4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
This Supplement B brings to completion the series of volumes on "Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression" in which the principal documents and other papers pertaining to the prosecution at Nurnberg of the major German war criminals have been made generally available to the American public.
Space limitations, made necessary by the limited funds available, have made impossible the full publication of all defense documents. The final arguments of defense counsel and defendants' final pleas summarize in considerable detail not only the defense contentions, but also the defense evidence. Both the arguments, as delivered before the Tribunal, and the pleas are contained in Part I of this volume, and they should furnish an adequate basis on which to evaluate prosecution documents and the final judgment of the Tribunal itself. Part I also includes a few defense documents which appear to have unique historical interest. The text of all defense documents, including those referred to in the final arguments of defense counsel, may of course be obtained from the official transcript of the Tribunal published by the Secretariat of the International Military Tribunal. The title of this publication is "Trial of the Major War Criminals, Nuremberg." The text of most of the prosecution documents referred to in the closing arguments will be found in prior volumes of this series.
Part II of this volume contains excerpts from interrogations conducted by the prosecution of most of the defendants and of many other witnesses. Space limitations have again made full publication impossible except in a few cases, since several hundred witnesses were interrogated in the course of almost a thousand separate interrogations, and the transcript total exceeds 17,000 typewritten pages. The passages here included have therefore been chosen as those which appear to be the most significant from the standpoint of their general historical interest, their bearing on the issues raised in the case, and in some instances, the light which they shed on the character or personality of certain defendants.
Practically all the interrogations were conducted by examiners on the American prosecution staff,* headed by Col. John Harlan Amen. Almost all the interrogations of defendants were taken before trial. In the majority of cases defendants were not interrogated after they were served with the indictment on 18 October 1945. Interrogations of non-defendant witnesses, however, were taken at various times both before and during trial.
Although the testimony of most of the witnesses was given under oath, that of Goering and a few others was not. The reader may wish, in any event, to bear in mind that because of the circumstances, statements of many of the witnesses were obviously made with a view to self-vindication, and that veracity is more generally to be expected with regard to matters not touching the personal responsibility of the particular witness.
Grateful acknowledgment must be made of the assistance furnished in the selection and editing of these interrogations by former members of the American Prosecution and Tribunal staffs-Messrs. Ralph G. Albrecht, Lawrence A. Coleman, Adrian Fisher, Sam Harris, Seymour Krieger, Harold Leventhal, James Rowe, Melvin H. Siegel and Roy Steyer.
The funds which made possible the publication of this volume, as in the case of its predecessors, were made available by the Departments of State and of the Army. 28 May 1948