4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
THE PRESIDENT: Would you have the witness brought in? I think one of the defendants' counsel was about to cross-examine him.
[The witness, Blaha, took the stand.]
HERR LUDWIG BABEL (Counsel for the SS and SD): I would like to put to the witness a few practical questions which I think necessary both for a better understanding of the earlier testimony of the witness and for my own information.
The witness was in the concentration camp from 1941 to 1945 and should be well informed on conditions as they were. His memory, as is evident from his previous statements, seems to be excellent.
[Turning to the witness.]
Do you know how the proportion of political and criminal inmates changed during the various periods? What were the approximate figures of political and criminal inmates in Dachau?
BLAHA: In Dachau it varied. There were political prisoners, professional criminals, and the so-called black or asocial elements. I am, of course, speaking only of the German prisoners; the inmates of other nations were all political prisoners. Only the German inmates were divided into red, green, and black prisoners. The great majority of Germans were political prisoners.
HERR BABEL: Can you indicate the approximate proportion? A quarter, a half, or three-quarters?
BLAHA: I am sorry, I didn't hear you.
HERR BABEL: Can you give figures? How many were political prisoners half, three-quarters, or how many? Can you give an approximate number?
BLAHA: I would say that of 5,000 German prisoners, 3,000 were political and 2,000 were green and black prisoners.
HERR BABEL: Was that the proportion during the whole 4- or 5-year period?
BLAHA: It changed; because many died, some Germans left, many were drafted, and there were many new arrivals. In the last
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years there were more and more political prisoners, because many of the green prisoners were drafted to the front.
HERR BABEL: What approximately was the total number in 1941, 1943, and 1945?
BLAHA: Do you mean the total number of prisoners?
HERR BABEL: Yes, the total number.
BLAHA: We had 8,000 to 9,000 in 1941; in 1943 there were 15,000 to 20,000; and between the end of 1944 and the beginning of 1945 we had more than 70,000 or 80,000.
HERR BABEL: Another question: You mentioned that at first you worked in the plantations. What did you mean by plantations?
BLAHA: The plantations were a large estate of the SS, in which spices, medical herbs, and things of that sort were raised.
HERR BABEL: Was this plantation inside the camp?
BLAHA: No, it was in the near vicinity of the camp, not a part of it.
HERR BABEL: You also mentioned work in armament factories. I gathered from your testimony that these armament factories were partially within and partially outside the camp. Is that correct?
BLAHA: Yes, at first these so-called German armament works were only outside the camp. Then, as a result of the bombings, some sections were moved into the interior of the concentration camp.
HERR BABEL: What was the number of camp guards in 1941?
BLAHA: For actual guard duty usually three SS companies were in the camp, but at Dachau there were in addition a large garrison of SS and a Kommandantur. Guards were taken from other SS formations from time to time, when it was necessary. It varied and depended on how many guards were needed. For regular duty there were usually three companies.
HERR BABEL: Were the prisoners in the armament factories guarded during working hours?
BLAHA: Yes. Every labor detachment had a commander selected from the guard companies and, in addition, these so-called guards,
who went with the detachment to their place of work and then brought the prisoners back to the camp.
HERR BABEL: While you were at the camp, did you witness any ill-treatment on the part of these guards in the course of their daily activities?
BLAHA: Yes; a great deal.
HERR BABEL: Often?
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HERR BABEL: For what reasons?
BLAHA: The reasons varied, depending on the nature of the guards or the commanders.
HERR BABEL: But you said you were occupied, indeed according to your statements, very much occupied.
HERR BABEL: How then did you have an opportunity of observing such ill-treatment?
BLAHA: I performed many autopsies on people either shot or beaten to death at their work, and made of official reports on the cause of death.
HERR BABEL: You said they were shot. Did you see such incidents yourself?
HERR BABEL: Then, how do you know that?
BLAHA: The bodies were brought to me from the place of work, and it was my duty to ascertain the cause of death; that the men had been beaten to death, for example, that the skull or ribs had been fractured, that the man had died of internal hemorrhage, or that he had been shot; I had to make an official report on the cause of death. Sometimes, but this was rare, when an investigation was conducted, I was called in as witness.
HERR BABEL: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do you wish to re-examine the witness?
MR. DODD: I have no further questions to ask the witness at this time.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of the prosecuting staff want to re-examine? Colonel Pokrovsky?
COLONEL POKROVSKY: At this stage of the Trial I have no further questions to ask the witness.
THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness can go.
[The witness left the stand.]
MR. DODD: I should like to ask the Tribunal at this time to take judicial notice of the findings and the sentences imposed by the Military Court at Dachau, Germany, on the 13th day of December 1945. The findings were dated the 12th and the sentences on the 13th. I have here a certified copy of the findings and the sentences, Document Number 3590- PS, which I should like to offer as Exhibit Number USA-664.
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THE PRESIDENT: Have copies of this been given to the defendants?
MR. DODD: Yes. They have been sent to the defendants' counsel information room.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MR. DODD: I have one other matter that I should like to take up very briefly before the Tribunal this morning. It is concerned with a matter that arose after I had left the courtroom to return to the United States.
On the 13th of December we offered in evidence Document Number 3421-PS, and Exhibit Numbers USA-252 and 254. They were, respectively, the Court will recall, sections of human skin taken from human bodies and preserved; and a human head, the head of a human being, which had been preserved. On the 14th day of December, according to the Record, counsel for the Defendant Kaltenbrunner addressed the Tribunal and complained that the affidavit, which was offered, of one Pfaffenberger, failed to state that the camp commandant at Buchenwald, one Koch, along with his wife, was condemned to death for having committed precisely these atrocities, this business of tanning the skin and preserving the head. And in the course of the discussion before the Tribunal the Record reveals that counsel for the Defendant Bormann, in addressing the Tribunal, stated that it was highly probable that the Prosecution knew that the German authorities had objected to this camp commandant Koch and, in fact, knew that he had been tried and sentenced for doing precisely these things. And there was some intimation, we feel, that the Prosecution, having this knowledge, withheld it from the Tribunal. Now, I wish to say that we had no knowledge at all about this man Koch at the time that we offered the proof; didn't know anything about him except that he had been the commandant, according to the affidavit. But, subsequent to this objection we had an investigation made, and we have found that he was tried in 1944, indeed, by an SS court, but not for having tanned human skin nor having preserved a human head but for having embezzled some money, for what - as the judge who tried him tells us - was a charge of general corruption and for having murdered someone with whom he had some personal difficulties. Indeed, the judge, a Dr. Morgen, tells us that he saw the tattooed human skin and he saw a' human head in Commandant Koch's office and that he saw a lampshade there made out of human skin. But there were no charges at the time that he was tried for having done these things.
I would also point out to the Tribunal that, we say, the testimony of Dr. Blaha sheds further light on whether or not these exhibits, Numbers USA- 252 and 254, were isolated instances of that atrocious
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kind of conduct. We have not been able to locate the affiant. We have made an effort to do so, but we have not been able to locate him thus far.
THE PRESIDENT: Locate whom?
MR. DODD: The affiant Pfaffenberger, the one whose affidavit was offered.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, Mr. Dodd.
DR. KURT KAUFFMANN (Counsel for Defendant Kaltenbrunner): The statement just made is undoubtedly significant, but it would be of importance to have the documents which served to convict the commandant and his wife at the time. Kaltenbrunner told me that it was known in the whole SS that the commandant Koch and his wife had been taken to account also - I emphasize '`also" on account of these things and that it was known in the SS that one of the factors determining the severity of the sentences imposed had been this proved inhuman behavior.
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. As you were the counsel who made the allegation that the commandant Koch had been put to death for his inhuman treatment, it would seem that you are the party to produce the judgment.
