Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 2 : Pages 18 - 25


Thursday, 15 November 1945

Morning Session

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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has invited the Defense Counsel to be present here today as it desires that they shall thoroughly understand the course which the Tribunal proposes the proceedings at trial should take.

The Tribunal is aware that the procedure provided for by the Charter is in some respects different from the procedure to which Defense Counsel are accustomed. They therefore desire that Defense Counsel should be under no misapprehension as to course which must be followed.

Article 24 of the Charter provides for the reading of the indictment in Court, but in view of its length, and the fact its contents are now probably well known, it may be that Defense Counsel will not think it necessary that it should be read in full.

The opening of cases for the Prosecution will necessarily take a long time, and during that time Defense Counsel will have an opportunity to complete their preparations for defense.

When witnesses for the Prosecution are called, it must be understood that it is the function of Counsel for the Defense to cross-examine the witnesses, and that it is not the intention of the Tribunal to cross-examine the witnesses themselves.

The Tribunal will not call upon the Defense Counsel to state what evidence they wish to submit until the case for the Prosecution has been closed.

As Defense Counsel already know, the General Secretary of the Tribunal makes every effort to obtain such evidence, both witnesses and documents, as the Defense wish to adduce and the Tribunal approves.

The General Secretary is providing, and will provide, lodging, food, and transportation for Defense Counsel and witnesses while in Nuremberg. And though the living conditions provided may not be all that can be desired, Defense Counsel will understand that there are great difficulties in the present circumstances and efforts will be made to meet any reasonable request.

Defense Counsel have been provided with a Document Room and an Information Center where documents translated into German are available for the Defense, subject to the necessary security regulations. It is important that Defense Counsel should notify the General Secretary as long as possible, and at least 3 weeks in ordinary cases, in advance, of witnesses or documents they require.


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The services which Defense Counsel are performing are important public services for the interests of justice, and they will have the protection of the Tribunal in the performance of their duties.

In order that the Trial should proceed with due expedition, it would seem desirable that Defense Counsel should settle among themselves the order in which they wish to cross-examine the Prosecution witnesses and propose to present their defenses, and that they should communicate their wishes in this regard to the General Secretary.

I hope that what I have said will be of assistance to Defense Counsel in the preparation of their defenses. If there are any questions in connection with what I have said which they wish to ask, I will endeavor to answer them.

DR. ALFRED THOMA (Counsel for Defendant Rosenberg): Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you come to the desk please, if you wish to speak. Will you state your name and for whom you appear here?

DR. THOMA: Dr. Thoma, defense counsel for the Defendant Rosenberg.


DR. THOMA: I should like to ask whether the Defense will immediately get copies of the interrogation of witnesses.

THE PRESIDENT: Copies of the Indictment? Those have been served upon each defendant. Do I understand that you want further copies for the use of defendants' counsel?

DR. THOMA: May I put my question more precisely? I presume that all the statements of the defendants are to be taken down in shorthand, and I would like to ask whether these will then be translated into German and given to the Defense Counsel as soon as possible.

THE PRESIDENT: If you mean a transcript of the evidence which is given before the Tribunal, that will be taken down, and if it is given in a language other than German it will be translated into German and copies furnished to defendants' counsel. If it is in German it will be furnished to them in German.

DR. THOMA: Will we get copies of the interrogation of all witnesses?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes; that is what I meant by a transcript of the evidence given before the Tribunal That will be a copy, in German, of the evidence of each witness.

DR. THOMA: Thank you.

DR. RUDOLPH DIX (Counsel for Defendant Schacht): Your Lordship, gentlemen of the Tribunal, my colleagues of the Defense


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have entrusted me with the honorable task of expressing our thanks for the words you have addressed to the Defense Counsel We members of the Defense consider ourselves the associates of the Tribunal in reaching a just verdict and we have full confidence in Your Lordship's wise and experienced conduct of the Trial proceedings.

Your Lordship may be convinced that in this spirit we shall participate in the difficult task of reaching a just decision in the case before the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: I assume that there are no further questions at the present stage which Counsel for the Defense wish to ask. They will understand that if at any stage in the future they have inquiries which they wish to make, they should address them to the General Secretary and they will then be considered by the Tribunal.

The Tribunal will now adjourn until 2 o'clock, when the application on behalf of the Defendant Streicher will be heard.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 1400 hours.]

THE PRESIDENT: I understand that there are some counsel for the defendants present here today, who were not here yesterday and who may not understand the use of these earphones and dials. Therefore, I explain to them that Number 1 on the dial will enable them to hear the evidence in the language in which it is given, Number 2 will be in English, Number 3 in Russian, Number 4 in French, and Number 5 in German.

I will now read the judgment of the Tribunal in the matter of the application of counsel for Gustav Krupp van Bohlen for postponement of the proceedings against the defendant.

