The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 384]

Q. Herr Rosenberg, you were the leader of the Foreign
Political Office of the Party. What was your function?

A. The Foreign Political Office was founded in April, 1933.
After the accession to power many foreigners came to Germany
in order to obtain information about the origin and the
nature of the National Socialist Party. In order to create
an information centre for the Party the Fuehrer assigned me
to direct this office. As I said it was the task of this
office to receive foreigners who were interested in these
problems, to give them information, to refer them to the
proper organisations of the Party and the State, if they
were interested in the labour front, the Jewish problem, the
winter aid work and so forth. Furthermore, we were
interested in working on certain initial suggestions made to
us, temporarily in the field of foreign trade, and if they
had any merit, in transmitting them to the suitable
departments of the government.

Furthermore, we kept abreast of the foreign Press in order
to have good archives for subsequent research work and to
keep the Party leadership well informed politically through
short excerpts from the foreign Press. Among other things, I
am accused here of having written articles for the Hearst
Press. On invitation by the Hearst combine I wrote five or
six articles in 1933 or 1934, but after I had met Hearst
once for about twenty minutes at Nauheim, I did not see him
or speak to him again. I heard only that the Hearst combine
did get into extraordinary difficulties because of the
favour shown me by publishing my factual statements.

Q. As the leader of the Foreign Political Office, did you at
times take official political steps?

A. In the documents presented here, 003-PS, 004-PS, and 007-
PS, the activity of the Foreign Political Office has been
discussed and submitted, and in regard to this activity I
could give a brief summary to the Tribunal and read from the

Q. But I would like you to tell us what steps you took as
the leader of the Foreign Political Office to reach an
active agreement between the European nations.

A. Adolf Hitler called, a meeting in Bamberg, I believe in
1927, at which he stated his foreign political conviction
that at least some nations could have no direct interest in
the total extinction of central Europe. By "some nations" he
meant particularly England and Italy. After that, in
wholehearted agreement with him, I tried to find a way to an
understanding through the personal contacts I had made.
Frequently, I had conversations with British Air Force
officers of the British Air Forces General Staff. On their
invitation I visited London in 1931, and at that time had
purely private conversations with a number of British

In 1932, at a meeting of the Royal Academy of Rome, the
topic "Europe" was discussed and for the first time I had
the opportunity to speak. I made a speech about this
problem, in which I explained that the development of the
last centuries had been determined by four nations and
states, namely, England, France, Germany and Italy. I
pointed out that, first of all, these four should define
their vital interests so that shoulder to shoulder they
could defend the ancient and venerable continent of Europe
and its traditions. I believed that these fourfold national
roots of the rich European culture were a historical and
political legacy. Excerpts of my speech were published and
parts of it have been translated for the Tribunal.

On the last day of the conference, the former British
ambassador to Italy, Sir Rennell Rodd, came to me and told
me that he had just left Mussolini and the latter had said
to him that I, Rosenberg, had spoken the most important
words of the conference.

Q. Herr Rosenberg, may I ask you please to be a little more

A. In May, 1933, I was again in London, this time by
Hitler's personal order, and I visited a number of British
ministers whose names are not relevant here,

                                                  [Page 385]

and tried again to [REVIEWER'S NOTE: The President's
question is due to the fact that in the foregoing answers
the interpreter said "to bring about an agreement" instead
of "to promote understanding."] promote understanding for
the sudden and estranging developments in Germany. My
reception was rather reserved, and a number of incidents
occurred which showed that there was considerable hostility.
But that did not prevent me from keeping up these personal
contacts and from inviting a great number of British
personalities to come to Germany later. It was not within
the scope of my assignment to do that.

THE PRESIDENT: Why don't you ask the defendant what the
agreement was to be about? Why doesn't he tell its what the
agreement was to be about instead of going on talking about
an agreement in the abstract?

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I asked the defendant that
question because he took steps to come to an understanding
with England and worked towards that goal. The defendant is
accused -

THE PRESIDENT: But what was the understanding about?

DR. THOMA: We were concerned with the fact that the
defendant went to London in order to ...

THE PRESIDENT: I want you to ask the defendant. I don't want
you to tell me.

