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[The witness Sievers resumed the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: I think I said-at any rate I will say it again-that the Tribunal will sit in open session tomorrow until 1 o'clock.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, yesterday I was taking you through extracts of your diary for 1944. Have you a copy of those extracts in your possession at the moment? I am referring to the Document 35~46-PS, which is GB-551.
I want to make it clear, My Lord, that the extracts which are in this Document 3546-PS are only sporadic extracts taken from the diary relating to the medical experiments. There are numerous other entries in the diary referring to other aspects of the activity of the "Ahnenerbe".
[Turning to the witness.] I had taken you yesterday to 2 February. Now, will you look at the entries for 22 February? You will see that you had a conference with a Dr. May, and there is an entry relating to co-operation with Dr. Plotner and Professor Schilling. What work was Dr. Plotner on at that time?
SIEVERS: I cannot hear the German translation.-I can hear now.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you heard the question?
Dr. Plotner was working together with Professor Schilling. This refers to a communication from Himmler dated i3 January, according to which Schilling's reports were to be passed on to Dr. May. These reports actually were not passed on, because Schilling refused to collaborate.
MAJOR JONES: Now turn to the entry for 25 February.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it a separate document, or is it in this book?
MAJOR JONES: It is in the document book, My Lord, Page 29 of the document book, Document 3546-PS.
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[Turning to the witness.] On 25 February you make an entry regarding:
"The order of the RFSS about his work in Dachau in cooperation with Rascher was made known.
"22 March, 1830 to 2100 hours, SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Rascher ... preparations for the freezing experiments for the winter half-year 1944 to 1945."
You were at Dachau with Rascher on that date, were you not?
SIEVERS: These are experiments which, as I already testified before the Commission, Himmler wanted to have carried through on account of casualties from cold in the East. These experiments, however, could not be carried through at Dachau. This was reported to Himmler, and he ordered that they were to be carried through during the following winter. But they were never carried through, because Rascher was already arrested in April.
MAJOR JONES: For whom were you carrying through these experiments? Was it for the Army?
SIEVERS: These experiments were to be carried through together with the Reich Physician of the SS, Grawitz.
MAJOR JONES: He was the SS chief surgeon, was he not Grawitz?
MAJOR JONES: So that these experiments were for the benefit of the Waffen-SS, were they?
SIEVERS: Grawitz personally refused to carry through these experiments and due to pending discussions they were not carried through in the winter of 1943-44, as Himmler had wished. Grawitz held the view that if these experiments were to be carried through, Herr Rascher should go to the front and work in the hospitals there.
MAJOR JONES: You have not answered my question, Witness. For whom were these experiments being carried out? Was it for the Waffen-SS?
SIEVERS: The order for the execution of these experiments was never transmitted. The arrangements were made between the Reich Physician of the SS and the Wehrmacht, but I do not know the particulars.
MAJOR JONES: If you please ... if you would look at the next entry: "14 April, station Rascher; situation of work; further work; orders for provisional carrying on; Hauptsturmfuehrer Plotner introduced."
Now, that was the time when Rascher was arrested, was it not?
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SIEVERS: Yes, after Rascher had been arrested.
MAJOR JONES: And Hauptsturmfuehrer Plotner succeeded Rascher, did he not?
MAJOR JONES: And the experiments continued in Dachau and elsewhere? The removal of Rascher made no difference?
SIEVERS: These experiments were completely different from those carried out by Rascher.
MAJOR JONES: You had attended some of the Rascher experiments, had you not?
SIEVERS: I was at Dachau several times, yes.
MAJOR JONES: And you were there with Himmler on several occasions when Rascher was carrying out his experiments, were you not?
SIEVERS: No, I never went to see Rascher at Dachau with Himmler.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at the Document Number 2428-PS, which will be GB-582, which is an affidavit of Dr. Pacholegg, of whom you spoke yesterday.
Your Lordship will find it at Page 20 of the document book, Page 25 of the English document book, Page 32 of the German document book.
[Turning to the witness.] You will see this question and answer put to Pacholegg after he had described the experiments of the throwing of victims into cold water and of the experiments on prostitutes to recover... to restore the warmth of these people:
"Question: Who was present at such an experiment?
"Answer: Heinrich Himmler and his staff generally witnessed these important experiments here at Dachau, or any new experiment. Standartenfuehrer Sievers was always present with Himmler."
SIEVERS: That is not true.
MAJOR JONES: These experiments were hideous experiments, weren't they, Witness?
SIEVERS: I have just said that I was not present at those experiments when Himmler was there.
MAJOR JONES: Were you ever present when Himmler was not there?
SIEVERS: I saw two experiments; one I already mentioned yesterday, an experiment which I saw in part when Professor Hirt
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was present; the other was an experiment in the low-pressure chamber.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to turn to Page 30 of the German document book, Page 22 of the English document book, so that your memory may be refreshed as to what sort of suffering these victims had to suffer under these so-called low-pressure experiments. [Turning to the President.] It is in the last answer on Page 22 of the English document book, My Lord.
Pacholegg states there:
"I have personally seen, through the observation window of the chamber, when a prisoner inside would stand a vacuum until his lungs ruptured. Some experiments gave men such pressure in their heads that they would go mad and pull out their hair in an effort to relieve the pressure. They would tear their heads and faces with their fingers and nails in an attempt to maim themselves in their madness. They would beat the walls with their hands and head and scream in an effort to relieve pressure on their eardrums. These cases of extremes of vacuums generally ended in the death of the subject. An extreme experiment was so certain to result in death that in many instances the chamber was used for routine execution purposes rather than as an experiment. I have known Rascher's experiments to subject a prisoner to vacuum conditions or extreme pressure conditions, or combinations of both, for as long as 30 minutes. The experiments were generally classified into two groups, one known as the living experiments, and the other simply as the 'X' experiment, which was a way of saying execution experiment."
Those were the sorts of 'experiments that were being carried on by Rascher for the Luftwaffe, weren't they?
SIEVERS: Those are low-pressure experiments, and I hear of the method of carrying them through here for the first time. The experiments which I witnessed ...
MAJOR JONES: Just answer my question. Those experiments of that type were being carried out by the Luftwaffe ... for the Luftwaffe, weren't they?
MAJOR JONES: What was the participation of G6ring in these experiments?
SIEVERS: That is unknown to me, because the experiments at Dachau started in the year 1941 and I only learned of them after they had already begun. Connection with the Luftwaffe was established through the medical inspection offices of the Luftwaffe.
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To what extent Goering was informed of these matters, I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: Through whom was the connection with the Navy maintained in connection with these scientific experiments?
SIEVERS: That I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: And the Army?
SIEVERS: That I do not know either.
MAJOR JONES: You see, you were the director of this Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes. You must have had liaison with each of the arms of the services, didn't you?
SIEVERS: The channels with regard to these Luftwaffe matters went via Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff to General Milch.
MAJOR JONES: The Luftwaffe surgeon working on these Rascher experiments was Weltz, wasn't he? W-e-I-t-z, Oberfeldarzt of the Luftwaffe? That is so, isn't it?
SIEVERS: That may be. Several gentlemen were mentioned whom I did not know. Official letters were also written by others on behalf of Rascher. But without data X can no longer recall names. I gave evidence on these matters already last year.
MAJOR JONES: Does the name of Dr. Holzl6hner convey anything to you? He signed the report on the Schilling experiments.
MAJOR JONES: He was professor of physiology of the Medical School at the University of Kiel, wasn't he?
SIEVERS: Yes. I mentioned before the Commission that Professor Holzl6hner worked together with Dr. Rascher on experiments in Dachau.
MAJOR JONES: Was he the representative of the Navy in these experiments?
SIEVERS, No, he was an Air Force surgeon.
MAJOR JONES: Do you remember the experiments that were carried out for making sea water, drinkable?
SIEVERS: Yes, I have heard of them.
MAJOR JONES: They took place in-they started in May of 1944, didn't they?
SIEVERS: Yes, that may be; in May.
MAJOR JONES: And you remember that you attended a conference on 20 May 1944 in the Air Ministry, to which members of the Navy and the Luftwaffe were invited; you remember that occasion?
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SIEVERS: I do not remember any conference in the Air Ministry.
MAJOR JONES: Do you remember a conference anywhere else where you had a discussion on these experiments to make sea water drinkable?
SIEVERS: Yes. It was a conference with Dr. Grawitz, Reichsarzt SS. In this connection, I must explain that after the arrest of Rascher, his successor, Dr. Plotner, refused to carry through experiments on human beings. Only with the arrest of Rascher did the cruel way in which he experimented, and the manner in which he exceeded his orders by fat, come to light. Himmler said ...
MAJOR JONES: Well-just a moment. I will test you on that in a moment, but I just want you to try to apply your mind to these experiments for making sea water drinkable. Do you remember that there was a conference in which representatives of the Air Force and of the Navy attended? That is all I want you to deal with at the moment. You can give your explanation later.
SIEVERS: I have already said that I do recall a conference with Dr. Grawitz; and later a conference at Dachau with gentlemen of the Luftwaffe did take place. Whether gentlemen of the Navy were present, I do not recall.
MAJOR JONES: But I want you to try to remember, because it is important, you see. These were experiments on sea water. One would assume that the Navy would be interested. They were interested, and they sent a representative, didn't they?
SIEVERS: I do not think that a representative of the Navy was present.
MAJOR JONES: Do you know Dr. Laurenz, connected with U-boats at Kiel; L-a-u-r-e-n-z?
SIEVERS: No, I do not know him.
MAJOR JONES: Was it decided, in connection with these sea water experiments, to use Gypsies for the purpose of experiments?
SIEVERS: In this connection, I must continue the explanation which I started to give a little while ago, because this is a very decisive point. Dr. Plotner refused to continue the experiments on human beings, and Himmler did not demand them of him. Consequently, Grawitz received the order to devote himself to these matters. It is clear, therefore, that each experiment on human beings depended upon the willingness of the physician. Grawitz said that the Luftwaffe, that is, a professor from Vienna, had requested that camp inmates should be made available, and it is possible that Gypsies were mentioned in connection with the experiments to make sea water drinkable. I know nothing about
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the details of the experiments. It was ordered at that time that the chemical and physiological experiments be carried through, and for this purpose the institute of Dr. May had to make two rooms available for a period of 3 weeks, and in these rooms the Luftwaffe physicians worked. Otherwise, these experiments ...
MAJOR JONES: You had a staff working in Dachau on these experiments consisting of a supervisor, three medical chemists, one female assistant, and three noncommissioned officers, didn't you, in connection with these sea water experiments for Grawitz?
SIEVERS: Yes, that may be. That was under the supervision of Grawitz and his directives; how these directives were carried out, I did not know. We just confiscated the rooms; everything else was arranged by Grawitz. I do not know who worked there, or whether personnel of the SS worked there with the gentlemen of the Luftwaffe from Vienna.
MAJOR JONES: Why was this staff working in Dachau? Why was Dachau chosen as the place for the scientific experiments for making sea water drinkable? It was because you had the human guinea pigs there, wasn't it?
SIEVERS: I have already- said that the Luftwaffe contacted Himmler for the purpose of obtaining camp inmates for these experiments; consequently, these experiments were arranged by Grawitz to take place in Dachau.
MAJOR JONES: I want you now to go back to your diary, Page 30 of the British document book, My Lord. You will see an entry for 14 April, "Political department about escape of Pacholegg." This prisoner Pacholegg escaped, didn't he?
SIEVERS: Yes, at any rate he had disappeared.
MAJOR JONES: Why did you go to the political department about it?
SIEVERS: Because I had been in Vorarlberg together with Rascher and Pacholegg, and I was accused of aiding Pacholegg to escape. All the circumstances of the arrest at the time when the Rascher affair was suddenly uncovered were at issue.
MAJOR JONES: You must have been extremely anxious when Pacholegg escaped; he knew a lot of the facts about your work, didn't he? You must have been most anxious to secure his recapture.
SIEVERS: I was mainly anxious about myself, for it is not hard to imagine what would have happened to me, since Pacholegg knew much-if it had been proved that I had favored his escape, as was being maintained.
MAJOR JONES: If you look at the entry for 23 May, you will see that you had a conference with the Reichsarzt SS Grawitz,
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Poppendiek, and Plotner. Then you had "Division as to the work of Dr. Schilling." Then, in the afternoon, you had a 2-hour conference with Plotner. That was about these experiments to make sea water drinkable, wasn't it?
SIEVERS: No, this concerned Plotner's desire to discontinue his work with Schilling. Pl8tner complained bitterly about the type of work carried on by Schilling and said that he could not longer follow him. Plotner had been ordered there as a Waffen-SS physician.
MAJOR JONES: You yourself must have been feeling pangs of conscience at this time about the use of inmates because your military situation was rather delicate, wasn't it?
SIEVERS: I did not have a conflict of conscience at that late date only, but I felt pangs of conscience already much earlier. In view of the documents which are being submitted now' and the accusations which are raised against me personally in that connection, I am forced to make a personal confession, a fundamental statement, and I should like to ask the Tribunal for permission to do so now.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks that you may say anything you wish in that regard.
MAJOR JONES: I would like to say, My Lord, that I have a number of other matters to put to this witness. If he cares ...
THE PRESIDENT: You can put it to him first.
MAJOR JONES: If he cares to reserve his statement to the end, he can do so, but it might be convenient to my course, if he makes his confession now. I am at the disposal of the Court for this matter.
THE PRESIDENT: Let him make it now, then.
MAJOR JONES: If your Lordship pleases. Then will you make your confession to the Tribunal?
SIEVERS: Before the Commission on 27 June I had to make factual statements in direct answer to the questions put to me, and I was repeatedly asked to be brief. I therefore had to limit myself to a statement of the relevant facts and to disregard my own person and my personal attitude to these questions. I note that in consequence my credibility has been doubted, and it has been said that I personally participated in these incriminating experiments and did not wish to tell the truth. In view of this, I must, in my own defense, say the following:
I entered the Party as well as the SS as a leading member of .a secret organization of the resistance movement and on its orders.
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Indeed, this position in the Ahnenerbe afforded us special opportunities of working illegally against the Nazi system ...
MAJOR JONES: Witness, when you say "resistance movement," I did not quite understand you. What is the "resistance movement" that you were leading?
SIEVERS: The secret organization led by Dr. Hielscher, who in connection with the 20th of July was arrested and kept imprisoned by the Gestapo for a long time. I repeatedly protested against the experiments, with the result that finally Himmler issued an order, also included in these documents, that resistance against these experiments would be regarded as high treason, and would therefore be punishable by death. Among other things, he told me that no one would ask me to carry out the experiments personally, and that he himself would have the full responsibility for them. Besides-as I myself read later-he said that such experiments on human beings had taken place repeatedly as part of medical research and were necessary, as was proved by the famous experiments on human beings carried out in 1900 by Dieth, and later by Goldberger, in America. Nevertheless my conflict of conscience ...
MAJOR JONES: If Your Lordship pleases, I do not know whether the Tribunal wants to hear more of this material. It seems to me to be more an avoidance than a confession, and I have numerous matters that I desire to put to this witness.
SIEVERS: Well, I am just going to make a confession.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Elwyn Jones, the Tribunal thinks you had better go on with your cross-examination. If the witness wants to add something at the end he may do so.
MAJOR JONES: Now, just look back again at your diary. On 27 June you had a conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Dr. Brandt and SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Berg on the "creating of a scientific research station in a concentration camp. Information about conference on 15 June 1944 with SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl." That was 27 June 1944, you know. On 25 July, you had a conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Maurer, Oranienburg, about the "use of inmates for scientific purposes." That was when you were leading the resistance movement. On 26 July:
"SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Fischer by phone. Order in accordance with conference with SS Stabsfuehrer Maurer, dated 25 July 1944, to visit quickly all concentration camps in order to make the final selection of the persons."
In October-on 21 October you were having another conference. "Proceeding of research of SS Sturmbannfuehrer Professor Dr. Hirt. Renewed release of Staff Surgeon Dr. Winimer for
9 Aug. 46
duty and making preparations for the assignment of the chemist, SS Obersturmfuehrer Martinek..."
On 23 October, you were having a conference with Poppendiek. On that day you record in your diary: "Taking over of biological research by SS Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Plotner in Dachau."
Witness, do you remember your experiments on the quickness of coagulation of blood?
MAJOR JONES: Did you take part in any such experiments?
SIEVERS: I never participated in these experiments, because I am not a research man. But I remember this work very well. Dr. Plotner, as I said, refused to carry out experiments on human beings. The means of quickening the coagulation of blood...
MAJOR JONES: I am sorry to interrupt you, but I would like you to say what you personally knew about these experiments. What was the form of them, for instance?
