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Now, according to your knowledge, as far as you could learn from statements of Hitler's, what were Hitler's foreign political aims and efforts at that time?
VON PAPEN: Hitler's foreign political aims at that time were quite limited: Abolition of discrimination by peaceful means and by strengthening Germany's position in the world.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Until the end of 1937, did you ever hear any statements from Hitler indicating that he might be determined to use armed force if his peaceful efforts did not have the desired result?
VON PAPEN: I never heard from Hitler of any such intentions.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: And then it is always asserted that in leading Party circles he expressed such sanguinary intentions?
VON PAPEN: I never heard that in the Party, even among the most radical National Socialists, anyone ever spoke of the idea of a war.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Then to sum up, you agreed fully with the aims of a peaceful policy that were intended and advocated by Herr Von Neurath?
VON PAPEN: Absolutely.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Now the charge is made against Herr Von Neurath of having co-operated in the rearmament of Germany. What was Hitler's reason and motive for this rearmament, which it may be supposed started before the actual taking over of the military sovereignty?
VON PAPEN: I stated yesterday that the actual rearmament began only after I had resigned from the Cabinet. But as far as I am informed, all of my former colleagues held the view that a rearmament was only to serve the purpose of giving Germany a defensive protection for her borders.
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DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Now I come to the problem of Austria. Do you know the attitude of Herr Von Neurath concerning the Austria problem?
VON PAPEN: Herr Von Neurath's attitude concerning the Austria problem was the same as mine. Like myself, he constantly protested in the Cabinet against the terror measures staged by the Party in 1933 and 1934.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Were you yourself, when Hitler sent you on an extraordinary mission to Vienna, under Herr Von Neurath? And did you receive your instructions from him or only from Hitler?
VON PAPEN: I was not subordinate to Herr Von Neurath but had asked that I might be directly subordinate to Hitler. But, of course, I reported all steps which I took to Herr Von Neurath and the Foreign Office, as is proved by the documents submitted here.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: What was Herr Von Neurath's attitude toward the negotiations in the summer of 1936 which led to the Agreement of 11 July between Germany and Austria?
VON PAPEN: Herr Von Neurath had exactly the same opinion as I had, that this agreement was to serve and had to serve the cause, once and for all, of peace between these two peoples of the same race.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Did he influence Hitler in this direction, too?
VON PAPEN: I do not know, but I certainly assume he did.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: And that he was honest and sincere in this agreement? What is your opinion? I point out here that the Prosecution asserts and makes it a charge against Herr Von Neurath that this agreement was concluded with a treacherous intention.
VON PAPEN: I spoke in detail on that point yesterday, and protested against the Prosecution's charging us with treacherous intentions. Herr Von Neurath had such intentions just as little as I did.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Now I have two more brief questions.
Do you know what attitude Herr Von Neurath took as to Germany's leaving the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference in 1933?
VON PAPEN: Yes, I know that very well. Herr Von Neurath was of the opinion that it was advisable to leave the Disarmament Conference. But, like me, he was of the opinion that it was a
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mistake to leave the League of Nations. With his approval, as I told the Court yesterday I followed Hitler to Munich at that time in order to persuade him not to leave the League of Nations.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: I have no more questions, Mr. President.
DR. SEIDL: With the approval of the Court, substituting for my absent colleague, Dr. Stahmer, I should like to ask a question on behalf of the Defendant Goering.
Witness, this morning you said that in connection with the murder of your friend Ketteler in 1938 you turned to Goering because he was in charge of the Gestapo. Is it not a fact, and were you not aware of this fact, that from 1936 on, at the latest, the Gestapo was exclusively under Himmler and was formally under the Reich Minister of the Interior?
VON PAPEN: It is possible that through my 4 years' absence from Germany in Austria I did not know that fact. It has been established here, of course. In any case, I had the feeling when I turned to Goering that he was in a position to defend me against the Gestapo; and after Hitler had refused to speak to me on this matter, it was only natural that I should turn to him as the second man in Germany.
DR. SEIDL: I have no more questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
Sir David, would you prefer to start after the adjournment?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I was thinking that I might have the documents arranged then and it might be more convenient for the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: We will sit again at 5 minutes to 2.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am very much obliged, Your Lordship.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1355 hours.]
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, do you remember saying in your interrogation on 19 September of last year that your present view was that Hitler was the greatest crook that you had ever seen in your life?
VON PAPEN: That is quite true. That is the opinion which I arrived at after I learned here of all the crimes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, that was on 19 September 1945. But I am more interested in your next answer. Was that not when you were asked when you made your mind up that Hitler was the greatest crook you had ever seen in your life, "only after I have known the facts after which he started to go to war"?
Do you remember saying that?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Was not that rather a long time for you to discover that somewhat obvious truth after your close co-operation with Hitler?
VON PAPEN: My opinion about Hitler and his inner political significance was completely clear after 30 June 1934. But, like all other human beings, I could assume that in the field of foreign politics at least he would be sensible and I was of this opinion until after the Munich Agreement.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, just let us see whether you had not had an opportunity of forming that view much earlier. When you were Reich Chancellor in 1932 it was necessary for you to acquaint yourself with the personalities and aims and methods of the Nazi Party, was it not?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you did so, did you not?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you remember-I do not want to delay by referring to the document, but you may take it as an exact quotation-that on 16 November 1932 Hitler wrote to you and said: "You must be aware of my attitude and the attitude of my Party."
VON PAPEN: Of course, I knew the aims of his Party; but I may add, if a party forms a coalition with another party it has to eliminate a great deal from its program and form a coalition program. That was what Hitler did on 30 January.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, but before we come to 30 January I want to ask you-get your view in 1932. You had very little doubt in 1932, during the period of your Chancellorship, that if Hitler got into power Germany was in danger of being ruled by violent and unconstitutional methods, had you not, if Hitler got into power?
VON PAPEN: Doubtless the program of the National Socialists was revolutionary in this connection, but I explained in detail to the Court that when we came to this forced solution of 30 January we established a number of safeguards and drew up a joint coalition program which in our opinion eliminated the points of danger which you have mentioned.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It was very strongly the view of President Von Hindenburg in the middle of 1932 that it would be most dangerous to put power into Hitler's hands, was it not?
VON PAPEN: Yes, that was indeed his opinion, that Hitler had to be controlled by restricting his power.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I just will give you one sentence from the affidavit of Herr Meissner, which the Tribunal will find in Document Book lla on Page 43. This will be GB-495. The number is 3309-PS.
This was after, in August 1932. According to Meissner:
"Hindenburg stated that because of the tense Situation he could not with a clear conscience risk transferring the power of government to a new party, such as the National Socialists, which did not command a majority and which was intolerant, noisy, and undisciplined."
That is a very moderate statement of the Reich President's views at that time, is it not?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you know, Defendant-I am not talking about a coalition, I am talking about if the National Socialists came into power themselves-it was obvious to you that they had few scruples and would make short work of their political opponents, is that not so?
VON PAPEN: One cannot say that. In political life it always happens that a radical party-any party, but particularly a radical party-if it comes to power and is made responsible, has to eliminate much of its program. For example, we have seen that in the case of the socialist parties of all countries.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, is it true, as the Defendant Goering stated under oath, that he told you in 1932 that whatever else the Nazis would do Hitler would not become a "Vice" or
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second man; that he would oppose any political set-up which did not give him the first place? Is that correct?
VON PAPEN: Yes, Hitler always told me that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And therefore you realized that Hitler and his accomplices wanted a full opportunity to put their program and intentions into effect, did you not?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know that. That is a statement which you make here which does not reflect the conditions at that time. You need only read the government program, our coalition of 1 February.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, do not be afraid that I am not coming to the period of your coalition of 30 January. For the moment I am just asking you one or two questions about your view of Hitler, and Hindenburg's view of Hitler in 1932 because I want to take it by very quick but very clear stages.
I am still asking you about 1932. The question I put to you was: Did you realize that if Hitler and his accomplices came into power they wanted, and would be content only with, a full opportunity of putting their program and intentions into effect?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know that; otherwise I would not have made the attempt in 1933 to bring them into a joint coalition program.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you have told us, I think, but I just want to get it quite clear, that your views as to what was necessary for Germany in the second half of 1932 was an easing of the political differences and strife internally, and an adjustment of relations with the Western Powers to ease the requirements of Versailles. I am trying to put it quite shortly as I understand it from you. That is right?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And were these aims think your first approach was to invite Hitler to be Vice Chancellor in your Government in August 1932, was it not?
VON PAPEN: That is quite right.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Hitler refused that and he refused a repetition of your offer in November 1932, is that not right?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, in order to save time I just want to see if Herr Meissner puts the position correctly in Paragraphs 6 and 7 of his affidavit. I will summarize it for you, and believe me, I will be most pleased to read anything of which you have any doubt. He puts it in this way: That in November 1932 you
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thought that the general situation and the Nazi Party, in particular, could be controlled if the President gave you the power to make decrees under Article 48 and you had the support of the Reichswehr and the Police, and at that time General Von Schleicher disagreed because he thought that the Reichswehr was not capable of keeping order in Germany. Is that right?
VON PAPEN: It is incorrect insofar as this process cannot be covered by any paragraph of the Constitution, but constitutes a breach of the Constitution. Otherwise it is correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE That he might have had to use ultra-constitutional methods to keep control, is that what you 'mean?
