Severing (Severing's Testimony, Transcript, Afternoon Session, 14 June 1946).

On 4 January 1933, Von Papen had a conference with Hitler, Hess, and Himmler (D-632).

Von Papen participated in the purge of the State machinery of all personnel considered unreliable from the Nazi point of view; on 21 March 1933, he signed a decree creating special political tribunals; he had also signed an order granting amnesty to criminals whose crimes were committed in the course of the "national revolution"; he participated in drafting the text of the order "insuring Party and State unity"; and so on.

Subsequently Von Papen faithfully served the Hitler regime.

After the Putsch of 1934, Von Papen ordered his subordinate Tschirschky to appear in the Gestapo, knowing full well what awaited him there (D-684).

Von Papen helped to keep the bloody murder secret from public opinion (D-717; D-718).

The defendant played a tremendous role in helping Nazis to take possession of Austria.

Three weeks after the assassination of Dollfuss, on 26 July 1934, Hitler told Von Papen that he was being appointed Minister to Vienna, especially noting in a letter: "You have been and continue to be in possession of my fullest and most unlimited trust . . . . " (PS-2799).

In this connection it is impossible to ignore the testimony of the American Ambassador Messersmith who quoted Von Papen as saying that "the seizure of Austria is only the first step" and that he, Von Papen, was in Austria for the purpose of "further weakening the Austrian Government" (USA-57).

The defendant was Hitler's chief advisor in effecting plans for the seizure of Austria. It was he who proposed several tactical maneuvers to quiet the vigilance of world opinion on the one hand, and allow Germany to conclude her war preparations, on the other.

This follows indisputably from Von Papen's statement to the Austrian Minister Berger-Waldeneck (PS-1760), from the report of Gauleiter Reuner of 6 July 1939 (USA-61), from Von Papen's report to Hitler of 21 August 1936 (D-706), from Von Papen's report to Hitler of 1 September 1936 (PS-2246, USA-67), and from a series of other documents which had been submitted in evidence.

Von Papen played this game until the issuance of the order for alerting the German Armed Forces for moving into Austria. He participated in arranging the conference between Hitler and Schuschnigg of 12 February 1938 (USA-69).

It was Von Papen who in a letter to Hitler emphatically recommended that financial aid be given the Nazi organization in Austria