The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 181]

   Part D (1933-1939)- The German Navy during the Military
   Freedom Period,"

which goes beyond the period with which I am at the moment
dealing. A glance at the Chapter headings following that
will indicate the scope of this proposed work. Whether the
history was ever actually written by Scherff, I do not know.

I would like to call attention just to the first two or
three headings, under this "Part D - The German Navy during
the Military Freedom Period;

I. National Socialism and the question of the Fleet and of
prestige at sea.

II. Incorporation of the Navy in the National Socialist

The main heading III in the middle of the page, "The Re-
armament of the Navy under the Direction of the Reich
Government in a Disguised Way." The policy development of
the Navy is also reflected from the financial side. The
planned organisation of the Navy budget for armament
measures was based on a co-ordination of military
developments and political objectives. Military political
development was accelerated after the withdrawal from the
League of Nations.

I have here, if the Court please, a captured document, in
German, headed "Der Chef der Marineleitung, Berlin, 12th
May, 1934," and marked in large blue printing  "Geheime
Kommandosache" - "Secret Commando Matter" - which is
identified as our C-153. It has the facsimile signature of
Raeder at the end. I assume it's the facsimile; it may have
been written with a stylus on a stencil; I can't tell. I
offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 43. It is headed with
the title "Armament Plan (A.P.) for the 3rd Armament Phase."
This document of 12th May, 1934, speaks of war tasks, war
and operational plans, armament targets, etc., and shows
that it was distributed to many of the High Command of the
Navy. It shows that a primary objective was readiness for a
war without any alert period.

                                                  [Page 199]

I quote from the third numbered paragraphs:

   "This organisation of armament measures is necessary for
   the realisation of this target; this again requires a co-
   ordinated and planned expenditure in peace time. This
   organisation of financial measures over a number of
   years according to the military viewpoint is found in
   the armament programme and provides
      (a) for the military leaders a sound basis for their
      operational considerations; and
      (b) for the political leaders a clear picture of what
      may be achieved with the military means available at
      a given time."

One other sentence from paragraph 7 of that document:

   "All theoretical and practical A-preparations" (I assume
   that means Armament Preparations), "are to be drawn up
   with a primary view to readiness for a war without any
   alert period."

The conspiratorial nature of these Nazi plans and
preparations long before the outbreak of hostilities is
illustrated in many other ways. Thus, in 1934 Hitler
instructed Raeder to keep secret the U-boat construction
programme, also the actual displacement and speed of certain
ships. Work on U-boats had been going on, as already
indicated, in Holland and Spain.

The Nazi theory was rather clever on that. The Versailles
Treaty forbade re-arming by the Germans in Germany, but they
said it didn't forbid them to re-arm in Holland, Spain and

Secrecy was equally important then because of the pending
Naval negotiations with England. We have a captured
document, which is a manuscript in German script, of a
conversation between the defendant Raeder and Adolf Hitler,
in June, 1934. It is not signed by the defendant Raeder. I
might ask his counsel if he objects to my stating that the
defendant Raeder, in an interrogation on 8th November, 1945,
admitted that this was a record of this conversation, and
that it was in his handwriting, though he did not sign his
name at the end.

That document is identified in our series as C-159, and I
offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 44.

It is headed, "Conversation with the Fuehrer in June, 1934,
on the occasion of the resignation of the Commanding Officer
of the' Karlsruhe.'

  1. Report by the C-in-C. Navy concerning increased
  displacement of D. and E.(defensive weapons).
  Fuehrer's instructions: No mention must be made of a
  displacement Of 25-26,000 tons, but only of improved
  10,000 ton ships. Also, the speed over 26 nautical miles
  may be stated.
  2. C-in-C. Navy expresses the opinion that later on the
  Fleet must anyhow be developed to oppose England, that
  therefore from 1936 onwards, the large ships must be
  armed with 35 c.m. guns (like the King George Class).
  3. The Fuehrer demands to keep the construction of the U-
  boats completely secret. Plebiscite also in consideration
  of the Saar."

In order to continue the vital increase of the Navy, as
planned, the Navy needed more funds than it had available;
so Hitler proposed to put funds of the Labour Front at the
disposal of the Navy.

We have another Raeder memorandum of a conversation between
Raeder and Hitler, on 2nd November, 1934. Of this, I have a
photostatic copy of the German typed memorandum, identified
as our C-190. This one, again, is not signed, but it was
found in Raeder's personal file and I think he will not deny
that it is his memorandum.

I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 45.

