Albert Speer
(6 of 8)


November 20, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: 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.

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 ...

Speer: Not guilty.

November 21, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: Immediately following the pleas of the defendants, Justice Jackson delivers his opening statement: Jackson: Perhaps the deportation to slave labor was the most horrible and extensive slaving operation in history. On few other subjects is our evidence so abundant or so damaging...

November 23, 1945: 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 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 8 the prosecution presents as evidence a film shot by US troops as they were liberating various German concentration camps.

December 4, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 12, Sir Hartley Shawcross, Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, delivers his opening statement:

Shawcross: Human memory is very short. Apologists for defeated nations are sometimes able to play upon the sympathy and magnanimity of their victors, so that the true facts, never authoritatively recorded, become obscured and forgotten. One has only to recall the circumstances following upon the last World War to see the dangers to which, in the absence of any authoritative judicial pronouncement, a tolerant or a credulous people is exposed. With the passage of time the former tend to discount, perhaps because of their very horror, the stories of aggression and atrocity that may be handed down; and the latter, the credulous, misled by perhaps fanatical and perhaps dishonest propagandists, come to believe that it was not they but their opponents who were guilty of that which they would themselves condemn.

And so we believe that this Tribunal, acting, as we know it will act notwithstanding its appointment by the victorious powers, with complete and judicial objectivity, will provide a contemporary touchstone and an authoritative and impartial record to which future historians may turn for truth, and future politicians for warning...

December 4, 1945: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

On Saturday, the Court held a session lasting until nearly 2 o'clock - the first Saturday session that has been held. A witness, Major General Lahousen, was under cross-examination by the German lawyers on Saturday morning. The German attorneys obviously are completely unfamiliar with the art of cross-examination as it is known in English and American procedure and consequently they did a miserable job as a whole. Von Papen's lawyer did succeed in getting in a good stroke for von Papen by getting an admission from the witness that von Papen was not in sympathy with Hitler's policies and that he had remained in Hitler's service in the hope of restraining Hitler and his cohorts to some extent at least. This has been von Papen's principle of defense as I understand it from my conversations with him and I feel that the case against him is extremely weak.

December 11, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 17 the prosecution presents as evidence a four-hour movie, 'The Nazi Plan,' compiled from various Nazi propaganda films and newsreels.

December 11, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: Following the viewing of the film, Mr Thomas J. Dodd, Executive Trial Counsel for the United States, presents the case for the Exploitation of Forced Labor:

Dodd: This labor policy was a policy as well of underfeeding and overworking foreign laborers, of subjecting them to every form of degradation, brutality, and inhumanity. It was a policy which competed foreign workers and prisoners of war to manufacture armaments and to engage in other operations of war directed against their own countries. It was a policy, as we propose to establish, which constituted a flagrant violation of the laws of war and of the laws of humanity. We shall show that the Defendants Sauckel and Speer are principally responsible for the formulation of the policy and for its execution ... the Defendant Speer, as Reich Minister for Armament and Munitions, Director of the Organization Todt, and member of the Central Planning Board, bears responsibility for the determination of the numbers of foreign slaves required by the German war machine, was responsible for the decision to recruit by force and for the use under brutal, inhumane, and degrading conditions Of foreign civilians and prisoners of war in the manufacture of armaments and munitions, the construction of fortifications, and in active military operations...

December 12, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 18, Dr. Thomas Dodd, Executive Trial Counsel for the United States, begins presentation of the Case on Forced Labor:

Dodd: ... in September of 1942, the Defendant Speer made arrangements to bring this new source of labor within his jurisdiction. Speer convinced Hitler that significant production could be obtained only if the concentration camp prisoners were employed in factories under the technical control of the Speer Ministry instead of the control in the camps. In fact, without Defendant Speer's cooperation, we say it would have been most difficult to utilize the prisoners on any large scale for war production, since he would not allocate to Himmler the machine tools and other necessary equipment. Accordingly, it was agreed that the prisoners were to be exploited in factories under the Defendant Speer's control To compensate Himmler for surrendering this jurisdiction to Speer, the Defendant Speer proposed and Hitler agreed, that Himmler would receive a share of the armaments output, fixed in relation to the man-hours contributed by his prisoners...

December 13, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 19, the prosecution introduces grisly evidence from Buchenwald concentration camp, including the head of an executed Pole used as a paperweight by Commandant Karl Koch, and tattooed human skin allegedly favored by the commandant's wife for use in lampshades and other household furnishings.

