« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
made available by the Army to OCC field investigators. Special assistance was given by the Document Section, G-2 Division, SHAEF, and by the Document Sections of the Army Groups and Armies operating in the European Theater. OCC investigators also made valuable discoveries while prospecting on their own. They soon found themselves embarrassed with riches. Perhaps foremost among the prize acquisitions was the neatly crated collection of all the personal and official correspondence of Alfred Rosenberg, together with a great quantity of Nazi Party correspondence. This cache was discovered behind a false wall in an old castle in Eastern Bavaria, where it had been sent for safekeeping. Another outstanding collection consisted of thirty-nine leather-bound volumes containing detailed inventories of the art treasures of Europe which had been looted by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. These catalogues, together with much of the priceless plunder itself, were found hidden deep in an Austrian salt mine. An innocent-appearing castle near Marburg was found to contain some 485 tons of crated papers, which inspection revealed to be the records of the German Foreign Office from 1837 to 1944. Among other outstanding bulk acquisitions were more than 300 crates of German High Command files, 85 notebooks containing minutes of Hitler's conferences, and the complete files of the German Navy.
The task was to screen thoroughly this abundance of material so as to overlook no relevant item, and yet at the same time to obtain the proof and to translate it in season, so as not to delay preparation of the Indictment or commencement of the trial. The procedures followed in this process are described in the affidavit of Maj. William H. Coogan (001-A-PS), which is listed numerically among the documents. As a result of those procedures, more than 100,000 documents were individually examined in order to segregate those of importance. Of these 100,000 documents, approximately 4,000 were found to be of clear or potential value. This group of 4,000 was further reduced through exacting standards of elimination to a total of some 2,000 documents which it was proposed to offer in evidence, and which make up the bulk of this publication. Thus, the documents presented in these volumes are the fittest survivors of a rigorous sifting. Each of them has met requirements designed to ensure the selection of only the most significant in bearing on the American case. Documents primarily concerned with the report of individual barbarities or perversions were excluded, in conformity with the emphasis placed upon those tending to prove elements in the Nazi Master Plan.
These documents consist, in the main, of official papers found in archives of the German Government and Nazi Party, diaries and letters of prominent Germans, and captured reports and orders. There are included, in addition, excerpts from governmental and Party decrees, from official newspapers and from authoritative German publications. The authenticity of all these materials is established by Maj. Coogan's affidavit (001-A-PS). Considered together, they reveal a fairly comprehensive view of the inner workings and outward deeds of the German government and of the Nazy Party, which were always concealed from the world, and for which the world will always hold the Hitler regime in horror and contempt.
II It is important that it be clearly understood what this collection of documents is not. In the first place, it is neither an official record nor an unofficial transcript of the trial proceedings. It is not designed to reproduce what has taken place in court. It is merely the documentary evidence prepared by the American and British prosecuting staffs, and is in no wise under the sponsorship of the Tribunal. It is presented in the belief that this collection containing the full text of the documents, classified under appropriate subjects, may be more useful to students of the Nurnberg trial than the official record, when prepared, may be.
The reason for this goes back to the first few days of the trial, when the Tribunal ruled that it would treat no written matter as in evidence unless it was read in full, word by word, in court. The purpose of the ruling was to enable the documentary material which the American and British staffs had translated from German into English to be further translated into Russian and French through the simultaneous interpreting system in the courtroom. The consequence, however, was to enforce upon the American and British prosecution the task of trimming their evidence drastically unless the trial was to be protracted to an unconscionable length. Counsel therefore had to content themselves in most instances with introducing, by reading verbatim, only the most vital parts of the documents relied upon. Only these evidentiary minima appear in the daily transcript, and presumably, since no more is officially in evidence under the Tribunal's ruling, no more can properly be included in the official record. It has frequently been the case, furthermore, that different parts of certain documents were read in proof of different allegations, and hence are scattered throughout the transcript. American counsel, in several instances, read only sketchy portions of some documents, leaving other portions, at the request of the French and Soviet delegations, to be read later as a part of their case. Still other portions of the same document will undoubtedly be read later on by the defense. It is an unavoidable consequence that the transcript itself will be a thing of shreds and patches, and that any comprehensive and orderly notion of the documentary evidence must be obtained elsewhere. The documentary excerpts, when accompanied by the explanation of trial counsel, are of course sufficient for the trial and for the judgment of the Tribunal. But the purposes of historians and scholars will very likely lead them to wish to examine the documents in their entirety. It is to those longrange interests that these volumes are in the main addressed.
