Goering silenced by court

Goering silenced by court
Defendants in the dock at the Nuremberg trials ca. 1945-1946. The main target of the prosecution was Hermann Goering (at the left edge on the first row of benches), considered to be the most important surviving official of the Third Reich following Hitler's death. File Photo by U.S. Army/UPI


NUREMBERG, Nov. 21, 1945 (UP)-Hermann Goering muffed his first big chance to sound off in the Nuremberg court today.


The big, blustering Nazi was one of Adolf Hitler's top party spellbinders and he was all ready to deliver a courtroom speech when the trial resumed this morning.

Goering apparently had been working on the speech in his cell last night. When he entered the court, he was clutching a sheet of paper covered with scrawled notes. He fingered it nervously as he awaited his turn to rise and plead to the indictment.

President Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence directed the defendants to stand and go singly to the microphone to register their pleas.

Goering was first in line, and he began reading off his prepared statement.

Lawrence interrupted almost before the first words were out of his mouth.

"You may not address the court," he said sharply. Goering looked sheepishly at the judge, said "Not guilty," and returned to his seat.


He waited until his 19 fellow-defendants had finished pleading innocent, and then hoisted his 210 pounds off the bench again.

For the second time he started to read from the prepared statement in his hand, only to be halted again by Lawrence.

"You are not entitled to address this tribunal save through your counsel," the British justice reminded him.

Goering sat down sulkily and began scribbling additional notes on Justice Robert H. Jackson's statement on the American prosecution.

When Jackson described the Nazi plan for world conquest, Goering scrawled away with redoubled vigor, shaking his head and muttering as he wrote.

The fat reichsmarshal and his fellow-prisoners all looked sleepy when they first entered the room, but they woke up quickly when Jackson launched into his expose of their doings.

They kept their eyes riveted on the American prosecutor throughout the first half-hour of his address, Fritz Sauckel and the two Nazi admirals, Erich Raeder and Karl Doenitz, exchanged glances and smiled bitterly at each other when Jackson attacked the actions of the Nazi party.

Hans Frank laughed aloud, a short barking laugh that drew a reproving glance from the judges' bench.

Rudolph Hess slumped lower and lower in his seat as Jackson continued speaking, until finally he appeared to have fallen asleep. An American MP walked over to him and tapped him on the shoulder. Hess got up and followed the MP out of the room.


Jackson noticed the incident and asked whether he should stop speaking, but Lawrence directed him to continue.

Hess returned in about five minutes and sat quietly with a blank expression on his face until Jackson mentioned the Reichstag fire. This appeared to interest him and he sat erect for a couple of minutes. But his attention lagged quickly and he relaxed again, with his eyes cast down.

All of the defendants were given a rigid shakedown when they returned to their cells after yesterday's hearing to make sure that no suicide instruments had been passed to them during the day.

Examining physicians found a piece of wire on Col. Gen. Alfred Gustav Jodl and a number of neuralgia tablets on Joachim von Ribbentrop, who apparently had been accumulating the daily doses allotted him. The doctors said Ribbentrop had not collected enough pills to cause any harm. And Jodl's wire was found to be a home-made pipe-cleaner.

Ribbentrop was reported in good condition, despite his brief fainting spell yesterday. Doctors said that was caused by nervousness and the length of yesterday's session.

Ernst Kaltenbrunner, who suffered a cranial hemorrhage on the eve of the trial and was not in court, appeared to be out of danger, although prison guards said he "doesn't look so good."


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