The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 11

Monday, 8 April 1946
Morning Session

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE (Deputy Chief for the United Kingdom): I want to ask you some questions about the shooting of officers who escaped from Sagan Camp. As I understand your evidence, very shortly after the escape you had this interview with Hitler at which certainly Himmler was present. That is right, isn't it?

WILHELM KEITEL (Defendant): The day after the escape this conference took place with the Fuehrer and with Himmler.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. Now, you say that at that conference Hitler said that the prisoners were not to be returned to the Wehrmacht but to remain with the police. They were really your words. That is right, isn't it?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is what you said. So that is what you say took place. In your own mind you were satisfied when you left that conference that these officers were going to be shot, were you not?

KEITEL: No, that I was not.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Now, will you agree with this? You were satisfied that there was a grave probability that these officers would be shot?

KEITEL: As I rode home I had a subconscious concern about it. It was not expressed at the conference.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then you sent for General Von Graevenitz and General Westhoff, did you not?

KEITEL: Yes, that is correct.

SIR DAVID MAXWELLL-FYFE: I don't know if you can remember, because General Westhoff was a comparatively junior officer compared with yourself, but he says that it was the first occasion on which you had sent for him. Does your memory bear that out?

KEITEL: No, I did not call him. But he had been brought along to be introduced to me. I did not know him. I had summoned only General Von Graevenitz.


8 April 45

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You had never met him before? Do you agree that you had never met General Westhoff before, since he had come into that job?

KEITEL: I had never seen him before.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: That is what he said. Now you agree, as I understand your evidence, that you were very excited and nervous?

KEITEL: Yes, I vented my disagreement and my excitement very strongly.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So that you agree with General Westhoff that you said something to this effect, "Gentlemen, this is a bad business" or "This is a very serious matter" or something of that kind?

KEITEL: Yes, I said, "That is an enormously serious matter."

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, General Westhoff said, in the next sentence, what you said was, "This morning Goering reproached me in the presence of Himmler for having let some more prisoners of war escape. It was unheard of."

KEITEL: That must be a mistake on Westhoff's part. It was a day later. We were then at Berchtesgaden and Generals Von Graevenitz and Westhoff called on Seethe next morning. And it must also be a mistake that I mentioned the name of the Reich Marshal Goering in this connection.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So you were not very sure about that, were you, as to whether or not Goering was present. You were not very sure, were you?

KEITEL: I only became uncertain about it when in a preliminary interrogation I was told that witnesses had stated that Goering was present; thereupon I said it is not completely impossible but that I did not recall it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, to put it quite right, when you were interrogated, an American officer put exactly the sentence that I put to you now. He put that sentence to you from General Westhoff's statement. Do you remember that he read what I have read to you now? "Gentlemen, this is a bad business; this morning Goering reproached me in the presence of Himmler for having let some more prisoners of war escape. It was unheard of." Do you remember the interrogator put that to you? Didn't he?

KEITEL: It was something like that at the preliminary interrogation, but I said that I was not certain that Goering was present.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I was going to put exactly what you said and you listen carefully, and if you have any disagreement, tell the Tribunal. You said, "I request that you interrogate


8 April 46

Jodl about the whole incident and the attitude which I displayed during the whole conference in the presence of Goering, of whose presence during that conference I am not absolutely certain, but Himmler was there." That was your view when you were interrogated on the 10th of November, wasn't it? You said, ". . . during the whole conference in the presence of Goering, of whose presence I am not absolutely certain...." That was your view on the 10th of November?

KEITEL: There must have been some misinterpretation in the minutes, which I never read. I expressed my uncertainty about the presence of Goering and in the same connection put the request to interrogate General Jodl about it, since, in my opinion, I was not sure that Goering was not present.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You agree that you did ask that General Jodl should be interrogated?

KEITEL: I made that proposal, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, what do you complain about as to the next sentence? ". . . during the whole conference in the presence of Goering, of whose presence during that conference I am not absolutely certain...." Wasn't that your view?

KEITEL: Yes, I was rather surprised at this interrogation and when I was told that witnesses had confirmed that Goering had been present I was a little uncertain in this matter and asked that General Jodl be interrogated. In the meantime it became entirely clear to me that Goering was not present and that I was right as I had at first said.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Had you discussed it with Goering while you were both awaiting trial?

KEITEL: After my interrogations I had the occasion to speak with Reich Marshal Goering and he told me, "But you must know that I was not there," and then I remembered fully.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, as you say, the Reich Marshal said to you he had not been present at the interview. That is right, is it not?

KEITEL: General Jodl also confirmed to me Reich Marshal Goering was not present.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Well now, did you tell General Von Graevenitz and General Westhoff that Himmler had interfered and that he had complained that he would have to provide another 60 to 70 thousand men for the Landwache? Did you tell them that?

KEITEL: No, that is also a misinterpretation. I did not say that. It is not correct.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You said that Himmler had interfered.

KEITEL: I said only that Himmler had reported the fact of the escape and I intended not to report it to Hitler on that day, since a number of escapees had been returned to the camp. I did not intend to report to the Fuehrer on that day.

SIR DAVID MAXWEL-FYFE: Now, whatever you said to General Von Graevenitz, you agree that General Von Graevenitz protested and said, "Escape is not a dishonorable offense. That is specially laid down in the Convention." Did he not say that?

KEITEL: Yes, it is true he said that. But I would like to add that the statement of General Westhoff is a reminiscence which goes back over several years.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, but you agree, as I understand your evidence, that General Von Graevenitz did make a protest about the action that was taken, is not that so?

KEITEL: Yes, he did so.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And then when he made the protest did you say words to this effect? I am reading of course from General Westhoff's statement, "I do not care a damn. We discussed it in the Fuehrer's presence, and it cannot be altered." Did you say words to that effect?

KEITEL: No, it was not like that, but I do believe I said something similar.


KEITEL: But we are not concerned with...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Similar, to that effect?

KEITEL: I said something similar.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And after that did you say that your organization, the Kriegsgefangenenwesen, were to publish a notice in the prison camps where prisoners of war are held, telling all prisoners of war what action had been taken in this case, in order that it would be deterrent to other escapes?

Did you instruct these generals, your heads of the Prisoners of War Organization, to publish a notice in the camps saying what action had been taken in order to act as a deterrent?

KEITEL: I gave this due consideration while reading a report by the British Government and I came to the conclusion that there must be some confusion as to when I gave these instructions. I am sure I did not do so at this conference. That was later, several days later.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, you will find it is stated in the statement of General Westhoff that we put in, at the bottom of Page 3. General Westhoff says:

"The Field Marshal gave us detailed instructions to publish a list at the camps, giving the names of those shot as a warning. That was done. That was a direct order that we could not disobey."

And in the statement which your counsel has put in, General Westhoff says:

"This must stop. We cannot allow this to happen again. The officers who have escaped will be shot. I must inform you that most of them are already dead and you will publish a notice in the prison camps where prisoners of war are held telling all prisoners of war what action has been taken in this case in order that it will be a deterrent to other escapes."

KEITEL: May I make a statement to this?

DR. OTTO NELTE (Counsel for Defendant Keitel): The British Prosecutor is referring to a document, which I submitted in my document book. I assume that is correct. And it is a document which the French Prosecution wanted to submit and to which I objected, since it is a compilation of interrogations which Colonel Williams prepared. I submitted this document so as to furnish proof at the hearing of General Westhoff that this document does not agree in 23 points with the testimony given by him. He has gives me the necessary information. But he will first be in the witness box tomorrow. I therefore ask, if the British Prosecutor appeals to the Witness Westhoff, to produce at least his statement, which he made under oath at the request of the American prosecutor Colonel Williams. This affidavit up to now has not been produced, whereas all other pieces of evidence from him contain only reports which have never been submitted to Westhoff for his signature, or for his acknowledgement, nor have been confirmed by his oath.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My point was to make quite clear that I was not putting anything in from the first statement which was not contained in the defendant's document book. I thought that the complaint would be the other way, that if I took our own evidence alone that then it would be said that it is slightly different, for the difference is immaterial from the documents submitted in the defendant's document book. I have carefully collated them both. There is practically no difference between them but I thought it was only fair to put both sets of words.

THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): The Tribunal thinks the cross-examination is perfectly proper. Of course if Dr. Nelte does call General Westhoff as a witness, he will be able


8 April

to get from him any corrections which General Westhoff thinks are necessary, which he makes to the affidavit.


[Turning to the defendant.] Now, what I want to know is: Did you give orders to General Von Graevenitz and General Westhoff that it was to be published in the camps as to what measures had been taken with regard to these officers?

KEITEL: Yes, but several days later; not on the same day that these officers were with me.


KEITEL: I believe 3 or 4 days later, but I can no longer tell you exactly; in any event, not before I found out that shootings had taken place.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, 3 or 4 days later would be just when the shootings were beginning, but what was published? What did you say was to be published as to the measures that had been taken?

KEITEL: In the camp a warning was to be published. In my opinion, we were not to mention shootings but only warn that those caught in flight would not be returned to the camp. I cannot remember the exact wording. It was traceable to an order which I had received from the Fuehrer resulting from a conference I had with him on the matter of shootings.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, is this a fair way to put your recollection of the order: That it was probable, according to your recollection, that those who attempted to escape would be handed over to the SD and, certainly, that very severe measures would be taken? Is that a fair way of putting your recollection of the order?

KEITEL: My recollection is that a warning, that is a threat, was to be published to the effect that those who attempted to escape would not be returned to the camp. That was the contents of this publication, according to my recollection, which I then forwarded. I myself did not word it. Besides, only the administration of the camp, or rather the Luftwaffe were to be notified.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, General Westhoff was not content with an oral order and came back to you with a draft order in writing, did he not?

KEITEL: I do not believe that he came to me. I believe he sent me this.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You. I am sorry, but when I said "came back to you," I was talking generally; you are quite right


8 April 46

that he passed on for your consideration a draft order in writing for you to approve; that is right, isn't it?

KEITEL: I do not believe that it was an order; but as far as I remember it was just a memorandum, a note. However, I must add that I was first reminded of this matter in the course of the interrogation by Colonel Williams.

SIR DAVID MAXWEL-FYFE: Well, what General Westhoff says, is:

"Contrary to Feldmarschall Keitel's order, I pretended that I had not understood properly. I worked the thing out on paper. I said to ObersMeutnant Kraffl I want to have the word "shoot" included, so that Keitel can see it in writing. He may adopt a different attitude then."'

Now, this is a bit later:

"When I got the thing back, he had written the following in the margin: 'I did not definitely say "shoot"; I said "hand over to the police or hand to the Gestapo." ' "

Then adds General Westhoff:

"So, that was a partial climb down."

Now, did you put a note on it: "I did not definitely say 'shoot'; I said 'hand over to the police or hand over to the Gestapo.'" Did you?

KEITEL: I cannot remember the exact wording of the note-as little as General Westhoff. But I did make a notation in the margin to the effect: "I did not say 'shoot'..."

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You see the point that I'm putting to you, Defendant? I want you to have it perfectly clear. Rightly or wrongly, General Westhoff believed that you had inserted the word "shoot"; and General Westhoff, to protect himself, put it back to you; and then you say, "I did not definitely say 'shoot'; I said 'hand over to the SD or the Gestapo."'

KEITEL: No, I did not say "shoot" either, but Colonel Williams said I had written in the margin, "I did not say 'shoot."' That is on record in the minutes of my interrogation.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, now, what I want to know --and it is perfectly clear-is, do you deny that that in substance represents what you put in the document: "I did not definitely say 'shoot'; I said, 'hand over to the police or hand over to the Gestapo"'? Did you put words to that effect on the document?

KEITEL: It is probable that I wrote something similar to that for I wanted to make clear what I had said to those two officers. What I said was nothing new, but it was a clarification of what I had said.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, the next point that I want to direct your attention to: Had you an officer on your staff called Oberst Von Reurmont, on your PW staff, Kriegsgefangenenwesen?

KEITEL: No, he was never on my staff.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: What was his position in the OKW?

KEITEL: I believe there was a Colonel Reurmont. He was a department chief and had nothing to do with the prisoner-of-war system; he was department chief in the general Wehrmacht office.


KEITEL: In the office, in the general Wehrmacht office under General Reinecke, yes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you know that on 27 March, that is on a Monday, there was a meeting, in which Colonel Von Reurmont took the chair, attended by Gruppenfuehrer Muller from the Gestapo, Gruppenfuehrer Nebe, and Colonel Wilde from the Air Ministry, from their PW inspector of 17; do you know that?

KEITEL: No, I never heard anything about it. It has remained entirely unknown to me.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Are you telling the Tribunal that you had this colonel in your office, a colonel from the Air Ministry, two extremely important officials from the police, and they have a meeting to discuss this matter 2 days after you had your first meeting, 1 day after you had seen Von Graevenitz and Westhoff, and you did not know a word about it?

KEITEL: No, I knew nothing about this meeting. I cannot remember.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, most of us are very familiar with the working of service departments. I do ask you in fairness to yourself to consider this. Are you telling this Tribunal that no report was ever made to you of that joint meeting between the representative of the OKW, high police officials, and the Air Ministry? And it never came up to you? Now, really think before you answer.

KEITEL: I cannot remember even with the best of my will. I was surprised by the communication about this conference, and I can remember nothing about it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Do you know that-I put it in Colonel Welder's statement when I was cross-examining the Defendant Goering-he said that at that conference it was announced that these officers were to be shot and that many of them had been shot? Did no report come to you that these officers were being shot and were to be shot?


8 April 46

KEITEL: No, not on the 27th. It was already discussed a while ago, when I received the first report. At that time I knew nothing about it; on that day, or even on the day following this conference.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You agreed, though, that you got to learn, as I understand you, that they were being shot on the 29th; that would be a Thursday?

KEITEL: I can no longer say what day, but I do remember that it was later. I believe it was several days later.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, let us, Defendant, make every point in your favor. Let us take it that it was, say, Saturday the 31st, or even Monday, the 2d of April. By Monday, the 2d of April-that is 9 days after the escape-you knew then that these officers were being shot?

KEITEL: I heard about it during these days, perhaps around the 31st, through the Fuehrer's adjutancy when I again came to the Berghof for a situation briefing. I was not told though, that all of these officers had been shot; some of them had been shot while attempting to flee. I was told that a little before the beginning of the conference.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: They were not all shot until the 13th of April, which was nearly another fortnight. Were you told of the manner, in which they got out of the cars to relieve themselves and were then shot in the back of the head by someone with a revolver? Were you told of that?

KEITEL: No, I found out only through the adjutant that a report had been given to the Fuehrer that shootings had followed the escape.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, I want you to come to one other point, later on. You remember that my colleague, Mr. Eden, on behalf of the British Government, made a statement in the House of Commons later on, toward the end of June. Remember that?

KEITEL: Yes. I recall that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And is it correct, as General Westhoff said, that you had told your officers not to make contact with the Foreign Office or the Gestapo, to leave this matter alone and not try and find out anything about it? Is that right?

KEITEL: I told them that since the Wehrmacht was not concerned with the means of searching for and catching the escapees, nor concerned with what happened afterwards, the office for the prisoner-of-war matters could not give any information on this subject as it did not deal with the matter itself and did not know what had really happened. That is what I said.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then the answer is, yes, that you did tell your office to leave the matter alone and not to get in touch with the Foreign Office or the police?

KEITEL: No, that is not quite right. The chief of the Amt Ausland was connected with the Foreign Office.. I only instructed that the officers should not give any information about this case or any matters connected with it, since they had not participated and knew only from hearsay what had happened.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I should have thought that my previous question-you just repeated the effect of my previous question; I won't argue with you. I will come to the next point. You had an officer on your staff named Admiral Burckner, didn't you?

KEITEL: Yes, he was chief of the Amt Ausland.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: He was liaison between your office and the Foreign Office?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, did you give him orders to prepare an answer to England, an answer to Mr. Eden's statement?

KEITEL: It is possible that I told him that, even though he could not receive any particulars from the offices of the Wehrmacht.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I don't want to read it again; I read the reply a day or two ago. But eventually the reply was drawn up, I think, by the Foreign Of lice in conjunction with Oberstleutnant Krafit of your office, wasn't it?

KEITEL: No, at that time...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Don't you remember Krafit...

KEITEL: I gave instructions that the answer. was to be dealt with by the RSHA but not by the prisoner-of-war department. I did not give any instructions to Lieutenant Colonel Krafit.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But didn't he go to Berchtesgaden to assist the representative of the Foreign Office and Hitler in drawing up a reply?