SIEVERS: Experiments for quickening the coagulation of blood were conducted in the University Clinic of Innsbruck by Professor Breitner, and in the University Clinic of Vienna by Professor Denk.
MAJOR JONES: What happened was that bullets were fired into prisoners, into concentration camp detainees. That was the form of the experiments, wasn't it?
SIEVERS: This experiment was carried out by Rascher, not by Dr. Plotner, and it came to light only after Rascher's arrest.
MAJOR JONES: I am not concerned with who carried them out. You knew the form they took, and that was the form that bullets were fired into detainees of concentration camps and then efforts were made to stop the flow of blood, that was the form of the experiments, isn't that true?
SIEVERS: That only came to light after Rascher's arrest. Before that, he maintained that these experiments among others were carried out at the hospital in Schwabing.
MAJOR JONES: Just look at Document Number 065, Page 8 of the English document bo8k. That will become GB-583, and it is an affidavit of Oswald Pohl, the head-of WVHA (Economic and Administrative Main Office), and I want you to look at Paragraph 4, Page 11 of the German document book, Paragraph 4, in which he gives some testimony about you. I only want to read some of that in Paragraph 4.
"Sievers came to find out from me about the possibilities for the manufacturing of medicine. I mentioned the Deutsche Heilmittel Limited in Prague, which belonged to the Deutsche
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Werke, managed by Oberfuehrer Baier of my staff. I recommended Sievers to go to him. The medicine was manufactured later in Schlachters (Black Forest). Sievers told me that the 'Ahnenerbe,' whose manager Sievers was,. had developed in Dachau a medicine which quickly brought coagulation of blood. It was enormously important for our combat troops because it prevented profuse bleeding. It was the result of experiments in Dachau during which a prisoner was fired upon. A prisoner in Dachau, a specialist in this field, is said to have taken an important part in the discovery of this medicine."
Now, those facts are true, aren't they?
SIEVERS: Yes, but the account is quite incomplete. When this discussion took place, Rascher had already long ago been arrested, and it was known that he himself had carried out this experiment. Since it was Dr. Plotner who had perfected this medicine, I told Pohl about the experiments in detail and submitted to him the expert opinion of Professor Breitner and Professor Denk from Vienna. The picture presented in this document is completely misleading.
MAJOR JONES: Witness, Rascher is dead. It is convenient to cast all the blame on to him, isn't it?
SIEVERS: The point in this case is to clarify the facts, and I can only say what is true and what I know exactly.
MAJOR JONES: Did you have anything to do with the experiments into the cause of contagious jaundice?
SIEVERS: No, I do not know anything about them.
MAJOR JONES: I want you to look at Document Number 010, Page 4 of the English document book, My Lord, Exhibit GB-584. That is a letter, as you see, from Grawitz to Himmler. It is dated I June 1943 and headed "Top Secret. Subject: Investigation into the cause of contagious jaundice."
THE PRESIDENT: What is the signature?
MAJOR JONES: That is the signature of Grawitz, is it not, the Reich Physician of the SS and Police?
MAJOR JONES: "Reichsfuehrer: The Fuehrer's Commissioner General, SS Brigadefuehrer Professor Dr. Brandt. .."-pausing there for a moment-he was the Reich Commissioner for Health and Sanitation, wasn't he?
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MAJOR JONES: "The Fuehrer's Commissioner General called on me with the request that I should assist him by placing prisoners at his disposal for research work into the cause of contagious jaundice which he was' furthering considerably.
"The work has been carried out up to now by a Stabsarzt Dr. Dohmen, within the framework of the Research Institute of the Army Medical Inspectorate, and with the participation of the Robert Koch Institute. It has up to now led to the result, in agreement with the findings of other German research workers, that contagious jaundice is not carried by bacteria but by a virus. In order to increase our knowledge, which is based up to now only on vaccination experiments from men to animals, the reverse way is now necessary, namely, the vaccination of the cultivated virus into humans.
One must reckon on cases of death.
"The therapeutic and above all the. prophylactic results are naturally largely dependent on this last experimental step. Eight prisoners condemned to death would be required, if possible of fairly young age, within the prisoners' hospital of Sachsenhausen concentration camp. I respectfully ask for a decision, Reichsfuehrer, as to:
"1. Whether I may start the experiments in the prescribed form;
"2. Whether the experiments may be carried out in the Sachsenhausen prison hospital by Stabsarzt Dr. Dohmen himself.
"Although Herr Dohmen does not belong to the SS (he is an SA leader and a Party member), I would recommend this as an exception in the interests of the continuity of the series of experiments and thus of the accuracy of the results. The practical importance of the question raised for our own troops, especially in southern Russia, is shown by the fact that this illness has been very common in the past years, both amongst us in the Waffen-SS and Police and in the Army, so that companies have been reduced by 60 percent for periods of up to 6 weeks."
And then there follows some more comment about the illness, and that is signed by Grawitz. Grawitz was the vice president of the German Red Cross, wasn't he?
MAJOR JONES: I want to turn to the Document Number 011 on Page 5 of the English document book-Exhibit GB-585. That is the reply of Himmler to the letter of Grawitz. It is dated
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16 June 1943. "Subject: Research into the cause of contagious Jaundice," and Himmler says:
"I give permission for 8 criminals condemned to death in Auschwitz (8 Jews of the Polish resistance movement who have been condemned to death) to be used for the experiments. ,
"I agree to Dr. Dohmen carrying out these experiments at Sachsenhausen. Like you, I am of the opinion that a real combating of contagious jaundice would be of inestimable value."-And then it is signed by Himmler with a note at the bottom:
"SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, Berlin. Copy sent with a request that note be taken."
Those experiments into the cause of contagious jaundice were done for the Waffen-SS and for the Army, weren't they?
SLEVERS: I hear of these things for the first time today. I know nothing about them and I cannot see what connection I can have with them.
MAJOR JONES: If you please, I want you to deal next with your experiments into typhus vaccine. Perhaps you may be a little more familiar with the nature of those experiments. Have you any knowledge of those? Professor Haagen might give you a clue.
SIEVERS: Yes, Professor Haagen did carry out vaccinations against typhus at Natzweiler, at the request of the camp where this disease had broken out.
MAJOR JONES: Who delegated Haagen for this work?
SIEVERS: He was not delegated at all. He was the hygienist at the University of Strasbourg.
MAJOR JONES: But I asked you who delegated him for this work, and not what his qualifications were for it.
SIEVERS: As far as I recall, these experiments were carried through by Haagen on order of the Medical Inspectorate of the Wehrmacht and of the Luftwaffe.
MAJOR JONES: He was commissioned by G6ring, wasn't he?
SIEVERS: I do not know who commissioned him on behalf of the Luftwaffe.
MAJOR JONES: Well, just look at your own letter on this subject, Document Number 008, the first document in the English document book, Exhibit GB-586. It is headed "Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes", dated 19 May 1944. That was after Rascher had been removed from the scene. It is to:
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"SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen-SS Pohl, Chief of the VFVHA. Subject: Production of a new kind Of typhus serum." "Dear Obergruppenfuehrer: Following our application of 30 September 1943, you gave your authorization on 25 October'1943 for the carrying out of experiments with a view to producing a new kind of typhus serum and transferred 100 suitable prisoners to Natzweiler for this purpose. It has been possible to carry out the experiments very satisfactorily so far with the help of the chief of Department D III, SS Standartenfuehrer Dr. Dolling, commissioned by you."
Then there follows a number of sentences dealing with the medical aspects and scientific aspects of it. Then a few lines down: "I therefore request you to detail persons to Natzweiler again for the purpose of inoculation. In order to obtain results which are as accurate as possible and can also be utilized for statistical purposes, 200 persons should be placed at our disposal for inoculation this time; it is also again necessary that they be as far as possible in the same physical conditions as is encountered among members of the Armed Forces. If imperative reasons should demand that 200 persons should not be transferred to Natzweiler for the experiments, the experiments could be carried out in another concentration camp, although it would entail great difficulties. The overcoming of these difficulties would, if necessary, have to be accepted by the scientists employed-although the latter are at the same time very much tied down to the University of Strasbourg owing to their lecturing activities-as the results which will certainly be achieved are of the most far-reaching importance for maintaining the health of our soldiers. As I have informed you, the direction for carrying out the experiments is in the hands of the director of the Hygienic Institute of the Reich University of Strasbourg, Professor Dr. Haagen, Oberstabsarzt and consulting hygienist to an air fleet, who was commissioned with this task by the Reich Marshal as President of the Reich Research Council. In accordance with his instructions, Dr. Haagen has to report about his work to the chief of the Luftwaffe medical services; in doing this he has to mention with whose support the work is carried out; that is, first, the Reich Research Council and secondly, the SS. I -request your decision which of the following is to be mentioned as the supporting authority of the SS; a) the Reichsfuehrer SS; or, b) Economic and Administrative Main Office; or, c) the Institute of Scientific Research for Military Purposes of the Waffen-SS."
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Are you still saying that Goering didn't commission Haagen?
SIEVERS: Yes, I still maintain that. It says here, "Reich Marshal, President of the Reich Research Council." That does not at all mean that Herr G6ring had knowledge of all these commissions of which tens of thousands were given in his name and on his stationery. The various authorized persons and offices concerned were competent in this respect, and that is evident from this document which lists the chief of the Luftwaffe medical services.
MAJOR JONES: The Tribunal has this document before it, so I am not going to argue with you on it.
THE PRESIDENT: Who signed the letter?
MAJOR JONES: The letter is signed by you, isn't it?
MAJOR JONES: And you mentioned G6ring specifically by name, not simply Reich Research Council. Now just look at the Document Number 009 which is further to that letter of yours. It will be GB-587. It is Page 3 of the document book. That deals with the question as to who is to have the honor of having taken the lead in these experiments. It is to the "Reichsfuehrer SS, Personal Staff." Whose signature is at the bottom of that letter?
SIEVERS: The personal secretary of the Reichsfuehrer, Dr. Brandt.
MAJOR JONES: It is dated 6 June 1944, subject:
"Production of a new kind of serum against typhus.
"Dear Comrade Sievers, Thanks very much for sending the copy of your letter of 19 May 1944 to SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl. I have informed the Reichsfuehrer SS, as the matter seemed to me to be sufficiently important. In answer to the question as to who is to be designated as the supporting authority of the SS, the Reichsfuehrer SS said that both the SS Economic Administrative Main Office (WVHA) and the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes should be mentioned. In addition, there is no objection to saying straight out that the Reichsfuehrer SS has also personally supported the experiments."
Now what was your connection with the experiments into sterilization? Witness, I will just remind you that they were of three kinds. There were the experiments with the juice of a plant Caladium Siguinum, experiments with X-ray sterilization, and Klauberg's experiments on sterilization without operation. I have no doubt you remember them?
SIEVERS: No, I do not remember them. I do not know them.
MAJOR JONES: Do you know w14o was carrying them out?
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SIEVERS: No, I do not know.
MAJOR JONES: Look at the Document Number 035, which will be GB-589, Page 7 of Your Lordship's English document book. Page 8 of the German document book. That is a letter to the Reich Plenipotentiary for the Consolidation of German Folkdom, Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, Chief of Police, Berlin. That was another arm of the SS that was interested in these medical experiments, was it not? Did you hear my question?
SIEVERS: Yes. The address is completely wrong. It should just read: The Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom.
MAJOR JONES: I asked you whether it was another branch of the SS that was involved in these medical experiments?
SIEVERS: No, it had nothing to do with it.
MAJOR JONES: I'll just read the letter in that' case. It has the initials of Himmler on the top, has it not, "H. H." You are extremely familiar with them.
MAJOR JONES: The letter reads:
"I beg you to' direct your attention to the following statements. I have asked Professor H6hn to hand this letter to you and have thus selected the direct path to you in order to avoid the slower official channels and to eliminate the possibility of an indiscretion, bearing in mind the enormous importanc4, under certain circumstances, of the idea submitted. Prompted by the thought that the enemy must not only be conquered but exterminated, I feel obliged to submit the following to you as the Reich Plenipotentiary for the Consolidation of German Folkdom. Dr. Madaus is publishing the results of his research into sterilization by medicaments (I enclose both studies). In reading this article, I was struck by the enormous importance of this medicament in the present struggle of our people. Should it be possible to produce as soon as possible as a result of this research, a medicament which, after a comparatively brief period, would cause an unnoticed sterilization in individuals, we would have at our disposal a new and very effective weapon. The thought alone that the,3 million Bolshevik~ now in German captivity could be sterilized, so that they. would be available for work but precluded from propagation, opens up the most far-reaching perspectives. Madaus discovered that the juice of the plant Caladium Seguinum, swallowed or injected, produces after a certain time, particularly in male animals, but also in females, a lasting sterility. The illustrations which
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accompany the scientific work are convincing. Provided that the idea expressed by me meets with your approval, the following path could be followed: (1) Dr. Madaus should not publish any more studies of this kind (the enemy is listening in!); (2) Cultivation of the plant (easily raised in greenhouses!); (3) Immediate experiments on humans (criminals) in order to ascertain the dose and the duration of treatment; (4) The quickest possible discovery of the formula of the composition of the effective chemical agent in ord6r; (5) To produce the same synthetically if possible. I myself, as a German physician and a retired Oberarzt of the reserve in the medical corps of the German Armed Forces, undertake to observe complete silence on the use to which the subject raised by me in this letter is to be put. Heil Hitler:" -signed-"Dr. Ad. Pokorny, specialist on skin and venereal diseases."
Do you know that subsequent to that, greenhouses were erected and these plants were cultivated?
SIEVERS: No, I do not know that. I only remember in this connection that this publication of Dr. Madaus, but without reference to this rather strange suggestion of Dr. Pokorny, was sent for comment to Dr. Von Wunzelburg, who was an authority on tropical plants, and who told us immediately that such a plant could not be raised here and was not even available.
MAJOR JONES: I appreciate the difficulties of growing these tropical plants in Germany, but an attempt was made to grow them, was it not?
SIEVERS: I do not know whether an attempt was made.
MAJOR JONES: Grawitz, the Reich Surgeon of the SS, was in charge of these sterilization experiments, was he not?
SIEVERS: I do not know that, either. It may be.
MAJOR JONES: Now, apart from these experiments, scientific murder, the "Ahnenerbe" was used for political purposes, was it not?
SIEVERS: Political purposes? What do you mean by that in this connection?
MAJOR JONES: Fifth column activity abroad, for instance. The penetration of the scientific thought' of other countries as a method of political influence.
MAJOR JONES: Just look at the Document Number 1698-PS, will you? It is inserted before Page 20 of the English document
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book. There is just one page of it. 1698-PS will be Exhibit GB-589. It is an annual report dated 17 November 1944.
"Das Almenerbe (The Heritage of the Ancestors), Germanic Scientific Mission, Outpost Flanders, SS-Obersturmfuehrer (F) Dr. Augustin. Annual report.
"The work is aimed at an intellectual deepening and broadening especially in the intellectual circles of Flanders and the Walloon district. In following the Germanic line which the SS represents, 1. The liberal-humanistic educational front must be invaded by winning over occupants of intellectual key positions; 2. Combating the great German myths with the idea of the Great-Germanic Reich community; 3. To promote the revival of the consciousness of German culture and German folkdom with the exceedingly effective-though neutrally camouflaged-political propaganda agent of science, bearing in mind the arrogant French assumptions of culture and the Flemish inferiority complex."
Then in the next paragraph it says:
"Thereby those circles of intelligentsia can be reached which hitherto have not been affected by the official press and propaganda. In university, college, and scientific policies, in the promotion of students' interests and in the granting of scholarships, in the selection for college training and in the education and promotion of the talented, our work must make an effort. To control, influence, and bind the holders of intellectual key positions (for example college professors, associations of lawyers, tutors, students, artists), that is the mission . . ."
THE PRESIDENT: Well Mr. Elwyn Jones, are you submitting that this is a crime?
MAJOR JONES: Yes, My Lord, I am submitting that it is an essential part of the machinery of this last instrument. First of all the perversion of science, secondly of using that perversion to infiltrate other countries. But I won't press the matter at all. Now ' Witness, the "Almenerbe" was a component part of the SS, was it not?
SIEVERS: I gave detailed evidence on this matter before the Commission. The Germanic scientific mission was subordinate to the SS Main Office. Dr. Augustin was appointed as expert for this work which in itself was only a continuation of the activity of many previous decades. I cannot believe that this amounts to fifth column activity or misuse of science for political purposes. MAJOR JONES: I was asking you generally as to the "Ahnenerbe"; that is, was it a department of the SS? Look at Document
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488-PS, Page 19a of the English document book. That is Himmler's order with regard to the "Ahnenerbe." I only want to draw your attention to the first paragraph.
