November 8, 1943:
Hitler speaks in Munich:
One day when this war is over, our greatest victories will be attributed to our faith and our persistence rather than to our unique energy and thus to individual actions...
December 24, 1943:
FDR delivers a Fireside Chat
October 22, 1944
During the last two days in (at) Teheran, Marshal Stalin, Mr. Churchill and I looked ahead—ahead to the days and months and years that (which) will follow Germany's defeat. We were united in determination that Germany must be stripped of her military might and be given no opportunity within the foreseeable future to regain that might. The United Nations have no intention to enslave the German people. We wish them to have a normal chance to develop, in peace, as useful and respectable members of the European family. But we most certainly emphasize that word "respectable," for we intend to rid them once and for all of Nazism and Prussian militarism and the fantastic and disastrous notion that they constitute the Master Race...
Churchill to FDR:
Major War Criminals. UJ (Churchill and FDR refer to Josef Stalin as Uncle Joe, or UJ, in their correspondence) took an unexpectedly ultra-respectable line. There must be no executions without trial otherwise the world would say we were afraid to try them. I pointed out the difficulties in international law but he replied if there were no trials there must be no death sentences, but only life-long confinements...
October 22, 1944
FDR to Churchill:
Your statement of the present attitude of Uncle J. towards war criminals, the future of Germany, and the Montreux Convention is most interesting. We should discuss these matters, together with our Pacific war effort, at the forthcoming three-party meeting...
April 13, 1945:
Former US Attorney General and now Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Justice Robert Jackson, speaks before the American Society of International Law:
April 30, 1945
It is important that we do not allow the assumptions that lie at the foundation of any worthwhile international judiciary to become obscured in issues or pressures about details such as the number, method of selection, nationality, or tenure of judges. These are not unimportant matters, but they are subsidiary...
: An announcement on the German wireless:
"It has been reported from the Fuehrer's headquarters that our Fuehrer Adolf Hitler has died this afternoon..."
May 2, 1945
: Executive Order of US President Truman:
May 7-8, 1945
Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson is hereby designated to act as the Representative of the United States and as its Chief of Counsel in preparing and prosecuting charges of atrocities and war crimes against such of the leaders of the European Axis powers and their principal agents and accessories as the United States may agree with any of the United Nations to bring to trial before an international tribunal...
VE Day: The Allies formally accept the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.
June 7, 1945:
Justice Jackson sends off a progress report to President Truman:
June 21, 1945:
The most elementary considerations for insuring a fair trial and for the success of our case suggest the imprudence of permitting these prisoners to be interviewed indiscriminately or to use the facilities of the press to convey information to each other and to criminals yet uncaptured. Our choice is between treating them as honorable prisoners of war with the privileges of their ranks, or to classify them as war criminals in which case they should be treated as such...
During a joint US-UK conference, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe presents a list of ten defendants for consideration. Chosen mainly because their names are well known to the public, they are assumed to be criminals, little effort has yet to be made to determine the actual evidence that will be available against them. The initial ten: Goering, Hess (though the British warned that he was possibly insane), Ribbentrop, Ley (see October 25, 1945, below), Keitel, Streicher, Kaltenbrunner, Rosenberg, Frank and Frick. (Taylor)
June 25, 1945:
Since his resignation, Raeder has been living in retirement with his wife, Erika, at Babelsberg near Berlin; unfortunately now located in the Soviet zone. Colonel Pimenov and six Soviet officers arrest Raeder and his wife and transport them to Lichtenberg Prison this day. They will soon be transported to a log hut twelve miles from Moscow. (Heydecker)
June 26, 1945:
International Conference on Military Trials: From the minutes of this days Conference Session:
July 17, 1945
: It is, of course, impossible to foresee all the details that should be included in a statute of this kind and I agree that the court which is to be set up must have the power to elaborate detailed instructions that will be necessary; but we are afraid the actual wording of this paragraph number 8, as it is, rather implies that if we do not here and now define basic principles for government of the International Tribunal, it will be left then to the Tribunal itself when set up to do that work, and it would delay the work of the prosecutors.
: May I say that it is our view, too. We would like to draft some rules by agreement although we quite understand that the Tribunal will have the power to modify or extend those rules, but we share the Russian fear that this paragraph as it is might lead to duplication and delay.
: This is a change we can discuss in a memorandum, but we could leave the text as it stands now in the statute and arrange that when necessary. The Tribunal may later elaborate or extend.
: I assume you mean that a memorandum will be prepared by the Soviet which will indicate the type of rules which you think should be incorporated. We do not object to adding any rules we feel should be incorporated as as we go along...
: International Conference on Military Trials: From the minutes of this days Four Power conference session:
July 19, 1945
: It would not be necessary to write down in the charter anything about the rights of the defendant not giving answer, because, if he refuses to give answer to the prosecution and to the counsel and to the Tribunal, nothing is to be done, and therefore we do not think it would be necessary to point it out in the charter. But as regards the rights of the prosecutor to interrogate, that is very important. If we do write anything about the defendant's right not to answer, then it would look as if we were preparing the ground for him to do so, and, if he knows about it, he will take advantage of it and refuse to answer. Therefore it is not necessary to mention it...
: International Conference on Military Trials: From the minutes of today's Conference Session:
July 25, 1945
: We do not consider as a criminal violation the launching of a war of aggression. If we declare war a criminal act of individuals, we are going farther than the actual law. We think that in the next years any state which will launch a war of aggression will bear criminal responsibility morally and politically; but on the basis of international law as it stands today, we do not believe these conclusions are right. Where a state would launch a war of aggression and not conduct that war according to rules of international law, it would be desirable to punish them as criminals, but it would not be criminal for only launching a war of aggression. We do not want criticism in later years of punishing something that was not actually criminal, such as launching a war of aggression. The judges would be in a very difficult position if we insist...
: International Conference on Military Trials: During this days Four Power conference session:
...I think that every one of the top prisoners that we have is guilty...
July 31, 1945
: From the letters of Thomas Dodd, Executive Trial Counsel for the Prosecution at Nuremberg:
Much gossip is abroad about friction between the US, Great Britain, France and Russia over these trials. The truth is there is no trouble between US, Britain and France—but the Russians are just holding up the whole proceeding. They are impossible, in my opinion. I do not know the details but I do know they are not cooperative on this problem so far. I believe they want to put on another Russian farce for a trial. If that happens, I go home, and promptly! The English appointed their chief counsel 21 days after the US appointed Jackson (who was the first to be appointed). The French followed soon after. Thus far no one has been appointed for Russia. Our people meet with certain Russian representatives but nothing happens. When representatives of the United Nations went to Nuremberg to look it over as a possible site for the trial only the Russians failed to make the trip...
August 1, 1945
At the Twelfth Plenary Session, the subject of trying Nazi war criminals is raised:
Truman: You are aware that we have appointed Justice Jackson as our representative on the London Commission. He is an outstanding judge and a very experienced jurist. He has a good knowledge of legal procedure. Jackson is opposed to any names of war criminals being mentioned and says that this will hamper their work. He assures us that the trial will be ready within thirty days and that there should be no doubt concerning our view of these men.
August 2, 1945:
Stalin: Perhaps we could name fewer persons, say three.
Bevin: Our jurists take the same view as the Americans.
Stalin: And ours take the opposite view. But perhaps we shall agree that the first list of war criminals to be brought to trial should be published not later than in one month...
International Conference on Military Trials: During this days Four Power conference session:
August 8, 1945:
: There is one question. What is meant in the English by "cross-examination"?
: In an English or American trial, after a witness has given testimony for the prosecution he can be questioned by the defense in order that the defense may test his evidence verify his evidence, to see whether it is really worthy of credit. In our trials the defendant or his counsel is always entitled to put questions in cross-examination. And I think the same situation prevails in the courts of France.
: Yes, the same.
: According to Continental procedure, that is very widely used too. The final form would be then, "The Defendant shall have the right to conduct his own defense before the Tribunal, to cross-examine any witness called by the prosecution...
The London Agreement
August 12, 1945:
Justice Jackson releases a statement to the American press:
August 25, 1945:
Experience has taught that we can hardly expect them to try each other. The scale of their attack leaves no neutrals in the world. We must summon all that we have of dispassionate judgment to the task of patiently and fairly presenting the record of these evil deeds in these trials. We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. And we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into a trial of the causes of the war, for our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned...
Representatives of the Big Four (Jackson, Fyfe, Gros, and Nikitchenko), agree on a list of 22 defendants (from the original list of 122), 21 of which are in custody. The 22nd, Martin Bormann, is presumed to be in Soviet custody, but Nikitchenko cannot confirm it. The list is scheduled to be released to the press on October 28. (Conot)
August 28, 1945:
Just in time to stop the release of the names of the 22, Nikitchenko informs the other three Allied representatives that, unfortunately, Bormann is not in Soviet custody. However, he announces that the valiant Red Army has captured two vile Nazis, Erich Raeder, and Hans Fritzsche, and offers them up for trial. Though neither man was on anyone's list of possible defendants, it emerges that their inclusion has become a matter of Soviet pride; Raeder and Fritzsche being the only two ranking Nazis unlucky enough to have been caught in the grasp of the advancing Russian bear. (Conot)
August 29, 1945:
The final list of defendants is released to the press. Bormann, though not in custody, is still listed; Raeder and Fritzsche are now included, though there is no longer a Krupp represented. (Conot)
August 29, 1945:
The Manchester Guardian
reacts to the release of the list of defendants:
Grave precedents are being set. For the first time the leaders of a state are being tried for starting a war and breaking treaties. We may expect after this that at the end of any future war the victors--whether they have justice on their side or not, as this time we firmly believe we have--will try the vanquished.
August 30, 1945:
The Glasgow Herald
reacts to the release of the list of defendants:
Scanning this list, one cannot but be struck by the completeness of the Nazi catastrophe. Of all these men, who but a year ago enjoyed wide influence or supreme power, not one could find a refuge in a continent united in hate against them.
September 1, 1945:
From a statement granted Raeder's defense by US General Marshall:
In order to establish for the historical record where and how Germany and Japan failed I asked General Eisenhower to have his Intelligence officers promptly interrogate the ranking members of the German High Command who are now our prisoners of war. The results of these interviews are of remarkable interest. They give a picture of dissension among the enemy nations and lack of long-range planning that may well have been decisive factors of this world struggle at its most critical moments. ....
