THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other defendants' counsel want to ask questions?
Then, do the Prosecution wish to cross-examine?
MR. JUSTICE ROBERT H. JACKSON (Chief of Counsel for the United States): Defendant, your counsel divided your examination into two parts which he described first as your personal responsibilities, and secondly as the political part of the case, and I will follow the same division.
You have stated a good many of the matters for which you were not responsible, and I want to make clear just what your sphere of responsibility was.
You were not only a member of the Nazi Party after 1932, but you held high rank in the Party, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what was the position which you held in the Party?
SPEER: I have already mentioned that during my pre-trial interrogations. Temporarily in 1934 I became a department head in the German Labor Front and dealt with the improvement of labor conditions in German factories. Then I was in charge of public works on the staff of Hess. I gave up both these activities in 1941. Notes of the conference I had with Hitler about this are available. After 2/8/1942 I automatically became Todt's successor in the central office for technical matters in the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what was your official title?
SPEER: Party titles had just been introduced, and they were so complicated that I cannot tell you at the moment what they were. But the work I did there was that of a department chief in the Reichsleitung of the NSDAP. My title was Hauptdienstleiter or something of the kind.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In the 1943 directory it would appear that you were head of the "Hauptamt fur Technik."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And your rank appears to be "Oberbefehlsleiter"?
SPEER: Yes, that is quite possible.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Which as I understand corresponds 1 roughly to a lieutenant general in the army?
SPEER: Well, compared to the other tasks I had it was very little.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you attended Party functions from time to time and were informed in a general way as to the Party program, were you not?
SPEER: Before 1942 I joined in the various Party rallies here in Nuremberg because I had to take part in them as an architect, and of course besides this I was generally present at official Party meetings or Reichstag sessions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you heard discussed, and were generally familiar with, the program of the Nazi Party in its broad outlines, were you not?
SPEER: Of course.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Youthere is some question as to just what your relation to the SS was. Will you tell me whether you were a member of the SS?
SPEER: No, I was not a member of the SS.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You filled out an application at one time, or one was filled out for you, and you never went through with it, I believe, or something of that sort.
SPEER: That was in 1943 when Himmler wanted me to get a high rank in the SS. He had often wanted it before when I was still an architect. I got out of it by saying that I was willing to be an ordinary SS man under him because I had already been an SS man before. Thereupon, Gruppenfuhrer Wolff provisionally filled out an application form and wanted to know what my previous SS activities had been in 1932. It came up during his inquiries that in those days I was never registered as a member of the SS, and because of this they did not insist on my joining as I did not want to become a new member now.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And why did you not want to be a member of the SS, which was after all one of the important Party formations?
SPEER: No, I became well known for turning down all these honorary ranks. I did not want them because I felt that one should only hold a rank where one had responsibility.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you did not want any responsibility in the SS?
SPEER: I had too little contact with the SS, and did not want any responsibility in that connection.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now there has been some testimony about your relation to concentration camps, and, as I understand it, you have said to us that you did use and encourage the use of forced labor from the concentration camps.
SPEER: Yes, we did use it in the German armament industry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And I think you also recommended that persons in labor camps who were slackers be sent to the concentration camps, did you not?
SPEER: That was the question of the so-called "Bummelanten," and by that name we meant workers who did not get to their work on time or who pretended to be ill. Severe measures were taken against such workers during the war, and I approved of these measures.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In fact, in the 10/30/1942 meeting of the Central Planning Board you brought the subject up in the following terms, did you notquoting Speer:
"We must also discuss the slackers. Ley has ascertained that the sick list decreases to one-fourth or one-fifth in factories where doctors are on the staff who examine the sick men. There is nothing to be said against SS and Police taking drastic steps and putting those known to be slackers into concentration camp factories. There is no alternative. Let it happen several times, and the news will soon get around."
That was your recommendation?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In other words, the workmen stood in considerable terror of concentration camps, and you wanted to take advantage of that to keep them at their work, did you not?
SPEER: It is certain that concentration camps had a bad reputation with us, and the transfer to a concentration camp, or threat of such a possibility, was bound to reduce the number of absentees in the factories right from the beginning. But at that meeting, as I already said yesterday, there was nothing further said about it. It was one of the many remarks one can make in wartime when one is upset.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: However, it is very clearand if I misinterpret you I give you the chance to correct methat you understood the very bad reputation that the concentration camp had among the workmen and that the concentration camps were regarded as being much more severe than the labor camps as places to be in.
SPEER: That is correct. I knew that. I did not know, of course, what I have heard during this Trial, but the other thing was a generally known fact.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, it was known throughout Germany, was it not, that the concentration camps were pretty tough places to be put?
SPEER: Yes, but not to the extent which has been revealed in this Trial.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the bad reputation of the concentration camp, as a matter of fact, was a part of its usefulness in making people fearful of being sent there, was it not?
SPEER: No doubt concentration camps were a means, a menace used to keep order.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And to keep people at work?
SPEER: I would not like to put it in that way. I assert that a great number of the foreign workers in our country did their work quite voluntarily once they had come to Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will take that up later. You used- the concentration camp labor in production to the extent that you were required to divide the proceeds of the labor with Himmler, did you not?
SPEER: That I did not understand.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you made an agreement finally with Himmler that he should have 5 percent, or roughly 5 percent, of the production of the concentration camp labor while you would get for your work 95 percent?
SPEER: No, that is not quite true.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, tell me how it was. That is what the documents indicate, if I read them aright.
SPEER: Yes, it is put that way in the Fuhrer minutes, but I s should like to explain the meaning to you. Himmler, as I said yesterday wanted to build factories of his own in his concentration -camps. Then he would have been able to produce arms without any outside control, which Hitler, of course, knew. The 5 percent arms production which was to have been handed to Himmler was to a certain extent a compensation for the fact that he himself gave up the idea of building factories in the camps. From the psychological ; point of view it was not so simple for me to get Himmler to give up this idea when he kept on reminding Hitler of it. I was hoping that he would be satisfied with the 5 percent arms production we were going to give him. Actually this 5 percent was never handed over. We managed things quietly with the Operations Staff of the OKW and with General Buhle, so that he never got the arms at all.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I am not criticizing the bargain, you understand. I don't doubt you did very well to get 95 percent, but the point is that Himmler was using, with your knowledge, concentration camp labor to manufacture arms, or was proposing to do so, and you wanted to keep that production within your control?
SPEER: Could the translation come through a bit clearer? Would you please repeat that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You knew at this time that Himmler was using concentration camp labor to carry on independent industry and that he proposed to go into the armament industry in order to have a source of supply of arms for his own SS?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You also knew the policy of the Nazi Party and the policy of the Government towards the Jews, did you not?
SPEER: I knew that the National Socialist Party was anti-Semitic, and I knew that the Jews were being evacuated from Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In fact, you participated in that evacuation, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I gather that impression from Document L-156, Exhibit RF-1522, a letter from the Plenipotentiary for the Allocation of Labor which is dated 3/26/1943, which you have no doubt seen. You may see it again, if you wish. In which he says...
SPEER: I know it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "At the end of February, the Reichsfuhrer SS, in agreement with myself and the Reich Minister for armaments and munitions, for reasons of state security, has removed from their places of work all Jews who were still working freely and not in camps, and either transferred them to a labor corps or collected them for removal." Was that a correct representation of your activity?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Will you tell me what part you had in that? There is no question that they were put into labor corps or collected for removal, is there?
SPEER: That is correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now you say you did not do it, so will you tell me who did?
SPEER: It was a fairly long business. When, in 2/1942, I took over my new office, the Party was already insisting that Jews who were still working in armament factories should be removed from them. I objected at the time, and managed to get Bormann to issue a circular letter to the effect that these Jews might go on being employed in armament factories and that Party offices were prohibited from accusing the heads of these firms on political grounds because of the Jews working there. It was the Gauleiter who made such political accusations against the heads of concerns, and it was mostly in the Gau Saxony and in the Gau Berlin. So after this the Jews could remain in these plants.
Without having any authority to do so, I had had this circular letter from the Party published in my news sheet to heads of factories and had sent it to all concerned, so that I would in any case receive their complaints if the Party should not obey the instruction. After that the problem was left alone, until September or -October of 1942. At that time a conference with Hitler took place, at which Sauckel also was present. At this conference Hitler insisted emphatically that the Jews must now be removed from the armament firms, and he gave orders for this to be donethis will be seen from a Fuhrer protocol which has been preserved. In spite of this we managed to keep the Jews on in factories and it was only in 3/1943, as this letter shows, that resistance gave way and the Jews finally did have to get out.
I must point out to you that, as far as I can remember, it was not yet a question of the Jewish problem as a whole, but in the years 1941 and 1942 Jews had gone to the armament factories to do important war work and have an occupation of military importance; they were able to escape the evacuation which at that time was.already in full swing. They were mostly occupied in the electrical industry, and Geheimrat Bucher, of the electrical industry that is AEG and Siemensno doubt lent a helping hand in order to get the Jews taken on there in greater numbers. These Jews were completely free and their families were still in their homes.
The letter by Gauleiter Sauckel you have before you was not, of course submitted to me; and Sauckel says that he himself had not seen it. But it is certainly true that I knew about it before action was taken; I knew because the question had to be discussed as to how one should get replacements. It is equally certain, though, that I also protested at the time at having skilled labor removed from my armament industries because, apart from other reasons, it was going to make things difficult for me.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is exactly the point that I want to emphasize. As I understand it, you were struggling to get manpOWer enough to produce the armaments to win a war for Germany.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And this anti-Semitic campaign was so strong that it took trained technicians away from you and disabled you from performing your functions. Now, isn't that the fact?
SPEER: I did not understand the meaning of your question.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your problem of creating armaments to win the war for Germany was made very much more difficult by this anti-Jewish campaign which was being waged by others of your codefendants.
SPEER: That is a certainty; and it is equally clear that if the Jews who were evacuated had been allowed to work for me, it would have been a considerable advantage to me.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, has it been proved who signed that document, L-156? It has got a signature apparently on it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: There is a signature on it, I believe the plenipotentiary general for the employment of labor is my thought on it. We will look at that.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps the defendant could tell what the signature is.
The document was shown to the defendant.]
SPEER: I do not know the man. Yes, he must be one of the smaller officials in the offices of the Plenipotentiary for Labor, because I knew all the immediate associates of Sauckel personally no; I beg your pardon, the document comes from the Regierungsprasident in Koblenz, as I see here. Then it is an assistant in the Government District of Koblenz, whom of course I did not know.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In any event, there is no question about the statement as you have explained it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I want to ask you about the recruiting of forced labor. As I understand it, you know about the deportation of l00000 Jews from Hungary for subterranean airplane factories, and you told us in your interrogation of 10/18/1945 that you made no objection to it. That is true, is it not?
