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Kesselring testifies at Nuremberg Trial

Film | Accession Number: 2001.358.1 | RG Number: RG-60.2945 | Film ID: 2375

(Munich 47) War Crimes Trials, Nuremberg, Germany, March 13, 1946. LS, showing left side of prisoners' dock; all defendants listen attentively to testimony of Gen. Albert Kesselring. MS, Chief US Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson seated at a table taking notes. LSs, MLSs, Ludwig Babel, defense counselor, questions Gen. Kesselring. Kesselring first talks about the air attack on Coventry, the distribution of aims and the calculations of the likelihood of missing them. He says he was happy about the "choice" Coventry because it was actually a military target, and not some civilian one. He is then questioned about "Wehrpolitische Lehrgaenge" (political courses for Wehrmacht members). He then talks about the connection between concentration camps and the brutal methods there, the connection to the secret police, his opinion on the German police state (he said he thought of it as something abnormal for Germany to have a state within the state). He cannot remember any of his own actions that would have aimed at preventing such a police state, but stresses that usually he was concerned only with his specific resort and the tasks connected to that. He says he has no particular recollection of hearing about the anti-Jewish riots in November 9/10, and the Goering decree afterwards fining the Jewish community for the damage. He is questioned about his time as a commander in the East (Poland/Russia): He says he was not aware of the order to disregard the The Hague stipulations with regard to the treatment of POWs. MSs, MLSs, Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Wilhelm Keitel, Fritz Sauckel, and Baldur von Schirach listening from the dock. LS, translators' bench; an MP stands in FG.

Note: The US prosecution attempts to prove that the witness did nothing toward eliminating a police state in Germany. Testimony is in German.

Event:  1946 March 13
Nuremberg, Germany
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2021-06-03 12:49:23
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