September 17, 1945:
No evidence has yet been found that the German High Command had any over-all strategic plan. Although the High Command approved Hitler's policies in principle, his impetuous strategy outran German military capabilities and ultimately led to Germany's defeat. The history of the German High Command from 1938 on is one of constant conflict of personalities in which military judgment was increasingly subordinated to Hitler's personal dictates. The first clash occurred in 1938 and resulted in the removal of Blomberg, Von Fritsch, and Beck and of the last effective conservative influence on German foreign policy.
The campaigns in Poland, Norway, France, and the Low Countries developed serious diversions between Hitler and the General Staff as to the details of execution of strategic plans. In each case the General Staff favored the orthodox offensive, Hitler an unorthodox attack with objectives deep in enemy territory. In each case Hitler's views prevailed and the astounding success of each succeeding campaign raised Hitler's military prestige to the point where his opinions were no longer challenged. His military self-confidence became unassailable after the victory in France, and he began to disparage substantially the ideas of his generals, even in the presence of junior officers. Thus no General Staff objection was expressed when Hitler made the fatal decision to invade Soviet Russia. ....
Nor is there evidence of close strategic co-ordination between Germany and Japan. The German General Staff recognized that Japan was bound by the neutrality pact with Russia but hoped that the Japanese would tie down strong British and American land, sea, and air forces in the Far East.
In the absence of any evidence so far to the contrary, it is believed that Japan also acted unilaterally and not in accordance with a unified strategic plan.
From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
Yesterday, Jackson told the press that the US would be ready to start the trial on November 1. By the way, the Russian representative (Nikitchenko) had been suddenly withdrawn. No explanations—mere notice that he will no longer represent Russia in this matter. After weeks of negotiating, weeks of work with him as chief counsel for Russia, he simply goes home and does not come back. These Russians are impossible. What effect this will have on the trial or the trial; date no one knows, but you can imagine the confusion that may arise out of it.
October 5, 1945:
Andrus loses his first German prisoner to suicide; Dr Leonard Conti, Hitler's 'Head of National Hygiene.'
October 6, 1945:
Letter of reservation from Justice Robert Jackson to M. Francois de Menthon, Sir Hartley Shawcross, and General R. A. Rudenko:
Dear Sirs, In the Indictment of German War Criminals signed today, reference is made to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and certain other territories as being within the area of the USSR. This language is proposed by Russia and is accepted to avoid the delay which would be occasioned by insistence on an alteration in the text. The Indictment is signed subject to this reservation and understanding: I have no authority either to admit or to challenge on behalf of the United States of America, Soviet claims to sovereignty over such territories. Nothing, therefore, in this Indictment is to be construed as a recognition by the United States of such sovereignty or as indicating any attitude, either on the part of the United States or on the part of the undersigned, toward any claim to recognition of such sovereignty. Respectfully submitted, Robert H. Jackson, Chief of Counsel for the United States.
October 18, 1945:
Raeder and Fritzsche, the two defendants in Russian captivity, are presented with a copy of the indictment by a Soviet officer in Berlin. (Taylor)
October 19, 1945:
Airey Neave presents the remaining defendants in turn with a copy of the indictment. Gilbert, the Nuremberg psychologist, asks the accused to write a few words on the documents margin indicating their attitude toward the development. Though Raeder is not yet in Nuremberg, Gilbert will ask him when he arrives. Raeder will refuse; the only defendant to do so. (Heydecker, Conot)
October 20, 1945:
Kapitanleutnant Heinz-Wilhelm Eck is sentenced to death (his U-852
had sunk the Peleus
and then machine-gunned the survivors); he will be executed on 30 November.
October 30, 1945:
The Soviets deliver Raeder and fellow defendant Fritzsche to Nuremberg.
Prior to the trial, the defendants are given an IQ test. Administered by Dr. Gilbert, the Nuremberg Prison psychologist, and Dr. Kelly, the psychiatrist, the test includes ink blots and the Wechsler-Bellevue test. Raeder scores 134. Note: After the testing, Gilbert comes to the conclusion that all the defendants are 'intelligent enough to have known better.' Andrus is not impressed by the results: 'From what I've seen of them as intellects and characters I wouldn't let one of these supermen be a buck sergeant in my outfit.' (Tusa)
November 19, 1945:
After a last inspection by Andrus, the defendants are escorted, handcuffed, into the empty courtroom and given their assigned seats. Note: Raeder requests that he be supplied with a red tie for court; Andrus graciously complies. (Tusa)
November 19, 1945:
The day before the opening of the trial, a motion is filed on behalf of all defense counsel:
November 20, 1945
... it is demanded that not only should the guilty State be condemned and its liability be established, but that furthermore those men who are responsible for unleashing the unjust war be tried and sentenced by an International Tribunal. In that respect one goes nowadays further than even the strictest jurists since the early middle ages. This thought is at the basis of the first three counts of the Indictment which have been put forward in this Trial, to wit, the Indictment for Crimes against Peace. Humanity insists that this idea should in the future be more than a demand, that it should be valid international law. However, today it is not as yet valid international law...
On day 1 of the historic trial, the prosecutors take turns reading the indictment in court. Unfortunately, no one had given any thought to the prisoners' lunch break, so, for the first and only time during 218 days of court, the defendants eat their midday meal in the courtroom itself. This is the first opportunity for the entire group to mingle, and though some know each other quite well, there are many who've never met. The defendants do not speak much about the charges, but a few mention the improved quality of the food.
November 21, 1945
Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 2, the defendants enter their pleas: "The President: I will now call upon the defendants to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges against them. They will proceed in turn to a point in the dock opposite to the microphone... Raeder: I declare myself not guilty."
November 21, 1945
Immediately following the pleas of the defendants, Justice Jackson delivers his opening statement:
November 23, 1945:
Jackson: ...Not the least incriminating are the minutes of Hitler's meeting with his high advisers. As early as November 5, 1937 Hitler told Defendants Goering, Raeder, and Neurath, among others, that German rearmament was practically accomplished and that he had decided to secure by force, starting with a lightning attack on Czechoslovakia and Austria, greater living space for Germans in Europe, no later than 1943-45 and perhaps as early as 1938. On the 23rd of May, 1939 the Fuehrer advised his staff that: "It is a question of expanding our living space in the East and of securing our food supplies .... Over and above the natural fertility, thorough-going German exploitation will enormously increase the surplus. There is therefore no question of sparing Poland, and we are left. with the decision: To attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity. We cannot expect a repetition of the Czech affair. There will be war...
From the diary of Dr. Victor von der Lippe, Siemers' assistant in Raeder's defense:
Among the American prosecutors General Donovan...played a special role. A lawyer by profession, during the war he was head of the American intelligence system. The relations between Donovan and the Chief Prosecutor Jackson were very tense. From an apparently well informed source it was heard that Donovan had a very different plan for the trial than Jackson and his men. He had the intention of making Goering, the second man in the Third Reich, a privileged witness for the prosecution, and giving him opportunity...to save his head. Goering, in discussion with Donovan, accepted this plan. The plan collapsed because of Jackson's opposition...Also as regards the handling of...the greater part of the military, Donovan had his own opinions.
November 26, 1945:
From the letter by Chief Prosecutor Justice Jackson to General Donovan, virtually excluding him from participating further in the trial:
In short, I do not think we can afford to negotiate with any of these defendants or their counsel for testimony...To use one of them ourselves will create the impression that there was some kind of a bargain about his testimony, opening the door for that defendant to plead for leniency on the ground he was 'helpful' and may give a background for claims that promises were made to that effect. My view is, therefore, that we should prove our case against these defendants with no use of them as witnesses...Frankly, Bill, your views and mine appear to be so far apart that I do not consider it possible to assign to you examination or cross-examination of witnesses. Therefore, I did not respond to your request for access to Goering. I repeat that time may prove you right and me wrong. I do not claim any great wisdom in so novel and complex matter. I only have responsibility. (Taylor)
November 27, 1945:
From General Donovan's reply to Justice Jackson:
It is true that I have frequently told you squarely and honestly that (1) the case needed centralized administrative control. (2) that there was a lack of intellectual direction. (3) that it was not handled as an entity. (4) that because it was a lawsuit plus something else it needed an affirmative human aspect with German as well as foreign witnesses. I never knew there was ever disagreement on these points. As I told you several weeks ago I am leaving within a few days. Time will not be concerned with our opinions - right or wrong. (Taylor)
November 29, 1945
The prosecution presents as evidence a film shot by US troops as they were liberating various German concentration camps.
December 11, 1945
On the trial's 17th day, prosecution presents as evidence a four-hour movie, 'The Nazi Plan,' compiled from various Nazi propaganda films and newsreels.
December 14, 1945
The tendency of some of the defendants to denounce, or at least criticize Hitler on the stand, leads to an outburst by Goering during lunch: "You men knew the Fuehrer. He would have been the first one to stand up and say 'I have given the orders and I take full responsibility.' But I would rather die ten deaths than to have the German sovereign subjected to this humiliation." Keitel fell silent, but Frank was not crushed: "Other sovereigns have stood before courts of law. He got us into this..." Doenitz, Funk, Keitel and Schirach suddenly get up and leave Goering's table." (Tusa)
December 20, 1945
After this day's session, the trial adjourns for a Holiday break until Wednesday, the 2nd of January.
December 23, 1945
Many of the defendants, most of whom are Protestant, attend Christmas Eve services conducted by Pastor Gerecke.
January 4, 1946
Day 27; Beginning of US Colonel Telford Taylor's Presentation of the Case Against the General Staff and the High Command:
January 15, 1946
: ...Now, that is not true of the group with which we are now concerned. I need not remind the Tribunal that German armed might and the German military tradition antedate Hitlerism by many decades. One need not be a graybeard to have very vivid personal recollections of the war of 1914 to 1918, of the Kaiser, and of the "scrap of paper." For these reasons I want to sketch very briefly, before going into the evidence, the nature of our case against this group, which is unique in the particulars I have mentioned. As a result of the German defeat in 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles, the size and permissible scope of activities of the German Armed Forces were severely restricted. That these restrictions did not destroy or even seriously undermine German militarism, the last few years have made abundantly apparent. The full flowering of German military strength came about through collaboration; collaboration between the Nazis on the one hand and the career leaders of the German Armed Forces-the professional soldiers, sailors, and airmen...
