1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 81, Hermann Goering testifies on his own behalf, answering a series of leading questions posed by his defense counsel: In this case, the longest uninterrupted anti-Semitic diatribe of the trial.
Dr Stahmer: The Party program included two points, I believe, dealing with the question of the Jews. What was your basic attitude towards this question?
Goering: This question, which has been so strongly emphasized in the Indictment, forces me under all circumstances to interpose certain statements. After Germany's collapse in 1918 Jewry became very powerful in Germany in all spheres of life, especially in the political, general intellectual and cultural, and, most particularly, the economic spheres. The men came back from the front, had nothing to look forward to, and found a large number of Jews who had come in during the war from Poland and the East, holding positions, particularly economic positions. It is known that, under the influence of the war and business concerned with it--demobilization, which offered great possibilities for doing business, inflation, deflation--enormous shifts and transfers took place in the propertied classes.
There were many Jews who did not show the necessary restraint and who stood out more and more in public life, so that they actually invited certain comparisons because of their numbers and the position they controlled in contrast to the German people. In addition there was the fact that particularly those parties which were avoided by nationally minded people also had Jewish leadership out of proportion to the total number of Jews. That did not apply only to Germany, but also to Austria, which we have always considered a part of Germany. There the entire Social Democratic leadership was almost exclusively in Jewish hands. They played a very considerable part in politics, particularly in the left-wing parties, and they also became very prominent in the press in all political directions.
At that time, there thus ensued a continuous uninterrupted attack on everything national, national concepts and national ideals. I draw attention to all the magazines and articles that dragged through the mud things that were holy to us. I likewise call attention to the distortion that was practiced in the field of art in this direction, to plays that dragged the fighting at the front through the mud and befouled the ideal of the brave soldier. In fact I could submit an enormous pile of such articles, books, plays, and so forth; but this would lead too far afield and I am actually not too well informed on the subject. Because of all this, a defense movement arose which was by no means created by National Socialism but which had existed before, which was already strong during the war and which came even more strongly to the fore after the war, when the influence of Jewry had such effects.
Moreover, in the cultural and intellectual sphere also many things that were not in accordance with German feeling came to be expressed. Here, too, there was a great split. In addition there was the fact that in economic matters, if one overlooks the western industry, there was an almost exclusive domination on the part of Jewry, which, indeed, consisted of elements which were most sharply opposed by the old, established Jewish families. When the movement then drew up its program, which was done by a few simple people--as far as I know, not even Adolf Hitler himself took part in the drafting of the program, at least not yet as a leader--the program included that point which played a prominent part as a defensive point among large sections of the German people. Shortly before that there had been the Rate-Republik in Munich and the murder of hostages, and here, too the leaders were mostly Jews. It can be understood, therefore, that a program drawn up in Munich by simple people quite naturally took this up as a defense point. News also came of a Rate-Republik in Hungary--again consisting mainly of Jews. All this had made a very strong impression.
When the program became known, the Party--which was at that time extremely small--was at first not taken seriously and was laughed at. But then, from the very beginning, a concentrated and most bitter attack on the part of the entire Jewish press, or the Jewish-influenced press, was started against the movement. Everywhere Jewry was in the lead in the fight against National Socialism, whether in the press, in politics, in cultural life by making National Socialism contemptible and ridiculous, or in the economic sphere. Whoever was a National Socialist could not get a position; the National Socialist businessman could not get supplies or space for advertisements, and so on. All this naturally resulted in a strong defensive attitude on the part of the Party and led from the very beginning to an intensification of the fight, such as had not originally been the intention of the program. For the program aimed very definitely at one thing above all--that Germany should be led by Germans. And it was desired that the leadership, especially the political shaping of the fate of the German people, should be in the hands of German persons who could raise up the spirit of the German people again in a way that people of a different kind could not.
Therefore the main point was at first merely to exclude Jewry from politics, from the leadership of the State. Later on, the cultural field was also included because of the very strong fight which had developed, particularly in this sphere, between Jewry on the one side and National Socialism on the other. I believe that if, in this connection, many a hard word which was said by us against Jews and Jewry were to be brought up, I should still be in a position to produce magazines, books, newspapers, and speeches in which the expressions and insults coming from the other side were far in excess. All that obviously was bound to lead to intensification. Shortly after the seizure of power countless exceptions were made. Jews who had taken part in the World War and who had been decorated were treated differently and shown consideration; they remained unaffected by measures excluding Jews from civil services. As I have said, the chief aim was to exclude them from the political sphere, then from the cultural sphere.
The Nuremberg Laws were intended to bring about a clear separation of races and, in particular, to do away with the notion of persons of mixed blood in the future, as the term of half Jew or quarter Jew led to continuous distinctions and confusion as far as their position was concerned. Here I wish to emphasize that I personally had frequent discussions with the Fuehrer regarding persons of mixed blood and that I pointed out to the Fuehrer that, once German Jews were clearly separated, it was impossible to have still another category between the two which constituted a not well clarified section of the German people, which did not stand on the same level as the other Germans. I suggested to him that, as a generous act, he should do away with the concept of the person of mixed blood and place such people on the same footing as the other Germans. The Fuehrer took up this idea with great interest and was all for adopting my point of view, in fact, he gave certain preparatory orders.
Then came more troubled times, as far as foreign policy was concerned--the Sudeten crisis, Czechoslovakia, the occupation of the Rhineland, and afterward the Polish crisis--and the question of persons of mixed blood stepped into the background; but at the beginning of the war the Fuehrer told me that he was prepared to solve this matter in a positive, generous fashion, but only after the war. The Nuremberg Laws were to exclude, for the future, that concept of persons of mixed blood by means of a clear separation of races. Consequently it was provided in the penal regulations of the Nuremberg Laws, that never the woman but always the man should be punishable, no matter whether he was German or Jewish. The German woman or the Jewess should not be punished. Then quieter times came, and the Fuehrer was always of the opinion that for the time being Jews should remain in economy, though not in leading and prominent positions, until a controlled emigration, gradually setting in, then intensified, should solve this problem. In spite of continuous disturbances and difficulties in the economic field, the Jews on the whole remained unmolested in their economic positions. The extraordinary intensification that set in later did not really start in until after the events of 1933, and then to a still greater extent in the war years.
But here, again, there was naturally one more radical group for whom the Jewish question was more significantly in the foreground than it was for other groups of the Movement; just as, as I should like to emphasize at this point, the idea of National Socialism as a philosophy was understood in various ways--by one person more philosophically, by another mystically, by a third in a practical and political sense. This was also true of the different points of the program. For one person certain points were more important, for another person less so. One person would see in the point of the program which was directed against Versailles and toward a free and strong Germany the main point of the program; another person, perhaps, would consider the Jewish question the main point."
1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 81, Hermann Goering testifies on his own behalf, answering a series of leading questions posed by his defense counsel.
Dr Stahmer: To what extent did you participate in the issuing of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935?
Goering: In my capacity as President of the Reichstag I announced those laws and the law concerning the new Reich flag simultaneously here in Nuremberg when the Reichstag was meeting at that time.
Dr Stahmer: In the Indictment it says that the destruction of the Jewish race was part of the planning of aggressive wars.