VON PAPEN: Yes. As I have said here he gave me this assignment on 1 December.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, but originally, is Meissner right in saying that you desired, after you had failed to get Hitler into your Government, to rule by decree and by keeping control with the Reichswehr, and General Von Schleicher said that it could not be done?
VON PAPEN: Now, that is not true. After President Von Hindenburg had decided that he did not want to break the Constitution he appointed General Von Schleicher Reich Chancellor, as is well known. At that time Herr Von Schleicher wanted to create a majority by splitting the Party and, of course, I supported this attempt of Herr Von Schleicher's.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just in case it is any mistake of mine may I just give you Meissner's own words. It is Paragraph 5, Page 44 of Document Book 11a. I think, Defendant, it would be convenient for you to follow it, if you do not mind, so that there is no possibility of mistake.
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is Paragraph 5 of Herr Meissner's statement:
"Papen's reappointment as Chancellor by President Hindenburg would probably have taken place if he had been prepared to take up an open fight against the National Socialists, which would have involved the threat or use of force. Almost up to the time of his resignation Papen and some of the other ministers agreed on the necessity for pressing the fight against the Nazis by employing all means at the disposal of the State and taking recourse to Article 48 of the Constitution, even if this might lead to armed conflict. But the other ministers believed that such a course would lead to civil war.
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"The decision was provided by Schleicher who earlier had recommended energetic action against the National Socialists even if this meant the use of the Police and the Army. Then in the decisive Cabinet meeting he abandoned this idea and declared himself ready for an understanding with Hitler."
Is that correct?
VON PAPEN: In part it is correct, and in part it is not correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now tell us as shortly as you can the part which is not correct.
VON PAPEN: My reappointment as Chancellor by Hindenburg, as Herr Meissner puts it, would have been possible if I had been ready to wage an open battle against the Nazis. That is completely false historically. On 1 December I suggested to Hindenburg that he violate the Constitution and thereby wage open battle against the Nazi Party. Herr Von Schleichert contradicted that. That is the historical truth.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just so that we will have it in sequence, if you will look at Paragraph 6 of the same document, about the second sentence, it begins:
"When it became clear that Hitler was not willing to enter Schleicher's Cabinet, and that Schleicher on his part was unable to split the National Socialist Party as he had hoped to do with the help of Gregor Strasser, the policy for which Schleicher had been appointed Chancellor was shipwrecked. Schleicher was aware that Hitler was particularly embittered against him and would never agree to co-operate with him. Therefore he changed his mind and decided to fight against the Nazis, which meant that he now wanted to pursue the policy which he had sharply opposed a few weeks before, when Papen had suggested it."
Is that right?
VON PAPEN: That is quite right.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you see-I want to get the position quite clear. You told us that you had approached Hitler first in August; before you approached Hitler you had already legalized the position of the SA and the SS, which had been made illegal by Chancellor Bruning. You did that on 14 June, did you not?
VON PAPEN: I had lifted the prohibition, yes, but only for 4 weeks.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE. Did you think it was a good thing to lift the prohibition against the SA, the terror of the streets?
VON PAPEN: I stated expressly to the Court how the lifting of this prohibition came about. The intention was to bring Hitler and
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his Party to tolerate my Cabinet. The second reason was that the prohibition of these formations was one-sided, if the socialist and communist fighting formations were not also prohibited.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And on 20 July you had forcefully got rid of the Braun-Severing Government and got control of Prussia and the Prussian police under your own hand?
VON PAPEN: It cannot be expressed in that way, no.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, you had got rid of the Braun-Severing Government and got power over Prussia and the Prussian police under your own hands, had you not?
VON PAPEN: I did not have the Prussian police in my hands. The Reich Commissioner for Prussia, whom I had appointed-a very moderate man-now had charge of the Prussian police.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And under the Weimar Constitution you, as Chancellor, had the right to dictate all lines of broad policy, and the Commissioner for Prussia and every other minister had to take his broad policy from you; was that not right?
VON PAPEN: After I had appointed a commissioner, I had the right to determine the general lines of policy for Prussia.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, I would just like you to look at a speech of yours which you made at Essen in November 1933, where you speak about this time.
It is Document Book 11, Page 54, and it is Page 47 of the German document book.
[Turning to the defendant.] Now, you see the introductory words:
"Ever since Providence called upon me to become the pioneer of the national resurrection and the rebirth of our homeland, I have tried to support with all my strength the work of the National Socialist movement and its leader."
Is that true?
VON PAPEN: Absolutely, yes, that refers to...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I just asked you if it is true. I may come back to it again.
"Just as I, when I took over the Chancellorship"-that refers to you, your taking over the Chancellorship-"advocated paving the way to power for the young fighting liberation movement."
Was your work in paving the way to power for the young fighting liberation movement to legalize the SA and to turn out the moderate Government in Prussia and centralize the control of the police?
VON PAPEN: No, that would have been a very bad comparison.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just pause there and tell me if that was not what you had done. Tell the Tribunal how you had paved the way to power for the young fighting liberation movement, if it was not by doing that.
VON PAPEN: Yes, I will say that very exactly. The program of the National Socialist Party provided for the liberation of Germany from the discrimination to which we were subjected by the Versailles Treaty. I have spoken here in detail about this. I have explained what efforts I made to obtain the co-operation of the big powers in this connection. We wanted to become a big power again, after being a second-rate nation. That was the meaning of it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, I do not want to stop you, and the Tribunal will give you every opportunity of repeating what you said on that point, but I do want you to answer my question. If I am wrong in what I have put to you as the two things you have done to pave the way, just tell us quite shortly: What else had you done to pave the way for this fighting liberation movement? That is the question. What had you done?
VON PAPEN: I had asked Hitler twice to join my own Government, and, when at the end of January 1933 there was no other way out, I formed a coalition at Hindenburg's request with the National Socialist Party.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, did you believe at that time that Hitler was absolutely necessary for Germany?
VON PAPEN: I was of the opinion that a man who in March 1932, before I was in the Government, had 36.8 percent of all German votes in the presidential election, that that man and his party had to be included in responsible government work.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But beyond his electoral success, did you think that Hitler, from his personality, aims, and program, was essential for Germany at that time?
VON PAPEN: I do not know how a party which controlled 36.8 percent of all German votes could be dealt with by means of the policed
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Look at your own words in the next paragraph of that letter. You do not seem to refer to merely electoral success:
"The dear Lord has blessed Germany by giving it in times of deep distress a leader who will lead it through all crises and moments of danger, with the assured instinct of the statesman, into a happy future."
That was, shall we say-we will not say extravagant-but rather strong language for an ex-cavalry officer to use of a political figure
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if he did not think, or if he did not want other people to think, that he firmly believed in him. Did you really mean what you are saying there?
VON PAPEN: May I say the following in answer? After I had formed the coalition with Hitler, I was convinced that he would keep this pact of coalition, and repeatedly-not only in this speech- I professed my allegiance to Hitler and to our joint program, and I have already told the Court why I took his part precisely in this speech. This was a question of stating before the whole world that Hitler's solemn promise to keep peace was a serious promise to which we all subscribed.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, I am not going to delay. You understand that what I am putting to you, Defendant, is this: That during the early months of your Chancellorship you took action and tried to get Hitler to come in with you. When he refused you for the second time, you then, according to Meissner, were prepared to use force against him. When that was refused to you through Schleicher, you resigned. When Schleicher took over and got into difficulties, you turned around to Hitler again. That is what I am putting to you; and it was at your request, was it not, that you and Hitler had the meeting at the house of Kurt von Schroder on 4 January 1933?
VON PAPEN: No, that is a completely false idea. Unfortunately, the Court did not permit me to go into detail about this meeting on 4 January.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, do you disagree with Von Schroder that it was at your request that the meeting took place?
VON PAPEN: Yes, I am of an entirely different opinion. This meeting took place at Hitler's wish.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you ask him to tell us about that meeting on 4 January?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, certainly; I am going to deal with it.
Well, now, do you say that Hitler asked for the meeting? I am suggesting to you, you see, that Von Schroder, who was the intermediary, says that you asked for the meeting. Do you disagree with that?
VON PAPEN: Yes, I am of an entirely different opinion. What Herr Von Schroder says does not correspond to the facts. Herr Von Schroder...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Welt you tell the Tribunal who arranged it.
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DR. KUBUSCHOK: I object to the use of the Schroder affidavit. The document was to be submitted when the Prosecution presented its evidence. I asked that the witness be called since he is located nearby. The Court asked the Prosecution to bring the witness. The Prosecution chose not to call the witness. Now, in cross-examination, the affidavit is to be used. I do not believe that that is permissible, since the decision of the Court would be crossed. The Court decided on the use of the affidavit in conjunction with the witness. Now it would be used without the witness.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, it is quite true. I should submit that it is a different matter using it in cross-examination when Dr. Kubuschok has put in as part of his own evidence- evidence from Schulthess' Calendar of European History-an account of this very meeting, which you will find in Volume I, Page 27, of his document book, and then, surely, if evidence of this kind has been put in a document book, I am entitled to challenge that evidence in cross-examination by the affidavit of Von Schroder.
