The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/04
                                                  [Page 181]

If the Tribunal please, at this moment I have a new problem
about proof which I believe we have not discussed. I have in
my hand an English transcription of an interrogation of the
defendant Erich Raeder. Of course, he knows he was
interrogated; he knows what be said. I do not believe we
have furnished copies of this interrogation to defendant's
counsel. I don't know whether under the circumstances I am
at liberty to read from it or not. If I do read from it I
suggest that the defendant's counsel will all get the
complete text of it - I mean of what I read in the

THE PRESIDENT: Has the counsel for the defendant Raeder any
objection to this interrogation being read?

DOCTOR SIEMERS (Counsel for defendant Raeder): As far as I
have understood the proceedings to date, I believe that it
is a question of procedure in which either proof by way of
documents or proof by way of witnesses will be furnished. I
am surprised that the prosecution wishes to furnish proof by
way of records of interrogations taken at a time when the
defence was not present. I should be obliged to the Court if
I were told whether, in principle, I, as a defence counsel,
may resort to producing evidence in this form, i.e., present
documents of the interrogation of witnesses, that is to say,
documents in which I myself interrogated witnesses, in the
same way as the prosecution has done, without putting
witnesses on the stand.

THE PRESIDENT: In future the Tribunal thinks that if
interrogations of defendants are to be used, copies of such
interrogations should be furnished to defendant's counsel
beforehand. The question which the Tribunal wished to ask
you was whether on this occasion you objected to this
interrogation being used without such a copy having been
furnished to you. With regard to your observation as to your
own rights with reference to interrogating your defendant,
the Tribunal considers that you must call them as witnesses
upon the witness stand, and cannot interrogate them and put
in the interrogations. The question for you now is whether
you object to this interrogation being laid before the
Tribunal at this stage.

DR. SIFMERS: I should like first of all to have an
opportunity to see this document. Only then shall I be able
to decide whether interrogations can be read, the contents
of which I as a defence counsellor am not familiar with.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now and it
anticipates that the interrogation can be handed to you
during the adjournment and then can be used afterwards.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

MR. JACKSON: May it please the Tribunal. I should like to
ask the Tribunal to note the presence and appearance on
behalf of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of Mr. A.
I. Vijshinsky of the Foreign Office, and Mr. K. P.
Gorshenin, Chief Prosecutor of the Soviet Republic, who has
been able to join us in the prosecution only now.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal notes what Mr. Justice Jackson
has said, and observes that Mr. Vijshinsky has taken his
seat with the Soviet Delegation of Chief Prosecutors.

DR. SIEMERS: In the meanwhile during the lunch hour I have
seen the minutes. I should like to observe that I don't
think it is very agreeable that the prosecution should stick
to their point that the defence should not see the documents
until late during the proceedings, or just before the
proceedings, or at times even after the proceedings. I
should be most grateful to tire prosecution if it should be
made possible in the future to let us be informed in good

Yesterday a list of the documents which were to be presented
to-day was put up in room, No. 54. I find that the documents
presented to-day are not

                                                  [Page 195]

included in yesterday's list. You will understand that the
task of the defence is thereby rendered comparatively
difficult. On principle I cannot, in my statement of to-day,
give my agreement to the reading of minutes of
interrogations. In order to facilitate matters, I should
like to follow the Court's suggestion, and declare my
agreement that the minutes presented here should be read. I
request, however - and  I believe I have already been
assured by the prosecution, to that effect - that only that
part be read which refers to document C-156, as I had no
time to discuss the remaining points with the defendant.

As to the remaining points, five other documents are cited.
Moreover, I request that the part which refers to the book
by Kapitan zur See Schuessler, should be read in full, and I
believe that the prosecutor agrees with this.

THE PRESIDENT: I understood from the counsel for Raeder that
you were substantially in agreement as to what parts of this
interrogation you should read. Is that right, Mr. Alderman?

MR. ALDERMAN: If I understand the counsel correctly, he
asked that I read the entire part of the interrogation which
applies to the document C-156, but I understood that he did
not agree to my reading other parts that referred to other
documents. I handed counsel the original of my copy of the
interrogation before the lunch hour, and when he returned it
after the lunch hour, I handed him the carbon copy. I do not
quite understand his statement about a document being
introduced which hadn't been furnished to the defendant. We
did file the document book.

THE PRESIDENT  Is this document in the document book?

MR. ALDERMAN   My understandings that the document book
contained all of the document which is stated in this
interrogation. It didn't contain the interrogation.

THE PRESIDENT  Then he is right to say that.

MR. ALDERMAN   He is right in saying that about this
interrogation, yes.

THE PRESIDENT  You are in agreement with him then. You can
read what you want to read now, and it is not necessary for
you to read that part to which he objects.

MR. ALDERMAN: I think I understand his objection to my
reading anything other than the part concerned with C-156,
but I anticipate that be may be willing for me to read the
other parts tomorrow.

