The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/07

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, doesn't the whole point
turn upon the date at which those documents were submitted
to the translating department? Because what Dr. Thoma says
is that in consequence of the translating department being
ready to accept documents, he handed them in before they
were actually denied by the Tribunal. And if that is so, it
would be obvious, would it not ...

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: My Lord, I don't know what he said. I
did not understand that they were handed in before 8th
March, 1946. But in any event, even if they were translated,
the order to us to print is dated 8th April, 1946, and was
delivered with them on 8th April. Now certainly there was
time after the denial to have stopped our spending this
amount of money and effort printing things that had been
prohibited, and which were prohibited twice. I won't
characterise it; the facts speak for themselves.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, can you help us about the dates at
all? Can you help us as to this? Mr. Justice Jackson has
stated that after these three documents had been refused in
the first instance, you then renewed your request for them
on 10th March, 1946, and that on 23rd March, 1946, they were
finally denied. Well now, when did you send the documents to
the translating room?

DR. THOMA: The documents, I believe, were given to the
translating department before 8th March. There was a session
regarding the admissibility of documents, and it was about
that time, before a decision had been made, that the
translating department had got in touch with my secretary
and asked her to hand in the document book, since they had
heard that it was ready.

I then struggled in this court-room to have the philosophy
admitted and had the impression that the Tribunal would not
want to agree to these documents. Thereupon I once more
submitted a written application to the Tribunal in order to
have these documents admitted. When I was then informed that
the anti-Semitic books would not be permitted - and that was
a few days after the date of this decision - I informed the
Tribunal that I wanted to draw its attention to the fact
that books which had not been approved were being

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, quite naturally, you aren't able
to give us the exact dates at this moment, but we will look
into this matter fully.

DR. THOMA: I should like once more to draw your attention to
the fact that I myself pointed out that there are excerpts
in the document book which had been refused. I beg you to
draw from that the conclusion that I was not trying to do
anything which was not permissible.

THE PRESIDENT: I think, if the document had been denied, the
proper course would have been to withdraw the documents or
to communicate with the translating division notifying them
that they should be withdrawn.

However, the Tribunal thinks that the best course in this
matter would be for the Tribunal to consider Mr. Justice
Jackson's suggestion. That is, in order to relieve the
prosecution of the task of deciding or objecting to the
documents which are to be submitted to the translating
rooms, that matter should be considered by somebody deputed
by the Tribunal as a Master.

The Tribunal thinks that Mr. Justice Jackson, or the
Prosecutors' Committee, should apply in writing to strike
out all the irrelevant documents which are complained of in
the document book which has been submitted on behalf of the
defendant Rosenberg.

Third, for the present, the Tribunal would adhere to the
system which it has established with the consent of the
prosecuting counsel.

                                                  [Page 149]
The only thing I need add to that is that I find that I was
right in saying that the Court Contact Committee of the
Prosecutors did apply to the Tribunal on 29th March, 1946 -
I have the document before me - requesting the Tribunal to
vary the ruling which it had made, namely, Ruling 297, made
on 8th March, 1946.

DR. THOMA: I actually visited the officer and told him that
the documents must be taken out, that they must not stay in.
However, it transpired that hundreds of copies had already
been bound and prepared and I was told, "Well, after all,
they aren't going to be quoted, so they might as well stay
in, since they aren't going to be quoted." I expressly made
the request to have them taken out of the document book.

THE PRESIDENT: Of course, I didn't mean that the Tribunal
was asking the prosecution to apply in writing to strike out
documents which have already been rejected. Those documents,
of course, will go out without any application; but if and
in so far as there are other documents contained in the
Rosenberg document book to which the prosecution objects,
then it might conveniently apply, although, of course, that
matter will have to be discussed in open court.

As I have already pointed out, the granting of any documents
is expressly provided to be provisional, and the application
for the final admission of the documents has to be made in
open court.

The Tribunal will have a report made to it by the General
Secretary as to these dates and these matters. And now the
Tribunal will adjourn for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has come to the conclusion that
it will save time if the defendants are called first as the
first witnesses in the case of each defendant; and,
therefore, in the future the defendant must be called first
unless there are some exceptional reasons, in which case
defendant's counsel may apply to the Tribunal and the
Tribunal will consider those reasons for calling the
defendant in some position later than first witness.

Yes, Dr. Dix.




Q. Witness, I had started to say that it had been pointed
out to me that I had asked my questions too soon after you
had completed your answers and that you were answering too
soon after I had put the question. The interpreters can't
follow, nor can the stenographers. I ask you, therefore -
and I shall do the same - to pause after each question. I am
sure that the Tribunal won't interpret these pauses as
meaning that you are not sure of your answers.