December 13, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: Dodd continues:

... with reference to the Defendant Speer, I should like to say to the Tribunal that he visited the concentration camp at Mauthausen and he also visited factories such as those conducted by the Krupp industries, where concentration camp labor was exploited under degrading conditions. Despite this first-hand knowledge of these conditions, both in Mauthausen and in the places where these forced laborers were at work in factories, he continued to direct the use of this type of labor in factories under his own justification...

December 14, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: 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." Keitel, Doenitz, Funk and Schirach suddenly get up and leave Goering's table. (Tusa)

December 15, 1945: Speer writes to his wife:

If I had not had my assignment, I would have been a soldier, and what then? Five years of war are a long time, and I would almost certainly have had more to endure and would perhaps have suffered a worse fate. I am glad to accept my situation if by doing so I can still do something for the German people . . . . I am duty-bound to face this Tribunal. In view of the fate of the German people one may be too solicitous for one's own immediate family. (Speer)

December 20, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: After this days session, the trial adjourns until Wednesday, the 2nd of January, for a Holiday break.

December 23, 1945 Nuremberg Tribunal: Many of the defendants, most of whom are Protestant, attend Christmas Eve services conducted by Pastor Gerecke. Only Hess, Rosenberg and Streicher never attend services.

January 3, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 26, prosecution witness Otto Ohlendorf testifies:

Dr Kubuschok: I should like to ask the witness a few more questions on behalf of the Defendant Speer, since counsel for the Defendant Speer is absent and I, as a colleague, have taken over this task. Witness, is it known to you that the Defendant Speer, contrary to Hitler's orders, took measures to prevent the destruction of industrial and other installations?

Ohlendorf: Yes.

Dr Kubuschok: That these measures also extended beyond the interior of Germany to the then still-occupied area of Upper Silesia?

Ohlendorf: I believe that the date when I learned about this was so late that, although applicable to some small areas in the West, it no longer applied to any area in the East.

Dr Kubuschok: One more question which you might perhaps know about. Do you know that the Defendant Speer prepared an attempt on Hitler's life in the middle of February of this year?

Ohlendorf: No.

Dr Kubuschok: Do you know that Speer undertook to turn Himmler over to the Allies so that he could be called to account and possibly clear others who were innocent?

Ohlendorf: No.

Dr Kubuschok: This question will perhaps be answered in the affirmative by another witness...

From The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials by Telford Taylor: Speer came to his trial exceedingly well prepared. Apart from his basic intelligence (though only middling on Dr Gilbert's IQ ladder) and fresh recollection of the previous three years, he had been interrogated almost unceasingly, not only by the prosecution, but also by a string of military, administrative, engineering, and other visitors greedy for full information on the nature and workings of the German war machine. For example, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey, whose members included John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul Nitze, and George Bell, could not get enough of Speer's opinions and disclosures. Thoughtful defendants can often profit from the questions and reactions of their interrogators, and in all probability this experience aided Speer in framing his strategy for the trial. That strategy went beyond Speer's plans for the nature of his own testimony.

Just as Goering sought to establish his leadership of the defendants and a united front to justify Hitler and Nazism, so did Speer take the lead in acknowledging the failure of Nazism, the evilness of Hitler, and the defendants' own responsibility for the debacle. In all probability, Speer had no desire to be a lone soldier and hoped that bringing other defendants to his side would improve his general standing with the Tribunal and the prosecution. To accomplish this, Speer sought to split some of the defendants away from the forceful Goering. In January, lamenting Goering's influence, Speer remarked to Gilbert: 'You know, it is not a very good idea to let the defendants eat and walk together. That is how Goering keeps whipping them into line.' A month later, Speer's remark bore fruit when the defendants' luncheon tables were separated, with Goering isolated . . . .

Speer had Kubuschok break the news [of Speer's assassination plot against Hitler] ahead of time in order to emphasize the cleft between himself and Goering. He certainly succeeded insofar as Goering, at the next intermission, accosted Speer very angrily, and a heated argument took place in the presence of the other defendants. That evening Speer told Gilbert that 'I spoiled his united front.' However, it appeared doubtful that Speer had won any new members for his side of the 'front.'