DR. KAUFFMANN: I never had the verdict in my hand. I depended on the information which Kaltenbrunner gave me personally and orally.
THE PRESIDENT: It was you who made the assertion. I don't care where you got it from. You made the assertion; therefore it is for you to produce the document.
DR. KAUFFMANN: Yes.
COLONEL H. J. PHILLIMORE: (Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): May it please the Tribunal: Briefs and document books have been handed in. The documents in the document book are in the order in which I shall refer to them, and the references to them in the briefs are also in that order. On the first page of the brief is set out the extract from Appendix A of the Indictment, which deals with the criminality of this defendant.
THE PRESIDENT: Are you dealing first of all with Raeder or with Doenitz?
COL. PHILLIMORE: With Doenitz. My learned friend, Major Elwyn Jones, will deal with Raeder immediately after. Reading at Page 1 of the brief . . .
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
COL. PHILLIMORE:- My Lord, may I proceed?
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
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COL. PHILLIMORE: Briefs and document books have been handed in. The documents are in the document book in the order in which I shall refer to them, and the references in the brief to the documents are in that same order. On the first page of the brief is set out the extract from the Indictment as Appendix A, which deals with the allegations against this defendant. It sets out the positions he held and charges him, first, with promoting the preparations for war, set forth in Count One; second, with participating in the military planning and preparation for wars of aggression and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances, set forth in Count One and Two of the Indictment; and thirdly, with authorizing, directing, and participating in the War Crimes set forth in Count Three of the Indictment, including particularly the crimes against persons and property on the High Seas.
Now, if at any place I appear to trespass on Count Three, it is with the consent and courtesy of the Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic.
My Lord, on the second page of the brief are set out first the positions held by the Defendant Doenitz; and the document in question is the first document in the document book, 2887-PS, which has already been put in as Exhibit Number USA-12. The Tribunal will see that after his appointment in 1935 as Commander of the Weddigen U- boat Flotilla - that was, in fact, the first flotilla to be formed after the end of the World War in 1918 - the defendant, who was in effect then Commander of U- boats, rose steadily in rank as the U-boat arm expanded, until he became an admiral. And then on the 30th of January 1943, he was appointed Grossadmiral and succeeded the Defendant Raeder as Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy, retaining his command of the U-boat arm. Then on the 1st of May 1945, he succeeded Hitler as head of Germany.
My Lord, as appears from a number of documents which I shall put in evidence, the defendant was awarded the following decorations: On the 18th of September 1939 the Cluster of the Iron Cross, first class, for the U-boat successes in the Baltic during the Polish campaign. This award was followed on the 21st of April 1940 by the high award of the Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross, while on the 7th of April 1943 he received personally from Hitler the Oak Leaf to the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, as the 223rd recipient, for his services in building up the German Navy and, in particular, his services for the offensive U- boat arm for the coming war, which were outstanding. And now I put in the next document in the document book, D-436, which becomes Exhibit GB-183. That is an extract from the official publication Das Archiv on the defendant's promotion to vice admiral. It is dated the 27th of September 1940, and I read the last two sentences:
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"In 4 years of untiring and, in the fullest sense of the word, uninterrupted work of training, he succeeds in developing the young U-boat armed personnel and material till it is a weapon of a striking power unexpected even by the experts. More than 3 million gross tons of enemy shipping sunk in only 1 year, achieved with only a few boats, speak better than words of the merits of this man."
The next document in the document book, 1463-PS, which I put in as Exhibit GB-184, is an extract from the diary for the German Navy, 1944 edition, a
nd it serves to emphasize the contents of that last document. My Lord, I won't read from it. The relevant passage is on Page 2, and if I might summarize that, it describes in detail the defendant's work in building up the U-boat arm, his ceaseless work in training night and day to close the gap of 17 years during which no training had taken place, his responsibility for new improvements, and for devising the "pack" tactics which were later to become so famous. And then his position is summarized further at the top of Page 3. If I might read the last two sentences of the first paragraph on that page:
"In spite of the fact that his duties took on immeasurable proportions since the beginning of the huge U- boat construction program, the chief was what he always was and always will be: leader and inspiration to all the forces under him."
And then the last sentence of that paragraph:
"In spite of all his duties, he never lost touch with his men; and he showed a masterly understanding in adjusting himself to the changing fortunes of war."
It was not, however, only his ability as a naval of fleer which won the defendant these high honors: his promotion to succeed the Defendant Raeder as Commander in-Chief of the Navy, the personal position he acquired as one of Hitler's principal advisers, and finally, earlier candidates, such as Goering, having betrayed Hitler's trust or finding the position less attractive than they had anticipated, the doubtful honor of becoming Hitler's successor. These he owed to his fanatical adherence to Hitler and to the Party, to his belief in the Nazi ideology with which he sought to indoctrinate the Navy and the German people, and to his masterly understanding in adjusting himself to the changing fortunes of war, referred to in the diary and which the Tribunal may think, when I have referred them to the document, may be regarded as synonymous with the capacity for utter ruthlessness. His attitude to the Nazi Party and its creed is shown by his public utterances.
I turn to the next document in the document book, D-443, which I put in to become Exhibit GB- 185. It is an extract from a speech
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made by the defendant at a meeting of commanders of the Navy in Weimar on the 17th of December 1943. It was subsequently circulated by the defendant as a top-secret document for senior officers only and by the hand of officers only. My Lord, if I might read:
'`I am a firm adherent of the idea of ideological education. For what is it in the main? Doing his duty is a matter of course for the soldier. But the full value, the whole weight of duty done, is only present when the heart and spiritual conviction have a voice in the matter. Doing his duty is then quite different from what it would be if I only carried out my task literally, obediently, and faithfully. It is therefore necessary for the soldier to support the execution of his duty with all his mental, all his spiritual energy; and for this his conviction, his ideology are indispensable. It is therefore necessary for us to train the soldier uniformly, comprehensively, that he may be adjusted ideologically to our Germany. Every dualism, every dissension in this connection, or every divergence or unpreparedness imply a weakness in all circumstances. He in whom this grows and thrives in unison is superior to the other. Then indeed the whole importance, the whole weight of his conviction comes into play. It is also nonsense to say that the soldier or the officer must have no politics. The soldier embodies the state in which he lives, he is the representative, the articulate exponent of his state. He must therefore stand with his whole weight behind this state.
"We must travel this road out of our deepest conviction. The Russian travels along it. We can only maintain ourselves in this war if we take part in it, with holy zeal, with all our fanaticism....
"I alone cannot do this, but it can be done only with the aid of the man who holds the production of Europe in his hand with Minister Speer. My ambition is to have as many warships for the Navy as possible so as to be able to fight and to strike. It does not matter to me who builds them."
My Lord, that last sentence is of importance in connection with a later document. The Tribunal will see when I come to it that the defendant was not above employing concentration camp labor for this purpose.
I put in the next document in the document book, D-640, which becomes Exhibit GB-186. It is an extract from a speech on the same subject by the defendant as Commander-in- Chief of the Navy to the Commanders on the 15th of February 1944. My Lord, it is cumulative except that I think the last two sentences add, if I might read them:
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"From the very start the whole of the officer corps must be so indoctrinated that it feels itself co-responsible for the National Socialist State in its entirety. The officer is the exponent of the State, the idle chatter that the officer is nonpolitical is sheer nonsense."
Now, the next document is 2878-PS, which I put in to become Exhibit GB-187. It consists of three extracts from speeches. The first is from a speech made by the defendant to the German Navy and the German people on Heroes' Day, the 12th of March 1944.
"German men and women!
"...What would have become of our country today, if the Fuehrer had not united us under National Socialism! Split into parties, beset with the spreading poison of Jewry and vulnerable to it, and lacking, as a defense, our present uncompromising ideology, we would long since have succumbed to the burdens of this war and been subject to the merciless destruction of our adversaries...."