SPEER: That is true, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you told us also, quite candidly, on that day that it was no secret to you that a good deal of the manpower brought in by Sauckel was brought in by illegal methods. That is also true, is it not?
SPEER: I took great care at the time to notice what expression the interrogating officer used; he used the expression "they came ; against their wish"; and that I confirmed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you not say that it was no secret to you that they were brought in an illegal manner? Didn't you add that yourself?
SPEER: No, no. That was certainly not so.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, in any event, you knew that at the Fuhrer conference in August of 1942 the Fuhrer had approved of all coercive measures for obtaining labor if they couldn't be i obtained on a voluntary basis, and you knew that that program was carried out. You, as a matter of fact, you did not give any particular attention to the legal side of this thing, did you? You were 'after manpower; isn't that the fact?
SPEER: That is absolutely correct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And whether it was legal or illegal was not your worry?
SPEER: I consider that in view of the whole war situation and j of our views in general on this question it was justified.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, it was in accordance with the policy of the Government, and that was as far as you inquired at the time, was it not?
SPEER: Yes. I am of the opinion that at the time I took over -my office, in 2/1942, all the violations of international law, which laterwhich are now brought up against me, had already been committed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And you don't question that you share a certain responsibility for that program for bringing inwhether it is a legal responsibility or not, in factfor bringing in this labor against its will? You don't deny that, do you?
SPEER: The workers were brought to Germany largely against their will, and I had no objection to their being brought to Germany against their will. On the contrary, during the first period, until the autumn of 1942, I certainly also took some pains to see that as many workers as possible should be brought to Germany in this manner.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You had some participation in the distribution of this labor, did you not, as among different plants, different industries, that were competing for labor?
SPEER: No. That would have to be explained in more detailI do not quite understand it like that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you finally entered into an agreement with Sauckel, did you not, in reference to the distribution of the labor after it reached the Reich?
SPEER: That was arranged according to the so-called priority grades. I had to tell Sauckel, of course, in which of my programs labor was needed most urgently. But that sort of thing was dealt with by general instructions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: In other words, you established the priorities of different industries in their claim for the labor when it came into the Reich?
SPEER: That was a matter of course; naturally that had to be done.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes. Now, as to the employment of prisoners of war, youwhatever disagreement there may be about the exact figures, there is no question, is there, that prisoners of war were used in the manufacture of armament?
SPEER: No, only Russian prisoners of war and Italian military internees were used for the production of arms. As for the use of French and other prisoners of war in this production I had several conferences with Keitel on the subject. And I must tell you that Keitel always adopted the view that these prisoners of war could not be used in violation of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention. I can claim that on the strength of this fact I no longer used my influence to see that these prisoners of war should be used in armament industries in violation of the Geneva Convention. The conception, of course, "production of arms" is very much open to argument. It always depends on what position one takes, whether you have a wide conception of "armaments" or a narrow one.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you succeeded to Dr. Todt's organization, and you had all the powers that he had, did you not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And one of his directives was dated 10/31/1941, a letter from the OKW which is in evidence here as Exhibit 214, Document EC-194, which provides that the deputies of the Reich Minister for arms and munitions are to be admitted to prisoner-of-war camps for the purpose of selecting skilled workers. That was among your powers, was it not?
SPEER: No. That was a special action which Dr. Todt introduced on the strength of an agreement with the OKW. It was dropped later, however.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, on 4/22/1943, at the thirty-sixth meeting of this Planning Board, you made this complaint, did you not, Herr Speer? Quoting:
"There is a statement showing in what sectors the Russian POW's have been distributed, and this statement is quite interesting. It shows that the armament industry only received 30 percent. I always complained about that." That is correct, is it not?
SPEER: I believe that has been wrongly translated. It should not say "munitions industry"; it should say, "The armament industry received 30 percent."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I said "armament."
SPEER: Yes. But this is still no proof that these prisoners of w-ar were employed in violation of the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention, because in the sector of the armament industry there was ample room to use these workers for production articles which, in the sense of the Geneva Prisoner of War Agreement, were not armament products. However, I believe that in the case of the Russian prisoners of war, there was not the same value attached to strict observance of the Geneva Convention as in the case of prisoners from western countries.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Is it your contention that the prisoners were not usedI now speak of French prisoners of war that French prisoners of war were not used in the manufacture of materials which directly contributed to the war, or is it your contention that although they were used it was legal under the Geneva Convention?
SPEER: As far as I know, French prisoners of war were not used contrary to the rules of the Convention. I cannot check that, because my office was not responsible for controlling the conditions of their employment. During my numerous visits to factories, I never noticed that any prisoner of war from the western territories was working directly on armament products.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Just tell exactly what French prisoners of war did do by way of manufacture. What were they working on?
SPEER: That I cannot answer. I already explained yesterday that the allotment of prisoners of war, or foreign workers, or German workers to a factory was not a matter for me to decide, but was carried out by the labor office, together with the Stalag, when it was a question of prisoners of war. I received only a general survey of the total number of workers who had gone to the factories, and so I could get no idea of what types of labor were being employed in each individual factory. So I cannot give a satisfactory answer to your question.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now let us take the 50000 skilled workers that you said yesterday you removed and put to work in a different location, that Sauckel complained about. What did you put them to work at?
SPEER: Those were not prisoners of war.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Let us take those workers. What were you doing with them?
SPEER: Those workers had been working on the Atlantic Wall. From there they were transferred to the Ruhr to repair the two dams which had been destroyed by an air attack. I must say that the transfer of these 50000 workers took place without my knowledge, and the consequences of bringing 50000 workers from the West into Germany amounted to a catastrophe for us on the Atlantic Wall. It meant that more than one-third of all the workers engaged on the Atlantic Wall left because they, too, were afraid they might have to go to Germany. That is why we rescinded the order as quickly as possible, so that the French workers on the Atlantic Wall should have confidence in us. This fact will show you that the French workers we had working for the Organization Todt were not employed on a coercive basis, otherwise they could not have left in such numbers when they realized that under certain circumstances they, too, might be. taken to Germany. So these measures taken with the 50000 workers from the Organization Todt in France were only temporary and were revised later. It was one of those mistakes which can happen if a minister gives a harsh directive and his subordinates begin to carry it out by every means in their
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Are you familiar with Document EC-60, which reports that the labor organization of Todt had to recruit its manpower by force?
SPEER: At the moment I cannot recollect it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I beg your pardon?
SPEER: At this moment I cannot recollect it. Could I see the document?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, if you would like to. I just remind you that the evidence is to the contrary of your testimony on that subject.
Page 42, the paragraph which reads:
"Unfortunately the assignments for the Organization Todt on the basis of Article 52 of the Hague Convention on Land Warfare have for some time decreased considerably, because the larger part of the manpower allocated does not turn up. Consequently further compulsory measures must be employed. The prefect and the French labor exchanges co- operate quite loyally, it is true, but they have not sufficient authority to carry out these measures."
SPEER: I think that I have perhaps not understood correctly. I do not deny that a large number of the people working for the Organization Todt in the West had been called up and came to their work because they had been called up, but we had no means whatsoever of keeping them there by force. That is what I wanted to say. So if they did not want to work, they could leave again; and then they either joined the resistance movement or went into hiding somewhere else.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well. But this calling-up system was a system of compulsion, was it not?
SPEER: It was the calling-up of French workers for service in the Reich or in France. But here again I must add something. This report is dated 6/1943. In 10/1943 the whole of the Organization Todt was given the status of a "blocked factory" and thereby received the advantages which other blocked factories had. I explained that sufficiently yesterday. Because of this, the Organization Todt had large offers of workers who went there voluntarily, unless, of course, you see direct coercion in the pressure put on them through the danger of their transfer to Germany, and which led them to the Organization Todt or the blocked factories.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Were they kept in labor camps?
SPEER: That is the custom in the case of such building work.
The building sites were far away from any villages, and so workers' camps were set up to accommodate the German and foreign workers. But some of them were also accommodated in villages, as far as it was possible to accommodate them there. I do not think that on principle they were only meant to be accommodated in camps, but I cannot tell you that for certain.
THE PRESIDENT: Has the document been introduced before?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was just going to give it to you. The document from which I have quoted is United States Exhibit 892.
Now, leaving the question of the personal participation in this . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Is it new, Mr. Justice Jackson?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: No, it has been in.
THE PRESIDENT: It has been in before?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I am told that I am wrong about that, and that it is new. 892 is a new number
[Turning to the defendant.] Leaving the part of your personal participation in this program...
THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell us what the document is and where it comes from? I see it is EC-60; so it must be captured. But ...
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: It is one of the economic documents. It is a very large document.
THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell us what it is or who signed it? It is a very long document, apparently, is it?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: It is a long document, and it is a report of the OberfeldkommandantL-I-L-L-E is the name of the signer.
Now, coming to the question...
THE PRESIDENT: Let me look at the document, will you?
You see, Mr. Justice Jackson, my attention has been drawn to the point that as far as the record is concerned, we have only this extract which you read. We have not got the date, and we do not have the signature, if any, on the document.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: I was merely refreshing his recollection to get out the facts, and I was not really offering the document for its own sake. I will go into more detail about it, if Your Honor wishes. There is a great deal of irrelevant material in it.
THE PRESIDENT: If you do not want to offer it, then we need not bother about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: A great part of it is not relevant.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The quotation is adequately verified.
THE PRESIDENT: In that case you may refer to it without the document being used. Then we need not have the document identified as an exhibit.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Turning to the defendant. Leaving the question of your personal participation in these matters and coming to the questions dealt with in the second part of your examination, I want to ask you about your testimony concerning the proposal to denounce the Geneva Convention.
You testified yesterday that it was proposed to withdraw from the Geneva Convention. Will you tell us who made those proposals?
SPEER: This proposal, as I already testified yesterday, came from Dr. Goebbels. It was made after the air attack on Dresden, but before this, from the autumn of 1944 on, Goebbels and Ley had often talked about intensifying the war effort in every possible way, so that I had the impression that Goebbels was using the attack on Dresden and the excitement it created merely as an excuse to renounce the Geneva Convention.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, was the proposal made at that time to resort to poison gas warfare? SPEER: I was not able to make out from my own direct observations whether gas warfare was to be started, but I knew from various associates of Ley's and Goebbels' that they were discussing the question of using our two new combat gases, Tabun and Sarin. They believed that these gases would be of particular efficacy, and ; they did in fact produce the most frightful results. We made these observations as early as the autumn of 1944, when the situation had ! become critical and many people were seriously worried about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, will you tell us about these two gases and about their production and their effects, their qualities, and the preparations that were made for gas warfare?