DR. THOMA: I have just asked him, Mr. President. The
defendant is accused of having participated in the Norwegian
action, in that he advocated the violation of Norwegian


Q. Please, answer the question, how did you meet Quisling?

A. I met Quisling in the year 1933, when he visited me, and
I had a discussion of twenty minutes' duration with him.
Subsequently, an assistant of mine, who was interested in
Scandinavian culture and had written books about it,
corresponded with Quisling. During the next six years I did
not see Quisling again, and I did not intervene either in
the Norwegian political situation, nor in the Quisling
movement until he visited me in June, 1939, when the tension
in Europe had become critical, and told me that he was
apprehensive about the situation of Norway in the event of a
conflict. He said it was to be feared that Norway would not
be able to remain neutral in such a case and that his home
country might be occupied in the North by Soviet troops and
in the South by the troops of the Western Powers and that he
viewed this development with great concern.

My Stabsleiter made a note of his apprehensions and then
reported them to Dr. Lammers, as it was his duty to do.

Q. When was that?

A. That must have been in June, 1939. Also Quisling asked
one of my assistants to help to maintain German-Norwegian
understanding and especially to acquaint his Party with the
structure and propaganda of our Party movement.

In the beginning of August there were, I believe, twenty-
five Norwegians in our training school being trained for
this propaganda work in Norway.

Q. What were they trained in, and how?

A. I did not see them nor did I speak to them individually.

They were taught how to carry on more effective propaganda,
and how the organisation of the Party in this field had been
built up in Germany. We promised to assist them.

Suddenly, after the outbreak of the war, or shortly before -
I do not remember xactly - Hagelin, an acquaintance of
Quisling, came to me with apprehensions which were similar
to those expressed by Quisling. After the outbreak, of the
war, this assistant of Quisling reported various details
about the activity of the Western Powers in Norway. Finally,
in December, 1939, Quisling came to Berlin with the
declaration that, from his wide knowledge of affairs and
information received, he knew that the Norwegian Government
was only seemingly neutral now and that in reality it was
practically agreed that Norway should give up her

                                                  [Page 386]

Quisling himself had formerly been a Minister of War in
Norway, and therefore he should have had exact knowledge of
these things. In accordance with my duty as a German
citizen, I recommended that the Fuehrer should hear
Quisling. The Fuehrer thereupon received Quisling twice and
at the same time Quisling, with his assistant Hagelin,
visited the Navy headquarters and gave them similar
information. I spoke once to Raeder after that and he also
recommended the Fuehrer to consider Quisling's report.

Q. Then you personally transmitted only those reports which
Quisling had given you?

A. Yes, I would like to emphasise that I had not been
involved in these political affairs for six years, and
Quisling visited me in spite of my inactivity. Naturally I
had to consider it my duty to forward to the Fuehrer reports
which, if correct, indicated a tremendous military threat to
Germany; and also to make notes of and report to the Fuehrer
those things which Quisling told me orally, namely his plan
to bring about a political change in Norway and then to ask
Germany for support. At this time ...

This development has been described in those documents
produced by the prosecution in words which express it much
more precisely than I could summarise it here. In Document
004-PS, my Stabsleiter made a short summary of it, about one
and a half or two months after the Norwegian operation.

DR. THOMA: This document - I would like to call the
attention of the Tribunal particularly to this document -
was compiled immediately after the Norwegian operation while
the impression of its success was still fresh and it
describes quite unequivocally the measures which were taken.
It clearly states that Quisling was the cause of everything,
that he suddenly turned up in Luebeck and made reports, that
he begged that his people be trained further, and that he
came back repeatedly and always informed Rosenberg about the
new incidents in Norway.

THE PRESIDENT: What document are you referring to?

DR. THOMA: No. 004-PS, Exhibit GB 140. That is in Document
Book II, Page 113.

THE PRESIDENT: The Document Book is not numbered or paged?

DR. THOMA: I believe the number is at the bottom, Mr.

THE PRESIDENT: Which book is it you are referring to?

DR. THOMA: My Document Book No. II, Page 113. Document Book
Alfred Rosenberg, Page 113, Volume II (Page 70). It is on
Page 72 of the English translation.

THE PRESIDENT: Now then, what is your question?

