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MARSHAL: May it please the Court, I desire to announce that the Defendant Kaltenbrunner will be absent from this morning's session on account of illness.
M. FAURE: May it please the Tribunal, Mr. Dodd would like to give some explanations.
MR. DODD: May it please the Court, with reference to the prospective witness Pfaffenberger, over the weekend it occurred to us, after talking with him, that perhaps if Defense Counsel had an opportunity to talk to him we might save some time for the Court. Accordingly we made this witness available to Dr. Kauffmann for conversation and interview; he has talked with him as long as he has pleased, and has notified us that in view of this conversation he does not care to cross-examine him, and as well other Counsel for the Defense have no desire to cross-examine him.
THE PRESIDENT: Then the witness Pfaffenberger can be released?
MR. DODD: That is what we would like to do, at the order of the Court.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
M. FAURE: Gentlemen, during the last session I reached the end of the first period of the German occupation of Demmark. In connection with that first period I should like still to mention a circumstance which is established by the Danish report, Document Number RF-901, second memorandum, Page 4. 1 quote:
"When the German aggression against Russia took place on 22 June 1941"-that is the third book of the report-"one of the most serious encroachments was made on the political liberties which the Germans had promised to respect. They forcibly obliged the government to intern the Communists, the total number of which was 300."
The explanations which I gave in the previous session related to the improper interference on the part of the first instrument of German usurpation, the diplomatic representation.
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The second instrument of German interference was, as might be expected, -the local National Socialist Party of Fritz Clausen, about which I spoke previously. The Germans hoped that In the favorable circumstances of the occupation, and thanks to the support they would bring to it, this party might develop enormously. But their calculations were completely wrong. In effect, in March 1943 elections took place in Denmark; and these elections resulted in the total defeat of the Nazi Party. This party obtained only a proportion which represented 2.5 percent of the votes, and it obtained only 3 seats out of 149 seats in the Chamber of- Deputies. I point out to the Tribunal that in some copies of my brief there is a printing mistake and that 25 percent is indicated instead of 2.5 percent, which is the correct figure and which shows what very little success the Clausen party had at the elections.
The conduct of the Germans in Denmark showed a notable change in the period following the month of August 1943. The first reason for this change was clearly the failure of the plan which consisted in seizing power in a legal manner, thanks to the aid of the Clausen party. On the other hand, about the same time, the Germans were equally disappointed in another direction. They had sought, as has been shown in my brief on economic questions, to mobilize Danish economy for the benefit of their war effort. But the Danish population, which had refused political nazification, did not wish to lend itself to economic nazification either. And so the Danish industries and the Danish workmen offered passive resistance, and by a legitimate reaction against the irregular under takings of the occupying power they organized a sabotage program. There were strikes accompanied by various incidents. Faced with this double failure, the Germans decided to modify their tactics.
In this connection we read in the government report, Page 6 of the second memorandum, the following sentence:
"As a result of these events, the Plenipotentiary of the German Reich, Dr. Best, was on 24 August 1943, called to Berlin, from whence he returned with claims in the nature of an ultimatum addressed to the Danish Government."
I should now like to submit the text of this ultimatum, which is also to be found in the official Danish report. This is Appendix Number 2 of this report. The ultimatum is dated Copenhagen, 28 August 1943. At the end of the first three books there are several loose sheets which are the appendices. I now come to the second appendix-on Saturday I read the first appendix-which is the second sheet and it has also been copied in my brief:
"Claims of the Reich Government:
"The Danish Government must immediately declare the entire country in a state of military emergency.
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"The state of military emergency must include the following measures:
"1. Prohibition of public gatherings of more than five persons.
"2. Prohibition of all strikes and of any aid given to strikers.
"3. Prohibition of all meetings in closed premises or in the open air; prohibition to be in the streets between 2030 hours and 0530 hours; closing of restaurants at 1930 hours. By I September 1943 all firearms and explosives to be handed over.
"4. Prohibition to hamper in any way whatsoever Danish nationals because of their collaboration or the collaboration of their relatives with the German authorities, or because of their relations with the Germans.
"5. Establishment of a press censorship with German collaboration.
"6. Establishment of courts-martial to judge acts contravening the measures taken to maintain order and security.
"Infringement of the measures mentioned above will be punished by the most severe penalties which can be imposed in conformity with the law in force concerning the power of the Government to take measures to maintain calm, order, and security. The death penalty must be introduced without delay for acts of sabotage and for any aid given in committing these acts, for attacks against the German forces, for possession after I September 1943 of firearms and explosives.