SPEER: I cannot tell you that in detail. I am not enough of an expert. All I know is that these two gases both had a quite extraordinary effect, and that there was no respirator, and no protection against them that we knew of. So the soldiers would have been unable to protect themselves against this gas in any way. For the manufacture of this gas we had about three factories, all of which were undamaged and which until 11/1944 were working at full speed. When rumors reached us that gas might be used, I stopped its production in 11/1944. I stopped it by the following means. I blocked the so-called preliminary production, that is, the chemical supplies for the making of gas, so that the gas production, as the Allied authorities themselves ascertained, after the end of December or the beginning of January, actually slowed down and finally came to a standstill. Beginning with a letter which is still in existence and which I wrote to Hitler in 10/1944, I tried through legal methods to obtain his permission to have these gas factories stop their production. The reason I gave him was that on account of air raids the preliminary products, primarily cyanide, were needed urgently for other purposes. Hitler informed me that the gas production would have to continue whatever happened, but I gave instructions for the preliminary products not to be supplied any more.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Can you identify others of the group that were advocating gas warfare?
SPEER: In military circles there was certainly no one in favor of gas warfare. All sensible Army people turned gas warfare down as being utterly insane since, in view of your superiority in the air, it would not be long before it would bring the most terrible catastrophe upon German cities, which were completely unprotected.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The group that did advocate it, however, consisted of the political group around Hitler, didn't it?
SPEER: A certain circle of political people, certainly very limited. It was mostly Ley, Goebbels and Bormann, always the same three, who by every possible means wanted to increase the war effort; and a man like Fegelein certainly belonged to a group like that too. Of Himmler I would not be too sure, for at that time Himmler was a little out of favor with Hitler because he allowed himself the luxury of directing an army group without being qualified.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, one of these gases was the gas which you proposed to use on those who were proposing to use it on others, and I suppose your motive was...
SPEER: I must say quite frankly that my reason for these plans was the fear that under certain circumstances gas might be used, and the association of ideas in using it myself led me to make the whole plan.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And your reasons, I take it, were the same as the military's, that is to say, it was certain Germany would get the worst of it if Germany started that kind of warfare: That is what was worrying the military, wasn't it?
SPEER: No, not only that. It was because at that stage of the war it was perfectly clear that under no circumstances should any international crimes be committed which could be held against the German people after they had lost the war. That was what decided the issue.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, what about the bombs, after the war was plainly lost, aimed at England day after day; who favored that?
SPEER: You mean the rockets?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes.
SPEER: From the point of view of their technical production the rockets were a very expensive affair for us, and their effect compared to the cost of their output was negligible. In consequence we had no particular interest in developing the affair on a bigger scale. The person who kept urging it was Himmler, in this case. He gave one Obergruppenfuhrer Kammler the task of firing off these rockets over England. In Army circles they were of the same opinion as I, namely, that the rockets were too expensive; and in Air Force circles, the opinion was the same, since for the equivalent of one rocket one could almost build a fighter. It is quite clear that it would have been much better for us if we had not gone in for this nonsense.[=]
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Going back to the characteristics of this gas, was one of the characteristics of this gas an exceedingly high temperature? When it was exploded it created exceedingly high temperature, so that there could be no defense against it?
SPEER: No, that is an error. Actually, ordinary gas evaporates at normal atmospheric temperature. This gas would not evaporate until very high temperatures were reached and such very high temperatures could only be produced by an explosion; in other words, when the explosives detonated, a very high temperature set in, as you know, and then the gas evaporated. The solid substance turned into gas, but the effects had nothing to do with the high temperature.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Experiments were carried out with this gas, were they not, to your knowledge?
SPEER: That I can tell you. Experiments must certainly have been carried out with it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Who was in charge of the experimentations with the gases?
SPEER: As far as I know it was the research and development department of the OKH in the Army ordnance office. I cannot tell you for certain.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: And certain experiments were also conducted and certain researches conducted in atomic energy, were they not?
SPEER: We had not got as far as that, unfortunately, because the finest experts we had in atomic research had emigrated to America, and this had thrown us back a great deal in our research, so that we still needed another year or two in order to achieve any results in the splitting of the atom.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The policy of driving people out who didn't agree with Germany hadn't produced very good dividends, had it?
SPEER: Especially in this sphere it was a great disadvantage to us.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, I have certain information, which was placed in my hands, of an experiment which was carried out near Auschwitz and I would like to ask you if you heard about it or knew about it. The purpose of the experiment was to find a quick and complete way of destroying people without the delay and trouble of shooting and gassing and burning, as it had been carried out, and this is the experiment, as I am advised. A village, a small village was provisionally erected, with temporary structures, and in it approximately 20000 Jews were put. By means of this newly invented weapon of destruction, these 20000 people were eradicated almost instantaneously, and in such a way that there was no trace left of them; that it developed, the explosive developed, temperatures of from 400 to 500 centigrade and destroyed them without leaving any trace at all.
Do you know about that experiment?
SPEER: No, and I consider it utterly improbable. If we had had such a weapon under preparation, I should have known about it. But we did not have such a weapon. It is clear that in chemical warfare attempts were made on both sides to carry out research on all the weapons one could think of, because one did not know which party would start chemical warfare first.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The reports, then, of a new and secret weapon were exaggerated for the purpose of keeping the German people in the war?
SPEER: That was the case mostly during the last phase of the war. From August, or rather June or 7/1944 on I very often went to the front. I visited about 40 front-line divisions in their sectors and could not help seeing that the troops, just like the German people, were given hopes about a new weapon coming, new weapons and wonder-weapons which, without requiring the use of soldiers, without military forces, would guarantee victory. In this belief lies the secret why so many people in Germany offered their lives, although common sense told them that the war was over. They believed that within the near future this new weapon would arrive. I wrote to Hitler about it and also tried in different speeches, even before Goebbels' propaganda leaders, to work against this belief. Both Hitler and Goebbels told me, however, that this was no propaganda of theirs but that it was a belief which had grown up amongst the people. Only in the dock here in Nuremberg, I was- told by Fritzsche that this propaganda was spread systematically among the people through some channels or other, and that SS Standartenfuhrer Berg was responsible for it. Many things have become clear to me since, because this man Berg, as a representative of the Ministry of Propaganda, had often taken part in meetings, in big sessions of my Ministry, as he was writing articles about these sessions. There he heard of our future plans and then used this knowledge to tell the people about them with more imagination than truth.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: When did it become apparent that the war was lost? I take it that your attitude was that you felt some responsibility for getting the German people out of it with as little destruction as possible. Is that a fair statement of your position?
SPEER: Yes, but I did not only have that feeling with regard to the German people. I knew quite well that one should equally avoid destruction taking place in the occupied territories. That was just as important to me from a realistic point of view, for I said to myself that after the war the responsibility for all these destructions would no longer fall on us, but on the next German Government, and the coming German generations.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Where you differed with the people who wanted to continue the war to the bitter end, was that you wanted to see Germany have a chance to restore her life. Is that not a fact? Whereas Hitler took the position that if he couldn't survive, he didn't care whether Germany survived or not?
SPEER: That is true, and I would never have had the courage to make this statement before this Tribunal if I had not been able to prove it with the help of some documents, because such a statement is so monstrous. But the letter which I wrote to Hitler on 29 March, in which I confirmed this, shows that he said so himself.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, if I may comment, it was not a new idea to us that that was his viewpoint. I think it was expressed in most of the other countries that that was his viewpoint.
Now, were you present with Hitler at the time he received the telegram from Goring, suggesting that Goring take over power?
SPEER: On 23 April I flew to Berlin in order to take leave of several of my associates, andI should like to say this quite franklyafter all that had happened, also in order to place myself at Hitler's disposal. Perhaps this will sound strange here, but the conflicting feelings I had about the action I wanted to take against him and about the way he had handled things, still did not give me any clear grounds or any clear inner conviction as to what my relations should be toward him, so I flew over to see him. I did not know whether he knew of my plans, and I did not know whether he would order me to remain in Berlin. Yet I felt that it was my duty not to run away like a coward, but to stand up to him again. It was on that day that Goring's telegram to Hitler arrived. This telegram was not to Hitler, but from Goring to Ribbentrop; it was Bormann who submitted it to him.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Submitted it to Hitler?
SPEER: Yes, to Hitler.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: What did Hitler say on that occasion?
SPEER: Hitler was unusually excited about the contents of the telegram, and said quite plainly what he thought about Goring. He said that he had known for some time that Goring had failed, that he was corrupt, and that he was a drug addict. I was extremely -shaken, because I felt that if the head of the State had known this for such a long time, then it showed a lack of responsibility on his part to leave such a man in office, when the lives of countless people depended on him. It was typical of Hitler's attitude towards the entire problem, however, that he followed his statement up by saying: "But let him negotiate the capitulation all the same."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did he say why he was willing to let Goring negotiate the capitulation?
SPEER: No. He said in an offhand manner: "It doesn't matter anyway who does it." He expressed all his disregard for the German nation in the way he said this.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is, his attitude was that there was nothing left worth saving, so let Goring work it out. Is that a fair statement of his position?
SPEER: That was my impression, yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, this policy of driving Germany to destruction after the war was lost had come to weigh on you to such a point that you were a party to several plots, were you not, in an attempt to remove the people who were responsible for the destruction, as you saw it, of your country?
SPEER: Yes. But I want to add...
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: There were more plots than you have told us about, weren't there?
SPEER: During that time it was extremely easy to start a plot. One could accost practically any man in the street and tell him what the situation was, and then he would say: "This is insane"; and if he had any courage he would place himself at your disposal. Unfortunately, I had no organization behind me which I could call upon and give orders to, or designate who should have done this or_that. That is why I had to depend on personal conversations to contact all kinds of people. But I do want to say that it was not as dangerous as it looks here because actually the unreasonable people who were still left only amounted perhaps to a few dozen. The other 80 million were perfectly sensible as soon as they knew what it was all about.[=]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Perhaps you had a sense of responsibility for having put the 80 million completely in the hands of the Fuhrer Principle. Did that occur to you, or does it now, as you look back on it?
SPEER: May I have the question repeated, because I did not understand its sense.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You have 80 million sane and sensible people facing destruction; you have a dozen people driving them on to destruction and they are unable to stop it. And I ask if you have a feeling of responsibility for having established the Fuhrer Principle, which Goring has so well described for us, in Germany?