It is headed:

  "Conversation with the Fuehrer on 2nd November, 1934 at
  the time of the announcement by the Commanding Officer of
  the' Emden.'
  (1) When I mentioned that the total funds to be made
  available for the armed forces for 1935 would presumably
  represent only a fraction of the required sum, and that
  therefore it was possible that the Navy might be hindered
  in its plans, he
                                                  [Page 200]
  replied that he did not think the funds would be greatly
  decreased. He considered it necessary that the Navy be
  speedily increased by 1938 with the deadlines mentioned.
  In case of need he will get Dr. Ley to put 120-150
  million from the Labour Front at the disposal of the
  Navy, as the money would still benefit the workers. Later
  in a conversation with Minister Goering and myself, he
  went on to say that he considered it vital that the Navy
  be increased as planned, as no war could be carried on if
  the Navy was not able to safeguard the ore imports from
  (2) Then, when I mentioned that it would be desirable to
  have six U-boats assembled at the time of the critical
  situation in the first quarter of the following year,
  1935, he stated that he would keep this point in mind,
  and tell me when the situation demanded that the
  assembling should commence."

Then there is an asterisk and a note at the bottom:-

  "The order was not sent out. The first boats were
  launched in the middle of June, 1935, according to plan."

The development of the armament industry by the use of
foreign markets was a programme encouraged by the Navy, so
that this industry would be able to supply the requirements
of the Navy in case of need.

We have an original German document, again headed  "Geheime
Kommandosache" - "Secret Commando Matter" - a directive Of
31st January, 1933, by the defendant Raeder, for the German
industry to support the armament of the Navy.

It is identified in our series as C-29.

I offer it in evidence as exhibit USA 46.
                         "TOP SECRET
  The effects of the present economic depression have led
  here and there to the conclusion that there are no
  prospects of an active participation of the German
  Armament Industry abroad, even if the Versailles terms
  are no longer kept. There is no profit in it and it is
  therefore not worth promoting. Furthermore, the view has
  been taken that the increasing 'self-sufficiency' would
  in any case make such participation superfluous.
  However obvious these opinions may seem, formed because
  of the situation as it is to-day, I am nevertheless
  forced to make the following contradictory corrective
  (a) The economic crisis and its present effects must
  perforce be overcome sooner or later.
  Though equality of rights in war politics is not fully
  recognised to-day, it will, by the assimilation of
  weapons, be achieved at some period, at least to a
  certain extent.
  (b) The consequent estimation of the duties of the German
  Armament Industry lies mainly in the Military-political
  sphere. It is possible for this industry to satisfy,
  militarily and economically, the growing demands made of
  it by limiting the deliveries to our Armed Forces. Its
  capacity must therefore be increased by the delivery of
  supplies to foreign countries over and above our own
  (c) Almost every country is working to the same end to-
  day, even those which unlike Germany, are not tied down
  by restrictions. Britain, France, North America, Japan,
  and especially Italy, are making supreme efforts to
  ensure markets for their armaments industries. The use of
  their diplomatic representations, of the propaganda
  voyages of their most modern ships and vessels, of
  sending missions and also of the guaranteeing of loans
  and insurance against deficits, are not merely to gain
  commercially advantageous orders for their armament
  industries, but first and foremost to expend their output
  from the point of view of military policy.
                                                  [Page 201]
  (d) It is just when the efforts to do away with the
  restrictions imposed on us have succeeded, that the
  German Navy has an ever-increasing and really vital
  interest in furthering the German Armament Industry and
  preparing the way for it in every direction in the
  competitive battle against the rest of the world.
  (e) If, however, the German Armament Industry is to be
  able to compete in foreign countries, it must inspire the
  confidence of its purchasers. The condition for this is
  that secrecy for our own ends be not carried too far. The
  amount of material to be kept secret under all
  circumstances, in the interest of the defence of our
  country, is comparatively small. I would like to issue a
  warning against the assumption that at the present stage
  of technical development in foreign industrial States, a
  problem of vital military importance which we perhaps
  have solved, has not been solved there, too. Solutions
  arrived at to-day, which may become known, if divulged to
  a third person by naturally always possible indiscretion,
  have often been already superseded by new and better
  solutions on our part, even at that time or at any rate
  after the copy has been made. It is of greater importance
  that we should be technically well to the fore in any
  really fundamental matters, than that less important
  points should be kept secret unnecessarily and
  (f) To conclude: I attach particular importance to
  guaranteeing the continuous support of the industry
  concerned by the Navy, even after the present
  restrictions have been relaxed. If the purchasers are not
  made confident that something better is being offered
  them, the industry will not be able to stand up to the
  competitive battle and therefore will not be able to
  supply the requirements of the German Navy in case of