Counsel for Gustav Krupp van Bohlen has applied to the Tribunal for postponement of the proceedings against this defendant on the ground that his physical and mental condition are such that he is incapable of understanding the proceedings against him and of presenting any defense that he may have.

On November 5 the Tribunal appointed a medical commission composed of the following physicians:

R. E. Tunbridge, Brigadier, O.B.E., M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.P., Consulting Physician, British Army of the Rhine.

René Piedelièvre, M.D., Professor on the Faculty of Medicine of Paris; Expert for the Tribunal.

Nicholas Kurshakov, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Medical Institute of Moscow; Chief Internist, Commissariat of Public Health, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.


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Eugene Sepp, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Neurology, Medical Institute of Moscow; Member, Academy of Medical Science, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Eugene Krasnushkin, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Institute of Moscow.

Bertram Schaffner, Major, Medical Corps, Neuropsychiatrist, Army of the United States.

The commission has reported to the Tribunal that it is unanimously of the opinion that Gustav Krupp von Bohlen suffers from senile softening of the brain; that his mental condition is such that he is incapable of understanding court procedure and of understanding or cooperating in interrogations; that his physical state is such that he cannot be moved without endangering his life; and that his condition is unlikely to improve but rather will deteriorate further.

The Tribunal accepts the findings of the medical commission, to which exception is taken neither by the Prosecution nor by the Defense.

Article 12 of the Charter authorizes the trial of a defendant in absentia if found by the Tribunal to be "necessary in the interests of justice." It is contended on behalf of the Chief Prosecutors that in the interest of justice, Gustav Krupp van Bohlen should be tried in absentia, despite his physical and mental condition.

It is the decision of the Tribunal that upon the facts presented the interests of justice do not require that Gustav Krupp von Bohlen be tried in absentia. The Charter of the Tribunal envisages a fair trial, in which the Chief Prosecutors may present the evidence in support of an indictment and the defendants may present such defense as they may believe themselves to have. Where nature rather than flight or contumacy has rendered such a trial impossible, it is not in accordance with justice that the case should proceed in the absence of a defendant.

For the foregoing reasons, the Tribunal orders that:

1. The application for postponement of the proceedings against Gustav Krupp von Bohlen is granted.

2. The charges in the Indictment against Gustav Krupp von Bohlen shall be retained upon the docket of the Tribunal for trial hereafter, if the physical and mental condition of the defendant should permit.

Further questions raised by the Chief Prosecutors, including the question of adding another name to the Indictment, will be considered later.

The Tribunal will now hear the application on behalf of the Defendant Streicher.

Will the Counsel state his name?


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DR. HANS MARX (Counsel for Defendant Streicher): Your Honors, as Counsel for the Defendant Julius Streicher, I took the liberty some time ago of requesting a postponement in the opening date of the Trial, because the time at my disposal for making preparations appeared to me insufficient, in view of the importance of the case.

This morning, however, the President of the Court outlined the course of the proceedings of the Trial and his explanations have made it quite clear that the Defense will have adequate time at its disposal to continue preparations for the case of each client even after the opening of the Trial. Any objections on my part are thereby removed, and accordingly I withdraw my application as unsubstantiated.

Your Honors, may I use this opportunity to make a suggestion with regard to the case of the Defendant Streicher.

In view of the exceptional nature of the case and of the difficulties facing the Defense in handling it, may I suggest that the Tribunal consider whether a psychiatric examination of the Defendant Streicher would not be proper. Defense Counsel should have at his disposal all the evidence on the nature, personality, and motives of the defendant which appears necessary to enable him to form a clear picture of his client.

And this, of course, is also true of the Tribunal.

In my own interests I consider it essential that such an examination be authorized by the Tribunal. I emphasize particularly that this is not a formal motion: "It is not a motion but a proposal." [Note: These words were spoken in English.] I deem it necessary as a precaution in my own interests, since my client does not desire an examination of this sort, and is of the opinion that he is mentally completely normal. I myself cannot determine that; it must be decided by a psychiatrist.

I, therefore, ask the Tribunal to consider this proposal, and, if the suggestion, under the circumstances, appears both requisite and necessary, to choose and appoint a competent expert to conduct the examination.

That is what I wished to say before the opening of the proceedings.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. It appears to the Tribunal that such suggestions as you have now made, ought to be in the form of a formal motion or application and that it ought to be in writing and that if, as you say, the Defendant Streicher does not wish it or is unwilling that such an examination should be made, then your application ought to state in writing that the Defendant Streicher refuses to sign the application.

If you wish to make such a motion you are at liberty to make it, in writing.


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DR. MARX: Mr. President, may I be allowed to say briefly that it is precisely because the defendant does object to my submitting such an application that I feel obliged to make this request here publicly, and inform the Tribunal that I am bound by my client's attitude and therefore not in a position to submit this suggestion in writing. Without my client's permission I cannot make this suggestion in writing, and I am consequently forced to convey it to the Tribunal verbally, since I myself consider it necessary as a precaution in my own interest.

