The Holocaust Historiography Project

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Although 24 individuals were named as defendants in the Indictment signed in Berlin on 6 October 1945, only 22 remained as defendants when the trial commenced on 20 November. The number had been reduced by the suicide of Robert Ley and by the Tribunal’s severance of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach from the proceedings. Of the 22 surviving defendants only 20 appeared in the prisoners' dock at the opening of court. Martin Bormann, in the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, was presumed to be alive and at large. Ernst Kaltenbrunner had been hospitalized by a cranial hemorrhage, and as a consequence was unable to be present at the trial save for one period of a few days.

Defense counsel for two of the twenty men in the prisoners' dock, Hess and Streicher, sought to have the proceedings against their clients dismissed on the grounds of their mental incapacity to stand trial. Expert medical examiners concluded that both defendants were fit to defend themselves, and the proceedings against them were resumed. One of them, Hess, who had claimed to be a victim of amnesia, created something of a sensation by confessing in open court that he had only been pretending to suffer from amnesia and that his memory was actually in good repair.

Fuller explanatory notes concerning the positions taken by the prosecution and the defense and the actions of the Tribunal in the cases of each of these six defendants, together with significant papers bearing on these matters, are printed hereinafter.


Pending the opening of the trial on 20 November 1945 the defendants were held in the prison at the Palace of Justice in Nurnberg, under the custody of the United States Army. In the evening of October 25 the guard on watch before the cell of Robert Ley noticed that the prisoner had maintained the same position for some time without moving. The guard entered the cell to find that although the prison officials had taken every known precaution, Ley had succeeded in committing suicide. Ley had ripped the hemmed edge from a towel, twisted it, soaked it in water, and fashioned it into a crude noose which he fastened to an overhead toilet flush pipe. He had then stuffed his mouth with rags, apparently torn from his own underwear. When he seated himself, strangulation was produced, and Robert Ley had succeeded in accomplishing his exit from the court of judgment, and from the world of living men. A farewell message written by Ley, together with other statements made by him during imprisonment, may be found at the end of the last volume (Statements XI-XIII).


The name of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach stood thirteenth on the list of twenty-four defendants accused in the Indictment signed in Berlin on 6 October 1945. On 4 November counsel for Krupp filed a motion requesting that the Tribunal defer proceedings against the defendant until his health permitted him to stand trial, and that he should not be tried in his absence. The Tribunal on 5 November appointed a medical commission consisting of representatives of the Soviet Union, France, Great Britain, and the United States, to examine Krupp and determine whether he was fit to stand trial. On 12 November the Chief of Counsel for the United States filed an answer opposing the motion of defense counsel and proposing that Gustav Krupp should not be dismissed from the proceedings unless Alfried Krupp, the son and sole owner of the Krupp Works, were substituted as a defendant. On 14 November, before the opening of the trial itself, the Tribunal heard oral argument by the prosecution and defense, in which substantially the same views were presented as had been previously expressed in the written motions. The Tribunal on 15 November announced its ruling postponing the proceedings against Gustav Krupp, but retaining the Indictment charges against him on the docket for later trial if his physical and mental condition should permit. The ruling stated that the question of adding another name to the Indictment would be considered later. Thereupon, on 16 November, the American Chief of Counsel filed a memorandum with the Tribunal stating as a matter of record that the United States was not committed to participate in any subsequent four-power trial. On the same day the Soviet and French Chief Prosecutors joined the United States Chief of Counsel in a motion formally designating Alfried Krupp a defendant. On the following day the Tribunal announced its ruling rejecting the motion to add the name of Alfried Krupp as a defendant. The significant papers pertaining to these questions are set forth below.


Nurnberg, 4 November 1945

To: The International Military Tribunal Nurnberg.

As defending counsel to the accused Dr. Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach I beg to state that the proceedings against this accused be deferred until he is again fit for trial.

At any rate I request that the accused be not tried in his absence.


By Article 12 of the Statute of the International Military Tribunal this court has the right to try an accused in his absence if he cannot be found, or if the court deem this necessary for other reasons in the interest of justice.

The 75 year old accused Krupp von Bohlen has for a long time been incapable of trial or examination owing to his severe physical and mental infirmities. He is not in a position to be in contact with the outside world nor to make or receive statements. The indictment was served on him on the 19th October 1945 by a representative of the International Military Tribunal by placing the document on his bed. The accused had no knowledge of this event. Consequently he is not aware of the existence of an indictment. Naturally therefore he is not capable of communicating either with his defense counsel nor with other persons on the subject of his defense.

To prove the above, 2 medical certificates are enclosed viz. that of the court medical expert Doctor Karl Gersdorf of Werfen Salzburg of 9th September 1945 and that of the Professor Doctor Otto Gerke of Bedgnstein of 13th September.

Latterly Herr Krupp von Bohlen has been examined several times by American military doctors. As far as it is possible I should like to request for another complete medical examination. If the accused is unable to appear before the court, then according to article 12 of the statute he could only be tried if the court deemed it necessary in the interests of justice.

Whatever may be understood by the phrase “in the interests of justice” it would hardly be objective justice to try a defendant accused of such serious crimes, if he were not informed of the contents of the accusations or if he were not given the chance to conduct his own defense or instruct a defense counsel. Particularly is he in no condition to comprehend the following rights of an accused set out in the statute:

1. By article 16 Section (a) of the statute a copy of the indictment in a language which he understands will be served on the accused at a suitably appointed time. In the first place this concerns the statement which the accused has to render on inquiry as to whether he admits his guilt or not, a statement which is of particular importance for the course of the trial and for the decision of the tribunal. This is all the more important as this statement regarding guilt or innocence can only be made exclusively by the accused himself according to his own judgment and after examining his conscience. So far as the procedure is admissible at all, the defense counsel could not at the request of the court express himself on the question of guilt as such a declaration presupposes the possibility of communication and understanding with the accused.

Also the defendant could not exercise the right to the last word to which he is entitled according to Article 24 Section f.

The legislators who set up these guarantees for the defense, cannot wish to deny them undeservedly to an accused who cannot make use of them owing to illness. If by Article 12 of the statute the trial of an absent defendant is allowed then this exception to the rule can only be applied to a defendant who is unwilling to appear though able to do so. As is the case with the criminal procedure rules of nearly all countries, it is on this principle that the rules and regulations concerning the trial of absent defendants are based.

[signed] Klefisch



To the International Military Tribunal:

The United States respectfully opposes the application on behalf of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach that his trail be “deferred until he is again fit for trial.”

If the Tribunal should grant this application, the practical effect would be to quash all proceedings, for all time, against Krupp von Bohlen.

