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takes * * *This system-let me put it like this-to the end of the system it has become clear what tremendous dangers are contained in any such system, as such, quite apart from Hitler's principle. The combination of Hitler and this system, then brought about this tremendous catastrophe to this world.” 156
But let me for a moment turn devil's advocate. I admit that Hitler was the chief villain. But for the defendants to put all blame on him is neither manly nor true. We know that even the head of a state has the same limits to his senses and to the hours of his day as do lesser men. He must rely on others to be his eyes and ears as to most that goes on in a great empire. Others legs must run his errands; other hands must execute his plans. On whom did Hitler rely for such things more than upon these men in the dock? Who led him to believe he had an invincible air armada if not Goering? Who kept disagreeable facts from him? Did not Goering forbid Fieldmarshal Milch to warn Hitler that in his opinion Germany was not equal to the war upon Russia ?157 Did not Goering, according to Speer, relieve General Gallant of his air force command for speaking of the weaknesses and bungling of the air force ?158 Who led Hitler, utterly untraveled himself, to believe in the indecision and timidity of democratic peoples if not Ribbentrop, von Neurath, and von Papen? Who fed his illusion of German invincibility if not Keitel, Jodl, Raeder and Doenitz? Who kept his hatred of the Jew inflamed more than Streicher and Rosenberg? Who would Hitler say deceived him about conditions in concentration camps if not Kaltenbrunner, even as he would deceive us? These men had access to Hitler, and often control of the information that reached him and on which he must base his policy and his orders. They were the Praetorian Guard, and while they were under Caesar's orders, Caesar was always in their hands.
If these dead men could take the witness stand and answer what has been said against them, we might have a less distorted picture of the parts played by these defendants. Imagine the stir that would occur in the dock if it should behold Adolf Hitler advancing to the witness box, or Himmler with an armful of dossiers, or Goebbels, or Bormann with the reports of his Party spies, or the murdered Roehm or Canaris. The goulish defense that the world is entitled to retribution only from the cadavers, is an argument worthy of the crimes at which it is directed.
We have presented this Tribunal an affirmative case based on incriminating documents which are sufficient, if unexplained, to require a finding of guilt on Count One against each defendant.
In the final analysis, the only question is whether the defendants' own testimony is to be credited as against the documents and other evidence of their guilt. What, then, is their testimony worth?
The fact is that the Nazi habit of economizing in the use of truth pulls the foundations out from under their own defenses. Lying has always been a highly approved Nazi technique. Hitler, in "MEIN KAMPF", advocated mendacity as a policy. Von Ribbentrop admits the use of the "diplomatic lie" 159 Keitel advised that the facts of rearmament be kept secret so that they could be denied at Geneva.160 Raeder deceived about rebuilding the German navy in violation of Versailles.161 Goering urged Ribbentrop to tell a "legal lie" to the British Foreign Office about the Anschluss, and in so doing only marshaled him the way he was going.162 Goering gave his word of honor to the Czechs and proceeded to break it.163 Even Speer proposed to deceive the French into revealing the specially trained among their prisoners.164
Nor is the lie direct the only means of falsehood. They all speak with a Nazi doubletalk with which to deceive the unwary. In the Nazi dictionary of sardonic euphemisms "Final solution" of the Jewish problem was a phrase which meant extermination; "Special treatment" of prisoners of war meant killing; "Protective custody" meant concentration camp; "Duty labor" meant slave labor; and an order to "take a firm attitude" or "take positive measures" meant to act with unrestrained savagery. Before we accept their word at what seems to be its face, we must always look for hidden meanings. Goering assured us, on his oath, that the Reich Defense Council never met "as such".165 When we produced the stenographic minutes of a meeting at which he presided and did most of the talking, he reminded us of the "as such" and explained this was not a meeting of the Council "as such" because other persons were present.100 Goering denies "threatening" Czechoslovakia-he only told President Hacha that he would "hate to bomb the beautiful city of Prague." 167
Besides outright false statements and doubletalk, there are also other circumventions of truth in the nature of fantastic explanations and absurd professions. Streicher has solemnly maintained that his only thought with respect to the Jews was to resettle them on the Island of Madagascar. His reason for destroying synagogues, he blandly said, was only because they were architecturally offensive.169 Rosenberg was stated by his counsel to have always had in mind a "chivalrous solution" to the Jewish problem.170 When it was necessary to remove Schuschnigg after the Anschluss, Ribbentrop would have had us believe that the Austrian Chancellor was resting at a "villa". It was left
to cross-examination to reveal that the "villa" was Buchenwald Concentration Camp.171 The record is full of other examples of dissimulations and evasions. Even Schacht showed that he, too, had adopted the Nazi attitude that truth is any story which succeeds. Confronted on cross-examination with a long record of broken vows and false words, he declared in justification
"I think you can score many more successes when you want to lead someone if you don't tell them the truth than if you tell them the truth." 172
This was the philosophy of the National Socialists. When for years they have deceived the world, and masked falsehood with plausibilities, can anyone be surprised that they continue the habits of a lifetime in this dock? Credibility is one of the main issues of this trial. Only those who have failed to learn the bitter lessons of the last decade can doubt that men who have always played on the unsuspecting credulity of generous opponents would not hesitate to do the same now.