Yesterday you made detailed statements to the Tribunal
regarding the various applications for resignation which
Schacht presented to Hitler, and regarding various moves and
proposals for peace which Schacht made or wanted to make,
orally or in writing, during the war, to be delivered by you
to Hitler. We were speaking about such a memorandum of the
summer of 1941, and I had the feeling that the Tribunal had
procedural objections because I was putting the contents of
the document to the witness and having him confirm them. The
copy of this document is in the strong box which has already
been mentioned repeatedly and which was confiscated on
Schacht's estate by the Red Army when the Red Army marched
in. Despite all efforts the Russian delegation had not yet
succeeded in getting this strong box.

Although some rather good passages are contained therein, I
am perfectly willing to break off here and to put these
questions to Herr Schacht if the Tribunal would prefer that.
May I have the Tribunal's decision on this question? If
necessary I can cease to discuss the memorandum any further.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal had no objection to your asking
this witness about it, but it thought you ought not to put a
leading question and that you ought to

                                                  [Page 150]

ask the witness if he remembered the document and what the
contents of the document were - not to put to him that it
was such and such in the document or some other passage in
the document, but just to ask him what the contents of the
document were.

DR. DIX: The dividing line between leading questions and
putting the contents of a document to the witness - a
document which the witness does not remember exactly - is
rather fluid. Therefore, I should prefer to have Herr
Schacht give the rest of the contents of the memorandum;
then we would avoid these difficulties. I shall therefore
leave this point and proceed to another field.

Q. (continued). Witness, you quite correctly stated
yesterday in answer to a question in connection with the
defence of Funk by my colleague Dr. Sauter, how it was the
practice in 1939 that Hitler simply decreed that the
Reichsbank would have to give so much credit. I want to
avoid a mistaken impression on the part of the Tribunal as
to the former position of the Reichsbank in regard to this

You know that by decree of Hitler the Reichsbank in January,
1939, lost its former independence. In this decree Hitler
ordered that he would decide what credits the Reichsbank
would have to give; and this restricted decree of Hitler was
announced and became effective as a law in June, 1939.

Therefore, in order that the Tribunal gets a proper
impression of the general and also of the former position of
the Reichsbank, I am asking you how the situation was before
January, 1939, that is, during Schacht's term in office as
Reichsbank President, which ended, as is known, in January,
1939. Was it possible at that time for Hitler simply to
decree that so much credit was to be given, or was the
Reichsbank still independent and could it refuse such credit
or give notice about it?

A. I do not remember the legal regulations which existed in
this connection to such an extent that I can give a complete
answer as to when and how they were altered. I can confirm
one thing, however, that is, that during the period when
Herr Schacht was President of the Reichsbank he must have
made certain difficulties for the Fuehrer with reference to
these credits. I was not present at the discussions between
the Fuehrer and Schacht, but I know from statements made by
the Fuehrer that regarding those credits he met with
considerable difficulties and restraints on Schacht's part -
restraints which finally brought about Schacht's resignation
from his position as President of the Reichsbank. On the
other hand, I know that at the moment when Funk became
President of the Reichsbank, these difficulties ceased to
exist. These were obviously removed by legal regulations and
also by orders which the Fuehrer had given; for when Funk
became the President of the Reichsbank, these credits were
simply handled in the way which I described yesterday, when
I described the technical procedure. In the main, orders for
credits and Reich loans from the Reichsbank were merely a
simple matter of signature for the Fuehrer. They were a
matter ...

THE PRESIDENT: I don't think he is able to answer your
question, really. - I don't think he is able to answer the
question which you put to him, which was as to the position
before 1939, so I think you must rely upon the decrees and

DR. DIX: One moment, Herr Lammers, I shall clarify that
right away.


Q. You have just stated how things were handled in practice
in 1939, in the books. Don't you remember that the
Reichsbank had previously been independent as far as the
Government was concerned?