It appears that Krupp should not be arrested and brought to the court room for trial. But the plea is that the Tribunal also excuse him from being tried in absentia. This form of trial admittedly is authorized by Article 12 of the Charter of the Tribunal. Of course, trial in absentia in the circumstances of the case is an unsatisfactory proceeding either for prosecution or for defense. But the request that Krupp von Bohlen be neither brought to court nor tried in his absence is based on the contention that “the interest of justice” requires that he be thus excused from any form of trial. Public interests, which transcend all private considerations, require that Krupp von Bohlen shall not be dismissed unless some other representative of the Krupp armament and munitions interests be substituted. These public interests are as follows:

Four generations of the Krupp family have owned and operated the great armament and munitions plants which have been the chief source of Germany’s war supplies. For over 130 years this family has been the focus, the symbol, and the beneficiary of the most sinister forces engaged in menacing the peace of Europe. During the period between the two World Wars the management of these enterprises was chiefly in defendant Krupp von Bohlen. It was at all times, however, a Krupp family enterprise. Krupp von Bohlen was only a nominal owner himself; his wife, Bertha Krupp, owned the bulk of the stock. About 1937 their son, Alfried Krupp, became plant manager and was actively associated in policy-making and executive management thereafter. In 1940, Krupp von Bohlen, getting on in years, became Chairman of the Board of the concerns, thus making way for Alfried, who became President. In 1943, Alfried became sole owner of the Krupp enterprises by agreement between the family and the Nazi government, for the purpose of perpetuating this business in Krupp family control. It is evident that the future menace of this concern lies in continuance of the tradition under Alfried, now reported to be an internee of the British Army of the Rhine.

To drop Krupp von Bohlen from this case without substitution of Alfried, drops from the case the entire Krupp family, and defeats any effective judgment against the German armament makers. Whether this would be “in the interests of justice” will appear from the following recital of only the most significant items of evidence now in possession of the United States as to the activities of Krupp von Bohlen, in which his son Alfried at all times aided, as did other associates in the vast armament enterprises, all plotting to bring about the second World War, and to aid in its ruthless and illegal conduct.

After the first World War, the Krupp family and their associates failed to comply with Germany’s disarmament agreements, but all secretly and knowingly conspired to evade them.

In the March 1, 1940 issue of the Krupp Magazine, the defendant Krupp stated:

“I wanted and had to maintain Krupp in spite of all opposition, as an armament plant for the later future, even if in camouflaged form. I could only speak in the smallest, most intimate circles, about the real reasons which made me undertake the changeover of the plants for certain lines of production. * * * Even the Allied snoop commissioners were duped. * * * After the accession to power of Adolf Hitler, I had the satisfaction of reporting to the Fuehrer that Krupp stood ready, after a short warming-up period, to begin rearmament of the German people without any gaps of experience * * *”

Krupp von Bohlen (and Alfried Krupp as well) lent his name, prestige, and financial support to bring the Nazi Party, with an avowed program of renewing the war, into power over the German State. On April 25, 1931 von Bohlen acted as chairman of the Association of German Industry to bring it into line with Nazi policies. On May 30, 1933 he wrote to Schacht that “it is proposed to initiate a collection in the most far-reaching circles of German industry, including agriculture and the banking world, which is to be put at the disposal of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP in the name of “The Hitler Fund' * * * I have accepted the chairmanship of the management council.” Krupp contributed from the treasury of the main Krupp company 4,738,446 Marks to the Nazi Party fund. In June, 1935 he contributed 100,000 Marks to the Nazi Party out of his personal account.

The Nazi Party did not succeed in obtaining control of Germany until it obtained support of the industrial interests, largely through the influence of Krupp. Alfried first became a Nazi Party member and later von Bohlen did also. The Krupp influence was powerful in promoting the Nazi plan to incite aggressive warfare in Europe.

Krupp von Bohlen strongly advocated and supported Germany’s withdrawal from the Disarmament Conference and from the League of Nations. He personally made repeated public speeches approving and inciting Hitler’s program of aggression; on April 6th and 7th, 1938 two speeches approved annexation of Austria; on October 13, 1938 he publicly approved Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland; on September 4, 1939 he approved the invasion of Poland; on may 6, 1941 he spoke commemorating the success of Nazi arms in the West. Alfried Krupp also made speeches to the same general effect. The Krupps were thus one of the most persistent and influential forces that made this war.

The Krupps also were the chief factor in getting ready for the war. In January, 1944 in a speech at the University of Berlin, von Bohlen boasted, “Through years of secret work, scientific and basic groundwork was laid in order to be ready again to work for the German Armed Forces at the appointed hour without loss of time or experience.” In 1937, before Germany went to war, the Krupps booked orders to equip satellite governments on approval of the German High Command. Krupp contributed 20,000 Marks to the defendant Rosenberg for the purpose of spreading Nazi propaganda abroad. In a memorandum of October 12, 1939, a Krupp official wrote offering to mail propaganda pamphlets abroad at Krupp expense.

Once the war was on, Krupps, both von Bohlen and Alfried being directly responsible therefore, led German industry in violating treaties and International Law by employing enslaved laborers, impressed and imported from nearly every country occupied by Germany, and by compelling prisoners of war to make arms and munitions for use against their own countries. There is ample evidence that in Krupp’s custody and service they were underfed and overworked, misused and inhumanly treated. Captured records show that in September, 1944, Krupp concerns were working 54,990 foreign workers and 18,902 prisoners of war.

Moreover, the Krupp companies profited greatly from destroying the peace of the world through support of the Nazi program. The rearmament of Germany gave Krupp huge orders and corresponding profits. Before this Nazi menace to the peace began, the Krupps were operating at a substantial loss. But the net profits after taxes, gifts and reserves steadily rose with rise of Nazi rearmament, being as follows:

For year ending Sept. 30, 1935…57,216,392
For year ending Sept. 30, 1938…97,071,632
For year ending Sept. 30, 1941…111,555,216

The book value of the Krupp concerns mounted from 75,962,000 Marks on October 1, 1933 to 237,316,093 Marks on October 1, 1943. Even this included many going concerns in occupied countries carried at a book value of only 1 Mark each. These figures are subject to the adjustments and controversies usual with financial statements of each vast enterprise but approximately reflect the facts about property and operations.

The services of Alfried Krupp and of von Bohlen and their family to the war aims of the Nazi Party were so outstanding that the Krupp enterprises were made a special exception to the policy of nationalization of industries. Hitler said that he would be “prepared to arrange for any possible safeguarding for the continued existence of the works as a family enterprise; it would be simplest to issue 'lex Krupp' to start with.” After short negotiations, this was done. A decree of November 12, 1943 preserves the Krupp works as a family enterprise in Alfried Krupp’s control and recites that it is done in recognition of the fact that “for 132 years the firm of Fried. Krupp, as a family enterprise has achieved outstanding and unique merits for the armed strength of the German people.”