Goering: That has nothing to do with the planning of aggressive wars; also, the destruction of the Jewish race was not planned in advance.
Dr Stahmer: Were you a party to the action against the Jews in the night of 9-10 November 1938?
Goering: I should like to discuss that briefly. I gathered yesterday, from the cross-examination of the witness Korner, that a misunderstanding had arisen in regard to this. On 9 November the march to the Feldherrnhalle took place. This march was repeated every year and for this occasion the prominent leaders of the movement gathered. Korner referred to that when he said that everybody came to Munich. It was customary, after the march was over, for practically everybody to meet at the Munich City Hall for a dinner, at which the Fuehrer was also present. I never attended that dinner in any of the years in question, as I used to utilize my stay in Munich by attending to various other matters in the afternoon of that day. I did not take part in the dinner on this occasion either, nor did Korner. He and I returned in my special train to Berlin in the evening. As I heard later, when the investigation was carried out, Goebbels announced at that dinner, after the Fuehrer had left, that the seriously wounded counselor of the Embassy in Paris had died of his wounds. There was a certain amount of excitement and then Goebbels, apparently spoke some words about retaliation and in his way--he was probably the very strongest representative of anti-Semitism -- must have brought on this development of events; but that was after the Fuehrer had left.
I myself, in fact, heard of the events upon my arrival in Berlin. First of all the conductor in my car told me that he had seen fires in Halle. Half an hour later I called my adjutant, who reported to me that riots had taken place during the night, that Jewish stores had been broken into and plundered and that synagogues had been set on fire. He did not know any more about it himself. I proceeded to my apartment and at once had a call put through to the Gestapo. I demanded a report of the events of that night. That is the report which has been referred to here and which was made to me by the Chief of the Gestapo, Heydrich, concerning the events, as much as he knew about them at that time; that was the evening of the following day, I believe.
The Fuehrer, too, arrived in Berlin in the course of the morning. Having in the meantime heard that Goebbels had at least played an important part as instigator, I told the Fuehrer that it was impossible for me to have such events taking place at this particular time. I was making every effort, in connection with the Four-Year Plan, to concentrate the entire economic field to the utmost. I had, in the course of speeches to the nation, been asking for every old toothpaste tube, every rusty nail, every bit of scrap material to be collected and utilized. It could not be tolerated that a man who was not responsible for these things should upset my difficult economic tasks by destroying so many things of economic value on the one hand and by causing so much disturbance in economic life on the other hand.
The Fuehrer made some apologies for Goebbels, but on the whole he agreed that such events were not to take place and must not be allowed to take place. I also pointed out to him, that such a short time after the Munich agreement such matters would also have an unfavorable effect on foreign policy. In the afternoon I had another discussion with the Fuehrer. In the meantime Goebbels had been to see him. The latter I had told over the telephone in unmistakable terms, and in very sharp words, my view of the matter. I told him then, with emphasis, that I was not inclined to suffer the consequences of his uncontrolled utterances, as far as economic matters were concerned. In the meantime the Fuehrer, influenced by Goebbels, had somewhat changed his mind. Just what Goebbels told him and to what extent he referred to the excitement of the crowd, to urgently needed settlements, I do not know. At any rate, the Fuehrer's views were not the same as they were on the occasion of my first complaint.
While we were talking, Goebbels, who was in the house, joined us and began his usual talk: that such things could not be tolerated; that this was the second or third murder of a National Socialist committed abroad by a Jew. It was on that occasion that he first made the suggestion that a fine should be imposed. Indeed, he wished that each Gau should collect such a fine and he named an almost incredibly high sum. I contradicted him and told the Fuehrer that, if there was to be a fine, then the Reich alone should collect it, for, as I said, Herr Goebbels had the most Jews right here in Berlin and would therefore not be a suitable person for this, since he was the most interested party. Apart from that, if such measures were to be taken, then only the sovereign State had the right to take them.
After a short discussion, this way and that, about the amount, 1,000,000,000 was agreed upon. I pointed out to the Fuehrer that under certain circumstances that figure would have repercussions on the tax returns. The Fuehrer then expressed the wish and ordered that the economic solution also be carried through now. In order that there should be no further occasion for such events, businesses obviously Jewish and known to be Jewish were first of all to be Aryanized, in particular the department stores. These were often a source of friction, as the officials and employees from the ministries, who could shop only between 6 and 7 in the evening, often went to these stores and had difficulties. He ordered, in general terms, what should be done.
Thereupon I called the meeting of 12 November with those departments that had jurisdiction over these matters. Unfortunately, the Fuehrer had demanded that Goebbels should be represented on this commission -- actually a commission was to be appointed. He was, in fact, present, although I maintained that he had nothing to do with economic questions. The discussion was very lively. We were all irritated at this meeting. Then I had the economic laws drafted and later I had them published. I rejected other proposals which lay outside the economic sphere, such as restriction of travel, restriction of residence, restriction in regard to bathing resorts, et cetera, as I was not competent to deal with these things and had not received any special orders. These were issued later on by the police authorities, and not by me; but through my intervention various mitigation’s and adjustments were made. I should like to point out that although I received oral and written orders and commands from the Fuehrer to issue and carry out these laws, I assume full and absolute responsibility for these laws which bear my signature; for I issued them and consequently am responsible, and do not propose to hide in any way behind the Fuehrer's order."
1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 86, Hermann Goering is cross-examined, answering a series of loaded questions by Justice Jackson, the chief US prosecutor.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You have stated that on the Jewish question, some of the members of the government were more radical than you. Would you state who these were?
Goering: Broadly speaking, when we took over the government, we only demanded their removal from political and other leading positions in the State.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is not what I asked you.
The President: That is not a direct answer to the question. The question was that you said some members of the government were more radical toward Jews than you were. Would you tell us which of the members of the government were more radical than you were?
Goering: Excuse me, I did not understand the question to mean who were more radical, but in what way they were more radical. If you ask who, then I would say that those were primarily Minister Goebbels and Himmler.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Do you also include your co-defendant, Julius Streicher, as more radical than you?
Goering: Yes, but he was not a member of the government.
Mr. Justice Jackson: He was the Gauleiter, was he not, for this very territory in which we are sitting.
Goering: That is correct; but he had very little or no influence on government measures.
Mr. Justice Jackson: What about Heydrich?
Goering: Heydrich was subordinate to Himmler. If I said Himmler, I, of course, include Heydrich.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Heydrich is then included in the list of the more radical ones to whom you refer?
Goering: That is right; yes.
Mr. Justice Jackson: What about Bormann?
Goering: It was only during the later years that I observed that Bormann was becoming more radical. I do not know anything about his attitude in the beginning.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, I want to review with you briefly what the Prosecution understands to be public acts taken by you in reference to the Jewish question. From the very beginning you regarded the elimination of the Jews from the economic life of Germany as one phase of the Four-Year Plan under your jurisdiction, did you not?
Goering: The elimination, yes; that is partly correct. The elimination as far as the large industries were concerned, because there were continual disturbances due to the fact that there were large industries, also armament industries, still partly under Jewish directors, or with Jewish shareholders, and that gave rise to a certain anxiety among the lower ranks.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, do I understand that you want the Tribunal to believe that all you were concerned about was the big Jewish enterprises? That is the way you want to be understood?
