Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1 : Answer of the United States Prosecution
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The United States respectfully opposes the application on behalf of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach that his trial be "deferred until he is again fit for trial."

If the Tribunal should grant this application, the practical effect would be to quash all proceedings, for all time, against Krupp von Bohlen.

It appears that Krupp should not be arrested and brought to the court room for trial. But the plea is that the Tribunal also excuse him from being tried in absentia. This form of trial admittedly is authorized by Article 12 of the Charter of the Tribunal. Of course, trial in absentia in circumstance of the case is an unsatisfactory proceeding either for prosecution or for defense. But the request that Krupp von Bohlen be neither brought to court nor tried in his absence is based on the contention that "the interests of justice" require that he be thus excused from any form of trial. Public interests, which transcend all private considerations, require that Krupp von Bohlen shall not be dismissed unless some other representative of the Krupp armament and munitions interests be substituted. These public interests are as follows:

Four generations of the Krupp family have owned and operated the great armament and munitions plants which have been the chief source of Germany's war supplies. For over 130 years this family has been the focus, the symbol, and the beneficiary of the most sinister forces engaged in menacing the peace of Europe. During the period between the two World Wars, the management of these enterprises was chiefly in Defendant Krupp von Bohlen.

It was at all times however a Krupp family enterprise. Only a nominal owner himself, Von Bohlen's wife, Bertha Krupp, owned the bulk of the stock. About 1937 their son, Alfried Krupp, became plant manager and was actively associated in the policy making and executive management thereafter. In 1940 Krupp von Bohlen, getting on in years, became chairman of the board of the concern, thus making way for Alfried who became president. In 1943 Alfried became sole owner of the Krupp enterprises by agreement between the family and the Nazi Government, for the purpose of perpetuating this business in Krupp family control. It is evident that the future menace of this concern lies in continuance of the tradition under Alfried, now reported to be an internee of the British Army of the Rhine.

To drop Krupp von Bohlen from this case without substitution of Alfried, drops from the case the entire Krupp family, and defeats any effective judgment against the German armament makers. Whether this would be "in the interests of justice" will appear from the following recital of only the most significant items of evidence now in possession of the United States as to the activities of Krupp von Bohlen in which his son, Alfried, at all times aided as did other associates in the vast armament enterprises, all plotting to bring about the second World War, and to aid in its ruthless and illegal conduct.

After the first World War, the Krupp family and their associates failed to comply with Germany's disarmament agreements but all secretly and knowingly conspired to evade them.

In the 1 March 1940 issue of the Krupp Magazine, the Defendant Krupp stated:

"I wanted and had to maintain Krupp in spite of all opposition, as an armament plant for the later future, even if in camouflaged form. I could only speak in the smallest, most intimate circles, about the real reasons which made me undertake the changeover of the plants for certain lines of production .... Even the Allied snoop commissioners were duped .... After the accession to power of Adolf Hitler, I had the satisfaction of reporting to the Fuehrer that Krupp stood ready, after a short warming-up period, to begin rearmament of the German people without any gaps of experience ...."

Krupp von Bohlen (and Alfried Krupp as well) lent his name, prestige and financial support to bring the Nazi Party, with an avowed program of renewing the war, into power over the German State. On 25 April 1931 Von Bohlen acted as chairman of the Association of German Industry to bring it into line with Nazi policies. On 30 May 1933 he wrote to Schacht that:

"It is proposed to initiate a collection in the most far reaching circles of German Industry, including agriculture and the banking world, which is to be put at the disposal of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP in the name of 'The Hitler Fund' .... I have accepted the chairmanship of the management council."

Krupp contributed from the treasury of the main Krupp company 4,738,446 marks to the Nazi Party fund. In June 1935 he contributed 100,000 marks to the Nazi Party out of his personal account.

The Nazi Party did not succeed in obtaining control of Germany until it obtained support of the industrial interests, largely through the influence of Krupp. Alfried first became a Nazi Party member and later Von Bohlen did also. The Krupp influence was powerful in promoting the Nazi plan to incite aggressive warfare in Europe.

Krupp von Bohlen strongly advocated and supported Germany's withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. He personally made repeated public speeches approving and inciting Hitler's program of aggression: On 6 and 7 April 1938 two speeches approved annexation of Austria; on 13 October 1938 approving Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland; on 4 September 1939 approving the invasion of Poland; on 6 May 1941 commemorating success of Nazi arms in the West.

Alfried Krupp also made speeches to the same general effect. Krupps were thus one of the most persistent and influential forces that made this war.

Krupps also were the chief factor in getting ready for the war. In January 1944, in a speech at the University of Berlin, Von Bohlen boasted, "Through years of secret work, scientific and basic groundwork was laid in order to be ready again to work for the German Armed Forces at the appointed hour without loss of time or experience." In 1937, before Germany went to war, Krupps booked orders to equip satellite governments on approval of the German High Command. Krupp contributed 20,000 marks to the Defendant Rosenberg for the purpose of spreading Nazi propaganda abroad. In a memorandum of 12 October 1939 a Krupp official wrote offering to mail propaganda pamphlets abroad at Krupp expense.

