The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/10

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, the Tribunal has to adjourn at five
o'clock into a closed session. They hope very much that you
will conclude your examination of these documents by then.

DR. HORN: Very well, Mr. President. So as to save time, I
shall only state briefly what these documents are.
Ribbentrop Exhibit 221 is the proof of an intended
intervention in Belgium. This is a report from the military
attache at the French Embassy in London, General Lelong,
addressed to the Chief of the French General Staff for
National Defence. I am going to quote a very brief passage
from it which says:

  "Intervention in Belgium.
  The British Delegation readily recognised how uncertain
  the conditions are for eventual intervention in Belgium.
  It was proposed that we, in order to prevent a battle on
  the Belgian flatlands, must plan to organise our defences
  at least along the Scheldt, or preferably, along the
  Albert Canal. By request of the British Delegation, the
  following points have been considered:
  (1) The possibility of intervention along the line
  Antwerp-Brussels-Namur, assuming that it were possible to
  organise such a position in good time.
  (2) The importance of holding the Belgian and Dutch
  territory as a base for a resumption of the offensive
  against Germany.

Again, to save time, I shall not refer to any other
documents in connection with this group. I merely ask the
Tribunal that Ribbentrop Exhibit 219, on Page 521 of the
document book, which is a memorandum of the German
Government to the Luxembourg Government, of 9th May, 1940,
and Ribbentrop Exhibit 220, should be taken judicial notice
of, so that I can refer to them when I present my case.
Furthermore, I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of
Documents 230, 230-a, 231 and 231-a, 232, 233, 234, 235,
236, 237, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, and 245, which,
again are documents which originate from the French General
Staff and are clear proof that Britain and France, before
9th May, 1940, had

                                                  [Page 233]

prepared detailed plans for military co-operation, and that
British and French advance parties were already on Belgian
and Dutch territory before German troops crossed the border.
That is the end of this particular group.

I now come to those documents which I intend to submit to
the Tribunal with reference to the occupation of Yugoslavia
and Greece. These are Documents 272 and the following, Page
604 and the following, of the document book. Here again, we
are concerned with documents which partly come from the
files of the French General Staff. The first document of the
type is Ribbentrop Exhibit 272, which is a note from the
German Government to the Yugoslav Government, dated March,
1941. This is concerned with the joining of the Three-Power
Pact by Yugoslavia. This document shows that Germany and the
Axis Powers did not intend to put demands to Yugoslavia
during the war at all, least of all with reference to the
march of troops through Yugoslav territory. Ribbentrop
Exhibits 272 and 274 contain the minutes of Yugoslavia's
entry into the Three-Power Pact on 25th March, 1941, and
connected with it is a note from the Reich Government to the
Yugoslav Government. With Ribbentrop Exhibit 277 I submit to
the Tribunal a note from the Reich Government to the Greek
Government, which was handed to that Government after Greek
territory had been occupied by British troops. From Page 3 I
quote the following sentence:

   "During recent days Greece had become an operational
   territory for British forces."

Under Exhibit Ribbentrop 278, I submit to the Tribunal an
official statement from the Reich Government, dated 6th
April, 1941, which is addressed to both Yugoslavia and
Greece. In this note the reasons are stated which, after the
Simovic revolt, led to military action by Germany in
Yugoslavia. These reasons can be found on Page 4 of this
document. As evidence that the statements contained therein
are true, I am referring to the so-called "Charitait Files"
which are the files of the French General Staff.

This completes the group of documents with reference to
Yugoslavia and Greece, but I should like to add that once
again I will rely on further evidence which will be
submitted by my colleague, Dr. Siemers, for the defendant
Raeder, and which also refer to the German action against

The next group of documents refer to Russia. They are the
documents in Ribbentrop Exhibits 279 and the following,
which can be found on Page 619 and the following of the
document book. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of
Nos. 279, 280, 282, 283 and 284. During the presentation of
my argument I shall refer to these documents further.