"I, the undersigned Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler, hereby certify that the research and teaching society 'Das Ahnenerbe'... and the 'Ahnenerbestiftung' (Ancestral Research Institute) are parts of my personal staff and thus are departments of the SS."
The funds of the Institute for Scientific -Research, they came from the Waffen-SS funds, did they not?
SIEVERS: I testified on both of these points before the Commission. I said that the "Ahnenerbe" became an office in the personal staff of the Reichsfuehrer SS in 1942 and that its status as a registered association was not affected thereby. I said that the funds of the "Ahnenerbe" came from the Ahnenerbestiftung, from funds of the German Forschungsgemeinschaft (Research Society), from fees of members, from funds of the Reich and from contributions of industry. Waffen-SS and Wehrmacht funds were, as I stated before, put at the disposal of the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes only.
MAJOR JONES: The members of the "Ahnenerbe" that. were carrying out these experiments were all SS men, were they not? I want you just to look at the nominal roll of the "Ahnenerbe." Document D-962 which is the last document I am putting to you. It will be GB-591. You see the names of Professor Dr. Walter Wust, SS Oberfuehrer Dr. Hans Brandt? And you see as you go down the whole of that list, that with one exception they are all officers of the SS, are they not?
SIEVERS: Yes but with the difference that it does not show for what purpose it is drawn up, because it merely lists the SS leaders in the "Ahnenerbe" with reference to their marital status and the number of their children. I have- already said that approximately one-half of the colleagues belonged to the SS, the other half not at all.
MAJOR JONES: There are over 100 names there of professors and German doctors connected with your work. They were all with one exception members of the SS. Were they not?
SIEVERS: But they are not all scientists, the list also includes truck drivers. I have to go through the list before being able to answer the question.
MAJOR JONES: I don't want to go through the whole list, but they are all SS men, are they not, and they were all employed on the work of the "Ahnenerbe."
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SIEVERS: No, indeed they were not. The list includes also honorary members who only had a research commission.
MAJOR JONES: I have no more questions, My Lord.
SIEVERS: May I now be allowed to complete my statement?
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better have the re-examination first.
,HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, what was the purpose of the "Ahnenerbe" institute? Was its purpose medical research or any other research? Please be brief in your answer.
SIEVERS: Its purpose was to carry out research, in the Arts and Sciences, as set down in the statute of the "Ahnenerbe."
HERR PELCKMANN: Is it correct that the "Ahnenerbe" had about 50 different research commissions?
SIEVERS: The "Ahnenerbe" had 50 different research branches. These were institutes. Beyond that it carried out more than 100 extensive research projects.
HERR PELCKMANN: Did the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes fall under the research projects and the various institutes which you have just mentioned?
SIEVERS: It was a separate gr9up within the "Ahnenerbe." That may also be seen from the fact that it was financed ...
HERR PELCKMANN: Please do not answer that now. I am now asking you only if it was one of the institutes which you mentioned. I shall put other questions and you will have further opportunity of speaking.
SIEVERS: No, it was not one of the institutes I just mentioned.
HERR PELCKMANN: But you heard that the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes carried out experiments; is that correct?
HERR PELCKMANN: How were the projects and the institutes of the "Ahnenerbe" financed?
SIEVERS: The Ahnenerbestiftung administered all the funds which it received, and made them available to the "Ahnenerbe."
HERR PELCKMANN: Where did the funds come from?
SIEVERS: From the means of the German Research Society, from membership dues, from funds of the Reich.
HERR PELCKMANN: What do you mean by membership dues? What members?
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SIEVERS: The inscribed members. Every German could become a member of the "Ahnenerbe."
HERR PELCKMANN: Were they SS members?
SIEVERS: No, everybody could become a member. Membership neither of the Party nor of the SS was a condition.
' HERR PELCKMANN: You said that the money came from membership dues. Where else did the money come from?
SIEVERS: From contributions of industry.
HERR PELCKMANN: And where did the funds for the so-called Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes come from?
SIEVERS: Solely from Wehrmacht funds which had to be separately accounted for according to the regulations...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, I have got before me the Commission evidence about all this. This is all stated in the Commission evidence, is it not? I have it before me.
HERR PELCKMANN: Quite right, Your Lordship, but the Prosecution also raised the questions just now, and in such a way that the witness had, no chance to give an exhaustive reply.
TBE PRESIDENT: It is not necessary to argue the point. Don't you think that you can make your re-examination shorter, in view of the fact that it is all given before the Commission which the Tribunal has before it?
HERR PELCKMANN: Yes, My Lord.
[Turning to the witness.] What percentage of members, or rather of collaborators and of those who were charged with the research projects for the Ahnenerbe, belonged to the SS?
SIEVERS: About one-half.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were the rest Party members?
SIEVERS: That was not a condition.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then were there collaborators who were nonpolitical?
SIEVERS: There were even some who were rejected by the Party and by the State for political reasons.
BERR PELCKMANN: Was Professor Seibt, a Norwegian, one of the members who worked there?
SIEVERS: Yes, Professor Seibt received a research commission from the "Ahnenerbe," after I had effected his release from a concentration camp.
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HERR PELCKMANN: I have before me the original of your diary, parts of which were quoted to you in your cross-examination. 330 pages of this diary deal with the time on which you were questioned. The extracts, the parts which were presented to you, number only three pages. In view of this comparison, can you say that the matters which were discussed here constitute only a very small fraction of the work carried on by the "Ahnenerbe"? Please be very brief.
SIEVERS: Yes, I can confirm that, and therefore I am bent upon making my statement in this connection. I did not preserve my notes for the purpose of concealing things which should be truthfully clarified in the general interests of all.
HERR PELCKMANN: Witness, if fragments of this diary are presented to you as they were presented to you in your cross-examination, are you in a position to give exhaustive and correct explanations without going into the context and into the whole diary?
SIEVERS: This is quite impossible because the size of the diary already shows the considerable scope of my main work, and the comparative insignificance of the parts discussed here. And considering the period of time over which these matters extend, it is simply impossible to reconstruct them out of their context and to make complete and truthful statements on them. In my previous interrogations I again and again pointed this out, and asked for my secret notes and data so that I could give comprehensive accounts. For I myself, in view of my political attitude, was eager to uncover the wrongs done, and to aid in punishing them. But my requests were always in vain and my written application of 20 December remained unanswered. Relevant evidence has thus been passed over.
HERR PELCKMANN: That is sufficient, Witness.
I should like to mention just one example of the completely wrong picture which can result if the witness is limited to fragments of his diary. This is the entry on Page 103, Friday, 14 April, 1300 hours. "Station Rascher: stage of work, future work, orders for provisional carrying on Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Plotner initiated." The sentences which follow are not included in the extract.
Now, Witness, would you read those sentences and comment on them? Does this entry show, as the Prosecution maintains, that Dr. Plotner continued Rascher's work?
SIEVERS: The entry shows clearly that Dr. Plotner did not continue Dr. Rascher's experiments on human beings. On the basis of these notes I could now develop a comprehensive picture, but the time at my disposal is too short.
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PERR PELCKMANN: Please make your comments.
SIEVERS: In a dramatic way Dr. Plotner described ...
THE PRESIDENT: We don't want drama, we want the entry.
HERR PELCKMANN: Unfortunately I cannot read it, My Lord, because there is only one copy of the document.
THE PRESIDENT: Has not the witness got the document before him? Why can't he read it then?
SIEVERS: Yes, I shall read it.
"Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Plotner initiated.... Most important task: Polygal tests."-That was the coagulating agent.
HERR PELCKMANN: Please give your comments when you have read the entry.
"Order for carrying on of work Putzengruber. Police Sergeant Neff reports that production of Polygal at Schlachters is assured for 3 months. Feix reports on production experience and submits first results from Schlachters. In Schlachters the accounting system is to be set up by Gau economic adviser. Purchase of machines."
HERR PELCKMANN: That means then that Dr. Plotner was initiated ...
SIEVERS: Initiated into all the administrative and economic matters connected with the manufacture of Polygal.
HERR PELCKMANN: Now you were going to describe what happened at that time.
SIEVERS: Yes. Dr. Rascher had begun the development of Polygal, but the medicament did not come up to expectations. Dr. Plotner, who ...
THE PRESIDENT: The question that you put to him was: "Does not this entry show that Dr. Plotner did not continue the investigations of Dr. Rascher?" How does the entry show it? He did not tell us how the entry shows it.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, I did not, as far as I remember, put the question in that way.
TH E PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann ...
HERR PELCKMANN: I wanted to know something quite different from this witness. May I please clarify this point after the witness has read these remarks and his memory has been refreshed?
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann, in my recollection and in the recollection of the other members of the Tribunal the question
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you put was: "Does not this entry in your diary show that Dr. Plotner did not carry on the work of Dr. Rascher?" That was the question which you put. And we want an answer to it and no other answer.
HERR PELCKMANN: Then I did not express myself correctly, Your Lordship.
[Turning to the witness.] I wanted to know if now, after reading this entry, your memory was refreshed as to the happenings at that time?
HERR PELCKMANN: Then please describe them.
SIEVERS: The activities of the institute ...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Dr. Pelckmann, in the first place you realize, or you should realize, that the object of reexamination is to make clear or to contradict anything which has been put in cross-examination, and that is the only purpose of re-examination. In the second place, the Tribunal does not assume from the fact that the witness has been cross-examined to show that certain brutal and illegal experiments were made by this institution, that the institution did nothing else, and we do not propose to sit here for a prolonged time to hear everything else that this institution did. The only object of your redirect examination should be to contradict the fact that illegal experiments were made, or to clear up any doubts which may arise upon those illegal experiments, not to show us that they did other things.
HERR PELCKALANN: Witness, were further inhuman experiments carried out after Rascher's arrest, as far as you know?
HERR PELCKMANN: No?
SIEVERS: No. Dr. Plotner, as I have already testified, expressly refused to carry them out.
HERR PELCKMANN: ' Did you, after that time, hear of any other inhuman experiments?
SIEVERS: No, not in connection with the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes, into which I had insight.
HERR PELCKMANN: You say that you had insight into the Institute of Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes. What personalities of the SS had insight into these experiments?
SIEVERS: Only those who had been charged with these matters by Himmler personally, and there were very few ...
HERR PELCKMANN: How many approximately? Five or ten more or less do not matter.
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SIEVERS: At a high estimate, 10 to 20.
HERR PELCKMANN: Were these directives secret or strictly secret? Did they fall into the category "Secret?' or "Top Secret"?
SIEVERS: Yes, they fell into these two top secret categories.
HERR PELCKMANN: Can you therefore from your own knowledge say whether you consider it possible that the mass of the SS men knew about these things?
SIEVERS: It is quite impossible that they knew or could have known about these things.
HERR PELCKMANN: Do you recall that Freiherr von Eberstein was quite indignant when he learned of Rascher's experiments and horrified that anything like that could happen? Do you have any personal recollection of that?.
SIEVERS: Yes, because I had to report to him personally in this matter. He was extremely angry during this conversation and spoke about the things which he had heard in connection with the arrest of Rascher, and which shocked me, too, very deeply. In his excitement he began to accuse me and was then very astonished to hear that Himmler alone had been in closest personal connection with Rascher and that all instructions had come directly from Himmler.
HERR PELCKMANN: That is sufficient. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, can you conclude your ... the observation you want to make, in 5 minutes?
SIEVERS: Yes, not longer.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, go on then.
SIEVERS: In the cross-examination I was accused of course of having had no personal misgivings whatsoever regarding these experiments on human beings. I . must contradict this emphatically. My conflict of conscience was very great and it was not appeased by the assurances which, as I mentioned earlier, I had received from Himmler. I therefore spoke with the leader of our secret organization, and we came to the conclusion that further resistance would-in the first place-have cost me my head, since an open demonstration would have been the only choice left to us, and secondly, that the people affected by the experiments would not in any way have been protected or helped thereby. These experiments would have been carried through in one way or another in any event.
But wherever possible I did secretly what no other person would have done, or dared to do. I prevented, through silent sabotage, whatever could possibly be prevented. My repeated offers to elaborate on this point with the help of my secret data and records,
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which go into several hundred pages, as Dr. Pelckmann has just shown, were in vain. Even now, time does not permit me to give a more comprehensive picture of the background of events and of the events themselves. I personally rejected these experiments and did not support them. I played a role similar to that of a syndic at a university, who must be at the disposal of all professors and heads of institutes in all financial, economic, and administrative affairs. Therefore, I repudiate doubts cast on my credibility and my personal attitude. The documents submitted show exactly what I said about these matters in my interrogations before the Commission, which Dr. Pelckmann again mentioned just now. If my credibility is doubted with regard to my alleged illegal activities, then the leader of the secret organization, Dr. Hielseher, who is now in Nuremberg, is at the Tribunal's disposal in this matter. Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
MAJOR JONES: Your Lordship, I have three brief documents to put in on the SS case. The first is the Document 4043-PS, which I hand in on behalf of the Polish Delegation; it will be GB-606. It sets out the names of the 846 Polish priests and monks of the Polish clergy murdered at Dachau Concentration Camp.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that a State report or what?
MAJOR JONES: It is an affidavit by a Polish priest, attaching the names of the priests to 'his statements; the names appeared in a Polish publication, a Polish newspaper.
I see that it is a statement by the undersigned Roman Catholic priest, giving the following statement on oath. I am wrong in saying that it is a statement on oath; but it does attach a list of the priests from a publication of the section "Press and Culture" which was published in the Catholic weekly Polska Wierna. If the Tribunal is uneasy about the document, I shan't press it. I am asked by the Polish Delegation to submit it.
If Your Lordship pleases, the Document Number 007, which will be GB-592, in place of the last document, that is an order from Himmler to the Higher SS and Police Chief for the Ukraine in Kiev, dated 7 September 1943. It reads:
"Dear Prutzmann, General of the Infantry Staff has special orders with regard to the Donets area. Get in 'touch with him immediately. I order you to co-operate as much as you can. The aim to be achieved is that when areas in the Ukraine are evacuated, not a human being, not a single head
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of cattle, not a hundredweight of cereals and not a railway line remain behind; that not a house remain standing; not' a mine which will not be unworkable for years to come; not a well which is not poisoned. The enemy must really find completely burnt and destroyed land. Discuss these things with Staff straight away and do your absolute best. Heil Hitler, Yours," signed, "Himmler."
There is a note attached to it: "SS Obergruppenfuehrer Berger has received the copy with the request that the Reich Minister for the East be informed." There are copies to the chief of the Regular Police, chief of the Security Police and SD, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Berger, chief of the partisan-combating units, copies sent with a request that they be noted.
Finally, the Document Number 022 refers to instructions of Himmler.
THE PRESIDENT: Who was the Reich Minister at the time?
MAJOR JONES: As I understand it, My Lord, it was Rosenberg.
Then, finally, there is a Document Number 022, which will be GB-593. That is an instruction of Himmler dated 10 July 1943, to the chief of units for combating partisans, the higher SS and Police chiefs in the Ukraine, higher SS and Police chiefs in Russia, central sector.
The first paragraph:
"The Fi1hrer has decided that the whole population has to be evacuated from partisan-ridden territories of the northern Ukraine and of the central Russian sector.
"2. The whole ma le population fit for work will be directed to the Reich Commissioner for the Allocation of Labor according to regulations which are yet to be laid down, but under the conditions of prisoners of war.
"3. The female population will be directed to the Reich Commissioner for the Allocation of Labor for work in the Reich.
"4. Part of the female population and all children who have no parents will be'-sent to our collecting points.
"5. The evacuated territories are to be taken over and run by the Higher SS and Police Leaders, as much as possible in accordance with an arrangement still to be made with the Reich Minister of Food and with the Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. They are to be planted partly with Kok-Sagys and as far as possible agricultural use is to be made of them. The camps for children are to be established on the edge of these territories in order that
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the children may be available as labor for the cultivation of Kok-Sagys and for agriculture.
"Final proposals are to be submitted to me as soon as possible." Signed, "H. Himmler."
There are the names of Berger and Backe below.
HERR PELCKMANN: Your Lordship, may I put a formal ...
THE PRESIDENT: Just one minute.... Yes, Dr. Pelckmann.
HERR PELCKMANN: May I put a formal question with regard to the proceedings? The witness is still in the court-room: Are these documents to be submitted to him?
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has some questions to put to the witness.
HERR PELCKMANN: If these documents are not put to the witness, then I should like to object to their being used, for the reasons given before that the submission of evidence by the Prosecution is closed.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has already ruled that new documents may be put in in this way.
DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff and the OKW): Mr. President, may I be permitted to put one question to this witness to clarify a name which he used?
[Turning to the witness.] Witness, you mentioned the Institute for Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes. Is that the full name of the institute? Will you give the full name?
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat your answer.
SIEVERS: Institute for Scientific Research for Specific Military Purposes of the Waffen-SS and Police.