SPEER: I, personally, when I became Minister in 2/1942, placed myself at the disposal of this Fuhrer Principle. But I admit, that in my organization I soon saw that the Fuhrer Principle was full of tremendous mistakes, and so I tried to weaken its effect. The terrible danger of the authoritarian system, however, became really clear only at the moment when we were approaching the end. It was then that one could see what the principle really meant, namely, that every order should be carried out without criticism. Everything that has become known during this Trial in the way of orders carried out without any consideration, finally provedfor example the carrying-out of the order to destroy the bridges in our own countryto be a mistake or a consequence of this authoritarian system. The authoritarian systemor let me put it like thisupon the collapse of the authoritarian system it became clear what ,E tremendous dangers there are in a system of that kind, quite apart from the personality of Hitler. The combination of Hitler and this system, then, brought about these terrible catastrophes in the world.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, nowHitler is dead; I assume you accept thatand we ought to give the devil his due. Isn't it a fact that in the circle around Hitler there was almost no one who would stand up and tell him that the war was lost, except yourself?
SPEER: That is correct to a certain extent. Among the military leaders there were many who, each in his own sphere, told Hitler quite clearly what the situation was. Many commanders f of army groups, for instance, made it clear to him how catastrophic developments were, and there were often fierce arguments during the discussions on the situation. Men like Guderian and Jodl, for instance, often talked openly about their sectors in my presence, and Hitler could see quite well what the general situation was like. But I never observed that those who were actually responsible in the group around Hitler, ever went to him and said, "The war is lost." Nor did I ever see these people who had responsibility endeavor to unite in undertaking some joint step with Hitler. I did not attempt it for my part either, except once or twice, because it would have been useless, since at this stage, Hitler had so intimidated his closest associates that they no longer had any wills of their own.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, let us take the Number 2 man, who has told us that he was in favor of fighting to the very finish.
Were you present at a conversation between Goring and General Galland, in which Goring, in substance, forbade Galland to report the disaster that was overtaking Germany?
SPEER: No; in that form, that is not correct. That was another conference.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, tell us what there is about General Galland's conversation with Goring, as far as you know it.
SPEER: It was at the Fuhrer's headquarters in East Prussia in front of Goring's train. Galland had reported to Hitler that enemy fighter planes were already escorting bomber squadrons as far as Liege and that it was to be expected that in the future the bomber units would travel still farther from their bases escorted by fighters. After a discussion with Hitler on the military situation Goring upbraided Galland and told him with some excitement that this could not possibly be true, that the fighters could not go as far as Liege. He said that from his experience as an old fighter pilot he knew this perfectly well. Thereupon Galland replied that the fighters were being shot down, and were lying on the ground near Liege. Goring would not believe this was true. Galland was an outspoken man who told Goring his opinion quite clearly and refused to allow Goring's excitement to influence him. Finally Goring, as Supreme Commander of the Air Force, expressly forbade Galland to make any further reports on this matter. It was impossible, he said, that enemy fighters could penetrate so deeply in the direction of Germany, and so he ordered him to accept that as being true. I continued to discuss the matter afterward with Galland and Galland was actually later relieved by Goring of his duties as Commanding General of Fighters. Up to this time Galland had been in charge of all the fighter units in Germany. He was the general in charge of all the fighters within the High Command of the Air Force.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date of that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was going to ask.
SPEER: It must have been toward the end of 1943.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, perhaps we had better adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, very few were very valuable, were they not?
SPEER: The art treasures were valuable, not the workers.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: To him?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, let me ask you about your efforts in producing, and see how much difficulty you were having. Krupp's was a big factor in the German armament production, was it not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The biggest single unit, wouldn't you say?
SPEER: Yes, but notjust to the extent I said yesterday. It produced few guns and armaments, but it was a big concern, one of the most respected ones in the armament industry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But you had prevented, as far as possible, the use of resources and manpower for the production of things that were not useful for the war, is not that true?
SPEER: That is true.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And the things which were being created, being built in Krupp's, whether they were guns or other objects, were things which were essential to carrying on the economy or to conducting the war? That would be true, would it not?
SPEER: Generally speaking one can say that in the end every article which in wartime is produced in the home country, whether it is a pair of shoes for the workers, or clothing, or coal is, of courseis made to assist in the war effort. That has nothing to do with the old conception, which has long since died out, and which we find in the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, at the moment I am not concerned with the question of the application of the Geneva Convention. I want to ask you some questions about your efforts to produce essential goods, whether they were armament or not armament, and the conditions that this regime was imposing upon labor and adding, as I think, to your problem of production. I think you can give us some information about this. You were frequently at the Krupp plant, were you not?
SPEER: I was at the Krupp plant five or six times.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: You had rather close information as to the progress of production in the Krupp plant, as well as others?
SPEER: Yes, when I went to visit these plants, it was mostly in order to see how we could do away with the consequences of air attacks. It was always shortly after air raids, and so I got an idea of the production. As I worked hard I knew a lot about these problems, right down to the details.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Krupp also had several labor camps, did they not?
SPEER: Of course, Krupp had labor camps.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Krupp was a very large user of both foreign labor and prisoners of war?
SPEER: I cannot give the percentage, but no doubt Krupp did employ foreign workers and prisoners of war.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I may say to you that we have investigated the Krupp labor camps, and from Krupp's own charts it appears that in 1943 they had 39245 foreign workers and 11234 prisoners of war, and that this steadily increased until in 9/1944 Krupp had 54990 foreign workers and 18902 prisoners of war.
Now, would that be somewhere near what you would expect from your knowledge of the industry?
SPEER: I do not know the details. I do not know the figures of how many workers Krupp employed in all. I am not familiar with them at the moment. But I believe that the percentage of foreign workers at Krupp was about the same as in other plants and in other armament concerns.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And what would you say that percentage was?
SPEER: That varied a great deal. The old established industries which had their old regular personnel had a much lower percentage of foreign workers than the new industries which had just grown up and which had no old regular personnel. The reason for this was that the young age groups were drafted into the Armed Forces and therefore the concerns which had a personnel of older workers still retained a large percentage of the older workers. Therefore the percentage of foreign workers in Army armaments, if you take it as a whole and as one of the older industries, was lower than the percentage of foreign workers in air armaments, because that was a completely new industry which had no old regular personnel.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, the foreign workers who were assigned to Krupplet us use Krupp as an examplewere housed in labor camps and under guard, were they not?
SPEER: I do not believe that they were under guard, but I cannot say. I do not want to dodge giving information here, but I had no time to worry about such things on my visits. The things I was concerned about when I went to a factory were in an entirely different sphere. In all my activities as Armament Minister I never once visited a labor camp, and cannot, therefore, give any information about them.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Well now, I am going to give you some information about the labor camp at Krupp's, and then I am going to ask you some questions about it. And I am not attempting to say that you were personally responsible for these conditions. I merely give you the indications as to what the regime was doing and I am going to ask you certain questions as to the effect of this sort of thing on your work of production.
Are you familiar with Document D-288, which is United States Exhibit 202, the affidavit of Dr. Jager, who was later brought here as a witness?
SPEER: Yes, but I consider that somewhat exaggerated.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: You don't accept that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you have no personal knowledge of the conditions. What is the basis of your information that Dr. Jager's statement is exaggerated?
SPEER: If such conditions had existed, I should probably have heard of them, since when I visited plants the head of the plant naturally came to me with his biggest troubles. These troubles occurred primarily after air raids when, for example, both the German workers and foreign workers had no longer any proper shelter. This state of affairs was then described to me, so that I know that what is stated in the Jager affidavit cannot have been a permanent condition. It can only have been a condition caused temporarily by air raids, for a week or a fortnight, and which was improved later on. It is clear that after a severe air raid on a city all the sanitary installations, the water supply, gas supply, electricity, and so on, were out of order and severely damaged, so that temporarily there were very difficult conditions.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I remind you that Dr. Jager's affidavit relates to the time of 10/1942, and that he was a witness here. And, of course, you are familiar with his testimony.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well now, I call your attention to a new document, which is D-361, and would become United States Exhibit 893, a document signed by the office chief of the locomotive construction works, describing conditions of his labor supply, foreign labor.
And I am not suggestingI repeat I am not suggesting that this was your responsibility. I am suggesting it is the responsibility of the regime. I should like to read this despite its considerable length. This is dated at the boilermaking shop, 2/25/1942, addressed to Hupe by way of Winters and Schmidt.
"I received the enclosed letter of the 18th of this month from the German Labor Front, sent to my private address, inviting me to the Office of the German Labor Front. I tried to settle the business, which I did not know about, by telephone. The answer from the German Labor Front was that the matter was very important and called for my personal appearance. Thereupon I asked Herr Jungerich of the Department for Social Labor Matters whether I had to go. He answered, 'You probably do not have to, but it would be better if you went.' About 9:50 I went to Room 20 at the place indicated and met Herr Prior.
"The following provided the subject of this conversation, which Herr Prior carried on in a very excited manner, and which lasted about half an hour:
"On the 16th, 23 Russian prisoners of war were assigned to Number 23 Boiler Shop. The people came in the morning without bread and tools. During both breaks the prisoners of war crept up to the German workers and begged for bread, pitifully pointing out their hunger. (For lunch on the first day the factory was able to distribute among the Russians rations which remained over from French POW's. In order to alleviate these conditions, I went to the Weidkamp kitchen on the 17th, on instructions from Herr Theile, and talked to the head of the kitchen, Fraulein Block, about the provision of the midday meal. Fraulein Block promised me the food immediately, and also lent me the 22 sets of eating utensils which I asked for. At the same time I asked Fraulein Block to give any food left over by the 800 Dutchmen messing there to our Russian POW's at noon until further notice. Fraulein Block promised to do this too, and the following noon she sent down a container of milk soup as an extra. The following noon the ration was short in quantity. Since a few Russians had collapsed already, I telephoned Fraulein Block and asked for an increase in the food, as the special ration had ceased from the second day onwards. As my telephone conversation was unsuccessful, I again visited Fraulein Block personally. Fraulein Block refused in a very abrupt manner to give any further special ration.
"Now, regarding the discussion in detail, Herr Prior, two other gentlemen of the DAF and Fraulein Block, head of the Weidkamp kitchen, were present in the room. Herr Prior commenced and accused me, gesticulating, and in a very insulting manner, of having taken the part of the Bolsheviks in a marked way. He referred to the law paragraphs of the Reich Government which spoke against it. I was unfortunately not clear about the legal position, otherwise I would have left the conference room immediately. I then tried to make it clear to Herr Prior, with special emphasis, that the Russian POW's were assigned to us as workers and not as Bolsheviks; the people were starved and not in a position to perform the heavy work with us in the boiler shop which they were supposed to do; sick people are a dead weight to us and not a help to production. To this remark Herr Prior stated that if one was no good, then another was; that the Bolsheviks were a soulless people; and if 100000 of them died, another 100000 would replace them. On my remarking that with such a coming and going we would not attain our goal, namely the delivery of locomotives to the Reichsbahn, who were continually cutting down the time limit, Herr Prior said, 'Deliveries are only of secondary importance here.'
"My attempts to get Herr Prior to understand our economic needs were not successful. In closing, I can only say that as a German I know our relations to the Russian prisoners of war exactly, and in this case I acted only on behalf of my superiors and with the view to the increase in production which is demanded from us."