On day 34, the prosecution calls Korvettenkapitan Karl Heinz Moehle to the stand:
January 15, 1946
: When you were a U-boat commander yourself, what was the order with regard to rescue?
: At the beginning of the war we had been told that the safety of one's own boat was the decisive thing, and that the boat should not be endangered by rescue measures. Whether these orders already existed in writing at the outbreak of the war I do not remember.
: When you got this order of the 17th of September 1942, did you take it merely as prohibiting rescue or as going further?
: When I received that order I noticed that it was not entirely clear, as orders of the BdU normally were. One could see an ambiguity in it.
: You have not answered my question. Did you take the order to mean that a U-boat commander should merely abstain from rescue measures, or as something further?
: I took the order to mean that something further was implied, only it was not actually ordered but was considered desirable...
On day 34, the prosecution presents its case against Raeder:
February 11, 1946
I am not proposing to take the Tribunal's time with reiterating the steps by which the German Navy was progressively drawn into the closest alliance with the Nazi Party. I would remind the Court of facts of history, like the incorporation of the swastika into the ensign under which the German Fleet sailed and the wearing of the swastika on the uniform of naval officers and men, which are facts which speak for themselves. The Nazis for their part, were not ungrateful for Raeder's obeisance and collaboration. His services in rebuilding the German Navy were widely recognized by Nazi propagandists and by the Nazi press...
On day 56, the Russians present a surprise witness, Field Marshal von Paulus, who had surrendered at Stalingrad.
February 11, 1946
: And one last question: Whom do you consider as guilty of the criminal initiation of the war against Soviet Russia?
: May I please have the question repeated?
: I repeat the question...
: The Tribunal is about to address an observation to General Rudenko. The Tribunal thinks that a question such as you have just put, as to who was guilty for the aggression upon Soviet territory, is one of the main questions which the Tribunal has to decide, and therefore is not a question upon which the witness ought to give his opinion. Is that what Counsel for the Defense wish to object to?
: Yes, Mr. President, that is what I want to do.
: Then perhaps the Tribunal will permit me to put this question rather differently.
: Who of the defendants was an active participant in the initiation of a war of aggression against the Soviet Union?
: Of the defendants, as far as I observed them, the top military advisers to Hitler. They are the Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, Keitel; Chief of the Operations Branch, Jodl; and Goering, in his capacity as Reich Marshal, as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Forces and as Plenipotentiary for Armament Economy.
: In concluding the interrogation I shall make a summary. Have I rightly concluded from your testimony, that long before 22 June the Hitlerite Government and the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces were planning an aggressive war against the Soviet Union for the purpose of colonizing the territory of the Soviet Union?
: That is beyond doubt...
From Nuremberg Diary
by Gustave Gilbert:
During the afternoon intermission, the military section blew up in an uproar, and they argued with heated invective with their attorneys and each other. ' Ask that dirty pig if he's a traitor! Ask him if he has taken out Russian citizenship papers!' Goering shot at his attorney. Raeder saw me watching and shouted at Goering, 'Careful! The enemy is listening!' Goering kept right on shouting to his attorney, and there was real bedlam around the prisoners dock. 'We've got to disgrace that traitor,' he roared. Keitel was still arguing with his attorney, and Raeder passed him a note with the same warning. At the other end of the dock, the attitude was more sympathetic to von [sic] Paulus. 'You see,' said Fritzsche, 'that is the tragedy of the German people. He was caught between the devil and the deep blue sea."
February 12, 1946
From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
[Yesterday] The Russians continued to present their case and late in the day they rather dramatically presented the German Field Marshal von Paulus, whom they captured at Stalingrad. He denounced Hitler, the Nazis, and the defendants. However, his story struck me as being just a bit too well rehearsed. The German defense lawyers cross-examined von Paulus and did quite a good job of it...
February 12, 1946
On day 57, prosecution witness von Paulus is cross-examined by various defense counsel:
February 15, 1946
: If I judge correctly, then I believe that I am supposed to be here as a witness for the events with which the defendants are charged. I ask the Tribunal, therefore, to relieve me of the responsibility of answering these questions which are directed against myself.
: Field Marshal Paulus, you do not seem to know that you also belong to the circle of the defendants, because you belonged to the organization of the High Command which is indicted here as criminal.
: And, therefore, since I believe that I am here as witness for the events which have led to the indictment of these defendants here, I have asked to be relieved of answering this question which concerns myself.
: I ask the Tribunal to decide. The President: The Tribunal considers that you must answer the questions...
Colonel Andrus tightens the rules for the defendants by imposing strict solitary confinement. This is part of a strategy designed to minimize Goering's influence among the defendants. (Tusa)
February 22, 1946
In a further move to minimize his influence, Goering is now required to eat alone during the courts daily lunch break. The other defendants are split up into groups, with Raeder sharing a table with Streicher, Hess, and Ribbentrop. Andrus and Gilbert reason that these four will 'find little to say to each other.' (Tusa)
March 5, 1946
Winston Churchill (now a private citizen) introduces the phrase Iron Curtain into the English language during his famous Cold War speech at Fulton, Missouri. Speer recorded his fellow defendants' reactions:
(The defendants showed) tremendous excitement. Hess suddenly stopped playing the amnesiac and reminded us how often he had predicted a great turning point that would put an end to the trial, rehabilitate all of us, and restore us to our ranks and dignities. Goering, too, was beside himself; he repeatedly slapped his thighs with his palms and boomed: 'History will not be deceived. The Fuehrer and I always prophesied it. This coalition had to break up sooner or later.'" (Speer II)
April 18, 1946
On day 111, Hans Frank delivers his controversial testimony. From The Nuremberg Trial
by Ann and John Tusa:
Frank...was delighted with his testimony, proud that he had stood out from the other defendants who always claimed ignorance of what was going on. ' I DID know what was going on. I think that the judges are really impressed when one of us speaks from the heart and doesn't try to dodge the responsibility'...Schacht himself was prepared to go further. He wanted to make accusations against fellow defendants - Goering, Ribbentrop, Keitel and Raeder were his chosen targets. 'My people must be shown,' he declared 'how the Nazi leaders plunged them into an unnecessary war.' So by mid-April the defendants were clearly divided.
May 13, 1946
On day 128, Admiral Gerhard Wagner of the Reich Naval Operations Staff is cross-examined:
May 14, 1946
(Junior Counsel for the United Kingdom): Are you suggesting that you were entitled to sink at sight neutral shipping anywhere in that zone, as from 24 November?
: I am of the opinion that we were justified from that period of time onwards in having no special consideration for neutral shipping. If we had made exceptions in our orders to our U-boats, it would have meant in every case that they could not have sunk enemy ships without warning.
: It is not a question of any special consideration. Do you say that you became entitled to sink at sight any neutral ship, or sink it deliberately, whether you recognized it as neutral or not?
: (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): Surely you can answer that question yes or no?
: Yes, I am of that opinion.
: Will you tell me how that squares with the submarine rules?
: I do not feel competent to give a legal explanation of these questions because that is a matter of international law...
On day 129, defense witness Admiral Wagner is cross-examined by the prosecution:
May 14, 1946
: It is a very simple question to answer generally and it takes less time. Do you say that men captured in uniform should be taken out and shot without trial?
: I cannot consider men of whom I know that they have orders to commit crimes, as soldiers, within international law.
: Are you saying that this action was perfectly proper—are you?
: Yes, entirely and perfectly.
: Shoot helpless prisoners without trial, bully little neutrals who cannot complain? That is your policy, is it?
: Not at all.
: What crime did Robert Paul Evans commit, who attacked the Tirpitz in a two-man torpedo?
: I am convinced it was proved that he belonged to a sabotage unit, and that besides the purely naval character of the attack on the ship, there were other aspects which marked him as a saboteur.
: And you said just now that you did not remember the incident?
: Will you agree on this, will you agree with me, that if this shooting by the SD was murder, you and Admiral Doenitz and Admiral Raeder, who signed the orders under which this was done, are just as guilty as the men who shot them?
: The person who issued the order is responsible for it.
: And that person who passed it and approved it; is not that right?
: I assume full responsibility for the transmission of this order...
Doenitz's defense witness Fregattenkapitaen Gunther Hessler (Doenitz's son-in-law) testifies:
May 15, 1946
: The experienced U-boat commander was justifiably suspicious of every merchantman and its crew, no matter how innocent they might appear. In two cases this attitude of suspicion saved me from destruction. This happened in the case of the steamer Kalchas
, a British 10,000 ton ship which I torpedoed north of Cape Verde. The ship had stopped after being hit by the torpedo. The crew had left the ship and were in the lifeboats, and the vessel seemed to be sinking.
I was wondering whether to surface in order at least to give the crew their position and ask if they needed water. A feeling which I could not explain kept me from doing so, I raised my periscope to the fullest extent and just as the periscope rose almost entirely out of the water, sailors who had been hiding under the guns and behind the bulwark, jumped up, manned the guns of the vessel--which so far had appeared to be entirely abandoned--and opened fire on my periscope at very close range, compelling me to submerge at full speed. The shells fell close...
On day 130, Raeder testifies on his own behalf: Raeder:
May 15, 1946
(Counsel for Defendant Raeder): ...It is established that during the time of the Versailles Treaty, Germany did not take advantage of the provisions of the Treaty, particularly in regard to offensive weapons. On the other hand, on the basis of the documents submitted by the Prosecution, it has been established and it is also historically known, that the Navy in building itself lip committed breaches of the Versailles Treaty in other directions. I should like to discuss with you the individual breaches which were presented with great precision by the Prosecution. But first I should like to discuss the general accusation, which I have already mentioned, that these breaches were committed behind the back of the Reichstag and the Government. Is this accusation justified
: Not at all I must repeat that I was connected with these breaches only when on 1 October 1928, I became Chief of the Navy Command in Berlin. I had nothing to do with things which had been done previously...
Schacht's reaction to Raeder's first day of testimony: "He disapproved of aggressive war and was deceived by Hitler, but he planned and began the aggressive war. That's a militarist for you." (Tusa)
May 16, 1946
On day 131, Raeder testifies on his own behalf:
May 17, 1946
: Now, Figure 14: "Obtaining 337 M.G. C/30's without scrapping equally serviceable weapons." As I did not...