THE PRESIDENT: But you understand from what I say to you, that if you wish to make this suggestion, you must make the motion in writing and you can, on that writing, state that the Defendant Streicher is not prepared to sign the application.

DR. MARX: Thank you, Mr. President, for your statement; I shall not fail to act, as you suggest.

THE PRESIDENT: Do the Chief Prosecutors wish to make any statement?

COLONEL ROBERT G. STOREY (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): May it please the Court:

The position of Counsel for Defendant Streicher emphasizes a suggestion made by the Prosecutors this morning, namely, that all motions and all requests from Counsel be reduced to writing, prior to submission to the Court and the suggestions, in writing, were filed with the General Secretary since the meeting this morning.

While I am on my feet, if it may please the Court, may I make a brief statement in connection with the efforts of the Prosecutors to furnish to the Defense Counsel evidence and documents in which they may be interested, if that meets with the approval of the Court.


COL. STOREY: With reference to Defendant Streicher's second point in his motion, namely, that the Prosecutors be required to furnish certain documents, they are being furnished, and will be furnished in the future.

Secondly, with reference to the film on concentration camps, which he requests be shown to Defense Counsel in advance of the time of presenting the film, this request will also be complied with by the Prosecutors.

Also, for the information of the Defense Counsel, there has been established in Room 54, in this Courthouse, what is known as the Defendants' Information Center, operated jointly by the four Chief Prosecutors. In that room there has been deposited a list of documents upon which the Prosecution relies. Secondly, if further documents are relied upon by the prosecutors, lists will be furnished to Defense Counsel before they are introduced into evidence or


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offered to the Court, and also, they will have the opportunity to examine copies of those documents in their own language.

May I also suggest that most Defense Counsel have availed themselves of that privilege and those who had not, have been notified and they are now, as of this date, all of them, making use of the facilities provided, which include rooms for conferences, typewriters, when necessary, and other assistance.

I want to make that statement for the information of the Defense Counsel.

THE PRESIDENT: I understand the Soviet Chief Prosecutor wishes to address the Tribunal.

COL. POKROVSKY: In connection with the evidence just submitted to the Tribunal by Counsel representing the interests of Defendant Streicher, I consider it my duty to inform the Tribunal that during the last interrogation made by the Delegation of the Soviet Union, the Defendant Streicher, about whom it is specifically said in the Indictment, Counts One and Four, that he had incited to the persecution of the Jews, stated that he had been speaking from a Zionist point of view.

This declaration or, more precisely, this testimony, immediately produced certain doubts as to the mental stability of the defendant.

It is not the first time that persons, now standing their trial, have attempted to delude us about their mental condition. I refer in particular to the Defendant Hess. In the case of Hess the Tribunal, to my Knowledge already possesses . . .

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. We are not hearing any application with reference to Streicher's sanity now, nor any application with reference to Hess. We have simply informed Counsel for Streicher that if he wishes to make an application in respect of his defendant's sanity or mental condition, he must make that application in writing. If he does make such an application in writing you will have full opportunity of opposing the application.

COL. POKROVSKY: What I have in mind is not to offer an opinion on the deductions and the petition of the Defense, but to inform the Tribunal of a fact which may cause much complication if we do not act on it immediately. Seeing that the Tribunal has at its disposal a number of competent medical personnel, it would appear to me most expedient that the Tribunal should entrust these specialists with the examination of the Defendant Streicher in order to establish definitely whether he is or is not in full possession of his mental capacities.

If we do not do so now, the necessity may arise in the course of the Trial and if the question of Streicher's sanity arises after the beginning of the Trial, then it may delay the pro-


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ceedings and impede our work. If the Tribunal deems my suggestion in order, we would, before the Trial starts, have sufficient

Time to request from this commission of specialists a statement on his mental condition.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. If I rightly understand what the Chief Soviet Prosecutor says, it is this: That if any question of the sanity of the Defendant Streicher arises it will be convenient that he should be examined now at once whilst the medical officers of the Soviet Union are in Nuremberg. If that is so, then if you think it is more convenient that Streicher should be examined by doctors at the present moment on account of the presence of the distinguished doctors from the Soviet Union being in Nuremberg, you are at liberty to make a written motion to that effect to the Tribunal at any time.

Do any of the other Chief Prosecutors wish to address the Tribunal?

(There was no response.)

Then the Tribunal will deal with the application of the Defendant Streicher as follows:

His application for postponement, which is numbered 1 on his written application, has been withdrawn. His other two applications, numbered 2 and 3, which are agreed to by the Chief Prosecutors, are granted.

The Tribunal will now adjourn.

[The Tribunal adjourned until 17 November 1945 at 1000 hours.]


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