The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/10

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. Is that Document Book IV?

DR. HORN: It is Document Book IV, Mr. President, Page 213. I
am reading from Page 214, centre of the last paragraph, as

  "He, the chancellor, only wished that the outstanding
  political questions existing between Germany and Poland
  could be examined and treated without passion by the
  statesmen of both countries. He was convinced that some
  way out of the present untenable position could be found.
  Germany desired peace. The forceful expropriation of
  Polish territory was not his intention, but he was
  reserving for himself those rights to which he was
  entitled according
                                                  [Page 223]
  to the pact, and he would insist upon them at any time
  and whenever he thought fit."

Concerning this conference two official communique were
issued by request of the Polish Ambassador. This is
Ribbentrop Exhibit 86. This is the German communique and I
request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it, and also
the next Document, 87, on Page 216 of the document book,
which is the Polish communique So as to save time, I do not
propose to read these communiques.

On 15th July, 1937, considerable parts of the German-Polish
Pact which was signed in Geneva in 1922, regarding Upper
Silesia, expired. The necessity arose, therefore, to create
a new pact between the two countries, particularly since
difficulties again arose due to the question of minorities
and the treatment of German minorities. As evidence for this
I refer to Document Ribbentrop Exhibit 117, on Page 257 of
the document book, and I should like to read the second
paragraph, where it says:

  "The Reich Minister also pointed out to the Polish
  Ambassador that the rigorous Polish point of view
  regarding the expulsion of those who had indicated a
  preference for Germany could not be accepted by us."

THE PRESIDENT: I could not see that on Page 254,

DR. HORN: Page 257, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see it.

DR. HORN: The result of those conferences between Poland and
Germany is the pact which has been submitted as Ribbentrop
Exhibit 123 on Page 263 of the document book. This is a co-
ordinated declaration by the Polish and German Governments
regarding the protection of their respective minorities,
which was published on 5th November, 1937. So as to save
time, I can point out that the German minorities were given
those rights which are usual between civilised States in
similar cases. May I also point out that this agreement does
not contain anything which can be considered the sanctioning
of any wrong previously committed in this field, a point of
view which was recently presented by the prosecution.

So as to remove the difficulties between the Free City of
Danzig and the Polish Government which had arisen with
regard to minorities and economic matters, an agreement was
reached on 5th August, 1933, which is Ribbentrop Exhibit
127, and found on Page 270 of the document book. May I
request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this
document too?

Since, in spite of these treaty agreements on the question
of minorities and the problems of the Free City of Danzig,
difficulties between the two nations continued to arise,
Hitler gave the order to the defendant Ribbentrop, after the
solution of the Sudeten-German question in October, 1938, to
commence negotiations regarding the Danzig and Corridor
questions as well as the question of minorities. For this
reason the then Polish Foreign Minister, Colonel Beck, was
invited to come to Berchtesgaden. The discussions which took
place on that occasion between Hitler and the Polish Foreign
Minister are contained in Ribbentrop Exhibit 149, on Page
301 of Document Book V. May I quote from the document to
explain what the main features of this conference were? On
Page 2, it says:

  "For Germany there was not only the Memel question, which
  would be settled in a manner consonant with German views
  (for it looked as if the Lithuanians would be willing to
  co-operate in finding a reasonable solution), but, within
  the direct German-Polish relationship, there was also the
  problem of Danzig and the Corridor to be solved, which,
  from the point of view of sentiment, was very serious for

                                                  [Page 224]

On Page 3 of the same document, last line of the next to the
last paragraph, it says:

  "Foreign Minister Beck promised that 'he would, however,
  be glad to give calm consideration to the problem.'"

With that Germany considered that negotiations regarding
this problem had begun.

On 24th January, that is to say the following day, the then
Reich Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop had another discussion
with the Polish Foreign Minister Beck during which the
question of minorities was once more touched on. That
discussion is contained in Ribbentrop Exhibit 150 on Page
304. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this

By invitation of the then Foreign Minister Beck, Reich
Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop went to Warsaw on 24th
January, 1939. Once more the entire problem was discussed

On 21st March, after the Czech question had been settled, a
reorganisation in the East became necessary. The then Reich
Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop therefore asked the Polish
ambassador, on 21st March, 1939, to come to visit him. The
account of that conference is contained in Ribbentrop
Exhibit 154, on Page 310 of the document book. May I quote
the third paragraph, Page 2, which is the leading point
regarding that conference?

  "Generally, the decision on the Corridor was considered
  the heaviest burden put on Germany by the Versailles

A few lines later, it says:

  "The Reich Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop explained that
  a prerequisite for this was, however, that the purely
  German city of Danzig should return to the Reich, and he
  suggested that an extra-territorial motor-road and
  railway connection be established between the Reich and
  East Prussia. He promised that Germany, would in exchange
  guarantee the Corridor ... Ambassador Lipsky promised to
  inform Mr. Beck accordingly and then to give an answer."