It is signed, "Sohling, Office Chief, Locomotive Construction Works."
And there is added this letter as a part of the communication, signed by Theile:
"I have to add the following to the above letter:
"After the Russian POW's had been assigned to us on the 16th of this month by labor supply, I got into touch with Dr. Lehmann immediately about their food. I learned from him that the prisoners received 300 gr. of bread each between 0400 and 0500 hours. I pointed out that it was impossible to last until 1800 hours on this ration of bread, whereupon Dr. Lehmann said that the Russians must not be allowed to get used to western European feeding. I replied that the POW's could not do the work required of them in the boiler
shop on that food, and that it was not practical for us to have these people in the works any longer under such conditions. At the same time I demanded that if the Russians continued to be employed, they should be given a hot midday meal, and that if possible the bread ration should be split so that one-half was distributed early in the morning and the second half during our breakfast break. My suggestion has already been carried out by us with the French POW's and has proved to be very practicable and good.
"Unfortunately, however, Dr. Lehmann took no notice of my suggestion, and on this account I naturally had to take matters into my own hands and therefore told Herr Sohling to get the feeding of the Russian POW's organized on exactly the same lines as for the French POW's, so that the Russians could as soon as possible carry out the work they were supposed to do. For the whole thing concerns an increase in production such as is demanded from us by the Minister of munitions and armaments and by the DAF."
Now, I ask you, in the first place, if the position of the chief of the locomotive construction works was not entirely a necessary position in the interests of production?
SPEER: It is clear that a worker who has not enough food cannot achieve a good work output. I already said yesterday that every head of a plant, and I too at the top, was naturally interested in having well-fed and satisfied workers, because badly fed, dissatisfied workers make more mistakes and produce poor results.
I should like to comment on this document. The document is dated 2/25/1942. At that time there were official instructions that the Russian workers who came to the Reich should be treated worse than the western prisoners of war and the western workers. I learned of this through complaints from the heads of concerns. In my document book, there is a Fuhrer protocol which dates from the middle of 3/1942that is, 3 or 4 weeks after this documentin which I called Hitler's attention to the fact that the feeding both of Russian prisoners of war and of Russian workers was absolutely insufficient and that they would have to be given an adequate diet, and that moreover the Russian workers were being kept behind barbed wire like prisoners of war and that that would have to be stopped also. The protocol shows that in both cases I succeeded in getting Hitler to agree that conditions should be changed and they were changed.
I must say furthermore that it was really to Sauckel's credit that he fought against a mountain of stupidity and did everything so that foreign workers and prisoners of war should be treated better and receive decent food.[=]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we will go on with the conditions later. Because I am going to ask you, if you are not responsible and Sauckel is not responsible, v.ho is responsible for these conditions, and you can keep it in mind that is the question that we are coming up to here.
I will show you a new document, which is a statement, D-398, which would be Exhibit USA 894-A, taken by the British-American team in the investigation of this work camp at Krupp's.
Well, D-321. I can use that just as well. We will use Document D-321, which becomes 893.
THE PRESIDENT: 894 was the last number you gaze us. What number is this document that you are now offering?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 398 was 894. 321 will be 895.
Now, this relates to thethis is an employee of the Reich Railways. None of our investigation, I may say, is based upon the statements of the prisoners themselves.
"I, the undersigned, Adam Schmidt, employed as Betriebswart on the Essen-West Railway Station and residing . . . state voluntarily and on oath:
"I have been employed by the Reich Railways since 1918 and have been at Essen-West Station since 1935. In the middle of 1941 the first workers arrived from Poland, Galicia, and the Polish Ukraine. They came to Essen in trucks in which potatoes, building materials and also cattle had been transported, and were brought to perform work at Krupp's. The trucks were jammed full with people. My personal view was that it was inhuman to transport people in such a manner. The people were packed closely together and they had no room for free movement. The Krupp overseers laid special value on the speed with which the slave workers got in and out of the trucks. It was enraging for every decent German who had to watch this to see how the people were beaten and kicked and generally maltreated in a brutal manner. In the very beginning when the first transport arrived we could see how inhumanly these people were treated. Every truck was so overfilled that it was incredible that such a number of people could be jammed into one. I could see with my own eyes that sick people who could scarcely walk they were mostly people with foot trouble, or with injuries, and people with internal trouble) were nevertheless taken to work. One could see that it was sometimes difficult for them to move. The same can be said of the Eastern Workers and POW's who came to Essen in.the middle of 1942."
He then describes their clothing and their food. In the interest of time, I will not attempt to read the entire thing.
Do you consider that that, too, is an exaggerated statement?
SPEER: When the workers came to Germany from the East, their clothing was no doubt bad, but I know from Sauckel that while he was in office a lot was done to get them better clothes, and in Germany many of the Russian workers were brought to a considerably better condition than they had previously been in in Russia. The Russian workers were quite satisfied in Germany. If they arrived here in rags, that does not mean that that was our fault. We could not use ragged workers with poor shoes in our industry, so conditions were improved.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, now, I would like to call your attention to D-398.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, before you pass from that, what do you say about the conditions of the transports? The question you were asked was whether this was an exaggerated account. You have not answered that except in reference to clothing.
SPEER: Mr. President, I cannot give any information about this transport matter. I received no reports about it.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I will ask you about Exhibit 398, which becomes USA-894. I mean Document 398, which becomes Exhibit 894, a statement by Homer, living in Essen:
"From 4/1943 I worked with Lowenkamp every day in Panzer Shop 4. Lowenkamp was brutal to the foreigners. He confiscated food which belonged to the POW's and took it home. Every day he maltreated Eastern Workers, Russian POW's, French, Italian, and other foreign civilians. He had a steel cabinet built which was so small that one could hardly stand in it. He locked up foreigners in the box, women too, for 48 hours at a time without giving the people food.
"They were not released even to relieve nature. It was forbidden for other people, too, to give any help to the persons locked in, or to release them. While clearing a concealed store he fired on escaping Russian civilians without hitting any of them.
"One day, while distributing food, I saw how he hit a French civilian in the face with a ladle and made his face bleed. Further, he delivered Russian girls without bothering about the children afterwards. There was never any milk for them so the Russians had to nourish the children with sugar water. When Lowenkamp was arrested he wrote two letters and sent them to me through his wife. He tried to make out that he never beat people."
There is a good deal more of this, but I will not bother to put it into the record.
Is it your view that that is exaggerated?
SPEER: I consider this affidavit a lie. I would say that among German people such things do not exist, and if such individual cases occurred they were punished. It is not possible to drag the German people in the dirt in such a way. The heads of concerns were decent people too, and took an interest in their workers. If the head of the Krupp plant heard about such things, he certainly took steps immediately.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, what about the steel boxes? The steel box couldn't have been built? Or don't you believe the steelbox story?
SPEER: No, I do not believe it; I mean I do not believe it is true. After the collapse in 1945 a lot of affidavits were certainly drawn up which do not fully correspond to the truth. That is not your fault. It is the fault ofafter a defeat, it is quite possible that people F lend themselves to things like that.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, I would like to have you examine Document 258, and I attach importance to this as establishing the SS as being the guards:
"The camp inmates were mostly Jewish women and girls from Hungary and Romania. The camp inmates were brought to Essen at the beginning of 1944 and were put to work at Krupp's. The accommodation and feeding of the camp prisoners was beneath all dignity. At first the prisoners were accommodated in simple wooden huts. These huts were burned down during an air raid and from that time on the prisoners had to sleep in a damp cellar. Their beds were made on the floor and consisted of a straw-filled sack and two blankets. In most cases it was not possible for the prisoners to wash themselves daily, as there was no water. There was no possibility of having a bath. I could often observe from the Krupp factory, during the lunch break, how the prisoners boiled their under-clothing in an old bucket or container over a wood fire, and cleaned themselves. An air-raid trench served as shelter, while the SS guards went to the Humboldt shelter, which was bombproof. Reveille was at 5 a. m. There was no coffee or any food served in the morning. They marched off to the factory at 5.15 a. m. They marched for three-quarters of an hour to the factory, poorly clothed and badly shod, some without shoes, and covered with a blanket, in rain or snow.
Work began at 6 a. m. The lunch break was from 12 to 12.30. Only during the break was it at all possible for the prisoners to cook something for themselves from potato peelings and other garbage. The daily working period was one of 10 or 11 hours. Although the prisoners were completely undernourished, their work was very heavy physically. The prisoners were often maltreated at their work benches by Nazi overseers and female SS guards. At 5 or 6 in the afternoon they were marched back to camp. The accompanying guards consisted of female SS who, in spite of protests from the civil population, often maltreated the prisoners on the way back with kicks, blows, and scarcely repeatable words. It often happened that individual women or girls had to be carried back to the camp by their comrades owing to exhaustion. At 6 or 7 p.m. these exhausted people arrived back in camp. Then the real meal was distributed. This consisted of cabbage soup. This was followed by the evening meal of water soup and a piece of bread which was for the following day. Occasionally the food on Sundays was better. As long as it existed there was never any inspection of the camp by the firm of Krupp. On 3/13/1945 the camp prisoners were brought to Buchenwald Concentration Camp, from there some were sent to work. The camp commandant was SS Oberscharfuhrer Rick. His present whereabouts is unknown."
The rest of it doesn't matter. In your estimation that, I suppose, is also an exaggeration?
SPEER: From the document...
DR. FLACHSNER: Mr. President . . .
THE PRESIDENT: May I hear the answer. I thought the defendant said something.
DR. FLACHSNER: May I call the attention of the Court to the document itself, of which I have only a copy? It is headed "Sworn on oath before a military court," and there is an ordinary signature under it. It does not say that it is an affidavit or a statement in lieu of oath, or any other such thing, it says only, "Further inquiries must be made," and it is signed by Hubert Karden. That is apparently the name of the man who was making the statement. Then there is another signature, "Kriminalassistent Z. Pr." That is a police official who is on probation and who may later have the chance of becoming a candidate in the criminal service. He has signed it. Then there is another signature, "C. E. Long, Major, President." There is not a word in this document to the effect that any of these three people want to vouch for the contents of this as an affidavit. I do not believe this document can be used as an affidavit in that sense.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Mr. Justice Jackson? Do you wish to say anything?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Ithe document shows for itself. I am notas I have pointed out to this witness, I am giving him the result of an investigation. I am not prosecuting him with personal responsibility for these conditions. I intend to ask him some questions about responsibility for conditions in the camp.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, there is a statement at the top of the copy that I have got, "Sworn on oath before a military court."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes, they were taken in Essen, in this investigation. And of course, if I were charging this particular defendant with the responsibility there might be some argument about it. They come under the headthey clearly come under the head of the Charter, which authorizes the receipt here of proceedings of other courts.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you got the original document here?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Yes.
