Nuremberg trials

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Nuremberg trials

#1

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:54 pm

Off-the-Record Interviews

None of the defendants interviewed by Dr Goldensohn felt a need to confess their guilt. Even in the
privacy of their cells, and after being assured that whatever they said would be off the record, they
still denied the charges. Nor would they accept responsibility for the suffering they had caused.
Indoctrinated and conditioned by their own propaganda, they found a rationale for everything they had
done.

Goering

Dr Goldensohn observed that Goering was prone to mood swings. He was also childlike in the way
he sought attention – he would willingly have seen his fellow defendants walk free if he could have
had the stage all to himself.
‘Why don’t they let me take the blame and dismiss these little fellows – Funk, Fritzsche,
Kaltenbrunner? I never heard of most of them until I came to this prison!’

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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Re: Nuremberg trials

#2

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:56 pm

Off-the-Record Interviews

Goering

To the psychiatrist’s surprise, Goering denied that he was an anti-Semite:
‘Anti-Semitism played no part in my life… I never had any feeling of hatred toward the
Jews. I realize that [statement] looks stupid – that it is hard to understand how a person
like myself who made anti-Semitic speeches and who participated as number two man in a
regime that exterminated 5 million Jews can say that he was not anti-Semitic. But it is
true.’

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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Re: Nuremberg trials

#3

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:01 pm

Off-the-Record Interviews

Goering seemed proud of having stolen art treasures, as if they had been the prize in a great game:
‘Of all the charges which have been revealed against me, the so-called looting of art
treasures by me has caused me the most anguish. But it was not done in the spirit of
looting. I like nice things about me. I didn’t want them for myself in the final analysis
anyway. They would have gone to the museums of Germany for posterity. If I had not
taken them they would be in the hands of those damn Russians for the most part.’

Kaltenbrunner

Gestapo chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner put on a very different performance for the psychiatrist – one that
was designed to allay the impression that he was capable of the cruelty with which he had been
charged. He spoke softly and gave the appearance of being a man in control. Yet Kaltenbrunner’s
carefully staged act only served to convince Goldensohn that he was capable of ruthlessness.
‘Do you realize that I learned most about what went on – the atrocities, the concentration
camps, the mass murders, the gas chambers, the terrorization of the partisans, and the
terrible methods of the police itself against the German people – I learned most about it
here, because I only worked in Berlin as chief of the RSHA since 1943… I am thought of as
another Himmler. I’m not. The papers make me out as a criminal. I never killed anyone.’
Kaltenbrunner smiled as he said that.

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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Re: Nuremberg trials

#4

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:06 pm

Off-the-Record Interviews

Keitel

Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel greeted Goldensohn with an ingratiating smile, but his conversation
betrayed the fact that he was constantly seeking approval. He was full of sincerity when he addressed
the major.
‘I had no authority. I was field marshal in name only. I had no troops, no authority – only to
carry out Hitler’s orders. I was bound to him by oath. One of Hitler’s prime ideas was that
each minister and functionary was to mind his own business. That’s why I learned about
some of the [war-crime] business for the first time in this court… As for Jewish measures –
I tried to keep the army clear of anti-Semitism… What could I do?… I was in it up to my
neck by the time I realized the way things were going. What could I do? I could not resign
in time of war; if I refused to obey I would be killed. Or I could commit suicide… But had I
taken my life, I wouldn’t have improved things, because this demon went ahead with
whatever he wanted and succeeded.’