My Lord, the next extract is from a speech to the Navy on the 21st of July 1944. It again shows the defendant's fanaticism. It is perhaps worth reading the first sentence:
"Men of the Navy! Holy wrath and unlimited anger fill our hearts because of the criminal attempt which was to have cost the life of our beloved Fuehrer. Providence wished it otherwise, watched over and protected our Fuehrer, and did not abandon our German fatherland in the fight for its destiny."
And then he goes on to deal with the fate which should be meted out to these traitors.
The third extract deals with the introduction of the German salute into the Armed Forces. I don't think I need read it, but as the members of the Tribunal will see, it was the Defendant Keitel and this defendant who were responsible for the alteration of the salute in the German forces and the adoption of the Nazi salute together with Goering... Pardon, I should have said: the Defendants Goering, Keitel, and Doenitz.
The next document is a monitored report of the speech made on the German wireless by this defendant, announcing the death of Hitler and his own succession. It is Document D-444. I put it in to become Exhibit GB- 188, and I read a portion of it. The time is 2226 - marked on the document. I read therefrom:
"It has been reported from the Fuehrer's headquarters that our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon in his battle headquarters at the Reich Chancellery, fallen for Germany, fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism.
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"On the 30th of April the Fuehrer nominated Grossadmiral Doenitz to be his successor. The Grossadmiral and Fuehrer's successor will speak to the German nation."
And then, the first paragraph of the speech:
"German men and women, soldiers of the German Armed Forces. Our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler is dead. The German people bow in deepest sorrow and respect. Early he had recognized the terrible danger of Bolshevism and had dedicated his life to the fight against it. His fight having ended, he died a hero's death in the capital of the German Reich, after having led an unmistakably straight and steady life."
Then, that document also contains an order of the day issued by the defendant, which is very much to the same effect.
Apart from his services in building up the U-boat arm, there is ample evidence that the defendant as officer commanding U-boats took part in the planning and execution of aggressive war against Poland, Norway, and Denmark. The next document in the document book, C-126(c), has already been put in as Exhibit GB-45. It is a memorandum by the Defendant Raeder, dated the 16th of May 1939, and I will call the attention of the Tribunal to the distribution. The sixth copy went to the Fuehrer der Unterseeboote, that is to say, to the Defendant Doenitz. The document is a directive for the invasion of Poland, Fall Weiss, and I won't read it. It has already been read.
The next document, C-126(e), on the second page of that same document, has also been put in as Exhibit GB-45. It again is a memorandum from the Defendant Raeder's headquarters, dated the 2d of August 1939. It is addressed to the fleet, and then Flag Officer U-boats - that is, of course, the defendant...and it is merely a covering letter for operational directions for the employment of U-boats which are to be sent out into the Atlantic by way of precaution in the event the intention of carrying out Fall Weiss should remain unchanged. The second sentence is important:
"Flag Officer U-boats is handing in his operation orders to SKL" - that is the Seekriegsleitung, the German Admiralty "by 12 August. A decision on the sailings of U-boats for the Atlantic will probably be made in the middle of August."
The next document, C-172, I put in as Exhibit GB-189. It consists of the defendant's own operational instructions to his U-boats for the operation Fall Weiss. It is signed by him. It is not dated, but it is clear from the subject matter that its date must be before the 16th of July 1939. I don't think the substance of the document adds. It is purely an operational instruction, giving effect to the document already put in, C-126(c), the directive by Raeder.
My Lord, the next document, C-122, has already been put in as Exhibit GB- 82. It is an extract from the War Diary of the naval
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war staff of the German Admiralty, dated the 3rd of October 1939, and records the fact that the chief of the naval war staff has called for views on the possibility of taking operational bases in Norway. It has already been read and I would merely call the Tribunal's attention to the passage in brackets, in the paragraph marked "d":
"Flag Officer U-boats already considers such harbors extremely useful as equipment and supply bases for Atlantic U-boats to call at temporarily."
The next document, C-5, has already been put in as Exhibit GB-83. This is from the defendant, as Flag Officer U-boats, addressed to the Supreme Command of the Navy, the naval war staff. It is dated the 9th of October 1939, and it sets out the defendant's view on the advantages of Trondheim and Narvik as bases. The document proposes the establishment of a base at Trondheim with Narvik as an alternative.
Now the next document, C-151, has already been put in as Exhibit GB-91. It is the defendant's operation order to his U- boats for the occupation of Denmark and Norway, and the operation order, which is top secret, dated the 30th of March 1940, is termed "Hartmut." The members of the Tribunal will remember that the document, in the last paragraph, said:
"The naval force will, as they enter the harbor, fly the British flag until the troops have landed, except presumably at Narvik."
The preparations for war against England are perhaps best shown by the disposition of the U-boats under his command on the 3rd of September 1939, when war broke out between Germany and the Western Allies. The locations of the sinkings in the following week, including that of the Athenia which will be dealt with by my learned friend, Major Elwyn Jones, provide corroboration. On that, I would put in two charts; I put them in as Document D- 652, and they become Exhibit GB-190.,
My Lord, I have copies here for the members of the Tribunal. They have been prepared by the Admiralty. There are two charts. The first sets out the disposition of the submarines on the 3rd of September 1939. There is a certification attached to the chart, in the top left-hand corner, which I should read:
"This chart has been constructed from a study of the orders issued by Doenitz between 21 August 1939 and 3 September 1939 and subsequently captured. The chart shows the approximate disposition of submarines ordered for the 3rd of September 1939 but it cannot be guaranteed accurate in every detail as the files of captured orders are clearly not complete and also some of the submarines shown apparently had
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received orders at sea on or about 3 September to move to new operational areas. The documents from which this chart was constructed are held by the British Admiralty in London."
My Lord, there are two points I would make on that first chart. First, it will be apparent to members of the Tribunal that U-boats which were in those positions on the 3rd of September 1939 had left Kiel some considerable time before. The other point which I would make is important in connection with my learned friend Major Elwyn Jones' case against the Defendant Raeder, and that is the location of the U-boat U-30. The members of the Tribunal may care to bear it in mind while looking at the charts now.
The second chart sets out the sinkings during the first week of the war, and the location of the sinking of the Athenia will be noted. There is a short certification in the left-hand corner of the Tribunal's copies:
"This chart has been constructed from the official records of the British Admiralty in London. It shows the positions of the sinkings of the British merchant vessels lost by enemy action in the 7 days commencing the 3rd of September 1939."
My Lord, I turn to the defendant's participation in War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.
The course of the war waged against neutral and Allied merchant shipping by the U-boats followed under the defendant's direction a course of consistently increasing ruthlessness. The defendant displayed his masterly understanding in adjusting himself to the changing fortunes of war. From the very early days, merchant ships, both Allied and neutral, were sunk without warning; and when operational danger zones had been announced by the German Admiralty, these sinkings continued to take place both within and without those zones. With some exceptions in the early days of the war, no regard was taken for the safety of the crews or passengers of sunk merchant ships, and the announcement claiming a total blockade of the British Isles merely served to confirm the established situation under which U-boat warfare was being conducted without regard to the established rules of international warfare or the requirements of humanity.
The course of the war at sea during the first 18 months is summarized by two official British reports made at a time when those who compiled them were ignorant of some of the actual orders issued which have since come to hand.
My Lord, I turn to the next document in the document book. It is Document D-641(a), which I put in to become Exhibit GB-191. It is an extract from an official report of the British Foreign Office concerning German attacks on merchant shipping during the period
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3 September 1939 to September 1940, that is to say, the first year of the war, and it was made shortly after September 1940.