KEITEL: I do not know. I did not speak with him nor did I see him.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You know that when they saw the reply, according to General Westhoff, all your officers touched their heads and said, "Mad." You have seen that statement, haven't you, "When we read this note to England in the newspaper we were all absolutely taken aback; we all clutched our heads-'Mad'-we could do nothing about the affair." All your officers and you, yourself, knew the reply was an utter and confounded lie. Wasn't it a complete and utter lie? You all knew it.


8 April 46

KEITEL: They all knew it. I, too, learned of the reply; and it was clear to me that it was not based on the truth.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: So that it comes to this, Defendant, doesn't it-that you will go as far as this: You were present at the meeting with Hitler and Himmler. That is what you say. At that meeting Hitler said that the prisoners who were caught by the police were to remain in the hands of the police. You had a strong probability that these prisoners would be shot and with that you used this incident as a deterrent to try and prevent other prisoners of war escaping. All that you admit, as I understand your answers this morning, don't you?

KEITEL: Yes, I do admit; but I have not been interrogated on this matter as to just what my position was with Hitler, and I have not testified as to that, and that I did not give this warning, but that this warning was an order of Hitler and was the cause for another severe collision between Hitler and me when the first report of shootings reached me. That is how it was.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I won't go through the details again.

One other point: When did you learn of the use of cremation and the sending of cremation urns to this camp?

KEITEL: This remained unknown to me and I do not recall ever having heard of it. The matter was afterwards purely a concern of the Luftwaffe, in which I was later involved, through my simple presence; I do not know whether I ever heard or saw anything about this.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But you will agree with me, Defendant, that anyone in the world who has had to deal with prisoner-of-war problems would be horrified at the thought of bodies of shot officers being cremated; it is simply asking for trouble, isn't it, from the protecting powers and everyone else, to put it at its lowest? You will agree with that; I am sure you have had a good deal more to do with prisoners of war than I. Don't you agree it would horrify anyone who has to deal with prisoners of war that bodies should be cremated-that the protecting powers at once would be put on suspicion?

KEITEL: I am entirely of the same opinion that it is horrible.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And if any service finds that its camps are receiving 50 urns of ashes of cremated bodies of escaped prisoners of war, that would be a most serious matter which would be taken to the highest ranks of any service, isn't that so?

KEITEL: Yes, even though I had nothing to do with the prisoner-of-war camps of the Luftwaffe apart from having inspectional powers.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I won't ask you further about the Luftwaffe. Now I think we can deal quite shortly with the question of the lynching of Allied airmen.

[Documents were handed to the defendant and also to the Tribunal.]

Now, Defendant, I would like to remind you that there was a report of a conference on the 6th of June, Document 735-PS, which has been put in against the Defendant Ribbentrop; it is a report of General Warlimont, Exhibit GB-151, with regard to the criteria to be adopted for deciding what were terror-fliers. You must remember the document, because you yourself dealt on Friday with the note...


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: . . . against legal procedure, which you already dealt with.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you said during your evidence-you remember you told us why you did not want legal procedure: Because it was a difficult problem for a court-martial to decide and also it meant a 3-month delay in reporting the death sentence to the protecting powers.

KEITEL: Yes, I did make those statements.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And then you said that you had a discussion with Goering, who said that lynching should be turned down. Do you remember saying that on Friday.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Now, that was not accurate, was it? Because I want to just show you what did happen. That document which you annotated was the 6th of June. And on the 14th of June...


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: . . . it is Document D-774, which will be Exhibit GB-307, initialed Warlimont-your office sent a draft letter to the Foreign Office for the attention of Hitter, sending on this formulation of what were terror-fliers. And if you look it over it says that it is necessary to formulate, unambiguously, the concept of the facts which are to constitute a criminal act. And then the draft letter, Document D-775, Exhibit GB-308, to the Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force, for the attention of Colonel Von Brauchitsch, which says that:

"On the basis of the preliminary talks and in agreement with the Reich Foreign Minister and the head of the Security Police


8 April 46

and SD"-the Defendant Kaltenbrunner-"the following facts are to be considered terroristic acts which are to be taken into consideration when publishing a case of lynch law or which justify the handing of enemy airmen from the Air Force Reception Camp of Oberursel to the SD for special treatment."

And then you set out what was agreed and you say:

"Please obtain the consent of the Reich Marshal to this formulation of the facts and, if necessary, give the Commandant of the Air Force Reception Camp of Oberursel verbal instructions to act accordingly.

"It is further requested that you obtain the Reich Marshal's consent also to the procedure intended for the handling of public announcements."

And then if you look at Document D-776, Exhibit GB-309, that is a letter from you to the Foreign Office, a draft letter for the attention of Ritter, dated the 15th of June, to the same effect. You ask him to confirm by the 18th. And then Document D-777, Exhibit GB-310, is a similar draft letter to Goering, marked for the attention of Colonel Von Brauchitsch and asking him to reply by the 18th. Then Document D-778, Exhibit GB-311, records a telephone call from Hitter saying that the Foreign Office will have to delay a couple of days in giving their view. Document D-779, Exhibit GB-312, gives the first note from the Defendant Goering. It says on 19 June:

"The Reich Marshal has made the following notes with regard to the above letter:

"The population's reaction is, in any case, not in our hands; but, if possible, the population must be prevented from acting against other enemy fliers"-I ask you to note the word "other," that is, enemy fliers that do not come within the category of enemy terror-fliers-"to whom the above state of affairs does not apply. In my opinion, a state of affairs as above can also"-and I ask you to note the word "also" -"at any time be tried by a court, as it is here a question of murders which the enemy has forbidden his fliers to commit." Then, in Document D-780, Exhibit GB-313, there is another copy of the memorandum from the Foreign Office which I read in some detail when I was presenting the case against the Defendant Ribbentrop; and it is interspersed with comments of your officer, General Warlimont, in general agreement with the memorandum. I do not want to go through that again.

Then, in Document D-781, Exhibit GB-314, your office wanted to get quite clear what the Defendant Goering meant, so you write to him again for the attention of Von Brauchitsch:


8 April 46

"It is unfortunately not possible to gather from your letter whether the Reich Marshal has concurred with the facts communicated to him, which in the publication of a case of lynch law are to be regarded as terroristic actions, and whether he is prepared to give the Commandant of the Air Force Reception Camp of Oberursel the verbal instructions to this effect. "It is again requested that the Reich Marshal be induced to give his consent and that this office be notified if possible, by the 27 instant."

Then, just passing along, Document D-782, Exhibit GB-315-it says that the Foreign Minister will reply in a day or two; and in Document D-783 of the 26th, that will be Exhibit GB-316, comes the answer, a telephone memorandum, a telephone call, adjutant's office of the Reich Marshal, Captain Brauner:

"The Reich Marshal agrees with the formulation of the concept of terror-fliers as stated and with the proposed procedure. He asks for information this very day about measures taken."

So it is not right, is it, Defendant, that Defendant Goering disagreed with the procedure? Here is a call from his adjutant's office -and it is noted by your office-saying that he agrees with the formulation of the concept and with the proposed procedure. This must be right, must it not?

KEITEL: Yes. I had never seen this document; but I understand, under the applied measures, transfer to the Oberursel camp for Air Force prisoners of war, not lynch law. Perhaps I may add something about the discussion I had with the Reich Marshal...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is quite clear. I am not going through the correspondence again. I pointed it out as we went along. Your letters are saying both lynching and the measures to be taken for the publication of lynching and the other procedure of segregating these people in the hands of the SD, pending confirmation of suspicion of terror-fliers. It is quite clear. I have taken you through nearly 10 letters in which it is stated implicitly that it is put to the Reich Marshal on both these points, publication of lynching and segregation from other prisoners of war. He is saying, "I agree with the proposed procedure."

KEITEL: May I add something?


KEITEL: I recall very distinctly my discussion with Reich Marshal Goering at the Berghof. We waited for Hitler who was to give a speech to the generals. This must have been at about the same time. In this discussion two points were mentioned. Point one was the conception of the desired or how should I say of the planned


- 8 April 46

or the conceived lynch law. The second question was that my influence with Hitler had not been strong enough to definitely settle this matter. These two points I talked over with Goering that day. We established that the entire method discussed here should be the prerequisite for the free use of lynch law, that we agreed that as soldiers we rejected it; and secondly, I asked him most urgently to use his influence with Hiker so that he might desist from such measures. This discussion took place at the Berghof in the anteroom of the hall where Hitler addressed the generals. I remember this very distinctly.

I just looked over the correspondence which was exchanged all along. I only recognize certain fragments. They deal with the deliberations on a measure desired by Hitler which, thank goodness, never was adopted, as corresponding orders were not issued.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Would you look at the next document, Document D-784, Exhibit GB-317. That is a note from General Warlimont to you. Paragraph 1 says that the Foreign Office has agreed; Ambassador Ritter telephoned on the 29th that the Reich Foreign Minister has agreed to this draft. Paragraph 2 says:

"The Reich Marshal is in agreement with the formulation of the concept of 'terror-flier' as proposed by the OKW and with the method suggested."

That is sent to you, and on it there is a penciled note, initialed by Warlimont:

"We must act at last. What else is necessary for this?"

Didn't you act on it?



KEITEL: As a matter of fact...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Then why, if you did not act on it, were you asking the Luftwaffe, 4 days later if they had given instructions to the camp at Oberursel? Look at Document D-785, Exhibit GB-318.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, it appears to be initialed by the defendant-D-784.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My copy is initialed "W", Warlimont.

THE PRESIDENT: D-784, on the copy I have, is initialed "K" at the top, alongside Warlimont's note.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Oh, yes. I am sorry, My Lord. The fault is entirely mine. My Lord is quite right.


8 April 46

[Turning to the defendant.] So, before I pass from D-784, that was submitted to you and initialed by you?

KEITEL: No, I only put my "K" on Document D-784 to show that I saw it. I wrote nothing on it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: But the document was submitted to you, and so you did see that document? You knew that both the Foreign Office and Goering were agreeing to this procedure being adopted?

KEITEL: I read it. I wrote "K" on it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And 4 days later, in D-785, your department is asking Goering through Von Brauchitsch as to whether they have been carried out:

"Please report whether instructions have been given to the Commandant of the Air Force Reception Camp of Oberursel in the sense of the statements of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Operational Staff, of 15 June, or when it is intended to do so."

KEITEL: I have not seen this document before, but it seems to me to confirm the accuracy of my viewpoint, that in these inquiries to the Reich Marshal the transfer to Oberursel was the only point in question and not whether he wanted lynch law, approved it, or whether he considered it as right. That seems to be quite obvious from this question. I do not know anything about the question itself.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Please look at Document D-786, Exhibit GB-319. You were going beyond that the next day. This is the 5th of July. It is actually a report of the meeting on 4th July. It says that Hitler decreed the following:

"According to press reports, the Anglo-Americans intend in the future to attack from the air small places, too, which are of no importance militarily or to the war economy, as a retaliatory measure against the 'V-1'. Should this news prove true, the Fuehrer wishes it to be made known through the radio and the press that any enemy airman who takes part in such an attack and is shot down will not be entitled to be treated as a prisoner of war, but, as soon as he falls into German hands, will be treated as a murderer and killed. This measure is to apply to all attacks on small places which are not military targets, communications centers, armament targets, and the like, and therefore, are not of importance to the conduct of war.

"At the moment nothing is to be ordered; the only thing to be done is to discuss such a measure with the Wi. Ru and the Foreign Office."


8 April 46

So that, far from modifying the matter, you were increasing the severity of the measures to be taken, that is to say, Hitler is increasing the severity of the measures to be taken.

KEITEL: I do not remember this; but if that note was made at that time, something like that must have been mentioned by him in this conference, but I do not remember the incident.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I only want to put this point to you. You have said twice, on Friday and again today, that no order of the Wehrmacht had been issued. It would not need an order of the Wehrmacht to encourage the population to lynch fliers who had crashed. All that would be required to produce that result would be to hold off the police from arresting people who murdered them, would it not? You would not need an order of the Wehrmacht to encourage your population to murder fliers who had crashed, would you?

KEITEL: No, there was only the Wehrmacht which exclusively had the right to take a shot-down or landed airman into custody, and protect him against lynching of the population, and prevent anything like that from happening.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You will agree with me that once an American or British airman was handed over to the SD, his chance of survival would not be-what-one in a million? He would be killed, would he not?

KEITEL: I did not know it then; I only heard it here. I did not know it at the time.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You will agree that that was in fact what happened; when an airman was handed over to the SD, he would be killed, would he not? That is what would happen?

KEITEL: I did not know that it was so, but in this...

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I am not saying what you believe. Now we know what. would happen?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You have told us several times that you did not know anything about the SD. In fact, at one time, you were a sort of a court of appeal from the SD in France, were you not? You confirmed the killings by the SD in France, did you not?

KEITEL: I do not recall that I should have made any regulation.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: French Exhibit, Document Number RF-1244. I am afraid that I do not have a German copy, but this is what it says:


8 April 46

"Paris, 6 August 1942.

"In the criminal proceedings against the French citizens:

"(1) Jean Marechal, born on 15 October 1912.

"(2) Emmanuel Thepault, born on 4 June 1916.

"Field Marshal Keitel, acting within the powers given to him on 26 and 27 June 1942 by the Fuehrer in his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Army, has refused to pardon these two men condemned to death and has ordered that the sentences should be executed within the scope of the general punishments."

They were condemned by the Tribunal de la Feldcommandantur at Evreux, and this was sent to the Commandant de la Police de Surete et du SD-sent to the Commandant of the Police of the Surete and of the SD. Does that not show that you were dealing with a confirmation of sentences of death and passing on your confirmation to the SD?

KEITEL: This entire incident is an enigma to me. It happened in several cases that the Fuehrer, to whom I submitted all decisions which, as Supreme Commander, he had to ratify-that I may have put the signature, "By order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Keitel." By order-that might have been possible, otherwise I know nothing about it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, it does not look like that. Let me remind you of the words, "Marechal Keitel, dans le cadre des pouvoirs qui lui ont ete donnes les 26 et 27 Juin 1942." That date. It is acting within the powers given to you by the Fuehrer. Had you not been given the powers?

KEITEL: No, I did not have any such powers in that case. That is a mistake. However, I may have put a signature, "By order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Keitel, Field Marshal."

THE PRESIDENT: Are you passing from that?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, I was going to pass on.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, isn't Document D-775 relevant to that? The last line of the first paragraph

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE My Lord, I am very grateful to you.

THE PRESIDENT: D-775. As I understand it, the defendant was saying that he did not know what would necessarily happen to these prisoners if they were handed over to the SD. Those are the last words of the first paragraph



8 April 46

Turning to the defendant.7 The words are, ". . . the handing over of airmen from the Air Force Reception Camp at Oberursel to the SD for special treatment."

We know, Defendant, that "special treatment" means death. Didn't you know, in 1944, what "special treatment" meant?

K^EITEL: Yes, I know what "special treatment" meant. I do know that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, there is just one other point in the document which my friend General Rudenko put to you-on Saturday, I think it was, or Friday evening-Document EC-338. You remember General Rudenko put this. This document is the report of Admiral Canaris about treatment of prisoners of war, dealing with the position of the Soviet Union as not being signatory to the Convention. You remember the point that Admiral Canaris put to you, that although they were not signatories, since the 18th century there had been established a practice that war captivity was neither revenge nor punishment, but solely protective custody. Do you remember the document? It was a report from Canaris to you as of the 15th of September 1941, putting out the position of prisoners of war of a country that had not signed the Convention. You remember, you said you agreed with it but that you had to put on this statement that it was nonsense from the point of view of the present situation because it arose from a military concept of chivalrous warfare, that this was the destruction of an ideology. You said that you had to put that on, on Hitler's instructions. Do you remember?

KEITEL: I had submitted to him the procedure and I asked that he read this, and upon that, I wrote out this note.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes. Now, there is a Paragraph 3-act which I want you to have in mind at the moment on the point I am dealing with now:

"The screening of the civilians and politically undesirable prisoners of war, as well as the decision over their fate, is effected by the action detachments of the Security Police . . ." Sicherheitspolizei-that is underlined in purple, that is, it is your underlining, and opposite it is your pencilled note, "very efficient." That is, "action detachments of the Security Police, very efficient." Then it goes on, ". . . and the SD." Then Admiral Canaris says, ". . . along principles which are unknown to the Wehrmacht authorities." And you have put opposite "unknown to the Wehrmacht authorities": "not at all." Do you remember doing that?

KEITEL: I cannot recall it at the present moment. I must have made this remark in reference to the fact that this was unknown to the Wehrmacht. I think that is right.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You see, it is perfectly clear. Admiral Canaris says it is unknown to the Wehrmacht authorities, and you put opposite to that, in your penciled notation, "not at all." You could not have gotten that from Hitler; that must have been your own point, was it not, if you put in, in pencil, "not at all"? You must have thought that they were known to the Wehrmacht.

