Koerner and Kesselring testify at Nuremberg Trial
- Event Date
- 1946 March 12
- Accessed at US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
(Munich 40) War Crimes Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, March 13, 1946. LSs, MSs, prisoners' dock. Chief US Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson cross examines Paul Koerner, Deputy of the Board of the Four-Year Plan, Staatssekretar in the Prussian Ministry, Chairman of the SS Obergruppenfuehrer, and Hermann Goering's personal Adjutant in the Prussian State Ministry. Koerner is questioned about November 9th, Reichskristallnacht, Goering's role, the fining of Jews after the damage, etc. He points out and verifies that riots against the Jews were incited by members of the government and that Goering was infuriated about them. He testifies that Goering had always had a different attitude about the Jewish question ("gemaessigt" meaning "moderate" toward the Jews). He says he does not remember the details about who ordered the confiscation of the insurance of the Jews. (He seems inhibited, therefore prosecution asks him if he knows that Hitler is dead - as if to reassure him that he had nothing to fear. He considers Goering the last great man of the Renaissance.) They ask him why Goering went to Hitler and not to the Head of Police when he heard of the riots and wanted to stop them. Koerner answers that word of mouth had gone around that it had been Goebbels who initiated the riots, and that Goering went to Hitler in order to complain about Goebbels' inciting them. He says according to his knowledge, the SS and Gestapo did not take part in these riots, but he is not entirely sure. Koerner states that he will not provide any evidence against Goering. 05:47:32 LSs, MSs, former Gen. Albert Kesselring, Commander of the German Army in Italy, testifies in German, under interrogation by a defense counselor. Kesselring testifies that the Oberbefehlshaber of the Luftwaffe was always informed, and that the Reichsmarschall, on the third day of fighting in Holland, interfered with the command of the Luftwaffe in the most active possible way. He has no information about the fact that the operation did not conform to any previously agreed tactical scenario. Prosecution says that there was bombing when capitulation negotiations were already under way. He insists that the command center did not receive such information and if such was the case, he can only ascribe it to communication problems in Rotterdam or ROE that he did not know of. Kesselring regrets that the bombing took place under such circumstances.
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