Goering: I was not at first disturbed by the small stores. They did not come into the Four-Year Plan.
Mr. Justice Jackson: When did the small stores disturb you?
Goering: When trade had to be limited, it was pointed out that closing the Jewish stores could do this first.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, let us go through the public acts that you performed on the Jewish question. First, did you proclaim the Nuremberg Laws?
Goering: As President of the Reichstag, yes. I have already stated that.
Mr. Justice Jackson: What date was that?
Goering: 1935, I believe; here in Nuremberg, in September.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That was the beginning of the legal measures taken against the Jews, was it not?
Goering: That was a legal measure.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That was the first of the legal measures taken by your government against the Jews, was it not?
Goering: No, I believe the removal from office was before.
Mr. Justice Jackson: When was that?
Goering: I could not state the exact date, but I believe that happened in 1933.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then on the first day of December 1936, you promulgated an act making it a death penalty for Germans to transfer property abroad or leave it abroad; the property of a culprit to be forfeited to the State, and the People's Court given jurisdiction to prosecute, did you not?
Goering: That is correct; the "Decree Governing Restriction on Foreign Currency." That is to say, whoever had an account in a foreign country without permission of the government.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then, your third public act was on 22 April 1938 when you published penalties for veiling the character of a Jewish enterprise within the Reich, was it not?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then on 28 July 1939, you, Hermann Goering, published certain prescriptions on the competence of the courts to handle those matters by the decree, did you not?
Goering: Please, would you kindly read the law to me? I cannot recall it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I will not take time reading it. Do you deny that you published the Reichsgesetzblatt law, 1939, found on Page 1370, referring to the competence of the courts to handle penalties against Jews? If you do not remember, say so.
Goering: Yes, I say that I cannot remember the law. If it is in the Reichsgesetzblatt and bears my name, then, of course, it is so; but I do not remember the contents.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, on 26 April 1938 you, under the Four-Year Plan, published a decree providing for the registration of Jewish property and provided that Jews inside and outside Germany must register their property, did you not?
Goering: I assume so. I no longer remember it, but if you have the decree there, and if it is signed by me, there cannot be any doubt.
Mr. Justice Jackson: On 26 April 1938 you published a decree under the Four-Year Plan, did you not, that all acts of disposal of Jewish enterprises required the permission of the authorities?
Goering: That I remember.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then you published on 12 November 1938 a decree, also under the Four-Year Plan, imposing a fine of a billion marks for atonement on all Jews?
Goering: I have already explained that all these decrees at that time were signed by me, and I assume responsibility for them.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, I am asking you if you did not sign that particular decree? I am going to ask you some further questions about it later.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then on the 12th of November 1938, you also signed a decree that, under the Four-Year Plan, all damage caused to Jewish property by the riots of 1938 must be repaired immediately by the Jews, and at their own expense; and their insurance claims were forfeited to the Reich. Did you personally sign that law?
Goering: I did sign a similar law. Whether it was exactly the same as you have just read, I could not say.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You do not disagree that that was the substance of the law, do you?
Mr. Justice Jackson: And on the 12th of November 1938, did you not also personally sign a decree, also under the Four-Year Plan, that Jews may not own retail stores, or engage independently in handicrafts or offer goods, or services, for sale at markets, fairs, or exhibitions; or act as leaders of enterprises or as members of co-operatives? Do you recall all of that?
Goering: Yes. Those are all parts of the decrees for the elimination of Jewry from economic life.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then, on the 21st of February 1939, you personally signed a decree, did you not, that the Jews must surrender all objects of precious metals and jewels purchased, to the public office within 2 weeks?
Goering: I do not remember that, but without doubt, that is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I refer to Volume I of the Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Page 282. You have no recollection of that?
Goering: I have not the Reichsgesetzblatt in front of me now, but if there is a decree in the Reichsgesetzblatt, or a law signed with my name, then I signed that law and decreed it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did you not also, on the 3rd of March 1939, sign a further decree concerning the period within which items of jewelry must be surrendered by Jews--Reichsgesetzblatt, Volume 1, 1939, Page 387?
Goering: I assume that was the decree for the execution of the decree for surrender previously mentioned. A law sometimes requires regulations and decrees for execution consequent upon the law. Taken together, this is one single measure.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did you not also sign personally a decree under the Four-Year Plan, of the 17th of September 1940, ordering the sequestration of Jewish property in Poland?
Goering: Yes, as I stated before, in that part of Poland which, I may say, as an old German province, was to return to Germany.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did you not also, on the 30th day of November 1940, personally sign a decree which provided that the Jews should receive no compensation for damages caused by enemy attacks or by German forces, and did you not sign that in the capacity of President of the Reich Defense Council? I refer to the Reichsgesetzblatt, Volume 1, 1940, Page 1547.
Goering: If you have it there before you, then it must be correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You have no recollection of that?
Goering: Not of all the separate laws and decrees. That is impossible.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then, it was you, was it not, who signed, on the 31st day of July 1941, a decree asking Himmler, and the Chief of Security Police and the SS GruppenFührer Heydrich to make the plans for the complete solution of the Jewish question?
Goering: No, that is not correct. I know that decree very well.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I ask to have you shown Document 710, Exhibit Number USA-509.
The President: Is that 710-PS?
Mr. Justice Jackson: 710-PS, Your Honor. (Turning to the witness.) That document is signed by you, is it not?
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And it is addressed to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, and to SS GruppenFührer Heydrich, isn't it?
Goering: That is also correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I am not certain whether the entire thing has been read into the record, but I think it should be; and, that we may have no difficulty about the translation of this, you correct me if I am wrong: "Completing the task that was assigned to you on the 24th of January 1939 ... "
Goering: Here is a mistake already. It says: "Complementing" not "completing" the task which has been assigned to you.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Very well, I will accept that.
. . . which dealt with arriving at a thorough furtherance of emigration and evacuation, a solution of the Jewish problem, as advantageously as possible, I hereby charge you with making all necessary preparations in regard to organizational and financial matters for bringing about a complete solution of the Jewish question in the German sphere of influence in Europe.
Am I correct so far?
Goering: No that is in no way correctly translated.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Give us your translation of it?
Goering: May I read it as it is written here?
Complementing the task which was conferred upon you already on 24 January 1939, to solve the Jewish problem by means of emigration and evacuation in the best possible way according to present conditions, I charge you herewith to make all necessary preparations as regards organizational, factual, and material matters …
Now comes the decisive word that has been mistranslated: "for a total solution," not "for a final solution."
... for a total solution of the Jewish question within the area of German influence in Europe. Should these come within the competence of other governmental departments, then such departments are to co-operate. I charge you further to submit to me as soon as possible a general plan showing the organizational and material measures for reaching the desired total solution of the Jewish question ... Complementing the task assigned to you on 24 January 1939 ..."
That was at a time when there was no war or prospect of a war.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now are you reporting the instrument or are you making an explanation?
Goering: I wanted to add an explanation to the quotation and just to point out the date.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes. Well, I just did not want it to appear that it was a part of the instrument. The last that is contained in the instrument is:
I charge you furthermore to send me, before long, an overall plan concerning the organizational, factual, and material measures necessary for the accomplishment of the desired solution of the Jewish question.