Von Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop appeared agreeable, but it seemed to Dr Goldensohn that the former foreign
minister was bearing up under a depression. The dominant and recurrent theme of his conversation
was puzzlement as to how he had come to such a predicament. He wondered if Hitler had known of
the atrocities. Ribbentrop still regarded the dictator as a ‘good man’, a vegetarian who was kind to
animals and children. He was convinced that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was rooted in his belief that the
Jews were behind an international conspiracy to bring about war between America and Germany.
‘The American Jews and others obviously hated the Nazi regime. They refused to cooperate
in preventing President Roosevelt and his brain trust from lending assistance to
England. Lend-lease continued and the whole American atmosphere toward Germany was
hostile. If only these American bankers had intervened and threatened England, forced her
to accept Hitler’s peace offer – and we were prepared to make a peace with England in
1940 – all these terrible exterminations of the Jews could have been prevented… I was
truly under Hitler’s spell, that cannot be denied… He had terrific power, especially in his
eyes… Hitler always, until the end, and even now, had a strange fascination over me.’
Ribbentrop admitted that he had contemplated committing suicide when he was captured, but he now
felt compelled to ‘face the music’.
‘I must accept responsibility even though I had no power as foreign minister because it was
a dictator state. [In] my defence… I stand up for the foreign policy of Germany from 1938
to the end, but regarding the atrocities, the actions in domestic politics, or the actions in
occupied territories I can take no responsibility.’
He sincerely believed that the German people would always regard the Nuremberg defendants as
their leaders and that the trial would later be seen to have been a ‘mistake’. If only the Allies would
admit that there had been such ‘mistakes’ on both sides there might be some form of reconciliation.
Otherwise the German nation would consider any sentences passed on the Nazi leaders as harsh and
they would view their leaders as martyrs.

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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Re: Nuremberg trials