January 19, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 38, M. Jacques B. Herzog continues the prosecution case concerning Nazi slave labor activities in France:

Herzog: The figures are as follows: 738,000 workers were pressed into compulsory labor service in France; 875,952 French workers were deported to German factories; 987,687 prisoners of war were utilized for the Reich war economy. A total of 2,601,639 workers of French citizenship thus were pressed into work serving the war effort of National Socialist Germany. From the official report of the Belgian Government it appears that 150,000 persons were pressed into compulsory labor; and the report of the Dutch Government gives a figure of 431,400 persons; but it should be noted that this figure does not take into account the systematic raids undertaken during November 1944, nor the deportations carried out in 1945. I am submitting to the Tribunal exact figures which cover all the stages of the policy of recruiting foreign labor. These figures are taken from the reports of the Defendant Sauckel himself...

January 25, 1946: Speer writes two statements on behalf of Dr. Schacht:

1. I was on the terrace of the Berghof (1937) on the Obersalzberg waiting to submit my building plans when Schacht appeared at the Berghof. From where I was on the terrace I could hear a loud argument between Hitler and Schacht in Hitler's room. Hitler's voice grew louder and louder. At the end of the discussion Hitler came out on the terrace and, visibly excited, he told the people about him that he could not collaborate with Schacht, that he had had a terrible argument with him, and that Schacht was going to upset his plans with his finance methods.

2. It was on or about 22 July (1944) that Hitler said in my presence to a fairly large group of people that Schacht, as one of the opponents of the authoritarian system, should be one of those to be arrested. Hitler went on to speak harshly of Schacht's activities and of the difficulties which he, Hitler, had experienced through Schacht's economic policy as regards rearmament. He said that actually a man like Schacht should be shot for his opposition activity before the war . . . . After the harshness of these remarks, I was surprised to meet Schacht here alive.

February 7, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 53, the French prosecution presents its case against Speer:

Speer knew that the levies for forced labor in the occupied territories were obtained by violence and terror. He approved the continuation of these methods from September 1942 onward. He knew, for instance, that workers were deported by force from the Ukraine to work in the Reich. He knew, likewise, that the great majority of workers in the occupied regions of the West were sent to Germany against their will. He even declared before the American magistrate who was questioning him that he considered these methods regular and legal. The Defendant Speer, knowing that the foreign workers were recruited and deported for forced labor in Germany, made specific demands for foreign workers and provided for their employment in the various branches of activity placed under his direction...

From Nuremberg Diary, by Gustave Gilbert: (In response to the presentation in court that day by France) Fritzsche and Speer showed that Goering's stealing of art treasures was really the damaging accusation in German eyes. "They didn't even mention the worst part of it," Fritzsche pointed out, "that he even sold the stuff he stole. But that Frenchman who presented the case did a really good job--much more effective than name calling, and he cleverly left the word for it up to the court to decide." "You see," said Speer, "how can there be any talk of a united front among the defendants when that man has disgraced himself like that?" Goering came over after lunch while I was reading the papers to some of the others, looking over my shoulder. He started to wisecrack about having a grudge against the brain-doctor. The others walked away to avoid the pretense of joking with him, and Goering expressed great interest in the day's news." (Gilbert)

February 8, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 54, the Chief Prosecutor for the USSR makes his opening statement:

Rudenko: Outstanding in the long chain of vile crimes committed by the German fascist invaders is the forced deportation to Germany of peaceful citizens, men, women, and children, for slave and forced labor. Documentary evidence proves the fact the Hitlerite Government and the German Supreme Command carried out the deportation of Soviet citizens into German slavery by deceit, threats, and force. Soviet citizens were sold into slavery by the fascist invaders to concerns and private individuals in Germany. These slaves were doomed to hunger, brutal treatment, and, in the end, to an agonizing death...

February 9, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: From the notes of the Nuremberg Prison psychologist, Dr. Gilbert:

Von Schirach's attitude of remorse before the trial has completely disappeared since he came under Goering's influence again in the first weeks of the trial. The essential moral weakness of this narcissist has been clearly shown in the manner in which he has subdued his indignation at the 'betrayal' of German Youth by Hitler, under the influence of Goering's aggressive cynicism, nationalism, and pose of romantic heroism . . . .