KEITEL: Not at all.

[The defendant read the document.]

I cannot clarify this statement. I put these remarks down in a hurry. I cannot identify or define them, neither can I give any clear explanation, because I do not know. However, I have the recollection that I wanted to make, or did make, a note to the effect that it remained unknown to the Wehrmacht and that is correct.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE Now, I just want to take you quite shortly on the last of my points, and then ask you one question about it. You have said to the Tribunal, I should think probably at least 25 times, that you were not interested in politics, that

you simply took your orders as to military preparations. I just want to ask you a little about that.

First of all, let us take the Austrian problem. I only want to put one document to you there. You remember Defendant General Jodl's account in his diary about the pretended military movements which, according to Defendant Jodl gather that you said that General Lahousen took a different view had an immediate effect in Austria? Do you remember that? You must remember that.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you suggested, did you not, these false military movements?

KEITEL: No, I neither devised nor suggested them; but it was an instruction of the Fuehrer as he dismissed me that evening. I would not have thought of that myself.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: You have the document books that I gave you. Just look at that. It is 113 of the German document book.

It is 131 of Your Lordship's document book, the larger document book.

Now, this is your document of the 13th, Defendant.

KEITEL: Yes, I recall.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And it says, if you look at Paragraph 1, to take no real preparatory measures in the Army or Luftwaffe, no troop movements or redeployments, to spread false but quite credible news which may lead to the conclusion of military


8 April 46

preparations against Austria. And it is through people in Austria and your customs personnel and through agents that you sent out the news, and by a make-believe wireless exchange and through maneuvers.

Now, you put that up to Hitler, and on the 14th Captain Eberhard gives the information by phone that the Fuehrer has given his approval on all points. You were putting up what the false news and the false preparations were to be in order to get a political effect in Austria, were you not?

KEITEL: I made the proposal on the basis and instigation of instructions which had been given to me on my return to Berlin.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well now, I only want to deal quite shortly with this, and I think I can, but I want to show the same point with regard to Czechoslovakia.

Before you became Chief of the OKW you had been under Von Blomberg at the Ministry of War. Had you seen Von Blomberg's plan for the invasion of Czechoslovakia, the directive dated 24 June 1937?

KEITEL: Yes, I knew that.


KEITEL: Yes. It was no directive for an invasion; it was the annual preparatory work for mobilization. That is what it was and what I know.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Well, Paragraph 2 reads:

"The task of the German Wehrmacht is to prepare in such a way that the bulk of the whole strength can break into Czechoslovakia quickly, by surprise, with the greatest force."

I should have thought that was a preparation for an invasion. All I want, at the moment, is to know this: You knew of that plan, Defendant, did you not?

KEITEL: I believe, yes, that I read it at that time, but of course I do not remember the details any more.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Now, you told this Tribunal that the first that you heard of the Fuehrer's plans against Czechoslovakia in 1938 was the interview with the Fuehrer that you had on 21 April 1938. It is very easy to forget something, and I am not putting it to you that you are lying, Defendant, on this point. But that is not accurate, is it? You had correspondence with the Defendant Von Ribbentrop as early as the 4th of March, 6 weeks before, on this point, had you not, about the liaisoning with the Hungarian High Command? Isn't that correct?

KEITEL: I cannot remember that; I have no idea.


8 April 46

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Just look at it. You see my point? You are stating that you were not dealing with politics, but if you will look at this document that I Till give you in a moment it is 2786-PSyou will see that it is apparently a letter from the Defendant Von Ribbentrop to you:

"Most Honored General: Enclosed I forward to you the minutes of a conference with the local Hungarian Ambassador for your confidential cognizance. As you can judge from it, Mr. SztoJay suggested that possible war aims against Czechoslovakia be discussed between the German and Hungarian Armies. I have many doubts about such negotiations. In case we should discuss with Hungary possible war aims against Czechoslovakia, danger exists that other parties as well would be informed about this.

"I would greatly appreciate it if you would notify me briefly whether any commitments were made here in any respect."

And the Foreign Ministry encloses the minutes of his conversation with the ambassador.

KEITEL: I remember this incident only so far as an invitation by General Von Ratz was concerned. I did not know at all just what was to be discussed. Von Blomberg had been invited by Von Ratz also, and in my ignorance I questioned Hitler whether I should make such a visit. Hitler agreed and told me that he considered it appropriate. However, an operational General Staff meeting did not take place, it was just a hunting visit with General Ritter von Ratz.

THE PRESIDENT: The Court will recess now.

[A recess was taken.]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I want to ask you very few questions on this part of the case, Defendant. Do you remember you told the Tribunal that on the 21st of April, when you saw Hitler, that he had either read to you or handed you a copy of the minutes which appear there, taken by Schmundt, about the basis of the "Fall Grun" against Czechoslovakia?

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, isn't this really a matter of argument rather than a matter for cross-examination? The witness says that insofar as the part he took in all these matters, it was military. The case of the Prosecution is that the part he took was political.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, if I may say so, it is a very fair comment and received with greatest respect. The difficulty is, when a witness has said several times "it is political"


8 April 46

mean, "it is only military". I wanted to bring out the points that show it is political and I don't want to cross anything which the Tribunal had in mind.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the Tribunal have all the documents before them upon which they can judge, really, unless you have new documents.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, there are not; and, My Lord, I will of course, accede at once to what the Tribunal says. My Lord, I should like to point out one document.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, I think the Tribunal does feel that the crossexamination is apt to get a little bit too long and sometimes too detailed.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship please, I am sorry if that has been done, but, My Lord, the witness was in examinationinchief, I think, 2 full days and in examination by the other defense counsel for half a day, and so far the Prosecution have only spent just 4 hours. So I hope Your Lordship won't hold it too much against us. My Lord, the only document which I should like to-I shall not pursue the point in view of what Your Lordship has said-it is Page 31 of the document book. I only wanted you to have this in mind, because Your Lordship will remember that the witness said that the state of German preparations was such that he himself and the other generals did not think that a campaign against Czechoslovakia would succeed. Your Lordship will see that on that day General Halder, then Chief of Staff, said that the operation will definitely succeed and almost will be reached in the second day. My Lord, I only want to pass on that and I think it is only fair that the Tribunal should have that point in mind. I don't think it has been referred to before. I will leave that point, as Your Lordship has indicated, and I will leave the other points on this part of the case, which I intended to do. I only want to deal with a different point entirely and then I shall finish.

[Turning to the defendant] Defendant, the document which I have now passed to you is a document which gives the account of a conference between Hitler and yourself on the 20th of October 1939 with regard to the future shape of Polish relations, and I want you to look at Paragraph 3, the second subparagraph. I want to put one interview to you that arose out of that. That paragraph says:

"The Polish intelligentsia must be prevented from forming a ruling class. The standard of living in the country is to remain low. We want only to draw labor forces from there."

Now, do you remember General Lahousen giving evidence? He said that Admiral Canaris had protested vehemently to you against, first of all, the projected shooting and extermination measures that


8 April 46

were being directed particularly against the Polish intelligentsia, nobility, and clergy, as well as elements that could be regarded as embodiments of the national resistance movement. According to General Lahousen, Canaris said:

"Some day the world will make the Armed Forces, under whose eyes these events have occurred, also responsible for these events."

Do you remember Admiral Canaris saying that to you or words to that effect?

KEITEL: I know only what General Lahousen testified here in court. I do not know anything about what Admiral Canaris said.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Did Lahousen never give you any warning of any kind as to the fact that the Armed Forces might be held responsible for these actions that were being taken in Poland?

KEITEL: No. It was also my opinion that the Armed Forces would be made responsible, if such actions were taken without their approval and without their authorization. That was also the reason for the conference.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: And that was a point that did worry you very much; didn't it?

KEITEL: Yes, I was extremely worried and I had very serious discussions about it, but not at that particular time.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE;: And wouldn't it be fair to put it this way, that if you had known at the time all that you know now, you would have refused, even with all that you have told us, you would have refused to have anything to do with actions that produced concentration camps, mass murder, and misery to millions of people, or do you say that you still, knowing all that you know now, would have gone on with these actions?

KEITEL: No; I am convinced that if the German Armed Forces and their generals had known it, then they would have fought against these things.


Mt. THOMAS J. DODD (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): If Your Honors please, I have just one question.

[Turning to the defendant.] A few days ago, on the morning of the 3rd of April, when you were on direct examination, we understood you to say that you had the feeling that you must accept responsibility for orders issued in your name, orders which you passed on, which were issued by Hitler; and on Friday afternoon, when Sir David was examining you, we understood you to say that


8 April 46

as an old professional soldier you, of course, understood the traditions and indeed the principles of that profession that oblige a soldier not to carry out any order which he recognizes to be criminal in character. Is that understanding on our part correct?

KEITEL: Yes, I understood that.

MR. DODD: So that it is fair to say to you that under the obligations of your oath as a professional soldier, you did acknowledge carrying out criminal orders?

KEITEL: One can hardly put it that way. What should be said is that the type of government we had at the time and the authority of the head of state permitted such legislative power that the executive organs were not conscious of Carrying out illegal orders. Of course, I was also aware of the fact that deeds were committed which were incompatible with right and justice.

MR. DODD: I understand you to say you did, with knowledge, carry out and pass on criminal or illegal orders. Is that a fair statement?

KEITEL: I did not have any inner conviction of becoming criminal in doing so, since after all it was the head of the state who, as far as we were concerned, held all the legislative power. Consequently I did not consider that I was acting criminally.

MR. DODD: Well, I do not want to devote any more time to you except to say this, to suggest to you that I think your answer is not responsive.

You told us that some of these orders were violations of the existing international law. An order issued in that form and on that basis is a criminal order, is an illegal order, is it not?

KEITEL: Yes, that is correct.

MR. DODD: Well, when you carried them out, you were carrying out criminal orders in violation of one of the basic principles of your professional soldier's code, no matter by whom they were issued.


THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, do you wish to reexamine?

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I do not propose to put any further questions to the defendant regarding the actual facts involved in the case. It appears to me that after his frank statements, the objective facts have been clarified as much as is possible in this Trial.

Regarding the facts subjectively seen, it is necessary according to my conception, particularly with reference to the last question which has been asked by the American prosecutor, that certain supplementary statements be obtained.


8 April 46

[Turning to the defendant] Once more, therefore, I am having the Canaris document shown to you, USSR356, from which General Rudenko has presented to you your handwritten note and also the documents submitted by the British Prosecutor, D762, 764, 766, 765, and 770.

According to statements made during the crossexamination your explanation regarding responsibilities appears to require a supplementary clarification. You have said that you passed on Hitler's orders in cognizance of their contents. And now I come back to Mr.Dodd's question and in light of the judgment to be passed on you, I must ask you, for it is of the greatest importance, how was it possible and how do you want to explain that these ruthless orders, in violation of the law of war, could be carried out by you or how, as it says in the note on the Canaris document, you could support them? You did have objections. You told us so. This is a matter that can be explained only by you, by yourself, since it is a personal affair and cannot be clarified with the help of documents, as such. A number of times you have told me, and now again you have emphasized it, that you desired to help us find a thorough and truthful explanation for everything.

Thus, I am asking you how was it possible and how do you explain that those orders and instructions were carried out and passed on by you and how is it that no effective resistance was met with?

KEITEL: About this clearing up, I realize that many orders and also notes which I wrote on documents that have been found and orders which I passed on, must seem incomprehensible to third parties, to outsiders, and particularly to foreigners.

To find an explanation for this, I must say that you had to know the Fuehrer, that you have to know in what atmosphere I worked in, day and night, for years; you must not fail to consider just what the circumstances were, under which these events occurred. I have often testified here that I wanted to give expression to my scruples and objections, and that I did so. The Fuehrer would then advance arguments which to him appeared decisive and he did so in his own, I must say, forceful and convincing way, stating the military and political necessities and making felt his concern for the welfare of his soldiers and their safety, as well as his concern about the future of our people. I must state that, because of that, but also because of the everincreasing emergency, militarily speaking, in which we found ourselves, I convinced myself and often allowed myself to become convinced of the necessity and the rightness of such measures. So I would transmit the orders that were given, and promulgate them without letting myself be deterred by any possible effects they might have.


8 April 46

Perhaps this may be considered as weakness and perhaps I shall be accused of the same guilt. But at any rate, what I have told is the truth. During the examination by Sir David I myself admitted and acknowledged that I often had serious conflicts of conscience and that I often found myself in a position where I myself in some way or another was able to draw the consequences of these matters. But never did it enter my mind to revolt against the head of the state and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces or refuse him obedience. As far as I am concerned, and as a soldier, loyalty is sacred to me. I may be accused of having made mistakes, and also of having shown weakness towards the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, but never can it be said that I was cowardly, dishonorable, or faithless.

This is what I had to say.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I have reached the end of my examination. I should like to ask you, if I may, only that the documents which have been offered to the Tribunal in the course of this examination, bearing the Numbers 1 and 2 in Document Book 2, named Documents Keitel8 and Keitel9, be admitted in evidence without the necessity of my reading any parts thereof. The Prosecution know the documents and they are agreeable.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, there is one question I should like to ask you. Are you suggesting that you ever put your protest or objections to the orders of Hitler in writing?

KEITEL: Once I handed him a protest in writing, yes. That I know for certain. In the other cases, and as far as I can recollect, the matters were discussed verbally.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you keep a copy of that protest?

KEITEL: I have nothing left, Mr. President, not a single piece of paper.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you keep a copy of the protest? I did not ask you whether you had a copy; I asked you whether you kept a copy. Did you make a copy?

KEITEL: I had a draft as well as the handwritten document which I also had given to him through the chief adjutant. I think I had the draft in my personal files, but now I no longer have it and I do not know where these files have gone. They could possibly have been in the hands of the chief of the Armed Forces central office, who dealt with personal matters in my office, or later on they may have got into the hands of the chief adjutant of the Fuehrer, General Schmundt, I do not know. There, I think, the original of that document I sent at that time ought to be available.

THE PRESIDENT: And what was the occasion of the protest?


8 April 46

KEITEL: It was made in connection with another crisis in our relationship during which he had expressed his distrust, and in connection with the current controversies on basic matters of the conduct of the war.


KEITEL: I believe it was in 1940-1939-1940, in the winter of 1939-40.

THE PRESIDENT: And you cannot say more about it than that it was made on basic matters?

KEITEL: I clearly asked for permission to resign on account of the accusations made against me and for the reasons which I was quoting.

THE PRESIDENT: That is all. The defendant can return to his seat.

[The defendant left the stand.]

DR. NELTE: May I ask permission to submit the two documents to the Tribunal? I mentioned them before.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly. Are you going to call in any more witnesses?

DR. NELTE: I had asked the Tribunal to call to the stand the witness Dr. Lammers.


DR. NELTE: Witness Dr. Lammers, please.

[The witness Lammers took the stand.]

THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your name in full.

HANS HEINRICH LAMMERS (Witness): Hans Heinrich Lammers.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.

[The witness repeated the oath in German.]

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down if you wish.

DR. NELTE: Witness, I principally wished to question you on the OKW, its competencies, and the position held by the Defendant Field Marshal Keitel as Chief of the OKW. We have talked about the matter during our discussions, but since this will have been sufficiently clarified after the statements made by Goering and the defendant and statements yet to be made by other witnesses, and also to save time, I do not propose to ask you in general or in detail on this subject. But I would like you, as the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, to answer questions which others may not know as well


8 April 46

as you do-you, who had participated in some way or other when certain decrees, and particularly that of the 4 February 1938, were drafted. May I ask you, therefore, to tell me, first of all, what brought about the big reshuffle of 4 February 1938?

LAMMERS: The Fuehrer informed me that the Minister of War, Von Blomberg, was going to leave his position and that on that occasion he wanted to make certain other changes of personnel in the

German Government and that in particular the Foreign Minister

Von Neurath was going to retire and that here, too, a change would take place and that, furthermore, in the High Command of the Army, certain changes were about to be made. Subsequently, the Fuehrer gave me the order to draft a decree regarding the leadership of the Wehrmacht. I was to participate in this in collaboration with the Wehrmacht Department of the War Ministry. As a guiding principle the Fuehrer gave me the following instructions:

"In the future I no longer want to have a Reich Minister for War; and in the future I no longer want a Commanderin-Chief of the Wehrmacht who stands between me as the Supreme Commander, and the CommandersinChief of the branches of the Wehrmacht."