"The Reich Government expects to receive today before 1600 hours the acceptance by the Danish Government of the above-mentioned demands."
The Danish Government, mindful of its dignity, courageously refused to yield to that ultimatum, although it found itself under the material constraint of the military occupation. Direct encroachments upon the sovereignty then started. The Germans themselves took the measures which they had not succeeded in getting the national government to accept. They declared a state of military emergency; they took hostages; they attacked without warning, which is contrary to the laws of war; and at a time when-let me recall it-a state of war did not exist, they attacked the Danish Army and Navy and disarmed and imprisoned their forces. They pronounced death sentences and deported a certain number of persons considered to be Communists and whose internment, as I pointed out, they had previously required. From 29 August 1943, the King, the Government, and the Parliament ceased to exercise their functions. The administration continued under the direction
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of high officials who in urgent cases took measures called, "Emergency Laws." During this same period there existed three German authorities in Denmark:
First, the Plenipotentiary, who was still Dr. Best; second, the military authority under the orders of General Hannecken, replaced subsequently by General Lindemann; and third, the German police.
Indeed, the German police were installed in Denmark a few days after the crisis of which. I have just spoken to you. The SS Standartenfuehrer, Colonel Dr. Mildner, arrived in September as Chief of the German Security; and on 1 November there arrived in Denmark as the Supreme Chief of the Police, the Obergruppenfuehrer and Lieutenant General of the Police, Gunther Pancke, of whom I shall have occasion to speak again. General of Police Gunther Pancke had under his authority Dr. Mildner, whose name I mentioned at first and who was replaced on 5 January 1944 -by SS Standartenfuehrer Bovensiepen.
The Tribunal will find in the Danish Government's report, on which I base this information, a chart showing the German officials in Denmark. This chart is to be found in the second memorandum, Page 2. It is interesting, although we are not concerned here with individual cases, insofar as it shows the organization of the German network in this country. During the whole period which I am speaking about now, of the three German authorities already mentioned, the police played the most important role and was the principal organ of usurpation of sovereignty by the Germans. For that reason we might consider that while Norway and Holland represent cases of civil administration and Belgium and France represent cases of military administration, Denmark represents the typical case of police administration. At the same time we must never forget that these different types of administration in all these occupied countries were always interdependent. The seizure of authority by the German police in Denmark during the period from September 1943 until the liberation was responsible for an extraordinary number of crimes. Unlike other administrations, the police did not act under legal or statutory regulations, but it interfered very effectually in the life of the country by the exercise of orderly and systematic de facto law. I shall have the opportunity of treating certain aspects of this police administration in the fourth section of my brief. For the moment, within the scope of my subject, I should like simply to cite the facts which constitute direct and general violation of sovereignty. In this connection, I believe that it is indispensable that I inform the Tribunal of a quite exceptional event which took place on 19 September 1944. At that date the Germans suppressed the police - I mean the national police of Denmark-and totally abolished this same institution which is naturally indispensable and essential in all states.
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I am going to read on this point what the government report says, second memorandum, that is to say, still the third book of the file, Page 29. 1 shall begin in the middle of the paragraph, after the first sentence. The extract is to be found in my brief. -I quote:
"The fact that the Germans had not succeeded in exerting any influence among the Danish police or among their leaders or in the ranks, was partly the reason why the German military authorities at the end of the summer of 1944 began to fear the police. Pancke explained that General Hannecken himself was afraid that the police, numbering 8,000 to 10,000 well-trained men, might fall upon the Germans in the event of an invasion. In September 1944, believing that an invasion of Denmark was probable, Pancke and Hannecken planned the disarming of the police and the deportation of a part of it. Pancke submitted the plan to Himmler, who consented to it in writing, adding in the letter that the plan had been approved by Hitler. He had moreover discussed the plan with Kaltenbrunner. The operation was carried out by Pancke and Bovensiepen, who had discussed the plan with Kaltenbrunner and Muller of the RSHA, and the regular troops aided this operation with the consent of General Hannecken.
"At 11 o'clock in the morning of 19 September 1944 the Germans caused a false air-raid alarm to be given. Immediately afterwards, the police soldiers forcibly entered the police headquarters in Copenhagen as well as the police stations in the city. Some policemen were killed. They acted in the same way throughout the whole country. Most of the policemen on duty were captured. In Copenhagen and in the large cities of the country the prisoners were taken to Germany in ships, which Kaltenbrunner had sent for this purpose, or in box cars. As has already been said before, the treatment to which they were subjected in German concentration camps was horrible beyond description. In the small country towns the policemen were freed.