Is that not a substantially accurate translation of your order to Heydrich and Himmler?
Goering: To Heydrich and the other government departments that had anything to do with it. That can be seen from the first part of the letter, the last sentence.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Let us have no misunderstanding about this translation now. This letter was directed to the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, and SS GruppenFührer Heydrich. We are right about that, are we not?
Goering: That is correct, but I have to make an explanation in connection with that.
Mr. Justice Jackson: All right.
Goering: The reason I sent this letter to him was that, by the decree of 24 January 1939, Heydrich, or it may have been Himmler, had been given the task of dealing with the emigration of the Jews. Therefore this was the government department concerned, and it was to the department that had been given the task that I had to apply concerning all material and economic matters arising therefrom.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes. And you ordered all other governmental agencies to co-operate with the Security Police and the SS in the final solution of the Jewish question, did you not?
Goering: There is nothing about the SS here, only about the Sicherheitspolizei [security police, often abbreviated as SiPo], a governmental agency. The fact that Heydrich was SS GruppenFührer had no direct bearing on it, because it was sent to the Chief of the Security Police--mentioning his rank as SS GruppenFührer Heydrich.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And mentioning his rank in the SS was just superfluous and has nothing to do with the case?
Goering: I have to explain that. For instance, if I write to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, then I write: "To the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Colonel General or Field Marshal von Brauchitsch." And if I write to the Chief of the Security Police, then I must address it: "To the Chief of the Security Police, SS GruppenFührer Heydrich." That was his rank and his title. However, that does not mean that the SS had anything to do with it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, at the time that you issued this order you had received complete reports as to the 1938 riots and Heydrich's part in them, hadn't you?
Goering: At that time I had no knowledge of Heydrich's part in the riots--only Heydrich's report on the riots, for which I had asked.
Mr. Justice Jackson: All right. Now we will show you Document Number 3058-PS, in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-508. [Document 3058-PS was submitted to the witness.] That is the report written by Heydrich which you say you had received, and it is dated 11 November 1938, is it not?
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And it recited to you the looting of Jewish shops, the arrest of 174 persons for looting, the destruction of 815 shops, 171 dwellings set on fire or destroyed, and that this indicated only a fraction of the actual damage caused; 191 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed; in addition, 11 parish halls, cemetery chapels, and similar buildings were set on fire, and 3 more completely destroyed; 20,000 Jews were arrested; also, 7 Aryans and 3 foreigners--the latter were arrested for their own safety; 36 deaths were reported, and the seriously injured were also numbered at 36. Those killed and injured are Jews. One Jew is still missing. The Jews killed include 1 Polish national and those injured include 2 Poles. You had that report on or about the 11th day of November 1938, did you not?
Goering: That is correct. That is the report mentioned by me. I had asked the police to supply, because I wanted to know what had happened up to then.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Exactly. And the note was made at the top of it, "The General Field Marshal has been informed and no steps are to be taken." Was it not?
Goering: That is not quite correct. It says here, "General Field Marshal has taken note. No steps are to be taken by any other office," because I myself wanted to take them.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, you know that that is not true, do you not, that steps were to be taken by some other office? I put it to you squarely whether you are telling this Tribunal the truth when you say that no steps were to be taken by anyone else.
Goering: This is a note by my staff department, that nothing was to be done by that quarter, because I said I was going to deal with it personally. In fact I went straight to the Fuehrer with this report.
Mr. Justice Jackson: All right. Did you receive a report from the Chief Party Judge of the Nazi Party, dated Munich, the 13th of February 1939, concerning the proceedings taken by the Party in these matters?
Goering: That is correct. I received that report much later.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And at the time you appointed--I withdraw the question. It is obvious from the dates of the documents. You acknowledged the receipt of that document, did you not, to Party member Buch?
Goering: That is also correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And the only proceedings that were taken about these riots were those taken by the Party Court, were they not?
Goering: Not quite; some were brought before the law courts. That is in the report also.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I ask that he be shown the report, which is Document 3063-PS. It is not in evidence. Since the document apparently has not been brought here, I will ask you from your recollection.
Goering: I know it fairly well.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I thought so.
Goering: No, because it has been submitted to me before, here.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes, it has not been kept from you. Now, in the first place, the Party Court reported that it was probably understood--I quote
... by all of the Party leaders present, from oral instructions of the Reich Propaganda Director, that the Party should not appear outwardly as the originator of the demonstrations, but in reality should organize and execute them."
Was that the report of the Party Court?
Goering: The Party Court, as a result of its investigation, established that the Propaganda Chief, Dr. Goebbels, had given these directives. May I ask, if we are dealing with a report dated March or maybe April?
Mr. Justice Jackson: The 13th of February 1939, is the date.
Goering: Yes, that is correct; that is the result of investigations after the incidents.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is right. Now, as a result of the riots, did the Court, the Party Court, not also report this to you: that the Supreme Party Court has reserved itself the right to investigate the killings, also the severe mistreatment and moral crimes and will request the Fuehrer to drop proceedings against any person whom the Party Court did not find guilty of excesses?
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And the Party Court was made up of Gauleiter and Group Leaders of the Party?
Goering: The Party Court changed. I cannot say just now, without having the document, who made up the Party Court at that time. I see that I am being given the document.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I call your attention to Page 4, toward the bottom, where the report says, "Gauleiter and Group Leaders of the branches served as jurors at the trials and decisions."
Goering: Yes, it was a matter of course that the jurors of the Party Court were always taken from these categories according to their importance. I wanted only to say I did not know which persons were taking part here.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, the Party Court found five persons guilty of offenses, did they not? Number 1, a Party member, was guilty of a moral crime and race violation and he was expelled. Is that right?
Goering: And turned over to the penal court. That is what it says in the last sentence.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is right. Another Party member, Case Number 2, was suspected of race violation and expelled from the Nazi Party.
Goering: Expelled for suspected race violation and theft, and turned over to the ordinary court.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes; and Number 2, Gustav, was expelled from the Party and SA for theft. Right?
Goering: You are at Number 3?
Mr. Justice Jackson: I have Number 2, Gustav, the first name mentioned.
Goering: Gustav is the first name--Gerstner--yes, for theft, also turned over to the ordinary court for suspected race violation.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, Number 3 dealt with two expulsions of Party members on the grounds of moral crimes against a Jewess, and they are now held in protective custody. Right?
Goering: Expelled from the NSDAP and taken into protective custody; they were also turned over to the civil court later. I know that very well.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, we come to Cases 4 and 5, the first of which was a man, a Party member and SA member, who was reprimanded and declared unfit to hold office for 3 years because of a disciplinary offense, namely, for killing the Jewish couple Selig, contrary to order. Is that right?
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And in the last of these cases the offender was reprimanded and declared unfit to hold office for 3 years for shooting a 16-year-old Jew, contrary to orders after completion of the drive. Is that right?
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: We now come to the cases of the killing of Jews, where proceedings were suspended or minor punishments pronounced. I will not go through those in detail, but it is a fact that only minor punishments were pronounced by the Supreme Court of the Party for the killing of Jews, were they not?