This surreptitious rearmament, in violation of treaty
obligations, starting even before the Nazis came into power,
is illustrated by a 1932 order of the defendant Raeder,
Chief of the Naval Command, addressed to the main Naval
Command, regarding the concealed construction of torpedo
tubes in E-boats. He ordered that torpedo tubes be removed
and stored in the Naval Arsenal but be kept ready for
immediate refitting. By using only the permitted number -
that is, permitted under the Treaty - at a given time and
storing them after satisfactory testing, the actual number
of operationally effective E-boats was constantly increased.

We have this German order, with the facsimile signature of
Raeder, reading "Der Chef der Marine Leitung, Berlin, 10th
February, 1932." Our series number is C-141. I offer it in
evidence as exhibit USA 47, the order for concealed armament
of E-boats. I read C-141 from the first paragraph of the

  "In view of our treaty obligations and the Disarmament
  Conference, steps must be taken to prevent the 1st E-Boat
  Half-Flotilla, which in a few months will consist of
  exactly similar newly built E-boats, from appearing
  openly as a formation of torpedo-carrying boats" - the
  German word being Torpedotraeger - and it is not intended
  to count these E-boats against the number of torpedo-
  carrying boats allowed us.
  I therefore order:-
  1. S2-S5, will be commissioned in the shipyard Luerssen,
  Vegesack without armament, and will be fitted with easily
  removable cover-sheet-metal on the spaces necessary for
  torpedo-tubes. The same will be arranged by T.M.I." - a
  translator's note at the bottom says with reference to
  T.M.I.:  "Inspectorate of Torpedoes and Mining" - "in
  agreement with the Naval Arsenal, for the Boat S-1 which
  will dismantle its torpedo-tubes on completion of the
  practice shooting, for fitting on another boat.
  2. The torpedo-tubes of all S-boats will be stored in the
  Naval Arsenal ready for immediate fitting. During the
  trial runs the torpedo-tubes will be taken on board one
  after the other for a short time to be fitted and for
  practice shooting, so that only one boat at a time
  carries torpedo armament. For public consumption this
  boat will be in service for the purpose of temporary
  trials by the T.V.A."

                                                  [Page 202]

I suppose that is not the Tennessee Valley Authority. The
translator's note calls it the Technical Research

  "It should not anchor together with the other, unarmed
  boats of the Half- Flotilla because of the obvious
  similarity of the type. The duration of firing, and
  consequently the length of time the torpedo-tubes are
  aboard is to be as short as possible.
  3. Fitting the torpedo-tubes on all E-boats is intended
  as soon as the situation of the political control allows

Interestingly enough, that memorandum by the defendant
Raeder, written in 1932, was talked about as soon as the
situation of the political control allowed it. The seizure
of power was the following year.

Along similar lines the Navy was also carrying on the
concealed preparation of auxiliary cruisers, under the
disguised designation of Transport Ships "O." The
preparations under this order were to be completed by 1st
April, 1935. At the very time of construction of these ships
as commercial ships, plans were made for their conversion.

We have the original German document, again Top Secret,
identified by our number C-166, order from the Command
Office of the Navy, dated 12th March, 1934, and signed in
draft by Groos. It has the seal of the Reichsministerium,
Marineleitung, over the draft signature. I offer it in
evidence as exhibit USA 48.

I think the defendant Raeder will admit, or at least will
not deny, that this is an official document.

  "Subject: Preparation of Auxiliary Cruisers.
  It is intended to include in the Establishment
  Organisation 25 (AG-Aufstel-lungsgliederung) a certain
  number of auxiliary cruisers which are intended for use
  in operations on the High Seas.
  In order to disguise the intention and all the
  preparations, the ships will be referred to as 'Transport
  Ships O.' It is requested that in future this designation
  only be used.
  The preparations are to be arranged so that they can be
  completed by 1st April, 1935."

Among official Navy files, O.K.M. files, which we have,
there are notes kept year by year, from 1927 to 1940, on the
reconstruction of the German Navy and in these notes are
numerous examples of the Navy's activities and policies of
which I should like to point out some illustrations.