"At the same time Pancke decreed what he called a state of police emergency. The exact meaning of this expression has never been explained, and even the Germans do not seem to have understood what it meant. In practice, the result -was that all police activities, ordinary as well as judicial, were suspended. Maintenance of order and public security was left to the inhabitants themselves.
"During the last 6 months of the occupation, the Danish nation found itself in the unheard-of situation, unknown in other civilized countries, of being deprived of its police force and the possibility to maintain order and public security. This
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state of affairs might have ended in complete chaos if the respect for the law and the discipline of the population, strengthened by the indignation at this act of violence, had not warded off the most serious consequences."
Despite the bearing of the Danish population, the absence of the police during these last 6 months of the occupation naturally resulted in a recrudescence of all forms of criminality. You can get an idea of this if you consider-and that detail will suffice-that the premiums of insurance companies had to be raised to 480 percent-it says so in the report-whereas previously they were limited to half of the normal rate. We are justified in considering that the crimes committed under these conditions involved the responsibility of the German authorities who could not fail to foresee and who accepted this state of affairs. We see here further proof of the total indifference of the Germans to the consequences arising from decisions taken by them to suit their ends at the time.
Finally, I should like to conclude this section on Denmark by quoting to the Tribunal a passage from a document which I shall present as Exhibit Number RF-902. This document belongs to the American documentation under the Number 705-PS, but it has not yet been submitted, and I should like to read an extract, one quotation, which seems to me to be interesting. This is a report drawn up in Berlin on 12 January 1943, and concerns a meeting of the SS Committee of the Research Institute for Germanic Regions (Ausschuss der Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur den Germanischen Raum). At this meeting there were present 14 personages of the SS. This report contains a special paragraph which concerns Denmark. Other paragraphs of the same document are of interest in connection with the section which will follow this. Therefore, in order to avoid having to refer to this document twice, I shall, read the whole of the passages which I should like to submit as evidence. I start on Page 3 of the document, towards the end of the page.
"Norway. In Norway the Minister Fuglesang meanwhile has become the successor to the Minister Lunde, who has been killed in an accident. Despite the promises made by Quisling's party, Norway may not be expected to furnish an important quota.
"Denmark. In Denmark the situation is extremely encouraging on account of the taking over of power by SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Best. We may be convinced that the SS Gruppenfuehrer Dr. Best will furnish a classical example of the ethnical policy of the Reich. The relations with the Party Leader Clausen have recently become difficult. Clausen agreed only to the project for the establishment of a Front Combatant Corps
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as a preliminary to the Germanic Schutzstaffel in Denmark, on the condition that members of this corps will be barred from membership to the Party. Negotiations about this urgently needed central organization of front combatants are going on. the monopoly of the Party is untenable; all rejuvenating elements must be mobilized although Clausen personally has to stand in the foreground but without his clique.
"Netherlands. In the Netherlands Mussert has in the meantime been proclaimed Fuehrer of the Dutch people by the Reich Commissioner, Seyss-Inquart. This measure has produced an ext
remely disquieting effect in other Germanic countries, particularly in Flanders. The decisive role again falls to the General Commissioner whose principle of exploiting Mussert and then dropping him cannot be accepted under a Germanic Reich policy as approved by the SS.
"Flanders: In Flanders the development of the VNV (the Flemish National Movement) continues to be unfavorable. Even the shrewd policy of the new leader of the VNV, Dr. Elias, can no longer deceive us about this. Besides, he once expressed the opinion that Germany was prepared to make concessions in ethnological policy only when she was in bad straits."
This information is quite characteristic. In the first place, it is firmly established that the Germanic regions should include Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Flanders. Naturally I speak only of the western countries. In the second place, we clearly see how the Germans used the Nazi-inspired local parties as an instrument for the usurpation of sovereignty. In the third place, we see it is quite true that the German diplomatic agents were also instruments for this policy of usurpation and completely exceeded their normal functions. In the fourth place, the document confirms the interdependence which existed between the different agents of German interference, which we stressed a short time ago and on which we cannot lay too much emphasis. The case of Dr. Best is a good example. Dr. Best was a minister with plenipotentiary powers; therefore, he was a diplomatic agent. We have seen that this same Dr. Best was previously an agent of the military administration in France, and we see by this document that besides his being a Plenipotentiary Minister he is a General in the SS, and in this capacity, so the document- states, he seized power in Denmark. The information contained in the document concerning Norway and the Netherlands is a transition for the following part of this section, and I ask the Tribunal to take the file entitled, "Norway and the Netherlands."