Accordingly, the decree was drafted, in which, to start with, the High Command of the Armed Forces became a military staff which was to be under the direct orders of the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer desired that there should be no independent authority here, which would stand between him and the CommandersinChief of the branches of the Wehrmacht. Consequently, the thenappointed Chief of the OKW, General of Artillery Keitel, had no direct power of command over the branches of the Wehrmacht. Such power of command was out of the question if only for reasons of authority.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this not been really covered by the Defendant Keitel himself? No question in crossexamination has been put to him to challenge any of his statements upon the organization of the OKW; therefore, it seems to the Tribunal it is not necessary at all.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I already told that to the witness in my introductory words, I asked the witness only to tell me what brought about the reshuffle of 4 February 1938 and therefore he had to talk a little about the decree of 4 February 1938. I shall try and make Dr. Lammers' examination as short as possible. I believe also that the circumstances surrounding the Chief of the OKW have been fully clarified, but it is, after all, a fundamental question. If a man of the standing of Dr. Lammers can confirm it, it would probably increase the value of the evidence.


8 April 46

THE PRESIDENT: If the Prosecution had put any questions in crossexamination suggesting that there was any inaccuracy in the evidence which the Defendant Keitel had given upon the subject, then, of course, it would be open to you and it would be necessary for you to call other evidence upon it; but, when the subject is not challenged in any shape or form, it is not necessary to confirm it.

DR.NELTE: In that case, Mr. President, I need not ask the witness any questions at all since the subject on which I was going to examine him was the position of the Defendant Keitel as Chief' of the OKW, his position as a Minister, his functions as a socalled chairman of the Reich Defense Council, and his functions as a member of the Three Man College. In all these cases, no questions have been raised by the Prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Prosecution did raise the question as to whether the Defendant Keitel took part in any political action and upon that you may question him.

DR. NELTE: Thank you very much.

[Turning to the witness.] Dr. Lammers, what can you say from your personal knowledge, about the question as to whether the Defendant, Field Marshal Keitel, had to occupy himself with political matters on the strength of his position as Chief of the OKW, or did occupy himself with them?

LAMMERS: As Chief of the OKW, he had, in reality, nothing at all to do with political matters. The way I understand your question is that you want me to say whether Herr Keitel, in his capacity as Minister of War, did concern himself with political matters. I do not quite understand your question.

DR. NELTE: This has nothing to do with his position as the Chief of the OKW or Chief of Staff, nor has it anything to do with his functions in the Ministry of War. What I want you to testify to is- do you know whether the Defendant Keitel, during the time when he had held the position of Chief of the OKW, dealt with political questions, that is to say, primarily with foreign political questions?

LAMMERS: I cannot make any statement regarding the great political issues, particularly foreign political affairs, as far as Herr Keitel is concerned, since I, myself, had nothing to do with these questions.

DR.NELTE: All right, then. In that case I want to ask you a concrete question: You know that Field Marshal Keitel was present at receptions when President Hacha came, when there were meetings with other statesmen. In some cases you were probably also present. Can you say whether during such receptions, it was the function of Field Marshal Keitel to take part in the political discussions or not?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: As far as I know, Herr Keitel often took part in such discussions with foreign statesmen. I, myself, as a rule did not take part. You have mentioned President Hacha. It was an exception that I was there, for matters regarding the Protectorate were no' regarded as foreign political matters by us. I hardly ever was present at foreign political discussions with competent men from abroad, at discussions of a political nature, and I cannot say, therefore, to what extent Herr Keitel did participate during such conferences. I assume though that he was frequently present during 'such conferences.

DR.. NELTE: In other words, you cannot answer that question on the strength of your knowledge. In that case, I am asking you: In accordance with the wishes of Hitler, the author of the decree of 4 February 1938, with whom you have discussed its purposes, should the man who was to take over the position of Chief of the OKW have any political functions?

LAMMERS: In my opinion he was not to have any political functions as Chief of OKW, for he was immediately subordinate to the Fuehrer.

DR. NELTE: Did it ever, at any time, become known to you, or did you ever get the impression that Field Marshal Keitel was a political general, in the sense that it was customary to call him a political general?

LAMMERS: I never had that impression.

DR.NELTE: Mr. President, I have no further questions to ask the witness since everything else he was to make statements on has already been clarified.

train; PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal thinks that you may have misunderstood what I said to you about whether you should ask any questions about the Defendant Keitel as a member of the Reich Defense Council. If this witness can give any evidence upon that point, you may question him upon it.

DR. NELTE: Witness, in the Reich Defense Law of 1938, you, as Chief of the Reich Chancellery, were appointed a permanent member of the Reich Defense Council. Do you know if this Reich Defense Law, including the Reich Defense Council, ever became effective?

LAMMERS: The Reich Defense Law was made but was never promulgated as such Therefore in my opinion, it has never become a law. The contents of the Reich Defense Law were partially applied as, so to speak, secret instructions of the Fuehrer. The Reich Defense Law provided for a Reich Defense Council. That Reich Defense Council, as such, as far as I know, never convened. I, at any rate, have never received an invitation to attend a meeting, and, in my


8 April 46

recollection, I have never taken part in any meeting of this Reich Defense Council.

Two meetings, however, were supposed to have taken place, as I have heard, which have been called meetings of the Reich Defense Council. But I believe that these meetings, because of the large number of people attending them-I think there were 60 or 80- were meetings called by the Delegate for the Four Year Plan in this capacity. I do remember having partaken in such meetings. Apart from that, after the Reich Defense Law had been formulated, I heard so little of it during the subsequent years that I myself did not remember that I had been appointed a permanent member of this Reich Defense Council. At any rate, in such meetings, if they were meetings of the Reich Defense Council, in which I had partaken, no matters directly concerned with the defense of the Reich were discussed.

DR. NELTE: Do you know anything about the tasks which the Reich Defense Council were supposed to have?

LAMMERS: I know no more about their tasks than was contained in the law, which was not published; and as far as I can recall, these were only general descriptions, very general, of the tasks to be performed, all pertaining to the defense of the Reich.

DR. NELTE: It has been stated by the Prosecution here that the Reich Defense Council was an instrument for the planning of aggressive war. At any rate, an instrument for aggressions and for rearmament. Is there anything you know as to whether the Reich Defense Council was directly or indirectly involved in undertaking or carrying out such tasks?

LAMMERS: Nothing at all is known to He about that.

DR. NELTE: I should like to put now a few questions to you regarding the Secret Cabinet Council of which, according to the law, you were supposed to be a member. Defendant Keitel was to have been a member of the Secret Cabinet Council, and it does, in fact, say so in that law. What can you tell us about that law?

LAMMERS: When Von Neurath resigned as Foreign Minister, the Fuehrer wanted to give Von Neurath as much prominence as possible in the eyes of the world, and he ordered me to draw up a decree regarding a Secret Cabinet Council of which Herr Von Neurath was to be President, with the title President of the Secret Cabinet Council. Other members were, as far as I can recall, the Reich Foreign Minister; the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Reich Minister Hess; Field Marshal Keitel; and I, myself. I think that is all.

But I gathered from statements made by the Fuehrer that the creation of this council was purely a formal matter which was to


8 April 46

procure a special position for Herr Von Neurath in the eyes of the public. I was convinced that the Fuehrer would never call a meeting of the Secret Cabinet Council. In fact, the Secret Cabinet Council has never actually met, not even for a constitutional meeting. It never received any task from the Fuehrer through me; it merely existed on paper.

THE PRESIDENT: Witness, if it was a secret, how could it affect the public?

LAMMERS: Through the promotion of the Reich Minister Von Neurath it was to be shown to the public that there were no fundamental differences of opinion between the Fuehrer and the Reich Foreign Minister Von Neurath justifying his resignation. It was to be demonstrated that all was well between the Fuehrer and Von Neurath; that in fact, because of his valuable knowledge of foreign political matters, Herr Von Neurath had been given, so to say, a higher position in the foreign political field by being appointed President of the Secret Cabinet Council.

DR. NELTE: This, in other words, was a sort of camouflage for his resignation?


DR. NELTE: I have another question. Field Marshal Keitel, as Chief of the OKW, has been accused of having countersigned certain laws, and I am now asking you what was the significance of the fact that the Chief of the OKW countersigned the laws?

LAMMERS: Since he was exercising the authority of the Minister for War, he was obliged to countersign these laws. He assumed the responsibility, visavis the Fuehrer, that the Armed Forces, and everything connected with the former Ministry of War were given proper consideration.

Keitel could only exercise his war ministerial authority by mandate of the Fuehrer, as specified in the decree, and as a result he was obliged to ask the Fuehrer whether he could countersign or not. His authority as Minister for War was limited, in comparison, with that of any other minister who simply applied his signature as an ordinary minister, whereas Field Marshal Keitel could only exercise his war ministerial authority by mandate of the Fuehrer.

DR. NELTE: In other words, if I understand you correctly, you want to say that Field Marshal Keitel was not a Minister?

LAMMERS: He was not a Minister as becomes clear from the decree which expressly states that he only had the rank of a Minister.

DR. NELTE: Do you mean, in other words, that if he had been a Minister that you would not have had to give him full ranking of


8 April 46

a Minister? But then, he was also a member of the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich. Did not that make him a minister?

LAMMERS: Nothing was altered in his position in the Reich Government through that membership.

DR. NELTE: You mean no, don't you?

LAMMERS: Yes, I mean no.

DR. NELTE: Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn until 1400.

[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]


8 April 46

Afternoon Session

THE PRESIDENT: Are there any of the other defendants' counsel who wish to ask questions of this witness?

DR. ALFRED SEIDL (Counsel for Defendants Hess and Frank): Witness, can you recall what Hitler said in the Cabinet meeting, regarding his political aims and the program of the new Government?

LAMMERS: Hitler delivered a very long speech, in the course of which the individual ministers also had a chance to speak. One of the details I remember particularly is that the Fuehrer talked, first of all, about the removal of unemployment, something which would definitely have to be achieved. Secondly, he spoke about the fact that an economic revival of Germany would have to be provided for. And thirdly, he talked in detail about the fact that a revision of the Versailles Treaty would have to be effected, and that we would have to try to put an end to the defamation of Germany which was contained in the Versailles Treaty, and that one would have to strive to achieve equality of rights for the German Reich within the circle of nations.

All these statements of Hitler's were then written down in a special Government declaration. I also recollect that in that Government declaration the protection of positive Christianity was mentioned in particular. I cannot recall the special details. But these, I am convinced, are the main points concerned.

Nothing was discussed which would have required special secrecy. And what was discussed was, in the main, contained in the Government declaration which was published in the press.

DR. SEIDL: Did Hitler say anything at all, during this Cabinet meeting, about the fact that he was going to alter the system of government and that he wanted to govern dictatorially?

LAMMERS: Herr Hitler expressed his opinion to the effect that the present parliamentary system, prevailing up to that time in Germany, had been a failure.

THE PRESIDENT: You are speaking about a meeting. What was the date of the meeting you are referring to?

LAMMERS: It was the first Cabinet meeting which the Defense Counsel inquired about. It took place on 30 January 1933, on the day after the seizure of power. The Fuehrer stated that the present governmental system had been a failure. Furthermore he said that the result of that failure had been that the Reich President was obliged, in a state of emergency, according to Article 48 of the Weimar Constitution, to govern by means of emergency decrees, and that the only possibility was to create a stable Reich Government,


8 April 46

a government which would be in power for many years. And further, how one could create such a government would be something which would have to be agreed upon first with the Reich President and the Reichstag.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, did Hitler say, during this Cabinet meeting, that he wanted to concede to the NSDAP a specially favored position of power?

LAMMERS: He said that the NSDAP, as the strongest party, would naturally have to have due influence in the German Government. He said nothing to the effect that he wanted to put an end to the other parties that still existed and were still represented in the Cabinet, the German Nationalists and the Stahlhelm group.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, did Hitler explain his foreign political aims during this first meeting and did he say, in particular, that Germany would definitely have to be freed from the shackles of the Versailles Treaty and would again have to take the place befitting her in the community of nations?

LAMMERS: I answered that question already in the affirmative before. Those were the foreign political aims, the complete revision of the Versailles Treaty.

DR.SEIDL: Did Hitler also mention at the time that for the achievement of these foreign political aims one would have to run the risk of another war, possibly even of a preventive war?

LAMMERS: As far as I know and as far as I remember, no mention was made of war, certainly not of a preventive war or an aggressive war.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, did Himmler, in the period following, in Cabinet sessions or during any other meetings of all or numerous ministers, present a comprehensive plan for the achievement of his foreign political aims?

LAMMERS: No, I knew of no comprehensive plan except the general points I have mentioned. Neither during that meeting nor during later meetings did Hitler elaborate a general plan. In my opinion, he never did discuss and describe in detail any comprehensive plans of a longterm character at all.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, what caused Himmler a) to appoint Hess Deputy to the Fuehrer of the NSDAP and b) to make him a Reich minister?

LAMMERS: He appointed Hess Deputy to the Fuehrer, I believe, because he, as Chancellor of the Reich, no longer wanted to attend to the business of the Party and had to have a responsible man for the technical leadership of the Party.


8 April 46

He appointed Hess Reich Minister in order to create a link between Party and State; to have a man in the Cabinet who was in a position to represent the wishes and views of the Party in the Cabinet. Perhaps he was thereby hoping to create a united front between Party and State, something which became a law later on.

DR.SEIDL: Witness, were the leading generals, a) before and b) after seizure of power, in contact with the Reich directorate and the Political Leadership Corps of the Party?

LAMMERS: Before the seizure of power, as far as I know, contact between the Party and the generals did not exist as such. There could only have been cases of personal contact between individual members of the Party and individual generals.

After the seizure of power I had the opportunity of being present when the Fuehrer, at the beginning of February 1933, had the highranking generals, the commandersinchief, introduced to him, and I had the impression that the Fuehrer did not know most of these men, for they were all introduced to him-I stood nearby-and it was my impression that he had known only a few of these men previously.

After the seizure of power, of course, the relations between the Party leaders and the highranking generals became closer-after the Party had gained a strong position in the State. But what I would like to say is that relations, general relations, between the Party, that is to say between the Reich directorate of the Party and the Political Leadership Corps of the Party on the one side, and the highranking generals and perhaps also the generals with lower rank, on the other side-that these relations never went beyond the purely formal, beyond socalled social relations which were based on duty requirements at chance meetings, on festive occasions and public demonstrations, et cetera. I feel that the general relations between the Reich Directorate and the Political Leadership Corps of the Party on the one side, and the generals on the other, were in no instance any closer than that.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, did the character of these relations change after Hitler became the Head of the State and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces?

LAMMERS: As far as the highranking generals are concerned, I am of the opinion that in principle nothing changed, for the highranking generals regarded the Fuehrer not as the leader of the Party but as the Head of the State, and they considered him the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Consequently, they did not believe that they had to establish any particularly close relations with the Party.


8 April 46

DR. SEIDL: Witness, did joint meetings and conferences take place for the discussion of political aims between the Reich Government, the Reich Directorate of the Party, and the highranking generals?

LAMMERS: Such joint meetings or conferences are out of the question. They never took place. That would also have been impossible because of the large number of people involved.

DR.SEIDL: Witness, were members of the Reich Government, the Reich Directorate of the Party and the highranking generals in a position to present their views to Hitler with regard to important questions involving the welfare of the nation, particularly on questions which concerned war or peace?

LAMMERS: Jointly, these three groups, if I may say so, naturally could not voice an opinion at all, for they connection with each other in any way. But neither could any of these groups-the Reich Directorate of the Party, the Reich Government, and the generals-voice its opinion, in the first place because they were not informed at all about the Fuehrer's political and economic aims. What attitude could they take? They were simply taken by surprise by the actual execution, by the accomplished facts, and any subsequent voicing of an opinion would have meant a stab in the back" of the Fuehrer's policy.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, then a general political plan on Hitler's part -in which these most important groups were active participants- did not exist at all, and therefore there could be no talk of a conspiracy?

LAMMERS: I know of no such general plan, but I can assure you of one thing, that the large majority, the large majority of ministers never knew anything of any such general plan. Just how far the Fuehrer informed individual persons of such plan, I do not know. I was not present on such occasions. The Fuehrer may have discussed some sort of plans with one person or another, perhaps with a member of the Party of the Reich Directorate or the generals; but just what was discussed on such occasions I do not know. And of course I cannot say whether in such cases these gentlemen agreed or disagreed with the Fuehrer. I also do not know whether shortly before the execution of any largescale political plans, such as for instance the march into Czechoslovakia or something like that, whether, shortly before, they could still advise the Fuehrer as to whether they agreed or were opposed, or whether they merely received an order which they had to execute.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, if I understand you correctly, then you obviously want to say that all decisions of any magnitude were made by Hitler alone?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: The largescale political decisions were certainly made by him alone, at most with some few persons being consulted and participating, but never with the Reich Government participating, for the Reich Government-if I may go into detail about this -it was when we left the League of Nations that Hitler for the last time informed the Reich Government before taking an action. Then followed as a large, important action, the march into the Rhineland.