The next and last group of documents are those which refer
to the accusation against the defendant Ribbentrop regarding
the Anti-Comintern Pact and his policy in connection with
Japan and the U.S.A.

The first document of this type is Ribbentrop Exhibit 291 on
Page 652 of the document book. This document contains the
text of the Anti-Comintern Pact. Ribbentrop Exhibit 281
refers to the extension of the Anti-Comintern Pact, the
Three-Power Pact of 27th September, 1940. I submit these
documents to the Tribunal as proof of the fact that
Ribbentrop and the Reich Government made efforts, by means
of this policy, to keep the United States out of the war. In
spite of this policy an active support of our opponents by
the United States took place. As proof of this I refer to
the documents in Ribbentrop Exhibit 306 and Ribbentrop
Exhibit 308 on Pages 700 and following of the document book.
These documents are the last I am submitting to the Tribunal
with reference to the policy of Germany during the years
when the defendant von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister.
Finally I refer briefly to Ribbentrop Exhibit 313. That is
an affidavit from the Legation Counsellor Bernd
Gottfriedsen. This affidavit actually has nothing to do with
the aggressive war, but it refers to questions which have
been brought up by the prosecution in connection with the
case of Ribbentrop,

                                                  [Page 234]

and this affidavit contains statements regarding the real
estate property of the defendant Ribbentrop and regarding
his ownership of art works.

May I point out that Legation Counsellor Gottfriedsen, as he
has stated in the affidavit, handled the financial affairs
of the Foreign Office and particularly those of the Foreign
Minister. I will quote a brief passage in connection
therewith from question No. 5.

  "Q. What is the situation with regard to von Ribbentrop's
  art possessions?
  A. (by Legation Counsellor Gottfriedsen): Herr von
  Ribbentrop was a wealthy man before he entered diplomatic
  life. During the time of his activities in the above-
  mentioned department he acquired some paintings, for the
  most part on the art market in Germany itself. Every one
  of these paintings was acquired properly and, above all,
  at correct prices, and, of course, paid for out of the
  private funds of the Reich Foreign Minister.
  During the time he was Foreign Minister, Herr von
  Ribbentrop acquired art treasures abroad for purposes of
  furnishing the Foreign Office and German missions in
  foreign countries, which became State property and were
  used accordingly. All these were catalogued and an
  inventory of them was entered in the books. No foreign
  art treasures were acquired illegally, i.e. by pressure,
  etc. Herr von Ribbentrop's private art treasures, too,
  were catalogued, and the objects themselves marked
  distinctly by me."

I now omit one paragraph and read the end of the statement
which says:

  "During the war he did not acquire any art treasures
  illegally from any of the territories occupied by German
  troops, either for his own private use or for the Foreign
  Office of the Reich."

I should like to add that Legation Counsellor Gottfriedsen
knew thoroughly the private property affairs of the
defendant von Ribbentrop, and had annually made a survey of
them together with a certified accountant for the purpose of
taxes and inventory.

Finally, I should like to quote a paragraph from the
affidavit which is Exhibit 217 and which is in the document
book on Page 749.

This is an affidavit from Frau von Ribbentrop given before a
notary in Nuremberg. It refers to accusations made by the
prosecution in connection with the Russian policy pursued by
Ribbentrop. I am quoting, as follows:

