MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If the Tribunal please, the last question which I asked last night referring to mobilization preparations in the Rhineland, as shown in the official transcript, was this: "But of a character which had to be kept entirely secret from foreign powers?" The answer was: "I do not believe I can recall the publication of the preparations of the United States for mobilization."
Now, representing the United States of America, I am confronted with these choices-to ignore that remark and allow it to stand for people who do not understand our system; or to develop, at considerable expense of time, its falsity; or to answer it in rebuttal. The difficulty arises from this, Your Honor, that if the witness is permitted to volunteer statements in cross-examination there is no opportunity to make objection until they are placed on the record. of course, if such an answer had been indicated by a question of counsel, as I respectfully submit would be the orderly procedure, would have been objection, the Tribunal would have been in a position to discharge its duty under the Charter and I would have been in a position to have shortened the case by not having that remark placed.
The Charter in Article 18 provides that the Tribunal shall rule out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever. We are squarely confronted with that question; we cannot discharge those duties if the defendant is to volunteer these statements without questions which bring them up. I respectfully submit that, if the ruling of the Tribunal that the defendant may volunteer questions of this kind is to prevail, the control of these proceedings is put in the hands of this defendant, and the United States has been substantially denied its right of cross-examination under the Charter, because cross-examination cannot be effective under this kind of procedure. Since we cannot anticipate, we cannot meet..
THE PRESIDENT: I quite agree with you that any reference to by the United States' secrecy with reference to mobilization is entirely irrelevant and that the answer ought not to have been made, but the only rule which the Tribunal can lay down as a general rule is the rule-already laid down-that the witness must answer if possible "yes" or "no," and that he may make such explanations as may be necessary after answering questions directly in that way and that such explanations must be brief and not be speeches. As far as this particular answer goes, I think it is entirely irrelevant.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I must, of course, bow to the ruling of the Tribunal, but it is to the second part, I quite recall the admonition of the Court that there shall be answers "yes" or "no. This witness, of course, pays not the slightest attention to that, and I must say I cannot blame him; he is pursuing his interests. But we have no way of anticipating, and here we are confronted with this statement in the record, because when these statements are volunteered they are in the record before the Tribunal can rule upon them and I have no opportunity to make objections, and the Tribunal have no opportunity to rule. And it puts, as I said before the control of these proceedings in the hands of the defendant, if he first makes the charges and then puts it up to us to ignore them or answer them by long cross-examination in rebuttal; and I think the specific charge made against the United States of America from the witness stand presents that.
Your Honor now advises the United States that it is an improper answer, but it is in the record and we must deal with it. I respectfully submit that unless we have...
THE PRESIDENT: What exactly is the motion you are making? Are you asking the Tribunal to strike the answer out of the record?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, no; in a Trial of this kind, where propaganda is one of the purposes of the defendant, striking aut does no good after the answer is made, and Goering knows that as well as I. The charge has been made against the United States and it is in the record. I am now moving that this witness be instructed that he must answer my questions "yes" or "no" if they permit an answer, and that the explanation be brought out by his counsel in a fashion that will permit us to make objections, if they are irrelevant, and to obtain rulings of the Tribunal, so that the Tribunal can discharge its functions of ruling out irrelevant issues and statements of any kind whatsoever. We must not let the Trial degenerate into a bickering contest between counsel and the witness. That is not what the United States would expect me to participate in. I respectfully suggest that if he can draw any kind of challenge . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Are you submitting to the Tribunal that the witness has to answer every question "yes" or "no" and wait until he is re-examined for the purpose of making any explanations at all?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think that is the rule of cross examination under ordinary circumstances. The witness, if the question permits it, must answer, and if there are relevant explanations they should be reserved until later.
Now let me come back to the specific problem I have right here this morning. Here is an answer given which the Tribunal now rules is irrelevant- But we have no opportunity to object to it. The Tribunal had no opportunity to rule upon it. The witness asks, "Did you ever hear of the United States publishing its plan of mobilization?" Of course, we would have objected. The difficulty is that the Tribunal loses control of these proceedings if the defendant, in a case of this kind where we all know propaganda is one of the purposes of the defendant, is permitted to put his propaganda in, and then we have to meet it afterwards. I really feel that the United States is deprived of the opportunity of the technique of cross-examination if this is the procedure.
THE PRESIDENT: Surely it is making too much of a sentence the witness has said, whether the United States makes its orders for mobilization public or not. Surely that is not a matter of very great importance. Every country keeps certain things secret. Certainly it would be much wiser to ignore a statement of that sort. But as to the general rule, the Tribunal will now consider the matter. I have already laid down what I believe to be the rule, and ,; I think with the assent of the Tribunal, but I will ascertain...
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Let me say that I agree with Your Honor that as far as the United States is concerned we are not worried by anything the witness can say about it-and we expected plenty. The point is, do we answer these things or leave them, apart from the control of the Trial? And it does seem to me that this is the beginning of this Trial's getting out of hand, if I may say so, if we do not have control of this situation. I trust the Tribunal will pardon my earnestness in presenting this. I think it is a very vital thing.
THE PRESIDENT: I have never heard it suggested that the Counsel for the Prosecution have to answer every irrelevant observation made in cross-examination.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That would be true in a private litigation, but I trust the Court is not unaware that outside of this courtroom is a great social question of the revival of Nazism and that one of the purposes of the Defendant Goering-I think he would be the first to admit-is to revive and perpetuate it by propaganda from this Trial now in process.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Doctor Stahmer?
DR. STAHMER: I just wanted to explain the following: An accusation has been made as if we intended to make propaganda here for Nazism, or in some other direction. I do not think this accusation is justified. Neither do I believe that the defendant intended to make an accusation against the United States. I think we have to consider the question that was put to him. That is, it was pointed out to him by the Prosecution that this document which was submitted to him was marked "secret." Then he stated that he had never heard that a document of that kind would have been made public in the United States. If instead of the U.S-A- he had said any other nation, then the remark would have been considered harmless.
In my opinion the answer was quite justified. The witness should be given the possibility not only to answer "yes" or "no," but to give reasons for his answer, as ruled by the Court.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, the Tribunal considers that the rule which it has laid down is the only possible rule and that the witness must be confined strictly to answering the question directly where the question admits of a direct answer, and that he must not make his explanation before he gives a direct answer but, after having given a direct answer to any question which admits of a direct answer, he may make a short explanation; and that he is not to be confined simply to making direct answers "yes" or "no," and leaving the explanation until his counsel puts it to him in his re-examination.
As to this particular observation of the defendant, the defendant ought not to have referred to the United States, but it is a matter which I think you might well ignore.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I shall bow to the ruling, of course.
wish to make a statement to the Tribunal about one of the documents. At the conclusion of the session yesterday we were considering Document Number EC-405. The Defendant Goering challenged the use of a word which he said should have been translated "clearance" rather than "liberation." We have since had the translation checked and find that the defendant is correct. This document was introduced under Exhibit Number GB-160 on the 9th of January, at Page 2396 of the Tribunal's records (Volume V, Page 28), and since it has already been received in evidence and it is before the Tribunal, we think it incumbent upon the Prosecution to make that correction now for the record.
[Turning to the witness.] You stated yesterday that the minutes of the
Reich Defense Council with which you were presented were not minutes of
a meeting of the Reich Defense Council as such? [=]
Title: "Eighty-Sixth Day, Wednesday, 3/20/1946, Part 02", in Trial
of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal.
Volume IX. Proceedings: 3/8/1946-3/23/1946. [Official text in the English
language.] Nuremberg: IMT, 1947. pp. 512-514.
GOERING: Yes, I said that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And your testimony, notwithstanding that document, still stands, I take it, that the Reich Defense Council never met?
; GOERING: I said that also, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I now ask to have you shown a document which has just come into our possession, the minutes of the second session of the Reich Defense Council. I should have said, just come to us for translation. We have not had it translated; we just discovered it among our great collection of documents.
THE PRESIDENT: Could Doctor Stahmer have a copy in English or not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: We have not even had a chance to get it into English. I do not know what it says except that it is the minutes of their meeting. We have a photostat.
[Turning to the witness.] Are those not the minutes of the second meeting of the Reich Defense Council held on the 6/23/1939?
GOERING: I must read it first.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I call your attention to the fact that the chairman is Minister President General Field Marshal Goering. You will find that on Page 1.
GOERING: I have never disputed that. It was fixed by law. This deals with the second Reich Defense Council, not the first one. Besides, I was not present at this meeting; and I point out that on the left is a list of the authorities who took part in the meeting, and in my case it says "Minister President Field Marshal Goering," and on the right, as representative for him, "State Secretary Korner and State Secretary Neumann." But I shall have to look through the document first in order to find out whether I took part personally.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Does it not say on Page 1, directly under the place of meeting, "Chairman: Minister President Goering"?
GOERING: Yes. I have to read it first.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Do you deny the authenticity of those minutes?
GOERING: I have not looked them through yet.
It seems to be an absolutely authentic copy of the minutes; I admit that. But here again we are dealing with a meeting not as I said when answering my counsel, of the Reich Defense Council but of a larger meeting in which many other departments participated and it is a matter of the second Reich Defense Council, which was set up after 1938, not a secret council such as was the case from 1933-1938.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In other words, in interpreting your testimony, we must understand that, when you say there was n meeting of the Reich Defense Council, you mean only that there were no meetings at which no other people were present?
