One. He was clearly not one of the inner circle around Hitler which was most closely involved with this common plan. He was regarded by this group with undisguised hostility. The testimony of Speer shows that Schacht's arrest on 23 July 1944 was based as much on Hitler's enmity towards Schacht growing out of his attitude before the war as it was on suspicion of his complicity in the bomb plot. The case against Schacht therefore depends on the inference that Schacht did in fact know of the Nazi aggressive plans.

On this all-important question evidence has been given for the Prosecution, and a considerable volume of evidence for the Defense. The Tribunal has considered the whole of this evidence with great care, and comes to the conclusion that this necessary inference has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt.


The Tribunal finds that Schacht is not guilty on this Indictment, and directs that he shall be discharged by the Marshal when the Tribunal presently adjourns.


Dönitz is indicted on Counts One, Two, and Three. In 1935 he took command of the first U-boat flotilla commissioned since 1918, became in 1936 commander of the submarine arm, was made Vice-Admiral in 1940, Admiral in 1942, and on 30 January 1943 Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy. On 1 May 1945 he became the Head of State, succeeding Hitler.

Crimes against Peace

Although Dönitz built and trained the German U-boat arm, the evidence does not show he was privy to the conspiracy to wage aggressive wars or that he prepared and initiated such wars. He was a line officer performing strictly tactical duties. He was not present at the important conferences when plans for aggressive wars were announced, and there is no evidence he was informed about the decisions reached there. Dönitz did, however, wage aggressive war within the meaning of that word as used by the Charter. Submarine warfare which began immediately upon the outbreak of war, was fully coordinated with the other branches of the Wehrmacht. It is clear that his U-boats, few in number at the time, were fully prepared to wage war.

It is true that until his appointment in January 1943 as Commander-in-Chief he was not an "Oberbefehlshaber". But this statement underestimates the importance of Dönitz' position. He was no mere army or division commander. The U-boat arm was the principal part of the German fleet and Dönitz was its leader. The High