My Lord, I am sorry, I should have gone further. My friend has put in an actual statement from Baron von Schroder, which appears on Page 26. He says that at the same time Baron von Schroder handed the following declaration to the County Bureau to correct the false press news.
"The initiative for bringing about a discussion between former Reich Chancellor Von Papen, as the representative of the widest National Conservative circles, and Herr Hitler, as the sole leader of the National Socialist movement, emanated solely from me personally."
I should have thought that, inasmuch as a statement from Von Schroder has been put in, I am entitled to challenge that with another statement of Von Schroder.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I say something, Mr. President?
There are two entirely different things here. Sir David is referring to a document which I produced from Schulthess' Calendar of History. That is a joint communiqué by Papen and Schroder, which was published in the Papers at the time. I object, however, to an affidavit of the witness Schroder, and I pointed it out at the time. The Prosecution agreed with me at that time that Schroder was a person open to suspicion under the Indictment and that he himself was involved in the matter to such an extent that producing an affidavit is possible only if we have an opportunity to put the appropriate question to Von Schroder. At any rate, what is here is nothing but a copy of contemporary documents from the historical calendar by Schulthess. These documents, in agreement with the Prosecution, were accepted by the Court.
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THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, can you not put the facts without relying on the document?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I can quite easily, My Lord; I will do that.
At this meeting, Defendant, did you not suggest-I am sorry, I apologize. I think we should have gotten the surroundings. First we will get where it was and who was there.
It was in Baron van Schroder's house in Cologne I think, or his flat in Cologne; is that not right?
VON PAPEN: Yes, but no friend of mine.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the people who were in the house-and I will come to who were present at the meeting: Hitler's party, that is, himself, the Defendant Hess, Himmler, and Keppler, was it not?
VON PAPEN: That is possible, yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Keppler is the gentleman of whom the Tribunal have heard as being in Vienna in March of 1938, is that not so?
VON PAPEN: He was a man who was always in Hitler's entourage.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the actual discussion took place between you and Hitler, with Von Schroder present. Is that not so?
VON PAPEN: No. Perhaps I might give the Court a short account of the conference as the Court desired.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I think it is easier to put the facts to you. I will take them quite shortly. I am in the hands of the Tribunal.
Do you say that Von Schroder was not present?
VON PAPEN: Schroder may have been present for parts of the conversation. I recall that in the main I talked to Hitler alone.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The meeting started at about 11:30 in the morning, did it not? The meeting between you and Hitler?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And the first point that you
raised was to explain to Hitler that although you had not been able to release the two Nazis who had been condemned for killing a Communist, that you had tried to get President Von Hindenburg to pardon them. Is that not right?
VON PAPEN: I recall that Hitler strongly reproached me because of the death sentence against these National Socialists.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And the second point that you raised as an explanation to Hitler was that it was not through any intrigue or machinations of yours that President Von Hindenburg had refused to discuss with Hitler the question of Hitler's becoming Chancellor. Was that not the second point; it was not you who had caused Von Hindenburg to refuse the discussion?
VON PAPEN: Yes. I explained that my offer to him of 13 August 1932 had been meant absolutely honestly.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think that was an answer to your question.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did you not explain to Hitler that it was not your fault that Von Hindenburg had refused to discuss the question of making Hitler Chancellor in August of 1932 . . .
VON PAPEN: No.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: . . . when Hitler had met Von Hindenburg?
VON PAPEN: No, that cannot be right, for according to the evidence of historical documents Hitler had a talk with Von Hindenburg on 13 August, and Hindenburg explained to him the reasons why he did not agree to Hitler's Chancellorship.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What I am putting to you is that you told Hitler on 4 January, when you had that talk with Von Hindenburg: "I want you to understand it was not my fault that Von Hindenburg was not ready to discuss the question of your being Chancellor." Did you not tell him that, that it was not your fault, that you thought Von Hindenburg would have been ready?
VON PAPEN: No, Mr. Prosecutor, that is what Herr Von Schroder says; but that is not right.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, what do you say was said on the point of Von Hindenburg and Hitler? If you do not accept what I suggest to you, what do you say?
VON PAPEN: What Hindenburg told Hitler can be read in all the books; that is a well-known matter of history.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, no. What we want to know-if I may say so, with great respect to the Tribunal-is what you told Hitler on 4 January. What did you tell him, if you told him anything, about the position between President Von Hindenburg and himself?
VON PAPEN: If you had permitted me to make an explanation about the course of the conference, I would already have explained that.
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In the course of this talk I did nothing but call Hitler's attention to the fact of how necessary it was to reach an agreement with Herr Von Schleicher, how necessary it was to enter his Government. In other words, I continued those efforts which I had made in 1932 to induce the Nazi Party to co-operate.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Are you seriously telling the Tribunal that you told Hitler that he should go into a Schleicher Cabinet?
VON PAPEN: I told him he should enter a Schleicher Cabinet.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is what I put to you. I am suggesting that is entirely wrong. What you suggested to Hitler was that it would be a sound thing for the conservatives and nationalists, whose political views coincided with yours, to join with Hitler in forming a government, that you put to him what actually happened on 30 January, you suggested it to him at this meeting. Do you say that is untrue?
VON PAPEN: Not one word is true; that is absolutely false. As proof of this, I state the following:
Immediately after the conversation I wrote a letter to Schleicher, on 4 January, in the afternoon. He probably received this letter on the morning of the 5th. However, even before Herr Von Schleicher received this letter of mine on the actual substance of the talk, the morning PAPENs of 5 January started a tremendous campaign against me, asserting that this talk with Schroder showed disloyalty to Schleicher. Returning to Berlin, I went to see Herr Von Schleicher immediately, and I explained to him what the substance of our talk had actually been. Herr Von Schleicher then published a communiqué on this subject. This communiqué. . .
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But he was not the only person, you know, that published a communiqué. You and Hitler published a communiqué.
I want you to remember, Defendant, I put to you that the suggestion from you was that you and Hitler would form a coalition with the conservative forces behind you, and the National Socialist forces behind Hitler. Now just look at the communiqué that you and Hitler issued.
Will you give the defendant Document Number D-637. My Lord, this is a new document, which will become GB-496.
Look at the foot of it, Defendant, the end of the document:
"Adolf Hitler and Herr Von Papen publish the following joint declaration:
"In answer to false deductions which have in many cases been circulated in the press regarding Adolf Hitler's meeting with
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the former Reich Chancellor Von Papen, the undersigned declare that the conversation dealt exclusively with the question of the possibility of a great national political united front and that in particular the opinions of both parties on the present Reich Cabinet were not touched on at all in this general discussion."
Now, Defendant, when you have been reminded of what you published yourself, is it not correct what I have put to you, that you suggested to Hitler that you should form this coalition of conservatives and nationalists who agreed with you, and the Nazi Party under Hitler?
VON PAPEN: No, Mr. Prosecutor, this communiqué states two things: In the first place, I point out that we did not speak at all about overthrowing the Schleicher Cabinet or replacing it by another government, as the press generally assumed. Then I state that it is necessary to create "a great national, political united front." Herr Von Schleicher headed the same Cabinet that I had headed, with the same political forces. So if I called on Hitler to enter this Cabinet, then that is exactly the same political combination as if I had asked him to join any Cabinet.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, I am not going to argue with you. If you say that that communiqué is your way of expressing that you had asked Hitler to take the Nazis into Von Schleicher's Government, and that you had not discussed forming the coalition, if you say that that is what that communiqué expresses, I have no further questions, and I will pass on to another point. I have made my suggestion, and I suggest the communiqué bears it out.
But now, let us come to the next action of yours. Do you deny that during January you were active in making contact with Hitler, and on Hitler's behalf with President Von Hindenburg, in order to bring Hitler into the Government? Or do you agree with that?
VON PAPEN: That is true, and I will say in what respect. I had two official talks with Hindenburg. On 9 January, when I returned to Berlin, I went from Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher to Reich President Von Hindenburg. Reich Chancellor Von Schleicher, being of the opinion that in the Schroder talk I had been disloyal to him, had asked Von Hindenburg not to receive me any more. I informed Von Hindenburg of the actual contents of the Schroder talk and, after I had reached an agreement with Von Schleicher, Hindenburg was also convinced that the whole thing had been a big misunderstanding.
Then, to the best of my memory, I did not talk officially to Herr Von Hindenburg about these governmental matters again until 22 January.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, just let us see what the Chief of the Presidential Chancellery says about it, and see whether he can reinforce your memory. Would you look at Herr Meissner's affidavit, at the second part of Paragraph 6?
[A document was handed to the defendant.]
My Lord, it is lla, Page 45, about 7 lines from the foot of the page. [Turning to the defendant.] You see, just after the first section of Paragraph 6, Defendant, the second part, it begins:
"Schleicher first made these suggestions to Hindenburg in the middle of January..."
Then the next sentence is:
"In the meantime Papen had returned to Berlin and, through arrangements with Hindenburg's son, had several talks with the President. When Schleicher renewed his demand for emergency powers, Hindenburg declared that he was unable to give him such blank authority and must reserve for himself decisions in every individual case. Schleicher, for his part, said that under these circumstances he was unable to stay in the Government and tendered his resignation on 28 January 1933."