GOERING: No, that is not correct. There were two Reich defense laws concerning the Reich Defense Council, which I tried to explain in my statement: the Secret Council of 1933-1938, which was not made public, and the Reich Defense Council which was created 1933 and converted into the Ministerial Council in 1939; the latter held meetings which were in no way confined to its own members.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then you say that this was not the Defense Council that met under the ban of secrecy?
GOERING: The Prosecution want me to answer first with "yes" or "no." It is hard to answer this question with "yes" or "no." I assert that the Secret Defense Council, which was not made public and which arose out of a meeting of ministers in 1933, never met After 1938 a new Reich defense law created a new council. At that time it was clear that our military sovereignty had already been declared. This first council, which the Prosecution called the secret one, never met, and the document of yesterday proved that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Will you refer to Page 19 of this document, please, and tell me whether one of the very things with which this meeting concerned itself was not the lifting of the secrecy ban from the Reich defense law?
GOERING: No, that is not the way it reads here. If I may translate it, the last point on the agenda: Consequences resulting from the lifting of the secrecy ban on the Reich defense law and measures to expedite procedures have already been dealt with by a letter from the Reich Defense Committee on 26 June: "Consequences resulting from the lifting of the secrecy ban with a view to expediting written communications."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You have stated that on the Jewish question, some of the members of the government were more radical than you. Would you state who these were?
GOERING: Broadly speaking, when we took over the government, we only demanded their removal from political and other leading positions in the State.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is not what I asked you.
THE PRESIDENT: That is not a direct answer to the question. The question was that you said some members of the government were more radical toward Jews than you were. Would you tell us which of the members of the government were more radical than you were?
GOERING: Excuse me, I did not understand the question to mean who were more radical, but in what way they were more radical. If you ask who, then I would say that those were primarily Minister Goebbels and Himmler.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Do you also include your co-defendant, Streicher, as more radical than you?
GOERING: Yes, but he was not a member of the government.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: He was the Gauleiter, was he not, or this very territory in which we are sitting.
GOERING: That is correct; but he had very little or no influence in government measures.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What about Heydrich?
GOERING: Heydrich was subordinate to Himmler. If I said Himmler, I, of course, include Heydrich.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Heydrich is then included in the list the more radical ones to whom you refer?
GOERING: That is right; yes.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: What about Bormann?
GOERING: It was only during the later years that I observed at Bormann was becoming more radical. I do not know anything about his attitude in the beginning.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I want to review with you briefly what the Prosecution understands to be public acts taken by you in reference to the Jewish question. From the very beginning you regarded the elimination of the Jews from the economic life of Germany as one phase of the Four Year Plan under your jurisdiction, did you not?
GOERING: The elimination, yes; that is partly correct. The elimination as far as the large industries were concerned, because there were continual disturbances due to the fact that there were large industries, also armament industries, still partly under Jewish directors, or with Jewish shareholders, and that gave rise to a certain anxiety among the lower ranks.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, do I understand that you want he Tribunal to believe that all you were concerned about was the big Jewish enterprises? That is the way you want to be understood?
GOERING: I was not at first disturbed by the small stores. They did not come into the Four Year Plan.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: When did you become disturbed by the small stores?
GOERING: When trade had to be limited, it was pointed out that this could be done first by closing the Jewish stores.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, let us go through the public acts which you performed on the Jewish question. First, did you proclaim the Nuremberg Laws?
GOERING: As President of the Reichstag, yes. I have already stated that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What date was that?
GOERING: 1935, I believe; here in Nuremberg, in September.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That was the beginning of the legal measures taken against the Jews, was it not?
GOERING: That was a legal measure.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That was the first of the legal measures taken by your government against the Jews, was it not?
GOERING: No, I believe the removal from office was before.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: When was that?
GOERING: I could not state the exact date, but I believe that happened in 1933.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then on the first day of 12/1936, you promulgated an act making it a death penalty for Germans to transfer property abroad or leave it abroad; the property of a culprit to be forfeited to the State, and the People's Court given jurisdiction to prosecute, did you not?
GOERING: That is correct; the "Decree Governing Restriction on Foreign Currency." That is to say, whoever had an account in a foreign country without permission of the government.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Then, your third public act was on 4/22/1938 when you published penalties for veiling the character of a Jewish enterprise within the Reich, was it not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then on 7/28/1939, you, Hermann Goering, published certain prescriptions on the competence of the courts to handle those matters by the decree, did you not?
GOERING: Please, would you kindly read the law to me? I cannot recall it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I will not take time reading it. Do you deny that you published the Reichsgesetzblatt law, 1939, found on Page 1370, referring to the competence of the courts to handle penalties against Jews? If you do not remember, say so.
GOERING: Yes, I say that I cannot remember the law. If it is in the Reichsgesetzblatt and bears my name, then, of course, it is so; but I do not remember the contents.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, on 4/26/1938 you, under the Four Year Plan, published a decree providing for the registration of Jewish property and provided that Jews inside and outside Germany must register their property, did you not?
GOERING: I assume so. I no longer remember it, but if you have the decree there, and if it is signed by me, there cannot be any doubt.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: On 4/26/1938 you published a decree under the Four Year Plan, did you not, that all acts of disposal of Jewish enterprises required the permission of the authorities?
GOERING: That I remember.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then you published on 11/12/1938 a decree, also under the Four Year Plan, imposing a fine of a RM1 billion for atonement on all Jews?
GOERING: I have already explained that all these decrees at that time were signed by me, and I assume responsibility for them.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I am asking you if you did not sign that particular decree? I am going to ask you some further questions about it later.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then on the 11/12/1938, you also signed a decree that, under the Four Year Plan, all damage caused to Jewish property by the riots of 1938 must be repaired immediately by the Jews, and at their own expense; and their insurance claims were forfeited to the Reich. Did you personally sign that law?
GOERING: I did sign a similar law. Whether it was exactly the same as you have just read, I could not say.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You do not disagree that that was the substance of the law, do you?
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And on the 11/12/1938, did you not also personally sign a decree, also under the Four Year Flan, that Jews may not own retail stores, or engage independently in handicrafts or offer goods, or services, for sale at markets, fairs, or exhibitions; or act as leaders of enterprises or as members of cooperatives? Do you recall all of that?
GOERING: Yes. Those are all parts of the decrees for the elimination of Jewry from economic life.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Then, on the 2/21/1939, You personally signed a decree, did you not, that the Jews must render all objects of precious metals and jewels purchased, to the public office within 2 weeks?
GOERING: I do not remember that, but without doubt, that is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I refer to Volume I of the Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Page 282. You have no recollection of that?
GOERING: I have not the Reichsgesetzblatt in front of me now but if there is a decree in the Reichsgesetzblatt, or a law Signed with my name, then I signed that law and decreed it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not also, on the 3/3/1939, sign a further decree concerning the period within which items of jewelry must be surrendered by Jews-Reichsgesetzblatt Volume I, 1939, Page 387?
GOERING: I assume that was the decree for the execution of the decree for surrender previously mentioned. A law sometimes requires regulations and decrees for execution consequent upon the law. Taken together, this is one single measure.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not also sign personally a decree under the Four Year Plan, of the 17th of September 1940 ordering the sequestration of Jewish property in Poland?
GOERING: Yes, as I stated before, in that part of Poland which, I may say, as an old German province, was to return to Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not also, on the 11/30/1940, personally sign a decree which provided that the Jews should receive no compensation for damages caused by enemy attacks or by German forces, and did you not sign that in the capacity of President of the Reich Defense Council? I refer to the Reichisgesetzblatt, Volume I, 1940, Page 1547.
GOERING: If you have it there before you, then it must be correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You have no recollection of that?
GOERING: Not of all the separate laws and decrees. That is impossible.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then, it was you, was it not, who signed, on the 7/31/1941, a decree asking Himmler, and the Chief of Security Police and the SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich to make the plans for the complete solution of the Jewish question?
GOERING: No, that is not correct. I know that decree very well.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I ask to have you shown Document 710, Exhibit Number USA-509.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that 710-PS?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 710-PS, Your Honor.
Turning to the witness.7 That document is signed by you, is it not?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And it is addressed to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, and to SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, isn't it?
GOERING: That is also correct.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I am not certain whether the entire thing has been read into the record, but I think it should be; and, that we may have no difficulty about the translation of this, you correct me if I am wrong:
"Completing the task that was assigned to you on the 1/24/1939..."
GOERING: Here is a mistake already. It says: "Complementing' not "completing" the task which has been assigned to you.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well, I will accept that ". . . which dealt with arriving at a thorough furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageously as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe."
Am I correct so far?
GOERING: No, that is in no way correctly translated.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Give us your translation of it?
GOERING: May I read it as it is written here?
"Complementing the task which was conferred upon you already on 1/24/1939, to solve the Jewish problem by means of emigration and evacuation in the best possible way according to present conditions, I charge you herewith to make all necessary preparations as regards organizational, factual, and material matters...."
Now comes the decisive word which has been mistranslated: "for total solution," not "for a final solution."
". . . for a total solution of the Jewish question within the area of German influence in Europe. Should these come within the competence of other governmental departments, then such departments are to co-operate.
