The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/05

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I have reached the end of my
examination. I should only like to ask you, if I may, that
the documents which have been offered to the Tribunal in the
course of this examination, bearing the numbers one and two
in Document Book Two, named Documents K-8 and K-9, be
admitted in evidence without the necessity of my reading any
parts thereof. The prosecution knows the documents and they
are agreeable.


Q. Defendant, there is one question I should like to ask
you. Are you suggesting that you ever put your protest or
objections to the orders of Hitler in writing?

A. Once I handed him a protest in writing, yes: that I know
for certain. In the other cases, and as far as I can
recollect, the matters were discussed verbally.

Q. Did you keep a copy of that protest?

A. I have nothing left, Mr. President, not a single piece of

Q. Did you keep a copy of the protest? I did not ask you
whether you had a copy; I asked you whether you kept a copy.
Did you make a copy?

A. I had a draft as well as the hand-written document, which
I also had given to him through the chief adjutant. I think
I had the draft in my personal files,

                                                  [Page 110]

but now I no longer have it and I don't know where these
files have gone. They could possibly have been in the hands
of the Chief of the Central Armed Forces Department, who
dealt with personal matters in my office, or later on they
may have got into hands of the chief adjutant of the
Fuehrer, General Schmundt, I do not know. There, I think,
the original of that document I sent at that time ought to
be available.

Q. And what was the occasion of the protest?

A. It was made in connection with another crisis in our
relationship during which he had expressed his distrust, and
in connection with the current controversies on basic
matters of the conduct of the war.

Q. But when?

A. I believe it was in 1940 - 1939-40, in the winter of 1939-

Q. And you can't say more about it than that it was made on
basic matters?

A. I clearly asked for permission to resign an account of
the accusations made against me and for the reasons which I
was quoting.

THE PRESIDENT: That is all. The defendant can return to his

DR. NELTE: May I ask permission to submit the two documents
to the Tribunal? I mentioned them before.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly.

Are you going to call in any more witnesses?

DR. NELTE: I had asked the Tribunal to call to the stand a
witness, Dr. Lammers.


DR. NELTE: Witness Dr. Lammers, please.

DR. LAMMERS, a witness, took the stand and testified as


Q. Will you state your name in full?

A. Hans Heinrich Lammers.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will
speak the pure truth, and will withhold and add nothing?

(The witness repeats the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down if you wish.


Q. Witness, I principally wished to question you on the High
Command, its jurisdiction, and the position held by the
defendant Field Marshal Keitel as Chief of the O.K.W. We
have talked about the matter during our discussions, but
since this will have been sufficiently clarified after the
statements made by Goering and the defendant and statements
yet to be made by other witnesses, I do not propose to
question you in detail on the subject. But I would like you,
as the chief of the Reich Chancellery, to answer questions
which others may not know as well as you do, you, who had
participated in some way or other when certain decrees, and
particularly that of 4th February, 1938, were drafted. May I
ask you, therefore, to tell me, first of all, what brought
about the big reshuffle of 4th February, 1938?

A. The Fuehrer informed me that the Minister of War von
Blomberg was going to leave his position, and that on that
occasion he wanted to make certain other changes of
personnel in the German Government, and that in particular
the Foreign Minister von Neurath was going to retire, and
that here too a change would take place, and that
furthermore, certain changes were about to be made in the
Supreme Command of the Army. Subsequently, the Fuehrer gave
me the order to draft a decree regarding the leadership of
the Army. I was to participate in collaboration with the
Armed Forces Department of the War Ministry. As a guiding
principle the Fuehrer gave me the following instructions:

  "In the future I no longer want to have a Reich Minister
  for War; and in
                                                  [Page 111]
  the future I no longer want a Supreme Commander of the
  Armed Forces who stands between me, the Supreme
  Commander, and the Commanders-in-Chief of the branches of
  the Armed Forces."