[A document was submitted to the Tribunal.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal sees no objection to the document being used in cross-examination.
Did you give it an exhibit number?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I should have; it is USA-896.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: [Turning to the defendant.] I now want to call your attention to Exhibit Number 382.
SPEER: I wanted to comment on the document.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, there are some photographs which have been put before us. Are they identified and do they form part of an exhibit?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: They form part of the exhibit which I am now offering.
THE PRESIDENT: I see.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: But the witness desires to comment on the last document, and I will listen to that before we go ahead.
SPEER: First I should like to say, as you have so often mentioned my non-responsibility, that if in general these conditions had been true, on the basis of my statement yesterday I should consider myself responsible. I refuse to evade responsibility. But the conditions were not what they are said to have been here. There are only individual cases which are quoted.
As for this document I should only like to say from what I have seen of it that this seems to concern a concentration camp, one of the small concentration camps near the factories. The factories could not inspect these camps. That is why the sentence is quite true where it says that no factory representative ever saw the camp. The fact that there were SS guards also shows that it was a concentration camp.
If the question which you asked me before, as to whether the labor camps were guardedthose for foreign workersif that refers to this document, then your conclusion was wrong. For as far as I know, the other labor camps were not guarded by SS or by any other organizations.
My position is such that I feel it is my duty to protect the heads of plants from any injustice which might be done them. The head of a plant could not bother about the conditions in such a camp. I cannot say whether conditions were as described in this camp. We have seen so much material on conditions in concentration camps during the Trial.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I will ask to have you shown Exhibit Number D-382I should say Document D-382which would be United States Exhibit 897. Now that is the statement of several persons as to one of those steel boxes which stood in the foreign workers' camp in the grounds of Number 4 Armor Shop, and of those in the Russian camp. I do not know that it is necessary to read the complete descriptions.
Is that merely an individual instance, or what is your view of that circumstance?
SPEER: What is pictured here is quite a normal locker as was used in every factory. These photographs have absolutely no value as evidence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Very well. I will ask to have you shown Exhibit D-230. Together with D-230 is an interoffice record of the steel switches, and the steel switches which have been found in the camp will be shown to you. Eighty were distributed, according to the reports.
SPEER: Shall I comment on this?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: If you wish.
SPEER: Yes. Those are nothing but replacements for rubber truncheons. We had no rubber; and for that reason, the guards probably had something like this.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: That is the same inference that I drew from the document.
SPEER: Yes, but the guards did not immediately use these steel switches any more than your police use their rubber truncheons. But they had to have something in their hands. It is the same thing all over the world.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, we won't argue that point.
SPEER: I am not an expert. I only assume that that is the case. I cannot testify on oath that that was the case. That was only an argument.
THE PRESIDENT: Did you give a number to that?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 898, Your Honor.
Now, 899 would be our Document D-283, which is a 1943 report from the Krupp hospitals taken from the files of Krupp's.
"Cases of Deaths of Eastern Workers.
"Fifty-four Eastern Workers have died in the hospital in Lazarettstrasse, 4 of them as a result of external causes and 50 as a result of illness.
"The causes of death in the case of these 50 Eastern Workers who died of illnesses were the following: Tuberculosis, 36 (including 2 women); malnutrition, 2; internal hemorrhage, 1; disease of the bowels, 2; typhoid fever, 1 (female); pneumonia, 3; appendicitis, 1 (female); liver trouble, 1; abscess of the brain, 1. This list therefore shows that four-fifths died of tuberculosis and malnutrition."
Now, did you have any reports from time to time as to the health conditions of the labor which was engaged in your production program?
SPEER: First I should like to comment on the document. The document does not show the total number of the workers to which the number of deaths refers, so that one cannot say whether that is an unnaturally high proportion of illness. At a session of the Central Planning Board which I read here again, I observed i it was said that among the Russian workers there was a high rate of tuberculosis. I do not know whether you mean that. That was a remark which Weiger made to me. But presumably through the health offices we tried to alleviate these conditions.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: There was an abnormally high rate of deaths from tuberculosis; there is no doubt about that, is there?
SPEER: I do not know whether that was an abnormal death rate. But there was an abnormally high rate of tuberculosis at times.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, the exhibit does not show whether the death rate itself was abnormally high, but it shows an abnormal proportion of deaths from tuberculosis among the total deaths, does it not? Eighty percent deaths from tuberculosis is a very high incidence of tuberculosis, is it not?
SPEER: That may be. I cannot say from my own knowledge.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now I would like to have you shown . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Did you give that a number? That would be 899, would it not?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: 899, Your Honor.
Now, let me ask you to be shown Document D-335. This is a report from the files of Krupp, dated at Essen on 6/12/1944, directed to the "Gau Camp Physician, Herr Dr. Jager," and signed by Stinnesbeck:
"In the middle of May I took over the medical supervision of the POW Camp 1420 in the Norggerathstrasse. The camp contains 644 French POW's.
"During the air raid on 27 April of this year the camp was largely destroyed and at the moment conditions are intolerable.
"315 prisoners are still accommodated in the camp. 170 of these are no longer in huts, but in the tunnel in Grunerstrasse on the Essen-Mulheim railway line. This tunnel is damp and is not suitable for continued accommodation of human beings. The rest of the prisoners are accommodated in 10 different factories in Krupp's works.
"Medical attention is given by a French military doctor who takes great pains with his fellow countrymen. Sick people from Krupp's factories must be brought to the sick parade too. This parade is held in the lavatory of a burned-out public house outside the camp. The sleeping accommodations of the four French medical orderlies is in what was the urinal room. There is a double tier wooden bed available for sick bay patients. In general, treatment takes place in the open. In rainy weather it has to be held in this small room. These are insufferable conditions! There are no chairs, tables, cupboards, or water. The keeping of a register of sick is impossible.
"Bandages and medical supplies are very scarce, although people badly hurt in the works are often brought here for first aid and have to be bandaged before being taken to the hospital. There are many strong complaints about food, too, which the guard personnel confirm as being justified.
"Illness and less manpower must be reckoned with under these circumstances.
"The construction of huts for the accommodation of the prisoners and the building of sick quarters for the proper treatment of the sick persons is urgently necessary.
"Please take the necessary steps.
SPEER: That is a document which shows what conditions can e after severe air raids. The conditions were the same in these cases for Germans and foreign workers. There were no beds, no cupboards, and so forth. That was because the camp in which these things had been provided had been burned down. That the food supply was often inadequate in the Ruhr district during this period was due to the fact that attacks from the air were centered on communication lines, so that food transports could not be brought into the Ruhr to the necessary extent. These were temporary conditions which we were able to improve when the air raids ceased for a time. When conditions became even worse after September or October of 1944, or rather after November of 1944, we made every effort to give food supplies the priority for the first time over armament needs, so that in view of these difficulties the workers would be fed first of all, while armaments had to stand back somewhat.
MR JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, then you did make it your business to get food and to see to the conditions of these workers? Do I understand that you did it, that you took steps?
SPEER: It is true that I did so, and I am glad that I did, even if I am to be reproached for it. For it is a universal human obligation when one hears of such conditions to try to alleviate them, even if it is somebody else's responsibility. But the witness Riecke testified here that the whole of the food question was under the direction of the Food Ministry.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: And it was an essential part of production, was it not, to keep workers in proper condition to produce? That is elementary, is it not?
SPEER: No. That is wrongly formulated.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, you formulate it for me as to what the relation is between the nourishment of workers and the amount of production produced.
SPEER: I said yesterday that the responsibility for labor conditions was divided up between the Food Ministry, the Health Office in the Reich Ministry of the Interior, the Labor Trustee in the office of the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, and J so on. There was no comprehensive authority in my hands. In the Reich, because of the way in which our state machine was built up, we lacked a comprehensive agency in the form of a Reich Chancellor, who would have gathered all these departments together and held joint discussions. But I, as the man responsible for production, had no responsibility in these matters. However, when I heard complaints from factory heads or from my deputies, I did everything to remove the cause of the complaints.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: The Krupp works . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Shall we break off now?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Any time you say, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal wish to hear from defendants' counsel what arrangements they have found it possible to make -with reference to the apportionment of time for their speeches.
DR. NELTE: I should like first of all to point out that the defendants' counsel, with whom the Tribunal discussed the question of final defense speeches during an earlier closed session, did not inform the other defendants' counsel, since they were under the impression that the Tribunal would not impose any restrictions on the Defense in this respect. I personally, when I raised my objections, had no knowledge of this discussion, as my colleagues who conferred with you earlier have authorized me to explain.
On the suggestion of the Tribunal, counsel for the individual defendants have discussed the decision announced in the session of 6/13/1946, and I am now submitting to the Tribunal the outcome of the discussion; in doing so, however, I shall have to make certain qualifications, since some of my colleagues are either not present or differ in their opinion on the apportionment of time.
The defendants' counsel are of the opinion that only the conscientious judgment of each counsel can determine the form and length of the final defense pleas in this unusual Trial, notwithstanding the generally recognized right of the Tribunal, as part of its responsibility for guiding the proceedings, to prevent a possible
misuse of the freedom of speech. They also believe that, in view 1 of this fundamental consideration and in view of the usual practice
-of international courts, the Tribunal will understand and approve that the defendants' counsel voice their objection to a preventive restriction of the freedom of speech, for a misuse on their part must not simply be taken as a foregone conclusion. This fundamental attitude is, of course, in accord with the readiness of the Defense to comply with the directives and the wishes of the Tribunal as far as is reconcilable with a proper conception of the defense in each
-case. Under this aspect the individual defendants' counsel have been asked to make their own estimates of the probable duration of their final pleas. The result of these estimates shows that, despite the limitations counsel have imposed upon themselves, and with due respect to the wishes of the High Tribunal, a total duration of approximately 20 full days in court is required by the Defense.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal asked Defense Counsel for an apportionment of the 14 days between them.
DR. NELTE: I believe, Mr. President, my statement makes clear that it appears impossible to accept that principle. If the Tribunal consider these 14 full days as indisputable, then the entire Defense will submit to that decision. But so far as I know, it will be quite impossible, under such circumstances, to obtain agreement among Defense Counsel, and considerable danger therefore exists that counsel who make their pleas later will be under pressure of time.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think the Tribunal probably fully understands that you think 14 daysyou and your brethren consider that 14 days is too shortbut, as I say, what the Tribunal asked for was an apportionment of the time, and there is nothing in what you have said to indicate that you have made any apportionment at all, either of the 14 days or of the 20 days which you propose.