"I charge you further to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan showing the organizational and material measures for reaching the desired total solution of the Jewish question.... Complementing the task assigned to you on 1/24/1939...."
That was at a time when there was no war or prospect of a war.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now are you reporting the instrument or are you making an explanation?
GOERING: I wanted to add an explanation to the quotation and just to point out the date.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes. Well, I just did not want it to appear that it was a part of the instrument. The last that is contained in the instrument is:
"I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organizational, factual, and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question."
Is that not a substantially accurate translation of your order to Heydrich and Himmler?
GOERING: To Heydrich and the other government departments which had anything to do with it. That can be seen from the first part of the letter, the last sentence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us have no misunderstanding about this translation now. This letter was directed to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, and SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich. We are right about that, are we not?
GOERING: That is correct, but I have to make an explanation in connection with that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: All right.
GOERING: The reason I sent this letter to him was that, by the decree of 1/24/1939, Heydrich, or it may have been Himmler had been given the task of dealing with the emigration of the Jews. Therefore, this was the government department concerned, and it was to the department which had been given the task that I had to apply concerning all material and economic matters arising therefrom.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes. And you ordered all other governmental agencies to co-operate with the Security Police and the SS in the final solution of the Jewish question, did you not?
GOERING: There is nothing about the SS here, only about the Sicherheitspolizei, a governmental agency. The fact that Heydrich was SS Gruppenfuehrer had no direct bearing on it, because it was sent to the Chief of the Security Police-mentioning his rank as SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And mentioning his rank in the SS was just superfluous and has nothing to do with the case?
GOERING: I have to explain that. For instance, if I write to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, then I write: "To the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Colonel General or Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch." And if I write to the Chief of the Security Police, then I must address it: "To the Chief of the Security Police, SS Gruppenfuihrer Heydrich." That was his rank and his title. How ever that does not mean that the SS had anything to do with it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, at the time that you issued this order you had received complete reports as to the 1938 riots and Heydrich's part in them, hadn't you?
GOERING: At that time I had no knowledge of Heydrich's part in the riots-only Heydrich's report on the riots, for which I had asked.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: All right. Now we will show you Document Number 3058-PS, in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-508.
[Document 3058-PS was submitted to the witness.]
That is the report written by Heydrich which you say you had received, and it is dated 11/11/1938, is it not?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And it recited to you the looting of Jewish shops, the arrest of 174 persons for looting, the destruction of 815 shops, 171 dwellings set on fire or destroyed, and that this indicated only a fraction of the actual damage caused; 191 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed; in addition, 11 parish halls, cemetery chapels, and similar buildings were set on fire, and 3 more completely destroyed; 20000 Jews were arrested; also, 7 Aryans and 3 foreigners-the latter were arrested for their own safety; 36 deaths were reported, and the seriously injured were also numbered at 36. Those killed and injured are Jews. One Jew is still missing. The Jews killed include 1 Polish national, and those injured include 2 Poles.
You had that report on or about the 11/11/1938, did you not?
GOERING: That is correct. That is the report mentioned by me and which I had asked the police to supply, because I wanted to know what had happened up to then.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Exactly. And the note was made at the top of it, The General Field Marshal has been informed and no steps are to be taken." Was it not?
GOERING: That is not quite correct. It says here, "General Field Marshal has taken note. No steps are to be taken by any other Office, because I myself wanted to take them.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you know that that is not true, do you not, that steps were to be taken by some other office? I put it to you squarely whether you are telling this Tribunal the truth when you say that no steps were to be taken by anyone else.
GOERING: This is a note by my staff department, that nothing was to be done by that quarter, because I said I was going to deal with it personally. In fact I went straight to the Fuehrer with this report.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: All right. Did you receive a report from the Chief Party Judge of the Nazi Party, dated Munich, the 2/13/1939, concerning the proceedings taken by the Party in these matters?
GOERING: That is correct. I received that report much later.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And at the time you appointed-I withdraw the question. It is obvious from the dates of the documents. You acknowledged the receipt of that document, did you not, to Party member Buch?
GOERING: That is also correct.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And the only proceedings that were taken about these riots were those taken by the Party Court, were they not?
GOERING: Not quite; some were brought before the law courts. That is in the report also.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I ask that he be shown the report, which is Document 3063-PS. It is not in evidence. Since the document apparently has not been brought here, I will ask you from your recollection.
GOERING: I know it fairly well.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I thought so.
GOERING: No, because it has been submitted to me before, here.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, it has not been kept from you. Now, in the first place, the Party Court reported that it was probably understood-I quote-"by all of the Party leaders present from oral instructions of the Reich Propaganda Director, that the Party should not appear outwardly as the originator of the demonstrations, but in reality should organize and execute them." Was that the report of the Party Court?
GOERING: The Party Court, as a result of its investigation established that the Propaganda Chief, Dr. Goebbels, had given these directives. May I ask, if we are dealing with a report dated March or maybe April?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The 2/13/1939, is the date.
GOERING: Yes, that is correct; that is the result of investigations after the incidents.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right. Now, as a result of the riots, did the Court, the Party Court, not also report this to you: that the Supreme Party Court has reserved itself the right to investigate the killings, also the severe mistreatment and moral aims and will request the Fuehrer to drop proceedings against any person whom the Party Court did not find guilty of excesses?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the Party Court was made up of Gauleiter and Group Leaders of the Party?
GOERING: The Party Court changed. I cannot say just now, without having the document, who made up the Party Court at that time. I see that I am being given the document.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I call your attention to Page 4, toward the bottom, where the report says, "Gauleiter and Group Leaders of the branches served as jurors at the trials and decisions."
GOERING: Yes, it was a matter of course that the jurors of the Party Court were always taken from these categories according to their importance. I wanted only to say I did not know which persons were taking part here.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, the Party Court found five persons guilty of offenses, did they not? Number 1, a Party member, was guilty of a moral crime and race violation and he was expelled. Is that right?
GOERING: And turned over to the penal court. That is what it says in the last sentence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right. Another Party member, Case Number 2, was suspected of race violation and expelled from the Nazi Party.
GOERING: Expelled for suspected race violation and theft, and turned over to the ordinary court.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes; and Number 2, Gustav, was expelled from the Party and SA for theft. Right?
GOERING: You are at Number 3?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I have Number 2, Gustav, the first name mentioned.
GOERING: Gustav is the first name- Gerstner-yes, for theft, also turned over to the ordinary court for suspected race violation.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, Number 3 dealt with two expulsions of Party members on the grounds of moral crimes against a Jew, and they are now held in protective custody. Right?
GOERING: Expelled from the NSDAP and taken into protective custody; they were also turned over to the civil court later. I know that very well.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, we come to Cases 4 and 5, the first of which was a man, a Party member and SA member, who was reprimanded and declared unfit to hold office for 3 years because of a disciplinary offense, namely, for killing the Jewish couple Selig, contrary to order. Is that right?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And in the last of these cases the offender was reprimanded and declared unfit to hold office for 3 years for shooting a 16-year-old Jew, contrary to orders after completion of the drive. Is that right?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: We now come to the cases of the killing of Jews, where proceedings were suspended or minor punishments pronounced. I will not go through those in detail, but it is a fact that only minor punishments were pronounced by the Supreme Court of the Party for the killing of Jews, were they not?
GOERING: Yes, that is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I now ask you to turn to Page 8.
GOERING: One moment please.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I call your attention to the language in regard to Cases 3 to 16.
GOERING: Which page, please?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Nine, I believe it is. The Supreme Party Court asks the Fuehrer to quash the proceedings in the State criminal courts.
Goering; To quash them, to beat them down, that does not mean suppress. A penal proceeding can be "niedergeschlagen." In Germany that is a different thing from "suppress."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you give us your version of it and tell us what it is. What does beating down a proceeding mean? Does it mean that it has ended?
GOERING: That is what it means, but it can only be ordered by an office which has authority to do it; that is to say, the Fuehrer can at any time "beat down" a proceeding by way of an amnesty The Cabinet could at any time pass a resolution to "beat down" a proceeding-suppressing it would have been illegal. In Germany, "niedergeschlagen" is a legal term meaning "to suspend."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And one further question. It was also reported to you, was it not, in that report-I refer to Page 11:
"The public down to the last man realize that political drives, like those of 9 November, were organized and directed by the Party, whether this is admitted or not. When all the synagogues burned down in one night, it must have been organized in some way and can only have been organized by the Party."
That also was in the report of the Supreme Party Court, was it not?
GOERING: I have not found it yet. It is not the same page as mine.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us find it and not have any mistake about it. Page 11. I should think it would be at the very bottom of Page 10, perhaps, where it starts.
GOERING: Yes, I have just found it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did I give a reasonably correct translation of it?
GOERING: That is correct.
THE PRESIDENT: Would that be a convenient time to break it off? Before we break off, will you offer in evidence these documents that you have been putting to the witness? Those which are not already in evidence?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, they should be, Your Honor, I will do that.
THE PRESIDENT: I think Document 3575-PS may have been offered yesterday, but not strictly offered in evidence; and Document 3063-PS today; and one other document the number of which I have not got.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I appreciate very much your calling my attention to it.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. HORN: Mr. President: I ask you, Your Honor, to permit the Defendant Von Ribbentrop to be absent from tomorrow's session as there are still some fundamental questions I have to discuss with him in order to prepare his counterevidence.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Horn, your suggestion as I understand it, is that the Defendant Ribbentrop should be absent from tomorrow morning's sitting in order that you may consult with him in reference to the preparation of his defense. Is that right?