My Lord, if I might quote from the second paragraph on the first page:
"During the first 12 months of the war, 2,081,062 tons of Allied shipping comprising 508 ships have been lost by enemy action. In addition, 769,213 tons of neutral shipping, comprising 253 ships, have also been lost. Nearly all these merchant ships have been sunk by submarine, mine, aircraft, or surface craft, and the great majority of them were sunk while engaged on their lawful trading voyages. 2,836 Allied merchant seamen have lost their lives in these ships....
"In the last war the practice of the central powers was so remote from the recognized procedure that it was thought necessary to set forth once again the rules of warfare in particular as applied to submarines. This was done in the Treaty of London, 1930; and in 1936 Germany acceded to the rules. The rules laid down:
"(1) In action with regard to merchant ships, submarines must conform to the rules of international law to which surface vessels are subjected.
"(2) In particular, except in the case of persistent refusal to stop on being summoned or of active resistance to visit and search, a war ship, whether surface vessel or submarine, may not sink or render incapable of navigation a merchant vessel without having first placed passengers, crew, and ships' papers in a place of safety. For this purpose, the ship's boats are not regarded as a place of safety unless the safety of the passengers and crew is assured in the existing sea and weather conditions by the proximity of land or the presence of another vessel which is in a position to take them on board."
Then, the next paragraph:
"At the beginning of the present war, Germany issued a prize ordinance for the regulation of sea warfare and the guidance of her naval officers. Article 74 of this ordinance embodies the submarine rules of the London Treaty. Article 72, however, provides that captured enemy vessels may be destroyed if it seems inexpedient or unsafe to bring them into port, and Article 73 (I) and (ii) makes the same provision with regard to neutral vessels which are captured for sailing under enemy convoy, for forcible resistance, or for giving assistance to the enemy. These provisions are certainly not in accordance with the traditional British view but the important point is that, even in these cases, the prize
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ordinance envisages the capture of the merchantman before its destruction. In other words, if the Germans adhered to the rules set out in their own prize ordinance, we might have argued the rather fine legal point with them, but we should have no quarrel with them, either on the broader legal issue or on the humanitarian one. In the event, however, it is only too clear that almost from the beginning of the war the Germans abandoned their own principles and waged war with steadily increasing disregard for international law, and for what is, after all, the ultimate sanction of all law, the protection of human life and property from arbitrary and ruthless attacks."
I pass to the third paragraph on the next page which sets out two instances:
"On the 30th of September 1939 came the first sinking of a neutral ship by a submarine without warning and with loss of life. This was the Danish ship Vendia bound for the Clyde in ballast. The submarine fired two shots and shortly after torpedoed the ship. The torpedo was fired when the master had already signaled that he would submit to the submarine's orders and before there had been an opportunity to abandon ship. By November submarines were beginning to sink neutral vessels without warning as a regular thing. On the 12th November the Norwegian Arne Kjode was torpedoed in the North Sea without any warning at all. This was a tanker bound from one neutral port to another. The master and four of the crew lost their lives and the remainder were picked up after many hours in open boats. Henceforward, in addition to the failure to establish the nature of the cargo, another element is noticeable, namely an increasing recklessness as to the fate of the crew."
And then dealing with attacks on Allied merchant vessels, certain figures are given: Ships sunk 241, recorded attacks 221, illegal attacks 112. At least 79 of these 112 ships were torpedoed without warning.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Then they were not illegally sunk, however?
COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, Sir.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): According to this document, the Germans have been given the benefit of the doubt.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Oh, yes, I should have read that sentence; I am obliged to Your Honor.
I pass to the second report, Document D-641(b). It is part of the same document and is put in as Exhibit GB-191. It is a report covering the next 6 months from September 1, 1940. . .
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THE PRESIDENT: Are you not reading Page 3?
COL. PHILLIMORE: If Your Lordship pleases, I have read a great deal of the report and there are passages that I had not considered important.
THE PRESIDENT: I haven't myself read it, but I think...
COL. PHILLIMORE: If I might read the first two paragraphs on Page 3:
"By the middle of October submarines were sinking merchant vessels without any regard to the safety of the crews. Yet 4 months later the Germans were still officially claiming that they were acting in accordance with their prize ordinance. Their own semi-official commentators, however, had made the position clear. As regards neutrals, Berlin officials had early in February stated that any neutral ship that is either voluntarily or under compulsion bound for an enemy port including contraband control harbors - thereby loses its neutrality and must be considered hostile. At the end of February the cat was let out of the bag by a statement that a neutral ship which obtained a navicert from a British consul in order to avoid putting into a British contraband control base was liable to be sunk by German submarines, even if it was bound from one neutral port to another. As regards Allied ships, in the middle of November 1939 a Berlin warning was issued against the arming of British vessels. By that date a score of British merchantmen had been illegally attacked by gunfire or torpedo from submarines, and after the date some 15 more unarmed Allied vessels were torpedoed without warning. It is clear therefore that not only was the arming fully justified as a defensive measure but also that neither before nor after this German threat did the German submarines discriminate between armed and unarmed vessels."
The last paragraph is merely a summing up; it does not add.
Turning to D-641(b), which is a similar report covering the next 6 months, if I might read the first five paragraphs of Page 1:
"On the 30th January 1941 Hitler proclaimed: 'Every ship, with or without convoy, which appears before our torpedo tubes is going to be torpedoed. On the face of it, this announcement appears to be uncompromising; and the only qualification provided by the context is that the threats immediately preceding it are specifically addressed to the peoples of the American Continent. German commentators, however, subsequently tried to water it down by contending that Hitler was referring only to ships which attempted to
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enter the area within which the German 'total blockade' is alleged to be in force.
"From one point of view it probably matters little what exactly was Hitler's meaning, since the only conclusion that can be reached after a study of the facts of enemy warfare on merchant shipping is that enemy action in this field is never limited by the principles which are proclaimed by enemy spokesmen, but solely by the opportunities or lack of them which exist at any given time."
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, isn't this document you are now reading really legal argument?
COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, some of it is. The difficulty is to leave those parts and take in the facts.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
COL. PHILLIMORE: The third paragraph, if I might leave the rest of the second, is as follows:
"The effect of the German 'total blockade' is to prohibit neutral ships from entering an enormous stretch of sea round Britain (the area extends to about 500 miles west of Ireland, and from the latitude of Bordeaux to that of the Faroe Islands), upon pain of having their ships sunk without warning and their crews killed. As a matter of fact, at least 32 neutral ships, exclusive of those sailing in British convoys, have been sunk by enemy action since the declaration of the 'total blockade."'
The last sentence in the following paragraph about the sinking of ships without warning:
"Yet though information is lacking in very many cases, details are available to prove that, during the period under review, at least 38 Allied merchant ships exclusive of those in convoys have been torpedoed without warning in or near the 'total blockade' area.
"That the Germans themselves have no exaggerated regard for the area is proved by the fact that of the 38 ships referred to at least 16 were torpedoed outside the limits of the war zone."
My Lord, the next page deals with a specific case illustrating the matter set out above. It is in the first paragraph of that page, the third sentence:
"The sinking of the City of Benares on the 17th September 1940 is a good example of this. The City of Benares was an 11,000-ton liner with 191 passengers on board, including nearly 100 children. She was torpedoed without warning just outside the 'war zone,' with the loss of 258 lives, including
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77 children. It was blowing a gale, with hail and rain squalls and a very rough sea when the torpedo struck her at about 10 p. m. In the darkness and owing to the prevailing weather conditions, at least four of the 12 boats lowered were capsized. Others were swamped and many people were washed right off. In one boat alone 16 people, including 11 children, died from exposure; in another 22 died, including
15 children; in a third 21 died. The point to be emphasized is not the unusual brutality of this attack but rather that such results are inevitable when a belligerent disregards the rules of sea warfare as the Germans have done and are doing."
I think the rest of that paragraph is not important.