#5

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:13 pm

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Goering’s Grandstanding

Jackson began his cross-examination.
‘I want to get what’s necessary to run the kind of a system that you set up in Germany and
concentration camps was one of the things you found immediately necessary upon coming to power,
was it not? And you set them up as a matter of necessity as you saw it?’
Goering remained calm and self-assured. He would not be led. He took every opportunity to
deliver a self-serving sermon, in order to steer the argument away from the question of conspiracy to
the complexities of administration.
‘You asked me if I considered it necessary to establish concentration camps immediately in order
to eliminate opposition. That is correct.’
To Jackson’s chagrin the witness was permitted to make long convoluted speeches in an attempt to
justify his actions, but every time Jackson made an attempt to curtail him he was overruled. There
seemed to be no way of forcing him to answer the question, which was extremely frustrating for the
American. By the end of that day it was perceived that Goering had won the first round. There were
those among the press and the prosecution who hated all that Goering stood for, but who nevertheless
admired his personal courage. He took full responsibility for the orders he had issued and then
declared that he had no intention of ‘hiding behind the Führer’.
As Major Neave later admitted, ‘Murderer he may have been but he was a brave bastard too.’
On the second day, Goering spoke for almost five hours. After holding the court in rapt attention as
he took the charges in the indictment to pieces one by one, he ended by declaring that the Führer
principle – a hierarchy of leaders led by a supreme leader, who answered to no one – was not unique
to the Nazi state. It was inspired by the papal hierarchy of the Catholic Church and the presidential
system that had been adopted by the Soviet Union and the United States.
On the third day Goering concluded a total of 12 hours of testimony by quoting Winston Churchill
who had stated, ‘In a struggle for life and death there is no legality’. There was no denying that the fat
man was ahead on points. It would take a skilled advocate to get him on the ropes.
Goering vs. Jackson
By the time Goering took the witness stand for the fourth day he was, as one observer remarked, ‘fit,
focused, lucid and fiercely unapologetic’. Jackson knew he faced a formidable adversary.
The larger-than-life figure had dominated the crowded courtroom in Nuremberg, the city that had
once been the spiritual home of National Socialism and the site of the annual mass rallies. His
wolfish grin and thin veneer of oily charm betrayed the relish with which he had seized the
opportunity to strut once more on the world’s stage. It was Goering who commanded the attention of
the world’s press, pens poised over their notebooks to witness the final act in the ‘trial of the
century’. By contrast, his co-defendants sat slumped in the dock like broken men in their shabby, illfitting
civilian suits and uniforms shamefully stripped of badges of rank.
Even in captivity, Goering’s fellow prisoners remained in his thrall, their fragile morale bolstered
by his overbearing personality. If it had not been for Goering, Speer might have been able to persuade
the more impressionable defendants to accept their share of responsibility for the atrocities
perpetrated in the name of the Third Reich. The Führer was dead, the Reich was in ruins and Goering
was now deprived of his medals and his comic operetta uniforms. However, he refused to see himself
as a war criminal. He still played the role of the soldier and statesman who was determined to secure
his place in history. Such conceit, combined with his refusal to acknowledge his complicity in these
crimes, would be hard to crack.
US prosecutor Robert H. Jackson (left) and Soviet assistant prosecutor General Uri Pokrovsky (right) listen intently during the
summing-up.
Chief Justice Jackson began his questioning of the defendant in a quiet, measured tone, like a boxer
intent on getting the measure of his opponent.
‘Did you regard the elimination of the Jews from economic life as your responsibility?’
Goering assented, adding that he saw it as his duty to remove all Jewish industrialists from office,
especially those in the armaments industry.
‘Was that the first of your legal measures against the Jews?’ Jackson inquired.
‘I believe their removal from official posts was first, in 1933.’The American was evidently attempting a new strategy, but what exactly that might be eluded
Goering for the moment.
‘And in 1936 you personally drafted an act making it punishable by death to transfer money
abroad?’
It was clear now that Jackson sought only confirmation of his accusations as he brandished the
damning document for all to see.
‘That is correct.’
‘And that Jews must pay for the damage caused by anti-Jewish riots with their insurance claims
forfeited by the Reich?’
‘I did sign a similar law but whether it is the same…’
Jackson cut him short.
‘Did you not say about those riots, “I wish you had killed 200 Jews instead of destroying such
valuables”?’
In a move calculated to intimidate, Jackson approached the witness stand and deposited the
transcript of the conversation on the table, as if challenging the defendant to deny its very existence.
‘But that was said in a moment of bad temper and extreme excitement.’
‘Spontaneous sincerity, in other words,’ Jackson observed.
Goering blanched.
‘Did you not also sign a decree in 1940 ordering the seizure of all Jewish property in Poland?’
‘I assume so if the decree is there.’ The defendant was now visibly squirming in his seat.
‘And another saying the Jews would receive no compensation for damage caused by enemy attack
or by German forces?’
‘If the law bears my name then it must be so,’ Goering conceded.
‘Is this your signature?’ asked Jackson, pointing an accusing finger at the next document that had
been laid before the accused.
‘It appears to be.’
‘Is it or is it not your signature?’ Jackson’s tone betrayed his growing impatience.
Goering sensed that a trap was being set. He took a moment to answer.
‘It is.’
‘It is your signature on a document dated July 1941,’ Jackson explained for the benefit of the court,
‘asking Himmler and [Reinhard] Heydrich to make plans for the Final Solution of the Jewish
Question.’
Goering exploded.
‘That is not a proper translation! I said total solution, not final solution.’
‘These are your words to Himmler,’ continued Jackson, warming to the task. ‘“I charge you to send
me before long an overall plan for the organizational, factual and material measures necessary for the
desired solution of the Jewish question.” Is that an accurate translation of this order?’
‘That had to do with the evacuation and emigration of the Jews,’ Goering protested.
‘You ordered all government agencies to co-operate with the SS in the final solution of the Jewish
question. Did you not?’
‘There is nothing in there about the SS!’ The colour was coming back to Reichsmarschall
Goering’s flaccid cheeks.
‘This document states that you ordered all government agencies to co-operate with the SS. You sent
this letter to SS Gruppenführer Heydrich.’
‘That does not mean that the SS had anything to do with the solution of the Jewish question!’
The words were barely out of his mouth when Goering realized that he had placed the noose
around his own neck. There was an audible murmur in the court as Jackson leaned in to face his most
formidable adversary.
‘Would you mind repeating that?’ he asked calmly.
‘I must say this clearly. I did not know anything about what took place in the concentration camps
or the methods used there. These things were kept secret from me.’
But Jackson was already striding back to the bench where his colleagues sat, jubilant in the
knowledge that the murderous nature of the Nazi leadership had finally been exposed for all to see.
‘I might add that even the Führer did not know the extent of what was happening.’ Goering was
rambling, desperate. But no one was listening.
Jackson spun on his heel and flipped open another file. He studied it for some seconds before
addressing the defendant in a noticeably dismissive tone.
‘Witness – before this court there is evidence that nearly 10 million people have been
exterminated, murdered in cold blood. You mean to say that you did not know and Hitler did not
know what took place in the camps?’
‘Yes.’
Goering looked nervously around him. But the awkward, self-conscious smiles of those who had
recently been seduced by his charm had been replaced by grim expressions set in stone. Even his
fellow defendants were now averting their gaze in embarrassment or shame. The game was up. It was
time for the truth.
‘Did you know that Hitler said in 1943 in a recorded meeting with the Reich’s Minister of Foreign
Affairs [Ribbentrop] that “Jews should be exterminated or taken to concentration camps. There is no
other possibility.” ’
As he said this, Jackson pointed to the white-haired defendant in the dock as if to remind him that
Ribbentrop himself could be called to corroborate the accusation.
‘The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, talked with Hitler of extermination. You were above
Ribbentrop. You were Hitler’s second-in-command. You were in charge of the four-year economic
plan so you knew all about the gold teeth and eyeglasses that the victims left behind. And you have
heard that it took five minutes more to kill the women because they had to cut off their hair to make
mattresses. And nothing was told to you about the material that came to you from these people that had
been murdered?’
‘No! No!’ spat Goering. ‘How can you imagine such a thing? I was laying down the outlines of the
German economy.’
‘The witness is excused,’
Jackson announced that he was done and then he strode back to the bench. No one had ever turned
their back on Reichsmarschall Goering before.
‘I am not finished,’ Goering protested, unaccustomed to being cut short.
‘The witness is excused,’ repeated Judge Shawcross.
‘But I am not finished,’ Goering exclaimed.
The Judge raised his gavel. The session was adjourned.
Whitney Harris recalled the moment.
‘When we got Goering into the matter of the specific crimes that he committed such as the
persecution of the Jews, well, then he collapsed. He was a done witness, I’ll tell you,
because we had him so devastated on the Jewish issue that he had nothing to say.’