DR-LATERNSER: Thank you.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Witness, you said that the Luftwaffe contacted Himmler for getting inmates from the concentration camps. Who in the Luftwaffe made that contact?
SIEVERS: I did not say that the Luftwaffe contacted concentration camps on Himmler's orders.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Wait, Witness, wait, listen to the question. I didn't suggest that you said that. I said that you said that someone in the Luftwaffe had made a contact with Himmler in order to get inmates from the concentration camps. Did you say that?
SIEVERS: No, I didn't say that either. But Dr. Grawitz, the Reich Physician of the SS, informed me that the Luftwaffe-I do not know which department of it-had applied for the sea water
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experiments to be carried out and had asked that detainees be made available for that purpose.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You mentioned the name of General Milch in your testimony. What connection, if any, did General Milch have with any of these experiments?
SIEVERS: Only with the high-altitude and the freezing experiments which were started in 1941 and carried out by medical officers of the Luftwaffe, that is, by Professor Holzl6hner, by Stabsarzt Dr. Rascher, by Stabsarzt Dr. Finke, and by a third gentleman of the Aeronautical Research Institute at Adlershof, whose name I have forgotten.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): And what connection did General Milch have with these experiments? Did he make the arrangements for them?
SIEVERS: No, as far as I know the technical arrangements were made by the Medical Inspectorate of the Luftwaffe.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What connection did General Milch have with this matter? Did he contact Himmler?
SIEVERS: That is apparent, from the exchange of letters between Field Marshal Milch and Obergruppenfuehrer Wolff, which were shown to me here in previous interrogations.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You then have no other knowledge about General Milch except from the correspondence that has been submitted?
SIEVERS: No, I do not know more than that.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): In how many camps besides Dachau were there experiment stations or stations for biological research?
SIEVERS: That I cannot say, because I only know of the experiments of Rascher and Hirt, and no others, that is, experiments which were conducted in the field of the Reich Physician SS. Of these nothing could be learned, because they too ...
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): You don't know?
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): One last question. You said that after Dr. Rascher's arrest there were no more illegal experiments that were connected with the institute. Do you know of any others that were not connected with the institute?
SIEVERS: That is connected with the previous question. One did hear, for instance, of the work of Professor Schilling; but I never became acquainted with it in detail.
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THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: May it please the Tribunal, during the examination of the witness, Dr. .
THE PRESIDENT: You are not wanting me to keep the witness, are you?
LT. COMDR. HARRIS: No, Sir. During the examination of the witness, Dr. Best, the Tribunal kindly agreed to permit the Prosecution to introduce another document, which at that time was not available, and with the permission of the Tribunal, at this time I should like to offer. it. The document is 4051-PS and becomes USA-924. This document has been shown to the witness Best in the presence of the counsel for the Gestapo, Dr. Merkel, and the witness Best has identified it. The document shows not only that the witness Best had knowledge of the program of counterterror carried on in Denmark, but that he himself decreed acts of counterterrorism to be taken, and that on one occasion he ordered the execution of a student.
During the examination of Dr. Best, the Tribunal will recall a series of documents, Exhibits USA-911 to 915 inclusive, which were offered to show that the Gestapo murdered a French general. At that time we had only the photostatic copies of these documents, and I told the Tribunal that we would try to obtain the originals. We now have the originals in our possession, and they are being substituted for the photostatic copies.
I also asked the witness Best at that time if he knew that in connection-that at about the time that this alleged murder was
supposed to have taken place, that a French general, General Mesny, was killed, and he said he did not know that. The French Prosecution has given us the documentary proof that General Mesny was killed at that time under circumstances which prove conclusively that this murder was accomplished in conformity with the plans which have heretofore been shown, and to that end I now offer as document next in order 4069-PS, which becomes USA-925. This document is certified by the Delegation of the Ministry of Justice of France.
I would ask the Tribunal to turn to Page 2, which is a letter from the International Red Cross Committee, Geneva, dated 5,April 1945, to Madame Mesny. I wish to emphasize the fact that this document is dated long before the present time and was written at a time when the other documents which the Tribunal has the benefit of, were, of course, entirely unknown.
This letter states that Monsieur Denzler, attaché at the Swiss Legation in Berlin, had sent certain information concerning General Mesny, and I should just like to respectfully invite your attention
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to the second paragraph of his report, where he states that the Generals Flavigny, de Boisse, and Buisson had been transferred from Oflag IV B in K6nigstein to Oflag IV C in Colditz.
"The Generals Mesny and Vauthier have also left K6nigstein in a private car for Colditz. According to a communication from Commander Prawitt, General Mesny was shot near Dresden while trying to escape."
That was the report which the International Red Cross sent to Madame Mesny.
But I particularly desire to invite the attention of the Tribunal to the second document, which is dated 29 April 1945, and which was written by General Buisson to the Minister of War concerning the case of General Mesny. General Buisson states in this letter as follows:
"On 18 January 1945..." and parenthetically I refresh the recollection of the Tribunal that the last document which we offered was dated 12 January 1945 showing that at that time all plans for this murder had been completed. To continue with the document:
"... the following six officers, all generals, from the camp of K6nigstein, Oflag IV B, were picked out and told to leave the camp on 19 January in the morning, for an unknown destination. First car, Generals Daine and de Boisse..."
Now, parenthetically again, if the Tribunal will recall, General, de Boisse was the general whom it was first intended to murder, as shown by the document, and if you remember, it was decided that General de Boisse would not be killed because his name had been discussed too often over the telephone, and therefore another general was to be substituted for him. So you see General de Boisse was in the first car.
"Second car, Generals Flavigny, and Buisson. Third car, Generals Mesny and Vauthier. On 19 January, when the first car left at the appointed time, the other two did not, as both their order of departure and the times were changed. Second car, 7 a.m., General Mesny alone, for, according to information given to General Buisson through the German interpreter Rosenberg, an order had arrived from the High Command of the Armed Forces during the night, canceling General Vauthier's departure. Third car... Generals Flavigny and Buisson. The orders for the journey were draconian,, destination unknown; it was strictly forbidden to make any stop on the way; the door handles were taken off the cars; there was a German officer in each car with an automatic pistol on his knees and his finger on the trigger.
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"Upon our arrival in Colditz, (Oflag IV C) the reprisal camp, toward noon on 19 January, we noticed the absence of General Mesny, who had not arrived; we thought he had been sent to another camp, although his luggage was in the truck with that of the four other generals. On 20 January, in the morning, Commander Prawitt, head of Oflag IV C, came into the rooms of the French generals and made the following announcement: 'I inform you officially that General Mesny was shot yesterday in Dresden while trying to escape. He was buried in Dresden with military honors by a detachment of the Wehrmacht."'
And then, if it please the Tribunal, General Buisson goes on with this comment, and it should be remembered that when he wrote this letter, he, of course, had no knowledge of the plot as we know it today. He said:
"Two facts remain obscure in the sombre tragedy: 1. the transport of General Mesny alone (second car), the choice of General Vauthier; then the canceling of the order seemed very suspicious to us, given the attitude of the general, who was a volunteer for work in Germany, and whose transfer to a reprisal camp seemed inexplicable. 2. General Mesny, whose eldest son is in a camp for political deportees in Germany, said to me several times during the course of our conversations, 'If up to 1944 1 always tried to prepare my escape, I gave, up trying altogether afterward, even if I had every chance of succeeding. First of all, the end of the war is only a question of weeks; and moreover, especially, I should be much too afraid that my flight would cost my eldest son his life! An hour before his departure from K6nigstein on 19 January, General Mesny repeated those words to me again."
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I wonder if Your Lordship will allow me to mention a point before Dr. Laternser commences. My Lord, as a result of the general evidence given before the Commission and the announcement that a number of summarizing affidavits will be tendered by certain organizations, the Prosecution have secured 11 affidavits of general scope made by State ministers, local counsellors and officials, and a publisher of a newspaper, dealing with the same matter as the summarized affidavits which the Defense are about to submit. They could, of course, be put in cross-examination to the witnesses for the SA who would be called, but I suggest for the consideration of the Tribunal that at this stage of the Trial it would probably be
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more convenient if they were simply offered after the counsel for the organization have dealt with their documents.
If that course commended itself of the Tribunal, I should give German copies to the Counsel for the Defense at once so that they have an opportunity of considering them. Otherwise, of course, I should reserve them to be put in cross-examination and preserve the element of surprise.
My Lord, I am in the hands of the Tribunal, but it seemed to me that that was the more convenient course than occupying more time in cross-examination at this stage when so many facts are known.
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I did not understand the translation of Sir David's suggestion; may I have it repeated so that possibly the Defense Counsel can explain their views in regard to it.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you put it again?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I have 11 affidavits which were taken from various gentlemen, including ex-State ministers of the Social Democratic Party and other non-Nazi parties, local officials, and one publisher of a newspaper. They are designed to deal generally with the matters which have been given before the Commission and which are going to be dealt with, as I understand, in the summarized affidavits, the affidavits summarizing the large quantity of affidavits.
I suggested for the consideration of the Tribunal that, instead of taking up time in putting the contents of these affidavits to the witnesses for the SA, witness Juttner and others, who would probably deal with most of the points, I should offer them after the Defense Counsel have offered their documents, and in order that the Defense Counsel would not be prejudiced in any way, I suggest that, if that course were adopted, I should give them copies of these affidavits in German at once so that they would have an opportunity of seeing the contents.
The object is to keep the documents together and also, I hope, to save time at this stage of the Trial in cross-examination.
I hope, My Lord, that is clear.
THE PRESIDENT: That seems to the Tribunal to be a convenient course and to give the German Defense Counsel a longer period in which to study the affidavits.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I will do that, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: Herr Dr. Laternser.
DR. LATERNSER: With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall call as my first witness, Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch.
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COLONEL TELFORD TAYLOR (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States): My Lord, might I make a brief observation before the witness comes in?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes-Marshal, keep the witness out for a moment.
COLONEL TAYLOR: My Lord, I wanted to make a very brief observation concerning the scope of the testimony of the witness Von Brauchitsch.
The other two witnesses that Dr. Laternser is calling-Field Marshals Von Manstein and Rundstedt-were called in the first instance by Dr. Laternser and have testified before the Commissioner on practically every question relating to the General Staff and High Command. That will appear from the summaries of their, evidence which, I think, are in the hands of the Court.
The case of the witness Von Brauchitsch is somewhat different. The witness Von Brauchitsch signed two affidavits which the Prosecution offered and which are in the record before the Tribunal as Exhibits USA-532 and 535. Those affidavits relate exclusively to the question of the composition and organization of the General Staff and High Command group.
Before the Commissioner, the witness Von Brauchitsch was cross-examined by Dr. Laternser only within the scope of those affidavits. No other matters were touched upon before the Commissioner. I now understand that Dr. Laternser proposes to examine the witness Von Brauchitsch before the Tribunal on a great variety, or on at least several other matters other than those covered in the affidavits.
The Prosecution merely wishes to point out that to the extent that the witness Von Brauchitsch covers other matters other than those in the affidavits, he becomes a witness for the Defense and the Prosecution may possibly, though not necessarily, have to cross-examine him 'on those distinct matters.
We also wish to respectfully suggest that, unless the witness Von Brauchitsch is going to talk about matters other than those that Manstein and Rundstedt have covered at length, it would be entirely fair and expeditious to confine the testimony of Von Brauchitsch to the matters 'of the affidavits, unless, as I say, it is proposed that Von Brauchitsch discuss matters which Rundstedt and Marlstein are not going to cover.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal wishes you to go on and examine Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch. They hope that insofar as his evidence covers the same ground as the other two witnesses that you are proposing to call, you will be as short as possible.
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DR. LATERNSER: I now call Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch as my first witness.
[The witness Von Brauchitsch took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please? Can you hear now?
WALTER VON BRAUCHITSCH: Walter von Brauchitsch.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR.LATERNSER: Field Marshal, what was the last position which you held?
VON- BRAUCHITSCH: Commander-in-Chief of the German Army.
DR.LATERNSER: During what period were you Commander-in-Chief of the German Army?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: 1938 to 1941.
DR.LATERNSER: On 4 February 1938 you succeeded Generaloberst Von Fritsch as Commander-in-Chief of the German Army. When you took over this position, did Fritsch inform you of the intentions which Hitler made known in-the conference on 5 November 1937?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR.LATERNSER: Did, by any chance, Hitler himself inform you of these intentions?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR.LATERNSER: Or did Generaloberst Beck, who was then Chief of the General Staff of the Army, inform you of them?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, he did not either.
DR. LATERNSER: In case such plans had existed, would it have been necessary to inform you of them on your taking over the post of Commander-in-Chief of the German Army?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In my view, certainly.
DR. LATERNSER: When did you learn what was discussed at that conference of 5 November 1937?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Only here in Nuremberg.
DR. LATERNSER: Were you, as Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, consulted by Hitler before the occupation of Austria?
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VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR.LATERNSER: Did a plan exist for military action against Austria?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No; at least I do not know of one.
DR.LATERNSER: Did that action come as a surprise to you?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: It came as a complete surprise to me. I was not, as the witness Gisevius said, called away from the session of the court. I was not in Berlin at all, but away on official business. I heard of the orders which were given only after my return.
DR. LATERNSER: Did not doubts arise in your mind at that time?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I was afraid of fraternal strife and I was also afraid that this action would result in further conflict.
DR.LATERNSER: Did not Papen meet you in the Reich Chancellery on 11 March 1938 and congratulate you after the order for the march into Austria had been withdrawn again in the course of that day?
VON BRAT~CHITSCH: I heartily welcomed the withdrawal of the order to march in. I was in the Reich Chancellery, and it is quite possible that Papen congratulated me on that occasion.
DR. LATERNSER: Were you consulted on the political questions before the occupation of the Sudetenland?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, never.
DR. LATERNSER: Did a plan for military action exist in this case?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: For Austria?
DR. LATERNSER: No, for the occupation of the Sudetenland.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, no plan existed in this case either.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you not, before the end of the Sudeten occupation, request Field Marshal Keitel to use all his influence to insure that the demarcation lines agreed on should under no circumstances be overstepped?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That is correct.
DR. LATERNSER: The witness Gisevius testified here that after May 1938 Generaloberst Beck no longer handled the affairs of the Chief of the General Staff. Is that correct?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That is an error. Generaloberst Beck handled the affairs of the Chief of the General Staff in their entirety until I September 1938.
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DR. LATERNSER:. Generaloberst Beck had written a memorandum which has already been dealt with here, and which therefore I shall not again bring up in detail. In that memorandum he opposed the occupation of the Sudetenland, and warned against a war on two fronts. What did you do with that memorandum?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I had very serious doubts about a policy supported by military measures. Generaloberst Beck had composed a memorandum in which he reached the conclusion, from a military point of view, that a war in the heart of Europe would lead to a world conflict. Since I believed these considerations to be absolutely fundamental, I took the opportunity of presenting them to the commanding generals, whom, for another reason for the discussion of internal Army affairs-I had ordered to a conference in Berlin. I asked everyone present for his -opinion, and we approved unanimously the ideas contained in the memorandum. This memorandum was then sent to Hitler. This resulted in a heated argument, in the course of which he told me, among other things, that-this was the essence of it-he alone knew quite well what he had to do.
DR. LATERNSER: When, approximately, was that?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That was at the end of July, the second half of July 1938.
DR. LATERNSER: In what connection was Generaloberst Adam relieved of his command?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: A conference of officers of the General Staff with the Fuehrer, who had convened it, had taken place in August. During that conference General Adam's chief of staff General Adam was group commander in Wiesbaden at that time had expressed ideas similar to those contained in the memorandum, and in doing so had cited the authority of his commanding officer. That was the first incident leading to his release which, however, did not take place until October 1938, after a personal report by General Adam. The issue concerned an inspection tour of the West Wall, during which General Adam had expressed his views.
DR. LATERNSER: What military preparations did you order before the occupation of Czechoslovakia?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I issued no orders at all. Hitler had ordered at that time that the troops in the near-by Army districts be kept in an increased state of alert.
DR.LATERNSER: Did a military plan exist for the occupation of Czechoslovakia?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: A plan did not exist. Only Hitler's orders were executed.
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DR. LATERNSER: Then things gradually came to a head. Did you, during 1939, warn Hitler against a war?
VON'BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, on account of the instructions given in connection with the Polish problem, I had very grave fears that against Hitler's and the German nation's will we might drift into a war. For that reason I again spoke of this memorandum in July 1939 during a talk with Hitler alone. I also said that he would be staking all the gains gotten by peaceful means. Hitler would not allow any argument, as was his habit, and merely replied that it was a matter for the political leaders which had nothing to do with me.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you not, at that time, have a discussion with Lutze, who was then the Chief of Staff of the SA?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I talked to the Chief of Staff of the SA, and mentioned to him the fears- of which I have just spoken. Lutze shared my views. I had discussed these matters with him in the hope that he would find an occasion to express these views to Hitler.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, were you in touch with the Foreign Office during this period of tension?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, because the Foreign Office was not allowed to send any information to the High Command of the Army.