Then, Paragraph 7:
"In the middle of January, when Schleicher first asked' for exceptional powers, Hindenburg was not aware of the meetings between Papen and Hitler, particularly the meeting which had taken place in the house of the Cologne banker, Kurt von Schroder. In the second part of January Papen played an increasingly important role in the house of the Reich President, but in spite of Papen's persuasions Hindenburg was extremely hesitant, until the end of January, to appoint Hitler Chancellor. He wanted to have Papen as Chancellor once more. Papen finally won him to Hitler with the argument that the representatives of the other rightwing parties which would belong to the government would restrict Hitler's freedom of action. In addition Papen expressed his misgivings that, if the present opportunity were once again neglected, a revolt of the National Socialists and civil war would be likely."
Is that right?
VON PAPEN: No.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: May I make a comment on the use of the Meissner affidavit? The case is similar to but not quite the same as the Schroder case. The Meissner affidavit was not offered to the Court during the proceedings. But during the Prosecution's case it came to my knowledge that a Meissner affidavit was to be used.
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I talked to the Prosecution and pointed out that I would not under any circumstances be satisfied with the submitting of the Meissner affidavit, but would insist on calling Meissner as a witness. The reason is the same. The personality of the witness Meissner, who was very involved in these affairs, makes extreme caution advisable. The Prosecution told me that they would not use the affidavit, and finally told me that they would not call Schroder as a witness.
I had no reason to call the witness myself. Now I am in a position where the affidavit is being submitted in cross-examination, and I am unable to question or expose the suspect witness Meissner before the Court.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE My Lord, concerning the position with regard to this affidavit, Major Barrington tells me that he did not have it when he presented the individual case against Von Papen. I am using it now. If the Tribunal thinks there is sufficient divergence between what the witness accepts and the affidavit to justify it, I have not the slightest objection to Dr. Kubuschok's making application for Meissner to be cross-examined.
THE PRESIDENT: What do you say about the allegation of Dr. Kubuschok that the Prosecution says they were not going to use the affidavit?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I did not say that. Major Barrington, who was with me, had no recollection of my saying that at all. Major Barrington certainly never said that. It was never our intention, because it clearly was a most important document for us to use.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of it?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The Seth of November. We gave a copy to Dr. Kubuschok.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes.
Mr. President, may I explain? The British Prosecution did not make a binding statement that they would not submit the affidavit and not call the witness. I always said that if an affidavit were to be used, I would call the witness. I asked the Prosecution repeatedly, "Are you going to call the witness or not?" They said, "No." Then I said, "Then I am not interested in it. We will drop this whole subject, and I will not call the witness."
THE PRESIDENT: The affidavit seems to have been made a long time ago.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, it was almost as soon as the Tribunal began. I think that perhaps you ought to use the facts and not use the affidavit.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I am perfectly prepared to do whatever the Tribunal wants. If there is any question, and Dr. Kubuschok wants Meissner for cross-examination, as far as I am concerned, he can have him. I mean, I am in a slightly different position from that with respect to Von Schroder. As far as fairness is concerned, I want Your Lordship to understand that certainly none of my staff thought for a moment that the Defense understood we were not going to use it, because we always intended to use it. We gave a copy of this affidavit to the Defense so that there would be ample notice of this affidavit.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: Yes, that was done, and I gratefully acknowledged it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I am really anxious not to occupy too much of the Tribunal's time. I would rather go on and put the facts in and save any discussion about it.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, do that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I think you said, Defendant- you put it that you had two meetings with President Von Hindenburg and then, I think, after 18 January you had meetings with Hitler, and after 22 January you had meetings with the Defendant Goering, as he said in his evidence, is that not so?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not meet with Hitler from 4 January until 22 January.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: We will call it about 4 days, the dates of the Nazi Party say that you began negotiations on the 18th, but we will not quarrel about a day or two. The crucial meeting was the meeting which eras arranged with Oskar von Hindenburg at the Defendant Von Ribbentrop's house, was it not?
VON PAPEN: It was a preliminary talk; it was at any rate the first contact with the National Socialists, with Hitler, and with Goering.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And Oskar von Hindenburg had private conversations with Hitler which lasted for about an hour, at that meeting at Von Ribbentrop's house; is that not so?
VON PAPEN: That is possible. I do not recall it any more.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And thereafter, the decision was come to that Hitler would become Chancellor in the new Government and that he would bring into the Government the Defendant Frick as Minister of the Interior, and the Defendant Goering as Minister without Portfolio, and he himself would head the Government as Chancellor?
VON PAPEN: No; on the 22d, we did not reach any agreement as to this; rather we limited ourselves to...
18 June 4,
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I said only within a few days that had been agreed between you, had it not?
VON PAPEN: Yes, but it is very important to establish-forgive me if I add this-that we did not begin these talks until after it was certain that Herr Von Schleicher could not form a government, after the attempt to split the Nazi Party had failed. That is very important.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, are you telling the Tribunal that at this time you did what you have agreed you have done to bring Hitler into power, simply because he was head of the biggest party in the Reichstag, or because you thought he was the most suitable man to be Chancellor of Germany at that date; which was your motive?
VON PAPEN: My motive, Mr. Prosecutor, was very simple. In the situation existing after 23 January, there were only two possibilities, either to violate the Constitution, which would result in civil war, or to form a government headed by Hitler. I believe I explained that in great detail to the Court.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What I really want to know, Defendant, is that at this time you had had these contacts with Hitler. You have been Chancellor of Germany yourself. At this time did you think that Hitler personally, and Hitler's aims and intentions and personality, were a good thing for Germany to have as Chancellor? It is a perfectly simple question. I want a straight answer. Did you think it was a good thing to have Hitler, as you knew him then, as Chancellor of Germany?
VON PAPEN: To that I can say only that the coalition which I formed on behalf of the Reich President was a forced solution. There was no question of whether it was better or worse. We had to accept it.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, just let us see. I think you said that you were not certain that Hitler would eliminate opposition before he came into power. How long did it take you, after Hitler became Chancellor, to find out that his desire was to eliminate all opposition?
VON PAPEN: I realized that finally when I made the last attempt in my Marburg speech to hold him to the joint program, and when this attempt failed...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That was 18 months later, on 17 June 1934. Are you telling the Tribunal that it took you 17 months to realize that Hitler wanted to break down the opposition?
VON PAPEN: No, I told the Court...
18 June 46
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just let me remind you of one or two things. Do you remember Herr Ernst Heilmann, who had been the leader of the Social Democrats in the Prussian Diet?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: He was, I think, for 10 years a member of the Prussian Diet with you. He went into a concentration camp at once and was treated with the most terrible cruelty, was he not?
VON PAPEN: I learned of that later, here, for the first time. I did not know it at that time.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Are you telling the Tribunal that you did not know in 1933 that Ernst Heilmann went into a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: I knew only that a number of political opponents, Communists and Socialists, had been sent to concentration camps by the Gestapo. That I knew.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, answer my question. Here was the leader of the Social Democrats in the Prussian Diet, a man who sat in Parliament with you for 10 years. Do you say that you did not know that he had gone to a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: I do not recall, no. I believe I learned of it only here.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, let me give you a famous name, Karl von Ossietzki, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, the author and journalist. Did you not know that he had gone into a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: I remember Herr Ossietzki only as the publisher of a periodical; otherwise I know nothing about him.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You did not know that he was the 1936 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, did you?
VON PAPEN: I could not possibly have known that in 1933.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, but you did not know he won it later on? Did you not know that he was put in prison?
VON PAPEN: No.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I thought I might have connected his name with you. Let me take somebody else. Take Dr. Ernst Eckstein, who had been a Reichstag Deputy, who was a well-known lawyer from Breslau. Did you not know that he was put in a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know Dr. Eckstein, unfortunately
18 June 46
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Or Dr. Joachim, the Social Democrat lawyer from Berlin. Did you know he was put in a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know him and I did not know this either.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, apart from individuals, did you not know that within a few months of Hitler's becoming Chancellor, hundreds, if not thousands, of Social Democrats and Communists went into a concentration camp?
VON PAPEN: Thousands?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Well, let us say hundreds, if you like. That is the figure Defendant Goering agreed to, so let us take, as the inside figure, hundreds of Social Democrats and Communists. Minister Severing put it at 1,500 of each; did you not know that?
VON PAPEN: I recall very exactly that the Defendant Goering came to the Cabinet one day after he had had the headquarters of the Communist Party, the Liebknecht Haus, taken over by the Police. He told the Cabinet that he had found a great number of documents which showed to what extent the Communists and other elements were trying to disturb public order and overthrow the new Government.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now will you answer my questions. Did you not know that hundreds of Social Democrats and Communists had been put in concentration camps?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know there were hundreds. I knew that individual leaders had been thrown into concentration camps.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you mentioned, in giving your evidence to the Court, that the Amnesty Decree of 21 March was only the sort of thing that had happened before; that was a concretely one-sided amnesty, was it not? It was an amnesty to those who had fought in the national revolution, that is, an amnesty for Nazis. It was not an amnesty for Communists or Social Democrats or anyone who had been on the other side, was it?