The Cabinet was informed that we were going to withdraw from the League of Nations; it was still informed beforehand.

No one was informed of the march into the Rhineland; the Fuehrer informed the Reich Cabinet only after the march had taken place. On the occasions of the march into Austria, the march into the Sudetenland, the march into Prague, the outbreak of the Polish war, the beginning of the other campaigns against Norway, France, Russia, and so forth, the Reich Government were consulted by the Fuehrer neither beforehand, nor were they informed subsequently; and consequently there were certain illfeelings among all the ministers because they were in no instance informed in advance of these largescale plans which had certain implications for the nonmilitary departments as well, and because the Reich Government did not learn until later of the accomplished facts.

Thus, to this extent I can say that all these decisions were made by the Fuehrer alone; and to what extent he consulted persons individually I do not know. However, on the whole, the large majority of the ministers were not informed of all these actions; they just had general information such as any newspaper reader and any radio listener has; or they, as I for instance, sometimes heard of such a matter a few hours before, when it was made known to the press. There was no questioning of the Fuehrer or any information from him beforehand.

DR. SEIDL: Please tell me now just how it actually came about, that the entire governmental power was thus transferred to the Fuehrer?

BUMMERS: That transfer was accomplished, I might say, by way of a gradually developing state customary law.

DR.SEIDL: Slowly, please.

LAMMERS: First of all, the Fuehrer and the Reich Government had been given, by the wellknown Enabling Act of the Reichstag, the power to alter the Constitution. The Reich Government made use of this power in their actual legislation and, of course, use was also made of it by way of passive endurance and by creating a state customary law as was actually recognized in all countries. Thus in the course of the first years, and also during the later years, it came


8 April 46

about quite naturally by way of a state customary law, that the Fuehrer acted more independently than would actually have been possible according to the Weimar Constitution. From the beginning important political questions were all removed by the Fuehrer from the jurisdiction of the Cabinet.

Even in 1933 and 1934, when Hindenburg was still alive, the Fuehrer did not wish general political questions to be raised in the Cabinet by any minister. I repeatedly had to have various ministers informed that they were to refrain from bringing up questions which did not directly affect their department for discussion in the Cabinet.

For instance, I had to pass on such information to those gentlemen who wanted to discuss church policy. I had been forbidden to put any general political questions on the agenda of a Cabinet meeting. If, in spite of that, a minister raised a political question during a meeting of the Cabinet, then the Fuehrer generally interposed and silenced the minister concerned, or referred him to a private discussion. Things developed in this way in the course of time.

After Von Hindenburg's death, when the Fuehrer became the Head of State, such debates in the Cabinet were stopped altogether. Nothing of this sort could be debated any more. The ministers were not allowed to feel that they were political ministers. I had to inform various gentlemen repeatedly, by order of the Fuehrer, that they were requested to refrain from voicing their opinions in regard to such questions during Cabinet meetings.

Then came the time, which I have already described, during which the largescale actions took place and there were no more Cabinet meetings. In this connection the Fuehrer acted alone, and all declarations which were made on behalf of the Reich Government were made by him alone, acting on his own and without previous consultation with the Cabinet. I must admit that the Cabinet very often complained about that but could not prevail against the Fuehrer.

Thus gradually the governmental power-if I interpret "Regierung" according to the conception of "government" laid down in AngloSaxon law-then after 1936 there was no longer any complete Reich Government at all consisting of the Reich Chancellor and the Reich Ministers, that is, a collective, unified body. The Fuehrer was the Reich Government, and this power had slipped into his hands-and one will naturally say that it should not have slipped into his hands. All I can say to this, is that it may have been wrong, it may have been stupid, but it was not a crime. It was a political development such as has happened repeatedly in history. I might recall the fact that in ancient Rome, where the senate had the power and that there...


8 April 46

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal really does not want to hear a history of ancient Rome.

LAMMERS: Very well.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, you have described the development of the transfer of governmental powers into Hitler's hands. . .

LAMMERS: Yes, but not completely.

DR. SEIDL: In that case, please continue with your account. But all descriptions...

THE PRESIDENT: We have had quite enough. We quite understand that he is saying that Hitler took over all powers and would not listen to any debate at all. It is perfectly clear that he said so.


Witness, will you please tell me one more thing about the last question in this connection? Please tell me whether you as Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery considered legal the development you have just described.

LAMMERS: I regarded this development, in the first place, from the point of view of constitutional law. I have discussed these questions repeatedly with Hitler, and I consider this development perfectly legal and, if it is desired, I can explain my reasons in detail.

In particular, I considered this development legal in view of the wellknown Enabling Act and later laws which gave the Reich Government plenipotentiary powers and because of which the Reich Government, in turn, were in a position to delegate some of these powers to the Fuehrer and to transfer this power. In that manner that which the Reich Government, as soon...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, the Tribunal is not really interested in whether or not it was legal. What the Tribunal is interested in is whether crimes against other nations were committed. We certainly do not want to hear this in such great detail.

DR. SEIDL: Yes, but the main point of the Indictment is Count One of the Indictment; and that is concerned with the Conspiracy charged by the Indictment.

THE PRESIDENT: The main point in the Indictment is not whether it was in accordance with German law that Hitler should take over the powers of his Government. There was no such point made in the Indictment.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, I now turn to some questions which concern the Defendant Dr. Frank. Since when have you known Dr. Frank? What were his activities up to the outbreak of the war?

LAMMERS: I became acquainted with Herr Frank in the course of the year 1932. If I understand you rightly, you want to hear about his activities only from the outbreak of the



8 April 46

DR. SEIDL: Up to the outbreak of the war.

LAMMERS: He was Chief of the Legal Division of the Party, then Chief of the National Socialist Lawyers' Association (Juristenbund) which later on became the socalled Lawyers' League (Rechtswahrerbund). Then he became a member of the Reichstag, and at the time of the seizure of power in 1933, he became Minister of Justice in Bavaria. At the same time he became Reich Commissioner for Legal Reforms.

Later on-and I do not remember the exact year-he became Reich Minister without Portfolio; and he was the President of the Academy of German Law. He finally became Governor General.

THE PRESIDENT: We have had the Defendant Frank's posts proved to Us already, I should think, probably more than once. We do not require them from Dr. Lammers.

DR. SEIDL: I can put another question to the witness.

Witness, what was the relationship between Frank and Hitler?

LAMMERS: The relationship between the two was, at the beginning, I should like to say, good and proper, but not particularly close. At any rate, during the whole time he did not belong to those who could be called the closest advisers of the Fuehrer.

DR. SEIDL: What was Frank's attitude towards the "Police State" and the question of concentration camps?

LAMMERS: Frank repeatedly made speeches in public in which he stood up for the constitutional state, for right and law, by attacking the "Police State" and in which-although not in very strong terms-he always took a stand against internment in concentration camps, because such internment was without a legal basis. These speeches made by Frank were frequently the cause of severe disapproval on the part of Hitler, so that in the end the Fuehrer instructed me to forbid his making speeches and he was forbidden to publish the printed version of these speeches. Finally, Frank's activity in standing up for the constitutional state resulted in his being removed from his office as the Reich Chief of the Legal Division of the Party.

DR. SEIDL: Was he not dismissed from his position as President of the Academy of German Law for these reasons?

LAMMERS: Yes, that happened at the same time-and also from his position as Chief of the Lawyers' League.

DR. SEIDL: Another question: Did Dr. Frank as Governor General have considerable power, or was it not rather the case that his power in many respects was greatly infringed upon?

LAMMERS: One can certainly say that in many respects his power was infringed upon.


8 April 46

There are a number of reasons-first of all, as is selfevident, the Armed Forces. But they bothered him least of all, for in the occupied territories, the Reich commissioners were never members of the High Command of the Armed Forces. That was always separate.

Then Goering, as Delegate for the Four Year Plan, had comprehensive powers to issue orders to both the Party and the State in all occupied territories, therefore also in the Government General, and thus could give orders to the Governor General and could, when it was necessary in the interests of the whole, countermand and annul the latter's decrees.

Thirdly, Frank's powers as Governor General were considerably limited through the police, since Himmler as Chief of the German Police had direct police powers which he was, to be sure, to cooperate with those of the Governor General but which he did not always do. The Governor General suffered a further loss of power through the fact that Himmler was Reich Commissioner for the Preservation of German Nationality and as such could undertake resettlements and did do so without consulting Governor General Frank in any way.

Then, there were certain infringements in favor of the Plenipotentiary for the Allocation of Labor, but in my opinion the infringement of power in this field was very slight, for Gauleiter Sauckel always, where possible,

came to an agreement with the local of flees beforehand.

Finally there were powers reserved for Reich Minister Speer in the field of armament and technology. There were still other powers reserved for the postal service, the railroads, et cetera. But in the main, these are the gaps, as you call them, Dr. Seidl, in Frank's power.

DR. SEIDL: What, according to your observations, was Frank's basic attitude towards the Polish and Ukrainian peoples, and what was the policy he tried to carry through?

LAMMERS: In my opinion Frank always tried to pursue a policy of moderation and to create an atmosphere of friendship towards Germany in Poland. To be sure, he very often was unable to achieve his aim, especially because of the fact that the powers of the police and Himmler's powers were too great in the field of resettlement, so that his measures and his intentions suffered setbacks. He found it difficult to achieve his aims.

DR. SEIDL: Did Dr. Frank occupy himself with Germanization aims or did he rather, whenever he could, oppose the! policy of resettlement pursued by Himmler as Reich Commissioner for the Preservation of German Nationality?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: I should not have thought that Frank would be so foolish as to have germanizing intentions or to want to make Germans of Poles. He probably tried to win the people of German origin in Poland for the cause of Germanism. He had many difficulties with regard to the resettlements, since he was not consulted beforehand and since, by way of resettlement, people were simply shoved into the Government General. In that respect he and I agreed entirely. I have repeatedly told the Fuehrer that these mass resettlements could not take place, all at once, without the agreement of the Governor General, and that the Governor General could not govern if he did not know about these resettlement measures in advance and if he could not even exert an influence in connection with these measures.

DR. SEIDL: Witness, you stated earlier that the entire Security Police and the SO in the Government General were directly under Himmler or the Higher SS and Police Chief. Did Governor General Frank not try to protest against the policy of force employed by these two men and to relieve the situation?

LAMMERS: On this point he addressed repeated complaints to me, so that I might take them to the Fuehrer, which, however, I could do only in part. In one point, however, we did want to help him. In the Government General there had been established a Secretariat of State for the security system. This was under Kruger, then Higher SS and Police Chief. This, however, functioned for only 4 to 6 weeks and then differences of opinion in this field broke out once more. The State Secretary for Security, Kruger, stated, "I receive my orders from Himmler." If the Governor General complained about that, then Himmler said, "These are all unimportant matters. I certainly must be able to rule on them directly." The Governor General said, "But for me they are not unimportant; even those things are important to me."

The channels of command and the cooperation with the Governor General were not being observed, and it is therefore perfectly understandable that Herr Frank had a very difficult position with respect to the police system.

DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that the Governor General repeatedly, both orally and in writing, declared his intention of resigning and the reasons for it?

LAMMERS: He repeatedly offered his resignation, because of these sharp conflicts which he had, with Himmler in particular, and because Hitler usually decided that he was in the wrong and Himmler in the right. Many statements of his intention or desire to resign were brought to me, some of which I was not even allowed to submit to the Fuehrer. But I informed the Fuehrer of the Governor


8 April 46

General's intentions of resigning and the Fuehrer several times refused Frank's offer to resign.

DR.SEIDL: Do you know that ReichsFuehrer SS Himmler was working towards having Frank removed?

LAMMERS: ReichsFuehrer Himmler personally was indubitably an opponent of Frank's. There is cause for me to assume from various disapproving statements made by Himmler with regard to Frank that Himmler would have liked it very much if Frank had been removed from his position; and Reichsleiter Bormann who also was not very well disposed to Frank's personality, would have liked it also.

DR.SEIDL: Who in the Government General had jurisdiction over the concentration camps and was the competent official as far as their establishment and administration were concerned?

LAMMERS: The concentration camps were under Himmler, and organs and departments under Himmler's control were responsible for the administration and organization. There was an economic department, I believe, attached to the SS, which was responsible for administration; but concentration camps as such were under Himmler's jurisdiction.

DR. SEIDL: Who was responsible for all questions connected with the socalled Jewish policy in the Government General?

LAMMERS: In occupied territories the Jewish policy, I might say, in its larger implications was handled by Himmler, who directed it. But, of course, the Governor General was also concerned with matters in the field of Jewish policy or with measures against the Jews, for instance, the combating of spotted fever, and, I think, the marking by means of a visible sign. All personal measures were proposed to the Governor General by the Police. But the main policy in Jewish questions, as I learned afterwards, was handled entirely alone by Himmler, who had been given these powers by the Fuehrer.

DR.SEIDL: Is it true that the Governor General, as early as 1940, continuously raised complaints regarding the activities of the Higher SS and Police Chief Kruger?

LAMMERS: I can confirm that. That happened several times. In particular these complaints were made because the SS and Police courts were assuming powers in the Government General which they did not actually have. Consequently, they deprived the Governor General, the only authority competent in this respect, of the administration of justice. There were also shootings of hostages. He repeatedly complained about that. I want to state that all complaints were addressed to me-there were no complaints to me but they were merely always directed to me-so that I could submit them to the Fuehrer.


8 April 46

DR. SEIDL: Is it correct that the Governor General continuously made objections about the extensive claim made by the Retiith on the Government General, particularly in reference to grain deliveries?

LAMMERS: He had often raised objections but the demands which were put to him were even increased. He did, for the most part, fulfill them, which must have been extremely hard for him.

DR. SEIDL: Do you know that the Governor General protested against the removal of art treasures by Himmler's organization?

LAMMERS: Yes; I have only a very faint recollection of that. It is possible that he also complained about the removal of art treasures, but I cannot remember any details in that connection.

DR. SEIDL: And now the last question. Is it true that the Governor General, in many documents, from as early as 1940 on, made proposals to the Fuehrer regarding the improvement of living con

ditions of the population in the Government General and that the Fuehrer only very much later acknowledged that the high policy which had been advocated by Frank from the very beginning was correct?

LAMMERS: Herr Frank had often objected to a policy of exploitation and pronounced himself in favor of a policy of reconstruction, in cultural matters as well. He had suggested, for instance, that Polish advisory committees be assigned to the authorities under the Governor General and to the district chiefs, and so forth; that was refused. He spoke in favor of the creation of high schools, theological seminaries, and similar cultural aims, all of which were rejected.

On one occasion he had submitted a long memorandum. This referred to a Polish organization which called itself "The Plough and the Sword." It had offered to cooperate with the Germans, and Frank submitted detailed proposals in a long memorandum, saying that these Poles could be won over to cooperate only if they were met on proper terms. All these suggestions, coming from Frank, were turned down by Hitler. It is not correct for you to say, Dr. Seidl, that it was not until the last moment that the Fuehrer agreed to these suggestions; all I can say is that they were all turned down without exception.

DR. SEIDL: I have no further questions.

DR. ALFRED THOMA (Counsel for Defendant Rosenberg): By a decree of 17 July 1941 the Defendant Rosenberg was appointed Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Would you please tell the Tribunal very briefly by means of what decrees his authority in the East was limited?

LAMMERS: I can do that very briefly by repeating what I said before. The same limitations which applied to the Governor General


8 April 46

also apply to him-these limitations which I have just listed; but I have to add one thing more to that.

The position of Reich Minister Rosenberg was made particularly difficult through the fact that the difference of opinion which existed between him and Minister Goebbels in the field of propaganda was especially detrimental for him. For in the Fuehrer's opinion Rosenberg was to decide on the Eastern policy and Goebbels was to decide on the propaganda, and these two things could not always be coordinated. There were strong differences of opinion between Rosenberg and Goebbels which could be settled only after lengthy negotiations. But the practical success was always slight, because the difference of opinion, which had scarcely been settled, arose again without delay in the next few weeks. There was also another limitation which is different from the case of the Government General, that is, that Rosenberg had two Reich commissioners for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Reich Commissioner Lohse and Reich Commissioner Koch.