DR. LATERNSER: Were you in touch with other leading political organs?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR.LATERNSER: The conference on 23 May 1939 is of particular importance. Did you, at that time, gain the impression that war had been decided upon?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No. There are quite a number of circumstances and facts which gave me the clear impression that there was no intention of war. May I point out that since the autumn of 1938, negotiations with Poland had been in progress to clear up the pending questions. Hitler had spoken in the Reichstag about this problem. He had said that this was the only question which still required a solution. In previous speeches he had said that the rebuilding of the Wehrmacht was being carried out only to protect the homeland. At the end of December 1938, or during the first days of January 1939, the High Command of the Army received the following order from the High Command of the Wehrmacht: The Army will carry out the proposed and planned construction program by the year 1945. All preparations for any military action or any other operation were prohibited. At the meeting of 23 May 1939, Hitler said literally: "I should be an idiot if on
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account of Poland I were to drift into a war, like those incapable people of 1914." He ordered that rearmament should continue within the allotted time, that is, up to the years 1942 and 1943, and that order was directly connected with the one which I had received at the beginning of the year. Finally, he ordered that commissions were to be appointed to investigate all the other problems which had been touched upon. For me, all these facts were the clearest proof that in the case of Poland, too, it was merely a policy supported by military measures.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you raise objections of any kind during that conference on 23 May, of which you have just spoken?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: It was not a conference. It was an address of the Fuehrer to his subordinates. There was no discussion about it.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, I think you misunderstood me.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. LATERNSER: I was asking you whether during the conference of 23 May you voiced objections of any kind?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Well, I gave my answer to that.
DR. LATERNSER: Was a plan of attack against Poland ever worked out before that time, before May 1939?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, never.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you, on 22 August 1939, still hope that war would be avoided?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The reasons for that, which I have already mentioned, remained unchanged. An additional reason was that the trade agreement signed with the Soviet Union would, in my view, convince Poland that to settle differences by negotiations was the best way. Moreover, it was my opinion that the isolation of which Hitler had spoken would also result in Poland's readiness to negotiate. The decisive point was that Hitler expressly said the negotiations with Poland were continuing.
DR. LATERNSER: What was the purpose of that speech, that speech of 22 August, as you saw it?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In my view, that conference was first of all the consequence of the objections which I had made to Hitler. Secondly it was, in my view, Hitler's intention to increase the confidence of the leaders under him in the policy which he was pursuing, and to convince them completely of the logic of his intentions.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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[The witness Von Brauchitsch resumed the stand.]
THE MARSHAL: May it please the Tribunal, the Defendant Hess is absent.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, this morning we had reached the period of tension just before the outbreak of the war. On 25 August 1939 the first order for marching in was rescinded. During those days, did Hitler let you know that negotiations would continue?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He personally gave me the order for the withdrawal of the order to march in, and on that occasion he told me that negotiations with Poland were still in progress.
DR. LATERNSER: In contrast to the previous occupations of foreign areas, all preparations before the Polish campaign had been drawn up for the actual event. Did this lead you to believe that actually there would be a war then?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, for the following reason: After the Sudeten crisis, Hitler had heard from the various military leaders that military preparations had not been taken seriously by them, for the preparations in their scope were not commensurate with the seriousness of the task at hand. Of course, it is self-evident that if in political negotiations one wishes to use the threat of military might, there must be the absolute impression of seriousness as far as the other party to the negotiations, as well as one's own people, is concerned.
For this very reason Hitler in the case of Poland emphatically demanded that the preparations be considered very seriously.
But there was a second point. On Hitler's order, a time schedule had been set up in which the various phases were set down exactly. Only on his express order could a new phase be started, and from this also I could see that he wanted to adjust the preparations to the political negotiations.
DR. LATERNSER: At the beginning of the Polish campaign did you know that, an agreement with the Soviet Union had been reached, setting up a line of demarcation?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, I had no idea of that at all.
DR. LATERNSER: After the conclusion of the war you had made provision for military administration in Poland. Why was this not effected?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The High Command of the Army had made preparations and issued directives to the effect that the appeasement of the occupied areas was to be brought about as soon
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as possible. At the beginning of October, I learned about excesses against the Poles, carried out by personalities who were not under the jurisdiction of the Army. I reported these matters to the High Command of the Armed Forces and took the next occasion to see Hitler personally and report about them. I asked him to see to it that matters like these be prevented once and for all. Hitler did not take any notice of this report of mine.
Frank originally was to be civil commissioner with the military commander-in-chief of Poland. In the second half of October he was charged with the entire administration. The Army relinquished its authority.
DR. LATERNSER: After the campaign against Poland, did not tension arise between the High Command of the Army and Hitler, and if so, what were the reasons?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: There were constant conflicts with the leadership of the Party, and they arose from the most varied causes. It would take me too far afield to enumerate all of them, but I should like to stress just two points.
One of them concerned the chaplains which I wanted to have retained in the Army under all circumstances, and the second point applied to the influence which the leadership of the Party demanded in the settlement of complaints. The third point was the decree of Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler concerning the problem of marriage and women, which matter I answered in the form of a decree given to the Army.
DR. LATERNSER: Now I should Eke to put a few questions relating to the time before the Western offensive. Following the Polish campaign, did the High Command of the Army prepare for an offensive against the Western Powers?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In no way had an offensive been planned. On the basis of the order which I just mentioned previously all preparations had been prohibited, and therefore no special measures had been taken in advance for the defense. All directives issued after the Polish campaign to the troops which were being sent to the West were purely of a defensive nature.
DR. I ATERNSER: Who, later on, made plans for attack?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: On 27 September 1939, Hitler announced his decision to attack in the West. He ordered the necessary preparations to be made, which would have to be concluded by 12 November.
DR. IATERNSER: What position did you and the High Command of the Army take with reference to this plan?
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VON BRAUCHITSCH: England and France had declared war on Germany. Both powers had not taken advantage of Germany's moment of greatest weakness in September. Therefore, it was questionable to me whether they would start a winter offensive now, at a time when the Western Front was daily being strengthened. Beyond that, I personally was in great doubt whether these two powers seriously wanted to wage war. I believed that in view of the reception which Chamberlain had in London and Daladier in Paris, after the Munich Agreement, their people would not be inclined to wage, a war.
I believed that the breaches of neutrality which had been committed by the Allies up until that time would not weigh so heavily in the eyes of the world. Since the year 1914 1 fully appreciated the consequences of violating neutrality, and this had been seared into my memory. In my opinion, this would apply again in this case to the one that would be the first really to cross the border with strong ground forces. We had gone into the question very carefully, in the High Command of the Army, of whether the crossing of the border for reasons of ground operations would be necessary as the first step. We had reached the conclusion that this was not the case, but that, if it was necessary at all, we could do so in answer to an enemy move.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you call Hitler's attention to the fact that in the event of an offensive in the West, the countries of Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg would be drawn into war?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I took the very next opportunity at which I could talk with Hitler alone after 27 September 1939, to tell him my opinion. However, he was not open to any discussion and remained steadfast in his well-known opinion.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you try to prevent the Western offensive from being started?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Before as well as afterwards, I was convinced that it would have to be possible to end this entire war once and for all politically. I considered it madness that Europe once more would have to tear herself to pieces instead of progressing by peacefully working at the common task.
The Wehrmacht, according to the principle Si vis pacem para bellum, was in line with this. German soldiers of every rank had been trained to defend and protect their homeland. They did not think about wars of conquest, or the expansion of German domination over other peoples.
It was quite clear to me that the entire question could be cleared up only by political means, if a sincere will to this end existed. But any political developments, of course, need time; and I was only
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concerned with gaining time for these political negotiations, matters upon which I had no influence, however. Therefore, I asked on 5 November 1939 to be granted an audience with the Fuehrer. As I could no longer put political reasons before him, I had to give purely military reasons, and as such I used the condition of the Army.
Hitler listened at first to my statements quietly. Then he flew into a rage so that any further conversation was impossible. So I left. On the evening of the same day, the order was issued to attack on 12 November, which order was rescinded on 7 November.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you not even use the bad weather as a pretext to gain time and to postpone matters?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In view of the extremely difficult terrain, I pointed out the fact that if we were to march in at all, this would only be possible if we had an extended period of good weather. But above all the use of the Luftwaffe was dependent on a long period of good weather.
DR. LATERI~TSER: And after the address of Hitler to the generals on 23 November 1939, which has been discussed here quite frequently, you offered your resignation? How did that happen?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In the evening of 23 November I was once more ordered to appear before the Fuehrer. In a lengthy discussion with him alone, he once more raised all the accusations against the Army. In the course of this conversation I offered my resignation which he rejected by saying that I had to fulfill my duty and obligation just like every other soldier. Through these incidents a breach had occurred which was later closed but was never completely mended.
DR.LATERNSER: To what extent, in your capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, did you participate in the decision to occupy Norway and Denmark?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In no way at all.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you participate in its preparation and execution?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. LATERNSER: Then the campaign in the West started. At that time, what was your relationship with Hitler?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: As I have already mentioned before, it was difficult. In the course of the campaign in the West, there was a series of smaller and larger differences. I should like to cite but one. This concerned the stopping of the German Panzers before Dunkirk, a matter which brought about a serious conflict. The result was that the mass of the personnel of the British Expeditionary Force escaped to England across the Channel.
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DR. LATERNSER: On the part of the High Command of the Army, after the conclusion of the campaign in the West, were measures for demobilization worked on, or were they suggested?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: At that time, two measures were taken. A commission for demobilization was established, and secondly a number of generals were asked whether they wished to remain in the Army after the conclusion of peace.
DR. LATERNSER: And what was your collaboration in the decision to intervene in Greece and Yugoslavia?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I did not participate in any way in these decisions. When with the Chief of the General Staff, Generaloberst Halder, I was ordered by the Fuehrer to appear before him, he received us with the words, "I have decided to destroy Yugoslavia." And then he stated the reasons for his decision. I believe they are well known here already.
DR. LATERNSER: At that time, was there a plan for any interference in Yugoslavia or Greece?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, neither a plan nor any preparation existed. We did not even have maps.
DR. LATERNSER: And where were you to get these divisions from? From all parts of Germany?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The divisions had to be brought in from all parts of Germany and the occupied territories.
DR. LATERNSER: Is the assertion of Field Marshal Paulus true that the occupation of the Balkans was one of the prerequisites of the campaign against the Soviet Union?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That is a mistake on the part of Field Marshal Paulus. The Yugoslavian issue was the direct consequence of the collapse there. Before that time, just somewhat previous, Yugoslavia had joined the Tripartite Pact and this question was the result of the British landing in Greece and the catastrophic position of the Italians in Albania.
DR. LATERNSER: Now, let us turn to the Eastern campaign. What was your attitude with reference to the Trade Agreement with the Soviet Union?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The Trade Agreement with the Soviet Union was concluded in September 1939 and we had hailed it joyfully. In this step we saw the end of a period of mistrust, and hoped that, above and beyond that, Germany would be able to be a bridge across the heart of Europe.
DR. LATERNSER: Did any military leader suggest the thought of attacking the Soviet Union?
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VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, never.
DR. LATERNSER: When did Hitler tell you for the very first time that the possibility of war with the Soviet Union would be considered?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In August of 1940 he made a remark to me to the effect that he was worried by the thought that the attitude of Russia might change. Thereupon, I talked with the Chief of the General Staff and told him that we would have to collect the data required, for in this connection we had not done anything up to that time.
DR. LATERNSER: Were there any maps in existence?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Neither maps nor anything else. In the month of September, Hitler ordered that the question of Russia would have to be investigated. In my opinion, no decision to put the plan into effect was in existence; in any event, it was not mentioned. All the work which was done was General Staff work, consisting of preparatory and precautionary measures which have to be taken in such a case everywhere.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the transfer of some of the divisions into the territory of the Government General, which you ordered after the conclusion of the Western campaign, have any connection with the start of the Eastern campaign, or what were the reasons for this transfer of divisions?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The transfer of the divisions had already been started before. The reasons for it were quite different ones. The guarding of the Russian-German demarcation line in Poland was mainly carried out by the Zolldienst (Customs service). Border crossings had been ascertained in innumerable cases. The Zollgrenzschutz (Frontier Guard) was urgently needed at other places. The SS intended to take over the guarding of the frontier by the Zondienst (Customs service) and for that reason they wanted to create new units. But I wanted to prevent that, and therefore Hitler was requested to have divisions transferred from the West to the East. Beyond that, we wanted to relieve France of the burden of the many divisions which were stationed there.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the High Command of the Army, in the conference of 3 February 1941, have any misgivings about a war with the Soviet Union?
[Turning to the Tribunal.] I refer to Document Number 872-PS, USA-134, My Lord.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: According to the statement made by Hitler in the case of Russia, we were concerned with the fact that if a war were to break out at all, it was to be a preventive war. In
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the conference I limited myself to the purely military misgivings. General Halder and I reported on three points. One was the size of the Russian area which even today cannot be bridged by motor vehicles alone. The second point was the number of the population, and therewith the large number of picked reserves which were available, and the quite different level of education and enlightenment of the Russian population as compared with the years 1914-1918, matters which I could see for myself when I was a guest of the Red Army in the year 1931. And the third point was the high armament potential of Russia. According to our estimate, Russia at that time had at her command approximately 10,000 tanks. Hitler must have given some thought to these problems, for he answered immediately and refuted the first two points; namely, by saying that the domination of the Soviets was so much in disfavor among the Russian population, that the system would collapse. Everything would depend only on the decisiveness of the first successes. As far as the third point was concerned, the point of armament, he mentioned, on the bases of detailed figures that he had, as always, at his finger tips, that the armament of Russia could not be at the level which we imagined it to be. Exact proof, however, we did not have at our disposal.
DR. IATERNSER: Therefore, Hitler did not listen to any of the misgivings which you had?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He would not enter into any further discussion.
DR. LATERNSER: When did you tell the commanders-in-chief of the army groups and armies under your command about the plans with regard to Russia?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: On 18 December 1940, the High Command of the Army issued the order and subsequently, at the end of December, the first directives went to the army groups.
DR. LATERNSER: What was your relationship with Hitler during the Russian campaign?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: During the Russian campaign the difficulties increased more and more. I should like to mention only two of the very numerous incidents that occurred. The Army had, in the areas occupied by it, restored the churches to public use as far as this was desired by the population. German chaplains had frequently officiated at the request of the population. However, Hitler prohibited this, and now the remarkable picture was offered by the chaplains of the Romanian, Hungarian, Italian, and other divisions officiating while the Germans could not do so. The second point, which was a weighty one, was the question of the operational conduct of the war. Once the war had started, the measures for its
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continuance in the following year had to be taken now, and in my opinion and that of the High Command, the area around Moscow not the city itself-played a decisive role in this respect. It is the traffic center of the whole country, and accordingly was the required site for the setting up and distribution of the main reserves. There %were numerous armament installations which made it possible to equip the new formations. The High Command of the Army, therefore, was of the opinion that after the Dnieper-Smolensk-Lake Peipus line had been reached, one would then have to come into possession of the entire Moscow region. Hitler was of, a different opinion. He put the decisive importance on Leningrad and then he demanded the offensive at Kiev. It was he who took the decision in this matter. And then, afterwards, it was too late. The offensive in the Moscow region was doomed to fail because of weather conditions.
DR. LATERNSER: Regarding the Eastern campaign, I should like to clear up certain matters of subordination. Do you know of an agreement between the Quartermaster General of the Army, General Wagner, and Heydrich concerning the Einsatz groups?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: It was reported to me that a conference between General Wagner and the Chief of the SS Main Office, Heydrich, had taken place. According to an order of the High Command of the Armed Forces this conference was to settle those questions which were necessary to regulate the commitment of the Kommandos in the operational region of the Army, as ordered by Hitler.
It was reported to me that the problems involved were things such as the matter of boundary violations, the questions of economic supply, and the right of way on the roads. Nothing else was reported to me, and )whether other subjects were discussed I do not know, but at the best, the question might perhaps have been discussed as to whether Kommandos which were sent to the front area became subordinated to the local commander. All directives for these detachments were issued through the usual channels by the Reichsfuehrer SS. At the request of the Army, army groups and armies were given liaison detachments. They had only the task of informing these units about the objective, et cetera, of the operations as far as it applied to them. In this order of the High Command of the Armed Forces it says, regarding the purpose and the task of these detachments:
"It is intended to transform the occupied territories, as soon as possible, into political states. In order to prepare the measures, these Kommandos are to be used. This was the only information received by the High Command of the Army."