VON PAPEN: Quite true, yes. It was an amnesty for the people who had worked against the formation of the Government.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you knew these things. Well, in your speech at Essen, let us just look at it again; your own account of what you have done. It is Page 54 of Document Book 11. You just told me that it was true what you said in that speech- this was in November-that you had tried to support with all your strength the work of the National Socialist movement and its leader and, if you will notice, you say later on that you were "selected
18 June 46
by a gracious fate to put the hand of our Chancellor and Fuehrer into the hand of our beloved Field Marshal." By November 1933 you must have had a very good idea about the way that Hitler, your Chancellor and Fuehrer, was dealing with those who were politically opposed to him. Why were you-you told us your point of view-why were you saying how proud you were to have supported with all your strength the work of the National Socialist Party unless you agreed with it?
VON PAPEN: Hitler's and the Party's acts in violation of the coalition policy we opposed to the best of our power within the Cabinet. Certainly, we knew of these violations. I, personally, in many speeches which have not been submitted to the Court, referred to these violations, but as long as this coalition pact was in existence I had to hope that we would put our views through, and only for this reason did I therefore assure Hitler of my loyalty so that he, on his part, would be loyal to the others of us.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I just give you the last words. Here you are appealing in a careful and special appeal to your Catholic fellow citizens, and you say:
"Let us in this hour say to the Fuehrer and the new Germany that we believe in him and his work."
Why did you talk like that when you must have known, in November 1933, that his program was to smash opposition, smash his political opponents, smash the trade unions and put himself in complete control of Germany? Why were you making speeches like that unless you believed and agreed with everything Hitler wanted to do?
VON PAPEN: I will tell you that very precisely. You know that in July of that year I concluded the Concordat, and that I received Hitler's assurance that he would make religious peace the basis of his policy. The more conservative elements could be brought to back the Government, so much the better it would be for the fulfillment of my program.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If that is your answer, we will pass to another point. I think you said today, or you said a few moments ago, that you began to realize what sort of team you were running with when you made the Marburg speech on 17 June. Now, please do not think I am being offensive...
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, may I request of the Tribunal that tomorrow and the day after tomorrow my client,
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Herr Von Neurath, be absent from the session so that he may prepare and complete his own defense?
THE PRESIDENT: Certainly.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Defendant, you have told the Tribunal a considerable amount about your Marburg speech. Was one of your associates a gentleman called Jung?
VON PAPEN: Yes, that is quite correct.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And-believe me I do not mean it in any offensive way-Herr Jung had helped you considerably with the composition of the Marburg speech, had he not?
VON PAPEN: Herr Jung quite frequently drafted outlines for speeches of mine, and the same applies to the Marburg speech.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. He was shot after the 30th of June, was he not?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE He was a man for whom you had not only great affection, but for whose political views-I think you would call him a progressive conservative-you had great respect and agreement, is that not so?
VON PAPEN: Perfectly right, yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You have told us about Herr Von Bose. He was shot. Herr Von Tschirschsky was arrested by two different lots of people, was he not, after this occasion?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Was Herr Von Saviguy arrested?
VON PAPEN: I cannot remember. I do not think so.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-;: Well, in all-it does not matter about the names-there were two members of your staff who were shot, and three were arrested, were they not?
VON PAPEN: One member of my staff was shot, and two were arrested. Herr Jung was not a member of my staff.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Herr Jung was not a member of your staff, but he was a close associate of yours. Now...
VON PAPEN: He was an associate who, as I said, quite often assisted me, when I was very busy, by drafting outlines for speeches, and with whom I exchanged conservative ideas.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And, of course, it is common knowledge that General Von Schleicher and his wife were also shot, and-I think my recollection is right-that General Von BredoNv was shot too, was he not?
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VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you were placed under arrest, as you have told us, for 3 days, and I think your files were taken, were they not?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Did this performance shake your faith in the regime? ~
VON PAPEN: My faith in what? I beg your pardon.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did this performance shake your faith in the regime and in Hitler?
VON PAPEN: Quite. I explained to the Tribunal yesterday that by this action the Pact of 30 January had been broken.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you offered your resignation on 2 July, I think.
VON PAPEN: No, I offered it even earlier.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You had already offered it on 18 or 19 June, and you reaffirmed your offer on 2 July.
VON PAPEN: Quite right.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Quite right; my mistake. Now, do you tell the Tribunal that you reaffirmed your offer of resignation because you had lost your faith in the regime, or because of the insult to your own pride, because of your being arrested and having your files taken and your secretaries shot?
VON PAPEN: I offered my resignation, first, because of the unbearable affront to my own person and my staff and, secondly, because by this action the Pact of 30 January had been broken by Hitler and because any political co-operation with him in domestic matters had become impossible for me.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I see. Well, just look at Document Number D-714, will you. My Lord, this will be GB-497.
This is a letter from you to Hitler written on 4 July, and you say:
"Yesterday at 10 in the morning I had the honor of informing you orally of my attitude towards the events of the last days, after my term in police custody had been suspended on 2 July at 9 o'clock in the evening. At this time I pointed out to you that I could not possibly take my seat in the Cabinet until my honor and that of my officials has been restored.
"On 30 June five of my co-workers were arrested; one of them was shot. My files have been confiscated, my office
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sealed, and my private secretary also arrested. This is still the position at the moment.
"A procedure of this kind against the second highest official of the State could be justified only if he and his officials were guilty of complicity in the plot against Fuehrer and nation.
"It is in the interest not only of protecting my personal honor but even more so of protecting the authority and decency of the State that either the guilt in this case be proved at once or honor restored."
Then you say:
"The events have become known abroad, in part in distorted form . . ."
And that for that reason not a single hour should be lost. You appeal to his soldierly sense of honor, and you ask that the case should be put in the hands of the Prosecutor General, or a communiqué published stating:
". . . that the investigations had established no evidence of any complicity in the plot, in order that my honor and that of my officials thus be restored.
"If you do not wish to undertake these steps, my remaining in the Cabinet any longer would be an impossibility."
Now look at the rest of the letter.
"I had placed my office at your disposal, Chancellor, as early as 18 and 19 June. I can ask for my dismissal with a much lighter heart today since the work jointly commenced by us on 30 January 1933 now appears to have been made secure against further revolts. At the same time I request to be relieved of my position as Commissioner for the Saar.
"I assume that you will make your decision regarding the restoration of my honor, for which I am asking you, within the next few hours.
"I remain loyally devoted to you and to your work for our Germany."
Was it true that it lightened your heart that the work of Hitler now appeared to be secured against further revolts?
VON PAPEN: I did not understand the question.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Is it true what you say there, that it lightened your heart that the work of Hitler now appeared to be secured against further revolt?
VON PAPEN: Yes, I was under the impression that there had been a revolution which he had suppressed. This letter was written one day after I was released from custody, and I had the feeling there had been a revolution and now it was settled.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did you know that General Von Schleicher and his wife had been killed?
VON PAPEN: I do not think I knew that at this moment.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You just knew that Herr Von Bose had been shot?
VON PAPEN: Yes, that is mentioned in the letter.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you knew there was not the slightest reason on earth for General Von Schleicher, Jung, and Bose being shot, did you not?
VON PAPEN: No, I did not know the reason. As far as I remember . . .
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, you knew that there was no reason, did you not?
VON PAPEN: No, to my question regarding the reason Hitler replied that Herr Von Bose had been involved in a matter of giving information to the foreign press.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I see. So that we may take it that you were speaking with your head and your heart, and with complete confidence and sincerity when you said: "I remain loyally devoted to you and to your work for our Germany," on 4 July 1934, is that right?
VON PAPEN: Yes, because I had to hope that his further work would not lead to any disadvantages for Germany, even though he might separate himself from me as far as matters of domestic policy were concerned.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You need not go on with the letters. You may take it that I shall deal with them in time, so do not read the others in advance.
As a result of that, you saw Hitler on that day, did you not?
Would you mind just answering my questions. I assure you I will take you through these letters.
You saw Hitler on that day?
VON PAPEN: I saw him earlier.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE But you also saw him after.
VON PAPEN: I saw him the day before. In the letter it says . . .
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, but you saw him after this letter, and did you not agree with Hitler to remain Vice Chancellor until September, and that you would then take employment under the Foreign Office?
VON PAPEN: I do not believe so, no.
18 June 46
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, if you do not believe that, look at the next letter which is D-715, which becomes Exhibit GB-498.
This is a letter of 10 July, and it begins:
"Our agreement of 4 July"-that is the date of the last letter- "to the effect that I am to retain my position as Vice Chancellor until September and then be employed in the Foreign Service was based between us on the following condition: The immediate and complete restoration of my authority and honor, which will enable me to remain in the service of the Reich, in whatever capacity."
Now, do you tell the Tribunal that on 10 July you did not know that General Von Schleicher and his wife had been killed and General Von Bredow had been killed and that Jung as well as Bose had been murdered? You say you did not know on 10 July?
VON PAPEN: I am not denying by any means that I knew that, but as I have already told the Tribunal I demanded that an investigation regarding all these matters be conducted so that we might know the precise reasons for them.
It was stated to the public that Schleicher was shot in self-defense, so that all these matters at the time were not at all clear.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But it is correct, of course, as you write here, that you had agreed with Hitler to carry on as Vice Chancellor until September and then to be employed in the Foreign Service on this condition, is that right?
VON PAPEN: No, that is not correct, for I have already explained . . .
