Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1 : Motion on Behalf of Gustav Krupp Von Bohlen
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Nuremberg, 4 November 1945
Theodor Klefisch
Cologne, 43, Blumenthalstrasse
To: The International Military Tribunal,

As defending counsel to the accused Dr. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach I request that the proceedings against this accused be deferred until he is again fit for trial.

At any rate I request that the accused be not tried in his absence.


By Article 12 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal this Court has the right to try an accused in his absence if he cannot be found, or if the Court deem this necessary for other reasons in the interest of justice.

The 75-year-old accused Krupp von Bohlen has for a long time been incapable of trial or examination owing to his severe physical and mental infirmities. He is not in a position to be in contact with the outside world nor to make or receive statements. The Indictment was served on him on 19 October 1945 by a representative of the International Military Tribunal by placing the document on his bed. The accused had no knowledge of this event. Consequently he is not aware of the existence of an Indictment. Naturally therefore he is not capable of communicating either with his defense counsel nor with other persons on the subject of his defense.

To prove the above two medical certificates are enclosed - that of the court medical expert Doctor Karl Gersdorf of Werfen, Salzburg of 9 September 1945, and that of the Professor Doctor Otto Gerke of Badgastein of 13 September.

Lately Herr Krupp von Bohlen has been examined several times by American military doctors. As far as it is possible I should like to request another complete medical examination. If the accused is unable to appear before the Court, then according to Article 12 of the Charter he could be tried only if the Court deemed it necessary in the interests of justice.

Whatever may be understood by the phrase "in the interests of justice" it would hardly be objective justice to try a defendant accused of such serious crimes, if he were not informed of the contents of the accusations or if he were not given the chance to conduct his own defense or instruct a defense counsel. Particularly is he in no condition to comprehend the following rights of an accused set out in the Charter:

1. By Article 16, Section (a) of the Charter a copy of the Indictment in a language which he understands will be served on the accused at a suitably appointed time. The assurance given hereby for a sufficient preparation of the proceedings can not be guaranteed to Defendant Krupp von Bohlen on. account of his state of disease. According to Section (c) of the same Article 16 a preliminary interrogation of the defendant shall take place in a language intelligible to him. That is likewise impossible here. According to Section (d) of Article 16 the defendant moreover can not exercise his right of decision as to whether he will conduct his own defense or whether he would like to be defended by counsel. Also the right of the defendant as provided in Section (c) of producing evidence and of cross examining witnesses himself or by his counsel in his behalf can not be exercised by the defendant in view of his condition.

2. In the same manner as the Defendant Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach is not able to exercise the confirmed rights stated above in the preliminary proceedings he will also not be able to exercise in the Trial those rights guaranteed to him by Article 24 of the Charter. In the first place this concerns the statement which the accused has to render on inquiry as to whether he admits his guilt or not, a statement which is of particular importance for the course of the Trial and for the decision of the Tribunal. This is all the more important as this statement regarding guilt or innocence can be made exclusively by the accused himself according to his own judgment and after examining his conscience. So far as the procedure is admissible at all, the defense counsel could not at the request of the Court express himself on the question of guilt, as such a declaration presupposes the possibility of communication and understanding with the accused.

Also the defendant could not exercise the right to the last word to which he is entitled according to Article 24, Section (j).

The legislators who set up these guarantees for the defense cannot wish to deny them undeservedly to an accused who can not make use of them owing to illness. If by Article 12 of the Charter the Trial of an absent defendant is allowed, then this exception to the rule can be applied only to a defendant who is unwilling to appear though able to do so. As is the case with the criminal procedure rules of nearly all countries, it IS on this principle that the rules and regulations concerning the trial of absent defendants are based.

/ s / KLEFISCH Lawyer Medical Certificates Attached to Motion on Behalf of Defendant Gustav Krupp von Bohlen

(Attachment I)

Doctor's Certificate

Dr. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, born 7 August 1870, presently residing at Posthaus Bluhbach, Werfen, Salzburg, suffers from progressive arteriosclerotic softening of the brain "Paralysis celebri) and as a consequence of this illness he requires constant care and treatment. He is incapable of standing trial or of being subjected to interrogation. An improvement of his condition is not to be expected. Owing to his bad general physical condition (Myodegeneratio cordis and Ataxis) he is not capable of traveling either.

District Doctor
Werfen, Salzburg
Certified Court Expert

Werfen, 8 September 1945

(Attachment II)

Attachment II is a medical certificate by Dr. Otto Gerke, printed on page 120 ante.

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