It has at all times been the position of the United States that the great industrialists of Germany were guilty of the crimes charged in this Indictment quite as much as its politicians, diplomats, and soldiers. Its Chief of Counsel on June 7, 1945, in a report to President Truman, released by him and with his approval, stated that the accusations of crimes include individuals in authority in the financial, industrial, and economic life of Germany, as well as others.

Pursuant thereto, the United States, with approval of the Secretary of State, proposed to indict Alfried Krupp, son of Krupp von Bohlen, and President and owner of the Krupp concern. The Prosecutors representing the Soviet Union, the French Republic, and the United Kingdom unanimously opposed inclusion of Alfried Krupp. This is not said in criticism of them or their judgment. The necessity of limiting the number of defendants was considered by representatives of the other three nations to preclude the addition of Alfried Krupp. Learning the serious condition of Krupp von Bohlen, immediately upon service of the Indictment, the United States again called a meeting of Prosecutors and proposed an amendment to include Alfried Krupp. Again the proposal of the United States was defeated by a vote of three-to-one. If now the Tribunal shall exercise its discretion to excuse from trial the one indicted member of the Krupp family, one of the chief purposes of the United States will be defeated, and it is submitted that such a result is not “in the interests of justice.”

The United States respectfully submits that no greater disservice to the future peace of the world could be done than to excuse the entire Krupp family and the armament enterprise from this trial in which aggressive war-making is sought to be condemned. The “interests of Justice” cannot be determined without taking into account justice to the men of four generations whose lives have been taken or menaced by Krupp munitions and Krupp armament, and those of the future who can feel no safety if such persons as this escape all condemnation in proceedings such as this.

While of course the United States can not, without the concurrence of one other power, indict a new defendant, it can under the Charter alone oppose this Motion. The United States respectfully urges that if the favor now sought by Krupp von Bohlen is to be granted, it be upon the condition that Alfried Krupp be substituted or added as a defendant so that there may be a representative of the Krupp interests before the Tribunal.

It may be suggested that bringing in a new defendant would result in delay. Admitting, however, that a delay which cannot exceed a few days may be occasioned, it is respectfully suggested that the precise day that this trial will start is a less important consideration than whether it is to fail of one of its principal purposes. The American Prosecution Staff has been by long odds the longest and farthest away from home in this endeavor. On personal, as well as public interest considerations, it deplores delay. But we think the future, as well as the contemporary world, cannot fail to be shocked if, in a trial in which it is sought to condemn aggressive war-making, the Krupp industrial empire is completely saved from condemnation.

The complete trial brief of the United States on Krupp von Bohlen, with copies of the documents on which his culpability is asserted, will be made available to the Tribunal if it is desired as evidence concerning him and Alfried Krupp and the Krupp concerns.

Respectfully submitted:

[signed] Robert H. Jackson

12 November 1945. ROBERT H. JACKSON,

Chief of Counsel for the United States of America.


Council for Gustav Krupp von Bohlen has applied to the Tribunal for postponement of the proceedings against this defendant on the ground that his physical and mental condition are such that he is incapable of understanding the proceedings against him and of presenting any defense that he may have.

On November 5, the Tribunal appointed a medical commission composed of the following physicians: R. E. Tunbridge, Brigadier, O.B.E., M.D., M.Sc., F.R.C.P., Consulting Physician, British Army of the Rhine; Rene Piedelievre, M.D., Professor a la Faculte de Medicine de Paris; Expert pres les Tribuneaux; Nicolas Kurshakov, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Medical Institute of Moscow; Chief Internist, Commissariat of Public Health, U.S.S.R.; Eugene Sepp, M.D., Emeritus professor of Neurology, Medical Institute of Moscow; Member, Academy of Sciences, U.S.S.R.; Eugene Krasnushkin, M.D.; Professor of Psychiatry, Medical Institute of Moscow; Bertram Schaffner, Major, Medical Corps, Neuropsychiatrist, Army of the United States.

The Commission has reported to the Tribunal that it is unanimously of the opinion that Krupp von Bohlen suffers from senile softening of the brain; that his mental condition is such that he is incapable of understanding court procedure and of understanding or cooperating in interrogations; that his physical state is such that he cannot be moved without endangering his life; and that his condition is unlikely to improve but rather will deteriorate further.

The Tribunal accepts the findings of the medical commission to which exception is taken neither by the Prosecution nor by the Defense.

Article 12 of the Charter authorizes the trial of a defendant in absentia if found by the Tribunal to be “necessary in the interests of justice". It is contended on behalf of the Chief Prosecutors that in the interests of justice Krupp von Bohlen should be tried in Absentia, despite his physical and mental condition.

It is the decision of the Tribunal that upon the facts presented the interests of justice do not require that Krupp von Bohlen be tried in absentia. The Charter of the Tribunal envisages a fair trial in which the Chief Prosecutors may present the evidence in support of an indictment and the defendants may present such defence as they may believe themselves to have. Where nature rather than flight or contumacy has rendered such a trial impossible, it is not in accordance with justice that the case should proceed in the absence of a defendant.

For the foregoing reasons, the Tribunal Orders that:

1. The application for postponement of the proceeding against Gustav Krupp von Bohlen is granted.

2. The charges in the indictment against Gustav Krupp von Bohlen shall be retained upon the docket of the Tribunal for trial hereafter, if the physical and mental condition of the Defendant should permit.

Further questions raised by the Chief Prosecutors, including the question of adding another name to the Indictment, will be considered later.


The United States, by its Chief of Counsel, respectfully shows:

The order of the Tribunal, that “The charges in the indictment against Gustav Krupp von Bohlen shall be retained upon the docket of the Tribunal for trial hereafter, if the physical and mental condition of the Defendant should permit,” requires the United States to make clear its attitude toward subsequent trials, which may have been misapprehended by the Tribunal, in order that no inference be drawn from its silence.

The United States never has committed itself to participate in any Four Power trial except the one now pending. The purpose of accusing organizations and groups as criminal was to reach, through subsequent and more expeditious trials before Military Government or military courts, a large number of persons. According to estimates of the United States Army, a finding that the organizations presently accused are criminal organizations would result in the trial of approximately 130,000 persons now held in the custody of the United States Army; and I am uninformed as to those held by others. It has been the great purpose of the United States from the beginning to bring into this one trial all that is necessary by way of defendants and evidence to reach the large number of persons responsible for the crimes charged without going over the entire evidence again. We, therefore, desire that it be a matter of record that the United States has not been, and is not by this order, committed to participate in any subsequent Four Power trial. It reserves freedom to determine that question after the capacity to handle one trial under difficult conditions has been tested.