: Surely, Dr. Siemers, it would be possible to deal with all these various points in the documents in one statement as to why there were these excesses. We have a statement here which contains 30 different items, and you have only got as far as 13, and you are dealing with each one.
: Mr. President, personally I agree entirely. I am sorry that I caused the Tribunal so much trouble in connection with this document. As I am not a naval expert, I had a great deal of trouble finding my way through it; but I do not think that I was the cause of the trouble. The Prosecution, you see, have made use of the single points in evidence.
: Dr. Siemers, the question is-I am not blaming you, but we want to get on. We are not blaming you. Can't it be done in one explanatory statement, one short statement?
: I will try, Mr. President...
On day 132, Raeder testifies on his own behalf:
May 18, 1946
: I did have difficulties because of Heydrich, whom I had removed from the Navy in 1928 or 1929 after a court of honor had sentenced him for unscrupulous treatment of a young girl. He was very resentful toward me for a long time and he tried on various occasions to denounce me to the leadership of the Party or to Bormann and even to the Fuehrer. However, I was always able to counteract these attacks so that they had no effect on my situation in general. This attitude of Heydrich communicated itself in some way to Himmler, so that here also, from time to time, I had to write a strongly worded letter...
On day 133, Raeder is cross-examined:
Dr. Hans Laternser
May 20, 1946
(Counsel for General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces): The Prosecution also asserts that the high military leaders were not military experts but that they knew Hitler's intentions of aggression and willingly co-operated. Can you name any military leaders who, before they had received orders, took a positive attitude toward any aggressive action?
: I cannot answer that. I explained yesterday how Admiral Carls pointed out to me the danger imminent in Norway; but he did not do anything more than give me the information, point out the danger, and elucidate the situation there.
: The attitude of' the former Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Von Fritsch, and of the Chief of the General Staff Beck to the question of a war is known. I just wanted to ask you, did the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Field Marshal Von Brauchitsch, have the same attitude concerning the war?
: I believe so, yes.
: Concerning the conference on 5 November 1937, you have already made detailed statements yesterday. I would like...
: Dr. Laternser, you have been putting this class of question to every naval and military witness who has been called, and what the Tribunal desires me to point out to you is that there has been no cross-examination by any member of the Prosecution challenging any of these points, so this evidence is entirely repetitive and cumulative and is not bound to be put by you to every military and naval witness who comes into the witness box, and it is simply a waste of time to the Tribunal. When questions are answered by a witness and are not cross-examined to by the other side, it is the practice to assume that the answers are accepted.
: Mr. President, for me this is an extremely important question which has just been touched upon, namely, the question of whether a question is inadmissible because in the opinion of the Court it is cumulative. I should like to make a few statements concerning whether or not a question is cumulative.
: Surely, Dr. Laternser, you can understand what the Tribunal has said to you...
On day 134, Raeder is cross-examined by the prosecution:
: ...You will be shown where they can be found on the original, and you can say whether it was correctly read into the record and whether you acknowledge and confirm it. "My Attitude Towards Adolf Hitler and the Party. Disastrous influence on the fate of the German State...." (Note: This is a document written by Raeder in Moscow. Pokrovsky reads what Raeder wrote on Goering): "Unimaginable vanity and immeasurable ambition were his main peculiarities; running after popularity and showing off, untruthfulness, vagueness, and selfishness, which were not restrained for the sake of State or People. He was outstanding in his greed, wastefulness, and effeminate unsoldierly manner." Then, a little further on: "It is my conviction that Hitler very soon realized his character, but made use of him where it suited his purpose, and burdened him perpetually with new tasks in order to avoid his becoming dangerous to himself."
On Page 24 of your document you give another characteristic; "The Fuehrer continued to attach importance to the fact that from the outside his relations to me seemed normal and good. He knew I was well thought of in all the really respectable circles of the German people, and that in general everybody had great faith in me. This cannot be said of Goering, Von Ribbentrop, Dr. Goebbels, Himmler and Dr. Ley."
: But there is something missing. "In the same way, as for instance, Baron Von Neurath, Count Schwerin van Krosigk, Schacht, Dorpmueller and others," who were on the other side.
: Evidently it was not correctly translated to you. I will read this passage into the record. Now, on Page 27, this place is underlined in red pencil: "Doenitz' strong political inclination to the Party..."
: [Interposing.] I think the Tribunal could read this themselves if the defendant says that it is true that he wrote it. Probably Dr. Siemers could check it over and see that there are no inaccuracies.
: Very well, My Lord. Then I shall have the opportunity to put a very brief question. [Turning to the defendant.] I will ask you to take a look at a place on Page 29, which is marked with pencil, where the paragraph deals with Field Marshal Keitel and General Jodl. Will you confirm that?
: What am I supposed to do? Yes, well...
: I am asking you with regard to everything that I read into the record and what you say just now in this paragraph. I would like to have an answer from you. Do you confirm all that?
: Mr. President, I quite agree with the suggestion by the Tribunal. However, I should like to ask that the entire document be submitted. I have only short excerpts before me, and I would be grateful if I could see the entire document. I assume that Colonel Pokrovsky agrees to that.
: Certainly, Dr. Siemers, one part of the document having been put in evidence, you can refer to the remainder of the document. You can put the remainder of the document in, if you want to.
: I said that at the time I tried to find an explanation for the cause of our collapse.
: First, I ask you to give the answer, yes or no.
: Yes. On the whole, I agree entirely with this judgment. But I should like to add that I wrote those things under entirely different conditions. I do not wish to go into details, and I never expected that that would ever become public. These were notes for myself to help me form my judgment later on. I also want to ask especially that what I said about Generaloberst Jodl should also be read into the record, or where it belongs, that is, right after the statement about Field Marshal Keitel.
With regard to Field Marshal Keitel, I should like to emphasize that I intended to convey that it was his manner towards the Fuehrer which made it possible for him to get along with him for a long time, because if anybody else had been in that position, who had a quarrel with the Fuehrer every day or every other day, then the work of the whole of the Armed Forces would have been impossible. That is the reason and the explanation of what I wanted to express by that statement...
From Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot: During his interrogation in Moscow, Raeder had unburdened himself of some of his feelings about his fellow leaders in the Wehrmacht; and his opinions were now read in court. 'Speer flattered Doenitz's vanity, and vice versa,' Raeder declared. 'Doenitz's strong political party inclination brought him difficulties as head of the navy. His last speech to the Hitler Youth, which was ridiculed in all circles, gave him in the navy the nickname of 'Hitlerbube Doenitz' (Hitlerboy Doenitz).' 'Keitel,' Raeder said, was 'a man of unimaginable weakness, who owes his long stay in his position to this characteristic. The Fuehrer could treat him as badly as he wished--he stood for it.' 'Goering,' Raeder asserted, 'had a disastrous effect on the fate of the German Reich. His main peculiarities were unimaginable vanity and unmeasurable ambition, running after popularity and showing off, untruthfulness, impracticality, and selfishness. He was outstanding in his greed, wastefulness, and soft unsoldierly manner.' Doenitz, who had to sit brushing shoulders with Raeder for another three months, exploded: 'A pissed-off jealous old man!' Keitel could not understand how Raeder could have dissembled respect and friendship for him through the years they had worked together, and was devastated by Raeder's statement. 'My defense has entered a new phase under wholly altered circumstances,' he (Raeder) enigmatically told his counsel, Otto Nelte, unrealistically failing to accept the fact that his defense had, for all practical purposes, been concluded. More than anything, these revelations, coming one by one, shattered the remnants of trust among the defendants—even those who maintained a semblance of unity wondered what each truly thought about the others.
May 21, 1946
On day 135, Raeder is cross-examined:
: ...May I come back to one question put by Sir David. On Page 1 Sir David had been reading as follows: "But if—as was stated—in nearly all spheres of armament where the Navy was concerned, the Treaty of Versailles was violated in the letter and all the more in the spirit, or at least its violation was prepared, a long time before the 16th of March 1935...." Then Sir David asked you: "Do you want to say that this is untrue?" You answered but you did not quite finish your reply, at least it never became quite clear what you said in the German or the English record. I want you to tell me why you are of the opinion that Assmann was not quite right in this respect?
: It is an utter exaggeration. First of all, violations—as have been proved here in detail—were mostly of a very minor nature; and only the number of deviations may have given the impression that there were many violations. Secondly, in its essential points, we never actually filled the quotas allowed by the Versailles Treaty; in fact, we remained below the figures granted. Besides, only defense measures are involved, very primitive defense measures—Assmann's representations are just a great exaggeration...
From The Nuremberg Trial by Ann and John Tusa: Raeder was not an immediately appealing witness. His intolerance of challenge or criticism was seldom controlled; he would snap at anyone. He had a puffy, haggard face topped by sparse black hair parted in the middle. The diamond-shaped dark glasses he often wore in court to counteract the dazzle of the courtroom lights gave an inappropriately festive look to a basically dour and sometimes bad-tempered face. Few people warmed to Raeder. Gilbert had noted that he was academically intelligent with a 'practical, unimaginative mentality' but saw him as 'an irritable old man.' Yet significantly Andrus confessed: 'I could not help but have very great sympathy' for him. Andrus felt sorry for a man who had suffered captivity in Russian hands and was moved by his anguish over his wife who was still in the Russian Zone and could not be contacted. Andrus had a soft heart; it only hardened to those who whined or failed to reach his standards of domestic hygiene. Raeder's testimony took up most of three days. He wallowed in facts and figures on rearmament and basked in the details of the numbers, classes and tonnage of ships. His counsel, Siemers, did nothing to restrain him. Siemers himself was long-winded and plodding, and set about enumerating each prosecution allegation and inviting lengthy replies from his client to each separate detail of a section or a point. Even Raeder on the first afternoon lost patience with his method. 'The individual cases are gradually becoming more ridiculous. I consider it a waste of time.' So did the Tribunal.
May 21, 1946
From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
Yesterday, Raeder continued his testimony—but under cross-examination. He followed the defense line—and committed perjury high, wide and handsome. Sir David did a good job I thought on the cross-exam. I am continually shocked at the appearance of former German admirals, generals, cabinet officers, bankers, etc., who get on the witness stand under oath and proceed to lie in the most shameful manner. Little wonder that catastrophe attended them. Justice Jackson returned from London and Paris yesterday and looked more rested than when he left. This morning we continued with Raeder and finally got him off the stand a little after noontime. It has been much too long a defense—much of it irrelevant and of no value.