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The institution of Reich Commissioner was applied in Norway and in the Netherlands, and in these two countries only; it constitutes a definite concept in the general plan of Germanization, in which these two countries occupy parallel positions. In both cases the establishment of the civil administration followed hard upon the military occupation of the country. The military men, therefore, did not have to take over the administration, and during the few days which preceded the appointment of the Reich Commissioner, they confined themselves to measures concerning order.
In Norway the decree of 24 April 1940 appointed Terboven as Reich Commissioner. This decree is signed by Hitler, Lammers, and the Defendants Keitel and Frick. In Holland the decree of 18 May 1940 appointed the Defendant Seyss-Inquart as Reich Commissioner. This decree is signed by the same persons as the preceding decree, and it bears in addition the signatures of. Goering and Ribbentrop.
The decrees appointing the Reich-Commissioners also defined their functions as well as the division of the functions between the civil commissioner and the military authorities. I am not submitting these two decrees as documents since they are direct acts of German legislation. The decree concerning Norway provides in its first article:
"The Reich Commissioner has the task of safeguarding the interests of the Reich, and of exercising supreme power in the civil domain."-The decree adds-"The Reich Commissioner is directly under me and receives from me directives and instructions."
As far as the division of functions is concerned, I give the text of Article 4, "The Commander of the German troops in Norway exercises the rights of military sovereignty. His orders are carried out in the civil domain by the Reich Commissioner."
This decree was published in the Official Gazette of German Decrees for 1940, Number 1. The same instructions are given in a similar decree of 18 May 1940 concerning the Netherlands. The establishment of Reich Commissioners was accompanied at the beginning by some pronouncement intended to reassure the population. Terboven proclaimed that he intended to limit, as much as possible, the inconveniences and costs of the occupation. This is in a proclamation of 25 April 1940 which is in the Official Gazette, Page 2.
Likewise, after his appointment, the Defendant Seyss-Inquart addressed an appeal to the Dutch people. This is to be found in the Official Gazette for Holland for -1940, Page 2, and in it he expressed himself as follows-he starts off with a categorical phrase:
"I shall take all measures, including those of a legislative nature, which will be necessary for carrying out this man date"-and he says also-"it -is my will that the laws in force
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up to now shall remain in force and that the Dutch authorities shall be associated with the carrying out of government affairs and that the independence of justice be maintained."
But these promises were not kept. It is evident that the Reich Commissioner was to become in Norway and in Holland the principal instrument for the usurpation of sovereignty. He -was to act, however, in close relation with a second instrument of usurpation, the National Socialist organization in the country. This collaboration of the local Nazi Party with the German authority, represented by the Reich Commissioner, took perceptibly different forms in each of the two countries under consideration. Thus, the exercise of power by the Reich Commissioner presents in itself differences between Norway and Holland which were more apparent than real.
In both countries the local National Socialist Party existed before the war. It grew and was inspired by the German Nazi Party and had its place in the general plan of war preparations and the plan for Germanization I should like to give some information concerning Norway.
The National Socialist Party was called "Nasional Samling." It had as leader the famous Quisling. It was a perfect imitation of the German Nazi Party. I submit to the Tribunal as Document Number RF-920, the text of the oath of fidelity subscribed to by members of this Nasional Samling Party. I quote:
"My pledge of allegiance: I promise on my honor:
"1. Unflinching allegiance and loyalty towards the National Socialist movement, its idea, and its Fuehrer."-This is the third page of the Document RF-920.
"2. To stand up energetically and fearlessly for the cause, always to offer reliability and loyal discipline at my work, and to do all I can in order to acquire the knowledge and abilities which my work for the Movement demands.
"3. To the best of my abilities to live in compliance with the National Socialist concept and to show solidarity, understanding, and good comradeship to all my companions.
"4. To obey any orders given by the Fuehrer or by his appointed officials insofar as such orders are not in disagreement or do not violate the directions of the Fuehrer
"5. Never to reveal to unauthorized persons details of NS methods of work or anything detrimental to the Movement.