Respectfully submitted:

[signed] Robert H. Jackson


Chief of Counsel for the United States.

16 November 1945


Upon the Indictment, the motion of Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach and the answers thereto, and all proceedings had thereunder, the Committee of Prosecutors created under the Charter hereby designates Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach as a defendant and respectfully moves that the Indictment be amended by adding the name of Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach as a defendant, and by the addition of appropriate allegations in reference to him in the Appendix A thereof. It also moves that the time of Alfried Krupp be shortened from thirty days to December 2, 1945. For this purpose, the Committee of Prosecutors adopts and ratifies the Answer filed on behalf of the United States on November 12, 1945 in response to the Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach motion, and the motion made by Robert H. Jackson in open Court on behalf of the United States of America, The Soviet Union, and the Provisional Government of France. This motion is authorized by a resolution adopted at a meeting of the Committee of Prosecutors held on November 16, 1945.

[signed] Pokrovsky
For the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
[signed] Francois de Menthon
For the Provisional Government of France
[signed] Robert H. Jackson
For the United States of America.
16 November 1945.


Sitting at Nurnberg, Germany, on 17 November 1945,

In session 1500 hours

THE PRESIDENT: The motion to amend the indictment by adding the name of Alfried Krupp has been considered by the Tribunal in all its aspects and the application is rejected.

The Tribunal will now adjourn.

(Whereupon at 1505 the Tribunal adjourned.)


As the day of the trial approached, Martin Bormann, although named as a defendant in the indictment, had not yet been apprehended despite the efforts of numerous special investigators. On 17 November 1945 the Tribunal requested the views of the prosecution on the question of trial in absentia. Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Great Britain, reviewed the information available and, on behalf of the United States and France as well as Great Britain, stated that: “The prosecution cannot say that the matter is beyond a probability that Bormann is dead. There is still the clear possibility that he is alive.” Notice had been publicly given, in the manner prescribed by the Tribunal, that Bormann had been named a defendant, and it was therefore suggested that the case fell within Article 12 of the Charter authorizing trial in absentia. The Soviet representative expressed concurrence; whereupon Lord Justice Lawrence, presiding, orally announced the Tribunal’s ruling, on the same date:

“The Tribunal has decided that, in pursuance of Article 12 of the Charter, it will try the Defendant Bormann in his absence, and it announces that counsel for the Defendant Bormann will be appointed to defend him.”

Thereafter, the counsel named to defend Bormann moved for postponement of the proceedings against the defendant. The Tribunal announced on 22 November through Lord Justice Lawrence, presiding, that:

“*. * * in view of the fact that the provisions of the Charter and the Tribunal’s rule of procedure have been strictly carried out in the notices which have been given, and the fact that counsel for Bormann will have ample time before they are called upon to present defense on his behalf, the motion is denied.”


On 18 November 1945, two days before the opening of the trial, Kaltenbrunner suffered a spontaneous subarachanoid hemorrhage and was taken to the hospital for treatment. He remained there until 6 December, when he was returned to the jail. He attended the 10 December session of the Tribunal and was in court for several days thereafter, but his condition deteriorated so that it was necessary to return him to the hospital for further treatment. Medical opinion expects at this writing (23 January), that he will be required to remain under hospital care for a considerable period.

On 2 January Kaltenbrunner’s counsel, Dr. Kauffmann, requested the Tribunal to postpone the case against his client because of his illness. The Tribunal ruled (1) that the prosecution should proceed with any evidence which it proposed to direct against the criminality of organizations with which Kaltenbrunner was connected, (2) that any prosecution evidence directed against Kaltenbrunner as an individual should be withheld until the prosecution reached that part of its case in which it had planned to trace the responsibility of individual defendants, and (3) that Kaltenbrunner’s case should properly be left until the end of this section of the evidence. If at that time the defendant should be still unable to be present in court, the Tribunal ruled that “the evidence will have to be given in his absence.”

A closed session followed at which the Tribunal heard both the prosecution and defense counsel, as a result of which the Tribunal modified its ruling. Since the prosecution’s evidence was so inextricably mingled that it was impossible to divide it between that which bore against Kaltenbrunner as an individual and that which bore against the organizations which he headed, the Tribunal ruled that it would hear the prosecution’s evidence in its entirety. Counsel for Kaltenbrunner, however, was given the privilege of cross-examining at a later date any witnesses which the prosecution might call against Kaltenbrunner. The Tribunal pointed out that defense counsel would also, of course, have an opportunity to deal with any documentary evidence against Kaltenbrunner when the time came for the presentation of the defense case.


Counsel for Streicher orally requested the Tribunal, on 15 November 1945, to appoint a commission to make a psychiatric examination of the defendant. This was requested for the Defense Counsel’s “own protection", although the defendant thought himself normal and did not wish an examination. The Tribunal directed the Defense Counsel to make his motion in writing. The Soviet prosecutor suggested to the Tribunal the desirability of having such an examination, if it were necessary at all, while medical experts from the Soviet Union remained in Nurnberg. Subsequently a panel of three medical experts examined Streicher and reported that he was fit to stand trial. The Tribunal thereupon ruled, Lord Justice Lawrence making the announcement orally in court on 22 November, that

“* * * the Tribunal wishes me to announce the decision on the application made on behalf of the Defendant Julius Streicher by his counsel that his condition should be examined. It has been examined by three medical experts on behalf of the Tribunal and their report has been submitted to and considered by the Tribunal; and it is as follows:

“'1. The Defendant Julius Streicher is sane.

“'2. The Defendant Julius Streicher is fit to appear before the Tribunal, and to present his defense.

“'3. It being the unanimous conclusion of the examiners that Julius Streicher is sane, he is for that reason capable of understanding the nature and policy of his acts during the period of time covered by the indictment.'

“The Tribunal accepts the report of the medical experts and the trial against Julius Streicher will, therefore, proceed.”


Through his pre-trial confinement in the Nurnberg prison, Hess had consistently maintained that he was suffering from amnesia and therefore could not remember facts concerning his previous activities. In order to determine Hess' mental state the Tribunal appointed a commission of psychiatric experts from the United States, Great Britain, Russia, and France, to examine the defendant and furnish a report. After receiving the medical report the Tribunal directed that oral argument by the prosecution and defense counsel should be heard on 30 November 1945 concerning the issues raised by the medical report. Prior to the oral argument, both the prosecution and defense filed written motions which outlined substantially the positions later taken in court. At the conclusion of the oral arguments, the Tribunal called upon Hess for a statement. Hess thereupon announced that he had simulated loss of memory for tactical reasons and that his memory was “again in order.” On the following day the Tribunal ruled that Hess was capable of standing trial and that his case would proceed. The papers pertaining to these matters are set out below.