His original intention to write a denunciation of 'Hitler's betrayal' to leave behind with me after he is executed, fizzled out, in spite of efforts by Major Kelly (the psychiatrist) and myself to encourage him to write it. He has acted as Goering's messenger to lay down the 'Party Line' to recalcitrant defendants like Speer . . . . After yesterday's argument in which Goering impatiently attacked both Fritzsche and von Schirach as 'young weaklings' while he was by implication a more heroic nationalist, I decided the time was ripe to make another attempt to draw out von Schirach." (Taylor)

February 9, 1946: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

Yesterday, Friday, opened the Russian case. General Rudenko made his statement and the Russian photographers were all over the place. It lasted most of the day and about 4 o'clock the Russkies began presenting evidence. I conferred with the Justice about segregating Goering from the other defendants for he is browbeating and threatening them--and particularly those who might admit some guilt. He wants all to hang together--and to prove that Roosevelt was the cause of the war! Well, we will take care of that defense all right but I do not think he is entitled to go on intimidating people as he has done for much of his life.

February 15, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: 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 Nuremberg Tribunal: 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 Speer sharing a table with Fritzsche, Schirach and Funk in the so-called "Youth Lunchroom." (Speer, Tusa)

March 11, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 78, General Erhard Milch, a witness for Goering, is cross-examined by Speer's counsel:

Milch: Hitler ordered very solid structures to be built. I believe he demanded six large bomb-proof factories, each with 600,000 square meters floor space. Later on, Speer, who had been absent from the April meeting through illness, raised objections to these orders. He considered this construction work to be on far too large a scale and that it was too late to undertake it. Later he obtained permission for all factories which by June 1944 were not in a sufficiently advanced stage of construction--that is, which could not start working by the beginning of 1945--to be discontinued immediately.

Dr Flachsner: I am above all interested in the question of labor. At this discussion on the Obersalzberg, did the Fuehrer allocate the requisite labor for the construction of the factories demanded by him?

Milch: Yes. I think I remember rightly that, in answer to the objection raised by one of the gentlemen present, he said that he himself would see that the labor was made available.

Dr Flachsner: Witness, you said that Herr Speer was opposed to these constructions. What happened then? Speer was not present at that meeting?

Milch: No, he was ill at the time.

Dr Flachsner: Can you tell us briefly what happened?

Milch: During Speer's illness, requests reached the Fuehrer from other quarters that Speer should be relieved of construction work. Difficulties arose owing to the fact that whereas in theory Speer still remained in charge of building, in practice the work was nearly all taken out of his hands. He was no longer able to have any say in construction work, since it had been decided that the construction department of the Todt Organization should receive orders direct from Hitler. Thus, Speer was excluded more and more from this sphere of activity. A great deal was said at that time about large scale constructions, but very little work was actually done on them...

March 11, 1946: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

It is the end of another day, the second of the defense and we are gradually getting ahead. Justice Jackson cross-examined General Milch, one of Goering's aides, after various defense attorneys had asked questions. Jackson did well but not as well as he did Friday--he labored some unimportant points and got into some matters where he did not have the goods. However, towards the end he came back hard and left Milch a discredited witness. He could have done it in much less time.

March 18, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: From a report to the British Foreign Office by Patrick Dean:

Justice Jackson began his cross-examination of Goering at noon today. It was very disappointing and unimpressive and has been severely criticized here. He never pressed Goering on any of the numerous matters on which the cross-examination touched even though Goering was frequently lying and good material for cross-examination exists. In consequence Goering indulged in much Nazi propaganda and showed everything in the most favorable light for himself...

March 20, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 86, as Hermann Goering is cross-examined by Justice Jackson:

Justice Jackson: Then, Dr. Goebbels raised the question of Jews traveling in railway trains?

Goering: Yes.

Justice Jackson: Let me know if I quote correctly the dialogue between you and Dr. Goebbels on that subject. Dr. Goebbels said: "Furthermore, I advocate that Jews be banned from all public places where they might cause provocation. It is still possible for a Jew to share a sleeper with a German. Therefore, the Reich Ministry of Transport must issue a decree ordering that there shall be separate compartments for Jews. If this compartment is full, then the Jews cannot claim a seat. They can only be given separate compartments after all Germans have secured seats. They must not mix with the Germans; if there is no more room, they will have to stand in the corridor." Is that right?

Goering: Yes, that is correct.