DR. THOMA: I am coming to that later.

Can you remember that before the 17 July 1941 decree there had been a conference with the Fuehrer, on the day before, on 16 July 1941, during which, right from the beginning, Rosenberg complained that his ministry was to have no police powers and that all police powers were to be transferred to Himmler?

LAMMERS: Herr Rosenberg was, of course, not quite in agreement with the vesting of police powers in Himmler. He did object to that but without success. Police matters in other occupied territories had been ruled upon in the same way as in this case. The Fuehrer would not depart from his views.

DR. THOMA: In the general instructions to the Reich commissioners there is a passage where it says that the Higher SS and Police Chief is directly subordinate to the Reich commissioner himself. Did this mean that the Police Chief could also give orders to the Reich commissioner in technical matters?

LAMMERS: Normally, no; Himmler had reserved technical instructions for himself. The SS and Police Chief was instructed to get in touch with the Reich commissioner and, of course, to take into consideration the latter's political instructions, but not the technical ones.

DR. THOMA: Not the technical ones? Please tell the Tribunal, but also quite briefly, what Rosenberg's political concepts were, from the beginning until the end, with reference to the treatment of the Eastern peoples.

LAMMERS: In my opinion he always wanted to pursue a moderate policy. Beyond a doubt he was opposed to a policy of


8 April 46

extermination and a policy of deportation, as was often preached. He made efforts to create order in the field of agriculture by means of his agrarian policy, likewise to create order in the field of education, church matters, universities, schools, and so forth. But he had little success, since one of the two Reich commissioners, namely Koch, in the Ukraine, opposed Rosenberg's measures, or rather simply disregarded Rosenberg's orders in respect to these matters.

DR. THOMA: I am thinking about the large political conceptions. Did he ever mention to you that he had the idea of leading the Eastern peoples to a certain autonomy and of allowing them such an autonomy?

LAMMERS: Yes, I can answer that in the affirmative.

DR. THOMA: Did he also mention to you that he intended that sovereign right should be extended to the Occupied Eastern Territories?

LAMMERS: Whether he said it in just that form, that I cannot recollect. At any rate he was in favor of establishing a certain independence for the Eastern peoples.

DR. THOMA: That is to say autonomy was it for this reason that he was so deeply interested in tending to the cultural life of these Eastern peoples?

LAMMERS: Yes. He was particularly interested in that. I know that because he also took an interest in the school system, the church, and the universities.

DR. THOMA: Was that possibly the cause of the conflict which he especially had with Reich Commissioner Koch?

LAMMERS: That and many other things. Koch was above all a strong opponent of the agrarian policy. That agrarian policy which Rosenberg considered especially favorable in the interest of his aims was sabotaged by Koch.

DR. THOMA: Can you mention any other fields in which Koch made difficulties for the Minister for the Eastern Territories?

LAMMERS: I cannot at the moment recollect any.

DR. THOMA: Do you know that there was a final row between the two when you were given the order, in collaboration with Bormann, to conduct negotiations between the two, and that Rosenberg refused and demanded that the matter be brought before the Fuehrer?

LAMMERS: The differences of opinion between Rosenberg and Koch were very numerous. They filled volumes and volumes of records. The Fuehrer had given the order that Bormann and I should investigate these matters. Many weeks of investigation ensued; and after the investigation I must say there was never a decision made


8 April 46

by the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer always postponed making a decision on these matters. On one occasion-perhaps that is the case which you, Dr. Thoma, are thinking of-the differences of opinion were again particularly sharp.

The Fuehrer then sent for Rosenberg and Koch, and instead of settling these differences of opinion, again no agreement was reached. Instead of a real decision, the compromise was made that these two gentlemen should meet once every month and cooperate. That was naturally, in the first place, an unbearable situation for Rosenberg, that he, as the minister in charge, should in every instance have to come to an agreement with the Reich commissioner subordinate to him; in the second place, it could hardly be carried out in practice. Firstly, the two gentlemen met no more than once or twice at most, and then when they did meet no agreement could be reached, and in the long run the Fuehrer thought that Koch was in the right.

DR. THOMA: How could it be seen that Koch was considered right?

LAMMERS: Because the Fuehrer reached no decision in regard to the complaints made by Rosenberg which, in my opinion, were justified. Thus the things accomplished by Koch remained.

DR. THOMA: Defendant Rosenberg says that the result was that Hitler gave him the order to confine himself in the administration of the Eastern territories to the most basic lines. Is that right?

LAMMERS: That was approximately the Fuehrer's order. Both had agreed to come to a mutual understanding on the matter about which the Fuehrer had misgivings.

DR. THOMA: What form did Rosenberg's relationship to the Fuehrer take and when was Rosenberg's last report to the Fuehrer?

LAMMERS: As far as I know, Rosenberg visited the Fuehrer at the end of 1943 for the last time; and even before that he had always had considerable difficulties in getting to see the Fuehrer. He was not very often successful.

DR. THOMA: Did this tense situation have the result that Rosenberg offered his resignation in the autumn of 1940?

LAMMERS: Yes, it was not actually an application for resignation, since the Fuehrer had prohibited such applications, but he did say that if he could no longer conduct affairs to the Fuehrer's satisfaction, he would like to be removed from office, thus, in the end, it amounted to an application for resignation.

DR. THOMA: Can you tell the Tribunal to what extent Rosenberg had influence and popularity among the population in the Occupied Eastern Territories? Is it correct, particularly, that a number of church leaders in the Occupied Eastern Territories sent telegrams


8 April 46

of thanks to him because of his tolerant attitude and because he allowed them to practice their religion freely?

LAMMERS: I know of that only superficially, from personal statements made to me by Rosenberg. He may have once told me something like that.

DR. THOMA: I have another question. It has repeatedly come to light during this Trial that Hitler's military entourage considered him a military genius. What was the situation in the administrative sphere? Hitler was above all the supreme legislator, the supreme chief of Government and Head of State. Did his administrative entourage encourage him in the belief that all his decisions were correct and that he was doing something extraordinary, or who did strengthen him in this belief?

LAMMERS: In this sphere, too, the Fuehrer had an extraordinarily quick power of perception and almost always a correct evaluation of affairs. He was in a position to make frequent use of the largescale policy which he alone had to determine for legislation and administration. It was then the task of the gentlemen who were to carry this out; above all, the ministers-I, too, to a certain extent-to shape into an appropriate form those suggestions and basic thoughts which he had formulated. If any objections did arise in this connection, the Fuehrer was for the most part willing to listen to them, as long as they did not touch the principle of the matter; he was thus ready to listen to questions of severity, mitigation, or greater stringency, if necessary, or to questions of formulation and construction, but not if a basic tendency was being attacked. Then one had great difficulties with him.

DR. THOMA: And as far as individual problems were concerned) did he personally make the pertinent decisions about everything, or was he hampered in any way by his purpose, by certain aims which he had in mind?

LAMMERS: Very little was reported to him. Normally, in the last years I made official reports every 6 or 8 weeks; in other words six or eight times a year or perhaps, at the most, 10 times. On these occasions, problems could not be discussed. Generally speaking, the Fuehrer left the administration to his ministers...

THE PRESIDENT: We have heard it over and over again about Hitler.

DR. THOMA: I have only one more question. Did you know anything regarding the fact that Hitler had decided to solve the Jewish question by the final solution, that is, by the annihilation of the Jews?

LAMMERS: Yes, I know a great deal about that. The final solution of the Jewish question became known to me for the first time


8 April 46

in 1942. That is when I heard that the Fuehrer supposedly, through Goering, had given an order to the SS Obergruppenfuehrer Heydrich to achieve a solution of the Jewish question. I did not know the exact contents of that order and consequently, since this did not come within my jurisdiction, at the beginning I took a negative attitude, but then as I wanted to know something I, of course, had to contact Himmler. I asked him what was really meant by the idea of the final solution of the Jewish question. Himmler replied that he had received the order from the Fuehrer to bring about the final solution of the Jewish problem-or rather Heydrich and his successor had that order-and that the main point of the order was that the Jews were to be evacuated from Germany. With that statement I was satisfied for the time and waited for fur her developments, since I assumed that I would now in some way-I really had no jurisdiction here-I would obtain some information from Heydrich or his successor, Kaltenbrunner.

Since nothing did come I wanted to inform myself about this, and back in 1942 I announced a report to the Fuehrer, whereupon the Fuehrer told me that it was true that he had given Himmler the order for evacuation but that he did not want any further discussion about this Jewish question during the war. In the meantime or shortly afterwards-this was already at the beginning of 1943-the RSHA sent out invitations to attend a meeting on the subject, "Final Solution of the Jewish Question." I had previously sent out an order to my officials that I was not defining my attitude to this matter, since I wanted to present it to the Fuehrer. I merely ordered that if invitations to a meeting were sent out, one of my officials should attend as a socalled "listening post."

A meeting actually did take place afterwards to discuss this question, but without results. Minutes were taken and the various departments were supposed to express their attitude. When I received these minutes I found that they contained nothing vital. For a second time I forbade taking a definite attitude. I myself refused to take a stand and I remember it very well indeed, because I received a letter which, first of all, was signed by some unimportant man who, as far as I was concerned, had no right to sign. He asked me why I had not yet taken a stand. Secondly, the tone of the inquiry was very unfriendly; he said that everybody had expressed an opinion except me. I ordered that the reply be made that I refused to define my views since I wished to discuss the matter with the Fuehrer first.

In the meantime I once more turned to Herr Himmler. He was of the opinion that it was necessary to discuss this question since a number of problems would have to be solved, particularly since the intention of achieving a final solution of the Jewish question would probably extend to persons of mixed blood, first grade, and


8 April 46

would also extend to the socalled "privileged" marriages, that is to say, marriages where only one party was Aryan whereas the other party was Jewish. The Fuehrer stated once more that he did not wish to have a report on it but that he had no objections to consultation on these problems. That some evacuations had taken place in the meantime had become known to me. At that time, at any rate, not the slightest thing was known about the killing of Jews; if crass individual cases came up, I always addressed myself to Himmler and he was always very willing to settle these individual cases.

Finally, however, in 1943, rumors cropped up that Jews were being killed. I had no jurisdiction in this field; it was merely that I occasionally received complaints and on the basis of these complaints I investigated the rumors. But, as far as I could tell, at any rate, these rumors always proved to be only rumors. Every one said he had heard it from somebody else and nobody wanted to make a definite statement. I am, in fact, of the opinion that these rumors were based mostly on foreign broadcasts and that the people just did not want to say from where they had the information.

That caused me once more to undertake an investigation of this matter. First of all, since I, for my part, could not initiate investigations of matters under Himmler's jurisdiction, I addressed myself to Himmler once again. Himmler denied any legal killings and told me, with reference to the order from the Fuehrer, that it was his duty to evacuate the Jews and that during such evacuations, which also involved old and sick people, of course there were cases of death, there were accidents, there were attacks by enemy aircraft. He added too, that there were revolts, which of course he had to suppress severely and with bloodshed, as a warning. For the rest, he said that these people were being accommodated in camps in the East. He brought out a lot of pictures and albums and showed me the work that was being done in these camps by the Jews and how they worked for the war needs, the shoemakers shops, tailors shops, and so forth. He told me:

"This is the order of the Fuehrer; if you believe that you have to take action against it then tell the Fuehrer and tell me the names of the people who have made these reports to you."

Of course, I could not tell him the names, first of all because they did not want to be named, and secondly, they only knew these things from hearsay, so as I said, I could not have given him any definite material at all.

Nevertheless, I once again reported this matter to the Fuehrer, and on this occasion he gave me exactly the same reply which I had been given by Himmler. He said, "I shall later on decide where


8 April 46

these Jews will be taken and in the meantime they are being cared for there."

Then he said the same thing Himmler had said, which gave me the impression that Himmler had told the Fuehrer that Lammers would come and probably report to him something about this.

But that final solution of the Jewish problem was nevertheless in my portfolio and I was determined to bring it UP once again with the Fuehrer. I succeeded in doing so on the occasion of some particularly crass cases in connection with this question, cases which were such that the Fuehrer let me talk to him about it. By way of example I should mention the entire case.

If a Jew was married to a German woman then he was considered "privileged," that is to say, he was not evacuated. But if the wife had died..

THE PRESIDENT: One moment, please...

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I myself should like to ask the witness to speak more briefly. But I ask that this particular question be admitted. In my opinion the witness is trying to describe how this entire final solution of the Jewish problem was carried out in secret and with deception being practiced on Hitler's entire entourage, and that is why I ask that the witness be allowed to finish his statement since this is a very decisive point in the discussion.

[Turning to the witness.]

But, Witness, please be quite brief. I am now putting this question to you: Did Himmler ever tell you that the final solution of the Jewish problem would take place through the extermination of the Jews?

LAMMERS: That was never mentioned. He talked only about evacuation.

DR. THOMA: He talked only about evacuation?

LAMMERS: Yes, only about evacuation.

DR. THOMA: When did you hear that these 5 million Jews had been exterminated?

LAMMERS: I heard of that here a while ago.

DR. THOMA: In other words the matter was completely secret and only very few persons knew of it?

LAMMERS: I assume that Himmler arranged it so that no one learned anything about it and that he formed his Kommandos in such a way that nobody knew anything about them. Of course, there must be a large number of people who must have known something about it.

DR. THOMA: Can you tell me what people must have known something about it, apart from those who actually carried out these


8 April 46

exterminations? Who, apart from those people, must have known something about it?

LAMMERS: Well, to start with, Himmler must have passed his order on to other people; and there must have been certain leading officials, and these leading officials must, of course, have had other leading officials subordinate to them who took charge of the Kommandos and who kept everything completely secret.

DR. THOMA: No further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

[A recess was taken.]

DR. OTTO PANNENBECKER (Counsel for Defendant Frick): Witness, you have already talked about a number of questions which are also of importance for the defense of Defendant Frick, since he was a member of the Reich Cabinet. Can you tell me on the strength of what position, or what position it was, that you are enabled to give these answers? I repeat, can you tell me what your position was within the Reich Cabinet which enables you to answer these questions?

LAMMERS: You mean my own?


LAMMERS: I was State Secretary in the Reich Chancellery and I was the intermediary between the Fuehrer and the Reich ministers, with two exceptions: the Fuehrer either had direct communication with these gentlemen or the men in question had a way prescribed to approach the Fuehrer other than through me. There were a number of things which did not go through my hands, but which the ministers submitted to the Fuehrer directly. These were all matters of high policy, particularly of high foreign policy. Only in 1937, on the occasion of certain changes in the Cabinet, did I receive the title "Reich Minister," but my tasks did not change. In particular, I also had no departments.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Can you tell me when the very last meeting of the Reich Cabinet took place?

LAMMERS: The Reich Cabinet met for the last time in November 1937. To be sure, in 1938, at the beginning of February, there was one more socalled "information conference" of the ministers, during which the Fuehrer announced the change which had been made in the Cabinet involving Herr Von Blomberg and Herr Von Neurath. The last Cabinet meeting in which actual consultation took place, namely in regard to the draft of a penal code, took place in November 1937.


8 April 46

DR.PANNENBECKER: Can You tell me something about any attempts after that date to get the ministers together?

LAMMERS: After that date I continuously attempted to effect a concentration of the Reich Cabinet, a reactivation, I might say. This was continuously refused by the Fuehrer. I had even prepared a draft, a draft for a decree according to which ministers should at least come together to consult with each other once or twice a month under the chairmanship of Reich Marshal Goering, or, if he were prevented from attending, with me as acting chairman. The ministers were to come together and hear informal reports. That was turned down by the Fuehrer. Nevertheless, the ministers had an urgent desire to meet. My next suggestion was that I invite the ministers once or twice a month to a social evening, a beer party, so that we could get together and talk. To that the Fuehrer replied, "Herr Lammers, this is not your concern; it is my concern. The next time I go to Berlin, I will do that."

THE PRESIDENT: What are all these details about beer drinking? If they did not meet and he applied to the Fuehrer, asking them to meet, and they never did, that is sufficient. What is the good of going into detail?

DR.PANNENBECKER: Is it correct, therefore, to say that the Reich Ministers had to work on their own in their departments, in their special field of activity, and that a Reich Cabinet as such, which decided questions of policy and was informed and held discussions, did not exist any more at all?

LAMMERS: Actually the ministers were no more than the highest administrative chiefs of their departments. They could no longer act in the Cabinet of the Reich Government as political ministers. I tried to describe that earlier. No more meetings took place; conferences were even forbidden. So, how could it have been possible for them to exchange views?

DR. PANNENBECKER: Do you know anything about Himmler's statement considering the Reich Cabinet as a defeatist club, which he did not want to see anymore?