It is against such a background that these defendants now ask this Tribunal to say that they are not guilty of planning, executing, or conspiring to commit this long list of crimes and wrongs. They stand before the record of this trial as blood-stained Gloucester stood by the body of his slain King. He begged of the widow, as they beg of you: "Say I slew them not". And the Queen replied, "Then say they were not slain. But dead they If you were to say of these men that they are not guilty, it would be as true to say there has been no war, there are no slain, there has been no crime.
1English transcript, p. 5844. [The transcript references are to the original mimeographed record prepared for trial purposes.]
"Goering, Reconstruction of a Nation, 1934 (2324-PS, USA-233, Tr. 1399).
"Prime Minister Goering's Press Conference, published in Voelkischer Beobachter, Berlin edition, 23-24 July 1933, p. 1 (2494-PS, Tr. p. 255). Goering has admitted excesses in connection with the seizure of power (Tr. p. 5838). 'Law about changing rules of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure of 24 April 1934, 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 34 (2548–PS, Tr. p. 255 and 6051).
"Decree of the Reich President for protection against treacherous attacks on the government of the Nationalist movement, 21 March 1933. 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 135 (1652-PS, Tr. p. 255).
'Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State, 28 February 1933, 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 83; (1390–PS, Tr. p. 255) "Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution
of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed *** Whoever provokes or incites to an act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months."
'Law to change the Penal Code of 28 June 1935, 1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 839. (1962-PS, Tr. p. 255). "Any person who commits an act which the law declares to be punishable or which is deserving of penalty according to the fundamental conceptions of the penal law and sound popular feeling, shall be punished. If there is no penal law directly covering an act it shall be punished under that law which most closely fits, in regards to fundamental conception."
Extract from "Germany's Road to Freedom," as published in Documents of German Politics, Vol. 3 (2549-PS, Tr. p. 255) "National Socialism substitutes for the conception of formal wrong the idea of factual wrong, it considers every attack against the welfare of the people's community, every violation of the requirements of the life of a nation as a wrong. Therefore wrong may be committed in the future in Germany even in cases when no law threatens it with punishment. Even without the threat of punishment every violation of the goals of life which the community sets up for itself is a wrong."
'Affidavit of Dr. Hans Anschuetz, 17 November 1945 (2967-PS, USA-756, Tr. p. 255). Ten years of Security Police and SD. (1680-PS, USA-477, Tr. p. 1892).
10 Transcript p. 6073. This bureau was camouflaged under the name of "Research Office of the Airforce." (Tr. p. 5880).
"Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State, 28 February 1933, 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 83 (1390-PS, Tr. p. 255). Supra, Note 5.
Organizationbuch der NSDAP, 1943 edition, pp. 99-104 (1893-PS, USA323, Tr. p. 1578).
13 Meaning and Tasks of the Secret State Police, published in The Archives, January 1936, Vol. 23-24, p. 1342 (1956-PS, Tr. p. 255).