May 21, 1946
Raeder's defense calls Karl Severing, a former Social Democratic Minister of the Interior during Weimar, to the stand:
May 21, 1946
: ...Groener came up to me in the first session of the Mueller Government and said that he was looking forward to a sincere collaboration with me. I quoted a passage from that occasion, "May there be truth between us." Only complete sincerity would make possible fruitful co-operation, I said.
: Dr. Siemers, the Tribunal thinks that this is an absolute waste of time and this speech of the witness is entirely irrelevant. Why do you not ask him some questions which have some bearings on the case of Raeder?
: Mr. President, may I remind you that the Prosecution has made the accusation that the rebuilding was undertaken by means of a secret budget and that a secret rearmament was carried on with the idea of starting wars of aggression. It is not quite clear to me how I can cross-examine the witness in any other way than by asking him how these secret budgets, which to a certain extent are practically identical with violations of the Versailles Treaty, were dealt with in his government. That is exactly what I just questioned the witness on.
: This speech that you have drawn our attention to is simply a speech in which he said that he did not think that armored cruisers were of any use. That is the only meaning of the speech, except insofar as it refers to the fact that reparations had not been paid. For the rest it simply says that armored cruisers, in his opinion, are of no use...
Raeder's defense calls Baron Von Weizsaecker, former State Secretary in the Reich Foreign Office, to the stand:
May 22, 1946
: ...It is an article entitled Churchill Sinks the Athenia
, taken from the Voelkischer Beobachter
of 23 October 1939 (above)...may I ask you further what your attitude was at the time when you heard about this article?
: I considered it a perverted fantasy.
: Then you condemned this article?
: Naturally. Dr Siemers: Even though at the time you did not know yet that it was a German U-Boat? Weizsaecker: The question of whether it was a German U-boat or not could in no wise influence my opinion of the article.
: Then you considered this article objectionable, even if it had not been a German U-boat?
: Of course.
: Now the Prosecution asserts that Admiral Raeder had instigated this article and is reproaching him very gravely on moral grounds for this very reason, and the reproach is all the graver since, as we have seen, Raeder at this time—unlike yourself—knew that it was a German U-boat which had sunk the Athenia
. Do you consider such an action possible on Raeder's part? That he could have instigated this article?
: Wait a minute, Dr. Siemers, you can only ask the witness what he knew and what he did. You cannot ask him to speculate about what Raeder has done...
Day 136: Raeder's witness, Baron Von Weizsaecker, former State Secretary in the Reich Foreign Office, is cross-examined:
May 22, 1946
: When did you first discover that the U-30
had sunk the Athenia
: As far as I remember, not at all during the war.
: But I understood you to say yesterday that you thought that the publication in the Volkischer Beobachter
, accusing Mr. Winston Churchill of sinking the Athenia
, was a piece of perverse imagination; is that right?
: Are you really saying to the Tribunal that—though you were in a responsible job—are you saying to the Tribunal that you did not discover the true facts about the Athenia
until the end of the war, when you were directly concerned in the Foreign Office with this matter?
: I told you already yesterday what I know about this. It seems, does it not, that it was realized later by the Navy that the sinking of the Athenia
was due to the action of a German submarine, but I cannot at all remember that I or the Foreign Office were informed of this fact.
: At any rate, the Defendant Raeder took no steps to correct the information that had been passed to the American diplomatic representatives, did he?
: I do not recall at all that Admiral Raeder advised me or the Foreign Office of the fact...
Nuremberg Tribunal: Raeder's defense calls Admiral Erich Schulte-Monting to the stand:
: The defendant is accused of building up the Navy with the intention of carrying on an aggressive war, and this even after the Treaty of Versailles was already in force.
: That is not correct. Never in all my conversations which I had with Raeder was the thought-much less the word-of an aggressive war mentioned. I believe that all his actions and his directives contradict this.
: Were there possibly any ideas of a strategic nature under consideration, while the Versailles Treaty was in force, with a view to an aggressive war?
: What was the basic reason for the maneuvers held by the Navy from the years 1932 until 1939?
: They were held exclusively with a view to the security, protection, and defense of the coastal waters and the coast itself.
: Was a war with England taken as a basis for any of these maneuvers between 1932 and 1939?
: No, that was never made a basis, and I believe that would have appeared impossible and unreasonable to every naval officer. I remember that even at the beginning of the year 1939 Raeder issued a directive to the front commanders to hold maneuvers, in which he excluded a maneuver directed against England as an impossibility. It was forbidden to carry out that maneuver at all...
<July 16, 1946:
From the letters of Thomas Dodd:
The defendants reflect the ending of these proceedings. They seem to feel that the days are definitely numbered. Even Goering, who has been positively impish up to very recently, now is gray and crestfallen. Keitel wears the mask of the doomed already. And so it goes through the entire dock. General Jodl and Seyss-Inquart being exceptions to some extent and mostly because they are more stable emotionally.
July 16, 1946
On day 179, Raeder's counsel, Dr Walter Siemers, begins his final argument:
No one can in earnest demand of an admiral that he should resign his post a few days before the outbreak of a war, and thus shake the military power of his own country. I am quite aware of the fact that the most serious reproaches can be made against Hitler's attitude following the time of the Munich Agreement until the outbreak of the war in Poland, although, and this is decisive for the Raeder case, not against the military command, but exclusively against the political leader. We know that Hitler himself realized this and for that reason evaded all responsibility by his suicide without, either during or at the end of the war, showing the slightest regard for the life and the welfare of the German people...
From The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials by Telford Taylor: Siemers was a good lawyer, but lacked the presence of his two predecessors (Kranzbuehler and Dix) and was not a favorite of the judges, who sometimes found him too argumentative. However, on this occasion Siemers' argument went smoothly and was adequately delivered. Like Kranzbuehler's, however, the greater part of Siemers' address was just a second edition of Raeder's testimony. This did not much strengthen his case. In fact, the principal flaw in Siemers' presentation was his failure to deal at all with damaging pieces of evidence presented by the British prosecution. For example, in dealing with the German occupation of Norway, Siemers made a good argument in support of Germany's right to occupy Norway if Britain was about to take that step herself. But he made no mention of the evidence which clearly showed that Raeder had initially approached Hitler, not with fear that Britain might occupy Norway, but on the basis that German naval and air bases on Norway's west coast would bring them great military advantages. Nor did Siemers discuss Germany's occupation of Denmark, where there had been no concern about a British invasion.
July 17, 1946
Another oversight was Siemers' failure to deal adequately with the prosecution's charge that German naval units in Bordeaux had executed, pursuant to the Commando Order, two British prisoners. Subsequently, the Tribunal cited that episode as proof of Raeder's guilt of war crimes. As for conspiracy to wage aggressive wars, Siemers continued to advance the spurious idea that his client could not have been a conspirator with Hitler because the Fuehrer made all the decisions. Siemers also insisted that Raeder had believed Hitler's private assurance that he would not resort to war. But Raeder not only was present at Hitler's 'lectures' to the assembled military leaders in 1939 in which he decisively ordered them to prepare for wars that were patently aggressive, but Raeder had also willingly directed the naval preparations necessary to carry out hose orders. Siemers' argument had not been 'brilliant' but, from the viewpoint of the defendants, his client's case was much more difficult than Schacht's or Doenitz's. Nevertheless, Siemers ended with a brave request to the Tribunal that Raeder be acquitted 'on all points of the indictment.' Raeder, well pleased, had tears in his eyes as he thanked Siemers... ...There was...lamentable concealment of evidence in the Raeder case, when Siemers asked for the British Admiralty's documents on British plans to send troops into Norway to cut off the flow of iron ore from Sweden to Germany. Full disclosure was not made until after the Nuremberg trials had ended."
On day 180, Dr Siemers wraps-up his final argument:
July 22, 1946
I think the evidence has sufficiently revealed that the statement of facts presented by the Prosecution is not correct. It is quite plausible that at first sight the Prosecution should have believed that the odious article (Churchill Sank the Athenia
) in the Voelkischer Beobachter
could not have appeared without the knowledge of the naval command. The Prosecution believed this because, in view of their conspiracy theory, they are inclined to assume in every case that there was constant discussion and close co-operation among the various departments. The course of the Trial has shown that this assumption is far from correct. The contrast between the various departments, and especially between the Navy and the Propaganda Ministry, or Raeder and Goebbels, was far greater than the contrast between departments in a democratic state...
On day 187, US Justice Jackson details Prosecutions closing arguments against Admiral Raeder:
July 23, 1946
As early as 5 November 1937 the plan to attack had begun to take definiteness as to time and victim. In a meeting which included the Defendants Raeder, Goering, and Von Neurath, Hitler stated the cynical objective: "The question for Germany is where the greatest possible conquest could be made at the lowest possible cost." He discussed various plans for the invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia, indicating clearly that he was thinking of these territories not as ends in themselves, but as means for further conquest. He pointed out that considerable military and political assistance could be afforded by possession of these lands and discussed the possibility of constituting from them new armies up to a strength of about 12 divisions. The aim he stated boldly and baldly as the acquisition of additional living space in Europe, and recognized that "the German question can be solved only by way of force" ....
Hitler, after the Polish invasion, boasted that it was the Austrian and Czechoslovakian triumphs by which "the basis for the action against Poland was laid". Goering suited the act to the purpose and gave immediate instructions to exploit for the further strengthening of the German war potential, first the Sudetenland, and then the whole Protectorate. By May of 1939 the Nazi preparations had ripened to the point that Hitler confided to the Defendants Goering, Raeder, Keitel, and others his readiness "to attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity," even though he recognized that "further successes cannot be attained without the shedding of blood." The larcenous motives behind this decision he made plain in words that echoed the covetous theme of Mein Kampf: "Circumstances must be adapted to aims. This is impossible without invasion of foreign states or attacks upon foreign property. Living space in proportion to the magnitude of the state is the basis of all power-further successes cannot be attained without expanding our living space in the East...."