I turn to the next document, 641(c), which is part of Exhibit GB-191.
THE PRESIDENT: It is clear, I suppose, from that statement of facts that there was no warning whatever given?
COL. PHILLIMORE: No, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: We think that you should read the next paragraph too.
COL. PHILLIMORE: If Your Lordship pleases.
"There are hundreds of similar stories, stories of voyages for days in open boats in Atlantic gales, of men in the water clinging for hours to a raft and gradually dropping off one by one, of crews being machine-gunned as they tried to lower their boats or as they drifted away in them, of seamen being blown to pieces by shells and torpedoes and bombs. The enemy must know that such things are the inevitable result of the type of warfare he has chosen to employ."
My Lord, the rest is very much to the same general effect.
The document, 641(c), is merely a certificate giving the total sinkings by U- boats during the war (1939 to 1945) as 2,775 British, Allied, and neutral ships totalling 14,572,435 gross registered tons.
My Lord, it is perhaps worth considering one example not quoted in the above reports of the ruthless nature of the actions conducted by the defendant's U-boat commanders, particularly as both British and German versions of the sinkings are available. I turn to the next document, "The sinking of S.S. Sheaf Mead." That is Document D-644, which I put in as Exhibit GB-192. If I might read the opening paragraph:
"The British S. S. Sheaf Mead was torpedoed without warning on 27 May 1940..."
THE PRESIDENT: This is the German account, is it not?
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COL. PHILLIMORE: This is actually in the form of a British report. It includes the German account in the shape of a complete extract from the log.
THE PRESIDENT: It bears the words, "top secret"?
COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, My Lord, this was at the time a top-secret document. That was some while ago.
"The British S. S. Sheaf Mead was torpedoed without warning on 27 May 1940, with the loss of 31 of the crew. The commander of the U-boat responsible is reported to have behaved in an exceptionally callous manner towards the men clinging to upturned boats and pieces of wood. It was thought that this man was Kapitanleutnant Ohrn of U-37: The following extract from his log for 27 May 1940 leaves no doubt on the matter and speaks for itself as to his behaviour." Again turning to the relevant extract from the log, on the second page, the time is marked on the document as 1554.
"Surface. Stern is underwater." - referring to the ship which has been torpedoed "Stern is underwater. Bows rise higher. The boats are now on the water. Lucky for them. A picture of complete order. They lie at some distance. The bows rear up quite high. Two men appear from somewhere in the forward part of the ship. They leap and rush with great bounds along the deck down the stern. The stern disappears. A boat capsizes. Then a boiler explosion. Two men fly through the air, limbs outstretched. Bursting and crushing. Then all is over. A large heap of wreckage floats up. We approach it to identify the name. The crew have saved themselves on wreckage and capsized boats. We fish out a buoy. No name on it. I ask a man on the raft. He says, hardly turning his head, 'Nix Name.' A young boy in the water calls, 'Help, help, please!' The others are very composed. They look damp and somewhat tired. An expression of cold hatred is on their faces. On to the old course. After washing the paint off the buoy, the name comes to light: Greatafield, Glasgow, 5,006 gross registered tons."
"On to the old course" means merely that the U-boat makes off. Then the next page of that document contains an extract from the report of the chief engineer of the Sheaf Mead. The relevant paragraphs are the first and the last:
"When I came to the surface I found myself on the port side,
that is, nearest to the submarine, which was only about 5 yards away. The submarine captain asked the steward the name of the ship, which he told him, and the enemy picked up one of our lifebuoys, but this had the name
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Greatafield on it, as this was the name of our ship before it was changed to Sheaf Mead last January."
In the last paragraph:
"She had cut-away bows, but I did notice a net-cutter. Two men stood at the side with boat-hooks to keep us off.
"They cruised around for half an hour, taking photographs of us in the water. Otherwise they just watched us, but said nothing. Then she submerged and went off, without offering us any assistance whatever."
THE PRESIDENT: Is there any suggestion in the German report that any warning was given?
COL. PHILLIMORE: No, My Lord. It is quite clear, indeed, that it was not.
Under the time 1414 there is a description of the sighting of the ship and the difficulty in identifying; and then at the top of the page:
"The distance apart is narrowing. The steamship draws in quickly, but the position is still 40-50. I cannot see the stern yet. Tube ready. Shall I or not? The gunnery crews are also prepared. On the ship's side a yellow cross in a small, square, dark blue ground. Swedish? Presumably not. I raise the periscope a little. Hurrah, a gun at the stern. an A/A gun or something similar. Fire! It cannot miss..." and then the sinking.
Now that it is possible to examine some of the actual documents by which the defendant and his fellow conspirators issued their orders in disregard of international law, you may think the compilers of the above reports understated the case. These orders cover not only the period referred to in the reports, but also the subsequent course of the war. It is interesting to note in them the steps by which the defendants progressed. At first they were content with breaching the rules of international law to the extent of sinking merchant ships, including neutral ships, without warning where there was a reasonable prospect of being able to do so without discovery. The facts already quoted show that the question of whether ships were defensively armed or outside the declared operational areas was in practice immaterial.
I go to the next document in the document book, C-191, which I put in as Exhibit GB-193. That is a memorandum by the German naval war staff, dated 22 September 1939. It sets out:
"Flag Officer U-boats intends to give permission to U-boats to sink without warning any vessels sailing without lights."
14 Jan. 46 Reading from the third sentence:
"In practice there is no opportunity for attacking at night, as the U-boat cannot identify a target which is a shadow in a way that entirely obviates mistakes being made. If the political situation is such that even possible mistakes must be ruled out, U-boats must be forbidden to make any attacks at night in waters where French and English naval forces or merchant ships may be situated. On the other hand, in sea areas where only English units are to be expected, the measures desired by Flag Officer U-boats can be carried out; permission to take this step is not to be given in writing, but need merely be based on the unspoken approval of the Naval Operations Staff.
"U-boat commanders should be informed by word of mouth, and the sinking of a merchant ship must be justified in the War Diary as due to possible confusion with a warship or an auxiliary cruiser. In the meanwhile, U-boats in the English Channel have received instructions to attack all vessels sailing without lights."
Now I go to the next document, C-21, which I put in as Exhibit GB-194. My Lord, this document consists of a series of extracts from the War Diary of the German naval war staff of the German Admiralty. The second extract, at Page 5, relates a conference with the head of the naval war staff, report of the 2 January 1940, and then reading:
"1) Report by Ia" - that is the Staff Officer Operations on the naval war staff . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Shouldn't you reed above that, Paragraph 1/b? COL. PHILLIMORE: Yes, if Your Lordship pleases. It is important. The others are much to the same effect. If I might read it: "Report by Ia." - This is one report by Ia on the directive of
Armed Forces High Command of 30 December.
"According to this, the Fuehrer, on report of Commander-in-Chief of the Navy, has decided: (a) Greek merchant vessels are to be treated as enemy vessels in the zone blockaded by U.S.A. and Britain; (b) in the Bristol Channel all ships may be attacked without warning. For external consumption these attacks should be given out as hits by mines. Both measures may be taken with immediate effect."
The next extract, a report by Ia, that is, the Staff Officer Operations on the naval war staff on the directive "of Armed Forces High Command, dated 30 December:
"Referring to intensified measures in naval and air warfare in connection with 'Fall Gelb'.
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"In consequence of this directive, the Navy is authorized, simultaneously with the general intensification of the war; to sink by U-boats, without any warning, all ships in those waters near the enemy coasts in which mines can be employed. In this case, for external consumption, presence should be made that mines are being used. The behaviour of, and use of weapons by, U-boats should be adapted to this purpose."
And then the third extract, dated 6 January 1940:
" . . . pursuant to the Fuehrer's consent on principle (see minutes of report of Commander-in-Chief Navy of 30 December) to authorize firing without warning while maintaining the presence of mine hits in certain parts of the American blockade zone...."