DR. NELTE: The period of 20 days was arrived at when each defendant's counsel had stated the presumed duration of his speech. It would, therefore, be perfectly possible to say that if the Tribunal would approve the duration of 20 days, then we could state our solution for the length of the individual speeches. But it is impossible, in practice, to apportion the time, if the total number of days is only 14. You can rest assured, Mr.President, that we have all gone into the question conscientiously and that we have also reflected on the manner in which individual subjects can be divided among individual defendants' counsel; but the total number of about 20 days appears to us, without wanting to quote a maximum or minimum figure, to be absolutely essential for an apportionment. It is perfectly possible, Mr. President, that in the course of the speeches . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, as I have indicated to you, what the Tribunal wanted to know was the apportionment, and presumably you have some apportionment which adds up to the 20 days which you say is required; and the Tribunal would like, if you have such an apportionment, that you should let them see the apportionment, or if you have no such apportionment, then they would wish to hear from each individual counsel how long he thinks he is going to take. If you have got a list, it seems to the Tribunal that you could hand it in.
DR. NELTE: The figures are available and they will be handed to the Tribunal, but some of my colleagues have said that their estimates are only valid on the assumption that no more than a specific number of days was to be granted. That is the point of view of which I said earlier that it differed in some respect. But we all thought that the decision of the Tribunal was only a suggestion, and not a maximum to be apportioned. I hope, Mr. President, that your words now are also to be understood in that way, and that the Tribunal will still consider whether the proposed period of 14 days could not be extended to correspond with the time which we consider necessary.
THE PRESIDENT: What the Tribunal wants is an apportionment of the time as between the various counsel. That is what they asked for and that is what they want; and either we would ask you to give it to us in writing now, or we would ask you, each one of you, to state how long you anticipate you will take in your speech.
DR. NELTE: I think that I may speak on behalf of my colleagues and say that we shall submit our estimates to the Tribunal in writing.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal feels that it would like to have the apportionment now. It gave notice before, yesterday I think it was, that they were wishing to hear defendants' counsel upon the question of the apportionment this afternoon at 2 o'clock; and they would, therefore, like to have that apportionment now.
DR. NELTE: In that case, I can only ask that the Tribunal hear each individual counsel, since naturally I cannot say from memory how each made his estimate.
THE PRESIDENT: You could have had it written down; but if k you have not got it written down, no doubt you cannot remember. But perhaps you had better give us what you would take.
DR. NELTE: I estimated 7 hours. My colleague Horn, for Ribbentrop, just tells me he requires 6 hours.
THE PRESIDENT: We will take each counsel in turn, if you please.
Yes, Dr. Stahmer?
DR. OTTO STAHMER (Counsel for Defendant Goring): Seven hours.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Sauter?
DR. MARTIN HORN (Counsel for Defendant Von Ribbentrop): May I, on behalf of Dr. Siemers and Dr. Kranzbuhler, ask to allot each of them 8 hours?
DR. SAUTER: For the case of Funk, 6 hours, and for the case of Von Schirach, 6 hours.
DR. SERVATIUS: For Sauckel, 5 hours.
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. I cannot write as quickly as all this. Who was it that Dr. Horn wished to represent? Siemers and who else? And how many hours was it?
DR. HORN: Dr. Siemers and l)r. Kranzbuhler, 8 hours each.
DR. SERVATIUS: For Sauckel, 5 hours.
D KAUFFMANN: For Kaltenbrunner, approximately 4 to 5 hours.
DR. HANNS MARX (Counsel for Defendant Streicher): For Streicher, 4 hours.
DR. SEIDL: For Hess and Frank, 11 hours together.
DR. OTTO PANNENBECKER (Counsel for Defendant Frick): For Frick, 5 hours. I remember from the list that Dr. Bergold wants 3 hours for Bormann. Dr. Bergold is not present, but I remember that the list said 3 hours.
DR. RUDOLF DIX (Counsel for Defendant Schacht): For Schacht, 5 hours.
PROFESSOR DR. FRANZ EXNER (Counsel for Defendant Jodl): For Jodl, 5 hours.
DR. KUBUSCHOK: For Papen, approximately 5 hours.
DR. STEINBAUER: For Dr. Seyss-Inquart, 5 hours.
DR. FLACHSNER: For Speer, 4 hours.
DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: For myself, Mr. President, 8 hours. For Professor Jahrreiss, who before the final pleas will deal with a technical subject, 4 hours.
THE PRESIDENT: What will Professor Jahrreiss speak about
DR.VON LUDINGHAUSEN: About a subject approved by the Tribunal, namely the general question of international law.
DR. SEIDL: The defense counsel for the Defendant Rosenberg said that he would require 8 hours.
DR. FRITZ: Mr. President, I would ask the Tribunal to take into consideration that the case of Fritzsche has not yet been presented and that therefore I cannot give exact information; but I estimate approximately 4 hours.
THE PRESIDENT: Now, Dr. Nelte, the Tribunal would like to know first of all whether counsel propose to write down and then read their speeches.
DR. NELTE: As far as I have been informed, all defense counsel will write down their speeches before delivery. Whether they will actually read every word of the text, or whether they will read parts of it and submit other parts, is not yet certain.
THE PRESIDENT: Have they considered whether they will submit them for translation, because, as the Tribunal has already pointed out, it would be much more convenient for the members of the Tribunal who do not read German to have a translation before them. It would not only greatly assist the Tribunal, but the defendants themselves if they do that.
DR. NELTE: This question has not yet been settled. We discussed it, but have so far not come to a final conclusion. We think that the short time now available may perhaps make it impossible to translate the manuscripts into all four languages.
THE PRESIDENT: The defendants' counsel, of course, understand that the speeches, if they are submitted for translation, will not be communicated to anybody until the speech is actually made. So they will not be given beforehand either to the Tribunal or the Prosecution or anything of that sort, so that the speech will remain entirely private until it is made. And the second thing is that, of course, a great number of the speeches will be delayed by the counsel who precede them and, therefore, there will be very considerable time during either the 14 days or some longer period, if such a longer period is given, which will enable the speeches to be translated, and Defense Counsel will appreciate that if their speeches are written down they can tell exactly how long they will take to deliver, or almost exactly.
And there is one other thing I want to bring to their attention. There are 20 or 21 defendants, and naturally, there are a variety of subjects which are common to them a}l; and there ought to be, therefore, an opportunity, as it appears to the Tribunal, for counsel to divide up the subjects to some extent between them and not each one to deal with subjects which have been dealt with already, any more than they ought to have been dealt with in evidence over and over again; and I do not know whether Counsel for Defense have fully considered that in making this estimate of the time they laid before us.
Anyway, the Tribunal hopes that they will address their minds to these three matters: First of all, as to whether they can submit their speeches for translation in order to help the Tribunal; secondly, whether they will be able, when they have got their speeches written down, to assess the time accurately; and thirdly, whether they cannot apportion the subjects to some extent among them so that we shall not have to listen to the same subjects over and over again.
I do not know whether the Prosecution would wish to say anything. The Tribunal has said, I think, in the order which we made with reference to this question of limitation of time, that they anticipated that the Prosecution would take only 3 days. Perhaps it would be convenient to hear from the Prosecution whether that is an accurate estimate.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord, the Prosecution do not ask for any more than the 3 days. It might conceivably be a little less, but we do not ask for any more than the 3 days.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I should like, Your Honor, to call your attention to this. I hope it is not expected that we will mimeograph and run off on our mimeograph machines, 20 days of speeches or anything of that sort. We simply cannot be put under that kind of a burden. I think it isa citizen of the United States is expected to argue his case in the highest court of the land in one hour, and counsel's own clients here have openly scoffed at the amount of time that has been asked. This is not a sensible amount of time to give to this case, and I must protest against being expected to mimeograph 20 days of speeches. It really is not possible.
PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know whether the Prosecution intend to let them have copies of their speeches at the time that they are delivered.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: As far as the closing speech of the Attorney General is concerned, we certainly did expect and hope to give the Tribunal copies of the speech.
THE PRESIDENT: And translations?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, that will be done. My Lord, I just wondered, out of optimismit was Dr. Nelte who said that it would take a long time to translate. I know, as far as translating into English is concerned, we had the problem of a 76 page speech the other day, and that was done by our own translators in one day. So I hope that perhaps Dr. Nelte has been a little pessimistic about that side of the problem.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter.
Now, the Tribunal will go on with the cross-examination.
[The Defendant Speer resumed the stand.]
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think perhaps, Your Honor, the photographs in evidence are left a little unintelligible, if the record does not show the description of them. I shall read it briefly.
"Torture cabinets which were used in the foreign workers' camp in the grounds of Number 4 Armor Shop and those in the dirty neglected Russian Camp were shown to us, and we depose the following on oath:
"Photograph 'A' shows an iron cupboard which was specially manufactured by the firm of Krupp to torture Russian civilian workers to an extent that cannot possibly be described by words. Men and women were often locked into a compartment of the cupboard, in which hardly any man could stand up for long periods. The measurements of this compartment are: Height 1.52 meters; breadth and depth 40 to 50 centimeters each. Frequently even two people were kicked and pressed into one compartment. The Russian..."
I will not read the rest of that.
"Photograph 'B' shows the same cupboard as it looks when it is locked.
"Photograph 'C' shows the cupboard open.
"In Photograph 'D' we see the camp that was selected by the Krupp Directorate to serve as living quarters for the Russian civilian workers. The individual rooms were 2 to 2.5 meters wide, 5 meters long, and 2 meters high. In each room up to 16 persons were accommodated in double tier beds." (Document USA-897)
I think that covers it.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, one moment. I think you ought to read the last three lines of the second paragraph, beginning, "At the top of the cupboard..."
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Oh yes, I am sorry.
"At the top of the cupboard there are a few sievelike air holes through which cold water was poured on the unfortunate victims during the ice-cold winter."
THE PRESIDENT: I think you should read the last three lines of the penultimate paragraph in view of what the defendant said about the evidence.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: "We are enclosing two letters which Camp Commandant Lowenkamp had smuggled out of prison in order to induce the undersigned Hofer to give evidence favorable to him."
And perhaps I should read the last:
"The undersigned, Dahm,"one of the signers"personally saw how three Russian civilian workers were locked into the cupboard, two in one compartment, after they had first been beaten on New Year's Eve 1945. Two of the Russians ha to stay the whole of New Year's Eve locked in the cupboard, and cold water was poured on them as well."
I may say to the Tribunal that we have upwards of a hundred different statements and depositions relating to the investigation of this camp. I am not suggesting offering them, because I think they would be cumulative, and I shall be satisfied with one more, D-313, which would become Exhibit USA-901, which is a statement by a doctor.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Justice Jackson, was this camp that you are referring to a concentration camp?
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, it was, as I understand it, a prisoner-of-war camp and a labor camp. There were labor camps and prisoner-of-war camps at Essen. I had not understood that it was a concentration camp, but I admit the distinction is a little thin at times.