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has no objection to that course being taken provided that you make arrangements with some other Defense Counsel to look after Defendant Ribbentrop's interests if any questions arise. The Tribunal does not wish that you should come hereafter and say that you and Defendant Ribbentrop were out of court and object to what may have happened in your absence. You understand what I mean?
DR. HORN: Yes, Mr. President, and I give you my assurance that I will not use an objection of that nature, and shall ask one of my colleagues to act on my behalf.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has no objection to your taking that course of action, but of course you realize that the Trial cannot be held up by any delay which might be caused in the future by the fact that you were not present.
DR.HORN: Mr. President, the purpose of my request is such that it will help me to avoid future delays.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I quite understand that. I was only saying that in allowing you to do this, which is perfectly reasonable, the Tribunal is merely indicating they will not allow any future delays. The Trial must continue.
DR. HORN: I understand that and I wish to thank you.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: [Turning to the witness.] Now, the Volkischer Beobachter of the 3/12/1933 quotes a speech of yours delivered at Essen on the 3/11/1933, including the following-and I refresh your recollection by calling it to your attention:
"I am told that I must employ the police. Certainly I shall employ the police, and quite ruthlessly, whenever the German people are hurt; but I refuse the notion that the police are protective troop for Jewish stores. No, the police protect whoever comes into Germany legitimately, but it does not exist for the purpose of protecting Jewish usurers." Did you say that?
GOERING: When did you say that was?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you say that on the 3/11/1933 in a speech at Essen, either that, or that in substance?
GOERING: That is correct, but the circumstances were different. Before I answer, I would like to ask whether you have finished with the document in the book that was submitted to me previously. I gave no explanation and will ask my counsel to have me questioned later in regard to that document.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is satisfactory.
After the riots of November 9th and 10th, you have testified that you called a meeting on the 12th of November and ordered all officials concerned to be present, and that the Fuehrer had insisted on Goebbels being present.
GOERING: Yes, all chiefs of the economic departments.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Could you tell us who was there in addition to yourself and Goebbels?
GOERING: As far as I recall, the following were there for the purpose of reporting: The Chief of the Secret State Police, concerning the events, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of the Interior...
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Will you please state their names so that there will not be any mistake about who was there at that time.
GOERING: I can quote only from memory. There were present to draw up a report: The leader of the Secret State Police in Berlin, Heydrich; the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick; Dr. Goebbels you have mentioned already; the then Minister of Economy, Funk, was there; the Finance Minister, Count Schwerin von Krosigk; and Fischbock from Austria.
Those are the only names I can recall at present, but there may have been a few others there too.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Part of the time, Hilgard, representing the insurance companies, was also present, was he not?
GOERING: He was summoned and waited there. His views were asked on special questions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you have been shown the stenographic minutes of that meeting which are in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-261, being Document Number 1816-PS, have you not, in your interrogation?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I will ask that they be shown to you, and now, so that we may have no misunderstanding about the translations.
You opened the meeting with this statement. I will read it: "Gentlemen..." I think perhaps we had better be clear about which meeting it was. This is the meeting held on the 11/12/1938 at the office of the Reich Air Ministry. That is correct, is it not?
GOERING: Yes, that is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You opened the meeting:
"Gentlemen, today's meeting is of a decisive nature. I have received a letter written OD the Fuehrer's orders by the Stabsleiter of the Fuehrer's Deputy, Bormann, requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another."
Is that correct?
GOERING: Yes, that is correct.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Further down, I find this:
"Gentlemen, I have had enough of these demonstrations. They do not harm the Jews, but finally devolve on me, the highest authority for the German economy. If today a Jewish shop is destroyed, if goods are thrown into the street, the insurance company will pay the Jew for the damages so that he does not suffer any damage at all. Furthermore, consumer goods, goods belonging to the people, are destroyed. If, in the future, demonstrations occur-and on occasion they may be necessary-then I ask that they be so directed that we do not cut our own throats."
Am I correct?
GOERING: Yes, quite correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Skipping two or three paragraphs, I come to this...
GOERING: But the supplement has been omitted.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you can supplement it any way you want to.
GOERING: "...then I ask that they be so directed that we do not cut our own throats. For it is absurd to empty and set fire to a Jewish store, when a German insurance company has to cover the damage, and the goods which I sorely need are burned. I might as well take and burn the raw materials when they come in."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right. You read any part of it that you want to as we go along, in addition to what I read.
"I am not going to tolerate a situation in which the German insurance companies are the ones to suffer. To prevent this, I will use my authority and issue a decree In this, of course, I ask for the support of the competent government agencies, so that everything shall be settled properly and the insurance companies will not be the ones who suffer.
"But another problem immediately emerges: It may be that these insurance companies have re-insurance in foreign countries. If there are such re-insurances, I would not want to give them up, because they bring in foreign exchange. The matter must be looked into. For that reason, I have asked Mr. Hilgard from the insurance company to attend, since he is best qualified to tell us to what extent the insurance companies are covered by re-insurance against such damage. I would not want to give this up under any circumstances. "
Is that correct?
GOERING: That is absolutely correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "I do not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the purpose of today's meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions; and I earnestly ask the competent departments to take trenchant measures for the Aryanizing of German economy and to submit them to me as far as is necessary."
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I then skip a considerable portion, unless there is more that you wish to put in, and come to this statement:
"The State Trustee will estimate the value of the business and decide what amount the Jew shall receive. Naturally, this amount is to be fixed as low as possible. The State Trustee will then transfer the business to Aryan ownership. The aim is thus accomplished, inasmuch as the business is transferred to the right ownership and its goodwill and balance sheet remain unimpaired.
"Then the difficulties begin. It is easily understandable that attempts will be made on a large scale to get Party members into all these stores and thus give them some compensation. I have witnessed terrible things in the past; little chauffeurs of Gauleiter have profited so much by these transactions that they have raked in half a million. You gentlemen know it. Is that correct?"
And they assented.
GOERING: Yes, I said that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Would you care to read anything further in connection with that?
GOERING: Perhaps only the next sentence:
"These are, of course, things which are not permissible, and I shall not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with such underhand dealings. If a prominent person is involved I shall go straight to the Fuehrer and report these dirty tricks quite impartially."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is, if any individual was tempting to profit by Jewish possessions-is that what you meant?
GOERING: By Aryanization.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I will quote another portion:
"In other words, it must be an ordinary business transaction One sells his business and another buys it. If there are Party members among the would-be purchasers, they are to be given preference if they fulfill the same conditions. First of all should come those who have suffered damage. After that preference should be given on grounds of Party membership."
I will skip a line or two:
"This Party member should have a chance to buy the business for as cheap a price as possible. In such a case, the State will not receive the full price, but only the amount the Jew received."
Is that correct?
GOERING: Just a moment, please, I believe you skipped something.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, we did. If you want to put it in, you may read it.
GOERING: No, I want to put it quite briefly, so that it will not take too long. I said what you have already said, that all things being equal, the Party member is to be given preference, the first on the list being the member who suffered prejudice by having his business license cancelled because he was a Party member Then follows the paragraph which you read and which is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you then speak at considerable length of the method by which you intended to Aryanize Jewish businesses, is that right?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And then you take up the Aryanization of Jewish factories.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You speak of the smaller factories first.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Have you found the place where you speak of the factories?
GOERING: Yes, I have found it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I quote.
"Now the factories. With regard to the smaller and medium sized ones, two things will have to be made clear: First, which are the factories for which I have no use, and which can be shut-down? Could they not be put to another use? If not, these factories are to be pulled down. Second, if the factory should be needed, it will be turned over to Aryans in the same manner as the stores.
That is correct, isn't it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Do you care to say any more on that subject?
GOERING: No, those are the basic elements for the laws.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I call your attention to the Second paragraph, starting, "Take now the larger factories." Do you find that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Dealing with the larger factories, do you not say the solution is very simple, that the factory can be compensated in the same manner as the stores, that Is, at a rate which we shall determine, and the Trustee shall take over the Jew's interest, as well as his shares, and in turn sell or transfer them to he State as he thinks fit.
GOERING: That means any one who has any interest in the factories will receive compensation, according to the scale laid down by us.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And the reparation will be turned over to the State Trustee, will it not?
GOERING: Yes, to the State Trustee. The matter was simply is: The Jew relinquished his ownership and received bonds. That was to be settled by the Trustee through 3% bonds.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will pass on to where you deal with the foreign Jews, do you recall that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: At that point a representative of the Foreign Office claimed the right to participate on behalf of the Foreign Minister, is that right?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, now, we will pass on to the point of the conversation between yourself and Heydrich.
GOERING: Just a moment, please. Part of the minutes are missing. All right. I have found the place where Heydrich is mentioned for the first time.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You inquired how many synagogues were actually burned, and Heydrich replied, "Altogether there were 101 synagogues destroyed by fire, 76 synagogues demolished, and 7,500 stores destroyed in the Reich." Have I quoted that correctly?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, then Dr. Goebbels interposed "I am of the opinion that this is our chance to dissolve the synagogues." And then you have a discussion about the dissolving of the synagogues, have you not?