Goering: Yes that is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I now ask you to turn to Page 8.
Goering: One moment please.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I call your attention to the language in regard to Cases 3 to 16.
Goering: Which page, please?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Nine, I believe it is. The Supreme Party Court asks the Fuehrer to quash the proceedings in the State criminal courts.
Goering: To quash them, to beat them down, that does not mean suppress. A penal proceeding can be "niedergeschlagen." In Germany that is a different thing from "suppress."
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, you give us your version of it and tell us what it is. What does beating down a proceeding mean? Does it mean that it has ended?
Goering: That is what it means, but it can only be ordered by an office which has authority to do it; that is to say, the Fuehrer can at any time "beat down" a proceeding by way of an amnesty. The Cabinet could at any time pass a resolution to "beat down" a proceeding--suppressing it would have been illegal. In Germany, "niedergeschlagen" is a legal term meaning "to suspend."
Mr. Justice Jackson: And one further question. It was also reported to you, was it not, in that report--I refer to Page 11:
The public down to the last man realize that political drives, like those of 9 November, were organized and directed by the Party, whether this is admitted or not. When all the synagogues burned down in one night, it must have been organized in some way and can only have been organized by the Party.
That also was in the report of the Supreme Party Court, was it not?
Goering: I have not found it yet. It is not the same page as mine.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Let us find it and not have any mistake about it. Page 11. I should think it would be at the very bottom of Page 10, perhaps, where it starts.
Goering: Yes, I have just found it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did I give a reasonably correct translation of it?
Goering: That is correct . . . .
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, the Volkischer Beobachter of the 12th of March 1933 quotes a speech of yours delivered at Essen on the 11th of March 1933, including the following--and I refresh your recollection by calling it to your attention:
I am told that I must employ the police. Certainly I shall employ the police, and quite ruthlessly, whenever the German people are hurt; but I refuse the notion that the police are protective troops for Jewish stores. No, the police protect whoever comes into Germany legitimately, but it does not exist for the purpose of protecting Jewish usurers.
Did you say that?
Goering: When did you say that was?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did you say that on the 11th of March 1933 in a speech at Essen, either that or that in substance?
Goering: That is correct, but the circumstances were different. Before I answer, I would like to ask whether you have finished with the document in the book that was submitted to me previously. I gave no explanation and will ask my counsel to have me questioned later in regard to that document.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is satisfactory. After the riots of November 9th and 10th, you have testified that you called a meeting on the 12th of November and ordered all officials concerned to be present, and that the Fuehrer had insisted on Goebbels being present.
Goering: Yes, all chiefs of the economic departments.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Could you tell us who was there in addition to yourself and Goebbels?
Goering: As far as I recall, the following were there for the purpose of reporting: The Chief of the Secret State Police, concerning the events, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of the Interior ...
Mr. Justice Jackson: Will you please state their names so that there will not be any mistake about who was there at that time.
Goering: I can quote only from memory. There were present to draw up a report: The leader of the Secret State Police in Berlin, Heydrich; the Minister of the Interior, Dr. Wilhelm Frick; Dr. Goebbels you have mentioned already; the then Minister of Economy, Walter Funk, was there; the Finance Minister, Count Schwerin von Krosigk; and Fischbock from Austria. Those are the only names I can recall at present, but there may have been a few others there too.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Part of the time, Hilgard, representing the insurance companies, was also present, was he not?
Goering: He was summoned and waited there. His views were asked on special questions.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, you have been shown the stenographic minutes of that meeting which are in evidence as Exhibit Number USA-261, being Document Number 1816-PS, have you not, in your interrogation?
Mr. Justice Jackson: I will ask that they be shown to you, and now, so that we may have no misunderstanding about the translations. You opened the meeting with this statement. I will read it: "Gentlemen..." I think perhaps we had better be clear about which meeting it was. This is the meeting held on the 12th day of November 1938 at the office of the Reich Air Ministry. That is correct, is it not?
Goering: Yes that is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You opened the meeting:
Gentlemen, today's meeting is of a decisive nature. I have received a letter written on the Fuehrer's orders by the Stabsleiter of the Fuehrer's Deputy, Bormann, requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another.
Is that correct?
Goering: Yes that is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Further down, I find this:
Gentlemen, I have had enough of these demonstrations. They do not harm the Jews, but finally devolve on me, the highest authority for the German economy. If today a Jewish shop is destroyed, if goods are thrown into the street, the insurance company will pay the Jew for the damages so that he does not suffer any damage at all. Furthermore, consumer goods, goods belonging to the people, are destroyed. If, in the future, demonstrations occur--and on occasion they may be necessary--then I ask that they be so directed that we do not cut our own throats.
Am I correct?
Goering: Yes, quite correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Skipping two or three paragraphs, I come to this ...
Goering: But the supplement has been omitted.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, you can supplement it any way you want to.
... then I ask that they be so directed that we do not cut our own throats. For it is absurd to empty and set fire to a Jewish store, when a German insurance company has to cover the damage, and the goods which I sorely need are burned.. I might as well take and burn the raw materials when they come in.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is right. You read any part of it that you want to as we go along, in addition to what I read.
I am not going to tolerate a situation in which the German insurance companies are the ones to suffer. To prevent this, I will use my authority and issue a decree. In this, of course, I ask for the support of the competent, government agencies, so that everything shall be settled properly and the insurance companies will not be the ones who suffer. But another problem immediately emerges: It may be that these insurance companies have re-insurance in foreign countries. If there are such reinsurance’s, I would not want to give them up, because they bring in foreign exchange. The matter must be looked into. For that reason, I have asked Mr. Hilgard from the insurance company to attend, since he is best qualified to tell us to what extent the insurance companies are covered by re-insurance against such damage. I would not want to give this up under any circumstances.
Is that correct?
Goering: That is absolutely correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
I do not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the purpose of today's meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions; and I earnestly ask the competent departments to take trenchant measures for the Aryanizing of German economy and to submit them to me as far as is necessary.
Goering: That is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I then skip a considerable portion, unless there is more that you wish to put in, and come to this statement:
The State Trustee will estimate the value of the business and decide what amount the Jew shall receive. Naturally, this amount is to be fixed as low as possible. The State Trustee will then transfer the business to Aryan ownership. The aim is thus accomplished, inasmuch as the business is transferred to the right ownership and its goodwill and balance sheet remain unimpaired. Then the difficulties begin. It is easily understandable that attempts will be made on a large scale to get Party members into all these stores and thus give them some compensation. I have witnessed terrible things in the past; little chauffeurs of Gauleiter have profited so much by these transactions that they have raked in half a million. You gentlemen know it. Is that correct?
And they assented.
Goering: Yes, I said that.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Would you care to read anything further in connection with that?
Goering: Perhaps only the next sentence:
These are, of course, things which are not permissible, and I shall not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with such underhand dealings. If a prominent person is involved I shall go straight to the Fuehrer and report these dirty tricks quite impartially.
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is, if any individual was attempting to profit by Jewish possessions--is that what you meant?