This document reads:
"I, the undersigned, Dr. Apolinary Gotowicki, a physician in the Polish Army, was taken prisoner by the Germans on 1/3/1941 and remained as such until the entry of the Americans. I gave medical attention to the Russian, Polish, and French prisoners of war who were forced to work in various places of Krupp's factories. I personally visited the Russian POW camp in the Raumastrasse in Essen, which contained about 1,800 men. There was a big hall in the camp which could house about 200 men comfortably, in which 300 to 400 men were thrown together in such a catastrophic manner that no medical treatment was possible. The floor was cement and the mattresses on which the people slept were full of lice and bugs. Even on cold days the room was never heated and it seemed to me, as a doctor, unworthy of human beings that people should find themselves in such a position. It was impossible to keep the place clean because of the overcrowding of these men who had hardly room to move about normally Every day at least 10 people were brought to me whose bodies were covered with bruises on account of the continual beatings with rubber tubes, steel switches, or sticks. The people were often writhing with agony and it was impossible for me to give them even a little medical aid. In spite of the fact that I protested, made complaints and petitions, it was impossible for me to protect the people or see that they got a day off from work. It was difficult for me to watch how such suffering people could be dragged to do heavy work. I visited personally, with danger to myself, gentlemen of the Krupp administration, as well as gentlemen from the Krupp Directorate, to try to get help. It was strictly forbidden, as the camp was under the direction of the SS and Gestapo; and according to well-known directives I had to keep silent, otherwise I might have been sent to a concentration camp. I have brought my own bread innumerable times to the camp in order to give it to the prisoners, as far as it was possible, although bread was scarce enough for me. From the beginning in 1941 conditions did not get better, but worse. The food consisted of a watery soup which was dirty and sandy, and often the prisoners of war had to eat cabbage which was bad and stank. I could notice people daily who, on account of hunger or ill-treatment, were slowly dying. Dead people often lay for 2 or 3 days on the beds until their bodies stank so badly that fellow prisoners took them outside and buried them somewhere. The dishes out of which they ate were also used as toilets because they were too tired or too weak from hunger to get up and go outside. At 3 o'clock they were wakened. The same dishes were then used to wash in and later for eating out of. This matter was generally known. In spite of this it was impossible for me to get even elementary help or facilities in order to get rid of these epidemics, illnesses, or cases of starvation. There can be no mention of medical aid for the prisoners. I never received any medical supplies myself. In 1941 I alone had to look after these people from a medical point of view; but it is quite understandable that it was impossible for me as the only one to look after all of these people, and apart from that, I had scarcely any medical supplies. I could not think what to do with a number of 1,800 people who came to me daily crying and complaining. I myself often collapsed daily, and in spite of this I had to take everything upon myself and watch how people perished and died. A report was never made as to how the prisoners of war died.
"I have seen with my own eyes the prisoners coming back from Krupp's and how they collapsed on the march and had to be wheeled back on barrows or carried by their comrades. It was in such a manner that the people came back to the camp. The work which they had to perform was very heavy and dangerous and many cases happened where people had cut their fingers, hands or legs. These accidents were very serious and the people came to me and asked me for medical help. But it was not even possible for me to keep them from work for a day or two, although I had been to the Krupp Directorate and asked for permission to do so. At the end of 1941, two people died daily, and in 1942 the deaths increased to three and four per day.
"I was under Dr. May and I was often successful in getting him to come to the camp to see the terrible conditions and listen to the complaints, but it was not possible for him to get medical aid from the Medical Department of the Armed Forces or Krupp's, or to get better conditions, treatment, or food. I was a witness during a conversation with some Russian women who told me personally that they were employed in Krupp's factory and that they were beaten daily in the most bestial manner. The food consisted of watery soup which was dirty and inedible and its terrible smell could be perceived from a distance. The clothing was ragged and torn and on their feet they had rags and wooden shoes. Their treatment, as far as I could make out, was the same as that of the prisoners of war. Beating was the order of the day. The conditions lasted for years, from the very beginning until the day the American troops entered. The people lived in great anxiety and it was dangerous for them to describe to anyone anywhere the conditions which reigned in their camps. The directions were such that they could have been murdered by any one of the guards, the SS, or Gestapo if they noticed it. It was possible for me as a doctor to talk to these people; they trusted me and knew that I was a Pole and would never betray them to anyone.
"Signed: Dr. Apolinary Gotowicki."
[Turning to the defendant.] Now you have explained that some of these conditions were due, in your judgment, to the fact that bombing took place and the billets of the prisoners and workers were destroyed.
SPEER: That is true, but I should like to point out that the conditions described in this affidavit cannot be considered as general; apart from that, I do not believe that this description is correct, but I cannot speak about these things since you will not expect me to be intimately acquainted with what happened in the camps of the firm of Krupp.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, in the first place, was it considered proper by you to billet forced workers and prisoners of war so close to military targets as these prisoners were?
SPEER: I would rather not tell you here things which every German has at heart. No military targets were attacked, and the camps, therefore, could not be near military targets.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: You would not consider the Krupp plants proper targets?
SPEER: The camps were not in the Krupp works, they were near the city of Essen. On principle, we did not construct camps near the works which we expected would be bombed; and we did not want the camps to be destroyed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Did you notice that one of the photographs in evidence shows the camp directly against the works?
SPEER: May I see it again, please?
[A photograph was shown to the defendant.]
Some large factory is recognizable in the background of this photograph, but that does not affect my statement that in almost all cases we constructed the camps outside the cities. I do not know why this particular instance is different, and I cannot even say whether this is a camp or just a hut for changing clothes, or anything which had to be near the camp. I still believe that these cabinets were cabinets for clothes, and this is one of the many huts which were necessary so that the workers could change clothes before and after their work. Any expert in Germany can tell you that these are wardrobes and not some special cabinets, because they are mass-produced articles; this is also confirmed by the fact that there are air vents at the top, for every wardrobe has these ventilation holes at the top and.bottom.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: As production Minister, you were vitally interested in reducing the sickness rate among workers, were you not?
SPEER: I was interested in a high output of work, that is obvious, and in addition, in special cases. . .
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, special casespart of production is in all cases, is it not, dependent upon the sickness rate of our labor force, and is it not a factas a man engaged in production you will know thisthat the two greatest difficulties in manpower and production are sickness and rapid turnover, and that those factors reduce production?
SPEER: These two factors were disturbing for us, but not as extensively as your words might suggest. Cases of sickness made up a very small percentage which in my opinion was normal. However, propaganda pamphlets dropped from aircraft were telling the workers to feign illness, and detailed instructions were given to them on how to do it. And to prevent that, the authorities concerned introduced certain measures, which I considered proper.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: What were those measures?
SPEER: I cannot tell you in detail, because I myself did not ,- institute these penalties, nor did I have the power to do so; but as far as I know, they were ordered by the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor in collaboration with the Police or State authorities; but the jurisdiction in this connection was with the -authorities responsible for legal action.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Now, if you did not know what they were, how can you tell us that you approved of them? We always get to this blank wall that nobody knew what was being done. You knew that they were at least penalties of great severity, did you not?
SPEER: When I say that I approved I am only expressing my wish not to dodge my responsibility in this respect. But you must understand that a minister of production, particularly in view of the air attacks, had a tremendous task before him and that I could only take care of matters outside my own field if some particularly important factor forced me to do so. Otherwise, I was glad if I could finish my own work and, after all, my task was by no means -a small one.
I think that if during the German air attacks on England you had asked the British Minister of Production whether he shared the worries of the Minister of Labor and whether he was dealing with them, then he would with justification have told you that he had something else to do at that time, that he had to keep up his production and that he expected the Minister of Labor to manage affairs in his sector; and no one would have raised a direct accusation against the British Minister of Production on that account.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, production was your enterprise, and do you mean to tell me that you did not have any records or reports on the condition of the manpower which was engaged in production, which would tell you if there was anything wrong in the sick rate or anything wrong in the general conditions of the labor?
SPEER: What I knew is contained in the reports of the Central Planning Board; there you will get a picture of what I was told. Although there were many other meetings I cannot tell you in detail what I knew, because these were things outside my sphere of activity. Naturally, it is a matter of course that anyone closely concerned with the affairs of State will also hear of matters not immediately connected with his own sphere, and of unsatisfactory conditions existing in other sectors; but one is not obliged to deal with these conditions and later on one will not remember them in detail. You cannot expect that of me. But if you have any particular passage, I shall be glad to give you information on it.
MR.JUSTICE JACKSON: All right; assume that these conditions had been called to your attention and that they existed. With whom would you have taken it up to have them corrected? What officer of the Government?
SPEER: Normally, a minister would send a document to the Government authorities responsible for such conditions. I must claim for myself that when I heard of such deficiencies I tried to remedy them by establishing direct contact with the authority responsible, in some cases the German Labor Front, where I had a liaison officer, or in other cases my letter was transmitted to Sauckel through my office of manpower deployment. My practice in this respect was that if I ,did not receive a return report I considered the matter settled; for I could not then again pursue those things and make further inquiries whether they had been dealt with or not.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: With Krupp's, then, you would not have taken it up? You think they had no responsibility for these conditions?
SPEER: During visits to Krupp's discussions certainly took place on the conditions which generally existed for workers after air attacks; this was a source of great worry for us, particularly with regard to Krupp. I knew this well, but the reports from Krupp were not different fromI cannot remember ever being told that foreign workers or prisoners of war were in a particularly bad position. Temporarily they all lived under very primitive conditions; German workers lived in cellars during those days, and six or eight people were often quartered in a small basement room.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your statement some time ago that you had a certain responsibility as a Minister of the Government for the conditionsI should like to have you explain what responsibility you referred to when you say you assume a responsibility as a member of the Government.
SPEER: Do you mean the declaration I made yesterday that I . . .
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Your common responsibility, what do you mean by your common responsibility along with others?
SPEER: Oh, yes. In my opinion, a state functionary has two types of responsibility. One is the responsibility for his own sector and for that, of course, he is fully responsible. But above that I think that in decisive matters there is, and must be, among the leaders a common responsibility, for who is to bear responsibility for developments, if not the close associates of the head of State?
This common responsibility, however, can only be applied to fundamental matters, it cannot be applied to details connected with other ministries or other responsible departments, for otherwise the entire discipline in the life of the State would be quite confused, and no one would ever know who is individually responsible in a particular sphere. This individual responsibility in one's own sphere must, at all events, be kept clear and distinct.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: Well, your point is, I take it, that you as a member of the Government and a leader in this period of time acknowledge a responsibility for its large policies, but not for all the details that occurred in their execution. Is that a fair statement of your position?
SPEER: Yes, indeed.
MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I think that concludes the crossexamination.