GOERING: By Dr. Goebbels, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then, Dr. Goebbels raised the question of Jews traveling in railway trains?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let me know if I quote correctly the dialogue between you and Dr. Goebbels on that subject. Dr. Goebbels said:
"Furthermore, I advocate that Jews be banned from all public places where they might cause provocation. It is still possible for a Jew to share a sleeper with a German. Therefore, the Reich Ministry of Transport must issue a decree ordering that there shall be separate compartments for Jews. If this compartment is full, then the Jews cannot claim a seat. They can only be given separate compartments after all Germans have secured seats. They must not mix with the Germans; if there is no more room, they will have to stand in the corridor."
Is that right?
GOERING: Yes, that is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "GOERING: I think it would be more sensible to give them separate compartments.
"Goebbels: Not if the train is overcrowded.
GOERING: Just a moment. There will be only one Jewish coach. If that is filled up the other Jews will have to stay at home.
"Goebbels: But suppose there are not many Jews going, let us say, on the long-distance express train to Munich. Suppose there are two Jews on the train, and the other compartments are overcrowded; these two Jews would then have a compartment to themselves. Therefore, the decree must state, Jews may claim a seat only after all Germans have secured a seat.
"GOERING: I would give the Jews one coach or one compartment, and should a case such as you mention arise, and the train be overcrowded, believe me, we will not need a law. He will be kicked out all right, and will have to sit alone in the toilet all the way." Is that correct?
GOERING: Yes. I was getting irritated when Goebbels came with his small details when important laws were being discussed. I refused to do anything. I issued no decrees or laws in this connection- Of course, today, it is very pleasant for the Prosecution to bring it up, but I wish to state that it was a very lively meeting at which Goebbels made demands which were quite outside the economic sphere, and I used these expressions to give vent to my feelings.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then Goebbels, who felt very strongly about these things, said that Jews should stand in the corridor, and you said that they would have to sit in the toilet. That is the way you said it?
GOERING: No, it is not. I said that they should have a special compartment; and when Goebbels still was not satisfied, and harped on it, I finally told him, "I do not need a law. He can either sit in the toilet or leave the train." These are utterances made in this connection which, however, have nothing to do with the world-wide importance of the great conflict.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us go down to where Goebbels brings up the subject of the German forests.
GOERING: Just a moment. Yes. It starts where Goebbels asked for a decree which would prevent Jews from going to German holiday resorts. To which I replied "Give them their own." And then he suggested that it would have to be considered whether we should give them their own resorts, or place some German bathing places at their disposal, but not the best ones so that people might ay: "You allow the Jews to get fit by using our bathing resorts." The question must also be considered whether it was necessary to forbid the Jews to go into the German forests. Herds of Jews are -today running around in Grunewald; that is a constant provocation -and so on. Then when he broke in again, I replied very sharply, 'It would be better to put a certain part of the forest at the disposal Of the Jews," as he wanted them out of the whole of the forests. Then I made the remark which seems to be of so much interest.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us have that remark. Is it not correct you did state:
"We will give the Jews a certain part of the forest, and Alpers will see to it that the various animals, which are damnably like the Jews-the Elk too has a hooked nose-go into the Jewish enclosure and settle down among them."
Is that what you said?
GOERING: Yes, I said it, but it should be linked up with the whole atmosphere of the meeting. Goebbels comes back on it again in the next sentence and says he considers my attitude provoking. I too can say I was provoked by his insistence on unimportant things, when such far-reaching and decisive matters were being discussed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you come to the point where you ask Mr. Hilgard from the insurance company to come in. Can you find that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then you made a statement to Mr. Hilgard when he came in.
"The position is as follows: Because of the justified anger of the people against the Jews, the Reich has suffered a certain amount of damage. Windows have been broken, goods damaged and people hurt; synagogues have been burned, and so forth I suppose many of the Jews are also insured against damage committed by public disorder?
"GOERING: If that is so, the following situation arises. The people in their justified anger meant to harm the Jews, but it is the German insurance companies which have to compensate the Jews for the damage. The thing is simple enough. I have only to issue a decree to the effect that damage resulting from these riots shall not have to be paid by the insurance companies."
Is that what you said?
GOERING: Yes, I said all that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Hilgard then outlined three kinds of insurance He pointed out that at least as far as plate glass insurance was concerned, the majority of the sufferers were Aryans who owned buildings and that, as a rule, the Jews only rented them. Is that right?
GOERING: Yes, those are the details of the discussion.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And Hilgard said:
"May I draw your attention to the following facts: Plate glass Is not manufactured by the Bohemian glass industry, but is entirely in the hands of the Belgian glass industry. In my estimation the damage amounts to 6 millions, that is to say, under the insurance policies, we shall have to pay the owners who for the most part are Aryans, about 6 millions compensation for the glass."
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, before you pass from that page, in the third paragraph, just for the sake of accuracy, it appears that the name "Mr. Hilgard" is wrongly placed, does it not, because he seems both to put the question and to answer it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I think that is . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Probably the Defendant Goering put the question. It is the third paragraph on my page.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I take the minutes to read that when Hilgard appeared, Goering addressed him as "Mr. Hilgard."
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I see.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But it is correct, as Your Honor suggests.
GOERING: I wish to point out what was said before concerning like broken glass. Goebbels said: "The Jews must pay for the damage," and I said, "It is no use, we have no raw material, it is all foreign glass. That will require foreign currency. It is like asking for the moon." Then Hilgard comes with the discussions just mentioned.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, and Hilgard pointed out that: Incidentally the amount of damage equals about half a year's production of the whole of the Belgian glass industry. We believe that the manufacturers will take 6 months to deliver the glass."
Do you recall that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, passing down, you come to a point at which Hilgard tells you about a store on Unter den Linden which was attacked. Can you find that?
GOERING: He said, "The biggest incident is the case of Margraf, 3 Unter den Linden." Isn't that so?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "The damage reported to us amounts to 1.7 million because the store was completely ransacked." Is that right?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "GOERING: Daluege and Heydrich, you just get me these jewels by large-scale raids." Is that the order you gave?
GOERING: Yes, of course, so that the stolen goods should be brought back.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Brought back to you, not to the Jews.
GOERING: Not to me personally, I beg your pardon, that is quite clear.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Brought back to the State-you did not intend to return them to the Jews?
GOERING: It does not say that here. The main thing is, that they should be brought back.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "We are trying to get the loot back " as Heydrich put it, is that right? And you added, "And the jewels?"
GOERING: If a large jewelry shop is plundered, something must be done about it because with these valuables a great deal of trouble could be caused. Therefore, I ordered raids to be carried out to have these things, as well as other stolen goods, brought back. When a business was Aryanized, its stock was also transferred to the new owner. The main point, however, was that action should be taken against those who had stolen and plundered, and in fact 150 had already been arrested.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And Heydrich went on to report on the method of these raids after you reminded him to bring back, to get the jewels.
"It is difficult to say. Some of the articles were thrown into the street and picked up. The same happened with the furriers. For example, in the Friedrichstrasse in the district of Police Station C. There the crowd naturally rushed to pick up mink and skunk furs, et cetera. It will be very difficult to recover them. Even children filled their pockets just for the fun of the thing. It is suggested that the Hitler Youth should not be employed on such actions without the Party's consent. Such things are very easily destroyed."
GOERING: Yes, so it says.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And Daluege then suggests:
"The Party should issue an order to the effect that the police must immediately be notified if the neighbor's wife-everybody knows his neighbor very well-has a fur coat remodeled or somebody is seen wearing a new ring or bracelet. We should like the Party to assist in this matter."
GOERING: This is absolutely correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, Hilgard objected to your plan of releasing the insurance companies from paying the claims, did he not?
GOERING: Yes, this is also correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And he gave the reasons:
"Hilgard: If I may give the reasons for my objection, the point is that we do a large international business. Our business has a sound international basis, and in the interests of the foreign exchange position in Germany we cannot allow the confidence in the German insurance business to be shaken. If we were .. now to refuse to fulfill commitments entered into by legal contracts it would be a blot on the escutcheon of the German insurance business.
"GOERING: But it would not be if I were to issue a decree or . a law."
Am I quoting correct?
GOERING: Yes, and in Hilgard's reply-and that is the reply I wanted to come to-he pointed out that the insurance companies could not get out of paying claims unless a law provided for it. If the sovereign state passes a law to the effect that the insurance sums must be forfeited to the state, then the insurance companies are no longer under any obligation.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I suggest to you that that is correct, but that even though you proposed to issue a decree absolving the German insurance companies, the companies insisted on meeting their obligations; and then Heydrich interposed and said: "By all means, let them pay the claims and when payment is made it will be confiscated. Thus we will save our face." Correct?
GOERING: Heydrich said that, but I issued a law.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not then say:
"One moment. They will have to pay in any case because Germans suffered damage. There will, however, be a law forbidding them to make direct payments to Jews. They will also have to make payment for damage suffered by Jews, not to the Jews, but to the Minister of Finance.
GOERING: I have just said so.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You accepted Heydrich's suggestion, which was quite contrary to the one you made?