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DR. LATERNSER: Did General Wagner report to you that through these Einsatz groups mass exterminations would be carried out?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. LATERNSER: The witness SS Fuehrer Schellenberg was interrogated here, and he stated that he was of the conviction that the High Command of the Army knew of mass exterminations: and had reported this to the commanders-in-chief through official channels. Is this right?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He is speaking of a conviction, not of a certainty, and this conviction is not right.
DR. LATERNSER: To whom were these units subordinated?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The subordination of the Einsatzkommandos, as I have already mentioned, was set up in such a way that all orders emanated solely from the Reichsfuehrer SS. They were not subordinated to the Army in any way.
DR. LATERNSER: How about supply? Were they subordinated to the Army in that way?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, not even in that way. They were instructed to obtain their supplies from the Army for there was no other way of supplying rations or fuel.
DR.'LATERNSER: Did you receive official reports from these Einsatz groups?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. IATERNSER: Now, the subordination of the Waffen-SS will have to be cleared up as well. Just what was the subordination of a Waffen-SS division to the Army?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The Waffen-SS was subordinated to the Army only for tactical purposes. It was subordinated to the Army neither for discipline nor for judicial matters. The Army had no influence on promotions or demotions of people, and so forth.
DR. IATERNSER: To whom was a Waffen-SS division subordinate, when it was not engaged in a tactical task? That is, when it was neither in battle nor in the operational area?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In any event, not the Army. It was subordinate to the Reichsfuehrer SS or to, the High Command of the Armed Forces.
DR. LATERNSER: And to whom was it subordinate in the home area?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: To the Reichsfuehrer SS.
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DR. LATERNSER: Was the Waffen-SS paid out of the budget of the Wehrmacht?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Certainly not from the budget of the Army.
DR. LATERNSER: And the budget of the Luftwaffe and the Navy would be even less concerned ... ?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Just as little, I think. As far as I know, the SS not only had its own budget, but it also had its own armament, clothing, and administrative departments, et cetera.
DR. LATERNSER: Therefore, between a Waffen-SS division and the Army there was close and tactical contact only when this Waffen-SS division was actually in combat?
VON -BRAUCHITSCH: It was under the Army the moment it was used in an operational area, or when, in order to be moved up, it was placed at the Army's disposal.
DR. LATERNSER: Would it be a good comparison if I were to say that between a Waffen-SS division and the Army no closer connection existed than if, for instance, an Italian or Spanish division had been subordinate to the Army for a battle?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That would have been similar.
DR. LATERNSER: In general, what was the relationship of the leadership of the Waffen-SS to that of the Army, Luftwaffe, or Navy? Was it a particularly harmonious one?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Under battle conditions, yes, otherwise there was little connection.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, can you give us the circumstances under which Hitler issued the notorious Commissar Order?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In March 1941 Hitler had summoned the military leaders, and in a rather lengthy address he once more stated the reasons for the attitude to be adopted towards Russia. He went on to say that it was a battle which was of an ideological nature, which could not be fought with the chivalrous methods to which the Army was accustomed. He knew that the officers could not make this opinion their own, but he was demanding the unconditional execution of the orders he issued. And in connection with this, he issued the order dealing with the treatment to be given to the commissars.
DR.LATERNSER: What did you do in order to prevent the carrying out of this order and to prevent excesses on the part of the troops in the East?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: At the conclusion of the conference, after Hitler had left, some of the commanders-in-chief came to me and I
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remember particularly well that the commanders-in-chief of the three army groups, Field Marshal Von Rundstedt, Field Marshal Von Bock, and Field Marshal Von Leeb, as well as another group of army commanders, came to me and in an excited manner expressed themselves to the effect that such a way of waging war was intolerable to them. I agreed with their point of view and told them that as far as the High Command of the Army was concerned no order like that would be issued. I would first have to think things over as to what steps I might take.
In the meantime I had come to know Hitler well enough to know that once he had reached a decision and announced it publicly, in this case to the military leadership, nothing in the world could change this attitude. I knew also that I had to give a pretext to the Army for not adhering to this order. For this reason I issued an order dealing with the maintenance of discipline.
DR. LATERNSER: And what was the approximate wording of this order on discipline?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: It is not possible for me to give you the wording; however, the substance of the order, briefly, was as follows:
Discipline in the Army was to be strictly observed, along the lines and regulations that applied in the past. The attitude towards the population was to remain correct in every way, and any excesses were to be punished.
DR. LATERNSER: Would an open refusal or your threatened resignation have been successful with Hitler?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I have already said so-no.
DR. LATERNSER: Now, one more question dealing with the Eastern campaign. Did the German Army, in 1941, in its push through Russia, find considerable destruction wrought by the Soviet Army when it retreated?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The situation was quite what we expected it to be. The lack of consideration of Russia for her own country, in such circumstances, was well known for a century past. There were numerous bridges and railways which had been destroyed; power plants and numerous factories too. The mines in the Donets Basin were damaged in such a way that even though we worked for months they could hardly be used by us. In the cities we met special detachments of young Russian troops, who had partly carried out their task of burning the villages; in Kiev and other places we found delayed action mines which had been prepared by them, which caused us considerable loss.
DR.LATERNSER: Before the entry of Italy into the war, or before the declaration of war on America, were you advised of it in advance?
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VON BRAUCHITSCH: No. We regretted both incidents very much.
DR. LATERNSER: Were military agreements with Japan known to you?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I do not even know them today.
DR. LATERNSER: The records dealing with the testimony of Gisevius are known to you through the fact that I gave them to you for your perusal. Do you know the witness Gisevius?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In April 1946, 1 learned of the existence of Herr Gisevius for the first time from the newspapers. In the papers I read that he was to appear here as a witness. I would have overlooked it, if the name had, not struck me as familiar, for a Dr. Gisevius was our family physician in the nineties.
DR.LATERNSER: But the witness gave various and quite detailed statements about your person and especially to the effect that he talked with you about taking part in a "Putsch" together. What can you say about that?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I believe that anyone who knows me, however slightly, would laugh at the thought that I would discuss plans of a Putsch against the head of the State with a young person who is a complete stranger to me.
DR. LATERNSER: These statements ...
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I can only try to reconstruct the situation from the records; from these my impression is that those are the entirely unsupported fabrications of a man who believes that the whole world is revolving about him alone.
DR. LATERNSER: Gisevius further stated that the generals had enriched themselves. Is that true?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I do not quite know in which way.
DR. LATER.NSER: Did you yourself receive any grants?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal you furnished two affidavits to the Prosecution, Affidavit Number 2, Exhibit Number USA-532, and Affidavit Number 4, Exhibit Number USA-535; both of them bearing the date 7 November 1945. Were you under arrest at that time?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Two American officers had asked me to tell them about the organization of the Army, and so forth.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, I believe you misunderstood me. I asked you whether, at the time you made these affidavits, you were under arrest?
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VON BRAUCHITSCH: Since 19 October of last year I have been a witness in custody in the prison here at Nuremberg.
DR. LATERNSER: And about these affidavits, who set down these statements?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: They were drafted by two American officers.
DR. IATERNSER: And who demanded these statements?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: That I do not know; no names were mentioned.
DR. LATERNSER: Were you told for what purpose these statements were to be used?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No. From the preceding conferences, I assumed that the statements were to serve the purpose of informing the experts about the organizations.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you make any alterations?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I made a series of alterations but I cannot tell you how many.
DR. LATERNSER: These statements-in your own opinion, of course-could they be misunderstood?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Even after I had made the changes I was of the opinion that they were clear only in conjunction with the conversations that had taken place previously. They were a series of conversations which I was told were not made under oath, a matter which, of course, was of no consequence to me anyway; they were for the purpose of gathering information about the organization. All the problems were often discussed and looked at from different angles.
DR. IATERNSER: In signing Affidavit Number 2, which contains the sketch, did you point out that this sketch was not correct or might be misunderstood?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I pointed to the fact that this sketch might be misunderstood and I received the answer that matters were entirely cleared up and that the sketch was not very important in any case.
DR. TIATERNSER: Affidavit Number 1, Exhibit Number USA-531, which General Halder signed on the same day, agrees literally with your Affidavit Number 2 with the exception of the last paragraph; were you interrogated together with General Halder?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
DR. LATERNSER: As you just mentioned a moment ago, when signing the Affidavit Number 2 you pointed to the fact that the
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sketch was incorrect. Now, I shall have this sketch presented to you and I should like to ask you just what is wrong in it.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: This chart causes misunderstandings ...
THE PRESIDENT: Hadn't you better ask the witness-if he is your witness-whether there is anything wrong about the affidavits?
DR. IATERNSER: Mr. President, I beg your pardon, I did not understand you-I was listening on the wrong channel.
THE PRESIDENT: Hadn't you better ask him whether there is anything wrong in his affidavit? He hadn't yet said there was anything wrong about that.
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I shall ask questions about that presently. First of all, I want to ask the witness about this sketch and the further questions, of course, will follow.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: This sketch may be misinterpreted, especially insofar as the lines are concerned, and if you wish to show the hierarchy by means of this sketch, then, in my opinion, not all the staff of the High Command of the Armed Forces and the various branches of the Armed Forces should be shown in this sketch.
THE- PRESIDENT: Now, the Tribunal would like to know whether this witness is saying that there is anything wrong 'With this affidavit; whether it is not true.
DR. 1ATERNSER: Yes, Mr. President.
Field Marshal, in Affidavit Number 2, you used the word "Gruppe" four times. Is this expression ...
THE PRESIDENT: I said the Tribunal would like to know now whether this witness says there is anything untrue in his affidavits, and we want to know it now. Do you understand the meaning of the word "now"?
DR. LATERNSER: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I will ask the witness myself.
[Turning to the witness.] Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch, are you saying that there is anything wrong in your affidavits, your two affidavits, which is inaccurate or untrue?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, nothing which is untrue, but something which can be misunderstood...
THE PRESIDENT: Something which you mean might be misleading?
VON BRAUCI-1ITSCH: Various questions which might lead, to misunderstandings. One thing is the sketch, and the second thing which might lead to error is the expression "Gruppe" (group). This
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I understand to mean a "figure" or "number," but not comprising a certain number-a certain series of offices in organizational or technical respects. For no connection whatsoever existed between the various branches of the Armed Forces. There was a connection at the top, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Adolf Hitler, and Hitler personally always played off one branch of the Armed Forces against another. He repeatedly talked to me about the Navy and the Luftwaffe and their commanders-in-chief in this way, and I know that he did the same thing about the Army and myself. The expression "Gruppe" therefore can be misunderstood and is misleading in its context here. It was understandable only in conjunction with the conversations that we had before.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, this expression "Gruppe"-did you use this expression yourself when you talked with the Prosecution?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Well, I really cannot say that exactly. It is quite possible, for by the word "Gruppe" I do not understand anything other than a number of people, or a series, but not anything organizational or anything closely bound together.
DR. LATERNSER: And this is the meaning which you said just now you wanted the term "Gruppe" to imply when you signed the statement?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
DR. LATERNSER: Before then, that is, before this interrogation by the Prosecution dealing with this point, had you used the word '_'Gruppe" in connection with the highest military leadership?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, for such a group did not exist, neither in organizational nor in technical respects. In the German Army we know only the gradation according to the war organization (Kriegsgliederung), that is, division, corps, army, or whatever the case might be.
DR. LATERNSER: Now I shall turn to my last questions, Field Marshal. At the end of the year 1941 you resigned. What were the reasons for your resignation? -
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In the summer of 1941, Hitler's strongly growing influence on all Army questions and the impotence on the part of the High Command of the Army in all spheres of political and economic administration of the occupied countries, and their inner opposition to the policy followed by Hitler, was becoming stronger and sharper. In the autumn of 1941, this tension increased still more. Parallel with that, there were the constant battles with the leadership of the Party, which wanted to increase its influence
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on the Army more and more. I saw there was no longer any possibility of bringing about a change in any way. Hard as it was for me to take the decision to leave the Army at a time when millions had lost their lives and to separate myself from it, I nevertheless decided to take the decisive step. On 7 December 1941, 1 asked Hitler, when I was alone with him, to relieve me of my office. He answered that he would have to think it over and that he did not want to speak about this matter at present. On 17 December, when we were again alone together, he told me that he had decided to take over the command of the Army himself and the reason he gave for doing this was that in view of the seriousness of the winter offensive he would have to put in the scales all the confidence which he enjoyed in the Army. On 19 December-he again told me not to say anything-on 19 December I received the order. On 20 December in the evening I traveled home, and I did not see Hitler again after that. Hitler was the fate of Germany and this fate could not be stayed.
DR.LATERNSER: I have no further questions to put to this witness.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
TBE PRESIDENT: Does the Prosecution wish-to cross-examine? COL.TAYLOR: Witness Brauchitsch, counsel for the General Staff has made reference to two affidavits. Can you hear me? Can the witness hear me?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: Counsel for the General Staff has made reference to two affidavits which you signed. Did you have full opportunity to make changes in those affidavits before you signed them?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, I have had that.
COL. TAYLOR: I will ask that a copy of the original of Affidavit Number 2 be shown to you. Did, you, in fact, make changes in the affidavits before you signed them?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I did not understand your question.
COL. TAYLOR: Did you make changes in the affidavits before you signed them?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I made a few changes.
COL. TAYLOR: Will you please look at the last sentence in the affidavit that I have just handed you? Is that sentence ...
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Which part do you mean?
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COL. TAYLOR: The very last sentence, Page 2. Is that last sentence entirely in your own handwriting?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
COL. TAYLOR: And that last sentence, would you read it please? Would you please read the last sentence in your own handwriting?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: "In the hands of the departments shown in the sketch was, in fact, the direction of the Armed Forces."
COL. TAYLOR: Is that sentence, as you wrote it, correct?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Supplementary to what I said before, I had pointed out that the sketch might lead to misunderstanding, whereupon I was told that that was already known. For that reason I connected the sketch with the departments of the hierarchy.
COL. TAYLOR: The sketch is attached to the affidavit which you signed, and the last sentence, as you have read it, says that, "In the hands of the departments shown in the sketch was, in fact, the direction of the Armed Forces." There is no misunderstanding or qualification about that sentence, is there?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Only as far as I have pointed out that the individual sections of the staffs did not fit in as shown in the sketch, but were included independently, and that in reality all the other sections of the working staffs were included too.
COL. TAYLOR: Your Honor, with respect to the question concerning the Eastern Front, I'm bearing in mind that the witness Von Manstein, who is next to be called, was on the Eastern Front and remained ~here until 1944, while the witness Von Brauchitsch retired in 1941. The Prosecution prefers to reserve this question on those matters for the witness Von Manstein. With respect to the questions on aggressive warfare, those relate almost entirely to documents which have been before the Tribunal for a long time. The American Prosecution sees nothing to be gained by putting those documents to this witness. It is entirely a matter of argument which will be made at a proper time. Accordingly, the American Prosecution has no further questions to the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Do the chief prosecutors wish to ask any questions?
MAJOR GENERAL G. A. ALEXANDROV (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Witness, you stated here today that a plan for an attack on Czechoslovakia did not exist, and that in any case you were not informed about it. Did I understand you correctly?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
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GENERAL ALEXANDROV: And you were not aware of "Case Green"?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: "Case Green" was known to me, but it referred to something quite different. "Case Green" was prepared earlier, based on the assumption that a joint attack by France and Czechoslovakia was to take place against Germany. Thus the problems were treated before my time. I myself did not know the details of "Case Green."
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: But "Case Green" dealt with the conquest of Czechoslovakia, is that right? I repeat, the plan called "Case Green" was a plan for the conquest of Czechoslovakia, was it not?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: As far as I know "Case Green" was only connected with an attack, a declaration of war on the part of France and Czechoslovakia on Germany. Another ...
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: In that case, I shall remind you of another document. I mean Hitler's decree of 30 May 1938, the first copy of which was sent to you as Commander-in-Chief of the Army. This directive was issued for the purpose of carrying out "Case Green." I shall read into the record Point 1 on the second paragraph of the decree, which states:
"It is my irrevocable resolution to shatter Czechoslovakia, in the near future, by a military operation."
Did you have knowledge of that directive?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, I know that directive.
GENERAL AI8XANDROV: Thus there was really a plan for the conquest of Czechoslovakia, is that not so?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I do not understand the meaning of that question.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am asking you, was there actually a plan for the conquest of Czechoslovakia or not?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: In May 1938 Hitler told me about that idea of his for the first time. But you have to take into consideration in this connection that Hitler, as is generally known, always expressed himself hi the strongest terms. It was extremely difficult for one to discern Hitler's actual will from his speeches.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: The next question is this. Tell me, Witness, in what way did you learn about conversations between General Wagner and Heydrich, the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service? How did you get to know it? '
VON BRAUCHITSCH: From a report received from General Wagner.