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is your letter, Defendant, it is your own letter.
VON PAPEN: Yes, but this letter was written because Hitler had promised me a clarification, an investigation which would enable me, after my honor had been restored and all these crimes cleared up, to remain in the service of the Reich. But that was never done.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Von Bose and Jung had been working with you in close co-operation and if anyone knew whether they were innocent men or not it was you. Why did you, with that knowledge, agree with Hitler to carry on as Vice Chancellor and then to enter the Foreign Service?
VON PAPEN: I have stated that I had resigned. The sentence dealing with my possibly remaining in office is only a supposition.
De facto I had resigned and de facto I did not exercise any governmental activity from 4 July on.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just look at the next words in this letter:
"To this end I submitted to you on 5 July my proposal for a statement to be issued officially, explaining why the arrest of a number of officials of my staff had taken place and how Von Bose had lost his life, and averring the nonparticipation of all the members of my staff in the SA revolt. This statement requested by me was approved and published by you only in part, inasmuch as the release and innocence of Herr Von Tschirschsky, Herr Von Savigny, and of my private secretary, Stotzingen, were announced."
You had put before Hitler your own version and asked him to pass it and he would not pass it. He would not clear the people who were working closely with you and yet you had agreed with him. You had agreed with him to continue as Vice Chancellor and to go into the Foreign Service.
You see what I am putting to you? I am putting to you quite clearly that all you cared about was your own personal position, your dignity being restored. You were prepared to serve these murderers so long as your own dignity was put right.
VON PAPEN: Mr. Prosecutor, I cannot give better proof for my intentions to separate myself from the regime than lies in the fact of my actual resignation. If everything had been clarified, if the fact that my employees and officials had been innocent when they were arrested and murdered had been made clear, then perhaps it might have been possible for me to remain in the service of the Reich, but not as Vice Chancellor, from which position I had resigned. But you can see from this letter that Hitler made no attempt to give such a declaration.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And as a result of his making no such attempts you wrote an even more fulsome statement of your admiration for his actions. Look at Document Number D-716, which will become Exhibit GB-499.
"Most honored Reich Chancellor:
"I reflected a long time on our conversation of yesterday, and the statements made to me, in particular what you told me about your intentions regarding your Reichstag speech, have occupied me constantly in view of the enormous importance of the speech and its special effect on Germany's position in the sphere of foreign politics as well. I therefore feel impelled, in fact I feel it my duty, to let you know my opinion, as I have frequently done on previous occasions.
"You explained to me yesterday that you intend publicly to accept responsibility for everything that happened in
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connection with the crushing of the SA revolt. Allow me to tell you how manly and humanly great I consider this intention. The crushing of the revolt and your courageous and firm personal intervention have met with nothing but recognition throughout the entire world.
"What are, however, at the moment a burden on Germany are solely those events that took place outside the bounds of your own initiative and without any immediate connection with the revolt, such as the examples you yourself gave me. This has been given expression particularly in the British and American press."
Then, leaving out three paragraphs, you say:
"Allow me to assure you once again that my person or my position, except for the restoration of my personal honor, do not matter at all and are at issue only insofar as the events in the Vice Chancellery on 30 June are being regarded by the public as the consequence of a breach between you and me."
Then, after some more of the same you finish up:
"With unchanged admiration and loyalty..."
Did it not come to this, Defendant, that so long as you could get your dignity cleared it did not matter whether your collaborators were shot or the Government of which you had been a member had adopted murder as an instrument of policy? These things did not matter to you so long as you kept your own dignity and the chance of a future job in the Foreign Service.
VON PAPEN: No.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, why did you write stuff like that to the head of a gang of murderers who had murdered your collaborators? Why did you write to him:
"The crushing of the revolt, your courageous and firm personal intervention have met with nothing but recognition throughout the entire world."
Why did you write it?
VON PAPEN: Because at that time it was my opinion that there actually had been a revolution and that Hitler had crushed it. That on the other hand numerous people had been murdered, members of my own office staff, that was something about which Hitler was to ascertain the truth.
When he told me that he himself would assume responsibility, I considered this an excellent act on his part, though not, as it was actually done afterwards by Hitler, when he stated to the Reichstag that these events were proper. I understood it to mean
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that if he himself assumed responsibility for these events he would clarify them to the world and not state to the world in a law without any investigation that they were proper.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Would you tell the Tribunal that on 12 July you thought there was any doubt or any possibility that your friend Jung could be guilty of treason against the Reich or of a plot against Hitler? Did you believe that for an instant?
VON PAPEN: Herr Hitler explained to me at that time that the shooting of Bose was first of all only a...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, I asked first of all about yourself. I asked, did you believe for a moment that Jung had been guilty of treason against the Reich or of a plot against Hitler?
VON PAPEN: No, certainly not.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, you knew very well that Hitler was worried from the point of view of foreign opinion as to publicity being given to the effect of a break between you and him, did you not?
You knew that the support, after the blood purge, of an ex-Chancellor of the German Reich and, as you have told us, a Catholic of old family with great position amongst the German population- the support of someone of that kind would be of great value to him after this blood purge, which had caused foreign opinion to be very disturbed, did you not? You knew that?
VON PAPEN: No, it seems clear from this letter that I constantly asked Herr Hitler to ascertain why and for what reasons action had been taken in this manner against my associates and me. He was to explain this to the world.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Herr Von Papen, if you, as an ax-Chancellor of the Reich and, as you said yourself, one of the leading Catholic laymen of Germany, an ex-officer of the Imperial Army, had said at that time "I am not going to be associated with murder, cold-blooded murder as an instrument of policy," you might at some risk to yourself have brought down the whole of this rotten regime, might you not?
VON PAPEN: That is possible, but had I said it publicly, then quite probably I would have disappeared somewhere just as my associates did. And, apart from that, the world knew from my resignation that I did not identify myself with this affair.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just let us see what you were writing. If you look at Document Number D-717, which will become Exhibit GB-500, that emphasizes the importance that Hitler was attaching to your adherence. If you will look at the second paragraph-I will read it, it is quite short. You say:
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"I hope you have received my letter of yesterday and that you received it in the spirit in which it was intended.
"Today I ask you, for personal reasons, to excuse me from participating in the session of the Reichstag. Yesterday you were, indeed, of the opinion that my staying away might create the impression that there was disagreement between us. But this impression can surely not arise if in your statements you refer to the case of the Vice Chancellery in the way in which you promised me you would.
"During all these days I have behaved with the greatest possible reserve towards the outside world and have shown myself as little as possible, and you will surely understand my not wanting to appear in public again until every shadow has been removed from me.
"I have also asked the Party Chairman to excuse my absence."
Who is the Party Chairman? Is that the Chairman of the Nazi Party?
VON PAPEN: No, I believe the Chairman of the Party was Dr. Frick.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It was the Government Party, was it?
VON PAPEN: Yes. The letter shows that I requested Hitler to give an account of the actions undertaken against me and my associates before the Reichstag.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You wanted a statement saying that you had never swerved from your loyalty towards him; that is what you wanted, was it not? VON PAPEN: No, I wanted...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, if you disagree with that, look at Document Number D-718, which will become Exhibit GB-501, and see what you say the next day:
"Most honored Chancellor:
"After you have given the nation and the world last night your great account of the internal developments which led up to 30 June, I feel the need to shake your hand, as I did on 30 January 1933, and to thank you for all you have given anew to the German nation by crushing the intended second revolution and by announcing irrevocable and statesmanlike principles.
"Painful, tragic circumstances have prevented me for the first time since 30 January from appearing at your side. You yourself excused me and showed understanding for the fact that a Vice Chancellor cannot take his seat on the
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ministerial bench as long as he finds himself subjected to special treatment. (My confiscated files have still not been returned to me, in spite of Goering's and your own orders.)
"Your statements clearly show to history that any suspicion of a connection between my person and these treasonable practices was an intentional defamation and calumniation. I thank you for stating this."
Then, after saying that people are still believing it, in the penultimate paragraph you say:
"I should, therefore, be grateful if you could soon find the occasion to point out positively that up to today"-that was 14 July-"I have loyally stood by and fought for you, your leadership, and your work for Germany."
Now, Defendant, do you deny what I put to you a moment ago, that all you wanted was your loyalty to the regime to be made clear to the world? It was not worrying you at all that Von Schleicher and his wife, and Von Bose, and Jung, and all these other people had been murdered by the Government of the Reich; otherwise, why did you write a letter like that?
VON PAPEN: I wrote this letter, as the letter itself shows, because I was still being accused of having agreed to the attempts on the lives of Goebbels and Goering and of various other conspiracies. That is the reason why it was important to me to have Chancellor Hitler state that I was not involved in any conspiracies against him in connection with the various actions of this revolt. Of course, first of all I dealt in this letter with my position and the position of my associates. The restoration of General Von Schleicher's honor was the task of the Army, and not my task.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, I will come to that when we deal with the Army, but at the moment, you see, what I am putting to you is this: That even after you knew that your own friends had been murdered, to say nothing of your old colleagues, your own friends had been murdered, you again and again protest your loyalty and the fact that you had always worked and cooperated with Hitler in all his work. Was that honest? Is what is contained in these letters honest, or do you say they were just lies in order to protect yourself?
