Friday, 23 November 1945

Morning Session

DR. OTTO NELTE (Counsel for Defendant Keitel): Mr. President, you advised the Defense in yesterday's session that the Defense should already at this stage of the Trial raise objections if they believe they have any against the documentary evidence introduced by the Prosecution.

The Chief Prosecutor introduced in Court yesterday a graphic presentation concerning the Reich Ministries and other bureaus and offices at the highest level of the German Government. My client is of the opinion that this presentation is erroneous in the following respects which concern his own person:

1. A Reich Defense Council has never existed. The Reich Defense Law, which provided for a Reich Defense Council in the event of war, has never been published; a session of a Reich Defense Council has never taken place. For this reason, the Defendant Keitel was never a member of a Reich Defense Council.

2. The Secret Cabinet Council which was to be created in accordance with the law of February 4, 1938, never came into existence. It was never constituted; it never held a session.

3. The Defendant Keitel never was Reich Minister. Like the Commanders-in-Chief of the Army and the Navy, he merely had the rank of a Reich Minister. Consequently, he never was a Minister without portfolio either. He did not participate in any advisory Cabinet session.

I should like to ask the Court for its opinion as to whether these objections may be made the object of an examination at this stage of the Trial or whether they are to be reserved for a later stage?

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal rules that the documents are admissible, but the defendants can prove at a later stage any matters which are relevant to the documents. It is not necessary for the defendants to make objections at this stage. At a later stage they can prove any matters which are relevant to the weight of the documents.

DR. DIX: May I ask the Tribunal a question?

We have now been able to see, in part, the briefs and documents which were introduced in court yesterday. In that connection we