While a credulous world slumbered, snugly blanketed with perfidious assurances of peaceful intentions, the Nazis prepared not as before for a war but now for the war. The Defendants Goering, Keitel, Raeder, Frick, and Funk, with others, met as the Reich Defense Council in June of 1939. The minutes, authenticated by Goering, are revealing evidences of the way in which each step of Nazi planning dovetailed with every other. These five key defendants, 3 months before the first Panzer unit had knifed into Poland, were laying plans for "employment of the population in wartime," and had gone so far as to classify industry for priority in labor supply after "5 million servicemen had been called up." They decided upon measures to avoid "confusion when mobilization takes place," and declared a purpose "to gain and maintain the lead in the decisive initial weeks of a war." They then planned to use in production prisoners of war, criminal prisoners, and concentration camp inmates.
They then decided on "compulsory work for women in wartime." They had already passed on applications from 1,172,000 specialist workmen for classification as indispensable, and had approved 727,000 of them. They boasted that orders to workers to report for duty "are ready and tied up in bundles at the labor offices." And they resolved to increase the industrial manpower supply by bringing into Germany "hundreds of thousands of workers" from the Protectorate to be "housed together in hutments." It is the minutes of this significant conclave of many key defendants which disclose how the plan to start the war was coupled with the plan to wage the war through the use of illegal sources of labor to maintain production. Hitler, in announcing his plan to attack Poland, had already foreshadowed the slave-labor program as one of its corollaries when he cryptically pointed out to the Defendants Goering, Raeder, Keitel, and others that the Polish population "will be available as a source of labor"...
Raeder ordered violations of the accepted rules of warfare wherever necessary to gain strategic successes ...
Raeder, the political admiral, stealthily built up the German Navy in defiance of the Versailles Treaty, and then put it to use in a series of aggressions which he had taken a leading part in planning...It was the fatal weakness of the early Nazi band that it lacked technical competence. It could not from among its own ranks make up a government capable of carrying out all the projects necessary to realize its aims. Therein lies the special crime and betrayal of men like Schacht and Von Neurath, Speer and Von Papen, Raeder and Doenitz, Keitel and Jodl.
It is doubtful whether the Nazi master plan could have succeeded without their specialized intelligence which they so willingly put at its command. They did so with knowledge of its announced aims and methods, and continued their services after practice had confirmed the direction in which they were tending. Their superiority to the average run of Nazi mediocrity is not their excuse. It is their condemnation.
On day 188, Sir Hartley Shawcross, Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, delivers the Prosecution's closing arguments:
July 29, 1946
Are Raeder's hands unstained with the blood of murder? As early as 1933, to use his own words: "...Hitler had made the clear political request to build up...by 1 April 1938 armed forces which he could put in the balance as an instrument of political power." When, therefore, he received successive orders to fight if war resulted from Hitler's foreign policy, he knew very well that war was a certain risk if that policy went awry. Again and again he had this warning, first when Germany left the Disarmament Conference, again at the time of the negotiations for the Naval Agreement in 1935, at the time of the Rhineland, and later when he attended the famous Hossbach conference.
He has tried to persuade this Tribunal that he regarded Hitler's speeches at these meetings as mere talk, yet we know that they gave Neurath a heart attack. His old service comrades, Von Blomberg and Von Fritsch, who were unwise enough to object at the conference which sealed the fate of Austria and Czechoslovakia, were dealt with in a manner which, in his own words, shook his confidence not only in Goering, but in Hitler as well...
On day 189, General Rudenko, delivers his closing remarks:
August 30, 1946
The name of Raeder is linked to the impious directive for the destruction of Leningrad. At the Trial Raeder tried to act the part of an "honest soldier." But the mere fact that it was he, together with Hitler and Keitel, who conspired to "wipe Leningrad off the face of the earth" and to exterminate more than 3 million of the population of that great city, whose very name is indissolubly connected with the development of the culture and history of mankind, makes Raeder one of the major war criminals. Raeder participated in drafting all the most important plans of aggression of German fascism. This participant in the criminal fascist conspiracy must, therefore, bear the punishment meted out to his associates...
On day 216, the defendants make their final statements.
Final Statement of Erich Raeder
September 2, 1946
: This Trial, now that the evidence has been concluded, has had a beneficial result for the German nation; but an unexpected one for the Prosecution. Unimpeachable testimony has cleared the German people—and with them all the persons in the same situation as myself—of the most serious charge, the charge that they had known of the killing of millions of Jews and other people, if they had not actually participated in it. The attempt of the Prosecution, who through earlier interrogations had known the truth for a long time, and who nevertheless continued and repeated their accusations—with the raised finger of the preacher of morals—in the trial briefs and during cross-examinations, this attempt to defame the entire people has collapsed upon itself.
The second result of this Trial, which is general and therefore of interest for me also, is the fact that on the basis of the evidence the German Navy's cleanness and decency in battle were fundamentally confirmed. The German Navy stands before this Court and before the world with a clean shield and an unstained flag. With a clear conscience we can most emphatically refute Shawcross' attempts in his final speech to place the submarine warfare on the same level with atrocities, because according to the clear results of the evidence they are untenable. In particular, the charge that the German Navy "never had the intention to observe the laws of naval warfare," as Shawcross said, Pages 70 and 71, has been completely invalidated. It has likewise been proved that the Naval Operations Staff and its chief never showed "contempt for international law" (Dubost's final speech), but on the contrary made an honest endeavor from the first to the very last moment to bring the conduct of modern naval warfare into harmony with the requirements of international law and humanity, on the same basis as our opponents.
I regret that the Prosecution tried again and again to defame the German Navy, and myself, as was shown by the submission of its second modified trial brief, which differs from the first version only in that the number and severity of insulting statements have been increased. This fact shows that the prosecutors themselves felt that the factual accusations were too weak. But it is also my conviction that the British and American Prosecution have rendered ill service to their own Navies by morally defaming and characterizing as inferior the opponent against whom the Allied naval forces waged hard and honorable naval war over a number of years. I am convinced that the admiralties of the Allied powers understand me and that they know that they have not fought against a criminal. The only way I can explain to myself this attitude adopted by the Prosecution is by assuming that its representatives, as I necessarily perceived again and again, revealed only very little judgment regarding the principles of truly soldier-like conduct and military leadership and that, therefore, they hardly seem qualified to judge soldierly honor.
To sum up: I have done my duty as a soldier because it was my conviction that this was the best way for me to serve the German people and fatherland, for which I have lived and for which I am prepared to die at any moment. If I have incurred guilt in any way, then this was chiefly in the sense that in spite of my purely military position I should perhaps have been not only a soldier, but also up to a certain point a politician, which, however, was in contradiction to my entire career and the tradition of the German Armed Forces. But then this would have been a guilt, a moral guilt, towards the German people, and could never at any time brand me as a war criminal. It would not have been guilt before a human criminal court, but rather guilt before God.
As the defendants await the court's judgment, Colonel Andrus somewhat relaxes the conditions of confinement and allows the prisoners limited visitation. Raeder is visited by his son and daughter, but persistent requests to the Russians by the American military authorities asking them to locate Raeder's wife are answered with the notation 'Address Unknown.' (Conot)
September 29, 1946
From notes by Dr Pfluecker, Nuremberg Prison's German Doctor:
Yesterday, the defendants said farewell to their relatives...Raeder is calm. He is worried solely about his wife, who is living in the Russian zone and whom the Russians have repeatedly promised to allow to visit him. His daughter and his son, however, have been able to visit him from the British zone. He was relieved to hear that the conditions under which his wife was living had improved. (Maser)
September 30, 1946
On the penultimate day of this historic trial, the final judgments are read in open court:
Final Judgment: Raeder is indicted on Counts One, Two, and Three. In 1928 he became Chief of Naval Command and in 1935 Oberbefehlshaber der Kriegsmarine (OKM); in 1939 Hitler made him Grossadmiral. He was a member of the Reich Defense Council. On 30 January 1943, Doenitz replaced him at his own request, and he became Admiral Inspector of the Navy, a nominal title.
October 1, 1946
Crimes against Peace: In the 15 years he commanded it, Raeder built and directed the German Navy; he accepts full responsibility until retirement in 1943. He admits the Navy violated the Versailles Treaty, insisting it was "a matter of honor for every man" to do so, and alleges that the violations were for the most part minor, and Germany built less than her allowable strength. These violations, as well as those of the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, have already been discussed elsewhere in this Judgment. Raeder received the directive of 24 June 1937 from Von Blomberg requiring special preparations for war against Austria. He was one of the five leaders present at the Hossbach conference of 5 November 1937. He claims Hitler merely wished by this conference to spur the Army to faster rearmament, insists he believed the questions of Austria and Czechoslovakia would be settled peacefully, as they were, and points to the new naval treaty with England which had just been signed. He received no orders to speed construction of U-Boats, indicating that Hitler was not planning war. Raeder received directives on "Fall Gruen" and the directives on "Fall Weiss" beginning with that of 3 April 1939; the latter directed the Navy to support the Army by intervention from the sea. He was also one of the few chief leaders present at the meeting of 23 May 1939. He attended the Obersalzberg briefing of 22 August 1939.
The conception of the invasion of Norway first arose in the mind of Raeder and not that of Hitler. Despite Hitler's desire, as shown by his directive of October 1939, to keep Scandinavia neutral, the Navy examined the advantages of naval bases there as early as October. Admiral Carls originally suggested to Raeder the desirable aspects of bases in Norway. A questionnaire, dated 3 October 1939, which sought comments on the desirability of such bases, was circulated within SKL. On 10 October Raeder discussed the matter with Hitler; his war diary entry for that day says Hitler intended "to give the matter consideration." A few months later Hitler talked to Raeder, Quisling, Keitel, and Jodl; OKW began its planning and the Naval War Staff worked with OKW staff officers. Raeder received Keitel's directive for Norway on 27 January 1940 and the subsequent directive of 1 March, signed by Hitler. Raeder defends his actions on the ground it was a move to forestall the British. It is not necessary again to discuss this defense, which has heretofore been treated in some detail, concluding that Germany's invasion of Norway and Denmark was aggressive war. In a letter to the Navy, Raeder said: "The operations of the Navy in the occupation of Norway will for all time remain the great contribution of the Navy to this war."