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GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Was General Wagner subordinate to you?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He came under the Chief of the General Staff and thereby he was subordinate to me.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: That means that the talks between General Wagner and Heydrich were taking place with your knowledge?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: It was reported to me afterwards.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: And you assert that you did not know anything either about the tactical activity of the Einsatzgruppen of the Police, which are laid down by this agreement, nor about the fact of their close co-operation with the Armed Forces? Do you assert that?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I repeat what I have said before. There was an order of the High Command of the Armed Forces to the effect that the Reichsfuehrer SS was to set up Kommandos, which were to prepare the necessary steps for the transformation of states to political states. Nothing more than that was ever known to me and the general did not report to me about it. No other reports of that kind ever reached me. If I had received any, I would have taken steps against them just as in the case of Poland. I would not have connived with them in any way had I known of them.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: You were not even aware of the fact that these Einsatzkommandos worked in close contact with the commands of the Armed Forces? Did you know about that?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, they did not work together with the commands of the Armed Forces or of the Army.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I shall quote an extract from Document L-180, Exhibit USA-276, which is a report of the Einsatzgruppe A of the SD on 15 October 1941. The report of this Einsatzgruppe states, I quote:
"Einsatzgruppe A, after preparing its vehicles for action, proceeded to their area of concentration as ordered, on 23 June 1941, the second day of the campaign in the East. Army Group North, consisting of the 16th and 18th Armies and Panzer Group 4, had advanced the day before.
"Our task was to quickly establish personal contact with the commanders of the armies and with the commander of the rear. It must be stressed from the beginning that the cooperation with the Armed Forces was generally good; in some -cases, for instance with Panzer Group 4 under Generaloberst Hoeppner, it was very close, almost cordial."
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And further on:
"At the start of the Eastern campaign it became obvious with regard to the Security Police that its special work had to be done not only in the rear area of the armies as was provided for in the original agreements with the High Command of the Army, but also in the combat areas."
Did you have knowledge about such a close contact between these Einsatzgruppen and the High Command of the Armed Forces?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No report reached me about it and consequently I knew nothing about it.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: You ~ stated here that you had canceled Hitler's decrees about the shooting of captured Soviet commissars. Did I understand you right?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: What was Hitler's reaction to your disregarding this decree?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He never said anything to me about it I do not, know, he never reacted.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: And you never notified Hitler that you were suspending his decree?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: How did it happen that the decree was actually carried out, as a great many Soviet commissars who were taken prisoner were annihilated by the German troops?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I am not in a position to answer that, because I never received a report about it. I received reports only that the order had not been carried, out.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Now a last question. When defendant's counsel asked you your reasons for leaving the Army, you stated that you retired, because of a difference of opinion about Hitler's policy, and because of these differences you asked for and finally received your release. Is that correct?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: That means that those generals of the German Army who did not agree with Hitler's policy and his form of government, did have the possibility to resign and not follow this policy. Is that correct?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Unfortunately, no. Hitler had explicitly ordered that no one was allowed to leave, and besides one could not go as one liked. In my case it suited him, because he needed a scapegoat for the failure of the Russian winter campaign. That
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was expressed later on in the propaganda spread in Germany, which blamed me for these matters.
GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
DR. LATERNSER: I have only a very few questions, which I wish to put following the cross-examination.
[Turning to the witness.] In this Document Number L-180, which has just been quoted by the Russian prosecutor, Generaloberst Hoeppner is mentioned. Did you know Generaloberst Hoeppner well?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I have known him since 1914. He was my chief of staff in East Prussia and therefore I knew him extremely well.
DR. LATERNSER: You surely knew his attitude then with regard to the use of violence, such as was displayed later on by the Einsatz forces?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Generaloberst Hoeppner was a straightforward and honest soldier. He would refuse to do anything which would not be in keeping with his education and his training.
DR. LATERNSER: Is Generaloberst Hoeppner alive?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He was a victim of the events of 20 July.
DR. LATERNSER: In other words, it was because of his attitude regarding such methods that he was sentenced to death. Is that right?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, it is.
DR. LATERNSER: Could you explain how it was possible that, according to the report, an almost cordial co-operation was said by the writer to have existed between the Einsatzgruppe and Generaloberst Hoeppner?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: The only way I could explain what happened, as I said earlier in my testimony in regard to my negotiation with General Wagner and the Chief of the SS Main Office, Heydrich, is that there might have been co-operation at the actual fighting front. Besides, the conditions in the North were extraordinarily difficult. The tanks were in front, part of the Russians were behind them and behind them again the German divisions. There were the difficulties of bringing up reinforcements and supplies. I can well imagine that these groups were assigned to protect and secure the supply lines. As already stated I never received reports about that.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you know General Wagner well?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, I did.
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DR. LATERNSER: What was his attitude in regard to such methods of violence?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: He committed suicide on 20 July 1944. He was in any case against any measures which would have been in contradiction to law, decency, and humanity or a violation of the rules of the Hague and the Geneva Convention.
DR. LATERNSER: One would have expected that if he knew from a conference with Heydrich that mass executions were to be effected by these special Einsatzgruppen, in view of his own attitu4e he would have made a report to you?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, surely.
DR. IATERNSER: Thank you; I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, you read the evidence of the witness Gisevius?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: And are you telling the Tribunal that insofar as it refers to yourself, it is entirely untrue?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Now I want to ask you another question. When the Commissar Order was communicated to you, before the war upon the Soviet Union was made, what orders did you give?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: I gave the order, which I mentioned earlier, to maintain discipline and see that correct treatment was to be accorded to the population by the German soldiers, and that all excesses were to be punished.
THE PRESIDENT: That is to say that you did not give any order directly referring to the Commissar Order?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No. I could not rescind the order directly, but I did give an order which was unmistakable and which gave my views and convictions.
THE PRESIDENT: You gave your order in writing, did you?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: And are you telling the Tribunal that you never knew during the rest of 1941 that the Commissar Order was being carried out?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Mr. President, I am not trying to tell stories. I am merely telling the truth when I say that I did not receive any reports on it and consequently cannot say anything about it. Wherever I made inquiries about it, I only received the information that the order was not being carried out.
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THE PRESIDENT: Well, then you are saying that as far as you know it. was not carried out until the time you retired?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Yes, and more I cannot say, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: I am only trying to find out what you do say. The witness can now retire.
VON BRAUCHITSCH: Mr. President...
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, did you want to say anything more?
VON BRAUCHITSCH: No, Mr. President.
[The witness left the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Laternser.
DR. LATERNSER: As my second witness I am going to call Field Marshal Von Manstein.
[The witness Von Manstein took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your, full name, please?
VON MANSTEIN: Erich von Manstein.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:
I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The witness repeated the oath.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. LATERNSER: Field Marshal, what was the last position you held?
VON MANSTEIN: My last appointment was Commander-in-Chief of Army Group South.
DR. LATERNSER: How did you get that position?
VON MANSTEIN: I was given that position in November 1942 on the strength of an order from Hitler.
DR. LATERNSER: The other commanders-in-chief were appointed in a similar way, were they not?
VON MANSTEIN: Yes.
DR. LATERNSER: For many years you have held important positions in the General Staff. In which capacity?
VON. MANSTEIN: In the last war I was in the General Staff with the troops. Then in 1929 1 joined the Reichswehr Ministry; there I joined the First Division of the Troops Department.
DR. LATERNSER: Was the General Staff an elite body which set the standard in the Armed Forces?
VON MANSTEIN: The General Staff officers were an elite group as far as they were selected on the basis of their tactical abilities
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and also on the strength of their character. They did not set the tone in the Army, as their views were exactly the same as the views of all other officers. As to the General Staff setting the tone in the Armed Forces, there really cannot be any question of that. The Navy did not have a General Staff. As for the Air Force, as far as I can judge, the General Staff officers may have played a smaller part than "outsiders" like Milch, Udet, and so forth, but to begin with, the Armed Forces did not have an Armed Forces General Staff. Therefore one can hardly speak of the General Staff setting the tone within the Armed Forces.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the General Staff have authoritative influence on all military plans? And was it, shall we say, the brain of the Army?
VON ALA-NSTEIN: At-its headquarters, that is, in the Reichswehr Ministry, the General Staff dealt in its various departments with the main questions as far as they concerned the direction and employment of troops. But all other matters were in the hands of the various departments or of the Army Inspectorate. These offices worked in parallel with the General Staff, and as far as matters referring to the ' troops were concerned, they were dealt, with in these departments.
DR. LATERNSER: But then surely the General Staff gave opinions?
VON MANSTEIN: The General Staff could, of course, express itself on the questions dealt with by the departments, on training and armament, for instance. But the chiefs of the other departments were on exactly the same level as the chiefs of the Troops Department, and important personnel questions, in particular, were dealt with entirely outside the General Staff.
DR. LATERNSER: Was the Chief of the General Staff the decisive adviser to Hitler, or was it the Commander-in-Chief of the Army or of the Air Force?
VON MANSTEIN: One cannot possibly say that the Chief of the General Staff was the decisive adviser of Hitler. The position of Chief of the General Staff in the Armed, Forces of the Third Reich differed entirely from the position held by the Chief of the General Staff at the time of the Kaiser. In those days the Chief of the General Staff was immediately subordinate to the Kaiser, that is to say, he could report directly to him.
In the Wehrmacht (Armed Forces) of the Third Reich on the other hand, and even of the Weimar Republic, that was entirely different. The Chief of the General Staff of the Army, for instance, was nothing else than the adviser of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army regarding matters of military leadership. Between him and
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Hitler there was, first of all, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and then, as long as we had a Minister of War, in the person of Blomberg, there-was the Reich Minister of War, too. Thus, there was no question at all of the Chief of the General Staff advising Hitler. But even as regards the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, he shared his work, in peacetime at least, with the chiefs of the departments, that is to say, the Personnel Department, the Armament Department, and the Defense Department, who were all on his own level.
DR. LATERNSER: Was there a special service channel for the General Staff?
VON MANSTEIN: A special service channel for the General Staff did not exist. On the contrary, that was strictly taboo. Towards the end of the first World War something similar was developed when Ludendorff in practice had gained control of military matters and always communicated with the General Staff chiefs who were his subordinates instead of addressing himself to the commanders-in-chief themselves. This deterioration, as I might call it, of military leadership was radically done away with by Generaloberst Von Seeckt, and a special service channel for the General Staff as is meant here therefore did not exist.
DR. LATERNSER: And what about the privilege of recording varying opinions?
VON MAN§TEIN: In the old Army, every chief of the General Staff had the right, if he was of an opinion that differed from that of his commander, to record that dissenting opinion, although, of course, he had to carry out the order of his commander. In the Armed Forces of the Third Reich, on the other hand, that was expressly discontinued with the agreement of the Chief of the General Staff, General Beck.
DR. LATERNSER: Was the High Command of the Armed Forces, shall we say, the central brain of the Armed Forces?
VON MANSTEIN: The High Command of the Armed Forces, of course, in the form in which it is now being mentioned, only came into being in 1938 as a working staff for Hitler. Before that Blomberg was Reich Minister of War, and in his position as a Minister he held a position which dealt with all matters affecting the Armed Forces, which he represented to both State and Party. In his hands, too, was the distribution of funds for the various branches of the Armed Forces as well as the rearmament capacity for the Armed Forces. Gradually, no doubt, Blomberg was trying to achieve a more outstanding leadership of the Armed Forces, but in that connection he soon got into considerable difficulties, particularly with the High Command of the Army, for the reason that in the opinion of the
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High Command of the Army Blomberg was too lenient with the Party. He himself then attempted to establish a sort of tactical leadership staff, which later became the Armed Forces Operations Staff. But that was still in the early stages. Then came his dismissal, and subsequently the Wehrmachtffihrungsstab (Armed Forces Operations Staff) was created under Hitler. This, however, is not to be regarded as the head of the three General Staffs of the Armed Forces or as the dome of the structure; it was nothing else than the practical leadership staff of the Fuehrer.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the high commands of the Armed Forces branches or the General Staff nevertheless agree with the High Command of the Armed Forces in their aims?
VON MANSTEIN: Naturally the three branches of the Armed Forces were in agreement with the High Command of the Armed Forces that the national element should be kept up. Furthermore, that they were there to uphold the idea of national honor, of equality, and most of all security for Germany, which they considered to be their task. Apart from that, one can hardly speak of a unified determination. I should like to say, for instance, that the Army had one basic thought, which was that under no circumstances must Germany ever again fight a war on two fronts. The Navy, in my opinion, was always guided by the idea: never again war with England. What G6rIng, as the reigning head of the Air Force aimed at personally, I cannot judge. But I do not suppose that he was interested in jeopardizing the position of the Third Reich and his own position in another war.
DR. LATERNSER: And the High Command of the Armed Forces?
VON MANSTEIN: As far as the High Command of the Armed Forces is concerned, if it had a will of its own at all, it did not, in my opinion, have the possibility seriously to express that will in opposition to Hitler.
DR. LATERNSER: What was the importance of the Schlieffen Club and what were its aims?
VON MANSTEIN: The Schlieffen Club was, generally speaking, a club of elderly gentlemen who were ex-members of the General Staff. Apart from that, General Staff officers and assistants to leaders of the young Wehrmacht were in it, too. They met once a year at an annual dinner preceded by a so-called business meeting during which the treasurer's report was read; and that was about the principal business. Then, of course, the Schlieffen Club had a council of honor, which usually had to occupy itself with settling quarrels between the older members resulting from Ludendorff's attitude toward Hindenburg.
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We younger ones did not go to those discussions any more; and apart from that we were not subject to this council of honor. Any political or military aims on the part of this club did not exist and at all events, it cannot be considered a club where intellectual schooling or training was being carried on, taking the place of the General Staff.
DR. LATERNSER: What were the relations between the 129 military leaders affected and the High Command of the Armed Forces and the General Staff?
VON MANSTEIN: The bulk of them, according to their position, had no relationship to them at all.
DR. LATERNSER: A little more slowly, Field Marshal.
VON MANSTEIN: Only four of them belonged to the High Command of the Armed Forces, these are Keitel, Jodl, Warlimont and Winter; and only the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Luftwaffe and of the Army belonged to the General Staff, although they were changed frequently. I think there are five of each of the Armed Forces branches. All the others belonged neither to the General Staff nor to the High Command of the Armed Forces.
DR. LATERNSER: But what else are these military leaders?
VON Alf-ANSTEIN: They are the holders of the highest positions in the military hierarchy, as they are in every country.
DR. LATERNSER: Did not these military leaders, according to, their views, represent an entity with a uniform will?
VON MANSTEIN: Naturally, as far as the conception of their work was concerned, they agreed; that is a matter of c9urse. Also they agreed regarding the view of the necessity of Germany's being strong because she was surrounded by three neighbors from whom one might, after all, expect one thing or another. Over and above that, however, such a uniformity of thought cannot be spoken of. I might say that, horizontally considered, the three branches of the Armed Forces were on the same level; and each branch had different military ideas and aims which were quite often at cross purposes. Considered vertically, these 129 officers in the military hierarchy were classified in four grades, let us say, governed by the relationship of superiors to subordinates. The highest grade was the Fi1hrer and his working staff, the High Command of the Armed Forces. On that level rested the entire military and political responsibility which, according to military principles, can only be assumed by the highest leader.
The second grade consisted of the three commanders-in-chief of the branches of the Armed Forces. They were responsible for the military tasks of that branch of the Armed Forces which, was under
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their command. On the level of command, they, of course, had full responsibility. They were, naturally, to a certain extent Hitler's advisers too, if he asked their advice in military matters.
Grade 3, which, in the persons of the 129 officers, only existed in war, comprised the commanders of army groups, and then, below that, Grade 4, the commanders of armies. The commanders of army groups were responsible for the leadership of the operations which they were to carry out. The same measure of responsibility for their armies was in the hands of the army commanders below them, who also exercised territorial authority in their operational areas. But this third and fourth grade had no contact. Let us say, there was no mental nexus with Hitler, with the Fuehrer, because the grade of the commanders-in-chief intervened. They received orders and had to obey them, as in all phases of military life the relationship is that of one who gives orders and one who carries them out.
DR. LATERNSER: How could anyone, within the measure of this responsibility which you have just described, have the possibility of expressing his views on Hitler's plans?
VON MANSTEIN: To state one's view about Hitler's plans was quite out of the question for the third and fourth grades, because they would only learn of them when they appeared in the shape of an order. If in individual cases the commanders-in-chief were called to a conference with Hitler, then it was only to hear the announcement of some unalterable decision already arrived at. The commanders-in-chief of the Armed Forces branches could, of course, when previously asked by Hitler, of which I cannot judge individual instances, state their views, their opinions. How far they might have succeeded in that is entirely another question.