GOERING: No, I did not accept Heydrich's suggestion, but I issued a law to the effect that insurance money due to Jews must be paid to the Minister of Finance, as I did not agree with Heydrich that money should be paid out and then surreptitiously confiscated. I went about it in a legal way and was not afraid to make the necessary law and to take the responsibility for the claims to be paid to the State, that is, to the Minister of Finance.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, the Tribunal will judge for itself, we have the evidence.
Now, Hilgard, representing the insurance companies, then raised the question that the amount of glass insurance premium was very important, that glass insurance was the companies' greatest asset "but the amount of the damage now caused is twice as high as in an ordinary year," and he pointed out that the whole of the profits of the German insurance companies would be absorbed, did he not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And also the question of the number of the stores destroyed-Heydrich reported 7,500, is that right?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I call your attention to the following conversation.
Who, by the way, was he?
GOERING: Daluege was the leader of the Schutzpolizei.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "One question has still to be discussed. Most of the goods in the stores were not the property of the shopkeepers but were on consignment from other firms which had supplied them. Now the unpaid invoices are being sent in by these firms, which are certainly not all Jewish, but Aryan, in respect to these goods on consignment.
"Hilgard: We will have to pay for them too.
"GOERING: I wish you had killed 200 Jews instead of destroying such valuables.
"Heydrich: There were 35 killed."
Do I read that correctly?
GOERING: Yes, this was said in a moment of bad temper and excitement.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Spontaneously sincere, wasn't it?
GOERING: As I said, it was not meant seriously. It was the expression of spontaneous excitement caused by the events, and by the destruction of valuables, and by the difficulties which arose Of course, if you are going to bring up every word I said in the course of 25 years in these circles, I myself could give you instances of even stronger remarks.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Then Funk interposed to discuss the foreign exchange point, did he not? He contributed to the discussion, did he not, for a while? I will not bother to go into it.
GOERING: Yes, but not everything is put down in the minutes, which are not clear on this point. I regret the minutes are incomplete. That is strange.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I join you in that.
Hilgard returned again to the subject of the profit of the insurance companies, did he not?
GOERING: Yes, of course.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you made this statement, did you not?
"The Jew must report the damage. He will get the insurance money, but it will be confiscated. The final result will be that the insurance companies will gain something, as not all damages will have to be made good. Hilgard, you can consider yourself damned lucky`` .
"Hilgard: I have no reason for that. The fact that we shall not have to pay for all the damage is called a profit.
"GOERING: Just a moment. If you are legally bound to pay 5 millions and all of a sudden an angel, in my somewhat corpulent shape, appears before you and tells you you may keep 1 million, hang it, is this not a profit? I should like to go 50-50 with you or whatever you call it. I only have to look at you, your whole body exudes satisfaction. You are getting a big rake-off."
Am I quoting correctly?
GOERING: Yes, of course, I said all that.
THE PRESIDENT: We will break off now.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
[Testimony on 3/20/1946]
DR. ALFRED SEIDL (Counsel for Defendant Hess): Mr. President the Defendant Hess has expressed the wish to be excused from attending this afternoon's session, because he wants to prepare himself for his examination as a witness, which will take place in the next few days. I do not believe that this will cause a delay in the proceedings, and I should like to ask the Tribunal to grant this request.
THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, on the same conditions as before namely, that you arrange with somebody to protect your interests while you are absent.
DR. SEIDL: I will not be absent myself, only Hess.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: [To the witness.] I would like to call your attention again to the Exhibit USA-261, Document 1816-PS. Would you turn to Part 5, where you were speaking of Margraf's jewels that disappeared?
GOERING: That is going back to something already dealt with.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, for a time, to Part 5. I call your attention to your statement as follows:
"Now we come to the damage sustained by the Jew, the disappearance of the jewels at Margraf's, et cetera. Well, they are gone and he will not get them refunded. He is the one who has to suffer the damage. Any of the jewels which may be returned by the police will belong to the State."
Do you find that?
GOERING: Yes, that is correct, but on the basis of the laws he -as compensated for that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, there was a representative of Austria present at this meeting, was there not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And I ask you to turn to his statement in reference to conditions in Austria, a page or so farther on.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And I ask you whether he did not report to your meeting as follows:
"Your Excellency, in this matter, we have already a very complete plan for Austria. There are 12000 Jewish workshops and 5000 Jewish retail shops in Vienna. Even before the National Socialist revolution we already had, concerning these 17000 shops, a definite plan for dealing with all tradesmen. Of the 12000 workshops about 10000 were to be closed definitely ..."
GOERING: The interpreter did not follow . . .
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Do you find it?
GOERING: I have found it, but the interpreter has not.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "Regarding this total of 17000 stores, of the shops of the 12000 artisans, about 10000 were to be closed definitely and 2000 were to be kept open. Four thousand of the 5000 retail stores were to be closed and 1000 kept open, that is, were to be Aryanized. According to this plan, 3000-3500 of the total of 17000 stores would be kept open, all others closed. This was decided following investigations in every single branch and according to local needs, in agreement with all competent authorities, and is ready for publication as soon as we shall receive the law which we requested in September. This law shall empower us to withdraw licenses from artisans quite independently of the Jewish question. That would be quite a short law.
"GOERING: I shall have this decree issued today."
GOERING: Of course. This concerns a law for the curtailment of the heavy retail trade which, even apart from the Jewish question, would have reduced the number of retailers. That can be seen from the minutes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well, let us go on a little further. Do you mean to inform the Tribunal that this did not apply to Jewish shops; that it had no connection with the Jewish question?
GOERING: I have said that independently of the Jewish question, in view of the overfilled retail trade, a limitation of the number of tradesmen would have followed, and that it can be seen from the following statement by Mr. Fischbock, which you have read, that I asked for a law which would authorize us to withdraw licenses, without any connection with the Jewish question. That would be a brief law. Whereupon I answered, "I will issue the decree today."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, if you will . . .
GOERING: Naturally, above all, Jewish stores were to be eliminated, as I said in the beginning.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Please go on down two paragraphs to where this was reported:
"But I do not believe that there will be 100 stores, probably fewer- and thus, by the end of the year, we would have liquidated all the recognized Jewish-owned businesses.
"GOERING: That would be excellent.
"Fischbock: . . . "
GOERING: Yes, yes, that was the import of that meeting.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "Fischbock: Out of 17000 stores 12000-14000 would be shut down and the remainder Aryanized or handed over to the Trustee's office, which belongs to the State.
"GOERING: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This way the whole affair in Vienna, one of the Jewish capitals so to speak, would be wound up by Christmas or by the end of the year.
"Funk: We can do the same thing here. I have prepared a law elaborating that. Effective 1/1/1939, Jews shall be prohibited from operating retail stores and wholesale establishments, as well as independent workshops. They shall be further prohibited from keeping employees, or offering any ready-made products on the market; from advertising or receiving orders. Whenever a Jewish shop is operated the police shall shut it down.
"From 1/1/1939 a Jew can no longer be head of an enterprise, as stipulated in the law for the organization of national labor of 1/20/1934. If a Jew has a leading position in an establishment without being the head of the enterprise, his contract may be declared void within 6 weeks by the head of the enterprise. With the expiration of this period all claims of the employee, including all claims to maintenance, become invalid. That is always very disagreeable and a great danger. A Jew cannot be a member of a corporation. Jewish members of corporations will have to be retired by 12/31/1938. A special authorization is unnecessary. The competent ministers of the Reich are being authorized to issue the provision necessary for execution of this law..
"GOERING: I believe we can agree with this law."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I ask you to pass a considerable dialogue relating to the Vienna situation; and I call your attention to the point at which Funk inquires of you:
"Why should the Jew not be allowed to keep bonds?
"GOERING: Because in that way he would actually be given a share."
GOERING: Yes, that was the purpose, to get him out of the enterprise. If he kept the bonds, on the basis of his rights as stockholder he still had an interest in the enterprise, and on the basis of ownership of stocks his will would still carry weight in the enterprise.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You turned Funk's suggestion down that the Jews be allowed to keep bonds?
GOERING: Yes. I replaced the bonds with securities.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will pass several more pages of debate, unless there is something you want to call attention to; and I come to the point where Heydrich is stating his position. I call your attention to this dialogue:
"Heydrich: At least 45000 Jews were made to leave the country by legal measures.
"GOERING: . . . " GOERING: One moment, please. l find it now.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: "At least 45000 Jews were made to leave the country by legal measures.
"GOERING: How was this possible?"
And then Heydrich tells you that: " . . .through the Jewish -societies we extracted a certain amount of money from the rich Jews who wanted to emigrate. By paying this amount and an additional sum in foreign currency they made it possible for a number of poor Jews to leave. The problem was not to make the rich Jews leave but to get rid of the Jewish mob."
Is that correct?
GOERING: One moment. I do not find it here yet, but generally that is correct, yes.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Pass on a little further. Heydrich is making suggestions and says:
"As for the isolating, I would like to make a few proposals regarding police measures, which are important also because of their psychological effect on public opinion.
"For example, anybody who is Jewish according to the Nuremberg Laws will have to wear a certain badge. That is a possibility which will facilitate many other things. I see no danger of excesses, and it will make our relationship with the foreign Jews easier.
"GOERING: A uniform?
"Heydrich: A badge. In this way we could put an end to foreign Jews being molested who do not look different from ours.