DR. THOMA: I would like to point out that on Page 1 it

  "Before the meeting of the Nordic Society in Luebeck,
  Quisling was in Berlin, where he was received by

That was in June, 1939, as is shown by the Document 007-PS.
Then, on the next page, it says that in August a course was
given in Berlin-Dahlem. It says further that in December,
1939, Quisling reappeared in Berlin on his own initiative
and made his reports. That was on 14th and 15th December and
Rosenberg, in line with his duty, transmitted to the Fuehrer
these reports which Quisling made to him. However, he did
nothing beyond that in this matter. Parallel to this, and
entirely independently of each other, the same reports were
received by Raeder.


Q. Do you have anything to add to Document 004-PS?

A. Yes. Please let me have the document.

(The document was submitted to the defendant)

A. (continuing): On Page 5 of this Document 004-PS, it is
stated that Hagelin, Quisling's assistant, who moved in
Norwegian governmental circles, and who had received orders
from the Norwegian Government for the purchase of arms from
Germany, after the Altmark incident, for instance, that is
the incident where a

                                                  [Page 387]

German vessel was fired upon in Norwegian territorial
waters, had heard Norwegian deputies of the Storthing say
that Norway's reserved attitude was clearly a pre-arranged

  In addition, "On 20th March" - see the middle of page 7 -
  "on 20th
  March on the occasion of his participation in
  negotiations regarding German deliveries of Flak-
  artillery, he made a detailed report on the increasing
  activity of the Allies in Norway with the acquiescence of
  the Nygaardsvold Government. According to his report, the
  Allies were already inspecting the Norwegian harbour
  towns for landing and transport facilities. The French
  Commandant, Kermarrec, had orders to that effect" -
  incidentally I also remember this name spelled Karramac,
  or something similar - "in a confidential conversation
  with Colonel Sundlo, the Commandant of Narvik, who was
  also a follower of Quisling. They had informed him about
  the intention of the Allies to land mechanised troops at
  Stavanger, Drontheim, and perhaps also at Kirkenes, and
  to occupy the Sola airport near Stavanger."

A little further down it says and I quote:

  "In his report of 26th March he - that is, Hagelin -
  pointed out once more that the speech of the Norwegian
  Foreign Minister Koht, dealing with Norwegian neutrality
  and his protests, were not taken seriously either in
  London by the English, or in Norway by the Norwegians,
  since it was well known that the Government had no
  intention of taking a serious stand against England."

Q. That is what Quisling reported to you?

A. Yes, these were the reports which Quisling had instructed
Hagelin to make. I would like to add further that some time
after the Fuehrer had received Quisling, the Fuehrer told me
that he had instructed the O.K.W. to consider the position
from a military viewpoint and he asked me not to discuss
this matter further. In this connection I would like to
point out also that - as can be seen from Document 004-PS -
the Fuehrer had emphasised that he wanted the entire
Scandinavian north to maintain neutrality at all costs, and
would change his attitude only if the neutrality was
threatened by other powers.

Later, an assistant of mine was instructed by the Fuehrer to
keep up connections with Quisling at Oslo and he received a
certain sum from the Foreign Office to support propaganda
friendly to Germany as against other propaganda. He also
returned to Germany with reports about the opinions of
Quisling. Later I heard - and this was entirely
understandable - that this assistant, who was a soldier at
that time, had also received military intelligence reports
and that he delivered his reports after the Norwegian

Q. Please be more brief, Herr Rosenberg.

A. The Fuehrer did not inform me of his final decision or
whether he had actually decided to carry through the
operation. I learned of the entire operation of 9th November
through the Press, and thereupon paid a visit to the Fuehrer
on that day. Several weeks later the Fuehrer called me to
him and said that he had been forced to make this decision
because of concrete warnings which he had received and
documents which had been found gave proof that these
warnings had been correct. He said it had been absolutely
true that when the last German ships arrived in the fjord of
Trondheim, they were attacked by the first approaching
British vessels.

Q. In this connection I have just one more question: Did
Hitler ever call on you to attend foreign political or
military conferences in your capacity as Chief of the
Foreign Political Office?

A. The Fuehrer differentiated strictly between the official
foreign policy and the policy followed because of an
initiative or suggestion which was urged upon me

                                                  [Page 388]

from outside. I believe all the documents show that he never
asked me to participate in any conference concerning foreign
policy or military preparations.

Q. That is you were never called upon to participate in the
operations against Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia,
etc.? I believe, Mr. President, that this is a suitable time
to adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 16th April, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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