Raeder received the directives, including the innumerable postponements, for the attack in the West. In a meeting of 18 March 1941 with Hitler he urged the occupation of all Greece. He claims this was only after the British had landed and Hitler had ordered the attack, and points out the Navy had no interest in Greece. He received Hitler's directive on Yugoslavia. Raeder endeavored to dissuade Hitler from embarking upon the invasion of the USSR. In September 1940 he urged on Hitler an aggressive Mediterranean policy as an alternative to an attack on Russia. On 14 November 1940 he urged the war against England "as our main enemy" and that submarine and naval air force construction be continued. He voiced "serious objections against the Russian campaign before the defeat of England," according to notes of the German Naval War Staff. He claims his objections were based on the violation of the non-aggression pact as well as strategy. But once the decision had been made, he gave permission 6 days before the invasion of the Soviet Union to attack Russian submarines in the Baltic Sea within a specified warning area and defends this action because these submarines were "snooping" on German activities. It is clear from this evidence that Raeder participated in the planning and waging of aggressive war.
War Crimes: Raeder is charged with war crimes on the high seas. The Athenia, an unarmed British passenger liner, was sunk on 3 September 1939, while outward bound to America. The Germans 2 months later charged that Mr. Churchill deliberately sank the Athenia to encourage American hostility to Germany. In fact, it was sunk by the German U-Boat U-30. Raeder claims that an inexperienced U-Boat commander sank it in mistake for an armed merchant cruiser, that this was not known until the U-30 returned several weeks after the German denial and that Hitler then directed the Navy and Foreign Office to continue denying it. Raeder denied knowledge of the propaganda campaign attacking Mr. Churchill. The most serious charge against Raeder is that he carried out unrestricted submarine warfare, including sinking of unarmed merchant ships, of neutrals, non-rescue and machine-gunning of survivors, contrary to the London Protocol of 1936.
The Tribunal makes the same finding on Raeder on this charge as it did as to Doenitz, which has already been announced, up until 30 January 1943 when Raeder retired. The Commando Order of 18 October 1942 which expressly did not apply to naval warfare was transmitted by the Naval War Staff to the lower naval commanders with the direction it should be distributed orally by flotilla leaders and section commanders to their subordinates. Two Commandos were put to death by the Navy, and not by the SD, at Bordeaux on 10 December 1942. The comment of the Naval War Staff was that this was "in accordance with the Fuehrer's special order, but is nevertheless something new in international law, since the soldiers were in uniform." Raeder admits he passed the order down through the chain of command and he did not object to Hitler.
Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that Raeder is guilty on Counts One, Two and Three."
On the 218th and last day of the trial, sentences are handed down: "Defendant Erich Raeder, on the Counts of the Indictment on which you have been convicted, the Tribunal sentences you to imprisonment for life." Later, when Gilbert speaks to a seemingly dazed Raeder, the admiral claims he does not know what the verdict is: 'I forget.' (Tusa)
October 13, 1946:
Colonel Andrus informs the prisoners that all appeals have been turned down. Raeder had appealed his sentence, asking that the Allied Control Council change it from life imprisonment to death. The Council refuses, declaring that it has only the power to lower, not increase, a sentence. (Tusa)
October 16, 1946:
Those defendants sentenced to imprisonment endure a sleepless night as, one by one, the names of those condemned to death are called off, and they are led to the gallows in turn.
October 16, 1946:
After the executions, the former defendants' cells are cleaned thoroughly. Colonel Andrus is unpleasantly surprised by the amount of contraband articles subsequently discovered, and what that says about his security regime. Nearly all the prisoners had squirreled away something in anticipation of eventual desperation, but not Raeder. (Heydecker)
December 6, 1946
From Spandau Diary
by Albert Speer:
During the morning's work in the corridor, Raeder's, Doenitz's and Schirach's dislike of me for my attitude toward the Nuremberg Trial came out in the open. Schirach, who always looks to someone to lean on, is now following the two grand admirals; during the trial he belonged to my faction, together with Funk and Fritzsche. (Speer II)
January 1, 1947
Began the New Year dispiritedly. Swept corridor, a walk, and then to church. Doenitz and I sing louder than usual because Raeder is sick and Funk is due to go to the hospital. (Speer II)
July 6, 1947
Raeder tells me I have a fortunate disposition; I am adjusting to imprisonment more easily than all the others. Even now, he says, after two years I still give the impression of being half-way balanced, which is more than can be said for many of the others. (Speer II)
July 8, 1947
The wives of Funk, Hess, Schirach, and Goering are being held along with the wives of other prominent officials in a Bavarian prison camp. The wives of Doenitz, Neurath, and Raeder, as well as my own wife, have so far been let alone. (Speer II)
July 18, 1947:
The prisoners are finally moved to their permanent home at Spandau. It had been expected that the seven surviving convicts would be sent to Spandau Prison in Berlin before the end of the year. But for some reason there were several delays, and the move was not made until more than nine months after the end of the trial. Colonel Andrus had departed, and his second in command, Major F. C. Teich, took over and somewhat loosened the reins. Restrictions on mail are abolished. (Taylor)
October 11, 1947
Today, Saturday, we had our first Spandau religious service...The French chaplain, Casalis, gave a sermon on the subject: 'The lepers in Israel were cut off from the community of the people by a host of legal prohibitions; these are as insurmountable as a prison wall.' Raeder, Doenitz, and Shirach take offense; they contend that the chaplain called them 'lepers.' Fierce discussions rage in the yard and the washroom... (Speer II
October 18, 1947
Before the service Raeder officially protested to Chaplain Casalis, in the name of five of his fellow prisoners, because the chaplain had referred to them as lepers. They were asking him to preach the Gospel and nothing else. I deliberately took the opposite view, saying: 'I am not a neurasthenic. I would rather not be treated delicately. Your sermons SHOULD upset me.' Much ill feeling. (Speer II)
December 14, 1947
Today Schirach brought up my quarrel with Doenitz. In our uneventful world that minor disagreement seems to have been the subject of extensive discussion. Doenitz has Neurath entirely on his side, and for once Raeder also... (Speer II)
February 8, 1948
Some weeks ago the directors hit on the idea of having us fold and paste envelopes. Raeder conscientiously keeps a record of his daily production. The finished envelopes are heaped in great piles in an empty cell. When there is no paper for starting the stoves, kindly guards permit the use of the envelopes, so that our production is gradually going up in flames. That confuses and torments Raeder. But the authorities are in one sense relieved; they were worried that our handiwork might be sold as souvenirs. (Speer II)
August 29, 1948
Book distribution today at a quarter after five. The library, an empty cell, is unlocked. On one side shelves with our personal books, which we brought with us from Nuremberg. The lions share had been provided by Hess, who in England was able to buy an impressive number of books, even some rare editions, because during his imprisonment he received a captain's pay (in keeping with international agreements, since he had landed in a captain's uniform).
October 24, 1948
Raeder sits down at the table; Hess goes to him and reports: "Number Seven. I am returning: 'Zinner, Sternglaube und Sternforschung' (Astrology and Astronomy)." He mentions his number because Raeder has several times used it when addressing him. Then Hess looks over the book list. Meanwhile Shirach returns Bernauer's Theater meines Lebens. Raeder notes down the choice. Since Hess has not yet made up his mind, Raeder grows impatient. 'Have you finished yet?' he asks. Hess decides on a book entitled The School of Danger. When Raeder objects that it is about mountaineering, he replies angrily, 'No matter.' (Speer II)
The medical aide brings a basketful of thirty new books from the Spandau Municipal Library. Raeder with his assistant librarian, Schirach, has been busy for an hour entering the books in a registry that he keeps with such care that one might think he is administering thirty battleships instead of that many books. (Speer II)
February 3, 1949
Each of us has developed his own pattern of behavior toward the guards and directors... Neurath and Raeder are reserved, polite, and somewhat forbearing...Raeder and Funk, making their rounds of the garden as if it were the daily promenade at a fashionable spa, love to talk about their mutual [sic] ailments... (Speer II)
February 3, 1949
Raeder and Doenitz have their difficulties with each other. Raeder, who in the spring of 1943 was replaced by Doenitz as commander of the navy, is now seventy-two years old, and still vigorous. He still regards Doenitz, fifteen years his junior and his former subordinate as chief of the submarine forces, as an overambitious officer. Doenitz, for his part, blames his predecessor for his policy of bloated surface vessels. Thanks to Raeder, he says, the German navy entered the war with only some fifty U-boats, of which only ten could be permanently operating in the Atlantic.
Today, talking at length with Neurath in the garden, he excitedly argued that England would have been forced to her knees as early as 1941 if Germany had had three hundred U-boats, as he had demanded, at the outbreak of the war. It had been Raeder's fault, he said, that until the middle of 1940 only two U-boats a month slid down the ways. The navy command had not built even half the 24,000 tons of submarines permitted under the 1935 Naval Treaty with England, he pointed out. Spade in hand, I watched Neurath listening with polite interest to the grand admiral's tirade. Whenever the two passed by me on their rounds, I could only hear Doenitz's agitated voice. Raeder treats Doenitz with the condescension of a superior officer, which particularly irritates him. As for Doenitz's allegations, Raeder ignores them. The two usually avoid each other. The disagreement will not be settled, but I have the distinct feeling that Doenitz is only waiting for the chance to denounce what he considers to be omissions in the German preparations for war. He wants to point an accusing finger at Raeder.
Among us are passive types who pass the time by endless talking. Among these are Funk, Schirach, and—a taciturn and absurd variant of the type—Hess. The active types who go to pieces without occupation are Raeder, Neurath, Doenitz, and I. We have at any rate got rid of titles. Raeder is no longer the grand admiral... (Speer II)
US IMT prosecutor Telford Taylor, in International Conciliation
Nuremberg's influence on world politics is of a high order, both now and in the long term...It is undoubtedly a dim but growing awareness that we have deeply committed ourselves to the Nuremberg principles by undertaking to judge men under them and punish men for their violation that explains the comment one so often hears today that 'Nuremberg has established a dangerous precedent...'
October 11, 1950:
From the Chicago Daily News:
Telford Taylor proposed yesterday...creation of a UNO tribunal to punish all war crimes committed in Korea--by Koreans, the UN Allies and even the Russians. The prosecutor said in an interview...that trials must not be run on the lines of those at Nuremberg when only the defeated Germans were in the dock. 'If international law is to have meaning,' he said, 'we must bring both sides to court or alternately admit that extenuating circumstances are valid for both sides and let everyone go their own way.'