Well, then the order is given to Flag Officer U-boats carrying out that decision.
The next extract, dated the 18th of January 1940, adds to some extent, and if I may read it:
"The High Command of the Armed Forces has issued the following directive dated 17th of January, cancelling the previous order concerning intensified measures of warfare against merchantmen.
"The Navy is authorized, with immediate effect, to sink by U-boats without warning all ships in those waters near the enemy coasts in which the use of mines is possible." My Lord, that is an extension of the area. - "U-boats must adapt their behavior and employment of weapons to the presence, which is to be maintained in these cases, that the hits were caused by mines. Ships of the United States, Italy, Japan, and Russia are exempted from these attacks."
Well, then there is a note emphasizing the point about maintaining the pretense of mine hits and the last extract is, I think, purely cumulative.
The next document, C-118, I put in as Exhibit GB-195. This is an extract from the B.d.U. War Diary, that is to say the defendant's war diary. It is dated the 18th of July 1941, and it consists of a further extension of that order by the cutting down of the protected categories.
"Supplementary to the order forbidding, for the time being, attacks on U.S. warships and merchant vessels in the operational area of the North Atlantic, the Fuehrer has ordered the following:
"1. Attacks on U.S. merchant vessels sailing in British or U.S. convoys, or independently are authorized in the original
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operational area which corresponds in its dimensions to the U.S. blockade zone and which does not include the sea-route U.S. to Iceland."
As the members of the Tribunal will have seen from these orders, at one date the ships of a particular neutral under certain conditions could be sunk while those of another could not. It would be easy to put before the Tribunal a mass of orders and instances to show that the attitude to be adopted toward ships of particular neutrals changed at various times. The point is that the defendant conducted the U-boat war against neutrals with complete cynicism and opportunism. It all depended on the political relationship of Germany toward a particular country at a particular time whether her ships were sunk or not.
My Lord, I turn to the next document in the document book, D-642, which I put in as Exhibit GB-196. My Lord, this is a series of orders; the first, I should say, of a series of orders leading up to the issue of an order which enjoined the U-boat commanders not merely to abstain from rescuing crews, which is the purpose of this order, not merely to give them no assistance but deliberately to annihilate them.
My Lord, in the course of my proof of this matter, I shall call two witnesses. The first witness will give the Court an account of a speech made by the defendant at the time that he issued the order describing the policy, or his policy toward the recovery of Allied troops: that it must be stopped at all costs.
The second witness is the officer who actually briefed crews on the order.
My Lord, this document is an extract from the standing orders of the U-boat command, an extract from Standing Order Number 154, and it is signed by the defendant:
"Paragraph e) Do pot pick up men or take them with you. Do not worry about the merchant ship's boats. Weather conditions and distance from land play no part. Have a care only for your own ship and strive only to attain your next success as soon as possible. We must be harsh in this war. The enemy began the war in order to destroy us, so nothing else matters."
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of that?
COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, that order, the copy we have, is not dated, but a later order, Number 173, which was issued concurrently with an operational order, is dated the 2d of May 1940. The Tribunal may take it, it is earlier than the 2d of May 1940. My Lord, that is a secret order.
THE PRESIDENT: Earlier than May 1940?
COL. PHILLIMORE: Earlier than May 1940.
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It was, however, in 1942, when the United States entered the war with its enormous ship-building capacity, that the change thus brought about necessitated a further adjustment in the methods adopted by the U-boats and of the defendant; and the defendant was guilty of an order which intended not merely the sinking of merchant ships, not merely the abstention from rescue of the crews, but their deliberate extermination.
My Lord, the next document in the document book shows the course of events, Document D-423, and I put it in as Exhibit GB-197. It is a record of a conversation between Hitler and the Japanese Ambassador Oshima, in the presence of the Defendant Ribbentrop, on the 3 of January 1942.
"The Fuehrer, using a map, explains to the Japanese Ambassador the present position of marine warfare in the Atlantic, emphasizing that what he considers his most important task is to get the U-boat warfare going in full swing. The U-boats are being re-organized. Firstly, he had recalled all U-boats operating in the Atlantic. As mentioned before, they would now be posted outside United States ports. Later, they would be off Freetown and the larger boats even as far down as Capetown."
And then, after further details:
"After having given further explanations on the map, the Fuehrer pointed out that, however many ships the United States built, one of their main problems would be the lack of personnel. For that reason even merchant ships would be sunk without warning with the intention of killing as many of the crew as possible. Once it gets around that most of the seamen are lost in the sinkings, the Americans would soon have difficulties in enlisting new people. The training of sea-going personnel takes a very long time. We are fighting for our existence and our attitude cannot be ruled by any humane feelings. For this reason he must give the order that in case foreign seamen could not be taken prisoner, which is in most cases not possible on the sea, U- boats were to surface after torpedoing and shoot up the lifeboats.
"Ambassador Oshima heartily agreed with the Fuehrer's comments, and said that the Japanese, too, are forced to follow these methods."
My Lord, the next document, D-446, I put in as Exhibit GB-198. I do not propose to read it. It is an extract from B.d.U. War Diary of the 16th of September 1942; and it is part of the story in the sense that it was on the following day that the order I complain of was issued, and the Defense will, no doubt, wish to rely on it. It records an attack on a U-boat which was rescuing survivors, chiefly
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the Italian survivors of the Allied liner Laconia, when it was attacked by an Allied aircraft.
My Lord, the next document, D-630, I put in as Exhibit GB-199. It contains four documents. The first is a top-secret order, sent to all commanding officers of U-boats from the defendant's headquarters, dated 17th of September 1942:
"1. No attempt of any kind must be made at rescuing members of ships sunk; and this includes picking up persons in the water and putting them in lifeboats, righting capsized lifeboats and handing over food and water. Rescue runs counter to the rudimentary demands of warfare for the destruction of enemy ships and crews.
"2. Orders for bringing in captains and chief engineers still apply.
"3. Rescue the shipwrecked only if their statements will be of importance to your boat.
"4. Be harsh, having in mind that the enemy takes no regard of women and children in his bombing attacks on German cities."
Now, My Lord, that is, of course, a very carefully worded order. Its intentions are made very clear by the next document on that same page, which is an extract from the defendant's war diary; and I should say there, as appears from the copy handed in to the Court, the war diary is personally signed by the Defendant Doenitz. It is the war diary entry for the 17th of September 1942:
"The attention of all commanding officers is again drawn" and I would draw the Tribunal's attention to the word "again" "to the fact that all efforts to rescue members of the crews of ships which have been sunk contradict the most primitive demands for the conduct of warfare for annihilating enemy ships and their crews. Orders concerning the bringing in of the captains and chief engineers still stand."
The last two documents on that page consist of a telegram from the commander of the U-boat Schacht to the defendant's headquarters and the reply. Schacht had been taking part in the rescue of survivors from the Laconia. The telegram from Schacht, dated the 17th of September 1942, reads:
"163 Italians handed over to Annamite. Navigating officer of Laconia and another English officer on board." And then it goes on setting out the position of English and Polish survivors in boats.
The reply sent on the 20th:
"Action as in wireless telegram message of 17th of September was wrong. Boat was detailed to rescue Italian allies and not for the rescue of English and Poles."
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It is a small point, but of course "detailed" means before the bombing incident had ever occurred.
And then as for the next document, D-663, that was issued later and may not yet have been inserted in the Tribunal's Document Book; D-663 I put in as Exhibit GB-200. My Lord, this is an extract from an operation order, "Operation Order Atlantic Number 56," dated the 7th of October 1943, and the copy put in is part of sailing orders to a U-boat. As I shall prove through the second witness, although the date of this order is the 7th of October 1943, in fact it is only a reproduction of an order issued very much earlier, in the autumn of 1942.