1. Counsel for the defendant Hess has made application to the Tribunal to appoint an expert designated by the medical faculty of the University of Zurich or of Lausanne to examine the defendant Hess with reference to his mental competence and capacity to stand trial. This application is denied.

2. The Tribunal has designated a commission composed of the following members:

Eugene Krasnuchkin, M.D., Professor Psychiatry,
Medical Institute of Moscow, assisted by
Eugene Sepp, M.D., Professor Neurology,
Medical Institute of Moscow
Member, Academy of Medical Sciences, USSR; and,
Nicolas Kuraskov, M.D., Professor of Medicine
Medical Institute of Moscow,
Chief Internist, Commissariat of Public Health, USSR.
Lord Moran, M.D., F.R.C.P.
President of the Royal College of Physicians, assisted by
Dr. T. Reece, M.D., F.R.C.P.
Chief Consultant Psychiatrist to the War Office, and
Dr. George Ruddock, M.D., F.R.C.P.
Director of Neurology to the London Hospital and
Chief Consultant Neurologist to the War Office
Dr. Nolan D. C. Lewis, assisted by
Dr. D. Ewen Cameron and
Col. Paul Schroeder, M.D.
Professor Jean Delay.

The Tribunal has requested the commission to examine the defendant Hess and furnish a report on the mental state of the defendant with particular reference to the question whether he is able to take his part in the trial, specifically: (1) Is the defendant able to plead to the indictment? (2) Is the defendant sane or not, and on this last issue the Tribunal wishes to be advised whether the defendant is of sufficient intellect to comprehend the course of the proceedings of the trial so as to make a proper defense, to challenge a witness to whom he might wish to object and to understand the details of the evidence.

3. The examiners have presented their reports to the Tribunal in the form which commends itself to them. It is directed that copies of the reports be furnished to each of the Chief Prosecutors and to defense counsel. The Tribunal will hear argument by the Prosecution and by defense counsel on the issues presented by the reports on Friday, November 30 at 4 P.M.


[signed] Geoffrey Lawrence

Geoffrey Lawrence


Dated Nurnberg, Germany this 24th day of November, 1945 Copies of four (4) Medical Reports attached

(1) British Medical Report

REPORT on Rudolf Hess, telephoned from London.

“The undersigned, having seen and examined Rudolf Hess, have come to the following conclusion:

1. There are no relevant physical abnormalities.

2. His mental state is of a mixed type. He is an unstable man, and what is technically called a psychopathic personality. The evidence of his illness in the past four years, as presented by one of us who has had him under his care in England, indicates that he has had a delusion of poisoning, and other similar paranoid ideas.

Partly as a reaction to the failure of his mission, these abnormalities got worse, and led to suicidal attempts.

In addition, he has a marked hysterical tendency, which has led to the development of various symptoms, notably a loss of memory, which lasted from November 1943 to June 1944, and which resisted all efforts at treatment. A second loss of memory began in February 1945 and lasted till the present. This amnesic symptom will eventually clear, when circumstances change.

3. At the moment he is not insane in the strict sense. His loss of memory will not entirely interfere with his comprehension of the proceedings, but it will interfere with his ability to make his defense, and to understand details of the past, which arise in evidence.

4. We recommend that further evidence should be obtained by narco-analysis and that if the Court decides to proceed with the Trial, the question should afterwards be reviewed on psychiatric grounds.”

[signed] Moran

J. Rees, MD, FRCP

Dated 19th November, 1945 George Riddoch

(2) Joint American and French Medical Report

20 November 1945

MEMORANDUM TO: Brigadier General Wm. L. Mitchell, General Secretary for the International Military Tribunal.

In response to request of the Tribunal that the defendant Rudolf Hess be examined, the undersigned psychiatrists examined Rudolf Hess on November 15th and 19th, 1945, in his cell in the Military Prison in Nurnberg.

The following examinations were made: physical, neurological and psychological.

In addition, documents were studied bearing information concerning his personal development and career. Reports concerning the period of his stay in England were scrutinized. The results of all psychological, special psychometric examinations and observations carried out by the prison psychiatrist and his staff were studied. Information was also derived from the official interrogation of the defendant on November 14th and November 16th, 1945.

(1) We find, as a result of our examinations and investigations, that Rudolf Hess is suffering from hysteria characterized in part by loss of memory. The nature of this loss of memory is such that it will not interfere with his comprehension of the proceedings, but it will interfere with his response to questions relating to his past and will interfere with his undertaking his defense.

In addition there is a conscious exaggeration of his loss of memory and a tendency to exploit it to protect himself against examination.

(2) We consider that the existing hysterical behaviour which the defendant reveals was initiated as a defense against the circumstances in which he found himself while in England; that it has now become in part habitual and that it will continue as long as he remains under the threat of imminent punishment, even though it may interfere with his undertaking a more normal form of defense.

(3) It is the unanimous conclusion of the undersigned that Rudolf Hess is not insane at the present time in the strict sense of the word.

(s) D. Ewen Cameron
Professor of Psychiatrie, McGill University
(s) Paul L. Schroeder
A.U.S. Neuropsychiatric Consultant
(s) Jean Delay
Professor of Psychiatrie at the Faculty of Medicine in Paris
(s) Nolan D. C. Lewis
Professor Psychiatry, Columbia University

(3) Soviet Medical Report


In pursuance of the assignment by the Tribunal, we, the medical experts of the Soviet Delegation, together with the physicians of the English Delegation and in the presence of one representative of the American Medical Delegation, have examined Rudolf Hess and made a report on our examination of Mr. Hess together with our conclusions and interpretation of the behavior of Mr. Hess.

The statement of the general conclusions has been signed only by the physicians of the Soviet Delegation and by Professor Delay, the medical expert of the French Delegation.

Appendix: 1 Conclusions and 2 the Report on the examination of Mr. Hess.

(signed) Professor Krasnushkin, Doctor of Medicine

(signed) Professor Sepp, Honorary Scientist, Regular Member of the Academy of Medicine

(signed) Professor Kushakov, Doctor of Medicine, Chief Therapeutist of the Commissariat of Health of the U.S.S.R.

November 17, 1945

(a) Conclusions

After observation and an examination of Rudolf Hess the undersigned have reached the following conclusions:

1. No essential physical deviations from normality were observed.

2. His mental conditions are of a mixed type. He is an unstable person, which in technical terms is called a psychopathic personality. The data concerning his illness during the period of the last four years submitted by one of us who had him under observation in England, show that he had a delusion of being poisoned and other similar paranoic notions.

Partly as a reaction to the failure of his mission there, the abnormal manifestations increased and led to attempts at suicide. In addition to the above mentioned he has noticeable hysterical tendencies which caused a development of various symptoms, primarily, of amnesia that lasted from November 1943 to June of 1944 and resisted all attempts to be cured.