January 1, 1952
A New Years walk in the afternoon. Always the same: Doenitz walks with Neurath, Schirach with Raeder and Funk. Hess remains for me... (Speer II)
June 13, 1952
Three days ago, Raeder complained to the French director about Hess's groaning at night. It's shattering his nerves, he claims. Major Bresard asked Neurath, Doenitz, and me whether Hess disturbed our sleep too, but we said no... (Speer II)
June 14, 1952
I suspect Schirach, Funk, and Raeder, Inc., of playing a cunning game. On the one hand they are supporting Hess in his obstinacy, on the other hand inciting the guards against 'the malingerer' and disturber of their night's sleep... (Speer II)
June 15, 1952
Today a notice posted on the cell door stipulated that Prisoner Number Seven may remain in bed every morning until half past nine if he has pain. This is an official a acknowledgment that Hess is sick. However, the sickness is not taken seriously, since the medical aide reports that he is injecting only 'aqua distilla' (distilled water), a trick frequently used with hysterics. In the medical office this morning Raeder irritably tells the guards Hawker and Wagg that they were wrong to give in, that Hess ought to be handled roughly; he doesn't have any real pain at all. Doenitz is outraged when he hears this. In the washroom he says to Neurath and me, 'Raeder would suffer for that in a prisoner-of-war camp. And rightly so, to my mind. That's terribly uncomradely. Hess has a right to malinger if he wants to. We ought to be supporting him. And not to upset him, we shouldn't even tell him that the sedative injection is a trick. You can never tell what he might do then. (Speer II)
July 4, 1952
Today Raeder rebukes me with unexpected vehemence for an innocently intended remark about Hitler's contempt for other human beings. Schirach joins in the rebuke; Doenitz and strangely, Funk also look on with obvious satisfaction... (Speer II)
December 5, 1952
Doenitz has illegally read an extract from the official history of the British Admiralty. He is wildly pleased because the British share his viewpoint: that neglect to build hundreds of U-boats before the beginning of the war, or at least during the first few years, was the crucial strategic error. Again and again he stresses that he will bring up all these points against Raeder in the full light of publicity once he and Raeder are free. He grows very excited when he talks about this. (Speer II)
September 3, 1953
Raeder has returned from his wife's visit. He told her that he gained six pounds during the American month. When she asked how much he had lost during the Russian month, the Soviet interpreter interrupted, 'Stop! you're not allowed to say that.' Neurath, during his wife's visit, reported that he was feeling well. That time, too, the Russian interpreter interrupted, but Neurath went on undeterred. 'As you see, everything is lies and hypocrisy here.' (Speer II)
March 31, 1954
When Funk is not bedridden, he walks back and forth in the garden with Schirach for a few hours. The American guard, Felner, recently called them 'the two evil spirits.' But nowadays Funk is in bed almost all the time. Today the doctor came, because Funk was supposedly on the verge of uremia and had almost lost consciousness. Doenitz calls that 'an attempted escape.' Raeder, too, is envious of Funk's chances of being taken to the hospital. When he was passing the cell today he punned to Felner, 'Well, he doesn't seem to be in such a funk after all.' (Speer II)
April 9, 1954
Raeder and Funk are also ill. I wouldn't mind being without them... (Speer II)
May 21, 1954
For several days we have been receiving the four uncensored newspapers. Our grand admiral librarian has been assigned the task of distributing them. He announces: 'All four newspapers will be circulated together in one file folder. I shall paste a white slip of paper on this folder: each man will enter first the time of receiving it and then the time he passes it on. In addition, each man checks off when he no longer wants it.' Doenitz protests: 'It will take too long for one person to read all four newspapers.' 'That doesn't matter. You've got plenty of time, after all,' Raeder insists obstinately. (Speer II)
August 28, 1954
Surprisingly, Doenitz has come out strongly for Adenauer.' Granted, he's a thickheaded martinet, but by his obstinacy he holds the government together. Always better to have someone like that, rather than one of these intellectuals whose cabinet ministers go running in all directions.' All of us are struck by the fact that the newspaper from East Germany is constantly invoking such notions as 'Fatherland' or 'Germany.' Today Schirach commented to Doenitz on Ulbricht's speech at a youth group meeting, a speech larded with quotations from Schiller: 'You've got to read this! One of the best speeches I've seen. Simply tremendous!' And Raeder echoed him: 'Simply tremendous!' (Speer II)
March 25, 1955
My relations with Doenitz continue to deteriorate. For his part, Doenitz has recently been trying to work things out with Raeder--the two of them, the one-time supreme commander of the navy and his successor, have managed to retain their former antagonism right up to the present time within these walls. On the other hand, Raeder's hate complex toward Hess, so fierce it is almost grotesque, is outlasting all changes of time and place. (Speer II)
May 12, 1955
For a few hours, Raeder has a speech impediment. Like Neurath during his last months, he is no longer allowed to work. He sits in the garden on his stool twice a day for an hour, staring into space, lost in thought. The rest of the time he is locked in his cell. In spite of all our differences these past years, I am deeply moved by the sight of this doomed old man. Raeder no longer wants to gloss over the state of his health; I can't understand why he has done so up to now. (Speer II)
May 15, 1955
Routine visit from the British general. He does not seem as pleasant as his predecessor. Raeder, who is feeling better, wanted to say something about his illness, but was so keyed up that he could not produce a word. The British director urged him to sit down. Luckily, Schirach, instead of making any personal request, called the generals attention to the danger hovering over Raeder. (Speer II)
June 17, 1955
Ill humor for days. Without asking our admiralty, I recently did my laundry a day earlier than usual. Even today, four days afterward, Doenitz and Raeder stood together discussing my behavior. 'Another of his explosive decisions! He doesn't ever pause to consider. (Speer II)
September 17, 1955
...later the British doctor returned to the cellblock and went in to see Raeder. ' Didn't you say something about dizzy spells? Come along to the medical office for an examination.' Both men vanished from the cellblock. The iron door closed behind them with a metallic clang. After an hour, while lunch was being passed out, and Raeder was not yet back, we looked at Pease. Nobody said a word; none of us dared to ask. But as though he guessed what we wanted to know, Pease said simply, 'Yes.' Later in the afternoon Vlaer tells us that Cuthill received the astonished Raeder with the words: 'You are completely free and you may go wherever you want.'
September 17, 1955:
But Raeder wanted to return to our cellblock. He said he must hand over the library to his successor, and he didn't even know who that would be. But this request was refused. He sent his regards to us by way of the medical aide. I felt sorry for Doenitz. Raeder's release has taken a good deal out of him. For the first time in many months I have walked with him and tried to buck him up. Schirach joined us. Once free, so he confined to Schirach, Raeder plans to attack two persons chiefly: Hess, because it was psychological torture to be forced to live with him for years, and the British director, because of his total lack of feeling. 'Oh hell,' Doenitz said, 'that may be what he had in mind. But his wife always gave the orders. Of course, he has to attack me.' (Speer II)
Raeder is released from Spandau due to ill health.
September 28, 1955
In the newspapers we see pictures of Raeder's first steps in freedom. Like Neurath when he was released, Raeder too seems entirely changed by his civilian dress and by his relaxed features. Curious, how one of us looks in freedom. But it isn't really all that exciting. (Speer II)
September 29, 1955
Raeder's release has revived hopes in the rest of us... (Speer II)
Raeder publishes Mein Leben
(My Life),' his autobiography.
November 17, 1957
During the walk Schirach told me about extracts from Raeder's memoirs, which he has managed to read. Raeder is now creating legends about Spandau, he says. Among other things, he speaks of his friendly relations with Doenitz and Neurath during their imprisonment. In fact, bitter enmity prevailed between him and Doenitz for many years. Schirach now confides that Raeder frequently chided him when he talked with Doenitz, saying, 'You should not even speak to him.' Actually it was Schirach who cheered Raeder when he was suffering from depression, helped him when he was ill. On his own initiative Schirach had several times petitioned the commandants of Berlin for the release of Raeder during the admiral's severe illness. But in hindsight Grand Admiral Doenitz and the diplomat Neurath are the only ones with whom Raeder wishes to have associated in Spandau; anyone else would harm his reputation. The foreign minister and the naval chief are in his class, so to speak; the others are mere convicts. Schirach now says bitterly, 'That's how it is. As soon as someone is outside, he puts as much distance as possible between himself and those he left behind.' (Speer II)
November 6, 1960:
Raeder dies in Kiel, Germany.
Mr. Francis Biddle, IMT Member for the United States of America.
We were an international Bench and looked at our legal and political obligations from different angles. Diplomatic horse-trading was combined with the duties of the judge. It necessarily played some part in certain decisions since an agreed judgment would not have been possible otherwise...In our deliberations we could not leave out of account the effect of our decisions on public opinion.
Sir Hartley Shawcross, former Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom:
The point now is what effect this trial will have on the future course of history. In this I must confess to great disillusionment. During the trial we had close friendly relations with our Russian colleagues despite the fact that we raised violent objection to their inclusion of the Katyn massacre in the Indictment. We thought that we were on terms of confidence with the Russians and would keep them as friends. But when the trial was over they went back to Russia, we lost all contact with them. All attempts to gain touch with them again failed. This communist veto on normal relationships is a sad fact. Even sadder were the cynical violations of international as created at Nuremberg which we have had to witness meanwhile—Korea, Hungary, Kashmir, Algeria, Congo, Vietnam. Our Nuremberg hope that we had made some contribution to transition to a peaceful world under the rule of law has not been fulfilled.
May 4, 1990
Alan M. Dershowitz:
Forty-five years later, it is necessary to ask whether, on balance, the Nuremberg trials did more good than harm. By convicting and executing a tiny number of the most flagrant criminals, the Nuremberg court permitted the world to get on with business as usual...Perhaps Henry Morgenthau was asking for too much when he demanded that German industry and military capacity be destroyed 'forever,' and that Germany must be 'reduced to a nation of farmers.' But perhaps the Nuremberg tribunal asked for too little when it implicitly expiated the guilt of thousands of hands-on murderers by focusing culpability on a small number of leaders who could never have carried out their wholesale slaughter without the enthusiastic assistance of an army, both military and civilian, of retail butchers. The Nuremberg Trial was an example of both 'victor's justice' and of the possible beginning of a 'new legal order' of accountability. Trying the culprits was plainly preferable to simply killing them.
FB: Horrific 20th Century History