Secondly, this collection of documents is not the American case. It is at once more and less than that. It is less, because it of course cannot include the captured motion picture and still photographic evidence relied upon, and because it contains only a few of the organizational charts and visual presentation exhibits utilized at the trial. It is more, because although it does contain all the evidence introduced either in part or in whole by the American staff in proof of Count I, it also includes many documents not introduced into evidence at all. There were various reasons for not offering this material to the Tribunal: the documents were cumulative in nature, better documents were available on the same point, or the contents did not justify the time required for reading. (The document index at the end of Volume VIII is marked to indicate which documents were introduced, either in whole or in part, in evidence.) Of more than 800 American documents so far introduced in evidence, a small number were received through judicial notice or oral summarization, while some 500 were read, in part or in whole, in court. Approximately 200 more went into evidence in the first few days of the trial, under an earlier ruling of the Tribunal which admitted documents without reading, and merely on filing with the court after proof of authenticity. Of the documents not now in evidence and thus not before the Tribunal for consideration in reaching its decision, many have been turned over to the French and Soviet prosecuting staffs and, by the time these volumes are published, will have been introduced in the course of their cases. Others will have been put before the Tribunal by the American case in rebuttal or utilized in crossexamining witnesses called by the defense.
This publication includes a series of affidavits prepared under the direction of Col. John Harlan Amen, chief of the OCC Interrogation Division. Those which were introduced into evidence are listed among the documents in the PS series. A number of affidavits which were not offered to the Tribunal are printed in a separate section at the end of the document series. Affidavits of the latter type were prepared in an attempt to eliminate surprise by delineating clearly the testimony which the affiant might be expected to give in court, should it be decided to call him as a witness. In the case of the affiants who testified in court, their affidavits represent a substantially accurate outline of their testimony on direct examination. Others of the affiants may, by the time of publication, have been called as rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution. In addition, there are included selected statements of certain defendants and prisoners written to the prosecutors from prison. It should be mentioned in this connection that as a result of many months of exhaustive questioning of the defendants, prisoners of war, and other potential witnesses, the Interrogation Division has harvested approximately 15,000 typewritten pages of valuable and previously unavailable information on a variety of subjects. These extensive transcripts represent approximately 950 individual interrogations and are presently being edited and catalogued in Nurnberg so that the significant materials may be published in a useful form and within a manageable scope, as a supplement to these present volumes.
This collection also includes approximately 200 documents obtained and processed by the British prosecuting staff, known as the British War Crimes Executive, and presented in substantiation of Count II of the Indictment, which the British delegation assumed the responsibility of proving. It seems altogether fitting that these documents should be included in these volumes since, in proving illegal acts of aggression, they naturally supplement the American documents proving the illegal conspiracy to commit aggression. The American prosecuting staff is grateful to Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, the British Deputy Chief Prosecutor, from whom and from the goodly company of whose associates there has ever been the most generous cooperation, for consent to the publication of the British documents by the United States Government.
Under the division of the case agreed on by the Chief Prosecutors of the four Allied nations, the French and Soviet delegates are responsible for the presentation of evidence bearing on the proof of Count III (War Crimes) and Count IV (Crimes against Humanity) of the Indictment. The French case will concern itself with these crimes when committed in the West, while the Russian evidence will concern the commission of these crimes in the East. None of the documents obtained by these two prosecuting nations are included in these volumes. The reason is that, at this writing, the French case has just commenced and the Soviet case will not be reached for several weeks. Since one of the objects of this undertaking is to acquaint the American public at the earliest opportunity with the character of the evidence produced by its representatives, there seems no justification in delaying publication until the close of the French and Russian cases, when all the prosecution documents will be available. As is indicated by the title of these present volumes, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, this collection relates only to Counts I and II of the Indictment, or one-half of the prosecution case. It is to be hoped, however, that supplementary volumes containing the French and Soviet documents may be published at a later time.
Finally, this collection, by its nature limited to a part of the prosecution case, does not of course purport to present the whole story of the evidence adduced at Nurnberg. The evidence and arguments of defense counsel will not be presented for some time, and the text of these matters will, if possible, be included in any additional volumes, which it may become possible to publish.
On the other hand, it may be useful to indicate what this collection is. The publication is offered in accordance with the conviction which has constantly animated the American prosecution, that only a part of its duty would have been done if it succeeded in persuading the judges of the International Military Tribunal. Its full task will be accomplished only if the world is also convinced of the justness of the cause. There were always some people who, perhaps under the spell of the exposure of the "atrocity propaganda” used in the First World War, felt that the deceptions and the outrages laid to the Nazis were quite possibly untrue and in any event exaggerated. The mission of convincing these skeptics is one that has not been and cannot be discharged by newspaper reports of the Nurnberg proceedings, which by their nature are incomplete and evanescent. But an inspection of the Nazis' own official records should suffice to banish all honest doubts, and to make it undeniably clear that those things really happened because the Nazis planned it that way. It is the hope of the American prosecution that these volumes may in some measure expose, for the warning of future generations as well as a reminder to the present, the anatomy of National Socialism in all its ugly nakedness. Many of these documents disclose the repressive governmental machinery and intricate Party bureaucracy by which the Nazis stifled initiative and opposition. They reveal also the image of horror which a gang of brigands created in the name of the German state, in order to seize and maintain power for themselves at the expense of the liberties of their own