May I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this
document as well?

Although the German Government at that time expected that,
on the strength of these discussions, the question of the
minorities and the question of Danzig and the Corridor would
find some solution, these discussions had the opposite

It appears from Ribbentrop Exhibit 155, on Page 313, and
Ribbentrop Exhibit 156, on Page 314 of the document book,
that Poland at that time ordered partial mobilisation. That
partial mobilisation could only be directed against Germany.

Apart from that, the settling of the Czechoslovakian
question on 15th March, 1939, had led to a change of
attitude on the part of Britain. The then Prime Minister,
Chamberlain, under pressure from the Opposition, held
consultations with various European statesmen. As evidence
of this fact, I refer to Ribbentrop Exhibit 159, which is
Page 317 of the document book. This is a conversation of the
Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, von Ribbentrop, with the
Polish Ambassador, Lipski, in Berlin on 26th March, 1939.
May I quote its beginning, which is as follows:

  "On 21st March the British Government proposed that first
  of all in Warsaw, as well as in Paris and Moscow, a
  'formal declaration' by the British, French, Russian and
  Polish Governments should be made."

I shall then omit a few lines, and quote further as follows
- line 7 from bottom:

  "The Polish Government, which ordered partial
  mobilisation on 23rd March, was in no way satisfied with
  this British proposal for negotiations but
                                                  [Page 225]
  rather demanded far more concrete commitments from
  England on behalf of Poland. Therefore, also on 23rd
  March, Foreign Minister Beck instructed the Polish
  Ambassador in London, Count Edward Raczynski, to submit
  to the British Government the following proposal for an
  Anglo-Polish union; 'Referring to the English proposal,'
  it says further on, 'of 21st March, I request you to ask
  Lord Halifax if
  (1) In view of the difficulties and the unavoidable
  complications and ensuring loss of time ... '"

MR. DODD: If your Honour pleases, I see no reason - if I may
say so with greatest respect - for reading any part of any
of these documents. They are all in evidence, or will be, I
assume. All that needs to be done, it seems to us, is to
give them numbers. I know that we read from and commented on
documents at the time we put forward the prosecution's case,
but the compelling reasons for that procedure are not
present now and cannot apply as far as these defendants are

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, the Tribunal would like to know
what the compelling reasons were to which you refer.

MR. DODD: Yes, I shall be glad to explain. At that time it
was physically impossible for the prosecution to have its
material all translated in the four languages, or the three
languages in addition to the ones in which the original was
written. Now the defendants have those facilities. Had we
been able to have our papers all translated, we would have
submitted them and we would not have commented; but the
necessity for comment seemed very real to us, because we had
to read everything we wanted into the record over the
speaking system, and if we had read a lot of disjointed
excerpts from documents we could not have presented a
coherent chain of evidence before this Tribunal. But I say
that now the defence can do so, it can submit the whole
document, and later on, as I understand the rules and the
Charter, counsel will have an opportunity to argue and
comment about it as evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: But you will remember that this matter was
argued - I think it was - a week or so ago. And if I
remember rightly, Dr. Dix argued in favour of the
defendants' counsel being still entitled to read such
passages as they wanted, and with short connecting remarks,
and we adhered to that rule.

MR. DODD: I didn't understand that your Honours had already
ruled. I remember that Dr. Dix gave as one of his principal
reasons that he wanted an opportunity to make this
information available to the Press or the public. If that is
still the reason, it is all available; the Press can have it
without having the passages read over this microphone.
However, I won't press the matter if the Court has already

THE PRESIDENT: I think so.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I would like to say a few words on the
subject of Mr. Dodd's proposal. I fully support ...

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, I just pointed out to Mr.
Dodd that we have made a specific ruling upon this subject
and in the opinion of the Tribunal Dr. Horn has been
performing his task with great discretion.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I still would like to be permitted to make
a few remarks in regard to Mr. Dodd's proposal.

As the Tribunal will remember, just before the start of the
questioning of the defendant Keitel the defence gave full
documentation for Keitel, and the Tribunal looked into the
matter of what document was to be accepted as evidence and
what was to be declined ...

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, if you are repeating - you
are repeating the very words I used to Dr. Horn when he
began, and, as I say, in the opinion of the Tribunal Dr.
Horn has met the views of the Tribunal and has made his
reading of these documents reasonably short.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I understand, Mr. President. I merely
wanted to remark

                                                  [Page 226]

that the Soviet Prosecution considers that Dr. Horn's
comments are superfluous as the defendant has already given
us too many comments on the subject.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, I am sure you will continue to use
every possible means of cutting it short as much as you can.

DR. HORN: I hope, Mr. President, that I have convinced the
Tribunal that I will be as brief as possible and that I
shall read as little as possible, only that which is
necessary to make understandable why I am presenting the

THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now?

(A recess was taken.)

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