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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Re: Nuremberg trials

#6

Post by afrrs » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:43 pm

Assassination Attempt

Hermann Goering might never have taken the witness stand had it not been for a vigilant sentry at the
courthouse. As the trial entered its most dramatic phase, with witnesses called to recall their ordeal
in the camps, United States Army sergeant Clancy Sigal loaded his 45 mm automatic and left his unit.
His destination was Nuremberg. He told no one where he was going, or what was burning in his
mind, because his mission was to assassinate Hermann Goering, the man he held personally
responsible for the murder of millions of his race. Clancy was the only Jew in his unit, so he felt that
he was responsible for exacting the only form of justice that was due to such a monster. He told NPR
News how he felt.
‘I wanted to look Hermann Goering in the eye and shoot him dead.’
But in the foyer of the Palace of Justice, the military policemen on guard refused to allow him to
enter without checking in his weapon.
‘At first I was angry. I’d stored up a lot of hatred for the top Nazis like Goering who’d
operated the “Final Solution” to kill Jews. But inside the courtroom I felt something like
relief. Suddenly, it was unthinkable to add one more act of violence to the solemn,
businesslike presentation of evidence. Evidence which included the shrunken heads of
tortured prisoners and lampshades made of human skin. It moved me beyond tears to a sort
of numbness… For three days, I couldn’t take my eyes off Goering, who lounged in the
dock like a bored Roman emperor… As concentration camp survivors testified, I
sometimes caught Goering’s cold, unblinking stare, which was full of contempt for the
Tribunal and the witnesses. When the prosecution showed films of piled-up corpses at
Auschwitz, Goering kept turning his head away, sometimes in my direction. I’m ashamed to
say he stared me down, because I’d never before felt myself in the presence of such
unmitigated evil.’

THE
NUREMBERG
TRIALS
THE NAZIS AND THEIR CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY
PAUL ROLAND
COH 2 live Streaming http://www.twitch.tv/afrrs



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