LAMMERS: In connection with my attempts to reactivate the Reich Cabinet through certain meetings, the Fuehrer told me that this would have to be stopped since an atmosphere might arise which he would not like. He did not use the words "defeatist club" in my presence, but Reichsleiter Bormann told me that he said, "The ministers are not to meet; that might become a defeatist club."

DR. PANNENBECKER: It has been discussed here frequently that a Reich Minister on his own could not resign. Do you know anything about Frick making an attempt to resign his post as Reich Minister?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: In spite of this prohibition by the Fuehrer, Frick repeatedly stated his wish to be relieved of his of lice if he no longer enjoyed the Fuehrer's full confidence and if the Fuehrer would not receive him any more. He told me that frequently; but I cannot recall a written application for resignation. Frick's wishes to resign were always passed on to the Fuehrer by me although the Fuehrer always rejected such communications very bluntly.

DR.PANNENBECKER: In August 1943 Frick left his post as Reich Minister of the Interior. Do you know any details of what he himself said in that connection?

LAMMERS: At that time Herr Frick himself told me, "I am happy to leave my post as Minister of the Interior, but please see to it that the Fuehrer does not make me Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, as he intends to do. I do not want that of lice. I want to retire." And I told that to the Fuehrer.

The Fuehrer ordered Frick to come to headquarters. Before Frick went in to see the Fuehrer alone, he told me that he did not, under any circumstances, want to accept the position of Reich Protector, but when he came back from the Fuehrer he had, nevertheless, changed his mind and had accepted the office. If I am right this must have been in August 1943.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Frick's position as Plenipotentiary General for Reich Administration is also one of the points against him in the accusation. Do you know anything about the appointment of that office?

LAMMERS: As Reich Plenipotentiary for Administration he had the task of coordinating other ministries. The following were coordinated: the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry for Education, the Ministry for Churches, and the National Office for Regional Planning. He coordinated them under his administration and represented them, so to speak, in the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich, which came into being in 1939 with the outbreak of the war.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Can you tell me on the basis of what regulations Frick was appointed Plenipotentiary General for Reich Administration? There are two Reich defense laws, one of 1935 and one of 1938.

LAMMERS: The Defense Law of 1935 I can no longer remember. The draft of the Reich Defense Law of 1938, which was not published, allots to the Plenipotentiary General for Reich Administration a great number of tasks which, however, were never passed on to him. He had merely the task of coordinating the various departments, which I have just mentioned. At any rate he never exercised actual powers as Plenipotentiary General for the Reich


8 April 96

Administration to the extent to which they were allotted him in the Reich Defense Law.

DR. PANNENBECKER: In this connection one also talks of the powers of a socalled Three Man College. This consisted of Plenipotentiary General for Reich Administration Frick, Plenipotentiary General for Economy Schacht-later Funk-and the Chief of the OKW. Can you tell me what powers these three exercised?

LAMMERS: The expression Three Man College is first of all quite false; it is not a concept in constitutional law but merely a term of convenience, a term used by officials. These three people, the Plenipotentiary General for Administration, the Plenipotentiary General for Economy, and the Chief of the OKW, each had the power to issue decrees, but they were obliged to have the consent of the other two-that is, with the agreement of the others, anyone could give orders in his field. A meeting of this committee, this socalled Three Man College, never took place. The decrees issued by it are very few, insignificant, and quite unimportant. For instance, I can remember that this committee ruled on the question of reducing the numbers of judges in the disciplinary chambers; that is in civil service matters. A second task in this sphere-in all, there were six to eight decrees at the most, but altogether quite unimportant.

DR. PANNENBECKER: In addition there was later on the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich. Can you compare these two groups, those three and the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich?

LAMMERS: Do you mean the Three Man College for the Ministerial Council?


LAMMERS: First of all, after the Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich was established, it was my principle to stalemate this Three Man College if possible, since it was not at all necessary. The Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich had the task of issuing decrees with legal effect but it actually had nothing to do with the Defense of the Reich. Military matters were never discussed in this Ministerial Council for Defense of the Reich, nor did it deal with foreign policy or propaganda. In the main it issued decrees which had the effect of laws. Meetings took place only until December 1939, and after that the members communicated with each other by writing for the purpose of issuing decrees. Political debates never took place.

DR. PANNENBECKER: A Central Office was founded in the Ministry of the Interior for the occupied territories. This Central Of lice has been cited by the Prosecution as evidence of the fact that


8 April 48

Frick had considerable administrative powers, and hence responsibility for the occupied territories. Are you able to say anything about that?

LAMMERS: The Central Office had, in the main, two tasks. One was the obtaining of civil servants, the other was assisting in the issuing of laws and decrees in occupied territories. Such an office was necessary because the occupied territories required personnel and because the Reich commissioners in the occupied territories were directly under the Fuehrer's command. Written communications went in part through me. If personnel was to be provided for within this framework, then I would have had to do it. But I had no instrument for it. I had only a staff of 12 senior officials and I had no organization in the country; I had no executive officials in those countries. Therefore the Minister of the Interior was brought in, since he had the whole civil service apparatus at his disposal.

DR. PANNENBECKER: You just said that the Central Office gave some assistance in issuing decrees for the occupied territories. Was it possible for the Central Office to issue a decree for, let us say, Norway?

LAMMERS: For what?

DR. PANNENBECKER: To issue a decree for some occupied territory, for instance Norway.

LAMMERS: No, not of itself-at the most after the Reich commissioner had agreed.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Was it at all customary for the Central Office at any time to issue a decree for a certain occupied territory?

LAMMERS: To my knowledge that has never happened. I do not know of a single case where the Central Office issued a decree.

DR.PANNENBECKER: A decree by the Reich Minister of the Interior has been cited which ruled on the question of citizenship, also with reference to occupied territories.

LAMMERS: Yes, about German citizenship probably.


LAMMERS: Yes, but that was certainly an internal German matter.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Did the Central Office have any right to issue instructions either to the German Plenipotentiary in the occupied territory, say the Reich Commissioner for Norway...

LAMMERS: No, they had no such right at all.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Or did they have a right to issue instructions to lower offices-German offices-or to the occupied territories themselves?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: No, they did not have the right to give instructions.

DR. PANNENBECKER: The Prosecution have further stated that the Central Office also had the right to issue instructions in those territories for which it had not been specifically appointed. Is there any legal provision or any practical case where the Central Office interfered with jurisdiction in the occupied territories?

LAMMERS: No case is known to me.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Is it then correct to say that the chiefs of the civil administration in the occupied territories were always directly subordinate to Hitler as the Fuehrer, no matter what their official designation was?

LAMMERS: In the occupied territories the Reich commissioners of the socalled chiefs of the civil administration were directly subordinate to the Fuehrer.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Did Frick, as Minister of the Interior, have the power to issue orders for the occupied territories insofar as the German Police was active in the occupied territories?

LAMMERS: No, the police authority in occupied territories was vested solely in Himmler who was to act in agreement with the Reich commissioners. The Minister of the Interior had nothing at all to do with the police in occupied territories.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Must it not be concluded from that that this matter came within the competency of the Reich Minister of the Interior insofar as Himmler was subordinate to the Reich Ministry of the Interior?

LAMMERS: There would have been at most a power to issue orders for Germany but not for the occupied territories, and to what extent this power existed for Germany herself is also problematic.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I shall come to that later in detail. Can you tell me what powers the Minister of the Interior had in the police field during that time when the police were still under the jurisdiction of the provinces of Prussia, et cetera, that is, from 1933 to 1936?

LAMMERS: Well, his powers were in any case very limited, but I cannot tell you the details.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Did the Reich have the right of supervision?

LAMMERS: Yes, the old right, as it was formerly-the Reich had only the ultimate supervision.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Of course, you know that later on, through a decree, Himmler was appointed ReichsFuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police in the Ministry of the Interior, do you not?


8 April 46

Do you know who created that designation, "ReichsFuehrer SS" and so forth?

LAMMERS: Yes, I had something to do with it at the time. The proposal of such a tide originated apparently with Himmler. I objected to this title from the very beginning for two reasons. Two entirely different matters were being lumped together: the ReichsFuehrer SS, which is a Party affiliation, and the Police, which is a State concern. On the one side was the ReichsFuehrer SS who has the rank of a Reichsleiter in the Party, which is equivalent to that of a Reich minister; on the other side the Chief of Police, who has the position of a State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior and who is subordinate to the Minister of the Interior. But Himmler insisted on this designation, and the Fuehrer considered that he was right.

My objections to this designation proved to be correct in practice, for the Minister of the Interior's right to issue instructions to the Police now became extremely problematic, since ReichsFuehrer Himmler, as far as the police officers were concerned, was at the same time the SS Fuehrer and could give them orders in his capacity as ReichsFuehrer SS, and the Ministry of the Interior could not interfere. It was also a practice of his that he usually made the other police officials SS leaders. One therefore could never know exactly in what capacity the person concerned was acting, whether he was acting as member of the SS, or as a member of the Police. And the question of authority in the Ministry of Interior afterwards became almost devoid of meaning, because Himmler dropped the last words of the designation, "Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior," and completely separated himself from the Ministry of the Interior as far as having an office in the building and the mode of procedure were concerned, and no longer felt himself in a subordinate position.

When Minister Frick lodged a complaint about this with me, which I was supposed to take to the Fuehrer, the Fuehrer told me, "Tell Herr Frick that he should not restrict Himmler as Chief of the German. Police too much; with him the Police is in good hands. He should allow him as much free rein as possible!"

Thus for all practical purposes, though not by a special decree, the Minister of the Interior's authority to give orders was very sharply limited, if not even suspended.

DR. PANNENBECKER: You have just said that Himmler, on his own, arbitrarily exercised jurisdiction over police organizations without bothering about what Frick wanted. But then there was still another channel for commands issued to the police, orders given by Hitler himself. Did he give them to Frick as the competent minister, or did he give them to Himmler?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: Normally the Fuehrer gave these instructions to Himmler. If he gave instructions to me which concerned police matters then I generally passed them on through the Minister of the Interior, or at least I informed him about them.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Do you know anything about whether concentration camps were included in the budget of the Reich or whether they were in the budget of the SS?

LAMMERS: As far as I know-but I cannot say this for certain-the funds for concentration camps did not appear in the budget of the Reich. It was rather this way: The Reich Minister of Finance paid a yearly lump sum to the Party through the Reich Treasurer, who had to distribute it to the various Party organizations. The ReichsFuehrer SS received a lump sum from the SS with which he probably financed this matter. I also cannot recollect that I ever saw any part of the Reich budget in which the concentration camps were mentioned.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Do you know anything about the fact that Himmler opposed the Minister of the Interior's right to interfere in this field, giving as his reason the fact that the funds for concentration camps had been provided for?

LAMMERS: No, I do not know anything about that.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I now have some questions referring to another field. Do you know anything about Himmler's efforts to kill incurably insane persons painlessly?

LAMMERS: Yes, this idea occured to Hitler in the autumn of 1939 for the first time. On that occasion the State Secretary in the Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Conti, received the order to investigate this question. He was told to discuss the legal aspect of the matter with me. I spoke against the execution of any such program. But since the Fuehrer insisted on it I suggested that this matter should be given all legal guarantees and be ruled upon by a law. I also had an appropriate draft for a law worked out; thereupon State Secretary Conti was relieved of This task, and in 1940 it was given over to Reichsleiter Bouhler. Reichsleiter Bouhler reported to the Fuehrer, but I was not present. Then he came to see me. I showed him my draft of the law and stated the objections I had to the matter and he left again. Then I presented the drafted law to the Fuehrer; he did not approve of it, but he did not reject it altogether. Later, however, ignoring me, he gave Reichsleiter Bouhler and the medical attendant, Professor Dr. Brandt, then attached to him, plenary authority to kill incurably insane people. I had nothing to do with the drafting of this plenary power. As far as I was concerned, the matter was settled, as the Fuehrer did not want me and had given the work to others to do.


8 April 46

DR. PANNENBECKER: You have just said that the Fuehrer gave the task to State Secretary Dr. Conti in the Ministry of the Interior. Did that order from Hitler pass to Conti through Frick?

LAMMERS: I do not know. State Secretary Conti was called by telephone by the adjutant's office of the Fuehrer or by Reichsleiter Bormann; and whether that went through Frick or not, I do not know.

DR. PANNENBECKER: Do you know anything at all about whether Frick himself participated in these measures in some form or other?

LAMMERS: No, nothing about that is known to me.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Then I have a last group of questions, referring to the Protectorate in Bohemia and Moravia. When, in August 1943, Frick was appointed Protector for Bohemia and Moravia did the formal authority of the Reich Protector remain the same as before?

LAMMERS: No. These powers were deliberately altered and in such a way that the Reich Protector from then on was to become a more or less decorative figure. The political direction of the Protectorate 'was to be transferred to State Minister Frank. The Reich Protector was merely the German representative in the Protectorate with very lithe actual power. He cooperated in forming the government in the Protectorate. Furthermore he had the limited, rather small right of nominating civil servants, which in the main applied to the medium and lower grade of civil servants; and then he had the right of granting pardons. And in general the State Minister for Bohemia and Moravia, Frank, was obliged to keep the Reich Protector informed. In the main these were the rights of the Reich Protector. Apart from that it was Hitler's wish that the Reich Protector did not spend too much time in the Protectorate. In fact I have had to pass this information on to him several times.

DR. PANNENBECKER: You said that the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia during Frick's time was the head of the German administration. Was State Minister Frank under Frick?

LAMMERS: Yes, he was subordinate but the relation was rather that of the head of the State to the head of the Government; State Minister Frank had the political control.

DR. PANNENBECKER: But is it not right to say that Minister Frank was directly subordinate to the Fuehrer?

LAMMERS: I do not believe that that was the situation. I do not remember the decree. He was not directly under him-I cannot


8 April 46

say that for certain now. At any rate the Fuehrer received only Frank and not the Reich Protector for political discussions.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I do not have the decree with me. I shall have to clear that up later.

Do you know anything about the fact that Frick expressly demanded this division of authority and that, to start with, he had refused to accept the position of a Reich Protector in Bohemia and Moravia; and that this division of authority did not take place until he said that he could not assume outer responsibility for something which was not his inner responsibility?

LAMMERS: I have already mentioned the fact that Minister Frick refused to accept this position, and when this decree appeared, in which the rights of the Protector were laid down-a decree which was not published-Dr. Frick quite rightly had misgivings, thinking, "As far as the outside world is concerned, I shall have responsibilities which are not known at all." So we published a notice in the press. In that it stated that the new Reich Protector would have only such and such rights, as I previously listed here, such as the nomination of civil servants, the right to pardon and the right to cooperate in the forming of a government in the Protectorate. Thus it was stated to the outside world that Frick no longer had the full responsibility which former Reich Protectors had perhaps had.

DR.PANNENBECKER: Did you know anything about the fact that the reason for this division of responsibility in the Protectorate was that Hitler did not think that Frick would be hard enough to handle matters there?

LAMMERS: That was obviously the reason, yes.

DR. PANNENBECKER: In that case I have no further questions.

DR.FRITZ SAUTER (Counsel for Defendant Funk): As a supplement to the statements already made by the witness, I have still a few questions.

Dr. Lammers, the Defendant Funk beginning with the year 1933 was the Press Chief of the Reich Government. That is known to you?


DR. SAUTER: You yourself were at that time already in your of lice, were you not?


DR. SAUTER: Did the Defendant Funk in this capacity as Press Chief of the Reich Government exercise any influence on decisions made by the Reich Cabinet or on the contents of bills of the Reich Cabinet?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: That question must be answered in the negative. At the most, he may have had an influence from the journalistic point of view, that is, for an attractive title for a law, or some sort of popular wording, or something like that. But he did not vote on the contents of the laws. In his position as Press Chief, he was first Ministerial Director and then State Secretary; he had nothing to say about the contents.

DR.SAUTER: Then why was he, as Press Chief of the Reich Government, invited at all to attend the meetings of the Reich Cabinet at that time?

LAMMERS: Well, because of the reporting to the press afterwards.

DR. SAUTER: That is to say, only to inform the press of the discussions and decisions of the Reich Cabinet? And he had no influence whatsoever on decisions or not on the bills either?

LAMMERS: Yes, that is right.

DR. SAUTER: But without having any influence on decisions or the authority to propose laws.

LAMMERS: Yes, that is right.

DR. SAUTER: In this capacity as Press Chief of the Reich Government, the Defendant Funk had, as you know, to give reports regularly on press matters to the then Reich Chancellor, Hitler. Do you know when these regular reports made by the Press Chief of the Reich Government to Hitler ceased?

