PART 5 :

CROSS-EXAMINATION

 

TB

The war ended 15 years before my birth and yet throughout my youth

Nazis were the personification of enemy.

The cold war may have raged, but films, cartoons, and history lessons

focused on the vanquished German dictatorship.

 

The victory was ours, we were told, and the victory was over evil.

Small wonder then that the Nazi leaders were to haunt us.

We tried to make out their evil in their black and white photographs.

At the trials, they were found guilty of 'bestial enormities.'

 

And yet Maxwell Fyfe wrote:

'I believe that had anyone suggested to three-quarters of the defendants in 1933

that they should do the things which they did without a tremor of conscience in 1943,

they would have refused with genuine indignation.'

 

They were men whose abuse of power, and the consequent corruption had eroded their nature.

This erosion was born from a perversion of many aspects of contemporary European life,

shared across the continent.

 

SEC

After nearly three months of sifting and exploring the evidence,

the prosecutors were preparing to cross-examine,

but not before Maxwell Fyfe received one visit from Sylvia.

 

RB

I had a serious word with Sink about your coming visit.  

I think that the best way is for me to ask Lawrence to invite you and then get it confirmed by the Americans.  There will no difficulty I am sure.  It would be wonderful to see you here

and laying on visits to the blue Danube and even the somewhat grey Grand Hotel.

 

LB

You have been clever and persevering about my visit.  

The chief pleasure is that you must really want me to come out as much as I want to come.

 

RB

We shall have a grand time.  Pointing out the sights will be fun enough -

and we shall try and arrange some less formal parties which will, I hope, not be unamusing.

 

SEC

The Grand Hotel at Nuremberg is one giant bustle.  

Day and night dozens of cars are parked before the entrance in the bitter cold –  

among them the most elegant and expensive saloon cars of English and American design,

adorned with one, two,  and even three stars indicating that they belong to Generals.  

The Hotel is overflowing.  

Persons below the rank of Colonel have hardly a chance to find accommodation.  

Even Russian and French Generals have to be content with simple little rooms.  

Enormous quantities of whiskey and vodka are drunk in the bars, there is dancing every evening,

everything is in full swing.  

All the world seems to have arranged a rendez vous at Nuremberg.

 

LB

Darling, this is from the plane just to say I am thinking of you and all we have done...

I can now picture your life and surroundings which make them seem less remote and we are on the last lap.  

I hope and pray it will not be too arduous for you but I am now completely satisfied

that you are making history in a real way.

 

RB

We have jumped into the preparation of the cross-examination with a bang.

I have been reading transcripts and preparing notes every night.

It is rather a good thing because it makes the change from your presence to absence easier

when there is work.

 

SONG - NOW GOD BE THANKED

 

SEC

Now, God be thanked

Who has matched us with His hour

And caught our youth, and wakened us,

Wakened us from sleeping,

 

VOICES

Now, God be thanked

 

RB

We started the pruning of the defendant's witnesses and documents, Saturday, in open court.

The other delegations have, strangely enough, left this detailed task to me

and I spent the day until 4 o'clock bobbing up and down arguing with German counsel.  

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

SEC

Now God be thanked

 

VOICES

Now, God be thanked

Who has matched us with His hour

And caught our youth, and wakened us,

Wakened us from sleeping.

 

SEC

Now, God be thanked

 

VOICES

Now God be thanked

 

SEC

Glad from a world grown old and cold and weary,

Leave the sick hearts that honour could not move,

And half-men, and their dirty songs and dreary,

To turn, as swimmers into cleanness leaping.

 

VOICES

Now, God be thanked

 

SEC

Who has matched us with His hour,

And wakened us from sleeping,

 

VOICES

To turn as swimmers into cleanness leaping.

 

RB

I had my first bit of cross-examination to-day – Goering’s witness, Field Marshal Kesselring.

Everyone was frightfully nice about it.  

In my own view - after being unnecessarily het up about it, afraid I should not come off -

I did rather knock Hell out of a conceited German Marshal.

 

VOICES

Now, God be thanked,

 

SEC

Now, God be thanked,

Who has matched us with His hour,

With hand made sure, clear eye, and sharpened power.

 

VOICES

As swimmers into cleanness leaping,

 

SEC

We who have known shame, we have found release there,

As swimmers into cleanness,

 

 

VOICES

As swimmers into cleanness,

As swimmers into cleanness,

Now, God be thanked.

 

TRANSCRIPT OF THE TRIAL

 

DMF:   I want to ask you first some questions about the matter of the British Air Force officers who escaped

           from Stalag Luft III. Do you remember that you said in giving your evidence that you knew this incident

           very completely and very minutely? Do you remember saying that?

 

Goering: No - that I had received accurate knowledge; not that I had accurate knowledge - but that I received it.

 

DMF: Let me quote your own words, as they were taken down, "I know this incident very completely, very

         minutely, but it came to my attention, unfortunately, at a later period of time." That is what you said the

         other day, is that right?

 

Goering: Yes, that is what I meant; that I know about the incident exactly, but only heard of it 2 days later.

 

DMF: You told the Tribunal that you were on leave at this time, in the last period of March 1944, is that right?

 

Goering: Yes, as far as I remember I was on leave in March until a few days before Easter.

 

DMF: And you said, "As I can prove." I want you to tell the Tribunal the dates of your leave.

 

Goering:   I say again, that this refers to the whole of March - I remember it well - and for proof I would like to

                mention the people who were with me on this leave.

 

DMF:  What I want to know is where you were on leave.

 

Goering:   Here, in the vicinity of Nuremberg.

 

DMF:   So you were within easy reach of the telephone from the Air Ministry or, indeed, from Breslau,

           if you were wanted?

 

Goering: I would have been easily accessible by phone if someone wanted to communicate with me.

 

DMF:  I want you to help me with regard to one or two other dates of which you have spoken.

    You say: "I heard 1 or 2 days later about this escape." Do you understand, Witness, that it is about the

          escape I am asking you, not about the shooting, for the moment; I want to make it quite clear.

 

RB

I think that my cross-examination of Goering went all right.  Everyone was very pleased.  

Jackson had not only made no impression but actually built the fat boy up further.

 

LCB

I am surrounded by beautiful newspapers full of quite hysterical praise for you.  

Last night we heard you on the air in the news and this morning I took Pam with me to the BBC

where they had worked out a most interesting programme of your cross-examination of Goering

on a new disc made from a recording in England yesterday

from a transmission of the trial of your finish with Ribbentrop.  

Your voice and whole personality came right into the room.

CROSS EXAMINATION

CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FILM EXTRACTS.

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