The amnesia symptom may disappear with changing circumstances.

The second period of amnesia started in February of 1945 and has lasted up through the present.

3. At present he is not insane in the strict sense of the word. His amnesia does not prevent him completely from understanding what is going on around him but it will interfere with his ability to conduct his defense and to understand details of the past which would appear as factual data.

4. To clarify the situation we recommend that a narco-analysis be performed on him and, if the Court decides to submit him to trial, the problem should be subsequently reexamined again from a psychiatric point of view.

The conclusion reached on November 14 by the physicians of the British Delegation, Lord Moran, Dr. T. Rees and Dr. G. Riddoch, and the physicians of the Soviet Delegation, Professors Krasnushkin, Sepp, and Kurshakov, was also arrived at on November 15 by the representative of the French Delegation, Professor Jean Delay.

After an examination of Mr. Hess which took place on November 15, 1945, the undersigned Professors and experts of the Soviet Delegation, Krasnushkin, Sepp and Kurshakov, and Professor Jean Delay, the expert from the French Delegation, have agreed on the following statement:

Mr. Hess categorically refused to be submitted to narco-analysis and resisted all other procedures intended to effect a cure of his amnesia, and stated that he would agree to undergo treatment only after the trial. The behavior of Mr. Hess makes it impossible to apply the methods suggested in Paragraph 4 of the report of November 14 and to follow the suggestion of that Paragraph in present from.

(signed) Professor Krasnushkin,
Doctor of Medicine
(signed) Professor Sepp,
Honorary Scientist, Regular Member of the Academy of Medicine
(signed) Professor Kurshakov,
Doctor of Medicine, Chief Theraputist of the Commissariat of Health of the U.S.S.R.
(signed) Professor Jean Delay
of the School of Medicine in Paris
November 16, 1945

(b) Record of Examination of Rudolf Hess

According to the information obtained on Nov. 16, 1945, during the interrogation of Rosenberg who had seen Hess immediately before the latter’s flight to England, Hess gave no evidence of any abnormality either in appearance or conversation. He was, as usual, quiet and composed. Nor was it apparent that he might have been nervous. Prior to this, he was a calm person, habitually suffering pains in the region of the stomach.

As can be judged on the basis of the report of the English psychiatrist, Doctor Rees, who had Hess under observation from the first days of his flight to England, Hess, after the airplane crash, disclosed No evidence of a brain injury, but, upon arrest and incarceration, he began to give expression to ideas of persecution. He feared that he would be poisoned, or killed and his death represented as a suicide, and that all this would be done by the English under the hypnotic influence of the Jews. Furthermore, these delusions of persecution were maintained up to the news of the catastrophe suffered by the German Army at Stalingrad when the manifestations were replaced by amnesia. According to Doctor Rees, the delusions of persecution and the amnesia were observed not to take place simultaneously. Furthermore, there were two attempts at suicide. A knife wound, inflicted during the second attempt, in the skin near the heart gave evidence of a clearly hysterico-demonstrative character. After this there was again observed a change from amnesia to delusions of persecution, and during this period he wrote that he was simulating his amnesia, and, finally, again entered into a state of amnesia which has been prolonged up to the present.

According to the examination of Rudolf Hess on Nov. 14, 1945, the following was disclosed.

Hess complains of frequent cramping pains in the region of the stomach which appear independent of the taking of food, and headaches in the frontal lobes during mental strain, and, finally, of loss of memory.

In general his condition is marked by a pallor of the skin and a noticeable reduction in food intake.

Regarding the internal organs of Hess, the pulse is 92, and a shakening of the heart tone is noticeable. There has been no change in the condition of the other internal organs.

Concerning the neurological aspect, there are no symptoms of organic impairment of the nervous system.

Psychologically, Hess is in a state of clear consciousness; knows that he is in prison at Nurnberg under indictment as a war criminal; has read, and, according to his own words, is acquainted with the charges against him. He answers questions rapidly and to the point. His speech is coherent, his thoughts formed with precision and correctness and they are accompanied by sufficient emotionally expressive movements. Also, there is no kind of evidence of paralogism. It should also be noted here, that the present Psychological examination, which was conducted by Lieut. Gilbert, M.D., bears out the testimony that the intelligence of Hess is normal and in some instances above the average. His movements are natural and not forced.

He has expressed no delirous fancies nor does he give any delirious explanation for the painful sensation in his stomach or the loss of memory, as was previously attested to by Doctor Rees, namely, when Hess ascribed them to poisoning. At the present time, to the question about the reason for his painful sensations and the loss of memory, Hess answers that this is for the doctors to know. According to his own assertions, he can remember almost nothing of his former life. The gaps in Hess' memory are ascertained only on the basis of the subjective changing of his testimony about his inability to remember this or that person or event given at different times. What he knows at the present time is, in his own words, what he allegedly learned only recently from the information of those around him and the films which have been shown him.

On Nov. 14 Hess refused the injection of narcotics which were offered for the purpose of making an analysis of his Psychological condition. On Nov. 15, in answer to Prof. Delay’s offer, he definitely and firmly refused narcosis and explained to him that, in general, he would take all measures to cure his amnesia only upon completion of the trial.

All that has been exposed above, we are convinced, permits, of the interpretation that the deviation from the norm in the behavior of Hess takes the following forms:

I. In the psychological personality of Hess there are no changes typical of the progressive schizophrenic disease, and therefore the delusions, from which he suffered periodically while in England, cannot be considered as manifestations of a schizophrenic paranoia, and must be recognized as the expression of a psychogenic paranoic reaction, that is, the psychologically comprehensible reaction of an unstable (psychologically) personality to the situation (the failure of his mission, arrest and incarceration). Such an interpretation of the delirious statements of Hess in England is bespoken by their disappearance, appearance and repeated disappearance depending on external circumstances which affected the mental state of Hess.

II. The loss of memory of Hess is not the result of some kind of mental disease but represents hysterical amnesia, the basis of which is a subconscious inclination toward self-defense as well as a deliberate and conscious tendency toward it. Such behavior often terminates when the hysterical person is faced with an unavoidable necessity of conducting himself correctly. Therefore, the amnesia of Hess may end upon his being brought to trial.

III. Rudolf Hess, prior to his flight to England, did not suffer from any kind of insanity, nor is he now suffering from it. At the present time he exhibits hysterical behavior with signs of a conscious-intentional (simulated) character, which does not exonerate him from his responsibility under the indictment.

(signed) Professor Krasnushkin, Doctor of Medicine

(signed) Professor Sepp, Honorary Scientist, Regular Member of the Academy of Medicine

(signed) Professor Kurshakov, Doctor of Medicine, Chief Theraputist of the Commissariat of Health of the U.S.S.R.

