of the Hitler Government was the policy of aggression. For this reason the members of the Secret Council should be held responsible for this policy There were attempts in Court to represent the Secret Council as a fictitious organization, never actually functioning. This however is an inadmissible position. It is sufficient to recall Rosenberg's letter to Hitler where the former insistently tried to be appointed member of the Secret Council of Ministers — to appreciate fully the significance of the Council.

Even more important practically in conducting aggressive warfare was the Reich Defense Council headed by Hitler and Göring. The following were members of the Defense Council, as is well known: Hess, Frick, Funk, Keitel, Raeder, Lammers (PS-2194; PS-2018).

Göring characterized the function of the Defense Council and its role in war preparations as follows, during the Court session of 23 June 1939: "The Defense Council of the Reich was the deciding Reich organ on all questions concerning preparation for war" (PS-3787, USA-782).

At the same time Göring emphasized the fact that "the meeting of the Defense Council always took place for the purpose of making the most important decisions". From the minutes of these meetings, submitted as evidence by the Prosecution, it is quite clear that the Council made very important decisions indeed. The minutes also show that other Cabinet Ministers sometimes took part in the meetings of the Defense Council alongside the members of the Council when war enterprises and war preparedness were discussed.

For example, the following Cabinet Ministers took part in the meeting of 23 June 1939: of Labor, of Food and Agriculture, of Finance, of Communication, and a number of others, while the minutes of the meeting were sent to all the members of the Cabinet (US-782).

The verdict of the Tribunal justly points out certain peculiarities of the Hitler Government as the directing organ of the State, namely. the absence of regular cabinet meetings, the occasional issuance of laws by the individual Ministers having unusual independence of action, the tremendous personal power of Hitler himself. These peculiarities do not refute but on the contrary further confirm the conclusion that the Hitler Government is not an ordinary rank and file cabinet but a criminal organization.

Certainly Hitler had an unusual measure of personal power but this in no way frees of responsibility the members of his Cabinet who were his convinced followers and the actual executors of his program until and when the day of reckoning arrived.

I consider that there is every reason to declare the Hitler Government a criminal organization.