Goering: By Aryanization.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I will quote another portion:
In other words, it must be an ordinary business transaction. One sells his business and another buys it. If there are Party members among the would-be purchasers, they are to be given preference if they fulfill the same conditions. First of all should come those who have suffered damage. After that, preference should be given on grounds of Party membership.
I will skip a line or two:
This Party member should have a chance to buy the business for as cheap a price as possible. In such a case, the State will not receive the full price, but only the amount the Jew received.
Is that correct?
Goering: Just a moment, please, I believe you skipped something.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes, we did. If you want to put it in, you may read it.
Goering: No, I want to put it quite briefly, so that it will not take too long. I said what you have already said, that all things being equal, the Party member is to be given preference, the first on the list being the member who suffered prejudice by having his business license cancelled because he was a Party member. Then follows the paragraph that you read and which is correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, you then speak at considerable length of the method by which you intended to Aryanize Jewish businesses, is that right?
Mr. Justice Jackson: And then you take up the Aryanization of Jewish factories.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You speak of the smaller factories first.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Have you found the place where you speak of the factories?
Goering: Yes, I have found it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I quote.
Now the factories. With regard to the smaller and medium-sized ones, two things will have to be made clear: First, which are the factories for which I have no use, and which can be shut-down? Could they not be put to another use? If not, then these factories are to be pulled down. Second, if the factory should be needed, it will be turned over to Aryans in the same manner as the stores.
That is correct, isn't it?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Do you care to say any more on that subject?
Goering: No, those are the basic elements for the laws.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, I call your attention to the second paragraph, starting, "Take now the larger factories." Do you find that?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Dealing with the larger factories, do you not say the solution is very simple, that the factory can be compensated in the same manner as the stores, that is, at a rate which we shall determine, and the Trustee shall take over the Jew's interest, as well as his shares, and in turn sell or transfer them to the State as he thinks fit.
Goering: That means any one who has any interest in the factories will receive compensation, according to the scale laid down by us.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And the reparation will be turned over to the State Trustee, will it not?
Goering: Yes, to the State Trustee. The matter was simply this: The Jew relinquished his ownership and received bonds. That was to be settled by the Trustee through 3 percent bonds.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, we will pass on to where you deal with the foreign Jews, do you recall that?
Mr. Justice Jackson: At that point a representative of the Foreign Office claimed the right to participate on behalf of the Foreign Minister, is that right?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, now, we will pass on to the point of the conversation between yourself and Heydrich.
Goering: Just a moment, please. Part of the minutes are missing. All right. I have found the place where Heydrich is mentioned for the first time.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You inquired how many synagogues were actually burned, and Heydrich replied,
Altogether there were 101 synagogues destroyed by fire, 76 synagogues demolished, and 7,500 stores destroyed in the Reich.
Have I quoted that correctly?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, then Dr. Goebbels interposed, "I am of the opinion that this is our chance to dissolve the synagogues." And then you have a discussion about the dissolving of the synagogues, have you not?
Goering: By Dr. Goebbels, yes.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then, Dr. Goebbels raised the question of Jews traveling in railway trains?
Mr. 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.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Goering: I think it would be more sensible to give them separate compartments.
Is that correct?
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.
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 that were quite outside the economic sphere, and I used these expressions to give vent to my feelings.
Mr. 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." These are utterances made in this connection which, however, have nothing to do with the world-wide importance of the great conflict.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Let us go down to where Goebbels brings up the subject of the German forests.
Goering: Just a moment. Yes. It starts where Goebbels asked for a decree which would prevent Jews from going to German holiday resorts. To which I replied: "Give them their own." And then he suggested that it would have to be considered whether we should give them their own resorts, or place some German bathing places at their disposal, but not the best ones so that people might say: "You allow the Jews to get fit by using our bathing resorts."
The question must also be considered whether it was necessary to forbid the Jews to go into the German forests. Herds of Jews are today running around in Grunewald; that is a constant provocation--and so on. Then when he broke in again, I replied very sharply, "It would be better to put a certain part of the forest at the disposal of the Jews," as he wanted them out of the whole of the forests. Then I made the remark which seems to be of so much interest.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Let us have that remark. Is it not correct, you did state:
We will give the Jews a certain part of the forest, and Alpers will see to it that the various animals, which are damnably like the Jews--the Elk too has a hooked nose--go into the Jewish enclosure and settle down among them.
Is that what you said?
Goering: Yes, I said it, but it should be linked up with the whole atmosphere of the meeting. Goebbels comes back on it again in the next sentence and says he considers my attitude provoking. I too can say I was provoked by his insistence on unimportant things, when such far-reaching and decisive matters were being discussed.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, you come to the point where you ask Mr. Hilgard from the insurance company to come in. Can you find that?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then you made a statement to Mr. Hilgard when he came in.
The position is as follows: Because of the justified anger of the people against the Jews, the Reich has suffered a certain amount of damage. Windows have been broken, goods damaged, and people hurt; synagogues have been burned, and so forth, I suppose many of the Jews are also insured against damage committed by public disorder?
Is that what you said?
Goering: If that is so, the following situation arises. The people in their justified anger meant to harm the Jews, but it is the German insurance companies which have to compensate the Jews for the damage. The thing is simple enough. I have only to issue a decree to the effect that damage resulting from these riots shall not have to be paid by the insurance companies.
Goering: Yes, I said all that.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Hilgard then outlined three kinds of insurance. He pointed out that at least as far as plate glass insurance was concerned, the majority of the sufferers were Aryans who owned buildings and that, as a rule, the Jews only rented them. Is that right?
Goering: Yes, those are the details of the discussion.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And Hilgard said:
May I draw your attention to the following facts: Plate glass is not manufactured by the Bohemian glass industry, but is entirely in the hands of the Belgian glass industry. In my estimation the damage amounts to 6 millions; that is to say, under the insurance policies, we shall have to pay the owners, who for the most part are Aryans, about 6 millions compensation for the glass.
The President: Mr. Justice Jackson, before you pass from that page, in the third paragraph, just for the sake of accuracy, it appears that the name "Mr. Hilgard" is wrongly placed, does it not, because he seems both to put the question and to answer it.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, I think that is ...
The President: Probably the Defendant Goering put the question. It is the third paragraph on my page.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I take the minutes to read that when Hilgard appeared, Goering addressed him as "Mr. Hilgard."
The President: Yes, I see.
Mr. Justice Jackson: But it is correct, as Your Honor suggests.
Goering: I wish to point out what was said before concerning the broken glass. Goebbels said: "The Jews must pay for the damage," and I said, "It is no use, we have no raw material, it is all foreign glass. That will require foreign currency. It is like asking for the moon." Then Hilgard comes with the discussions just mentioned.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes, and Hilgard pointed out that:
Incidentally the amount of damage equals about half a year's production of the whole of the Belgian glass industry. We believe that the manufacturers will take 6 months to deliver the glass.
Do you recall that?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, passing down, you come to a point at which Hilgard tells you about a store on Unter den Linden which was attacked. Can you find that?
Goering: He said, "The biggest incident is the case of Margraf, Unter den Linden." Isn't that so?
Mr. Justice Jackson: That is right.
Mr. Justice Jackson: "The damage reported to us amounts to 1,700,000 because the store was completely ransacked." Is that right?
