DR. SIEMERS: We are now at the summer of 1939. Admiral, in the course of the summer, after the speech of 23 May 1939, did you talk to Hitler in view of the generally known danger of war, and what did he tell you?
RAEDER: Whenever I talked to the Fuehrer, I always brought up the question of England, whereby I annoyed him to a certain extent. I tried to convince him that it would be possible to carry out the peace policy with England which he himself had urged at the beginning of his regime. Then he always reassured me that it remained his intention to steer a policy of peace with England, always leaving me in the belief that there was no danger of a clash with England-in any case, that at this time there was no such danger.
DR. SIEMERS: Now I come to the third key document-namely, Hitler's speech before the commanders-in-chief on 22 August 1939, at Obersalzberg. There are two documents: Document 1014-PS and Document 798-PS. Document 1014-PS is Exhibit USA-30, in Raeder Document Book 10a, Page 269; and Document 798-PS is Exhibit USA-29, in Document Book 10a, Page 266. In regard to this Document 1014-PS, which I have here in the original in the form submitted by the Prosecution, I should like to make a formal request. This Number 1014-PS was read into the record in the afternoon session of 26 November 1945 (Volume II, Page 286). I object to the use of this document. I request that this document be stricken from the trial record for the following reason...
THE PRESIDENT: What document are you speaking about now, 1014-PS?
DR. SIEMERS: In Raeder Document Book 10a, Page 269, Exhibit USA-30.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, what are your reasons?
DR. SIEMERS: The deficiencies which were already mentioned in the other transcripts are much greater here. This document is nothing but two pieces of paper headed "Second Speech by the Fuehrer, on 22 August 1939." The original has no heading, has no file number, no diary number, and no notice that it is secret; no signature, no date, no...
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to look at the original. Yes, Dr. Siemers.
DR. SIEMERS: It has no date, no signature-in the original in the folder, it has no indication of where the document comes from. It is headed "Second Speech..." although it is certain that on this date Hitler made only one speech, and it is hardly 1 1/2 pages long, although . . .
THE PRESIDENT: When you say it has no date, it is part of the document itself which says that it is the second speech of the Fuehrer on the 22d of August 1939.
DR. SIEMERS: I said, Mr. President, it has a heading but no date.
THE PRESIDENT: But you said it has no date.
DR. SIEMERS: It has no date as to when these notes were put in writing. It has only the date of when the speech is supposed to have been made. On all documents which the Prosecution submitted, also in the case of minutes, you will find the date of the session and the date on which the minutes were set up; also the place where the minutes were set up, the name of the person who set it up, an indication that it is secret or something like that. Furthermore, it is certain that Hitler spoke for 2 1/2 hours. I believe it is generally known that Hitler spoke very fast. It is quite out of the question that the minutes could be 1 1/2 pages long if they are to give the meaning and the content, at least to some extent, of a speech which lasted 2 1/2 hours. It is important-I may then refer to still another point. I will submit the original of Document 798-PS afterwards. I am no expert on handwriting or typewriters, but I notice that this document, which is also not signed, whose origin we do not know, is written on the same paper with the same typewriter.
THE PRESIDENT: You say we do not know where it has come from-it is a captured document covered by the affidavit which was made with reference to all other captured documents.
DR. SIEMERS: Well, but I would be grateful to the Prosecution if, in the case of such an important document, the Prosecution would be kind enough in order to determine the actual historical facts to indicate more exactly where it originates. Because it is not signed by Schmundt or Hossbach or anyone and has no number, it is only loose pages.
THE PRESIDENT: I do not know whether the Prosecution can do that, but it seems to me to be rather late in the day to ask for it.
MR. THOMAS J. DODD (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): Mr. President, I do not know what the exact origin of this document is offhand, but I expect that we could probably get some
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information before the Tribunal if the Tribunal wishes us to do so: But as the President pointed out, it is a captured document and everything that counsel says about it seems to go to its weight rather than to its admissibility.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal would like to know where the document was found, if that is possible.
MR. DODD: I will make an effort to find that out.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, Mr. Dodd just pointed out that my objection comes rather late. I believe I recall correctly that repeated objections were raised...
THE PRESIDENT: I think it was I who pointed it out, not Mr. Dodd.
DR. SIEMERS: Excuse me. I believe I recall correctly that the Defense on several occasions raised objection during the Prosecution's case, and it was said that all statements could be made during the Defense's case at a later time-namely, when it is the defense counsel's turn to speak.