VON PAPEN: No, I wrote that because, in fact, the entire action against me, Himmler's attempt to murder me, the fact that I was arrested, were all based on the supposition that I had participated in a conspiracy against Hitler's Government. It had therefore to be clarified that as long as I was a member of this Government, I had acted toward it with absolute loyalty. That is the reason why I was asking for this clarification.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you remember your learned counsel, on your instructions, putting an interrogatory to Baron van Lersner? It is Number 2(a) on Page 212 of Defense Document Book 3, Question 2(a):
"Did the Defendant Von Papen continue to hope to change Hitler's policy to his own way of thinking by impregnating it with conservative ideas, until the murders taking place on 30 June 1934 and Hitler's justification of them had convinced him that his efforts and his hope had been in vain?"
And Baron von Lersner, not unnaturally, answers "yes" to that question.
Does that correctly express your point of view ". . . until the murders taking place on 30 June 1934 and Hitler's approval of them had convinced him..."-that is you-"that your efforts and your hopes had been in vain"? Do you agree with that? It is an interrogatory put by your own learned counsel.
VON PAPEN: Yes, I agree with that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If that is your view, why did you write these letters expressing this fulsome admiration of Hitler?
VON PAPEN: What I wished to express in the interrogatory, or rather what I wanted Herr Von Lersner to be asked was the following: Is it correct...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The answers the witness expects are in his question. It is one of the best examples of a leading question I have ever seen. You say that your interrogatory expresses your view, do you not?
VON PAPEN: I might say that if I were of this opinion that with the 30th of June it became apparent that further co-operation with Hitler was no longer possible and that, therefore, the coalition program which had been agreed upon between us had collapsed...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You say again that you have an unchanged loyalty and admiration and that you have cooperated?
"I remain loyally devoted to you for your work, for our Germany."
If your view is put in that interrogatory, that the foundations of your faith had been shaken, why do you write that you remain loyally devoted to Hitler's work for Germany?
VON PAPEN: I have already told you and the Tribunal that I hoped that, in spite of the collapse of the domestic situation, Hitler would at least in the field of foreign policy pursue a reasonable course. He was there; we could not remove him. We had to
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reckon with Hitler and his Government. All the gentlemen continued to co-operate; I was the only one who stepped out. All these letters with which you are trying to prove I am insincere or that I am not truthful, or, as you call it, that I am a liar or a deceiver, cannot deny to the world the fact that I resigned at that time.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And you took another job within 11 days. Eleven days after the last letter you had taken the job of representing this-well, I will not say a gang of murderers-this Government which had adopted murder as an instrument of policy, as Plenipotentiary to Austria, within 11 days of your last letter.
Let us just see whether the murder motif did not come into that. Did you think that Hitler had been behind the July Putsch in Austria, which had resulted in the murder of Chancellor Dollfuss?
VON PAPEN: I know that Herr Habicht, who had been appointed by him to lead the Austrian Party, at any rate had some connection with this affair. That Herr Hitler himself had approved this act, that was not known to me.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, did you think that the German Foreign Office had been behind the July Putsch?
VON PAPEN: The German Foreign Office, in my opinion, had nothing at all to do with the July Putsch.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did you think that Dr. Rieth- if I have his name, yes, Rieth, the German Minister in Vienna- did you think that he had been behind the Putsch?
VON PAPEN: No. I knew only that Dr. Rieth had negotiated with the Austrian Government.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You did not know that Hitler had been behind it. You deny that the German Foreign Office had been behind it. You did not know That Dr. Rieth had been behind it. Just look at Page 96 of Document Book 11a. It is Pages 79 and 80 of the German book.
This is a report, your report a year later. I am taking it slightly out of time because of this sentence where you recapitulate the facts, and if you will look at paragraph-I think it is the last paragraph on Page 79 in the German text.
My Lord, it is the second last paragraph on Page 96 in the Document Book 11a.
"The hope that the personal conversation between the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor and the head of the Italian State at
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Stresa would lead to a settlement of German-Italian differences has been changed into the exact opposite by the threatening attitude taken up by Mussolini because of the assassination of his friend Dollfuss, and by the partial mobilization of Italian corps on the Brenner. It became apparent that the attempt to re-establish normal and friendly relations by sending me to Vienna was not immediately possible after what had just happened. Mistrust of the forcible methods of the Austrian NSDAP"-now look at the next words-"influenced, as became more and more apparent from the trials which were held, by leading Reich-German persons, was too strong. The impression caused by the terrorist methods and the death of the Federal Chancellor was too lasting in the widest circles."
Now, Defendant, tell the Tribunal who the leading German personalities were to whom you were referring as supporting the Putsch in July 1934 and the murder of Dollfuss? Who were they?
VON PAPEN: By no means the former German Minister to Vienna, Herr Rieth, but only Herr Habicht and the persons subordinate to him who at the time were running the Austrian Nazi policy at Hitler's order.
But I might point out that it says in this sentence that mistrust of the methods of force employed by the Austrian Nazis had become more and more apparent from the trials held, and that is something which we discovered a year later and not at the time when I was given the task.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What I want to know is this. My question was: Who were the leading German personalities? You are not going to tell the Tribunal that Habicht, who was a liaison man with the NSDAP in Austria, was a leading Reich-German personality. Who were they? You are not going to say that Austrian Nazis were leading Reich-German personalities. Who were they? Who were the leading Reich-German personalities that you were talking about?
VON PAPEN: The leading personality was, no doubt, Herr Habicht. But this letter was written to tell Hitler: "Here, look what you have done."
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you seriously want the Tribunal to understand this as a statement on which they will judge your veracity, that by a leading Reich-German personality you mean Herr Habicht, and you have no one else in mind although you use the plural? Is that what you want the Tribunal to understand? I do not know if you remember, Defendant just think of it
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before you answer-but General Glaise-Horstenau could not even remember Habicht's name when he was giving his evidence.
You cannot seriously mean that you meant a liaison agent with the Austrian NSDAP when you referred to prominent Reich-German personalities. Surely you can do better than that.
Think again and tell the Tribunal whom you had in mind.
VON PAPEN: Mr. Prosecutor, Herr Habicht was not an agent. Herr Habicht had been appointed by Hitler as the leader of the Party in Austria, so I am surely justified in calling him a leading personality. If Herr Hitler himself had knowledge of these matters at that time, then when reading my letter he would know what I was hinting at.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Even if I were to allow you Herr Habicht, which I certainly never would, he is only one man. Who were the others? You referred to Reich-German personalities. Who were the other people who had been behind this Putsch and this murder?
VON PAPEN: Quite candidly I must tell you that after the 12 or 15 years which have passed since then I can no longer remember which people I might have had in mind when I wrote that. At any rate, the purpose of the letter was-and you will appreciate this-to tell Hitler that the methods which had been employed were doing more damage and were much more incredible than we had known at the time.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, I will accept it. We will go on from the point that you knew there were some unspecified prominent Reich-German personalities who had been behind the murder of Dollfuss.
Now, let us just, advancing from that, let us consider what you say with regard to Mr. Messersmith. As I understand it, you deny- if I may say so, with some vigor-what Mr. Messersmith says regarding you. Therefore, let us just look at what he says and see how much of it you can seriously suggest is not true.
I think I gave Your Lordship the references yesterday. The reference to the affidavit 1760-PS is Document Book 11, and Page 22 is the relevant part; and the other affidavit, Document 2385-PS, is lla, Page 24. This is rather shorter.
I think the one that I would like you to look at, Defendant, is 1760-PS, and I think it begins on Page 3. I want you to come to the bit in the affidavit-and I am afraid I cannot give you the exact German place-where he deals with yourself.
It is Page 22, My Lord.
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The paragraph begins:
"That the policy of Anschluss remained wholly unchanged was confirmed to me by Franz Von Papen when he arrived in Vienna as German Minister."
Have you got the passage, Defendant?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, if you look down a few lines in Mr. Messersmith's statement, he says:
"When I did call on Von Papen in the German Legation he greeted me with: 'Now you are in my Legation and I can control the conversation.' In the baldest and most cynical manner he then proceeded to tell me that all of southwestern Europe, to the borders of Turkey, was Germany's natural hinterland, and that he had been charged with the mission of facilitating German economic and political control over all this region for Germany. He blandly and directly said that getting control of Austria was to be the first step. He definitely stated that he was in Austria to undermine and weaken the Austrian Government, and from Vienna to work towards the weakening of the governments in the other states to the south and southeast. He said that he intended to use his reputation as a good Catholic to gain influence with certain Austrians, such as Cardinal Innitzer, toward that end. He said that he was telling me this because the German Government was bound on this objective of getting this control of southwestern Europe and there was nothing which could stop it, and that our own policy and that of France and England was not realistic."
Then Mr. Messersmith says that he told you that he was shocked, and that you merely smiled and said that, of course, this conversation was between you and Mr. Messersmith, and you would not talk so clearly to other people. Then he says:
"I have gone into this detail with regard to this conversation as it is characteristic of the absolute frankness and directness with which high Nazi officials spoke of their objectives."
Now, you have told the Tribunal that you said nothing like that to Mr. Messersmith. Apart from whether you said it to Mr. Messersmith or not, do you deny that these were your aims and intentions?