17 November 1945


Attorney-at-law von Rohrscheidt

Defense Counsel for Rudolf Hess

Nurnberg, 29 November 1945

To the General Secretary of the International Military Tribunal, Nurnberg:

Reference: Rudolf Hess-Session of 30 November 1945.

I. Reply to the request of the Tribunal of 28 November 1945.

II. Preparatory statement for the trial.


I, as Counsel for the Defendant Hess, answer the request of the Tribunal of 28 November 1945 as follows:

1. No formal objection is being raised by Defense against presentation and use of the expert opinions obtained by the Tribunal.

2. The Defense does not think the defendant Hess to be “verhandlungsfaehig” (in a state of health to be tried).

3. Material objections are being raised by the Defense, inasmuch as the expert opinion denies the competence of the defendant as a consequence of a mental disorder.


For the proceedings, I, as Counsel for the Defendant Hess, wish to make the following statement:

1. I move:

a. That a decision be made to adjourn the proceedings against the defendant temporarily.

b. That in case incapacity to be tried is asserted, proceedings in absentia against the defendant should not be carried on.

c. That in case my motion ad a is rejected, a super expert opinion be obtained from additional eminent psychiatrists.

2. I argue these motions as follows:

ad 1-a: The adjournment of the proceedings is necessary because of the unfitness of the defendant to follow them.

In this respect the (medical) opinions state unanimously upon the questions asked by the Tribunal, that “the ability of the Defendant Hess is impaired to the extent that he cannot defend himself, nor oppose a witness, nor understand the details of evidence.” Even if the amnesia does not keep him from understanding what happens about him or to understand the course of the trial, this amnesia nevertheless has a disturbing effect on his defense.

The impairment of the defendant in his defense, through his amnesia, recognized by all opinions as a mental defect, has to be acknowledged as such, in view of the statements in the opinions of the Soviet, English and American Delegations of 14 November 1945, which designate the mental condition as one of a mixed kind, but more as one of a sort of mental abnormality. This will not make a pertinent defense possible for him (Hess).

In this respect, it does not have to be considered that the defendant is not mentally ill “in the literal meaning of the word” and that he can follow the proceedings. The question whether the defendant is at present incapable, as a result of the diminution of his “mental powers,” to understand all occurrences and to defend himself properly, has nothing to do with his mental derangement when committing the crime.

In the opinion of counsel, the defendant is in no case in a position to make himself understood or to understand argument, because he is impaired in his mental clarity through the loss of his memory and because he has completely lost the knowledge of previous events and of people of former acquaintance.

Since the expert establishment of his mental disorder which impairs the defendant in the full execution of his defense, makes proceedings against him inadmissible, the statement of the defendant that he thinks himself capable of being tried has no significance.

According to expert opinion, the impairment of the defendant cannot be removed within a measurable space of time. It is not sure whether treatment through Narco-Analysis, as proposed by the medical experts, will have the desired result. The defendant has refused to submit to this treatment only because he thinks of himself as capable of being tried and consequently not in need of such treatment. Furthermore, because he is opposed to any forcible influence upon the body, and finally, he is afraid of physical disturbances which would prevent him from participating in the trial if such method of treatment is used at this time. The proceedings would have to be dropped in case of an illness of long duration which excludes his fitness to be tried.

ad 1-b: According to Article 12 of the Statutes, the Tribunal has the right to proceed against a defendant in absentia if he, the defendant, cannot be located or if the Tribunal thinks it necessary, for other reasons, in the interests of justice. If the Tribunal, on the basis of convincing expert opinions, establishes that the defendant is not in a position to put up a pertinent defense and consequently decides not to proceed against him, proceedings in absentia, according to Article 12, could then only be carried on if this is in the interest of justice. It would not be compatible with objective justice, in case that actual proof of this fact is available, if the defendant is impeded by an impairment based upon health reasons, in personally standing up for his rights and in being present at the trial.

In proceedings which accuse the defendant of such serious crimes and possibly carry the death penalty, it would not be compatible with objective justice if he were personally denied the opportunity to look after his rights as stated in Article 16 of the Statutes. These rights provide for his self-defense. The possibility to “personally present evidence for one’s defense and to cross-examine each witness of the prosecution” is of such importance that any exclusion of such rights has to be considered an injustice toward the defendant. Proceedings in absentia can, under no circumstances, be accepted as a “fair trial.”

The same is true for the exclusion of the defendant from the rights which are granted him during the proceedings according to Article 24.

If the defendant is impaired in his ability to defend himself for the reasons of the expert opinions, and to the extent explained therein, then he is just as little in a position to give his Counsel the necessary information and to enable him to take care of the defense in his absence.

Since the Statutes establish the rights for the defense in this precise manner, it does not seem fair to withhold these from a defendant in a case when he is prevented from personally taking care of his defense during the proceedings. The rules in Article 12, regarding the proceedings against an absent defendant, have to be considered as an exception which should only be used against a defendant who tries to dodge in spite of his being in a position to be tried. The Defendant Hess has always been prepared to be tried in order to avoid proceedings in absentia, which he considers an injustice of the highest measure.

ad 1-c: In case the Court should not agree with the explanations and should not consider the statements of the expert opinion in the sense of the defense, and therefore come to a denial of the Application ad a, it seems necessary to obtain the super opinion because the opinions testify to the fact that the defendant is a psychopathic personality who suffers from hallucinations and still today shows, in the loss of memory, clear signs of a serious hysteria. If the Tribunal does not consider these sentiments alone as sufficient for the establishment of incapability to be tried, a more intensive examination would have to follow which would not be confined to an examination of only one or two hours on several days, but require a clinical observation.

The opinions, themselves, provide for another examination of the mental condition of the defendant, which seems to prove that the experts possibly have a “disturbance of the mental capacity” in mind if the condition of the defendant lasts and the Tribunal, against expectations, declares the defendant unfit to be tried and therewith incompetent under all circumstances.

/Signed/ von Rohrscheidt


Translator: Dr. H. v. V. Veith




The undersigned representatives of their respective nations answer the request of the Tribunal of 28 November, 1945 respectfully as follows:

1. We do not challenge or question the report of the Committee.

2. It is our position that the defendant Rudolf Hess is fit to stand trial.

3. Observations may be filed by any of the undersigned based on their respective relationships to the subject matter.

[signed] R. RUDENKO

For the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

[signed] C. DUBOST

For the Provisional Government of France


For the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland


For the United States of America

29 November 1945

(1) Answer by the United States Chief of Counsel


The United States respectfully files the following observations on the application of RUDOLF Hess:

Hess' condition was known to the undersigned representative of the United States immediately after his delivery to the Nurnberg prison and was the subject of a report by Major Douglas McG. Kelley of the Medical Corps of the United States Army, which report is attached hereto.

