Goering: Doenitz

1946 Nuremberg Tribunal: On day 83, defendant Hermann Goering is given vast latitude by the Tribunal to tell his life story. He will be at it for the next few days. No other defendant will be given so much uninterrupted time.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler (Counsel for Defendant Karl Doenitz) Reich Marshal, when did you become acquainted with Admiral Doenitz?

Goering: I met Admiral Doenitz for the first time in his capacity as Admiral and Commander of U-boats during the war, as far as I remember in 1940, at a conference in my special train, in France, I believe.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: Was the conference concerned with military or political questions?

Goering: Purely military questions, namely, as to how far now and in the future the Air Force could provide reconnaissance for U-boats in the Atlantic. The then Admiral Doenitz complained that the reconnaissance was too weak and urgently requested me to strengthen it and, as far as I remember, to have it extended to as far as 30 degrees.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: Did you have further conferences with Admiral Doenitz before his promotion to Commander-in-Chief in 1943?

Goering: No.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: Did you as Commander-in-Chief of the Air Force use so-called emergency seaplanes for the rescue of fliers shot down in the Channel?

Goering: There were several squadrons of emergency seaplanes assigned to the Channel for the rescue of fliers shot down, both German and enemy fliers, as the order clearly proves.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: What did these planes look like?

Goering: These planes were, as far as I remember, marked with the Red Cross.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: Were they armed?

Goering: Not at first.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: And how were these emergency planes treated by the British?

Goering: There were some instances where they were not molested, but there were a number of cases in which they were shot down while they were engaged in rescue actions. Since these cases became predominant, I said it would be more expedient not to use the Red Cross markings any longer, to have these planes armed and thus try to rescue our comrades from the sea. We had tremendous losses in these emergency sea squadrons.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: Did you have lifebuoys anchored in the Channel for shot-down fliers?

Goering: Quite a number of lifebuoys were anchored, to which ropes were attached and to which fliers who had been shot down could cling. The lifebuoys were also equipped with foodstuff, drinking water, life-saving jackets, life-belts, and the like. Besides these small lifebuoys there were larger ones in the form of small rafts which the fliers could board. There also food, drink, first-aid kits, blankets, and the like, were to be found.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: How were these lifebuoys treated by the British?

Goering: In different ways. Some remained, others were destroyed.

Flottenrichter Otto Kranzbuhler: I have no further questions.
The Nuremberg Tribunal Biographies
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