"6. At all times to make. the utmost effort to contribute to the progress of the Movement, and to the achievement of its purpose, and to play the part in the fighting organization which I have undertaken to do under promise of fidelity, quite
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conscious that I should be guilty of an unworthy and vile act if I broke this promise.
"7. If circumstances should make it impossible for me to continue as a member of the fighting organization, I promise to withdraw in a loyal manner. I shall remain bound by the vow of secrecy which I made and I shall do nothing to harm the Movement.
Our aim. The aim of the Nasional Samling is: A new state, a Norwegian and Nordic fellowship within the world community, organically constructed on the basis of work, with a strong and stable administration, a combination of common and private weal."
This party therefore conforms completely to the Leadership Principle and while it shows a Norwegian facade, it is nothing but a facade. In fact on the very day of the invasion the Nazis imposed the establishment of an alleged Norwegian Government, presided over by Quisling. At that time the Norwegian Supreme Court appointed a board of officials who were to be invested, under the title of Administrative Council, with powers of higher administration. This Administrative Council constituted therefore, in the exceptional circumstances in which it was set up, a qualified authority for representing the legitimate sovereignty, at least in a conservative way. It functioned only for a short time. By September the Nazis found that it was not possible for them to obtain the participation or even passive acceptance of the Administrative Council and of the administrators. They themselves then appointed 13 commissioners, of whom 10 were selected among the members of the Quisling party. Quisling himself did not exercise any nominal function, but he remained the Fuehrer of his party.
Finally, a third period began on 1 February 1942. At that date Quisling returned to power as Minister President, and the commissioners themselves assumed the title of ministers. This situation lasted until the liberation of Norway. Thus, except for a few months in 1940, the Germans completely usurped all sovereignty in Norway. This sovereignty was divided between their direct agent, the Reich Commissioner, and their indirect agents, first called State Councillors and then the Quisling Government, but always an emanation of National Socialism.
There is no doubt whatever that the independence of these organizations vis-a-vis the German authorities was absolutely nil. The fact that the second organization was called a government did not mean a strengthening of its autonomous authority. These were merely differences of form, the nature of which I shall point out to the Tribunal. I submit, in this connection, two documents, Documents RF-921 and RF-922. By comparing these two documents you will
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see that what I have just affirmed is correct. These two documents are instructions addressed by the Reich Commissioner to his offices concerned with legislative procedure.
Document Number RF-921 is dated 10 October 1940; that is the very beginning of the period of the State Councillors. I quote an extract from this document, "All the decrees of the State Councillors must be submitted to the Reich Commissioner before publication." This is to be found in the second paragraph. It is the only point which I should like to bring out in this document. Therefore all the decrees of the higher Norwegian administration were under the control of the Reich Commissioner.
The second document, Document Number RF-922, is dated 8 April 1942. It relates to the period shortly after the establishment of the second Quisling Government. I start at the second sentence of this document:
"In view of the formation of the National Norwegian Government on I February 1942 the Reich Commissioner has decided that from now on this form of agreement" a prior agreement in writing-"is no longer required. Nevertheless, this modification of formal legislative procedure does not mean that the Norwegian Government may proclaim laws and decrees without the knowledge of the competent department of. the Reich Commissioner. His Excellency, the Reich Commissioner, expects every department chief to acquaint himself, by close contact with the competent Norwegian departments, with an legislative measures which are in preparation, and to find out in each case whether these measures concern German interests, and to assure himself, if necessary, that German interests will be taken into consideration."
Thus, in the one case, there is a formal control with written authorization. In the other case there is a control by information among the different departments, but the principle is the same. The establishment of local authority under one form or under another form was merely a means of finding out the best way of deceiving public opinion. When the Germans put Quisling, into the background, it was because they thought the State Councillors, being less well-known, might more easily deceive the public. When they returned Quisling, it was because the first maneuver had obviously failed and because they thought that perhaps the official establishment of an authority qualified as governmental would give the impression that the sovereignty of the country had not been abolished. One might, however, wonder what was the reason for these artifices and why the Nazis used them, instead of purely and simply annexing the country. There is a very important reason for that. It operates for Norway and it will operate for the Netherlands.
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The Nazis always preferred to maintain the fiction of an independent state and to gain a definite hold from within by using and developing the local Party. It is with this end in view that they granted the Party in Norway advantages of prestige; and if they did not act in an identical manner in Holland, their general conduct was, however, imbued with the same spirit.