"Rescue ships: A so-called rescue ship is generally attached to every convoy, a special ship of up to 3,000 gross registered tons, which is intended for the picking up of survivors after U- boat attacks. These ships are for the most part equipped with a shipborne aircraft and large motorboats, are strongly armed with depth charge throwers, and are very maneuverable, so that they are often taken for U-boat traps by the commander."
And then, the last sentence:
"In view of the desired destruction of ships' crews, their sinking is of great value."
If I might just sum up those documents, it would appear from the War Diary entry of the 17th of September that orders on the lines discussed between Hitler and Oshima were, in fact, issued, but we have not captured them. It may be they were issued orally and that the defendant awaited a suitable opportunity before confirming them. The incident of the bombing of the U-boats detailed to rescue the Italian survivors from the Laconia afforded the opportunity and the order to all commanders was issued. Its intent is very clear when you consider it in the light of the War Diary entry. The wording is, of course, extremely careful but to any officer of experience its intention was obvious and he would know that deliberate action to annihilate survivors would be approved under that order.
You will be told that this order, although perhaps unfortunately phrased, was merely intended to stop a commander from jeopardizing his ship by attempting a rescue, which had become increasingly dangerous, as a result of the extended coverage of the ocean by Allied aircraft; and that the notorious action of the U-boat Commander Eck in sinking the Greek steamer Peleus and then machine-gunning the crew on their rafts in the water, was an exception; and that, although it may be true that a copy of the order was on board, this action was taken solely, as he himself swore, on his own initiative. ,
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I would make the point to the Tribunal that if the intention of this order was to stop the rescue attempts in the interests of the preservation of the U-boat, first of all it would have been done by calling attention to Standing Order 154.
Second, this very fact would have been prominently stated in the order. Drastic orders of this nature are not drafted by experienced staff officers without the greatest care and an eye to their possible capture by the enemy.
Third, if it was necessary to avoid the risks attendant on standing by or surfacing, not only would this have been stated but there would have been no question of taking any prisoners at all except- possibly in circumstances where virtually no risk in surfacing was to be apprehended.
Fourth, the final sentence of the first paragraph would have read very differently.
And fifth, if, in fact - and the Prosecution do not for one moment accept it - the defendant did not mean to enjoin murder, his order was so worded that he cannot escape the responsibility which attaches to such a document.
My Lord, I would call my first witness, Peter Heisig.
[The witness, Peter Josef Heisig, took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: What is your name?
PETER JOSEF HEISIG (Witness): My name is Peter Josef Heisig.
THE PRESIDENT: Say this: "I swear by God - the Almighty and Omniscient - that I will speak the pure truth - and will withhold nothing and add nothing."
[The witness repeated the oath in German.]
COL. PHILLIMORE: Peter Josef Heisig, are you an Oberleutnant zur See in Germany?
HEISIG: I am Oberleutnant zur See in the German Navy.
COL. PHILLIMORE: And were you captured on the 27th of December 1944, and now held as a prisoner of war?
COL. PHILLIMORE: Did you swear an affidavit on the 27th of November 1945?
COL. PHILLIMORE And is that your signature? [Document D-566 was submitted to the witness.]
My Lord, that is the Document D-566.
HEISIG: That is the document I signed.
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COL. PHILLIMORE: I put that in as Exhibit GB-201.
[Turning to the witness.] Will you take your mind back to the autumn of 1942? What rank did you hold at that time?
HEISIG: I was senior midshipman at the 2d U-boat Training Division.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Were you attending a course there?
HEISIG: I took part in the training course for U-boat officers of the watch.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Do you remember the last day of the course?
HEISIG: On the last day of the course, Grossadmiral Doenitz, who was then Commander-in-Chief of the U-boats, reviewed the 2d U-boat Training Division.
COL. PHILLIMORE: And what happened at the end of this tour?
HEISIG: At the end of his visit - not at the end but rather during his visit -
Grossadmiral Doenitz made a speech before the officers of the 2d U-boat Training Division.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Can you fix the date of his visit?
HEISIG: I remember the approximate date; it must have been at the end of September or the beginning of October 1942.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, will you give the Tribunal - speaking slowly an account of what Admiral Doenitz said in his speech?
HEISIG: Grossadmiral Doenitz said in his speech that the successes of the U- boats had declined. The strength of enemy air control was responsible for that decline. New antiaircraft guns had been developed which would in future make it possible for the U-boats to fight off enemy aircraft. Hitler had personally given him the assurance that U-boats would be equipped with these antiaircraft guns before all other branches of the Armed Forces. It could be expected therefore that the successes of former times would be reached again within a few months. After speaking about his good relations with Hitler, Grossadmiral Doenitz discussed the German armament program.
A question by an officer regarding a newspaper article which stated that the Allied countries were building more than a million tons of merchant shipping every month, Admiral Doenitz answered by saying that he doubted the credibility of this estimate and said it was based on an announcement by President Roosevelt. He then spoke briefly about President Roosevelt, about the American production program and armament potential, and added that the Allies had great difficulty in manning their ships. Allied seamen considered the route across the Atlantic dangerous, because German
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U boats were sinking Allied ships in great numbers. Many of the Allied seamen had been torpedoed more than once; these facts spread and make the seamen reluctant to go to sea again. Some of them were even trying to shirk a crossing of the Atlantic, so that the Allied authorities were compelled, if it became necessary, to retain the men aboard by force of law. Such indications were favorable to the Germans. From the facts that, firstly, the Allies were building very many new merchant ships and, secondly, that the Allies were having considerable difficulties in manning these newly built ships, Admiral Doenitz concluded that the question of personnel was a very grave matter for the Allies. The losses in men affected the Allies especially seriously, because they had few reserves and also because...
COL. PHILLIMORE: I don't want to interrupt you, but did he say anything about rescues at all? You have told us about the Allied losses and how serious they were.
HEISIG: Yes, he mentioned rescues, but I would like to speak about that later.
Grossadmiral Doenitz said that the losses of the Allies affected them very seriously, because they had no reserves and also because the training of new seamen required a very long time. He could not, therefore, understand it, if submarines were still...
THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Phillimore, just a moment. I don't think we want to hear the whole of Admiral Doenitz' speech. We want to hear the material part of it.
COL. PHILLIMORE [to the witness.]: Now, you have dealt with the question of losses. Will you come to the crucial part of the speech, at the end, and deal with that? What did the Grand Admiral go on to say?
DR. THOMA: The testimony of the witness does not concern me directly, but I have an objection to raise. According to German law and according to the German Code of Criminal Procedure, the witness must say everything he knows about a matter. If he is asked about a speech of Grossadmiral Doenitz, he must not, at least according to German law, relate only those parts which, in the opinion of the Prosecution, are unfavorable to the defendant. I believe this principle should also apply in these proceedings, whenever a witness is questioned.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is not bound by German law. I have already said that the Tribunal does not desire to hear from this witness all of Admiral Doenitz' speech.
It will be open to any of the counsel for the defendants to cross-examine this witness. Your intervention is therefore entirely unnecessary.
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COL. PHILLIMORE: [to the witness.]: Now, will you deal with the crucial parts of the Grand Admiral's speech?
HEISIG: Grossadmiral Doenitz continued, saying approximately that under the circumstances he could not understand how German U-boats could still rescue the crews of the merchant ships they had sunk, thereby endangering their own ships. By doing that, they were working for the enemy, since these rescued crews would sail again on new ships.
The stage had now been reached in which total war had to be waged also at sea. The crews of ships, like the ships themselves, were a target for the U-boats; thus it would be impossible for the Allies to man their newly built ships; and moreover it could then be expected that in America and the other Allied countries a strike would break out, for already a part of the seamen did not want to go back to sea.