Accordingly, the decree was drafted, in which, to start
with, the High Command of the Armed Forces became a military
staff which was to be under the direct orders of the
Fuehrer. The Fuehrer desired that there should be no
independent authority here which would stand between him and
the Commanders-in-Chief of the branches of the Armed Forces.
Consequently, the then appointed Chief of the O.K.W.,
General of Artillery Keitel, had no direct power of command
over the branches of the Armed Forces. Such power of command
was out of the question if only for reasons of authority.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this not been really covered by the
defendant Keitel himself? No question in cross-examination
has been put to him to challenge any of his statements upon
the Organisation of the O.K.W.; therefore it seems to the
Tribunal it is not necessary at all.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I already told that to the witness
in my introductory words, I only asked the witness to tell
me what brought about the reshuffle of 4th February, 1938,
and therefore he had to talk a little about the decree of
4th February, 1938. I shall try and make Dr. Lammers's
examination as short as possible. I believe also that the
circumstances surrounding the Chief of the O.K.W. have been
fully clarified, but it is, after all, a fundamental
question. If a man of the standing of Dr. Lammers can
confirm it, it would probably increase the value of the

THE PRESIDENT: If the prosecution had put any questions in
cross-examination suggesting that there was any inaccuracy
in the evidence which the defendant Keitel had given upon
the subject, then, of course, it would be open to you and it
would be necessary for you to call other evidence upon it;
but, when the subject is not challenged in any shape or
form, it is not necessary to confirm it.

DR. NELTE: In that case, Mr. President, I need not ask the
witness any questions at all since the subject on which I
was going to examine him was the position of the defendant
Keitel as Chief of the O.K.W.; his position as a Minister,
his functions as a so-called chairman of the Council for the
Reich's Defence and his functions as a member of the Three
Man Board. In all these cases, no questions have been raised
by the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the prosecution did raise the
question as to whether the defendant Keitel took part in any
political action and upon that you may question him.

DR. NELTE: Thank you very much.

Dr. Lammers, what can you say from your personal knowledge,
about the question as to whether the defendant Field Marshal
Keitel had to occupy himself with political matters on the
strength of his position as Chief of the O.K.W., or did
occupy himself with them?

A. As Chief of the O.K.W., he had, in reality, nothing to do
with political matters. The way I understand your question
is that you want me to say whether Field Marshal Keitel, in
his capacity as Minister of War, did concern himself with
political matters. I don't quite understand your question.

Q. This has nothing to do with his position as the Chief of
the O.K.W. or Chief of Staff, nor has it anything to do with
his functions in the Ministry of War.

What I want you to testify to is - do you know whether the
defendant Keitel, during the time when he held the position
of Chief of the O.K.W., occupied himself with political
questions, that is to say, primarily with foreign political

A. I cannot make any statement regarding the great political
issues, particularly foreign political affairs, as far as
Keitel is concerned, since I myself had nothing to do with
these questions.

Q. All right, then. In that case I want to ask you a
concrete question.

                                                  [Page 112]

You know that Keitel was present at receptions - when
President Hacha came, when there were meetings with other
statesmen. In some cases you were probably also present. Can
you say whether, during such receptions, it was the function
of Field Marshal Keitel to take part in the political
discussions or not?

A. As far as I know, Keitel often took part in discussions
with foreign statesmen. I myself, as a rule, did not take
part. You have mentioned President Hacha. It was an
exception that I was there, for matters regarding the
Protectorate were not regarded as foreign political matters
by us. I was not present at discussions with prominent men
from abroad, at discussions of a foreign political nature,
and I cannot say, therefore, to what extent Keitel did
participate in such conferences. I assume, though, that he
was frequently present during such conferences.

Q. In other words, you cannot answer that question on the
strength of your knowledge. In that case, I am asking you:
in accordance with the wishes of the author of the decree of
4th February, 1938, Hitler, with whom you discussed its
purposes, was the man who was to take over the position of
Chief of the O.K.W. to have any political functions?

A. In my opinion he was not to have any political functions
as Chief of O.K.W., for he was immediately subordinate to
the Fuehrer.

