30 Nov. 45

The Tribunal's question was this: " . . . the Tribunal wishes to be advised whether the defendant is of sufficient intellect to comprehend the course of the proceedings of the Trial so as to make a proper defense, to challenge a witness, to whom he might wish to object, and to understand the details of the evidence." This is the wording of the translation in my possession. In my view this question is answered by the experts to the effect that the defendant is incapable of adequately defending himself, of rejecting the testimony of a witness and of comprehending evidence submitted. That, as I see it, is the conclusion of all the experts' reports with the exception of the one signed by the Russians.

May I refer to the report signed by the American Delegation, dated 20 November 1945, it is stated there under Number 1:

"We find as a result of our examinations and investigations, that Rudolf Hess is suffering from hysteria characterized in part by loss of memory."

Now comes the passage to which I should like to draw the Tribunal's attention:

"The loss of memory is such that it will not interfere with his comprehension of the proceedings, but it will interfere with his response to questions relating to his past and will interfere with his undertaking his defense."

This report thus establishes that Hess' defense will be impaired. And I believe that if the experts go so far as to admit that his memory is affected, then one may assume that to a great degree he is not fit to plead. The report of the Soviet-French representatives, signed by the Russian professors and by Professor Jean Delay goes even further in stating that, although the defendant is able to comprehend all that happens around him, the amnesia affects his capacity to defend himself and to understand details of the past and that it must be considered an impediment. As I see it, the report clearly means that, although the defendant is not insane, and although he can follow the proceedings as such, he cannot defend himself as he is suffering from a form of amnesia which is based on hysteria and which can be believed.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Do you accept the opinion of the experts?


THE TRIBUNAL (Gen. Nikitchenko): I should like to draw the attention of Defense Counsel to the fact that he has referred inaccurately to the decision reached by the Soviet and French experts. He has rendered this decision in a free translation which does not correspond to the original contents.