These results could be expected if our tactics would render the war at sea more vigorous. If any of us consider this war or these tactics harsh we should also remember that our wives and our families at home are being bombed.
That, in its main points, was the speech of Grossadmiral Doenitz.
COL. PHILLIMORE: Now, about how many officers were present and heard that speech?
HEISIG: I have no experience in fixing the number of people present at large indoor gatherings. I can only give you a rough estimate: approximately 120 officers.
COL. PHILLIMORE: My Lord, the witness is available for cross-examination.
THE PRESIDENT: Does the United States prosecutor wish to ask any question?
[There was no response.]
The Soviet prosecutor?
[There was no response.]
The French prosecutor?
[There was no response.]
Now, any of the defendants' counsel may cross-examine the witness.
FLOTTENRICHTER OTTO KRANZBUHLER (Counsel for Defendant Doenitz): I represent Grossadmiral Doenitz.
THE PRESIDENT: Counsel will understand that what I said to Dr. Thoma was not intended to interfere with your cross-examination; it was only intended to save time. The Tribunal did not desire to hear unimportant passages in the Defendant Doenitz'
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speech. Therefore, they did not want to hear them from this witness. However, you are at liberty to ask any questions that you please.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Oberleutnant Heisig, did you yourself take part in an action against the enemy?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: On which boat were you, and who was your commander?
HEISIG: I was on U-877, under Kapitanleutnant Finkeisen.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Please repeat your answer.
HEISIG: I served on U-877 in an action against the enemy, and the commander was Kapitanleutnant Finkeisen.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Were you successful in action against enemy ships?
HEISIG: The boat was sunk on its way to the area of operations.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Before you were able to sink an enemy ship?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: was the boat sunk?
HEISIG: By depth charges. Two Canadian frigates sighted the U-boat and destroyed it through depth charges.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Your testimony today differs in an essential point from the statement you made on the 27th of November. How did you come to make this statement of the 27th of November?
HEISIG: I made the statement in defense of my comrades who were put before a military court in Hamburg and sentenced to death for the murder of shipwrecked sailors.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Your statement begins by saying that you had received reports that German sailors were being accused of murder and that you therefore considered it your duty to depose the following affidavit.
What reports had you received, and when?
HEISIG: At the beginning of the Hamburg proceedings against Kapitanleutnant Eck and his officers I was a prisoner of war in Great Britain; there I heard on the radio and read in newspapers that these officers were to be tried. Since I knew one of the accused officers, Leutnant August Hoffmann, very well and had spoken with him on this subject on two or three occasions, I considered it to be my duty to come to his assistance and to his defense.
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FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Were you not told in your interrogation on the 27th of November that the death sentence against Eck and Hoffmann had already been confirmed?
HEISIG: That - I don't remember whether it was on the 27th of November, I only remember that I was told here that the death sentence had been carried out. I no longer remember the date, as I was interrogated several times.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Since you have knowledge of the circumstances, do you maintain that the speech of Grossadmiral Doenitz mentioned in any way that fire should be opened on shipwrecked sailors?
HEISIG: No; we gathered that from his words; and from his reference to the bombing war, we gathered that total war had now to be waged against ships and crews. That is what we understood, and I talked about it to my comrades on the way back to the Hansa.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Speak slowly, please.
HEISIG: We were convinced that Admiral Doenitz meant that. He did not express it clearly.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER Did you speak about this point with any of your superiors at the school?
HEISIG: I left the school on the same day. But I can remember that one of my superiors, whose name to my regret I do not recall - nor do I recall the occasion - once spoke to us about this subject and advised us that, if possible, only officers should be on the bridge ready to annihilate shipwrecked sailors, should the. possibility arise, or should it be necessary.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: One of your superiors told you that?
HEISIG: Yes, but I cannot remember in which connection and where. I received a lot of advice from my superiors on many things.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER Was it at the school?
HEISIG: No; I left the U-boat Training Division on the same day.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Were you instructed at the school in the standing orders of war?
HEISIG: Yes; we were instructed in the standing orders of war.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Did these standing orders mention anywhere that shipwrecked sailors were to be fired on or their rescue apparatus destroyed?
HEISIG: The standing orders did not mention that. But - I think one can assume this from an innuendo of Captain Rollmann, who was then officers' company commander a short time before that,
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some teletype message had arrived containing an order prohibiting rescue measures and demanding that sea warfare should be fought with more radical, more drastic means.
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Do you think that the prohibition of rescue measures is identical with the shooting of shipwrecked sailors?
HEISIG: We came to this...
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Please, answer my question. Do you think these two things are identical?
FLOTTENRICHTER KRANZBUHLER: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, I am afraid the Tribunal will have to adjourn now; and I have an announcement to make. You may cross-examine tomorrow.
DR. THOMA: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: As I have already said, the Tribunal will not sit in open session this afternoon.
The announcement that I have to make is in connection with the organizations which are alleged to be criminal under Article 9 of the Charter, and this is the announcement:
The Tribunal has been giving careful consideration to the duty imposed upon it by Article 9 of the Charter.
It is difficult to determine the manner in which the representatives of the named organizations shall be permitted to appear in accordance with Article 9, without considering the exact nature of the case presented for the Prosecution.
For this reason, the Tribunal has come to the conclusion that, at this stage of the Trial, with many thousands of applications being made, the case for the Prosecution should be defined with more precision than appears in the Indictment.
In these circumstances, therefore, it is the intention of the Tribunal to invite argument from the Counsel for the Prosecution and for the Defense, at the conclusion of the case by all prosecutors, in regard to the questions hereinafter set forth.
The questions which need further consideration are as follows:
1. The Charter does not define a criminal organization, and it is therefore necessary to examine the tests of criminality which must be applied and to decide the nature of the evidence to be admitted.
Many of the applicants who have made requests to be heard assert that they were conscripted into the organization, or that they were ignorant of the criminal purposes of the organization, or that they were innocent of any unlawful acts.
It will be necessary to decide whether such evidence ought to be received to rebut the charge of the criminal character of the
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organization, or whether such evidence ought more properly to be received at the subsequent trials under Article 10 of the Charter, when the organizations have been declared criminal, if the Tribunal so decides.
2. The question of the precise time within which the named organization is said to have been criminal is vital to the decision of the Tribunal.
The Tribunal desires to know from the Prosecution at this stage whether it is intended to adhere to the limits of time set out in the Indictment.
3. The Tribunal desires to know whether, in the light of the evidence, any class of persons included within the named organizations should be excluded from the scope of the declaration, and which, if any.
In the indictment of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, the Prosecution have reserved the right to request that Politische Leiter of subordinate grades or ranks, or of other types or classes, be exempted from further proceedings without prejudice to other proceedings or actions against them.
Is it the intention of the Prosecution to make any such request? If so, it should be done now.
4. The Tribunal would be glad if the Prosecution would also:
(a) Summarize in respect of each named organization the elements which in their opinion justify the charge of being a criminal organization.
(b) Indicate what acts on the part of individual defendants, indicted in this Trial - in the sense used in Article 9 of the Charter - justify declaring the groups or organizations of which they are members to be criminal organizations.
Submit in writing a summary of proposed findings of fact as to each organization, with respect to which a finding of criminality is asked.
The Tribunal hopes it is not necessary to say to the Prosecution that it is not seeking to interfere with the undoubted right of the Prosecution to present its case in its own way, in the light of the full knowledge of all the documents and facts which it possesses, but the duty of the Tribunal under Article 9 of the Charter makes it essential at this time to have the case clearly and precisely defined.
This announcement will be communicated to the Chief Prosecutors and to Defense Counsel in writing.
The Tribunal will adjourn until 10 o'clock tomorrow morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 15 January 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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