Justice Jackson: "Goering: I think it would be more sensible to give them separate compartments. Goebbels: Not if the train is overcrowded. Goering: Just a moment. There will be only one Jewish coach. If that is filled up the other Jews will have to stay at home. Goebbels: But suppose there are not many Jews going, let us say, on the long-distance express train to Munich. Suppose there are two Jews on the train, and the other compartments are overcrowded; these two Jews would then have a compartment to themselves. Therefore, the decree must state, Jews may claim a seat only after all Germans have secured a seat. Goering: I would give the Jews one coach or one compartment, and should a case such as you mention arise, and the train be overcrowded, believe me, we will not need a law. He will be kicked out all right, and will have to sit alone in the toilet all the way." Is that correct?

Goering: Yes. I was getting irritated when Goebbels came with his small details when important laws were being discussed. I refused to do anything. I issued no decrees or laws in this connection. Of course, today, it is very pleasant for the Prosecution to bring it up, but I wish to state that it was a very lively meeting at which Goebbels made demands which were quite outside the economic sphere, and I used these expressions to give vent to my feelings.

Justice Jackson: Then Goebbels, who felt very strongly about these things, said that Jews should stand in the corridor, and you said that they would have to sit in the toilet. That is the way you said it?

Goering: No, it is not. I said that they should have a special compartment; and when Goebbels still was not satisfied, and harped on it, I finally told him, "I do not need a law. He can either sit in the toilet or leave the train..."

March 20, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: Albert Speer, in conversation with Dr. Gilbert:

You know, when Jackson cross-examines Goering, you can see that they represent two entirely opposite worlds--they don't even understand each other. Jackson asks him if he didn't help plan the invasion of Holland and Belgium and Norway, expecting Goering to defend himself against a criminal accusation, but instead Goering says, Why yes, of course, it took place thus and so, as if it were the most natural thing in the world to invade a neutral country if it suits your strategy." (Gilbert)

From Janet Flanner's World by Janet Flanner: As the trial moved out of its preparatory period of massive, static documentation and entered its period of skirmishing and battle in the open, where the brains and personalities of the opponents were what counted, Jackson began to show inadequacies as the leading Allied man. Up to then his main contribution to this very special legal scene had been the high humanitarianism which marked his fine opening address in November. Beneath that humanitarianism there lies his burning private conviction that the Nazi prisoners are mere common criminals. This, too logically, led to his treating them in a blustering police court manner, which was successful with the craven small fry but disastrous for him in cross-examining that uncommon criminal, Goering, himself accustomed to blustering in a grander way. Even physically, Jackson cut a poor figure. He unbuttoned his coat, whisked it back over his hips, and, with his hands in his back pockets, spraddled and teetered like a country lawyer. Not only did he seem to lack the background and wisdom of our Justice Holmes tradition, but his prepared European foreground was full of holes, which he fell into en route to setting traps for Goering.

From Justice at Nuremberg by Robert E. Conot: Speer...had the quiet good looks that made women's hearts in the courtroom go out to him; before he had attained prominence, Leni Riefenstahl, the leading film producer of the Reich, had clipped his picture out of a newspaper with the idea of using him in one of her movies . . . . Speer decorated his cell walls with red and blue crayons; and when the duty officer objected, pointed out that Colonel Andrus' comprehensive regulations contained no prohibition against murals on the walls, thus winning his point.

April 25, 1946: Speer writes to his parents:

Don't solace yourself with the idea that I am putting up a stiff fight for myself. One must bear one's responsibility here, not hope for favoring winds.

April 25, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 114, Hans Bernd Gisevius continues his testimony:

Gisevius: ... the attempt at assassination would perhaps have succeeded, if Goering and Himmler had been with Hitler on 17 July. But as the years went by, the members of this clique separated to such an extent, and protected themselves so much that they could hardly be found together anywhere. Goering, too, was gradually so absorbed in his transactions and art collections at Karinhall that he was hardly ever to be found at a serious conference.

Justice Jackson: Now, the assassination of Hitler would have accomplished nothing from your point of view if the Number 2 man had stepped into Hitler's place, would it?

Gisevius: That was a debatable problem for a long time, because Brauchitsch, for instance, imagined that we could create a transitional regime with Goering. Our group always refused to come together with that man even for an hour.

Justice Jackson: How did you plan--if you were successful--to deal with the other defendants here, with the exception of the Defendant Schacht, all of whom, I understand, you regard as a part of the Nazi government?

Gisevius: These gentlemen would have been behind lock and key in an extremely short time, and I think they would not have had to wait long for their sentences.

Justice Jackson: Now, does that apply to every man in this dock with the exception of Schacht?

