evidence that the Cabinet as a group or organization took any part in these crimes. It will be remembered that when Hitler disclosed his aims of criminal aggression at the Hossbach Conference, the disclosure was not made before the Cabinet and that the Cabinet was not consulted with regard to it, but, on the contrary, that it was made secretly to a small group upon whom Hitler would necessarily rely in carrying on the war Likewise no cabinet order authorized the invasion of Poland. On the contrary, the Defendant Schacht testifies that he sought to stop the invasion by a plea to the Commander-in-Chief of the Army that Hitler's order was in violation of the Constitution because not authorized by the Cabinet.

It does appear, however, that various laws authorizing acts which were criminal under the Charter were circulated among the members of the Reich Cabinet and issued under its authority signed by the members whose departments were concerned. 'This does not, however, prove that the Reich Cabinet. after 1937, ever really acted as an organization.

As to the second reason, it is clear that those members of the Reich Cabinet who have been guilty of crimes should be brought to trial; and a number of them are now on trial before the Tribunal. It is estimated that there are 48 members of the group, that eight of these are dead and 17 are now on trial, leaving only 23 at the most, as to whom the declaration could have any importance. Any others who are guilty should also be brought to trial. but nothing would be accomplished to expedite or facilitate their trials by declaring the Reich Cabinet to be a criminal organization. Where an organization with a large membership is used for such purposes, a declaration obviates the necessity of inquiring as to its criminal character in the later trial of members who are accused of participating through membership in its criminal purposes and thus saves much time and trouble. There is no such advantage in the case of a small group like the Reich Cabinet


The Prosecution has also asked that the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces be declared a criminal organization The Tribunal believes that no declaration of criminality should be made with respect to the General Staff and High Command. The number of persons charged, while larger than that of the Reich Cabinet, is still so small that individual trials of these officers would accomplish the purpose here sought better than a declaration such as requested. But a more compelling reason is that in the opinion of the Tribunal the General Staff and High Command is neither an "organization" nor a "group" within the meaning of those terms as used in Article 9 of the Charter.