DR. LATERNSER: Now, did not nearly all of these military leaders come from the General Staff, and was it not for that reason that these leaders formed an entity?
VON MANSTEIN: Certainly, a certain part of these leaders did come from the General Staff. In the case of the Army, of the 94 Army officers who are supposed to belong to the so-called organization, 74 had been General Staff officers; 20 on the other hand were not. With the Air Force, there were, as far as I know, only 9 out of 17 ex-members of the General Staff; and the Navy, of course, did not have any at all. Uniformity, let us say, as far as it existed at all, was therefore due to the fact that they had the same military training, the same military courses in the General Staff, but no more.
DR. LATERNSER: So that the conceptions of High Command of the Armed Forces and General Staff on one hand, and these 129 officers on the other, were entirely different?
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VON MANSTEIN: Yes, of course they are quite different. They were mainly the military leaders, and not the General Staff and not the High Command of the Armed Forces; and you can neither ideally, nor materially, nor practically, nor theoretically call them one unified organization.
DR. LATERNSER: Were there not certain SS leaders amongst that group? Was not the SS the fourth branch of the Armed Forces?
VON MANSTEIN: No, it certainly was not a fourth branch of the Armed Forces. Certainly a large number of the reasonable leaders of the Waffen-SS, and during the war the mass of the Waffen-SS units wished to be incorporated into the Army. But, naturally, considering the opposing will of the Fuehrer and of Himmler, it was not to be thought of. The units of the Waffen-SS fought during the war very bravely as our comrades at the front; but they were not the fourth branch of the Armed Forces. Quite the contrary, Himmler prohibited everything which could have exerted any influence on the SS by the Armed Forces. That individual leaders -of the SS were incorporated amongst the group must be described as grotesque, considering Himmler's personality; because if there ever was a mortal enemy of the Army, it was Himmler.
DR. LATERNSER: Why do you say Himmler was a mortal enemy of the Army?
VON MANSTEIN: There is no doubt whatever that Himmler wanted to replace the Army by his SS; and in my opinion the generals of the Army were particularly persecuted by him with hatred and Ebel. I know that in my case, at any rate, according to an entirely reliable source, my discharge was largely due to Himmler's intrigues, especially his malicious libel. As far as the other leaders are concerned, I know only that some of them had formerly been in the Reichswehr and had been discharged, so that they were not exactly favorably disposed toward us and did not feel they belonged to us; that is pretty clear.
DR. LATERNSER: But did not the Party and the Armed Forces work together on one plan in the interests of the Reich?
VON MANSTEIN: The Party was working in the political field; and we were working in the soldier's sphere. There can be no talk of a common plan of the Party and the Armed Forces because the prerequisites for it were missing. First of all, the most important requirement, a common basic attitude, was lacking. With many methods of the Party, as is known, we did not agree at all; and if there is no agreement even on such basic questions as, for instance, Christianity, one can say only that the intellectual basis for a common plan is obviously missing.
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The second reason against it was the Party's claim for -total power, which again and again attempted to influence the Armed Forces, and I can safely say that we officers were fighting a continuous battle against the influences of the Party which sought to win over our soldiers, and thus remove the soldierly element which we represented.
Then the third reason is that under Hitler any planning would have been out of the question. If anyone made a plan, it was Hitler alone, and no one under him was allowed to make plans; people just had to obey. Quite apart from that, in the political and practical life of the Third Reich one branch never knew what the other was doing, or what its orders were, so that here too, there was no kind of uniformity. There was, therefore, a lack of all the necessary prerequisites for such a uniform plan.
DR. LATERNSER: What was your capacity in the General Staff of the Army?
VON MANSTEIN: In the General Staff, that is to say, at the very center, I was from 1929 to 1932 employed as senior General Staff officer, in the First Division of the Troops Department. Then in 1935 1 became the chief of the Operations Department of the Army, and in 1936 1 became Oberquartiermeister I, that is to say, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Army.
DR. LATERNSER: Did the Operations Department come under your command as Oberquartiermeister I?
VON MANSTEIN: Yes, the Operations Department came under my orders. So did the Organization Department and various others.
DR. LATERNSER: So that you as chief of the Operations Department would have had to deal with the employment of troops in the event of war?
VON MANSTEIN: Yes, of course.
DR. LATERNSER: But then you must have been informed about the aim and the degree of armament?
VON MANSTEIN: Yes.
DR. LATERNSER: Please be very brief.
VON MANSTEIN: The goal of our armament, first of all, in the twenties, in the years before the seizure of power, was the most elementary security against an unprovoked attack on the part of any one of our neighbors. After all, since all our neighbors had certain designs on German territories, we had to reckon with such a possibility at all times. We were perfectly aware of the fact that at best we could stand up to such an attack for a few weeks only. But we did want to achieve that at any rate, so as to prevent a fait accompli, for instance, in the event of an attack by Poland by the
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occupation of Upper Silesia. We wanted to make sure we could put up a fight until the League of Nations would intervene. Practically speaking, we were relying upon the League of Nations, and we could do so only if we ourselves could in no circumstances whatsoever be called the aggressors. At all times, therefore, we had to avoid everything which might be considered a violation of the Treaty of Versailles, or a provocation. For that reason we in the First Division of the Troops Department had formed a special group of officers who had the sole duty, whenever the High Command of the Army, or at that time the Army General Headquarters, were issuing orders, to make sure that no such violations would result from them.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you have plans for a mobilization at the time when you were Oberquartiermeister I?
VON NMNSTEIN: Yes. We had the very first mobilization plan, which became effective on I April 1930; it concerned the transformation of the 100,000-man Army to a war footing. That mobilization plan was then brought up to date annually after 1930.
DR. LATERNSER: And before that time?
VON MANSTEIN: Until then there was no mobilization plan at all.
DR. LATERNSER: Were there plans for strategic concentrations?
VON MANSTEIN: Plans for strategic concentrations did not exist at all from the end of the first World War until 1935. In 1935 the first strategic concentration plan was worked out; it was the so-called "Red" concentration, which was a defensive "forming-up" along the Rhine, that is along our Western frontier, with defensive "forming-up" at the Czech and Polish borders at the same time. And then a second concentration plan, called "Green," was worked upon in 1937, that ...
THE PRESIDENT: Witness, by "forming-up" do you mean deployment? What do you call, a forming-up plan? You mean deployment?
VON MANSTEIN: By a "forming-up" or "concentration plan" I understand a plan according to which troops, in the event of a threatening of war, are got ready along the frontiers, that is to say, a plan for the event of threatening political conflagration. Whether it may lead to war or whether from this formation one would enter into a war has actually nothing to do with the concentration plan. It merely states how the troops are to be assembled and, in the event of war, what would be the first tasks for the army groups and armies.
DR. LATERNSER: Were those all the troop concentration plans the two which you have just described?
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VON MANSTEIN: Those were the two forming-up plans which I as Deputy Chief of the General Staff had been engaged in. The concentration plan "White," which was against Poland, was not worked out during my time. It must have been worked on in 1939.
DR. LATERNSER: When did you cease to be Oberquartiermeister I at the High Command of the Army?
VON MANSTEIN: I left on 4 February 1938,- at the same time when General Von Fritsch was removed.
DR. LATERNSER: And at that time the plan for concentration against Poland was not yet in existence?
VON MANSTEIN: No. Only the concentration plan "Red" existed, which was a defensive measure along the Polish frontier in the event of war.
DR. LATERNSER: What was the attitude of the High Command of the Army with reference to the declaration of Germany's military sovereignty in 1935? At that time you were still in the High Command of the Army, were you not?
VON MANSTEIN: In 1935-no, I was still chief of the General Staff at the headquarters of Wehrkreis III (Military Area Number 3) when military sovereignty was declared. But from my knowledge of the General Staff I know that that declaration completely surprised all of us at the time. I personally, and my commanding general in Berlin, only heard of it over the radio. The General Staff, had it been asked, would have proposed 21 divisions as the size of an Army increase which we would have considered suitable and feasible from a practical point of view. The figure of 36 divisions was due to a spontaneous decision made by Hitler.
DR. LATERNSER: Was the occupation of the Rhineland demanded by the military, and was it intended as a preparation for war?
VON MANSTEIN: No. We did not demand the military occupation, and above all we did not intend it to be a preparation for war. On the contrary, at the time the occupation was carried -out, I was the chief of the Operations Department, and I myself had to draft the orders for that occupation. Since we were completely surprised by the decision of the Fuehrer, I had only one afternoon in which to do it, because the following morning the generals concerned came to receive their orders. I know that at that time the Reich Minister of War and General Von Fritsch stated their objections, and warned Hitler against such a one-sided solution of this question. That warning is the first source, in my opinion, for the distrust which subsequently the Fuehrer increasingly felt for the generals. Later, at a private conference which I had with him, he himself admitted that that was so, and particularly that Blomberg at that time, when
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France was mobilizing 13 divisions, had suggested that the three battalions which we had pushed across the Rhine to the Western bank should be withdrawn. The intentions we then had for the fortification of the Rhineland were purely defensive ones. The Siegfried Line was planned, just as was the Maginot Line, as a wall which would be as impregnable as possible in the event of attack.
DR. LATERNSER: To what extent did military leaders participate in the case of Austria? Surely you are well informed about that, Field Marshal?
VON MANSTEIN: One morning, and quite to my surprise, I was summoned to the Fi1hrer, together with General Beck, the Chief of the General Staff. It was, I think, about 11 o'clock. The Commander-in-Chief of the Army was not in Berlin. Hitler revealed to us that he had decided that the Austrian question was to be settled in view of the intentions announced by Schuschnigg the day before. He demanded our suggestions for a march into Austria, should this be necessary. The Chief of the General Staff thereupon suggested explained that we should have to mobilize the corps required for this, namely the Bavarian Corps VII and XIII and a Panzer division, but that such a mobilization, in fact such a measure was in no way prepared, since the political leaders had never given us even so much as a hint of such instructions. It would be necessary, therefore, to improvise everything.
First of all, the Fuehrer did not want to agree to this mobilization, but then he realized that if he wanted to march in at all, troops would have to be mobile, and he agreed, saying that he would have to march in the following Saturday-the day before the intended plebiscite-if he wanted to march in at all. The result of it was that the order for the mobilization of these corps had to be given that very day, if the mobilization and concentration of the forces on the border were to be completed in time.
The conference started about 11 o'clock and went on until about 1 o'clock and the orders would have to be ready to go out that afternoon at 6 o'clock. They went out 20 minutes late; I had to draft the orders for this concentration myself, so that I had 4 or 5 hours altogether to do it in. Before that, no thought whatever had been given to such a thing. The so-called Case "Otto" had nothing at all to do with this entire affair.
DR. LATERNSER: So that, as the man responsible for the working out of this order, you had just a few hours from the moment when you knew nothing until the moment the order was ready to be issued?
VON MANSTEIN: Yes, that is right-about 4 or 5 hours.
9 Aug. 46
DR. ILATERNSER: Did you, as the responsible Oberquartiermeister I (Deputy Chief of General Staff, Operations), responsible for war plans, know anything at all about the conference which Hitler held on 5 November 1937?
VON MANSTEIN: No, I knew nothing about it.
DR. LATERNSER: Did you participate in the conference of 10 August 1938?
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser-Witness, the Tribunal would Eke to know what you say the plan "Otto" was for. What was the plan made for?
VON MANSTEIN: We in the Army did not have a completed plan called "Otto." I only know that that was a code word for some measures or other of the High Command of the Armed Forces, for the event of a restoration attempt on the part of the Hapsburgs in Austria, in connection with Italy. That possibility was always pending, and I want to supplement my statement by saying that at the time when Hitler gave us the orders for Austria his chief worry was not so much that there might be interference on the part of the Western Powers, but his only, worry was as to how Italy would behave, because it appeared that Italy always stuck together with Austria and the Hapsburgs.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, are you telling the Tribunal that you do not know whether the plan "Otto" was a plan for the German Army or part of it to march into Austria?
VON MANSTEIN: No, the plan "Otto" only came to my mind and became clear to me when I read the interrogation record of Jodl. In any case, a plan for a march into Austria did not exist in the High Command of the Army, because I had to prepare these orders within a few hours after the conference with Hitler.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but if the plan "Otto" was not a plan for the marching into Austria, what was it for?
VON MANSTEIN: That I cannot say because I only know that it was some sort of plan on the part of the High Command of the Armed Forces connected with an attempted restoration of the Hapsburgs in Austria, but we ourselves did not introduce any measures, as far as I can remember, nor do I know whether I myself had anything at all to do with this code name at the time; it may be so, but I do not know now.
DR. LATERNSER: Meld Marshal, you participated in the conference on 10 August 1938. What was the purpose of that conference? What was said there?
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
9 Aug. 46
VON MANSTEIN: That conference was something quite unusual. The Fuehrer had ordered to appear before him at the Berghof the chiefs of the General Staff of those armies which, in the event of a march into Czechoslovakia, would have to take up their positions on the border; but he did not summon the commanders-in-chief to appear as would have been natural, but only, I might say, the younger generation of chiefs. He must have known from the memorandum of General Beck and its submission by General Von Brauchitsch that the commanders-in-chief and commanding generals opposed any policy which might lead to a war and that was why he summoned us in order to convince us of the necessity and the correctness of his decision.
This was the only and last time, at a meeting of that kind, that he permitted questions and a sort of discussion afterwards. He was mistaken in this, inasmuch as even the chiefs of the General Staff raised objections regarding the possibility of an interference on the part of the Western Powers, and generally regarding the danger of a war that might ensue. This led to a very serious and most unpleasant clash between the Fuehrer and General Von Wietersheim with reference to these questions. After that, whenever such meetings took place, there was not a single occasion when any questions at all, or discussions, were permitted by him.
DR. LATERNSER:, Were the operations in Austria and the Sudetenland to be considered military rehearsals for a war?
VON MANSTEIN: No, that they certainly were not, because not only were our troops not fully mobilized, but the mobilization of the corps on the occasion of the march into Austria also demonstrated to us in any case that matters had not yet reached the stage where a reasonably satisfactory mobilization could be effected. If a war had broken out, neither our Western border nor our Polish frontier could really have been effectively defended by us, and there is no doubt whatsoever that had Czechoslovakia defended herself, we would have been held up by her fortifications, for we did not have the means to break through. It cannot therefore be , called a military rehearsal. But it was a matter of testing the political nervous system.
DR.LATERNSER: When you were informed of the military preparations against Poland, did you have the impression that an aggressive war was intended?
VON MANSTEIN: I was chosen for the position of chief of the General Staff of Army Group South in the mobilization plan for the Polish campaign. When I received the plans for the concentration, I realized that it was really a strategic concentration for an attack, but there were various very essential points which militated against any aggressive gesture.
9 Aug. 46,
The first one was that in the spring of - 1939 and, by order of the Fuehrer, a sudden start was made with the erection of the strongest; fortifications along all the Eastern border. Not only thousands of workers, but entire divisions were employed there to build these fortifications, and the entire material from the Czech fortification was transported there and built in. A broad strip of the most fertile land in Silesia was taken up by these fortifications, and that, of course, would indicate anything but an aggressive intention.
The second point which was against it was the fact that training continued on an entirely peacetime basis. I myself-I was a divisional commander in peacetime-remained with my division at the training camp in Lusatia, far away, therefore, from that part of the country where my division would have to be drawn up.
Besides, we knew of Chamberlain's speech in the House of Commons, in which he assured the Poles of Britain's assistance, and since Hitler on every occasion during the time I was in the High Command of the Army repeated the statement that he would never enter into a war on two fronts, one could not possibly think that, in view of that promise, he would indulge in such an adventurous policy.
On the other hand, however, we had the most reliable information-which was confirmed by subsequent facts-that the Poles were proposing to concentrate their troops in Poznania for an offensive towards Berlin. We completely failed to, understand this gesture in view of the entire situation, but in fact that was the way the Poles drew up their troops at a later stage. The eventuality of war might well be envisaged, therefore, and it was most likely, since the Poles could look to Britain for assistance; and if the political negotiations should teach a crisis, the Poles might on their part be reckless enough to attack, since they were already forming-up offensively, and then, of course, a war would have been inevitable.
Considering all these signs, one could hardly assume that Hitler would, so to speak, pick a quarrel with Poland to unleash an aggressive war against her. The conference at Obersalzberg, for instance, on 22 August, did not give me the impression either that war was bound to come, an impression that was neither mine nor that of Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Von Rundstedt until the night from 31 August to I September, since an order to march in had been withdrawn on the 25th.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 10 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]