The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/22

BY DR. STEINBAUER (Counsel for the defendant Seyss-Inquart):

Q. Witness, in your capacity as State Secretary for
Agriculture, didn't you also go to Holland at the end of
1944 or the beginning of 1945?

A. Yes. At that time I was in the Netherlands.

Q. Was it not the case there on this occasion, that the
Wehrmacht offices and the police had serious complaints
about sabotage of Dutch agriculture by officials of
responsible government agencies in Holland?

A. I do not remember a conversation of that kind.

Q. Do you know that the defendant Seyss-Inquart intervened
for the reduction of food exports from Holland to Germany?

A. Yes, on various occasions, and also at that meeting to
which this document refers.

Q. And that, in spite of complaints, he left the Dutch
officials in the Food Department?

A. Yes, that is the case.

                                                   [Page 92]

DR. STEINBAUER: That is all.

DR. FLAECHSNER (Counsel for the defendant Speer): Mr.
President, may I put several questions to the witness?


Q. Witness, could you give me information about the
following questions? Did the inmates of concentration camps
who worked in the armament industry get the same
supplementary rations for heavy labour as the other workers?

A. During the time when I was concerned with these questions
it was decided to give all prisoners, including
concentration camp inmates, the same rations as the rest of
the population if they were working. Therefore they must
have received the same rations.

Q. Was the defendant Speer, or the ministry under his
direction competent for the orderly maintenance of the
rations in these industries, having regard to the fact that
the latter - the industries - were in charge of the
supplying of food?

A. No, Speer's ministry was not competent in these matters.
As far as delivery and also demand was concerned, the food
offices were competent. The distribution of delivered
foodstuffs was the affair of the camp administrations or of
the industries.

Q. And one further question. What measures had Speer taken
in order to prevent a general food catastrophe which would
have affected the millions of foreign workers in Germany?

A. Beginning in December, 1944, Speer purposely subordinated
armament tasks to the problem of nutrition, with the
expectation of a change-over to a new regime, a new
administration by an occupying power. From this time on
Speer gave food transport priority over arms transport. He
saw to it that seed for the spring planting was distributed
with the transportation means at his disposal. Speer
emphatically advocated reconstructing food processing plants
damaged by air attack even before armament plants, and above
all, during that last phase, Speer helped us prevent the
senseless destruction of food plants contrary to the
instructions issued by Hitler. He did this with complete
self-abnegation and without consideration for any possible

DR. FLAECHSNER: Thank you.

BY DR. LATERNSER (Counsel for the General Staff and the

Q. Witness, did you participate in the Western campaign?

A. Yes.

Q. In what capacity?

A. As commander of a battalion in the field.

Q. During the Western campaign, did you receive any dubious
commands, I mean to say, orders which were in violation of
International Law?

A. I received no such orders.

Q. Did you have any reason to believe that looting was
tolerated by higher military officials?

A. No. On the contrary, looting was strictly forbidden and

Q. Later you were in the East also, but not as I have heard,
as a soldier. Could you observe the operational areas there,
as well as the regions governed by the commissariats?

A. Both were open to my observations.

Q. What was the treatment of the local population by the
German soldiers?

A. Taken as a whole it can be said that, especially in the
Ukraine, the treatment of the civilian population in the
army's sector - in the operational

                                                   [Page 93]

area - was better than elsewhere; greater consideration was
shown for the necessities of the civilian administration.

Q. And what do you think was the reason for that difference?

A. I attribute it to a different basic attitude of the
soldier, who was free of political tendencies and also to
the fact that the troops, of course, wanted to have peace
and quiet in the rear areas.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution want to cross-examine?

MR. DODD: I can be through in two minutes, if your Honour


Q. Were you a member of the Nazi Party?

A. Yes.

Q. When did you join?

A. In 1925.

Q. 1925?

A. Yes.

Q. You were also a member of the S.A.?

A. Yes.

Q. What rank did you hold in the S.A.?

A. My last rank was Gruppenfuehrer of the S.A.

Q. Previously, you were a S.A. Sturmfuehrer, weren't you?

A. In 1930, yes.

Q. When did you become an S. S. Gruppenfuehrer?

A. In October, 1944.

MR. DODD: That is all. I have no other questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you any questions to ask in re-


THE PRESIDENT: Well, that concludes your case on behalf of
the defendant Rosenberg, does it not?

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I would like to state that the
Document Rosenberg-19, which General Rudenko referred to,
was not submitted as an exhibit by me. Furthermore, I would
like to say that a number of affidavits, which have been
approved, have not been received as yet.

THE PRESIDENT: You can mention them later, of course.

DR. THOMA: I should further like to make the request that my
Document Book No. 1 be not accepted in evidence, but
considered the same as once before, that is as having
general probative value according to the decision of 8
March, 1946; therefore, not as evidence, not as a matter of
proof, but just as argument. I assume that it had been
approved in this sense previously and that it was only
rejected as evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: I anticipate that we shall not interfere in
your argument.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Mr. President, I should like to give a
short explanation. The document under Exhibit Rosenberg-19
which represents a letter which Riecke addressed to
Rosenberg, dated 12 March, 1943, was submitted by the
defence Counsel, Dr. Thoma, and you can find it in the
second Document Book on Page 42. It was translated into all
four languages and is in possession of all the prosecutors,
and the Tribunal, in its decision, accepted this document
from the defence Counsel.

                                                   [Page 94]

THE PRESIDENT: General Raginsky, the position is this, that
a document doesn't go into evidence unless it is offered in
evidence. Dr. Thoma has not offered this document in
evidence and I understand that the Soviet Prosecution has
not offered it in evidence. If you want to offer it in
evidence and the document is an authentic document, which I
suppose it is, you can offer it in evidence.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Yes. We didn't offer it as evidence, only
because of the fact that it is already contained in the
Document Book presented by the defence. Therefore we had no
need to present it again. But if the defence Counsel Thoma
refuses to present it, then we shall do it.