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Goering: Daluege and Heydrich, you must get me these jewels by large-scale raids.
Is that the order you gave?
Goering: Yes, of course, so that the stolen goods should be brought back.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Brought back to you, not to the Jews?
Goering: Not to me personally, I beg your pardon, which is quite clear.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Brought back to the State--you did not intend to return them to the Jews?
Goering: It does not say that here. The main thing is, that they should be brought back.
Mr. Justice Jackson: "We are trying to get the loot back," as Heydrich put it, is that right? And you added, "And the jewels?"
Goering: If a large jewelry shop is plundered, something must be done about it because with these valuables a great deal of trouble could be caused. Therefore, I ordered raids to be carried out to have these things, as well as other stolen goods, brought back. When a business was Aryanized, its stock was also transferred to the new owner. The main point, however, was that action should be taken against those who had stolen and plundered, and in fact 150 had already been arrested.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And Heydrich went on to report on the method of these raids after you reminded him to bring back, to get the jewels.
It is difficult to say. Some of the articles were thrown into the street and picked up. The same happened with the furriers. For example, in the Friedrichstrasse in the district of Police Station C. There the crowd naturally rushed to pick up mink and skunk furs, et cetera, It will be very difficult to recover them. Even children filled their pockets just for the fun of the thing. It is suggested that the Hitler Youth should not be employed on such actions without the Party's consent. Such things are very easily destroyed.
Goering: Yes, so it says.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And Daluege then suggests:
The Party should issue an order to the effect that the police must immediately be notified if the neighbor's wife -- everybody knows his neighbor very well -- has a fur coat remodeled or somebody is seen wearing a new ring or bracelet. We should like the Party to assist in this matter.
Goering: This is absolutely correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, Hilgard objected to your plan of releasing the insurance companies from paying the claims, did he not?
Goering: Yes, this is also correct.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And he gave the reasons:
Hilgard: If I may give the reasons for my objection, the point is that we do a large international business. Our business has a sound international basis, and in the interests of the foreign exchange position in Germany we cannot allow the confidence in the German insurance business to be shaken. If we were now to refuse to fulfill commitments entered into by legal contracts it would be a blot on the escutcheon of the German insurance business.
Am I quoting correct?
Goering: But it would not be if I were to issue a decree or a law.
Goering: Yes, and in Hilgard's reply--and that is the reply I wanted to come to--he pointed out that the insurance companies could not get out of paying claims unless a law provided for it. If the sovereign state passes a law to the effect that the insurance sums must be forfeited to the state, then the insurance companies are no longer under any obligation.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, I suggest to you that that is not correct, but that even though you proposed to issue a decree absolving the German insurance companies, the companies insisted on meeting their obligations; and then Heydrich interposed and said: "By all means, let them pay the claims and when payment is made it will be confiscated. Thus we will save our face." Correct?
Goering: Heydrich said that, but I issued a law.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Did you not then say:
One moment. They will have to pay in any case because Germans suffered damage. There will, however, be a law forbidding them to make direct payments to Jews. They will also have to make payment for damage suffered by Jews, not to the Jews, but to the Minister of Finance.
Goering: I have just said so.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You accepted Heydrich's suggestion, which was quite contrary to the one you made?
Goering: No, I did not accept Heydrich's suggestion, but I issued a law to the effect that insurance money due to Jews must be paid to the Minister of Finance, as I did not agree with Heydrich that insurance money should be paid out and then surreptitiously confiscated. I went about it in a legal way and was not afraid to make the necessary law and to take the responsibility for the claims to be paid to the State, that is, to the Minister of Finance.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, the Tribunal will judge for itself, we have the evidence. Now, Hilgard, representing the insurance companies, then raised the question that the amount of glass insurance premium was very important, that glass insurance was the companies' greatest asset, "but the amount of the damage now caused is twice as high as in an ordinary year," and he pointed out that the whole of the profits of the German insurance companies would be absorbed, did he not?
Mr. Justice Jackson: And also the question of the number of the stores destroyed--Heydrich reported 7,500, is that right?
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, I call your attention to the following conversation. Daluege ... who, by the way, was he?
Goering: Daluege was the leader of the Sicherheitspolizei.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Daluege: One question has still to be discussed. Most of the goods in the stores were not the property of the shopkeepers but were on consignment from other firms that had supplied them. Now the unpaid invoices are being sent in by these firms, which are certainly not all Jewish, but Aryan, in respect to these goods on consignment.
Do I read that correctly?
Hilgard: We will have to pay for them too.
Goering: I wish you had killed 200 Jews instead of destroying such valuables.
Heydrich: There were 35 killed.
Goering: Yes, this was said in a moment of bad temper and excitement.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Spontaneously sincere, wasn't it?
Goering: As I said, it was not meant seriously. It was the expression of spontaneous excitement caused by the events, and by the destruction of valuables, and by the difficulties that arose. Of course, if you are going to bring up every word I said in the course of 25 years in these circles, I myself could give you instances of even stronger remarks.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Then Funk interposed to discuss the foreign exchange point, did he not? He contributed to the discussion, did he not, for a while? I will not bother to go into it.
Goering: Yes, but not everything is put down in the minutes, which are not clear on this point. I regret the minutes are incomplete. That is strange.
Mr. Justice Jackson: I join you in that. Hilgard returned again to the subject of the profit of the insurance companies, did he not?
Goering: Yes, of course.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And you made this statement, did you not?
Goering: The Jew must report the damage. He will get the insurance money, but it will be confiscated. The final result will be that the insurance companies will gain something, as not all damages will have to be made good. Hilgard, you can consider yourself damned lucky.
Am I quoting correctly?
Hilgard: I have no reason for that. The fact that we shall not have to pay for all the damage is called a profit.
Goering: Just a moment. If you are legally bound to pay 5 millions and all of a sudden an angel, in my somewhat corpulent shape, appears before you and tells you you may keep 1 million, hang it, is this not a profit? I should like to go 50-50 with you or whatever you call it. I only have to look at you, your whole body exudes satisfaction. You are getting a big rake-off.
Goering: Yes, of course, I said all that . . . .
Mr. Justice Jackson: I would like to call your attention again to the Exhibit USA-261, Document 1816-PS. Would you turn to Part 5, where you were speaking of Margraf's jewels that disappeared?
Goering: That is going back to something already dealt with.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Yes, for a time, to Part 5. I call your attention to your statement as follows:
Now we come to the damage sustained by the Jew, the disappearance of the jewels at Margraf's, et cetera. Well, they are gone and he will not get them refunded. He is the one who has to suffer the damage. Any of the jewels which may be returned by the police will belong to the State.
Do you find that?
Goering: Yes, that is correct, but on the basis of the laws he was compensated for that.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, there was a representative of Austria present at this meeting, was there not?
Mr. Justice Jackson: And I ask you to turn to his statement in reference to conditions in Austria, a page or so farther on.
Mr. Justice Jackson: And I ask you whether he did not report to your meeting as follows:
Your Excellency, in this matter, we have already a very complete plan for Austria. There are 12,000 Jewish workshops and 5,000 Jewish retail shops in Vienna. Even before the National Socialist revolution we already had, concerning these 17,000 shops, a definite plan for dealing with all tradesmen. Of the 12,000 workshops about 10,000 were to be closed definitely ...