This deals with the book which I offered in evidence this
morning, document C-156, exhibit USA 41. The defendant
Raeder identified that book, and explained that the Navy had
to fulfil the letter of the Versailles Treaty, and at the
same time make progress in Naval development. I refer to the
interrogation of the defendant Raeder at the part we had
under discussion:-

   Q. I have here a document, C-156, which is a photostatic
   copy of a work prepared by the High Command of the Navy,
   and covers the struggle of the Navy against the
   Versailles Treaty from 1919 to 1935-. I ask you
   initially whether you are familiar with the work?
   A. I know this book. I read it once when it was
   Q. Was that an official publication of the German Navy?
   A. This Captain Schuessler (indicating the author) was a
   Commander in the Admiralty. Published by the O.K.M.,
   this book represented an idea of this officer to co-
   ordinate all those matters.
   Q. Do you recall the circumstances under which the
   authorisation to prepare such a work was given to him?
   A. I think he told me that he would write such a book as
   he says here in the foreword.
   Q. And in the preparation of this work he had access to
   the official Navy files and based his work on the items
   contained therein?
   A. Yes, I think so. He would have spoken with other
   persons, and he would have had the files which were
                                                  [Page 196]
   Q. Do you know whether before the work was published, a
   draft of it was circulated among the officers in the
   Admiralty for comment?
   A. No, I don't think so. Not before it was published. I
   saw it only when it was published.
   Q.  Was it circulated freely after its publication?
   A.  It was a secret subject, I think all Higher Commands
   in the Navy had knowledge of it.
   Q.  It was not circulated outside of Navy circles?
   A. No.
   Q.  What then is your opinion concerning the comments
   contained in the work regarding the circumventing of the
   provisions of Versailles?
   A. I don't remember very exactly what is in here. I can
   only remember that the Navy had always the object to
   fulfil the word of the Versailles Treaty, but, in order
   to obtain some advantages, the flying men were trained
   one year before they went into the Navy. Quite young
   men. So that the word of the Treaty of Versailles was
   fulfilled. They did not belong to the Navy, as long as
   they were trained in flying, and the submarines were
   developed, not in Germany, and not in the Navy, but in
   Holland. There was a Civil Bureau, and in Spain there
   was an Industrial Bureau; in Finland, too, and they were
   built only much later, when we began to act with the
   English Government about the Treaty of thirty-five to
   one hundred, because we could see that then the Treaty
   of Versailles would be destroyed by such a Treaty with
   England, and so in order to keep the word of Versailles,
   we tried to fulfil the word of Versailles, but we tried
   to gain advantages.
   Q. Would a fair statement be that the Navy High Command
   was interested in avoiding the limiting provisions of
   the Treaty of Versailles regarding personnel and the
   limitation of armaments, but would it attempt to fulfil
   the letter of the Treaty, although actually avoiding it?
   A. That was their endeavour.

MR. ALDERMAN: Now the rest of this is the portion that the
counsel for the defendant asked me to read.

   Q. Why was such a policy adopted?
   A. After the first war we were sorely menaced by the
   danger that the Poles might attack East Prussia, and we
   therefore tried to strengthen a little our very, very
   weak combat forces in this way; consequently all our
   efforts were directed to the aim of having a little more
   strength against the Poles should they attack us. It is
   nonsense to think we could have attacked Poland at this
   stage-and with the Navy. A second aim was to achieve a
   certain degree of defence against the possible entry of
   French forces into the Ostsee (East Sea), since we knew
   that the French intended coming to the aid of the Poles.
   Their ships entered the Ostsee and the Navy was
   therefore a defence against a Polish attack and against
   a French invasion via the Ostsee. Purely defensive aims.
   Q. When did this fear of an attack by Poland arise in
   Germany's official circles?
   A. In the very first years, when Vilna was taken. We
   felt, at the same time, that they could come to East
   Prussia. I am not certain about the exact year, since
   those opinions arose in the German Ministries and were
   held by the Ministers of the Army and Navy - Groner and
   Q. And this view, in your opinion, was generally held
   perhaps as far back as
   1919/1920, after the end of the first World War?
   A. The whole situation was most uncertain and confirmed
   and I cannot give you a very precise picture about the
   beginning of those years, since I was then working for
   two years in the Navy Archives, writing a book on the
   War and on how the Cruisers fought in the First World
   War. So that for two years I was not occupied with such

Likewise the same kind of planning and purposes are
reflected in the table of contents of a history of the
German Navy, 1919 to 1939, found in captured official files
of the German Navy. Although a copy of the book has not been

                                                  [Page 197]

by us, the project was written by Colonel   Scherff,
Hitler's special military historian. We have found the table
of contents: it refers by numbers to groups of documents and
notes on the documents, which evidently were intended as
working materials for the basis of chapters to be written in
accordance with the table of contents. The titles in this
table of contents fairly establish the Navy planning and
preparations to get the Versailles Treaty out of the way and
to rebuild the Navy strength necessary for aggressive war.

