Nuremberg isolated and tense on eve of war trial verdict

September 29 1946
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By JOSEPH W. GRIGG, United Press Staff Writer

NUREMBERG, Germany, Sept. 29, 1946 (UP) - American troops in armored cars isolated Nuremberg from the rest of the world Sunday night as the International War Crimes Tribunal prepared to pronounce judgment on Reichsmarshal Herman Goering and 20 other major surviving Nazi war leaders Monday.

Constabulary troops flung a tight network of road blocks across all roads leading into the onetime Nazi shrine city, halting and questioning anyone attempting to enter Nuremberg on the eve of the trial's dramatic climax.

Isolation of Nuremberg was part of extremely stringent security precautions taken to insure that nothing occurs to mar the judicial gravity of Monday's session when the tribunal pronounces the Nazis innocent or guilty of the world's greatest crime-aggressive war.

The defendants' wives were ordered out of Nuremberg at noon. Ernst Kaltenbrunner was reported sulking in his cell because he was unable to see his mistress, who was said to have borne twins recently.

More than 1,000 other heavily armed security troops and special police mounted guard Sunday night in and around Nuremberg Prison where the defendants sat in their cells alone to wait out the hours until morning. Sharpshooters were posted on the roofs of the prisons and the guard over the prisoners' cells was intensified.

Other troops mounted guard over members of the eight-man tribunal-four judges and four alternates-to protect them against any possible attacks by cranks or Nazi fanatics. Members of the prosecution staffs and important visitors also were guarded.

It was disclosed also that 50 court attaches of five nationalities who knew the secret of the verdicts have been locked in their billets since last Thursday, with all telephone wires to the outside world severed and troops guarding doors and windows.

They include translators, court reporters, stenographers, clerks and typists, including 10 American girls who transcribed and mimeographed the 30,000-word document. In addition to the Americans, the attaches include British, French, Russians and Germans.

Although under strict guard, the men and women have continued their work with food and materials brought to their billets. The tribunal was reported still sitting in closed sessions to consider final details of the last sessions, although the verdict has been completed.

Observers who have followed the historic trial believe that from 13 to 16 of the defendants will be sentenced to death for their part in the Hitlerian dream of world conquest that started 11 bloody years ago when the new-born German army was sent marching into the Rhineland.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence will begin reading the long verdict in court at 10 a.m.

It is understood to be written in three main sections:

1. A detailed summary of the entire case.

2. The judges' legal opinion on charges against all 21 defendants, the absent Martin Bormann and the whole Nazi system, including six indicted Nazi organizations.

3. The actual findings on each count and the sentences.

The entire text was reported to cover between 250 and 260 typewritten pages. The first section probably will take three hours to read. The second section is much longer and probably will take all of Monday afternoon and most of Tuesday morning.

Although first reports on the secret verdict indicated judgments might be made known Monday, with sentences following on Tuesday, it appears now that the judgments and sentences in the third part of the document may be delayed until Tuesday afternoon or possibly Wednesday.

Three of the defendants thought to stand the best chance of escaping the extreme penalty are Hjalmar Schacht, the financial wizard who financed German rearmament with a series of dazzling economic measures; Hans Fritzsche, head of the radio division of the Nazi Propaganda Department under Paul Josef Goebbels, and Grand Admr. Karl Doenitz, chief of Nazi submarine warfare who was appointed to take over the German Government after Hitler supposedly killed himself.

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