VON PAPEN: Yes; I absolutely deny that my purposes and aims were those which Mr. Messersmith is describing in his affidavit here. I told the Court yesterday...
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now I just want to take these quickly Would you just refer back to the document you were looking at a short time ago, which is Document 2248-PS?
That is Page 96, My Lord. It starts there, in 11a, and I want to pass on to Page 97. That is Page 81 of the German book.
Now, Defendant, this was your view in 1935, if you will look at the beginning of Page 81 of the German text.
My Lord, it is the first break in Page 97.
"The great historical speech of the Fuehrer's on 21 May of this year, and later the naval treaty, caused a strong détente in the field of foreign policy as regards England. But the clear and final definition of the attitude of National Socialism to the Soviet doctrine of state naturally doubled Franco-Russian attempts to cripple us in the east and southeast, without at the same time achieving a détente in the other direction by clearly renouncing the annexation, or Anschluss, of Austria.
"Any attempt at an economic and, even more so, at a political offensive by the newly-formed Third Reich in the direction of southeastern Europe must inevitably come up against a front formed by the whole of Europe."
Who put into your mind the question of a commercial or a political offensive in the direction of southeastern Europe? Had you discussed that with the Defendant Von Neurath?
VON PAPEN: No, not at all.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Do you think you spoke for yourself?
VON PAPEN: Certainly. I am making a negative assertion, Sir David, namely, that an advance into the southeastern area would come up against a front formed by all of Europe. I am thus warning of that.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You appreciate, Herr Von Papen, that I cannot make any comments at the moment. I can merely draw your attention to matters. All that I am asking you is whether you had got that idea from, say, the Foreign Minister, or whether it was your own idea. You say it is your own idea.
Just look on Page 82.
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Page 82. There is a paragraph- My Lord, it is the same page, 97, in the English version-where you go on to say:
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"This realistic political survey of the European constellation shows immediately that the German-Austrian problem cannot, at least in the near future, be successfully approached from the direction of foreign politics. We must for the time being be content with not allowing Austria's international status to deteriorate in view of a later solution. In this connection the danger of a nonintervention pact with bilateral treaties of assurance seems to be successfully prevented. The maturing of a solution was and still remains dependent on nothing but the shape of German-Austrian relations."
Why were you so afraid of a nonintervention pact, if your idea was that there should only be an evolutionary solution of Austria based on Austria's will? Why were you afraid of a nonintervention pact which would bind the Reich to not interfering in Austria?
VON PAPEN: For a very simple reason. All political combinations which our opponents were making at the time had only one end, that Austria should be pushed into such a situation, whether it was a Danube pact or a pact with Italy and France, which would make it impossible to advance the thought of the Anschluss. For that reason it had to be and remain our natural political aim that the international status of Austria should not be allowed to deteriorate, as I have expressed it here.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. That is the answer which I thought you would have to give. Now, just look at Page 83, which is in the very next paragraph:
"The German nation has for centuries had to pursue a veritable path of suffering in order to secure its unity. With the dawn of National Socialism and the founding of the Third Reich by means of the final overthrow of all particulars, an opportunity, unique and never to be repeated, seemed to present itself to complete Bismarck's work and to bring relations between Germany and Austria nearer to a solution, as a dynamic result of internal events in Germany."
I will see if I can put quite shortly what you mean by the completion of this man's work, because I hope we shall not disagree about ancient history, whatever we do about the other. As I understand, your view is that this, Bismarck's setting up the German Empire in 1871, was merely an attempt at a solution which left the Hapsburg Empire separated from Germany, and the final completion of his work was that the old Hapsburg dominions should be brought back with the states which had been in the Holy Roman Empire. Is that roughly the truth?
VON PAPEN: Quite right; not all the Hapsburg states, but Austria, the German part.
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: The original Hapsburg domains?
VON PAPEN: Yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Quite right. I hope I am putting it objectively enough.
VON PAPEN: Oh, yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: With regard to that, what did you mean by saying that the solution of the relations between Germany and Austria should be brought about by "dynamic consequences of internal events in Germany"? What did you mean by that?
VON PAPEN: By that I mean the following: Never in Germany's history had it happened that a large party whose aim was Germany's unity existed in both nations. That was a unique historical event. And I wished to state that the dynamic force of this movement in the two countries, which was urging unity, gave promise of a solution. '
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You see, Defendant, the difficulty that I want you to explain is: How do you square an approval of centralization in Germany with a Nazi Government whose unscrupulous message you then knew after the affairs since 30 June 1934 how do you square an unscrupulous centralized Germany with an evolutionary solution of the Austrian problem?
That is what that paragraph is saying, you know. What I am suggesting is that it means a much simpler thing than you have told us. It means that you were out to get an annexation of Austria at the earliest opportunity under the National Socialist Reich.
VON PAPEN: Of course, I had to reckon with existing conditions, and I did reckon with them, as any realistic politician would. I wanted to attempt, with the help of the factors present in the National Socialist Party in both countries, to come to a solution. But I see no contradiction, Sir David. You are saying, how could I achieve my aim by centralization. But if you would be good enough to look at the end of this report of mine, then you will find that I am proposing decentralization to Hitler.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE At the moment, you see, I was really asking you for an explanation of what you meant by the expression, "dynamic result of internal events in Germany." In short, I want you to realize, Defendant-I am not going to argue with you, because I ought not to-that the first point of Mr. Messersmith was a question of this action in southeastern Europe; the second point, that Austria was the first line, the first thing to be dealt with. Now, I wonder if you will be good enough to take the same bundle and turn over to Page 102 which is a report of your
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own dated 8 October 1935. I want you to deal with Mr. Messersmith's third suggestion against you, which you deny, that you were going to work in Austria by a weakening of the regime.
Now I will just read the first sentence so that you will get the point into your mind. The report that I am dealing with is of 18 October 1935. You are dealing with the Austrian Government reshuffle, and you are saying-My Lord, this is a new document. It is GB-502, Document Number D-718. It is in 11a, Page 106. It begins:
"Yesterday's Cabinet reshuffle resembles a bloodless insurrection led by Prince Starhemberg and the Heimwehr (Austrian Home Defense Organization). It is clear that Minister Fey heard early of his intended dismissal and that as early as yesterday afternoon he had the public buildings in Vienna occupied by the Viennese Heimwehr, which is loyal to him. The Government countered this measure by simultaneously reinforcing the occupation by Police forces."
Now you go on to discuss the matter. That is at the beginning of the report. Then, if you turn to the next page, at 102, and refer about halfway down the page, you say this:
"In spite of the Vice Chancellor's clear victory and of the strenuous efforts of the Austrian press to make it appear plausible that the Cabinet reshuffle was carried out for reasons of internal consolidation, the feeling of moving towards a completely uncertain development prevails in the Austrian public, as also in the Heimwehr circles.
"From our point of view the change of affairs is only too welcome. Every new weakening of the system is of advantage, even if it at first seems in fact to be directed against us. The fronts are starting to move and it will have to be our task to keep them moving."
Now, Defendant, by that it is quite clear, is it not, that you meant that so long as there is political uncertainty or political trouble in the Austrian State, it does not matter whether the move may be an anti-German one, so long as the struggle grows with distrust spreading? That was an advantage to Germany, and that is what you want. That is what the lines mean, is it not?
VON PAPEN: No, not quite.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Not quite?
VON PAPEN: I should like to make the following remarks about your explanation, Sir David. Here in this report we are concerned with a change in the Austrian Government, with Prince Starhemherg and the Heimwehr involved. You know that Starhemberg and the Heimwehr had allied themselves with Mussolini against the German Reich. A loosening-up of this inner-political front which
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was working against the interests of a union could be only advantageous, in the light of my policy.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But what I do not understand is this. You see, you have said, "In spite of the Vice Chancellor's clear victory and of the diligent efforts of the Austrian press.. ." and you go on to say, ". . .every new weakening of the system is of advantage." You see, Prince Starhemberg and the Italian party, according to you, had won, because you say, "In spite of..." this ". . . clear victory."
Then you say, "every new weakening of the system." That could not be Starhemberg's alliance, because that had been successful. By "the system" you mean the Government of Austria, do you not? You cannot mean anything else.
My Lord, perhaps I should not continue the argument. But it is a somewhat complicated subject.
VON PAPEN: Yes, it is.
THE PRESIDENT: I was thinking that you should perhaps draw attention to the few remaining sentences.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord, certainly I will read on:
"The continuation of negotiations for a settlement which I had recommended since the Geneva declaration, seems to be entirely superfluous for the time being. It will be a good thing to continue the increasingly excited public feeling against the Italian trend by clever and tactful handling via the press without, however, giving the Government justifiable cause for having recourse to the desperate measure of starting a new propaganda campaign against us. I would be very grateful if the Reich Minister for Propaganda were to put a few experienced journalists to work in this connection.
"For the rest, we can confidently leave further developments to the near future. I am convinced that the shifting of powers on the European chess board will permit us in the not too distant future to take up actively the question of influencing the southeastern area."
Extraordinary-if I may so-extraordinary how Mr. Messersmith had got your ideas if you had never had this conversation with him, was it not?
My Lord, perhaps this will be a convenient time to adjourn.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn at this time.
VON PAPEN: But may I come back to that question tomorrow?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 19 June 1946 at 1000 hours.]