The Holocaust Historiography Project

Copy of document 3593-PS

Excerpts from the Interrogation of Hermann Goering, taken at Nurnberg, Germany on 13 October 1945, 1045-1200, by Dr. R. M. Kempner, OUSCC

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DR. KEMPNER TO THE WITNESS (DEFENDANT HERMANN GOERING);

Q. How could you tell your press agent, one hour after the Reichstag caught fire, that the Communists did that, without any investigation?

A. Did the public relation offices say that I said that?

Q. Yes. He said you said it.

A. It is possible when I came to the Reichstag the Fuehrer and his gentlemen were there. I was doubtful at the time, but it was their opinion that the Communists had started the fire.

Q. But you were the highest law enforcement official in a certain sense. Daluege was your subordinate. Looking back at it now and not in the excitement that was there once, wasn't it too early to say without investigation that the Communists started that fire?

A. Yes, that is possible, but the Fuehrer wanted it this way.

Q. Why did the Fuehrer want to issue at once a statement that the Communists had started the fire?

A. He was convinced of it.

Q. It is right if I say that he was convinced without having any evidence or any proof of that at this moment?

A. That is right, but you must take into account that at that time the Communist activity was extremely strong, that our new government as such was not very secure.