This policy of the Germans in Norway is perfectly illustrated by the Norwegian law, or so-called Norwegian law, of 12 March 1942, (Norwegian Official Gazette, 1942, Page 215, which I offer in evidence ,as Document Number RF-923). I quote:
"Law concerning the Party and the State, 12 March 1942, Number 2.
"Paragraph 1. In Norway the Nasional Samling is the fundamental party of the State and closely linked with the State.
"Paragraph 2. The organization of the Party, its activity, and the duties of its members are laid down by the Fuehrer of the Nasional Samling. "Oslo, 12 March 1942"-signed-"Quisling, Minister President."
On the other hand, the Nazis organized on a large scale the system of the duplication of functions which existed among the higher authorities. In fact, it is the transposition of the German system, which shows a constant parallelism between the state administration and the party organizations. Everywhere German Nazis were installed to second and supervise the Norwegian Nazis who had been put in official positions.
As this point is interesting from the point of view of seizure of sovereignty and of action taken in the administration, I think I may submit two documents, which are Documents RF-924 and RF-925. These are extracts of judicial interrogations by the Norwegian Court of two high German officials of the Reich Commission at Oslo. Document Number RF-924 refers to the interrogation of Georg Wilhelm Muller, interrogation dated 5 January 1946. Wilhelm Muller was the Ministerial Director in the Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. The information which he gives concerns more particularly the functioning of the Propaganda service, but similar methods were used in a general way, as this statement admits. I quote Document RF-924:
"Question: 'In 1941 nobody in your country thought that military difficulties would arise. At that time they certainly tried to mold the Norwegian people along Nationalist Socialist lines?' "Answer: 'They did this until the very end.'
"Question: 'Which were the practical measures for achieving this National Socialist molding?'
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"Answer: 'They supported the NS Samling as far as possible; and they did it, in the first place, by strengthening the Party organization considerably.' "
I may point out that this translation into French is not first rate; it is, however, comprehensible.
"Question: 'In what way was it strengthened?'
"Answer: 'In each Fylke"'-or province-" 'picked German National Socialists were assigned to aid the Norwegian National Socialists.'
"Question: 'Were there other practical measures?'
"Answer: 'That was done in all domains, even in the field of propaganda, by the Einsatzstab propagandists placed at their disposal. This was also done in Oslo at the central offices of the NS Samling.'
'How did these propagandists work?'
"Answer: 'They worked closely with similar Norwegian propagandists and made suggestions to them. Grebe did this by virtue of his double capacity as Chief of Propaganda in the Reichskommissariat and Chief of the Landesgruppe.'
"Question: 'How was this done?'
"Answer: 'These consultations and conferences were even arranged for the very top of the Party hierarchy. There was a man who was specially appointed for this; first Wegeler, then Neumann, then Schnurbusch, who had the task of strengthening National Socialist ideas within the NS Samling.'
"Question: 'In the Einsatzstab there were experts from the different branches whose task it was to contact Norwegians and give them useful advice. In what domains?'
"Answer: 'There were organizers, and above all instructors for the Hird, leaders of the SA and SS. Until he, himself, became leader of the Einsatzstab, we had at the head a press man, a propagandist, Herr Schnurbusch, an accountant, an expert on social welfare questions in the same way as in the NSV in Germany."'
The Tribunal will notice in this document the name of Schnurbusch, as being that of the leader of the Einsatzstab, and of the organism for liaison with, and penetration into, the local Party. I am now going to quote an extract from the interrogation of :Schnurbusch, which is found in Document Number RF-925.
THE PRESIDENT: Are you putting these documents in?
M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you say, for the purposes of the shorthand note, that you offer them in evidence?
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M. FAURE: Will you excuse me? I should like to point out that I submit as evidence Document Number RF-925 as well as Document Number RF-924 of which I spoke just now.
This is from the interrogation of Heinrich Schnurbusch, leader of the liaison service in the Reich Commission on 8 January 1946 in Osio:
"Question: 'How did the German departments try to achieve this National Socialist conversion?' "
I wish to point out to the Tribunal that I have passed over 'the first three questions as they are not of much interest.
"Answer: "We sought to strengthen this movement by the means which we were accustomed to apply in Germany for leading the masses. The Nasional Samling benefitted by having at their disposal all the means of news service and propaganda. But we soon saw that the object could not be achieved. After 25 September 1940 the public mood in Norway changed suddenly when some State Councillors were appointed as NS State Councillors, for Quisling's action in the days of April 1940 was considered treason by the Norwegian people.' "Question: 'In what way did you assist materially the NS Samling in this propaganda? In what way did you counsel the NS Samling?'