One of these documents discloses that the displacement of
the battleships "Scharnhorst," "Gneisenau" and "F/G" -
whatever that is - was actually greater than the tonnages
which had been notified to the British under the treaty.
This document, our C-23, I offer in evidence as exhibit USA
49. That is really a set of three separate documents joined
together. I read from that document:-

"The true displacement of the battleships  "Scharnhorst,"
"Gneisnau" and "F/G" exceeds by 20 per cent in each case the
displacement reported to the British."

And then there is a table, with reference to different
ships, and two columns headed  "Displacement by Type," one
column "Actual Displacement, "and the other column,
"Notified Displacement."

On the "Scharnhorst" the actual displacement was 31,300
tons, the notified was 26,000 tons. On the "F" - actual,
41,700, the notified, 35,000. On the "HI," actual, 56,200
tons, notified, 46,850, and so down the list. I need not
read them all.

In the second document in that group towards the end, page 2
on the English version, is the statement, "In a clear cut
programme for the construction, the Fuehrer and Reich
Chancellor has set the Navy the task of carrying out the
aims of his foreign policy."

                                                  [Page 203]

The German Navy constantly planned and committed violations
of armament limitation, and with characteristic German
thoroughness had prepared superficial explanations of
pretexts to explain away these violations.

Following a conference with the chief of "A" section, an
elaborate survey list was prepared and compiled, giving a
careful list of the quantity and type of German naval
armament and munitions on hand under manufacture or
construction, and in many instances proposed, together with
a statement of the justification or defence that might be
used in those instances where the Versailles Treaty was
violated or its allotment has been exceeded.

The list contained thirty items under  "Material Measures"
and fourteen items under  "Measures of Organisation." The
variety of details covered necessarily involved several
sources within the Navy, which must have realised their
significance. As I understand it, the "A" section was the
military department of the Navy.

We have this very interesting document amongst the captured
documents identified by our number C-32. I offer it in
evidence as exhibit USA 50. It again is Geheime
Kommandosache and it is headed  "A survey Report of German
Naval Armament with Chief of  "A" Section, dated 9th
September, 1933, "and captured among official German Navy

This is a long document, if the Tribunal please, but I
should like to call attention to a few of the more
interesting items.

There are three columns, one headed  "Measure," one headed
"Material Measures, Details," and the most interesting one
is headed  "Remarks." The remarks contain the pretext or
justification for explaining away the violations of the
treaty. They are numbered, so I can conveniently refer to
the numbers:-

Number 1. Exceeding the permitted number of mines." Then
figures are given. "Remarks: Further mines are in part
ordered, in part being delivered."

Number 2. Continuous storing of guns from the North Sea area
for Baltic artillery batteries." In the remarks column:
justification: Necessity for overhauling. Cheaper repairs."

Turning over to Number 6, "Laying gun-platforms in the Kiel
area." Remarks, The offence over and above that in Serial
Number 3 lies in the fact that all fortifications are
forbidden in the Kiel area. This justification make it less
severe; pure defence measures."

Number 7. Exceeding the calibre permitted for coastal
batteries." The explanation: Possible justification is that,
though the calibre is larger, the number of guns are less."

Number 8. Arming of minesweepers. The reply to any
remonstrance against this breach: the guns are taken from
the Fleet reserve stores, and have been temporarily
installed only for training purposes. Ail nations arm their
mine-sweeping forces (equality of rights)."

Here is one that is rather amusing. "Number 13. Exceeding
the number of machine guns, etc., permitted." Remarks: "Can
be made light of."

Number 18. Construction of U-boat parts." This remark is
quite characteristic:  "Difficult to detect.  If necessary
can be denied."

Number 20. Arming of fishing vessels." Remarks: "For warning
shots. Make little of it." And so on throughout the list.

I think that must quite obviously have been used as a guide
for negotiators who were attending the Disarmament
Conference as to the position that they might take.

Now to paragraph IV (F) 2 b) of the Indictment: the
allegation that "On
14th October, 1933, they led Germany to leave the
International Disarmament Conference and the League of

That is a historical fact of which I ask the Tribunal to
take judicial notice. The Nazis took this opportunity to
break away from the International Negotiations and to take
up an aggressive position on an issue which would not be

                                                  [Page 204]

enough to provoke reprisal from other countries. At the same
time Germany attached so much importance to this action,
that they considered the possibility of the application of
sanctions by other countries. Anticipating the probable
nature of such sanctions and the countries which might apply
them, plans were made for military preparations for armed
resistance on land, at sea and in the air, in a directive
from the Reichsminister for Defence, Blomberg, to the Head
of the Army High Command, Fritsch, the Head of the Navy High
Command, Raeder, and the Reichsminister of Air, Goering.

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