Q. Did it ever, at any time, become known to you, or did you
ever get the impression that Field Marshal Keitel was a
political general, in the sense that it was customary to
call him a political general?

A. I never had that impression.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I have no further questions to ask
the witness since everything else he was to make statements
on has already been clarified.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal thinks that you may
have misunderstood what I said to you about whether you
should ask any questions about the defendant Keitel as a
member of the Reich Defence Council. If this witness can
give any evidence upon that point, you may question him upon


Q. Witness, in the Reich Defence Law Of 1938, you, as Chief
of the Reich Chancellery, were appointed a permanent member
of the Council for the Reich's Defence. Do you know if this
Reich Defence Law, including the Reich Defence Council, ever
became effective?

A. The Reich Defence Law was made but was never promulgated
as such. Therefore in my opinion, it has never become a law.
The contents of the Reich Defence Law were partially applied
as, so to speak, secret instructions of the Fuehrer. The
Reich Defence Law provided for a Reich Defence Council. That
Reich Defence Council, as such, as far as I know, was never
convened. I, at any rate, never received an invitation to
attend a meeting, and, in my recollection, I never took part
in any meeting of the Reich Defence Council.

Two meetings, however, were supposed to have taken place, as
I have heard, which have been called meetings of the Reich
Defence Council. But I believe that these meetings, because
of the large number of people attending them - I think there
were 60 or 80 - were meetings called by the Plenipotentiary
for the Four-Year Plan. I do remember having partaken in
such meetings. Apart from that, after the Reich Defence Law
had been formulated, I heard so little of it during the
subsequent years that I myself did not remember that I had
been appointed a permanent member of this Reich Defence
Council. At any rate, at such meetings, if they were
meetings of the Reich Defence Council, in which I had
partaken, no matters directly concerned with the defence of
the Reich were discussed.

Q. Do you know anything about the tasks which the Reich
Defence Council was supposed to have?

A. I know no more about its tasks than were contained in the
law which was not published, and, as far as I can recall,
these were only general descriptions, very general, of the
tasks to be performed, all pertaining to the Defence of the

                                                  [Page 113]

Q. It has been stated by the prosecution here that the
Council for the Reich Defence was an instrument for the
planning of aggressive war. At any rate, an instrument for
aggressions and for rearmament.

Is there anything you know as to whether the Reich Defence
Council was directly or indirectly involved in undertaking
or carrying out such tasks?

A. Nothing at all is known to me about that.

Q. I should now like to put a few questions to you regarding
the Secret Cabinet Council of which you were supposed to be
a member. Defendant Keitel was to have been a member of the
Secret Cabinet Council, and it does, in fact, say so in that
law. What can you tell us about that law?

A. When von Neurath resigned as Foreign Minister, the
Fuehrer wanted to give him as much prominence as possible in
the eyes of the world, and he ordered me to draw up a decree
regarding a Secret Cabinet Council of which von Neurath was
to be President, with the title President of the Secret
Cabinet Council. Other members were, as far as I can recall,
the Foreign Minister; the deputy of the Fuehrer,
Reichsminister Hess; Field Marshal Keitel; and myself. I
think that's all.

But I gathered from statements made by the Fuehrer that the
creation of this Council was purely a formal matter which
was to procure a special position for von Neurath in the
eyes of the public. I was convinced that the Fuehrer would
never call a meeting of the Secret Cabinet Council. In fact,
the Secret Cabinet Council never actually met, not even for
a constitutional meeting. It never received any tasks from
the Fuehrer through me; it merely existed on paper.

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, if it was a secret, how could it
affect the public?

A. It was to be shown to the public through the elevation of
von Neurath that there were no fundamental differences of
opinion between the Fuehrer and the Foreign Minister von
Neurath justifying his resignation. It was to be
demonstrated that all was well between the Fuehrer and von
Neurath, that, in fact, because of his valuable knowledge of
foreign political matters, von Neurath had been given, so to
speak, a higher position in the foreign political field by
being appointed President of the Secret Cabinet Council.


Q. This, in other words, was a sort of camouflage for his

A. Yes.

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