"Answer: 'During the time I was in office, when a propaganda drive was made, it was always brought-into line with the propaganda which the Germans made in Norway!
"Question: 'Did you issue any directives for the NS Samling?'
"Answer: 'No. In my time the NS Samling worked independently in this respect, and partly even contrary to our advice. The NS Samling took the view that it understood better the Norwegian mentality, but it made many mistakes.'
"Question: 'Was financial support given?'
"Answer: 'Certainly, financial help was given, but I don't know the exact amount.' "
THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn for 10 minutes?
[A recess was taken.]
M. FAURE: I should like first of all to point out to the Tribunal that, with its permission, I shall examine this afternoon the Witness Van der Essen concerning whom a formal request has already been submitted.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, M. Faure.
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M. FAURE: This witness can then be called at the beginning of the afternoon session.
The observations which I have just presented had to do with Norway.
In the Netherlands, unlike what happened in Norway, the Nazis did not utilize the local Party as an official instrument of government. The governmental authority was completely in the hands of the Reich Commissioner who set up a sort of ministry, including four German General Commissioners, respectively competent for government and justice, public security, finance, and economic affairs, and special affairs. This organization was created by a decree of 3 June 1940 (Official Gazette for Holland, 1940, Number 5). I point out that, as the Dutch Official Gazette has already been submitted in evidence to the Tribunal, I shall not again submit each of these texts, which are a part of it. I shall, therefore, simply ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of them and to consider them as proved.
The holders of the posts of General Commissioners were appointed by the decree of 5 June 1940.
The local authorities were represented at the higher level only by the Secretaries General of the Ministries, who were entirely under the authority of the Reich Commissioner and of the General Commissioners.
The decree of 29 May 1940, which is in the Dutch Official Gazette, 1940, Page 8, lays down in its first article:
"The Reich Commissioner will exercise the powers invested until now in the King and the Government ......
And in Article 3:
"The Secretaries General of the Dutch ministries are responsible to the Reich Commissioner."
If the Nazi Party did not constitute the Government, it nevertheless received the official blessing.
I shall quote to the Tribunal in this connection the decree of 30 January 1943, which likewise is in the Dutch Official Gazette, 1943, Page 63. 1 read the following passage:
"The representative of the political will of the Dutch people is the National Socialist movement of the Netherlands. I have, therefore, decreed that all the German offices under my orders, of the administration and those of the National Socialist movement, shall maintain close contact with the leader of the Movement in order to assure the co-ordination of the tasks in carrying out important administrative measures and particularly for all matters concerning personnel."
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The Tribunal knows already, for it is common knowledge, and insofar as it might be necessary through the -witness who hag already been heard, how outrageously untrue it was to claim that the Dutch National Socialist Party represented the political will of the people of this country.
Having commented on these two forms of utilization of the local party as agents of sovereignty, I should now like to point out to the Tribunal the main features of these usurpations which were committed by the Germans.
A first line of action is exemplified by the attempt to induce the occupied countries to participate in the war or, at the very least, to initiate recruitment for the German Army. In Norway the Nazis created the "SS; Norge," a formation which later was called the "Germanske SS Norge." I submit as evidence Document Number RF-926, which is the decree of 21 July 1942, concerning the "Germanske SS Norge," and I quote Paragraph 2 of this decree, which is a Quisling decree.
"2. 'The Germanske SS Norge' is a National Socialist order of soldiers which shall consist of men of Nordic blood and ideas. It is an independent subdivision of the Nasional Samling, directly under the NS Foerer (NS Leader) and responsible to him. It is, at the same time, a section of the 'Stor-Germanske SS"'-the SS of Greater Germany-"and shall help to lead the Germanic peoples towards a new future and create the basis of a Germanic fellowship."
We see again, by this example, that the interventions of the so called Norwegian Government are perfectly obvious methods of Germanization. In order to facilitate the recruiting into this legion, the German or Norwegian Nazis did not hesitate to upset the civil legislation and to abolish the abiding principles of family rights by making a law which exempted minors from having to obtain the consent of their parents. This is a law of 1 February 1941, Norwegian Official Gazette, 1941, Page 153, which I submit in evidence as Document Number RF-927.
In the Netherlands the Germans were obliged to upset even more the national legislation in order to permit military recruitment. As they did not create a factitious government and as the legitimate government was still at war with the Reich, the volunteers came under Articles 101 and the following articles of the Dutch penal code, which punished those enlisted in the army of a foreign power at war with the Netherlands and likewise those who give aid to the enemy.