"GOERING: But my dear Heydrich, you will not be able to avoid the creation of ghettos on a very large scale in all the cities.
They will have to be created."
Is that what you said?
GOERING: I said that. At that time the problem was also to get the Jews together in certain parts of the cities and in certain streets because on the basis of the tenancy regulations there was no other possibility, and if the wearing of badges was to be made obligatory each individual Jew could have been protected.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, passing further in the discussion I call your attention to this warning from Heydrich about those measures which have been discussed:
"GOERING: Once we have a ghetto, we could determine what stores ought to be there and we would be able to say, 'You, Jew so and so, together with so and so, shall take care of the delivery of goods,' then a German wholesale firm will be ordered to deliver the goods for this Jewish store. The store would then not be a retail shop but a co-operative store, a co-operative society for Jews.
"Heydrich: All these measures will eventually lead to the institution of a ghetto. I must say: nowadays one should not want to set up a ghetto, but these measures, if carried through as outlined here, will automatically drive the Jews into a ghetto."
Did Heydrich give that warning?
GOERING: Here it says so, yes, but it can be seen from the following discussion that I said: "Now comes that which Goebbels mentioned before, compulsory renting. Now the Jewish tenants will come together." It was a question of the Jewish tenants drawing together in order to avoid the disagreeable results which arose from reciprocal subletting.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You have omitted that Funk also remarked at this point that "Jews will have to stand together. What are million? Every one will have to stand up for the next fellow. Alone he will starve."
Do you find that?
GOERING: Yes. But in another part of these minutes it is stated very clearly: "One cannot let the Jews starve, and therefore the necessary measures must be taken."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Toward the close of that meeting you said the following, didn't you?
"I demand that German Jewry as a whole shall, as a punishment for the abominable crimes, et cetera, make a contribution of RM1 billion. That will work. The pigs will not commit a second murder so quickly. Incidentally, I would like to say again that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany."
GOERING: That was correct, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Were you joking about that too?
GOERING: I have told you exactly what led to the fine of RM1 billion.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You pointed out that the chauffeurs of Gauleiter must be prevented from enriching themselves through the Aryanization of Jewish property, right?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: We will now take up the subject of art.
I call your attention to Document 141-PS, Exhibit Number USA-308. That is the decree establishing priorities on the claim for Jewish art property. Do you recall that?
GOERING: That has been mentioned several times, and I have recently spoken about it in detail.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The order was issued as here stated was it not?
GOERING: Yes, certainly; I emphasized that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In Paragraph 5 reference is made to art objects that are suitable to be given to French museums,
and which were to be sold by auction. The profit from this auction was to be given to the French State for the benefit of war widows and children. You say that this was never done?
GOERING: I did not say that this never happened. That was my for intention in that decree.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I am asking you if it ever has been done.
GOERING: As far as Paragraph 5 is concerned, I cannot say. I can only refer to the payments mentioned in Paragraph 2- the things that I pointed out-which I had effected after an estimate, and I said the other day that this amount was kept in readiness and that I repeatedly asked into which account it should be paid. And among the object destined to go into the collection which I was to make, I had every single item valued.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Where was this amount kept?
GOERING: In my bank, under the name "Art Funds."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In what bank?
GOERING: It was-I cannot say for sure, there were several banks-in which bank exactly the art fund was deposited, I cannot say I would have to have the documents here for that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In the several interrogations you have never been able to point out where that fund is, have you?
GOERING: I cannot say, but you would only have to question my secretary who kept account of all the funds; she can tell You quite accurately.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: This order, 141-PS, was carried out by the Rosenberg Special Staff (Einsatzstab), wasn't it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you know who carried it out who actually was there? Did you know Turner?
GOERING: I did not understand the name.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you know Mr. Turner?
GOERING: I know a certain Turner, who, however, had nothing to do with the Einsatzstab, the Rosenberg Special Staff and who as far as I know, was in Yugoslavia.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Wasn't State Counsellor Turner in Paris in connection with the art collections?
GOERING: I repeat again so that no error is possible, you said Turner, T-u-r-n-e-r, or Korner, K-o-r-n-e-r?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Turner.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: T-u-r-n-e-r.
GOERING: Turner-I do not know whether he had anything to do with Rosenberg's Einsatzstab.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But you knew him, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And did you know a Dr. Bunjes?
GOERING: Bunjes, B-u-n-j-e-s, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You knew him?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: He had to do with captured or confiscated Jewish art treasures, did he not?
GOERING: I do not believe that Dr. Bunjes had anything to do with that. He was competent in a different field of art- but the Einsatzstab Rosenberg and certain departments of the military administration, had something to do with it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I will ask to have you shown, so that you can follow me, to refresh your memory, Document 2523-PS, Exhibit Number USA-783, a letter from Dr. Bunies, and ask you if this refreshes your recollection of certain events.
"On Tuesday, 2/4/1941, at 1830 hours I was ordered for the first time to report to the Reich Marshal at the Quai d'Orsay. Field Commander Von Behr of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg was present. It is, of course, difficult to describe in words the cordial atmosphere in which the conversation was held."
Do you recall such a meeting?
GOERING: No, it was not important enough for me to remember it, but I do not deny it, in any case.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: We shall see if this refreshes your recollection:
"The Reich Marshal dropped the subject for the time being and asked for the report of the present state of the seizure of Jewish art property in the occupied western territories. On this occasion he gave Herr Von Behr the photographs of those objects of art that the Fuehrer wants to bring into his possession. In addition, he gave Herr Von Behr the photographs of those objects of art that the Reich Marshal wants to acquire for himself."
GOERING: I cannot follow here.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You mean you do not find these words, or you do not recall the events?
GOERING: No, I have not found the passage yet, and I would like to have a little time to see the context of this letter, which was neither written by me nor addressed to me.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let me call your attention to a further paragraph of it and see if it does not refresh your recollection:
"On Wednesday, 2/5/1941, I was ordered to the Jeu de Paume by the Reich Marshal. At 1500 o'clock, the Reich Marshal, accompanied by General Hanesse, Herr Angerer, and Herr Hofer, visited the exhibition of Jewish art treasures newly set up there."
GOERING: Yes, I have already stated before that at Jeu de Paume I selected the art treasures which were exhibited there. That is right.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right; now we are getting there. "Then, with me as his guide, the Reich Marshal inspected the exhibited art treasures and made a selection of those works of art which were to go to the Fuehrer, and those which were to be placed in his own collection.
"During this confidential conversation, I again called the Reich Marshal's attention to the fact that a note of protest had been received from the French Government against the activity of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, with reference to the Hague Rules on Land Warfare recognized by Germany at the Armistice of Compiegne and I pointed out that General Von Stulpnagel's interpretation of the manner in which the confiscated Jewish art treasures are to be treated, was apparently contrary to the Reich Marshal's interpretation. Thereupon the Reich Marshal asked for a detailed explanation and gave the following orders:
"'First, it is my orders that you have to follow. You will act directly according to my orders. The art objects collected in the Jeu de Paume are to be loaded on a special train immediately and taken to Germany by order of the Reich Marshal. These art objects which are to go into the Fuehrer's possession and those art objects which the Reich Marshal claims for himself, will be loaded on two railroad cars which will be attached to the Reich Marshal's special train, and upon his departure for Germany, at the beginning of next week, will be taken along to Berlin. Feldfuehrer Von Behr will accompany the Reich Marshal in his special train on the journey to Berlin.'
"When I made the objection that the jurists would probably be of a different opinion and that protests would most likely be made by the military commander in France, the Reich Marshal answered, saying verbatim as follows, 'Dear Bunjes let me worry about that; I am the highest jurist in the State.'
"The Reich Marshal promised to send from his headquarters by courier to the Chief of the Military Administrative District of Paris on Thursday, 6 February, the written order for the transfer to Germany of the confiscated Jewish art treasures."
Now, does that refresh your memory?
GOERING: Not in the least, but it is not at all in contradiction to what I have said with respect to the art treasures, with the exception of one sentence. It is pure nonsense that I should have said that I was the highest jurist in the state because that, thank God, I was not. That is something which Mr. Bunjes said, and I cannot be held responsible for every statement which anyone may have made to somebody else without my having any possibility of correcting it. As for the rest, it corresponds to the statement I made recently.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, the art objects then were loaded on cars and shipped to Berlin, were they not?
GOERING: A part of them, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I now call your attention to, and ask to have you shown, Document 014-PS, Exhibit Number USA-784ow, I ask you to refresh your recollection by following this report to he Fuehrer with me, and tell me if this conforms with your testimony:
"I report the arrival..."
GOERING: I would like to point out that this report did not come from me.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I understand that. I am asking if it is right or wrong.
"I report the arrival of the principal shipment of ownerless Jewish treasures of art at the salvage point Neuschwanstein by special train on Saturday the 15th of this month. It was secured by my Einsatzstab, in Paris. The special train, arranged for by Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, comprised 25 express baggage cars filled with the most valuable paintings, furniture, Gobelin tapestries works of artistic craftmanship, and ornaments. The shipment consisted mainly of the most important parts of the collections of Rothschild, Seligmann"-and half a dozen others.
Have you found that and is it correct?