The report of Major Kelley and his recommendation for treatment were submitted to me and on October 20, 1945, I advised that “any treatment of this case involving the use of drugs which might cause injury to the subject is disapproved.” This was not because I disapproved of the treatment. I approve of the treatment and would insist on its being employed if the victim were a member of my own family. But I was of the opinion that the private administration of any kind of drug to Hess would be dangerous because if he should thereafter die, even of natural causes, it would become the subject of public controversy. This completely agreed with the opinion of the Security Officer, Colonel B. C. Andrus, whose report is attached.

In view of the statements contained in the medical report of the Commission and in view of the facts which I have recited, the United States must regard Hess as a victim, at most, of a voluntary amnesia and presenting no case for excuse from trial.

Respectfully submitted

[signed] Robert H. Jackson

Chief of Counsel for the United States.

29 November 1945.





APO 403, U.S. ARMY

16 October 1945

SUBJECT: Psychiatric Status of Internee.

TO: Commanding Officer, Internal Security Detachment.

1. Internee Rudolf HESS has been carefully studied since his admission to Nurnberg Prison.

2. On entry HESS manifested a spotty amnesia. The British psychiatrist accompanying him stated that from 4 October 43 to 4 February 45 HESS presented symptoms of total amnesia. from 4 February 45 to 12 July 45 he recovered, and is said to have made a statement that his previous amnesia was simulated. On 12 July 45 he again developed amnesia which has lasted to the present. Also while in England HESS claimed he was being poisoned and sealed up numerous samples of food, chocolate, medicine, etc. as “evidence” to be analyzed prior to his trials. Such behavior could be either simulated or a true paranoid reaction.

3. Present examination reveals a normal mental status with the exception of the amnesia. Attitude and general behavior are normal, mood and affect, while slightly depressed, are intact and normal. Sensorium is intact and insight is good. Content reveals vague paranoid trends, but there is no evidence of any actual psychosis. His reactions to his suspicions are not fixed-and delusioned trends-are distinctly spotty and disconnected. His reactions are those of an individual who has given up a simulated behavior pattern rather than those of the psychotic. Oddly enough his memory for this phase of behavior is excellent.

4. Special examinations with Rorschach cards indicate some neurotic patterns. They point to a highly schizoid personality with hysterical and obsessive components. Such findings are confirmed in the patient’s present reactions. He complains bitterly of “stomach cramps” which are obviously neurotic manifestations. He is over-dramatic in his actions presenting typical hysterical gestures, complaints and symptoms. His amnesia is at present limited to personal events concerning his history after joining the party. The amnesia however shifts in a highly suspicious fashion. Such amnesias may be hysterical in nature but in such cases do not change in depth from day to day and facts recently learned are not lost as with Hess.

5. In HESS' case there is also the factor of his long amnesia in England. It is quite possible that he has suggested an amnesia to himself for so long that he partially believes in it. In a person of hysterical make-up such auto suggestion could readily produce an amnesic state. Also the “gain” or protection found in amnesia, fancied or real, would be a bar to its easy clearance. Finally a large conscious element may well be present.

6. In this case I believe all those factors are present. Treatment will have to be formulated along lines attacking the suggestive factors and overcoming conscious restraints. Hypnosis would be a value but probably chemical hypnosis will be required. Such narco-hypnosis and analysis require the use of intra venous drugs of the barbitol series, either sodium amytol or sodium pentothal. Such treatment is in general innocuous if proper precautions are taken. It must be borne in mind, however, that occasional accidents happen in any intravenous technique. With the drugs mentioned above rare fatalities have been reported although in more than 1000 such cases personally treated, I have never seen one.

7. Essentially the present situation is as follows:

a. Internee HESS is sane and responsible.

b. Internee HESS is a profound neurotic of the hysterical type.

c. His amnesia is of mixed etuology, stemming from auto suggestions and conscious malingering in a hysterical personality.

d. Treatment will be required if it is felt desirable to remove this amnesia.

e. Such treatment, though it cannot eliminate the conscious element is of great value in estimating its importance. With such techniques accurate estimates of malingering can be made. If this is a true amnesia, total recovery can be predicted.

f. Such treatment is essentially harmless except in extremely rare instances. In ordinary practice the value of the treatment far outweighs any of its hazards.

8. Clarification as to the desired degree of treatment in this case is requested.


Major, MC

1st Ind


TO: Mr. Justice Jackson’s Office U.S. Chief of Counsel

APO 403, U.S. Army

(Attention: Colonel Gill)

HESS believes or has pretended that the British attempted to poison him. Treatment with drugs might call forth the same suspicion or allegation against us by him. Undue alarm might be injurious to the patient.

/s/ B. C. Andrus

/t/ B. C. ANDRUS

Colonel Cav


2nd Ind


20 October 1945

TO: Headquarters, Internal Security Detachment.

Office U.S. Chief of Counsel

Any treatment of this case involving the use of drugs which might cause injury to the subject is disapproved.


Colonel, CMP



30 November 1945

Afternoon Session

Mr. President: At the beginning of this afternoon’s proceedings, I handed my defense counsel a note stating that I am of the opinion that these proceedings could be shortened if I could speak Briefly. What I have to say is as follows: In order to prevent any possibility of my being declared incapable of pleading-although I am willing to take part in the rest of the proceedings with the rest of them, I would like to make the following declaration to the Tribunal although I originally intended not to make this declaration until a later time. My memory is again in order. The reason why I simulated loss of memory was tactical. In fact, it is only that my power for concentration is slightly reduced but in conflict to that my capacity to follow the trial, my capacity to defend myself, to put questions to witnesses or even to answer questions-in these, my capacities are not influenced. I emphasize the fact that I bear full responsibility for everything that I have done, signed or have signed as co-signatory. My fundamental attitude that the Tribunal is not legally competent, is not affected by the statement I have just made. Hitherto, in my conversations with my official defense counsel, I have maintained my loss of memory. He was, therefore, acting in good faith when he asserted I had lost my memory.”


The ruling of the International Military Tribunal was announced orally by Lord Justice Lawrence, presiding, on 1 December 1945:

“The Tribunal has given careful consideration to the motion of Counsel for the Defendant Hess, and it has had the advantage of hearing full argument upon it both from the Defense and from the Prosecution. The Tribunal has also considered the very full medical reports, which have been made on the condition of the Defendant Hess, and has come to the conclusion that no grounds whatever exist for a further examination to be ordered.

“After hearing the statement of the Defendant Hess in court yesterday, and in view of all the evidence, the Tribunal is of the opinion that the Defendant Hess is capable of standing his trial at the present time, and the motion of Counsel for the Defense is, therefore, denied, and the trial will proceed.”