We have here the original captured document which is, as I
say, the German typewritten table of contents of this
projected work, with a German cover, typewritten, entitled
"Geschichte der Deutschen Marine, 1919-1939 (History of the
German Navy, 1919-1939)" We identify that as our series C-17
and I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 42.  This table of
contents includes such general headings - but perhaps I had
better read some of the actual headings:

   Part A (1919 - The Year of Transition). Chapter VII.
   First efforts to circumvent the Versailles Treaty and to
   limit its effects.
   (a) Demilitarisation of the Administration,
   incorporation of Naval Offices in Civil Ministries, etc.
   for example: incorporation of greater sections of the
   German maritime observation station and sea-mark system
   in Heligoland and Kiel, of the Ems-Jade Canal, etc. into
   the Reich Transport Ministry up to 1934;
   (b) The saving from destruction of coastal
   fortifications and guns.
       1. North Sea (strengthening of fortifications with
       new batteries and modern guns between the signing
       and the taking effect of the Versailles Treaty);
       dealings with the Control Commission - information,
       drawings, visits of inspection, result of efforts."

Referring to the group of documents numbered 85:
   "2. Baltic. Taking over by the Navy of fortresses Pillau
   and Swinemunde; salvage for the Army of one-hundred and
   eighty-five movable guns and mortars there.
   3. The beginnings of coastal defence.
   Part B. (1920-1924. - The Organisational New Order)
   Chapter V.
   The Navy.
   Fulfilment and avoidance of the Versailles Treaty.
   Foreign countries.
       (a) The inter-allied Control Commissions.
       (b) Defence measures against the fulfilment of the
       Versailles Treaty and independent arming behind the
       back of the Reich Government and the legislative
   1. Dispersal of artillery gear and munitions, of hand
   and automatic weapons.
   2. Limitation of demolition work in Heligoland.
   3. Attempt to strengthen personnel of the Navy, from
   4. The activities of Captain Lohmann (founding of
   numerous associations at home and abroad,
   participations, formation of 'sports' unions and clubs,
   interesting the film industry in naval recruitment)
   5. Reparation for re-establishing the German U-boat arm
   since 1920.
   (Projects and deliveries for Japan, Holland, Turkey,
   Argentine and Finland. Torpedo testing.)
   6. Participation in the preparation for building of the
   Luftwaffe (preservation of aerodromes, aircraft
   construction, teaching of courses, instruction of
   midshipmen in anti-air raid defence, training of
   7. Attempts to strengthen the mining branch.
   Part C- (1925-1932. Replacement of Tonnage). Chapter IV.
   The Navy, the Versailles Treaty.
   Foreign countries.
   (a) The activities of the Inter-allied Control
   Commission (up to 31.1-27; discontinuance of the
   activity of the Naval Peace Commission).
   Independent armament measures behind the back of the
   Reich Government and legislative bodies up to the
   Lohmann case.
                                                  [Page 198]
   1. The activities of Captain Lohmann (continuation)
   their significance as a foundation for the rapid
   reconstruction work from 1935.
   2. Preparation for the re-strengthening of the German U-
   boat arm from 1925 (continuation), the merit of Lohmann
   in connection with the preparation for rapid
   construction in 1925, relationship to Spain, Argentine,
   Turkey: the first post-war U-boat construction of the
   German Navy in Spain since 1927; 250 ton specimen in
   Finland, preparation for rapid assembly; electric
   torpedo; training of U-boat personnel abroad in Spain
   and Finland. Formation of U-boat school in 1932
   disguised as an anti-U-boat school.
   3. Participation in the preparation for the
   reconstruction of the Luftwaffe (continuation).
   Preparation for a Naval Air Arm, Finance Aircraft
   Company Sevra, later Luftdienst CMRH; Naval Flying
   School Warnemende; Air Station List, training of sea
   cadet candidates, Military tactical questions 'Air
   Defence Journeys,' technical development, experimental
   station planning, trials, flying boat development DOX
   etc., catapult aircraft, arming, engines, ground
   organisation, aircraft torpedoes, the Deutschland
   Flight, 1925 and the Seaplane Race, 1926.
   4. Economic re-armament ("The Tebeg' -Technical Advice
   and Supply Company as a disguised Naval Office abroad
   for investigating the position of raw materials for
   industrial capacity and other War economic questions).
   5. Various measures. (The NV Aerogeodetic Company -
   secret investigations.)
      (c) Planned Armament Work with the tacit approval of
      the Reich Government, but behind the backs of the
      legislative bodies (1928 to the taking over of
           1. The effect of the Lohmann case on the secret
           preparations ; winding up of works which could
           not be advocated; resumption and carrying on of
           other work.
           2. Finance question. ('Black Funds' and the
           Special Budget.)
           3. The Labour Committee and its objectives.
      (d) The question of Marine Attaches.
      (The continuation under disguise; open reappointment
      (e) The question of Disarmament of the Fleet abroad
      and in Germany.
      (The Geneva Disarmament Conference 1927; the London
      Naval Treaty of 1930; the Anglo-French-Italian
      Agreement 1931. The League of Nations Disarmament
      Conference 1932.)

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