30 Nov. 45

COL. AMEN: And did you occasionally attend conferences at which Herr Hitler was also present?

LAHOUSEN: Yes, I attended a few of the sessions or discussions at which Hitler was present and which he conducted.

COL. AMEN: Will you tell the Tribunal whether the leaders of the Abwehr were in sympathy with Hitler's war program?

LAHOUSEN: I have to make clear in this connection that, at that time, we chiefs in the Abwehr were deeply influenced and captivated by the personality of Canaris, his inner bearing was perfectly clear and unequivocal to a small group of us.

COL.AMEN: And was there a particular group or groups in the Abwehr who worked against the Nazis?

LAHOUSEN: Within the Amt Ausland-Abwehr there were two groups which in their aims and actions were closely connected, but which, nevertheless, must somehow be kept apart.

COL. AMEN: And what were those two groups?

LAHOUSEN: Before I answer this question, I must briefly picture the personality of Canaris, who was the spiritual leader and focus of this group.

COL. AMEN: Please make it as brief as you can.

LAHOUSEN: Canaris was a pure intellect, an interesting, highly individual, and complicated personality, who hated violence as such and therefore hated and abominated war, Hitler, his system, and particularly his methods. In whatever way one may look on him, Canaris was a human being.

COL. AMEN: Now, will you refer back to the two groups of which you spoke and tell me about each of those two groups and their respective memberships?

LAHOUSEN: One might characterize the first of the groups as Canaris' circle. It included the heads of the Amt Ausland-Abwehr:

Canaris himself as its spiritual leader; General Oster, Chief of the Central Division (the head of the Abwehr); my predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel Grosscurth, who had introduced me into the circle of Canaris in Vienna in 1938; the Chief of Abwehr Division I, Colonel Pieckenbrock, who was a close friend of Canaris; Pieckenbrock's successor, Colonel Hansen, who was executed after July; my successor, Colonel Von Freytag Loringhoven, who committed suicide on 26 July 1944, before arrest; also, in a somewhat different way, what applies to all these persons, the Chief of Abwehr Division III, Colonel Von Bentivegni, and then various people in all these divisions, most of whom were executed or imprisoned in connection with the events of July 20, 1944.