Once the war was on, Krupps, both Von Bohlen and Alfried being directly responsible therefor, led German industry in violating treaties and international law by employing enslaved laborers, impressed and imported from nearly every country occupied by Germany, and by compelling prisoners of war to make arms and munitions for use against their own countries. There is ample evidence that in Krupp's custody and service they were underfed and overworked, misused, and inhumanly treated. Captured records show that in September 1944 Krupp concerns were working 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war.

Moreover, the Krupp companies profited greatly from destroying the peace of the world through support of the Nazi program. The rearmament of Germany gave Krupp huge orders and corresponding profits. Before this Nazi menace to the peace began, the Krupps were operating at a substantial loss. But the net profits after taxes, gifts, and reserves steadily rose with rise of Nazi rearmament, being as follows:

For year ending 30 September 193557,216,392 marks
For year ending 30 September 193897,071,632 marks
For year ending 30 September 1941111,555,216 marks

The book value of the Krupp concerns mounted from 75,962,000 marks on 1 October 1933, to 237,316,093 marks on l October 1943. Even this included many going concerns in occupied countries at a book value of only 1 mark. each. These figures are subject to the adjustments and controversies usual with financial statements of each vast enterprise but approximately reflect the facts about property and operations.

The services of Alfried Krupp and of Von Bohlen and their family to the war aims of the Nazi Party were so outstanding that the Krupp enterprises were made a special exception to the policy of nationalization of industries. Hitler said that he would be "prepared to arrange for any possible safeguarding for the continued existence of the works as a family enterprise; it would be simplest to issue 'lex Krupp' to start with". After short negotiations, this was done. A decree of 12 November 1943 preserves the Krupp works as a family enterprise in Alfried Krupp's control and recites that it is done in recognition of the fact that "for 132 years the firm of Fried. Krupp, as a family enterprise has achieved outstanding and unique merits for the armed strength of the German people."

It has at all times been the position of the United States that the great industrialists of Germany were guilty of the crimes charged in this Indictment quite as much as its politicians, diplomats, and soldiers. Its chief of counsel, on 7 June 1945, in a report to President Truman, released by him and with his approval, stated that the accusations of crimes include individuals in authority in the financial, industrial, and economic life of Germany as well as others.

Pursuant thereto, the United States, with approval of the Secretary of State, proposed to indict Alfried Krupp, son of Krupp von Bohlen, and president and owner of the Krupp concern. The Prosecutors representing the Soviet Union, the French Republic, and the United Kingdom unanimously opposed inclusion of Alfried Krupp. This is not said in criticism of them or their judgment. The necessity of limiting the number of defendants was considered by representatives of the other three nations to preclude the addition of Alfried Krupp. Immediately upon service of the Indictment, learning the serious condition of Krupp von Bohlen, the United States again called a meeting of Prosecutors and proposed an amendment to include Alfried Krupp. Again the proposal of the United States was defeated by a vote of 3 to 1. If now the Tribunal shall exercise its discretion to excuse from trial the one indicted member of the Krupp family, one of the chief purposes of the United States will be defeated and it is submitted that such a result is not "in the interests of justice."

The United States respectfully submits that no greater disservice to the future peace of the world could be done than to excuse the entire Krupp family and the armament enterprise from this Trial in which aggressive war making is sought to be condemned. The "interests of justice" cannot be determined without taking into account justice to the men of four generations whose lives have been taken or menaced by Krupp munitions and Krupp armament, and those of the future who can feel no safety if such persons as this escape all condemnation in proceedings such as this.

While of course the United States cannot, without the concurrence of one other Power indict a new defendant, it can under the Charter alone oppose this motion. The United States respectfully urges that if the favor now sought by Krupp von Bohlen is to be granted, it be upon the condition that Alfried Krupp be substituted or added as a defendant so that there may be a representative of the Krupp interests before the Tribunal.

It may be suggested that bringing in a new defendant would result in delay. Admitting, however, that a delay which cannot exceed a few days may be occasioned, it is respectfully suggested that the precise day that this Trial will start is a less important consideration than whether it is to fail of one of its principal purposes. The American Prosecution staff has been by long odds the longest and farthest away from home in this endeavor. On personal as well as public interest consideration it deplores delay. But we think the future as well as the contemporary world cannot fail to be shocked if, in a trial in which it is sought to condemn aggressive war making, the Krupp industrial empire is completely saved from condemnation.

The complete trial brief of the United States on Krupp von Bohlen with copies of the documents on which his culpability is asserted will be made available to the Tribunal if it is desired as evidence concerning him and Alfried Krupp and the Krupp concerns.

Respectfully submitted:

Chief of Counsel for the
United States of America
12 November 1945

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