Gisevius: Yes, every man.

Justice Jackson: That is, you recognized them, your group recognized them all as parts and important parts of the Nazi regime--a Nazi conspiracy. Is that a fact?

Gisevius: I should not like to commit myself to the words 'Nazi conspiracy.' We considered them the men responsible for all the unspeakable misery which that government had brought to Germany and the world...

May 10, 1946: A captured German V-2 rocket achieves high-altitude space flight at White Sands Proving Ground, reaching an altitude of 70 miles. (Braun)

May 23, 1946: From the diary of the British Alternate Judge, Mr. Justice Birkett:

When I consider the utter uselessness of acres of paper and thousands of words and that life's slipping away. I moan for the shocking waste of time, I used to protest vigorously and suggest matters to save time, but I have now got completely dispirited and can only chafe in impotent despair...

March 26, 1946: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

I had a long talk with Bill Jackson tonight about the case. I told him that unless we moved it along we would never finish it. The Justice is ill in bed and will not be back for a few days. I think he is worn out from his experience with Goering--he has been on the bench too long to take the cross-examination work.

June 11, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 152, Seyss-Inquart is cross-examined:

Dr Flachsner: Witness, when in August or September 1944, because of enemy bombings on the distribution system, production in Holland was hampered or even paralyzed, what measures were taken in order to protect the unemployed workers of the protected industries?

Seyss-Inquart: Three courses were open to us: First of all, to bring the workers into the Reich; secondly, to dismiss these workers and give them unemployment relief; and, thirdly, to retain these workers and to pay them their wages even though they did little or no work. I believe it was because of a decree issued by Reich Minister Speer that the third course was chosen. The workers in those industries received their pay, and I took care that the factory owners received a certain compensation for wages which they paid those workers.

Dr Flachsner: Witness, you mentioned before a discussion which you had on 1 April 1945 with Codefendant Speer. Can you tell us what the purpose of this discussion was?

Seyss-Inquart: I mentioned already that I, for my part, wanted to talk with Minister Speer about the scorched earth decree. But Minister Speer also had a purpose in mind. He wanted us to transport potatoes from north Holland into the Ruhr region and in exchange to bring coal from the Ruhr area into the Netherlands. In view of the potato supply in north Holland this could readily have been done, but we did not have enough transportation means at our command to carry out this plan.

Dr Flachsner: Did Speer tell you about precautionary measures for the securing of food supplies during the period after the occupation?

Seyss-Inquart: Minister Speer told me that behind the Ruhr area he had stored trainloads of food and that he had appropriated the means of transportation from the armament program, so that if the Ruhr area were invaded there would be trains with food for this area available...

June 19, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 158, Speer testifies on his own behalf:

Dr Flachsner: Herr Speer, did you ever participate in the planning and preparation of an aggressive war?

Speer: No. Since I was active as an architect up until the year 1942, there can be no question about that whatsoever. The buildings which I constructed were completely representative of peacetime building. As an architect I used up material, manpower, and money in considerable amounts for this purpose. This material, in the last analysis, was lost to armaments.

Dr Flachsner: Were you...

Speer: One moment, please. The carrying out of these large building plans which Hitler had supported was, actually and especially psychologically, an obstacle to armament.

Dr Flachsner: The Prosecution asserts you had been a Reichsleiter.

Speer: No, that is a mistake...

June 20, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 159, Speer testifies on his own behalf:

Dr Flachsner: Herr Speer, the witness Stahl said in his written interrogatory that about the middle of February 1945 you had demanded from him a supply of the new poison gas in order to assassinate Hitler, Bormann, and Goebbels. Why did you intend to do this then?

Speer: I thought there was no other way out...

June 20, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: In his cell later, Goering reacts to Speers testimony:

This was a bad day. Damn that stupid fool Speer! Did you see how he disgraced himself in court today? Gott im himmel! Donnerwetter nochamal! How could he stoop so low as to do such a rotten thing to save his lousy neck! I nearly died with shame! To think that Germans will be so rotten to prolong this filthy life--to put it bluntly--to piss in front and crap behind a little longer! Herr Gott, Donnerwetter! Do you think I give that much of a damn about this lousy life? For myself, I don't give a damn if I get executed, or drown, or crash in a plane, or drink myself to death! But there is still a matter of honor in this damn life! Assassination attempt on Hitler! Ugh! Gott im Himmel! I could have sunk through the floor.