  "In 1940 we had a very inadequate air-raid shelter in the
  Foreign Office official residence. During air-raids,
  therefore, on the order of Adolf Hitler, we used the air-
  raid shelter of the Reich Chancellery, since he
  considered it important that my husband, in his capacity
  as Reich Foreign Minister, and the documents of the
  Foreign Office should be safe from air-raids. I was at
  that time expecting my youngest child, which was born on
  19th December, 1940, and can therefore clearly remember
  an air-raid which took place shortly before this event,
  which caused us to go to the air-raid shelter of the
  Reich Chancellery. On this occasion Adolf Hitler was also
  present and came into our room in the shelter. He, my
  husband, and I sat at a table in this room. In the course
  of our stay my husband spoke at length of his efforts to
  induce Russia to join the Tri-Partite Pact. He developed
  the possibilities of such diplomatic action and his ideas
  of what he imagined the conclusion of such a pact would
  mean. I remember clearly that Adolf Hitler closed the
  conversation with the words: 'Ribbentrop, why shouldn't
  we be able to manage that, when we have managed so many
  My husband presented his ideas with great elan and with
  great impressiveness. After he had finished I noticed
  that Adolf Hitler, who had received my husband's
  statements without pertinent remarks, seemed to be a
                                                  [Page 235]
  absent-minded, so that I had the impression I that my
  husband's statements had not made any convincing

I have offered this affidavit so as to prove that at that
time Ribbentrop was still anxious to avoid a conflict with

This ends the presentation of the documents on behalf of the
defendant von Ribbentrop.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, could you inform us how far you
have been able to get with Dr. Thoma in connection with his
documents, that is the Rosenberg documents?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, the American, the Soviet
and the French Delegations are dealing with Rosenberg.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps Mr. Dodd can tell us.

MR. DODD: Captain Krieger of our staff, your Honour, has
been in consultation with Dr. Thoma and will continue to be
in an effort to follow the procedures laid out by the


MR. DODD: While on that subject, if I may, I would like to
inform the Tribunal that we have concluded our conversations
with Dr. Dix and we have, I think it fair to say, some
differences; I think it would be necessary to have a hearing
by the Tribunal regarding those matters on which we do not
agree. However, we have agreed to a considerable number of
Schacht items.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but what I want to ensure is that there
shall be no delay at the end of Kaltenbrunner's case.

With reference to Rosenberg's case - as I understand it -
the documents in the Rosenberg case which, it has been
suggested, we might have to consider are very numerous, and
the sooner the Tribunal gets to them the better.

MR. DODD: We shall be available at all times to talk with
Dr. Thoma and expedite the matter in the evening if he cares
to do it.

THE PRESIDENT: It might possibly be desirable, it seems to
me, to have the documents which have been translated
presented to the Tribunal before the others, I mean to say,
not have them all together because there are, no doubt,
various volumes.

MR. DODD: There are three so far; I understand there will be
more. But we will press on with the matter and continue to
talk with Dr. Thoma and, as soon as possible, we will be
prepared to come before the Tribunal for a hearing on the
first book.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Dr. Thoma, wouldn't the best thing be
for you to submit the volumes which have been translated to
the Tribunal so that they can consider them beforehand as we
did with Dr. Horn's books?

DR. THOMA: Yes, my Lord, that is possible. The documents
have already been processed. With reference to my Document
Books II and III, I have discussed them with Captain
Krieger, and we came to an agreement.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, well, you could specify that agreement
in the books. I suppose you could show which documents you
were prepared to withdraw.


THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, as soon as possible you will let
the General Secretary have those books, showing the
agreement which you have made with Captain Krieger, is that

DR. THOMA: But I do want to point out that I have come to an
agreement with Captain Krieger only with reference to Books
II and III and that only refers to the Special Purpose Staff
and the Eastern Minister.

I have not yet come to an agreement regarding the philosophy
and writings of Rosenberg, but I shall do that in due

THE PRESIDENT: No; - is that in Book 1?


                                                  [Page 236]

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if you are unable to come to an
agreement you can specify that and we will consider those
matters. Possibly you could take some time tomorrow with
Krieger, take time off from Court, in order to come to an
agreement with reference to Book 1 and with reference to the
other books. How many more books have you got?

DR. THOMA: Altogether four Document Books.


DR. THOMA: Altogether four Document Books.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh yes, I see. So there is only one more to
be translated.


(The Tribunal adjourned until 11th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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