THE PRESIDENT: I only meant that it might not be possible at this stage to find out exactly where the document came from, whereas, if the question had been asked very much earlier in the Trial, it might have been very much easier. That is all I meant. Have you anything more to add upon why, in your opinion, this document should be stricken from the record?
DR. SIEMERS: I should like to point out, Mr. President, that I do not do it for formal reasons but rather for a very substantial reason. Most important words in this document have constantly been repeated by the Prosecution during these 5 or 6 months- namely, the words "Destruction of Poland, main objective... Aim: elimination of vital forces, not arrival at a certain line." These words were not spoken, and such a war aim the German commanders-in-chief would not have agreed to. For that reason it is important to ascertain whether this document is genuine.
In this connection, may I remind the Court that there is a third version of this speech as mentioned in this courtroom-namely? Document L-3, which is even worse than these and which was published by the press of the whole world. Wherever one spoke to anyone, this grotesque and brutal speech was brought up. For that reason it is in the interest of historical truth to ascertain whether Hitler spoke in this shocking way at this time. Actually, I admit he used many expressions which were severe, but he did not use such words, and this is of tremendous significance for the reputation of all the commanders who were present.
Let me point out the next words. They say expressly, "close your hearts against pity, brutal measures." Such words were not
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used. I will be in a position to prove this by another witness, Generaladmiral Boehm.
I therefore request the Court to decide on my request for striking this document from the record. I should like to point out that the document is mentioned in the record at many points. Should the honorable Court so wish, I would have to look for all the points. I have found only four or five in the German record. If necessary, I would give all the points in the English record. It was submitted on 26 November 1945, afternoon session (Volume II, Page 286).
THE PRESIDENT: I do not think you need bother to do that. You are now only upon the question of whether the document should be stricken from the record. If it were to be stricken from the record, we could find out where it is. Is that all you wish to say?
DR. SIEMERS: One question to Admiral Raeder.
The words which I just read, "brutal measures, elimination of vital forces"-were these words used in Hitler's speech at that time?
RAEDER: In my opinion, no. I believe that the version submitted by Admiral Boehm, which he wrote down on the afternoon of the same day on the basis of his notes, is the version nearest to the truth.
DR. SIEMERS: Mr. President, in order to achieve clarity on this question, I submit as Exhibit Raeder-27, in Raeder Document Book 2, Page 144, an orderly reproduction of this speech.
RAEDER: May I also have Document Book 2?
DR. SIEMERS: This is the speech according to the manuscript of Generaladmiral Hermann Boehm. Generaladmiral Boehm was present at Hitler's speech on 22 August 1939 at Obersalzberg. He made the notes during the speech. He transcribed them in the present form on the same evening-that is, on 22 August 1939-in the Vier Jahreszeiten Hotel in Munich. I have certified the correctness of the copy. The original is in the handwriting of Generaladmiral Boehm. Boehm has been called by me as a witness for various other questions. He will confirm that the speech was made in this form as I have submitted here. A comparison of the two documents shows that all terms, such as "brutal measures," are not contained in this speech. It shows further...
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Surely this part of Dr. Siemers' argument must go to weight. He has said that a comparison of the two documents shows such and such. I have just looked at the end of Admiral Boehm's affidavit and it contains, I should argue, every vital thought that is contained in Document 1014-PS. But whether it does or not, that is a matter of weight, surely. We
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cannot, in my respectful submission, go into intrinsic comparisons to decide the admissibility of the document. As I say, on that I should have a great deal to say by comparing the documents in detail. That is not before the Tribunal now.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. The Tribunal was only wanting to hear whatever Dr. Siemers has got to say upon the subject.
DR. SIEMERS: A comparison of the document with Document 798-PS, in the longer and better version, as the Prosecution submitted . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Siemers, as Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe has just pointed out, a mere comparison of the documents-of the two or three documents does not help us as to its admissibility. We know the facts about the document. It is a document in German, captured among German documents.
DR. SIEMERS: I understand. I made the statement only in order to show that I am not raising objections for formal reasons, but because the thing is actually of great importance. In proof of my...
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, you will be able to urge that when you make your speech in criticism of the document as to its weight. You will be able to point out that it does not bear comparison with a fuller document taken down by Admiral Boehm or with the other document.
DR. SIEMERS: Absolutely right. To explain my formal request, I refer to my statement on the formal character of the document which I submitted.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
The application to strike out Document 1014-PS is denied.
[A recess was taken.]https://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/05-16-46.asp