LAMMERS: At the latest they ceased 1 year later. These were joint conferences. Funk and I, at the beginning, had as many as three to four meetings a week with the Fuehrer, and this lasted through the summer of 1933. During the winter the meetings became fewer, then became more frequent again, and ceased altogether in 1934, after Von Hindenburg's death.

DR. SAUTER: Who made these press reports to Hitler after that?

LAMMERS: The Press Chief Dr. Dietrich.

DR. SAUTER: Excluding Dr. Funk?


DR. SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, the Defendant Funk later on became President of the Reichsbank. Do you know anything about who had to decide about credits given, or to be given, to the Reich by the Reichsbank?

LAMMERS: That decision was the Fuehrer's. The way it happened in practice was that the Minister of Finance submitted the application for a credit. That was done in duplicate. One letter with the appropriate order was directed to the Reich Minister of Finance, and


8 April 46

the second letter with such an order was addressed to the President of the Reichsbank.

DR. SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, these technical details do not really interest us. We are only interested in this: Did Dr. Funk, as President of the Reichsbank have any influence on the question of whether and to what extent the German Reich could claim credit from the Reichsbank? Only this interests us.

LAMMERS: I can answer that only by citing technical details. All I received were those two documents from the Finance Minister. It was entirely a matter of having them signed. They were signed in one second by the Fuehrer and then they were sent back. I never had an order to negotiate with Herr Funk or with Herr Schacht or with the Minister of Finance. It was entirely a matter of having them signed, nothing else.

DR. SAUTER: So that according to your knowledge these instructions came from Hitler and not from the Reichsbank president?

LAMMERS: The instructions were signed by the Fuehrer.

DR.SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, you have already mentioned once the socalled Committee of Three or Three Man College, which was formed in the later years. Regarding this Committee of Three the Prosecution maintain that Funk was also a member of this committee, and that this committee represented, so to speak, the highest court as far as the legislation of the Reich Government during the war was concerned.

LAMMERS: One cannot say that at all. I have already stated that these three men, each acting independently, had the right to issue decrees with the consent of the two others, and that there were very few and quite insignificant decrees.

DR. SAUTER: You mean decrees of little importance, decrees for his department?


DR. SAUTER: Furthermore, Dr. Lammers, the Defendant Goering stated during his examination that the powers which Dr. Funk had as Plenipotentiary for Economy-I think in 1938-were transferred for the most part to the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, that consequently Dr. Funk's powers, generally speaking, existed only on paper. I should be very interested in knowing whether these powers of the Plenipotentiary for Economy were transferred to the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, in other words, Goering, formally, as well as in fact.

LAMMERS: That was based on a decree of the Fuehrer and a special order issued by the Fuehrer.


8 April 46

DR. SAUTER: When was that, approximately?

LAMMERS: The Four Year Plan was set up in 1936, and it was extended in 1940 for another 4 years. These special powers which Herr Funk later surrendered to the Four Year Plan were based on an agreement between Reich Marshal Goering and Minister Funk, an arrangement which, as far as I know, had the Fuehrer's approval.

DR. SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, you have already told the Tribunal that since 1938, I think, no more meetings of the Cabinet took place and that in the end Hitler even prohibited informal discussions among ministers. Can you tell us anything as to whether and, if so, how often the Defendant Dr. Funk had an opportunity, during the 7 years he was Minister, to talk to Hitler, to report to him, and so forth?

LAMMERS: Well, during the first years, as I have said, he reported frequently as Press Chief.

DR. SAUTER: And later as Minister of Economics?

LAMMERS: Later, as Minister of Economics, he very rarely came to the Fuehrer. At many conferences he was not consulted, even at conferences in which he ought to have been consulted. Quite often he complained to me about that. I tried in every way to do my best to include him in such conferences, but I

did not always succeed.

DR.SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, I have noticed that minutes have been read here in which it is clearly said, and I think by you, that the Defendant Funk as Minister for Economics has asked you that he be permitted to participate in this or that important conference, and that you had expressly stated in that record that the Fuehrer had refused that, or that the Fuehrer had prohibited it. May I show you an example? I remember a meeting of 4 January 1944, Document 1292PS, concerning questions of labor employment. In those minutes it says-once more said by you-that Funk's request to be able to participate had been refused. Can you remember such cases and can you give us the reasons?

LAMMERS: Yes, I can remember such cases, but I do not know whether they were mentioned in the minutes. Probably I informed Herr Funk that I had made the greatest effort to have him participate in these conferences; the Fuehrer, however, had refused.

DR. SAUTER: The reason?

LAMMERS: Frequently My the Fuehrer made objections; those were various reasons in the case of Funk. He was skeptical about him and did not want him there.

DR. SAUTER: Witness, in April of 1941 you are supposed to have informed the Defendant Dr. Funk that Rosenberg had deceived an order from Hitler for a uniform treatment of the problems in the


8 April 46

Eastern Territories. Besides giving that message to Funk you are supposed to have passed it on to Goering and Keitel. From that fact the conclusion has been drawn by the Prosecution that Funk was one of the influential persons concerned with the preparation for aggressive war against Russia.

Can you tell us whether and, if so, why you also passed that message on to the Defendant Funk at that time?

LAMMERS: Either the Fuehrer told me to do so-which I do not think was the case-or I believed that from the economic point of view Funk would be interested in this information. I passed it on to him as a special personal gesture; I do not remember any particular reason now. I certainly must have passed the same message on to others, but not in writing; the others probably received it orally.

There was no question at all of an aggressive war when Rosenberg was given that task by Hitler. He was supposed to be merely a sort of political commissioner for the Eastern Territories. He was to study the conditions of the peoples there.

DR. SAUTER: Dr. Lammers, roughly at the same tine, that is to say, the spring of 1941, and shortly before the beginning of the Russian campaign, you are supposed to have had some further discussions with the Defendant Funk on the subject of what turn the foreign political situation in respect to Russia might possibly take in the near future. On that occasion you are supposed to have told Defendant Funk something regarding the reasons why Hitler believed in the possibility of a war against Russia. What did you tell Defendant Funk at that time regarding these preparations for the war undertaken at one time or another?

LAMMERS: It must have been what I knew myself at the time, namely, information which the Fuehrer had given me, that troop concentrations in Russia had been observed, which allowed the conclusion to be drawn that an armed conflict with Russia might occur. These were the words the Fuehrer used. He believed that things would come to a head with Russia and therefore wished that one man, and that was Rosenberg, should concern himself with Eastern questions, since the possibility of an armed conflict with Russia did exist. That is probably what I told Funk. I cannot imagine what else I could have told him.

DR. SAUTER: At that time, Dr. Lammers, you are supposed to have mentioned not only troop concentrations on the Russian side along the Eastern frontier of Germany, but also the Russian march into Bessarabia.

LAMMERS: Yes, it is possible that that was the case. The Southeast, at any rate; and perhaps I mentioned that the discussions which had taken place with Russia, with Molotov, were unsatisfactory.


8 April 46

DR.SAUTER: In that connection, since you now refer to the discussion with Molotov, you are supposed to have told Defendant Funk in particular that Russia was making considerable claims on the Balkans and in respect to the Baltic Sea, and that because of these claims Hitler was reckoning with the possibility of war. Could that be correct?

LAMMERS: It is possible that we have talked about it, but I cannot remember for certain.

DR. SAUTER: And you know, Dr. Lammers, that in this connection an organization was established under the heading "Central Planning?" Do you know that?


DR. SAUTER: Defendant Funk was also made a member of the Central Planning, and I think that was at the end of 1943. Is it correct that Funk, when he joined the Central Planning, was no longer at all interested in the use of workers for German production, and why was that so?

LAMMERS: I believe that Funk's only interest in the Central Planning was to receive raw materials for civilian production.

DR. SAUTER: For civilian production at home?

LAMMERS: Yes, at home. That was his interest in the Central Planning, since he was responsible only for the distribution of these economic goods, and civilian production had been transferred to Minister Speer.


LAMMERS: I think that was at the very moment when the Minister for Armament and Munitions was converted into a Minister for Armament and War Production. I think that was in 1942. Thus Funk was, of course, very interested in raw materials; but the employment of labor, in my opinion, interested him very little, since he did not have enough raw material at all to allow civilian production to go on.

DR. SAUTER: And then, Dr. Lammers, I have one last question: Can you remember that Defendant Funk in the year 1944-it is supposed to have been in February and also a few times during subsequent months-visited you and told you of his trouble because of the unsatisfactory position which he was occupying as Minister of Economics and Plenipotentiary for Economics, and that on this occasion he talked to you about the question of whether his conscience would allow him to retain his position as President of the Reichsbank and Reich Minister of Economics, and, if so, why he did so and why he did not place this office at the disposal oaf somebody else? Perhaps you can say something about this?


8 April 46

LAMMERS: I have frequently discussed these questions with Funk.


LAMMERS: In 1943, but particularly afterwards in 1944. I know that he was considerably worried about this and that he wanted very much to have an opportunity to take his worries to the Fuehrer personally. If he did remain in office then It was only because he realized that during wartime he could not resign from his post; that would not be the right thing for a good German, to resign during wartime. But he had the most fervent wish to be able to report to the Fuehrer about the economic situation and mainly about the particular impressions which the Gauleiter in the individual districts had. He had the most fervent wish, once for all, to report to the Fuehrer and learn at least something about the war situation and talk about the question of ending the war. That was since the beginning of September. I made several attempts to submit the matter to the Fuehrer; and I nearly succeeded later by camouflaging the real reason and pretending there was another important reason, some question of finance.

I submitted the matter to the Fuehrer; but the Fuehrer sized up the situation, and, although Herr Funk had been waiting at my office for days for the report, he refused the request, probably because of Bormann's efforts towards this end. With the best intentions Funk did not succeed in seeing the Fuehrer and I did not succeed in taking him to the Fuehrer.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have otherwise no further question.

DR. RUDOLF DIX (Counsel for Defendant Schacht): Mr. President, if you wish to close the session at 5 o'clock, I must say that I shall not have finished by 5 o'clock; and I am reluctant to break off my examination. I leave it up to the Tribunal whether we should extend the session or whether we should break of now.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better go on, Dr. Dix; we have nearly 10 minutes.

DR. DIX: Witness, other witnesses and you too-you on the strength of vast experience and your position as Chief of the Reich Chancellery from the seizure of power until the collapse-have stated that applications for resignation were prohibited by Hitler. I therefore do not want to put any more questions on that subject; I merely want to discuss the attempts to resign which Schacht actually made. I ask you first of all to answer the general questions with C`Yes" or Do "

Did Schacht send in applications for resignation or not?



8 April 46

DR. DIX: I should now like to discuss with you the individual applications for resignation. I cannot expect you, without any help, to recall individual occasions. I permit myself therefore to help your memory along a little in connection with the first question.

Please recall March 1937, when Schacht stopped Reichsbank credits, that is, gave notice with reference to them and you visited him in connection with this. Was that the first application for resignation?

LAMMERS: I remember that very exactly, since Herr Schacht's application for resignation was very unpleasant for Hitler; and he gave me the task of straightening the matter out with Schacht. Thus I made several personal visits to Schacht, but he refused to withdraw his application for resignation; and he gave, as his reason, the fact that he could not approve any longer the Fuehrer's credit policy and that he was afraid of inflation and would have to protect the German nation from that. As for the freedom of action, he had to...

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Dix, is it necessary to go into details? We gather that there are several offers to resign. Is it necessary to go into the details of each one? '

DR. DIX: In that case we leave it. It is enough for me, Dr. Lammers, if you confirm that in March 1937 Schacht made his first application for resignation.

LAMMERS: And then there was a compromise and Herr Schacht, first of all, was to remain in office 1 more year, although the law called for a term of 4 years.

DR. DIX: Please try to remember what happened further in August 1937. Goering had issued a decree concerning mines. It was Schacht's view that this was an unwarranted interference with matters under his jurisdiction. Did a second application for resignation follow?


DR. DIX: And did not Schacht write a letter on that occasion addressed to Goering, 5 August, a copy of which he sent to Hitler? Can you remember that?

LAMMERS: Yes. It was because of that letter that Hitler dismissed Schacht afterwards.

DR. DIX: Now we come to the war. Did Schacht also repeat his applications for resignation during the war? Please recall the summer of 1941 and a memorandum which Schacht sent to Hitler regarding the necessity of a speedy conclusion of peace?

LAMMERS: The first application for resignation was handed in because it had been prohibited to listen to foreign broadcasting stations. Schacht wee thereby forbidden to listen to many foreign


8 April 46

stations; and he complained about it and handed in an application for resignation, whether in writing or verbally, I do not know. The request was refused, and later he submitted a memorandum in which he discussed the end of the war and the political and economic situation. I had to tell Schacht, in answer to this memorandum, that the Fuehrer had read it and had nothing to say in reply. Thereupon, in 1942, Schacht again asked me to ask the Fuehrer if he was disposed to receive another memorandum. At this the Fuehrer gave me the order to write to Schacht and tell him to refrain from submitting any further memoranda.

DR. DIX: I could, Mr. President, recall the important points of this memorandum of the summer of 1941 for the witness. If the Tribunal is familiar with the details of this memorandum, which we do not have and which we could ascertain only on the basis of the witness' memory by asking him questions, then I should like to present to him the exact contents of this memorandum. If on the other hand the Tribunal is of the opinion . . .

THE PRESIDENT: Have you the memorandum?

DR. DIX: No, we do not have the memorandum-only in memory-that is to say, Schacht remembers it.

THE PRESIDENT: If the memorandum is lost and you can prove the loss, you can put the contents of it to the witness. If the contents arepot relevant it is no good even for the witness. Are the contents of the document relevant?

DR. DIX: These points which I want to submit I do consider relevant. It is not very long either. It is not long.

THE PRESIDENT: So far as the question of proof is concerned, the rule is, I think, if the document has been lost, you can prove the contents of it and you can put it to the witness. Yes, you can put the main points to him, Dr. Dix.

DR. DIX: The question which you put to me involves considerable responsibility. At the moment I can merely assure you that I am convinced that the memorandum has been lost; but whether I can prove it, the negative fact that it is lost, that is something I cannot say at the moment. I am convinced it is lost.

THE PRESIDENT: Herr Schacht presumably is going to say it was lost. You, of course, cannot prove it yourself but I mean you can prove it by Schacht.

DR. DIX: Yes, Schacht will prove it when he becomes a defendant on the stand.

[Turning to the witness] This was in September 1941, that is to say, after the great successes in Russia by the German Army. Then Schacht wrote in this memorandum to Hitler that Hitler had now reached the peak of his success and that this was the most favorable


8 April 46

moment for him to aim at peace. In the case of any further duration of the war...

MR. DODD: I suggest, would it not be more proper for counsel to ask this witness, first of all, whether or not he recalls the contents of the memorandum before reading what purports to be the contents?


THE PRESIDENT: I think he should, yes.

DR. DIX: I did not remind him of the contents; I just wanted to recall to him the individual points. Dr. Lammers has already said that.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better put it to him sentence by sentence and not all at once.

DR. DIX: But, I am not proposing to read it, Your Honors, I am merely trying to repeat the contents as Schacht remembers them. I cannot read it, of course, since I do not know it.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you ask the witness if he remembers what the contents were, not putting it in a leading form.

DR.DIX: Yes, I shall certainly ask him. But I think he has already answered, that he no longer remembers all the details, therefore I wanted to aid his memory by recalling the main points.

THE PRESIDENT: Ask him what he does remember of it.

DR. DIX: Well then, Dr. Lammers, without my presenting the main points to you, what do you remember?

LAMMERS: I think that in this memorandum Herr Schacht set forth the economic capacities of Germany and of foreign countries, that he pointed out that this period in 1941-I believe it was in the autumn-was the most favorable moment for peace negotiations, for bringing the war to an end. He also explained the world situation but I cannot remember how. He sketched the political situation in other countries. He talked about America, Italy, Japan, and he compared the factors. After the Fuehrer had looked at the memorandum he put it aside and he said, "I have already disapproved of that; I do not want that."

Further details I do not know.

DR. DIX: When you mention "other countries," do you remember 'that he stated that Italy's withdrawal was merely a question of time, since the opposition group around the King would not rest until Mussolini was brought down?

LAMMERS: Yes, it is possible that it did say that, but I cannot remember definitely.

THE PRESIDENT: One moment. The Tribunal will adjourn now

[The Tribunal adjourned until 9 April 1946 at 1000 hours.]


Nuremberg Trials Page
Volume 11 Menu

An Electronic Publication of the Avalon Project -
Copyright 1998 The Avalon Project