THE PRESIDENT: You are wrong in assuming this. You see,
documents don't go into evidence unless they are offered in
evidence. The fact that they are in the books doesn't mean
that they are in evidence; therefore, if you want to offer
it in evidence, you must do so.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Yes, Mr. President, we are going to offer
it in evidence now.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well; you will give it a USSR number.

GENERAL RAGINSKY: Yes, we are going to give it a USSR
Exhibit number, and, with your permission, will offer it in
evidence to-morrow.



THE PRESIDENT: Now, we will proceed to deal with the
supplementary applications. The witness can retire.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, the first
application is that of Dr. Seidl's with regard to two
witnesses; first of all witness Hilger, who was previously
granted as a witness for the defendant von Ribbentrop but
withdrawn by Counsel on 2 April. I believe that the witness
is in the United States and that there is a report that he
is too ill to travel. But apart from that, my Lord, the
purpose of the witness is to give evidence as to the
discussions and treaty negotiations which took place in the
Kremlin at Moscow before the German-Soviet agreement of 23
August, 1939, and the allegation states the conclusion of
the alleged secret agreement dealt with in the affidavit of
the witness Gauss.

My Lord, the other application is for a witness von
Weizsaker, who is going to deal with the same point.

The prosecution, of course, loyally accepts the decision of
the Tribunal on the admissibility of Gauss' affidavit, but I
respectfully submit that that does not affect this point.
What is desired is to call witnesses as to the course of the
negotiations before these treaties, before an agreement was
arrived at in respect to these treaties, and that is a point
which we have had several times and, of course, while all
circumstances have a slight difference, the Tribunal have,
as far as I know, ruled universally up to now that they will
not go into antecedent negotiations which have resulted in

There is also the position that, of course, Dr. Seidl put in
the Gauss affidavit and he has had his opportunity to
examine the defendant von Ribbentrop, and the prosecution
respectfully submit that to call two secondary witnesses -
without any disrespect to their position in the German
Foreign Office, they are witnesses of a secondary importance
compared with the defendant von Ribbentrop - to discuss
these negotiations seems to the prosecution to be going into
irrelevant matter and entirely unnecessary for the purposes
of this case.

I confess I do not myself appreciate any special relevance
that these witnesses could have to the case of Hess, but I
do not put it so strongly on that ground.

                                                   [Page 95]

I put it on the ground which I have just outlined to the

With regard to the third application of Dr. Seidl, I am not
quite sure whether he means that he wants the prosecution to
provide him with an original or certified copy of the secret
agreement, or whether he desires to tender a copy himself.
But with regard to that again the prosecution take the line
that that point, which after all is only one tiny corner of
one aspect of the case, is sufficiently covered by the
evidence which has already been brought out before the
Tribunal from the affidavit of Ambassador Gauss and the
evidence of the defendant Ribbentrop.

That is the position of the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Dr. Seidl?

DR. SEIDL (Counsel for defendants Hess and Frank): Mr.
President, the affidavit of the Ambassador Dr. Gauss which
has been accepted by the Tribunal as Exhibit Hess-16
describes only a part of the negotiations. Ambassador Dr.
Gauss was not present at the negotiations which preceded the
conclusion of the pacts. I have, therefore, made the
additional application to call Legation Secretary Hilger as
a witness, after he had already been approved as a witness
for the defendant von Ribbentrop.

I have, furthermore, requested that the Tribunal procure the
text of that secret supplementary agreement. I have to
admit, however, that this request no longer has the
importance it had at the time it was made. In the meantime
we have received a copy of that secret agreement.

Furthermore, I have a copy of the secret supplementary
agreement concerning the German-Soviet Frontier Pact of 28
September, 1939, and I have an affidavit by Ambassador Dr.
Gauss of 1 April of this year certifying that these copies
are identical with the text of the secret agreements drafted
on 23 August and 28 September, 1939.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, have you any objection to that
document being produced for the consideration of the

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Not at all, my Lord. As I say, the
Tribunal has considered our objection on relevance and we
have lost on it, and therefore it is not really open to me
to argue any question of the relevance of the document in
view of the decision of the Tribunal.

The only point that I make is that if Dr. Seidl produces an
alleged copy of the treaty, supported by an affidavit of
Ambassador Gauss, then it immensely strengthens my argument,
I submit, against him being allowed to call the witness.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The Soviet Prosecution, on the question
which is now being discussed by the Tribunal today, has
submitted a document to the General Secretariat of the
International Military Tribunal. If this document is already
in your possession then I need not talk about Our position
here. But if you find it necessary, your Honours, I am going
to set it forth here. We object on the grounds which are set
forth in this document signed by General Rudenko.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you presenting an argument or a document
of some sort?

COLONEL POKROVSKY: No, I am not going to argue about it and
return to this question if you have this document.

THE PRESIDENT: You misunderstood me. You mentioned a
document which you asserted was in the possession of the
Tribunal. I am not aware that we have got any document from
the Soviet prosecution. It may be that it has been received
and if so we will consider it, of course.

                                                   [Page 96]

What I wanted to know is whether it was an argument or an
original document of some sort.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: The document deals with the official
answer of the Soviet Prosecution on the question as to
whether we consider it necessary to grant the request of Dr.
Seidl regarding a group of questions connected with the
German-Soviet Pact of 1939.

THE PRESIDENT: We will consider the document.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: You think it would be possible to be
content with just the document which is in your possession

THE PRESIDENT: Well, certainly, unless you wish to say
anything. We will consider the document.

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