"Original Protective Custody Order served on Dr. R. Kempner, 15 March 1935 (2499-PS, USA-232, Tr. p. 1399). Extract from article "Legislation and Judiciary in Third Reich" from Journal of the Academy for German Law, 1936, pp. 141-142 (2533-PS, Tr. p. 255).
15Law on the Secret State Police of 10 February 1936, Prussian Gesetzammlung, p. 21. "Orders in matters of the Secret State Police are not subject to review of the administrative courts." (2107-PS, Tr. p. 1904). Summary of decisions of the Supreme Administrative Court, 1935 Reichsverwaltungsblatt, Vol. 56, No. 29, pp. 577-578, 20 July 1935 (2347-PS, Tr. p. 1904).
18 Affidavit of Dr. Hans Anschuetz, 17 November 1945 (2967-PS, USA-756, Tr. p. 255).
"Letter from Guertner to Mutschmann, 18 January 1935, concerning charges against members of camp personnel of protective custody Camp Hohnstein (783-PS, USA-731, Tr. p. 255). Letters from Minister of Justice to Hess and SA Chief of Staff, 5 June 1935, concerning penal proceed
ings against merchant and SA Leader and 22 companions because of inflicting bodily injury on duty (784-PS, USA-732, Tr. p. 255). Memorandum of Guertner concerning legal proceedings against the camp personnel of concentration camp Hohnstein (785-PS, USA-733, Tr. p. 255). Minister of Justice memorandum, 29 November 1935, concerning pardon of those sentenced in connection with mistreatment in Hohnstein concentration camp (786-PS, USA-734, Tr. p. 255).
18 Affidavit of Dr. Hans Anschuetz, 17 November 1945 (2967-PS, USA-756, Tr. p. 255).
19 Affidavit of Dr. Hans Anscheutz, 17 November 1945 (2967–PS, USA-756, Tr. p. 255). Law amending regulations of criminal law and criminal procedure, 24 April 1934, 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 341 (2014-PS, Tr. p. 255). Law on People's Court and on 25th Amendment to Salary Law of 18 April 1936, 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 169 (2342-PS, Tr. p. 255).
206 The Nazi Plan", excerpts of script of a motion picture composed of captured German film. (3054-PS, USA-167, Tr. p. 1264).
"Decree of the Government concerning formation of Special Courts, 21 March 1933, 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, pp. 136-137. (2076-PS, Tr. p. 255). Decree concerning the extension of the Jurisdiction of Special Courts, 20 November 1938. 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, p. 1632, (2056–PS, Tr. p. 255). Affidavit of Dr. Hans Anscheutz, 17 November 1945 (2967-PS, USA-756, Tr. p. 255).
Extract from German Justice, a legal periodical, 10th year, Edition A, No. 42, 16 October 1942. "The judge is therefore not the supervisor of, but the direct assistant in the Administration of the State. He is responsible to the leadership of the State (Staatsfuhrung) within his sphere of duty for the conservation of the national community. By protecting the national values (Volkische Werte) and eliminating (dangerous elements from the community of the people) he is, in this respect akin to the political leader, the promulgator of national self preservation (Volkische Selbsterhaltung). This point of view must be decisive for the judge. The judge taking it for his guiding principle will find many a decision which seemed very difficult to be solved at first, facilitated." (2482-PS, Tr. p. 255). Extract from pamphlet, "Judges Letters", concerning judgment of Lower Court, 24 April 1942, on concealment of Jewish identification (D-229, Tr. p. 255).
23Lecture of Major-General Thomas delivered 24 May 1939, at the Foreign Office (EC-28, USA-760, Tr. pp. 275, 5124).
24The treaties and assurances applicable to each are specified in Appendix C of the Indictment and remain uncontradicted.
25English transcript p. 5980. "The Hague Convention was for land warfare. When I scanned it over on the eve of the Polish campaign, I was reading the Articles and I was sorry that I had not studied them much sooner. If I had done so I would have told the Fuehrer that with these rules as they had been put down, paragraph by paragraph, a modern war could not be waged, but that in a modern war, with its technical improvements, the stipulations of 1906 and 1907 would have to be changed in order to have a new type of warfare."
20English transcript p. 6016.
Memorandum of 15 September 1941, from Canaris to Keitel concerning an OKW Order regulating the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war (EC-338,