From Nuremberg: A Nation on Trial by Werner Maser, translated by Richard Barry: Speer cut a figure not unlike the monumental buildings planned by the Fuehrer and constructed by him--designed for effect. Of his buildings, the design for which usually carried the note 'prepared in accordance with the Fuehrer's ideas,' he said after his release from Spandau that they had become more and more foreign to what he regarded as his style. The same could not be said of his appearances in Nuremberg, where he made no attempt to evade responsibility, so much so that members of his former staff and others referred to him as the 'Nuremberger' unable to divest himself of his 'hair shirt.' Speer was a success at Nuremberg; he showed obstinacy and arrogance only to the Russians; despite his almost embarrassing vanity he made a good impression on the Western lawyers and observers at the trial and this stood him in good stead at the end. Jackson described him as the best man in the witness box and his liking for Speer was at times so obvious that observers at the trial suspected some secret agreement between them. And in fact there was, as Jackson's personal papers showed and Speer himself once admitted. Jackson and Speer carried on a secret correspondence and reached agreements.

June 21, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 160, Speer undergoes acrimonious cross-examination:

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: Now we shall pass on to the next question. You stated here that you were highly critical of Hitler's entourage. Will you please name the persons whom you criticized?

Speer: No, I will not name them.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: You will not name these persons because you did not criticize anybody; am I to understand you in that way?

Speer: I did criticize them, but I do not consider it right to name them here.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: Well, I will not insist on an answer to this question. You had some differences with Hitler. Tell us, did they begin after you had convinced yourself that Germany had lost the war?

Speer: I made clear statements on this point yesterday.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: You spoke here quite extensively about your opposition to the destruction of industries in the western section of the Reich before the withdrawal of the German Armed Forces. But did you not do that only because you counted upon the reoccupation of these regions in the near future and because you wanted to save these industries for your own use?

Speer: No, that was not the reason. I explained in detail yesterday that this served as my pretext to prevent the destruction. If, for instance, you look at my memorandum dealing with the motor fuel situation, it is obvious that I did not believe a reoccupation was possible, and I do not think that any military leader in 1944 considered a reoccupation of France, Belgium, or Holland possible. That also applies to the Eastern Territories, of course.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: I think it would be better if we referred to the document. That is the right way of doing it and it would save time. It is a draft of a telegram which you prepared for Gauleiter Burckel, Wagner, and others. I shall read from Page 56, of your document book: "The Fuehrer has stated that he can in a short time accomplish the reoccupation of the territories which are at present lost to us, since in continuing the war the western areas are of great importance for armament and war production." What you stated in your testimony is quite different from what you wrote to the Gauleiter.

Speer: No, my counsel quoted and explained all this yesterday. I should like to see the document again. I do not know whether it is necessary to repeat this whole explanation; it was given yesterday and lasted about 10 minutes. Either my explanation of yesterday is believed or not.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: I do not want you to repeat what you said yesterday; if you do not want to answer me, I prefer to pass on to the next question.

The President: General Raginsky, if you asked him a question which was asked yesterday, he must give the same answer if he wants to give a consistent answer.

Mr. Counsellor Raginsky: Mr. President, I do not think it is necessary to repeat yesterday's question; it would be an absolute waste of time. If he does not want to answer truthfully, then I shall pass on to the next question...

From The Nuremberg Trial by Ann and John Tusa: Jackson caught him off guard in a moment which perhaps revealed more about Speer than any other remark he made at Nuremberg. Jackson produced records of eighty steel whips used at Krupp's for disciplining workers. 'These are nothing but replacements for rubber truncheons,' expostulated Speer. 'We had no rubber and for that reason the guards probably had something like this,' adding quickly that like the nightsticks of American policemen, the whips or truncheons were not necessarily used. But his initial response is the significant one; was the use of the steel whip the kind of improvisation Speer had specialized in to overcome the lack of raw materials, the way he won the goodwill of his workers, produced an industrial miracle with an increased labor force of only 30 per cent? Fritzsche recorded the prophecy of other defendants that Speer would be found guilty but given the benefit of extenuating circumstances. Can a court weigh in the balance millions of German lives saved against those millions of slave laborers lost or damaged, and arithmetically reach a just sentence?