Goering: The interpreter did not follow ...
Mr. Justice Jackson: Do you find it?
Goering: I have found it, but the interpreter has not.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Regarding this total of 17,000 stores, of the shops of the 12,000 artisans, about 10,000 were to be closed definitely and 2,000 were to be kept open. Four thousand of the 5,000 retail stores were to be closed and 1,000 kept open, that is, were to be Aryanized. According to this plan, 3,000 to 3,500 of the total of 17,000 stores would be kept open, all others closed. This was decided following investigations in every single branch and according to local needs, in agreement with all competent authorities, and is ready for publication as soon as we shall receive the law that we requested in September. This law shall empower us to withdraw licenses from artisans quite independently of the Jewish question. That would be quite a short law.
Goering: Of course. This concerns a law for the curtailment of the heavy retail trade which, even apart from the Jewish question, would have reduced the number of retailers. That can be seen from the minutes.
Goering: I shall have this decree issued today.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Very well, let us go on a little further. Do you mean to inform the Tribunal that this did not apply to Jewish shops; that it had no connection with the Jewish question?
Goering: I have said that independently of the Jewish question, in view of the overfilled retail trade, a limitation of the number of tradesmen would have followed, and that it can be seen from the following statement by Mr. Fischbock, which you have read, that I asked for a law which would authorize us to withdraw licenses, without any connection with the Jewish question. That would be a brief law. Whereupon I answered, "I will issue the decree today."
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, if you will...
Goering: Naturally, above all, Jewish stores were to be eliminated, as I said in the beginning.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Please go on down two paragraphs to where this was reported: "But I do not believe that there will be 100 stores, probably fewer; and thus, by the end of the year, we would have liquidated all the recognized Jewish-owned businesses.
Goering: That would be excellent."
Goering: Yes, yes, that was the import of that meeting.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Fischbock: Out, of 17,000 stores 12,000 or 14,000 would be shut down and the remainder Aryanized or handed over to the Trustee's office, which belongs to the State.
Goering: I have to say that this proposal is grand. This way the whole affair in Vienna, one of the Jewish capitals so to speak, would be wound up by Christmas or by the end of the year.
Funk: We can do the same thing here. I have prepared a law elaborating that. Effective 1 January 1939, Jews shall be prohibited from operating retail stores and wholesale establishments, as well as independent workshops. They shall be further prohibited from keeping employees, or offering any ready-made products on the market; from advertising or receiving orders. Whenever a Jewish shop is operated the police shall shut it down. From 1 January 1939 a Jew can no longer be head of an enterprise, as stipulated in the law for the organization of national labor of 20 January 1934. If a Jew has a leading position in an establishment without being the head of the enterprise, his contract may be declared void within 6 weeks by the head of the enterprise. With the expiration of this period all claims of the employee, including all claims to maintenance, become invalid. That is always very disagreeable and a great danger. A Jew cannot be a member of a corporation. Jewish members of corporations will have to be retired by 31 December 1938. A special authorization is unnecessary. The competent ministers of the Reich are being authorized to issue the provision necessary for execution of this law.
Goering: I believe we can agree with this law.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now I ask you to pass a considerable dialogue relating to the Vienna situation, and I call your attention to the point at which Funk inquires of you:
Why should the Jew not be allowed to keep bonds?
Goering: Yes, that was the purpose, to get him out of the enterprise. If he kept the bonds, on the basis of his rights as stockholder he still had an interest in the enterprise, and on the basis of ownership of stocks his will would still carry weight in the enterprise.
Goering: Because in that way he would actually be given a share.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You turned Funk's suggestion down that the Jews be allowed to keep bonds?
Goering: Yes. I replaced the bonds with securities.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Well, we will pass several more pages of debate, unless there is something you want to call attention to; and I come to the point where Heydrich is stating his position. I call your attention to this dialogue: "Heydrich: At least 45,000 Jews were made to leave the country by legal measures."
Goering: One moment, please. I find it now.
Mr. Justice Jackson:
Goering: How was this possible?
And then Heydrich tells you that:
... through the Jewish societies we extracted a certain amount of money from the rich Jews who wanted to emigrate. By paying this amount and an additional sum in foreign currency they made it possible for a number of poor Jews to leave. The problem was not to make the rich Jews leave but to get rid of the Jewish mob.
Is that correct?
Goering: One moment. I do not find it here yet, but generally that is correct, yes.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Pass on a little further. Heydrich is making suggestions and says:
As for the isolating, I would like to make a few proposals regarding police measures, which are important also because of their psychological effect on public opinion. For example, anybody who is Jewish according to the Nuremberg Laws will have to wear a certain badge. That is a possibility that will facilitate many other things. I see no danger of excesses, and it will make our relationship with the foreign Jews easier.
Is that what you said?
Goering: A uniform?
Heydrich: A badge. In this way we could put an end to foreign Jews being molested who do not look different from ours. Goering: But my dear Heydrich, you will not be able to avoid the creation of ghettos on a very large scale in all the cities. They will have to be created.
Goering: I said that. At that time the problem was also to get the Jews together in certain parts of the cities and in certain streets, because on the basis of the tenancy regulations there was no other possibility, and if the wearing of badges was to be made obligatory, each individual Jew could have been protected.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Now, passing further in the discussion, I call your attention to this warning from Heydrich about the measures which have been discussed:
Goering: Once we have a ghetto, we could determine what stores ought to be there and we would be able to say, 'You, Jew so and so, together with so and so, shall take care of the delivery of goods,' then a German wholesale firm will be ordered to deliver the goods for this Jewish store. The store would then not be a retail shop but a co-operative store, a co-operative society for Jews.
Did Heydrich give that warning?
Heydrich: All these measures will eventually lead to the institution of a ghetto. I must say: nowadays one should not want to set up a ghetto, but these measures, if carried through as outlined here, will automatically drive the Jews into a ghetto.
Goering: Here it says so, yes, but it can be seen from the following discussion that I said: "Now comes that which Goebbels mentioned before, compulsory renting. Now the Jewish tenants will come together." It was a question of the Jewish tenants drawing together in, order to avoid the disagreeable results which arose from reciprocal subletting.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You have omitted that Funk also remarked at this point that "Jews will have to stand together. What are 3 million? Every one will have to stand up for the next fellow. Alone he will starve." Do you find that?
Goering: Yes. But in another part of these minutes it is stated very clearly: "One cannot let the Jews starve, and therefore the necessary measures must be taken."
Mr. Justice Jackson: Toward the close of that meeting you said the following, didn't you?
I demand that German Jewry as a whole shall, as a punishment for the abominable crimes, et cetera, make a contribution of 1,000,000,000 marks. That will work. The pigs will not commit a second murder so quickly. Incidentally, I would like to say again that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany.
Goering: That was correct, yes.
Mr. Justice Jackson: Were you joking about that too?
Goering: I have told you exactly what led to the fine of 1,000,000,000.
Mr. Justice Jackson: You pointed out that the chauffeurs of Gauleiter must be prevented from enriching themselves through the Aryanization of Jewish property, right?