GOERING: I do not know whether this is correct, since the report did not come from me. The only thing which I can remember is that I was asked by the Einsatzstab to see to it that a sufficient number of special cars, box cars was put at their disposal to ship the art treasures, since Jeu de Paume was not a safe place in case of air attacks. Neuschwanstein lies south of Munich. This concerns the objects destined for the Fuehrer.
I should like, however, to refer to the next sentence of this document, which was not written by me. It goes as follows:
"The confiscation actions of my Einsatzstab were begun in 10/1940 in Paris according to your order, my Fuehrer."
That coincides with what I have said in my previous statements.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And would you care to read further?
GOERING: You mean where it says:
"Besides this special train, the main art objects selected by the Reich Marshal-mainly from the Rothschild collection- had previously been shipped in two special cars to Munich and were there put into the air raid shelter of the Fuehrerhaus."
They are those most precious works of art which I had designated for the Fuehrer, and which were to be sent, at the wish of the Fuehrer, to the air raid shelter. This had nothing to do directly with my affairs, but I did not dispute the fact, and I have explained it in detail.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: When you were examined by the American Foreign Assets Commission, you estimated your art object as having a value, at the time you turned them over to the government, of 50 million Reichsmark, as I recall it. Am I right?
GOERING: That is not quite correct. The Commission insisted a valuation, and the discussion continued a long time backwards and forward. I expressly told the Commission that I could not assess the value because I did not have the objects in hand nor a list of them and I could not quote them from memory; furthermore, that the estimates were subject to fluctuation depending on the one hand upon the prices art lovers might pay and, on the other, upon the actual market value. Since I did not see a copy of the minutes, in spite of my pleas, and especially as minutes of this nature often give rise to misunderstandings, I can only acknowledge the records which ave signed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, do you question this fact? "When I gave the news to the Minister of Finance I estimated the value at that time at 50 million marks." Did you say that or did you not?
GOERING: I cannot estimate the value. I only told the Finance Minister that the entire collection, including my own, would be turned over to the State. And since I know my passion for collecting, I thought that it was quite possible that something might suddenly happen to me, and that as I had put my entire fortune into these works of art, the entire collection might possibly become State, that is, public property, and my family would thus be deprived of ever,y means of subsistence. I therefore asked him to provide for a pension or some compensation for my family. That was the negotiation with the Finance Minister, to which he can testify.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What proportion of your art collection was acquired after 1933?
GOERING: I did not understand the question.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What proportion of your art collection was acquired after 1933?
GOERING: That I could not say in detail- quite a number of pictures and statues.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you have claimed that some part of your art collection you bought?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And in connection with that some inquiry was made into your financial transactions, was there not?
GOERING: I do not know who made the inquiries.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you were asked, were you not, your receipt of RM7.276 million from the Reemtsma cigarette factory?
GOERING: No, I was never asked about that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You were never asked about it?
GOERING: No, neither about the amount nor about the cigarette factory, nor anything else.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let me refresh your recollection about that. Did you not tell them and did you not tell Colonel Amen in interrogations that this money was given to you by this cigarette factory and that their back taxes were canceled?
GOERING: No, I even denied that their back taxes were ever canceled. I remember now that the question was put to me in a different connection. A sum of money was set aside for the so-called Hitler Fund, and this amount the Fuehrer put at my disposal for general cultural tasks.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: By the cigarette factory?
GOERING: Not by the cigarette factory; a number of business then subscribed to the Adolf Hitler Fund, and Mr. Reemtsma gave me this sum from the fund in the course of the years, after agreement with the Fuehrer. A part of it was allotted to the State theaters, other part for building up art collections, and other cultural expenditure.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you were interrogated on the 12/2/1945 by the External Assets Branch of the United States Investigation of Cartels and External Assets, were you not?
GOERING: May I first say explicitly that I had been asked whether I would be ready to make any statements about it, and was told that these statements would in no way be connected with this Trial. Therefore the presence of my defense counsel would not be necessary This was expressly told me, and was repeated to me by the prison authorities, and before the interrogation it was again confirmed to me that these statements should in no way be brought in in connection with this Trial. However, that is all the same to me. You may produce them as far as I am concerned. But because of the method employed, I desire to have this made known here.
DR. STAHMER: I protest against the use of the statements for the reason that has just been given by the witness. I myself sometime ago-I think it was around Christmas-was asked by, I believe, members of the United States Treasury whether they could interrogate the Defendant Goering on questions of property, adding expressly that I did not have to be present at the interrogation because this had nothing to do with the Trial, and would not be used for it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I am not able either to affirm or deny and therefore I will not pursue this subject further at this time. I do not believe that any stipulation was made that these facts should not be gone into. I was not informed of it, and if there has been of course, it would be absurd.
[Turning to the witness.] Now, you were asked about receiving some art objects from Monte Cassino.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I ask you if it is not the fact that an altar statue taken from the Cassino Abbey was brought and delivered to you, and that you expressed great appreciation for it.
GOERING: I am glad to be able to clarify this also. After the monastery of Monte Cassino had been completely destroyed by shelling and had been defended by a paratroop division, a delegation arrived one day bringing along a statue of some saint, entirely worthless from an artistic point of view, as a souvenir of this destroyed monastery. I thanked the men and showed the statue to the curator of my art collection, and he also considered the statue as of absolutely no value. It then remained in the box and was put away somewhere. The other...
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think this is coming through sufficiently loud for the shorthand writers to hear.
GOERING: The rest of the art treasures from Monte Cassino according to my knowledge, were shipped in the following manner: A large part, especially those objects which belonged to the old monastery itself, was sent to the Vatican. I must assume this from the fact that the abbot of the monastery sent me and my division a letter written in Latin in which he expressed his extreme gratitude for this action.
Secondly, as far as I remember, the art treasures from the museum in Naples, which were at Monte Cassino, were for the greater part sent by us to Venice and there turned over to the Italian Government. Some pictures and statues were brought to Berlin, and there they were turned over to me. On the very same day I gave the list to the Fuehrer, and some time later also the objects themselves which were in my air raid shelter, so that he could negotiate about the matter with Mussolini. I did not keep a single one of these objects for my own collection. If my troops had not intervened, these priceless art treasures, which were stored in Monte Cassino and belonged to the monastery there, would have been entirely destroyed by enemy bombardment, that is to say, by the gritish-American attackers. Thus they have been saved.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, you say of no value-no substantial value?
GOERING: That is even now my conviction, and I depended, above all, on the judgment of my experts. I never took this statue out of its packing case. It did not interest me. On the other hand, I wanted to say a few words of thanks to the men who brought it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The labor shortage in the Reich was becoming acute by 11/1941, was it not?
GOERING: That is correct.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And you yourself gave the directives for the employment of Russian prisoners of war, did you not?
GOERING: Employment for what?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: For war industry- tanks, artillery pieces, airplane parts.
GOERING: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That was at the conference of the 11/7/1941, that you gave that order, was it not?
GOERING: At what conference that was I could not tell you; I issued these directives only in a general way.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the directive was that Russian prisoners of war should be selected in collecting camps beyond the Reich border, and should be transported as rapidly as possible and employed in the following order of priority: mining, railroad maintenance, war industry-tanks, artillery pieces, airplane parts, agriculture, building industry, et cetera. You gave that order, did you not?
GOERING: If I have signed it, the order is from me. I do not remember details.
THE PRESIDENT: What was the number of that, Mr. Jackson?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I ask to have you shown Document Number 1193-PS.
GOERING: I have not seen it yet.
[Document 1193-PS was submitted to the witness.]
This document, which you have just mentioned . . .
MR JUSTICE JACKSON: I did not get the answer. GOERING: Excuse me. I have just received a document about the use of Russian troops. Is that the document of which you speak?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is right. I call your attention to the fact that it is referred to as an annex in the letter signed by Goering.
GOERING: I want to paint out that this document is not signed by me, but by Korner, which, however, does not diminish my responsibility.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you do not question that on the 11/7/1941, you gave the order, as Korner reports it do you, in the document referred to as 1193-PS?
GOERING: I said only that it was not signed by me but by Korner and here even a still younger official, a Regierungsrat, and I wanted only to explain that this was my field and that therefore I assume responsibility. But I have not read it through yet. This deals with directives and outlines which I gave in general and which were then filled in and revised by the department concerned, whereby naturally not every word or every sentence written here was said or dictated by myself. But that does not alter the fact that I bear the responsibility for it, even if I did not know it in detail, or would have perhaps formulated it differently. But the general directives were given by me and implemented accordingly by the lesser authorities.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You also gave the order, did you not, that 100000 men were to be taken from among the French prisoners of war not yet employed in armament industry? Gaps in manpower resulting therefrom will be filled by Soviet prisoners of war. The transfer of the above-named French prisoners of war is to be accomplished by October the 1st. You gave the order, did you not?
GOERING: That is correct. Here we deal primarily with the fact that a large part of French skilled workers who were prisoners of war were turned into free workers on condition that they worked in the German armament industry. The shortages which occurred at their previous places of work at that time, where they had worked as prisoners of war, were to be remedied by Russian prisoners of war, because I considered it pointless that qualified skilled industria workers should be employed in agriculture, for instance, or in an other field not corresponding to their abilities. Thus there was an incentive in the fact that these people could become free workers instead of remaining prisoners of war, if they would agree to these conditions. The directives were given by me.
Link to Goering Transcript 4