F.Gaus (left) when signing the treaty on friendship and borders between the USSR and Germany 28.09.1939.
In a previous publication, Gaus's Third Affidavit? considered a unique document from the State Archives of the Russian Federation, emphasizing the difficult conditions of the course of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the work of the Soviet delegation. Published a document in the collection "The USSR and the Nuremberg Process. Unknown and Little-Known Pages stories". Published documents shed light on many previously unknown to ordinary readers side of the Nuremberg process. However, the scientific editor and the compiler of the collection have a number of questions. Or rather, the author’s separate comments on archival documents are not entirely clear. The author has a lot to say on the Internet:" Natalia Sergeevna Lebedeva (1939). She graduated with honors from the Moscow State Institute of History and Archives (1962). She worked at the Institute of History of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1967, at the Institute of General History of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (RAS). Currently, he is a leading researcher at the Institute of General History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Russian-Polish Group on Difficult Issues of Russian-Polish Relations in the History of the Twentieth Century. In 1970, she defended her thesis on "The Prehistory of the Nuremberg Process". In 1996, the University of Lodz (Poland) awarded her a doctorate degree, habilitated in the field of general history. N. S. Lebedeva is a prominent expert in the history of modern international relations and the history of World War II, who made a major contribution to the study of the Katyn crime of the Stalinist regime. She is the author of the monographs “Preparing the Nuremberg Trials,” “Unconditional Surrender to the Aggressors,” “Katyn: a Crime against Humanity,” and others.
The book, edited by such a specialist of the highest class, should all be perceived as the ultimate truth. But this is not the case. Immediately after the text of the "third" affidavit of Gaus in the collection of documents on p. 455 are the comments of the author. We read: "In the testimony on oath of 15 in May, F. Gause spoke in detail about his trip to Moscow with I. Ribbentrop in August and September of 1939." What evidence is Gaus talking about? We know the three dates of affidavits: 15 March, 11 April and "fake affidavit" from May 17. But 15 May Gaus did not give evidence. Probably the author was mistaken and, judging by the retelling of these testimonies given on his own, this is an affidavit of March 15. When a schoolboy makes a mistake in a history lesson in a date, he gets a deuce. And the doctor? Or is the task specifically to confuse readers? Because at the very end of the author's retelling of this “Gaus’s affidavit of 15 May”, we suddenly read (p. 455): “And Gaus’s affidavit also describes the preparation, and especially the content of not only the Soviet-German friendship and border treaty, but also the text of all three secret protocols to it. " This phrase is probably already quoted by young historians in his dissertations; it sounds in schools in history lessons. The full text of the first Gaus affidavit has already been cited earlier. Anyone who reads knows that it is mainly about the "Non-Aggression Treaty of 23.08.1939" and the secret protocol, and not about the "Treaty of Friendship and Borders of 28.09.1939". And even more so Gause nowhere leads the texts of all three secret protocols to the treaty of friendship and borders. All this is a misunderstanding or deliberate falsification? Maybe this is the fictitious date of the alleged testimony of Gaus - 15 May?
But the most interesting is in the section "Introduction", prepared directly by the compiler of the collection. There the author describes the preparation of the Nuremberg process and its course. On page 53 we read:
"On May 17, Hess's defense attorney Alfred Seidl received an affidavit (ie, a certified affidavit) of Friedrich Gaus, the former head of the legal department of the German Foreign Ministry. He accompanied I. Ribbentrop on his trips to Moscow in August and September 1939. Gaus in detail described the course of negotiations and the content of secret protocols to the Soviet-German non-aggression pact of 23 August and the treaty of friendship and the border of 28 September 1939 (see doc. No. 238) Rudenko, not having a translation of this document and, apparently, did not knowing who Gaus was, did not prevent his affidavit from being brought before the Tribunal. "
There are many questions at once. Why is the context of the author's explanations made as if it is a question of Gaus’s first and only affidavit at the Nuremberg process? Why not even mention the existence of the first two affidavits? How could Rudenko not know who Gaus was by 17 in May, when his affidavit from 15 March has been regularly appearing at the Tribunal’s meetings for two months and was attached to court documents? How could Rudenko prevent the presentation of the “third” affidavit from 17 to the Tribunal in May if defender Seidl did not even mention him during the process? And why did the compiler of the collection decide to publish only the third, not even translated affidavit, but, at least, not the second, already available in the documents of the Tribunal with the translation? It creates a clear impression that readers are trying to mislead the events that took place in 1946.
If a young scientist is mistaken in his reasoning, then this can be understood. But if a venerable specialist is misleading the general public, knowing full well how things were in fact, how many affidavits were there and what was written in them, then this can only be called falsification and distortion of facts. But why? The author of the collection is considered one of Russia's leading experts on the Nuremberg process and the Katyn case. In particular, the statements of the Russian leadership about the full recognition of the Katyn massacre went with its submission to the “dashing” years. And if research on this issue, Mrs. doctor conducted in the same way?
I am not a historian, my field of activity is economics. But I want to appeal to all military historians: maybe it’s time to take the description of military history in your own hands? Maybe it's time to submit to the general public the real historical documents that determined the course of development of the country? Otherwise, speculation and falsification in the history of our country will remain for a long time.
F.Gaus in 1947 in the course of the military tribunal №4 - Wilhelmstrasse Process.
1. USSR and the Nuremberg process. Unknown and little-known pages of history: Sat. documents / Scientific. editor and compiler N.S. Lebedeva. M .: MFD, 2012. - 624 with. - (Russia. XX century. Documents).