A. Yes, I do remember. I also recollect that certain legal
alterations were made, but I can't remember just when.
Without seeing the law books I can't tell you exactly the
contents of these legal regulations, just what the
limitations were in terms of figures. All I do know is that
the position of the President of the Reichsbank was later
reduced considerably according to orders coming from the

Q. That is enough. Now, as to the same subject: It is
difficult, even for a

                                                  [Page 151]

German who has lived here the whole time, but particularly
difficult for a foreigner, to understand the powerful
machine of the Third Reich. I think that in spite of the
statements that you made yesterday in answer to the
questions which my colleague Sauter put to you, not
everything has yet been said, and that you can say still
more to inform the Tribunal. If I did not know what you
know, if I were an outsider, then your statements of
yesterday would give me that impression:

  "Well, it was like this: the Minister of the Interior
  couldn't give orders to the police; the Minister of
  Economy didn't direct economy independently; all
  ministers in the Reich were without official authority
  and couldn't give instructions as far as the Reich
  commissioners for the occupied territories were

MR. DODD: If your Honours please, I respectfully suggest
that Dr. Dix is really testifying here. I think perhaps he
could put his questions more simply and we can get along
faster and get the answer better.

DR. DIX: I shall put my questions more precisely, but I
can't put that question precisely unless I first of all
ascertain by means of statements what has not yet been said.
Otherwise the most precise and shortest question cannot be
put, for the Tribunal wouldn't understand what I am aiming
at. I can assure Mr. Dodd, I shall not ask anything of an
uncertain nature; rather I shall put a very precise
question. Let us proceed at once.


Q. We have already talked about the office of the Reichsbank
President. Now I should like to ask you: If all these
ministers were so hampered in respect to their authority,
who were the men and who were the authorities who could
interfere in departmental jurisdiction and who held the real

That is my question. And I might mention that, as far as
Frank is concerned, Himmler's interference has already been
mentioned. But we must go into that question more deeply so
that the Tribunal can see clearly what we are talking about.

A. The infringement on the authority of the individual
ministers arose because of the number of institutions which
the Fuehrer had created, obviously quite consciously, as
counter figures - I might put it - to the various ministers.
That is one factor. Secondly, it was done through offices
created on a higher level, which, in the interest of a
certain unity in particular fields, were to have sole
authority. In the last category the typical example is,
above all, the Four-Year Plan. In this connection the
Fuehrer desired a comprehensive unified direction which was
not to depend on the wishes of the ministers of the
departments, and, consequently, he created the Four-Year
Plan. In other sectors, in some way or other, the minister
was confronted with a counterpart; for instance, through the
appointment of Herr Ley as Reich Commissioner for Housing,
the Minister for Labour lost his jurisdiction in the
important field of housing, was relieved of one of his main
tasks by the appointment of the General Plenipotentiary for
Labour Employment, Herr Sauckel, in the field of labour
employment. As far as economy was concerned, the Minister of
Economy, as I have already mentioned, was considerably
limited in his powers by the setting up of and the powers
given to the Four-Year Plan and later in addition to that,
by the powers which were transferred to the Minister for
Armament and War Production. In the Ministry of the Interior
the actual authority of the Chief of the German Police ...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, the Tribunal thinks that once the
general aspect of the matter has been explained by this
witness the matter can be explained by the defendants
themselves from their particular point of view. I mean the
witness is now explaining to us, and probably indicating he
will do it at some length, that with reference to the Four-
Year Plan, for instance, there was to be a unified command
which was not to be interfered with by individual ministers.
That explains the general system, and when it comes to the
individual defendants they

                                                  [Page 152]

can explain how it applied to them, and, therefore, we do
not want this dealt with Pit any great length or in any
great detail.

DR. DIX: I shall take that into consideration and ask merely
a few more concrete questions.

It is not merely a question, your Lordship, of the ministers
having had to hand over certain fields in their departments
to third persons. There is also the fact that third persons
because of their authority actually interfered in a field
which was really under the jurisdiction of the minister. And
now I shall give the witness a leading question. What was,
for example, the position of Reichsleiter Bormann?

THE WITNESS: The Reichsleiter Bormann was the successor to
Reich Minister Hess.

Q. And as far as interference in the ministries is

A. He was appointed Secretary to the Fuehrer by the Fuehrer
and was thereby directly included in the State sector. As
Chief of the Party Chancellery he was merely the successor
to Reich Minister Hess, who was supposed to represent the
wishes and ideas of the Party. The fact that he was
appointed Secretary to the Fuehrer, which meant that in the
State sector a considerable number of things would have to
go through Bormann's hands, brought about his strong
position in the State sector. I had to experience this
personally to a large extent, since I, who originally had at
least been able on occasions to report to the Fuehrer alone,
could no longer do that and could get to the Fuehrer only by
way of Bormann. Most of my reports were given in Bormann's
presence and everything which I formerly had been able to
dispatch to the Fuehrer directly, even pure and simple
matters of State, had now to go through the Secretary of the
Fuehrer, through Bormann.

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