June 22, 1946: From the letters of Thomas Dodd:

We finished von Papen and Speer and this morning we started von Neurath. Only Fritzsche remains in the dock. I did not cross-examine Speer—but I wish I had done so. I urged the Justice to do it. I felt he needed it as Speer was the last one for whom the US had primary responsibility—and I thought too that Speer would be easy and Jackson would look good. Well, he made a mess of it. That is, he did not do at all well. He just cannot cross-examine. Of that I am completely convinced.

When the Goering case went so poorly I felt that Biddle had made Jackson's task very difficult--that Goering himself was a difficult man to examine. That perhaps the Justice had a bad day—that on the record it wasn't as bad as it sounded. With Schacht, I reasoned that Schacht was tough. We had a fairly weak case—and that Jackson was nervous because of his Goering situation and that all in all it wasn't too bad. But after yesterday—I know now—that the Justice simply does not have the ability to cross-examine. It shocks me that he doesn't know it himself. He could have avoided all this by exercising only the duties of chief counsel in a case of this size. Speer was ripe for the plucking--but it didn't work out. Of course he will not escape—we have far too much on him. But we could have destroyed him--as he really deserved. Well, anyway, we are moving along...

July 22, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 187, US Justice Jackson details Prosecutions closing arguments against Speer:

Jackson: Speer, as Minister of Armaments and Production, joined in planning and executing the program to dragoon prisoners of war and foreign workers into German war industries, which waxed in output while the laborers waned in starvation . . . . 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 . . . .

This argument is an effort to evade Article 8 of the Charter, which provides that the order of the Government or of a superior shall not free a defendant from responsibility but. can only be considered in mitigation. This provision of the Charter corresponds with the justice and with the realities of the situation, as indicated in Defendant Speer's description of what he considered to be the common responsibility of the leaders of the German nation: " ... with reference to utterly decisive matters, there is total responsibility ... where must be total responsibility insofar as a person is one of the leaders, because who else could assume responsibility for the development of events, if not the immediate associates who work with and around the head of the State?" Again he told the Tribunal: " ... it is impossible after the catastrophe to evade this total responsibility. If the war had been won, the leaders would also have assumed total responsibility.

July 23, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 188, Sir Hartley Shawcross, Chief Prosecutor for the United Kingdom, details Prosecutions closing arguments:

Shawcross: ... it may not be easy to say exactly at what date each of these defendants must have realized, if, indeed, he had not known and gloried in it all from the beginning, that Hitler's apparently hysterical outpourings in Mein Kampf were intended in all seriousness and that they formed the very basis of the German plan. Some, no doubt, such as Goering, Hess, Ribbentrop, Rosenberg, Streicher, Frick, Frank, Schacht, Schirach, and Fritzsche, realized it, very early.

In the case of one or two, such as Doenitz and Speer, it may have been comparatively late. Few can have been ignorant after 1933; all must have been active participants by 1937. When one remembers the apprehension caused abroad during that period there can be no doubt, in our submission, that these men, almost all of whom were the rulers of Germany from 1933 onward, Hitler's intimate associates, admitted to his secret meetings, with full knowledge of plans and events, not only acquiesced in what was taking place, but were active and willing participants...

July 29, 1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 189, M. Charles Dubost, Deputy Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic, details Prosecutions closing arguments:

Dubost: They stopped at nothing in order to achieve their end: Violation of treaties, invasion, and enslavement in peacetime of weak and peaceful neighbors, wars of aggression, and total warfare, with all the atrocities which these words imply. Goering and Ribbentrop cynically admitted that they took both a spiritual and a material part in it; and the generals and admirals did their utmost to help matters forward. Speer exploited to the point of exhaustion and death the manpower recruited for him by Sauckel, Kaltenbrunner, the NSDAP Gauleiter, and the generals. Kaltenbrunner made use of the gas chambers, the victims for which were furnished by Frick, Schirach, Seyss-Inquart, Frank, Jodl, Keitel, and the rest. But the existence of the gas chambers themselves was only made possible through the development of a political ideology favorable to such things; there, inextricably merged, we find the responsibility of all of them—Goering, Hess, Rosenberg, Streicher, Frick, Frank, Fritzsche, down to Schacht himself, the pro-Jewish Schacht. Did he not say to Hirschfeld: "I want Germany to be great; to accomplish this I am prepared to ally myself with the very devil." He did enter into this alliance with the devil and with hell. We may include Papen, who saw his secretaries and his friends killed around him and still continued to accept official missions in Ankara and Vienna because he thought he could appease Hitler by serving him...


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