The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/01/27


Q. Well, in addition to a system of spoils from confiscated
property, there were also open gifts from Hitler to the
generals and ministers, were there not, of large sums of
property and money?

A. Yes. Those were the famous donations with which,
especially in the years after the outbreak of the war, the
top generals were systematically corrupted.

Q. And did that hold true with reference to many of the

A. I do not doubt it.

                                                  [Page 280]

Q. Now, as I understood your testimony, whatever doubts you
may have had before 1938 when the affair Fritsch occurred,
that event or series of events convinced even Schacht that
Hitler was bent on aggressive warfare.

A. After the Fritsch crisis Schacht was convinced that, now
radicalism and the course toward war could no longer be held

Q. There was never any doubt in the minds of all of you men
who were in the resistance movement, was there, that the
attack on Poland of September, 1939, was aggression on
Hitler's part?

A. No, no there could be no doubt about that.

Q. And that diplomatic means of righting whatever wrongs
Germany felt she suffered in reference to the Corridor and
Danzig had not been exhausted?

A. I can only point to the existing documents. There was no
will for peace.

Q. Now, in the German resistance movement, as I understand
you, there was agreement that you wanted to obtain various
modifications of the Treaty of Versailles, and you also
wanted various economic betterments for Germany, just as
other people wanted them. That was always agreed upon, was
it not?

A. We were all agreed that a calm and a reasonable balance
could be achieved again in Europe only when certain
modifications of the Versailles Treaty were carried through
by means of peaceful negotiations.

Q. Your difference from the Nazi group was chiefly, in
reference to that matter, one of method.

A. Yes.

Q. From the very beginning, as I understand you, it was the
position of your group that a war would result disastrously
for Germany as well as for the rest of the world.

A. Yes.

Q. And that the necessary modifications, given a little
patience, could be brought about by peaceful means.

A. Absolutely.

Q. Now, it was in the light of that difference of opinion, I
suppose, that your resistance movement against the regime in
power in Germany carried out these proposals for putsches
and assassinations which you have described.

A. Yes, but I would like to add that we were not only
thinking of the great dangers outside, but that we also
realised what internal dangers lay in such a system of
terror. From the very beginning there was a group of people
in Germany who still did not even think of the possibility
of war, and nevertheless protested against injustice, the
deprivation of liberty and the fight against religion.

In the beginning, therefore, it was not a fight against war,
but if I may say so, it was a fight for human rights. From
the very first moment, among all classes of people, in all
professional circles and in all age groups, there were
people who were ready to fight, to suffer, and to die for
that idea.

Q. Now, the question may arise here as to what were your
motives and your purposes in this resistance movement with
reference to the German people, and I shall ask you to state
to the Tribunal your over-all purpose in resisting the
government in power in your country.

A. I should like to say that it is only because death has
reaped such a rich harvest among the members of the
resistance movement, that I sit here, and that otherwise
more worthy and able men could give this answer. Having said
this, I feel that I can answer that whether Jew or
Christian, there were people in Germany, who believed in the
freedom of religion, in justice and human dignity, not only
for Germany, but also, in their profound responsibility, as
Germans, for the higher concept of Europe and the world.

Q. There was a group which composed this resistance, as I
understand it.

A. It was not only just a group, but many individuals had to
carry the

                                                  [Page 281]

secret of their resistance silently to their death rather
than confide it to the Gestapo records; and only a very few
persons have enjoyed the distinction of being referred to
now as a group.

Q. Most of the men who were associated with you in this
movement are dead?

A. Almost all of them.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add to clarify your
position to the Tribunal, Dr. Gisevius?

A. Excuse me, I did not understand you.

Q. Is there anything you would like to add in order that the
Tribunal may understand your position in this, your feeling,
your very strong feeling in this matter, to understand and
appraise your own relation to this situation?

A. I do not like to talk of myself, but I want to thank you,
Mr. Prosecutor, for giving me an opportunity to testify
emphatically on behalf of the dead and the living.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I have concluded the examination.


THE PRESIDENT: Wasn't the understanding arrived at with
counsel for the prosecution that the witnesses for the
defendant Frick should only be cross-examined by one

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Mr. President, I have an agreement
with the prosecutors to the effect that the examination of
the defendant Schacht and his witnesses will be carried out
by the American Prosecution, but that, in the event of
additional questions during cross-examination, the Soviet
Prosecution could also join in the examination. In view of
the fact that the Soviet Prosecution has several additional
questions to ask the witness Gisevius, which are of great
importance to the case, I ask permission to address these
questions to him.

THE PRESIDENT: What are the questions which you say are of
particular importance to the Soviet Union? I do not mean the
individual questions but the general nature of them.

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Questions connected with the part
played by the defendant Frick in the preparation for war,
questions connected with the attitude of the defendant
Schacht towards the Hitler regime, as well as a number of
other important questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn in order to
consider whether the prosecution ought to be allowed to
cross-examine this witness in addition to the cross-
examination which has already taken place.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has before it two documents
which were presented to it by the Chief Prosecutors upon the
subject of cross-examination. In the first of these
documents it was provided that the following procedure for
the cross-examination of the defendants Keitel,
Kaltenbrunner, Frank, Frick, Streicher, and Funk was agreed;
and that with reference to Frick the American Prosecution
was to conduct the cross-examination of the defendant and
his witnesses. This document was presented because of the
Tribunal's express desire that too much time should not be
taken up by the cross-examination by more than one

In addition to that document there was another document,
which was only a tentative agreement, and with reference to
the defendant Schacht it provided that the American
delegation should conduct the principal cross-examination
and the Soviet and the French delegations should consider
whether either would wish to follow.

In view of those two documents, the first of which suggests
that the  prosecution have agreed to only one cross-
examination of the witnesses of the defendant

                                                  [Page 282]

Frick, and the second of which tentatively suggests that, in
addition to the American Prosecution, the Soviet and the
French might wish to cross-examine, the Tribunal propose to
allow the additional cross-examination in the present
instance, and they are loath to lay down any hard and fast
rule concerning cross-examination. They hope, however, that
in the present instance, after the full cross-examination by
the United States Prosecutor, the Soviet Prosecutor will
make his cross-examination as short as possible. For the
future, the Tribunal hopes that the prosecutors may be able
to agree among themselves that in the case of witnesses one
cross-examination only will be sufficient and that in any
event the additional cross-examination will be made as brief
as possible.


Q. Witness, in order to save time, I beg you to answer my
questions as briefly as possible.

Tell me, what part did the German Ministry of the Interior
and the defendant Frick personally play in the preparation
for the second World War?

A. This question is very difficult for me to answer. I left
the Ministry of the Interior as early as May, 1935, and I
cannot say any more about conditions after that time than
any other German, which is that the Ministry of the Interior
was part of the German Government machine and doubtlessly
there, as in all other ministries, those preparations for
war were made which administrations have to make in such

DR. PANNENBECKER (Counsel for the defendant Frick): May I
say something? The witness has just stated that he could not
say any more in answering that question than any other
German could. I believe that, under these circumstances, the
witness is not the right person to make any factual

THE PRESIDENT: He has just said so himself. That is exactly
what he said. I don't see any reason for any intervention.
The witness said so.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I only meant that he could not even
function as a witness concerning these facts.

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: For perfectly obvious reasons I am
deprived of all possibility to put these questions to any
German, but I am perfectly satisfied with the answers of the
witness Gisevius.

Do you know anything about the so-called "Three Man Board?"
It consisted of the General Plenipotentiary for the
Administration of the Reich, of the Plenipotentiary for
National Economy and of a representative of the O.K.W. This
Board was entrusted with the preparation of ail fundamental
questions pertaining to the war?

A. I personally cannot give any information on that.

Q. Do you know anything about the activities of the Ministry
of the Interior in territories occupied by the Germans?

A. As far as I know, the Ministry of the Interior sent
important officials into the military administration, but it
is not clear to me whether these officials, from that moment
on, were subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior or the

Q. Do you know whether the machinery of the Reich
Commissariat in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union
was recruited from the Ministry of the Interior or, at
least, with considerable help from this Ministry?

A. I should assume so, yes. It holds good as far as help is
concerned, because the ministry for the territories occupied
in Russia could only take its officials from the personal
department of the Ministry of the Interior.

Q. What do you know of the visits paid by the defendant
Frick to the concentration camps?

                                                  [Page 283]

A. At the time when I was in the Ministry of the Interior I
did not hear anything about that.

Q. And after that?

A. After that I didn't hear anything about it either.

Q. Could a situation arise in which the defendant Frick,
although Minister of the Interior, would not be informed
regarding the system of concentration camps established in
Germany and of the violence and lawlessness practised in the

A. I believe that I have already yesterday given exhaustive
information as to the fact that we were informed about

Q. In this particular case I am interested in the defendant
Frick. What do you know about him in this connection?

A. I said yesterday that the Reich Ministry of the Interior
received numberless cries for help from all over the
country, and yesterday we even saw a letter from the
Ministry of Justice; also I have referred -

THE PRESIDENT: This subject was fully covered yesterday.

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I shall pass on to the next


Q. Are you acquainted with the secret law issued in Germany
in 1940 concerning the killing of sick persons and the old?

A. Yes.

Q. What was the attitude of the defendant Frick towards the
promulgation and enforcing of this law?

A. I assume that he as Minister of the Interior signed it.

THE PRESIDENT: The law, if there was a law, was after 1935,
was it not? What is the law that you are putting? If it was
in 1935, then this witness was not in the Ministry of the

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am speaking of the law which was
promulgated in 1940.

THE PRESIDENT: He would not know anything about it any more
than anybody else.

MAJOR GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am satisfied with the answer
which I have received from the witness. Will you now allow
me to proceed to questions concerning the defendant Schacht?


Q. Witness, you were in close relationship to the defendant
Schacht for a considerable period of time. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Thus you were sufficiently acquainted with his State and
political activities?

A. I believe so, yes.

Q. Tell me, what do you know about the part played by
Schacht in Hitler's seizure of power?

A. That was at a time when I had not yet become acquainted
with Schacht, and about which I cannot, therefore, give any

Q. But you know something about it?

A. I know only that he entered the cabinet and that without
doubt he assisted Hitler in the preliminary political

Q. Do you know anything about the meeting engineered by
Schacht between Hitler and the big industrialists, in
February, 1933?

A. No.

Q. As a result of this meeting a fund was created by the
industrialists with a view to guaranteeing the success of
the Nazi Party at the elections. What do you know about this

A. I know nothing about this meeting. In my book I wrote
that to my knowledge the largest amount for the election
campaign in 1932 was given by

                                                  [Page 284]

Thyssen at that time and Grauert, a member of the Rhein-
Hessian iron and steel industry group.

Q. What was the part played by the defendant Schacht on this

A. At that time I did not see Schacht in the Ruhr district,
and I also do not know whether he was there at that time. I
emphasise again that I did not know him at all.

Q. I know that. But in your book entitled "Until the Bitter
End," published in 1946, and in your replies to preliminary
interrogations by defence counsel, Dr. Dix, you favourably
described the defendant Schacht is that correct?

A. I did not understand the last words.

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