By reason of the de facto occupation of the country. there was little chance of these penalties being effectively applied, but it is very curious and very revealing that the Reich Commissioner
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issued a decree of 25 July 1941, Dutch Official Gazette, 1941, Number 135. This decree states that the taking of Dutchmen for service in the German Army, the Waffen-SS, or the Legion of Netherlands Volunteers does not bring them under the provisions of the penal texts mentioned above, and this decree is declared retroactive to 10 May 1940. It is therefore very convenient, when one commits a criminal act according to the general code, to be able to modify the law to suppress the crime in question.
Another decree of 25 July 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 548, stipulates that enrollment in the German Army will no longer involve loss of Dutch nationality
Finally, a decree of 8 August 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 622, declares that the acquisition of German nationality no longer entails the loss of Dutch nationality except in cases of express renunciation. Although this last text seems to bring out a point of detail, it may be regarded as an initial attempt to create later a double Dutch and German nationality, which will fit into the general procedures for the advancement of the whole plan of Germanization.
In regard to these measures for military recruitment, I should like to state precisely the attitude of the Prosecution as a result of the examination and cross-examination of the witness, Vorrink, who was heard on Saturday. The Prosecution, does not consider that the criminal character of this military recruitment is established only by the fact of having recruited persons by force or by pressure upon their will. This pressure and this constraint are an aggravating and characteristic aspect but not a necessary aspect of the criminal action which we reprehend, The fact of having recruited persons, even on a voluntary basis, in the occupied countries for service in the German Army, is considered by us as a crime. This crime is moreover punishable under the internal legislation of all these countries, whose legislation covers such acts as those committed in these countries, in accordance with the rules of law in matters of legislative competence.
It is even relatively of small importance, except for knowing all the details, whether the recruiting of traitors was favored or not by particular pressure according to the situation in which these traitors found themselves.
I should like also to indicate in a more general way, that the Prosecution does not consider that the recruiting of traitors, either for service in the Army or in other activities, is for the Nazi leaders an extenuating circumstance or an exonerating one. On the contrary, it is one of the characteristics of their criminal activity; and the responsibility of the traitors in no way exempts them from
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responsibility. On the contrary, we hold against them this corruption which they attempted to spread in the occupied countries by appealing to those elements of weak morality which may be found in the population of a country and by instilling in the mind of each person the thought of possible immoral and criminal activity against his country.
This was a first line of action for German usurpation: namely, the enrollment of troops.
A second general line of action is identified with the whole of the measures designed to abolish civil liberties and to set up the Leadership Principle. I shall quote some of these measures by way of example.
In Norway, suppression of political parties, German decree of 25 September 1940, which is in the Official Gazette for 1940, Page 19; a decree forbidding all activity in favor of the legitimate dynasty, decree of 7 October 1940, in the Official Gazette for 1940, Page 10; the guarantees under the statutory rules for officials were suppressed, they could be transferred or dismissed for political reasons, German decree of 4 October 1940, Page 24. Finally, a Norwegian law of 18 September 1943, setting up a characteristic institution, that of departmental chief representing the Party, and responsible to the Minister President and to no other authority of the State (Document Number RF-928). He exercised in the department the supreme political control over all public authorities of the department.
All professions came under the system of compulsory membership with application of the Leadership Principle.
In Holland we likewise observe the suppression of elected bodies, decree of 11 August 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 637, which confirms the decree of 21 June 1940, Official Gazette for 1940, Page 54; the dissolution of political parties, decree of 4 July 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 583; creation of the Labor Front, decree of SO April 1942, Official Gazette for 1942, Page 211; setting up of the Peasant Corporation, decree of 22 October 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 838.
I have given only a few examples of this principle; and to conclude I shall quote a decree of 12 August 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 34, which created a special judicial competence for all offenses and infringements committed against political peace and against political interests, or committed for political motives. In fact, the justices of the peace charged with exercising these oppressive powers were always chosen from among the members of the Nazi Party.
Finally a third line of action in this campaign of usurpation can be defined as a systematic campaign against the elite of the country
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and against its spiritual life. In fact it is always in this sphere that the Nazis met with the greatest resistance to their designs. They attacked the universities and teaching establishments.
In Holland a decree of 25 July 1941, Official Gazette for 1941, Page 559, gives the administration the right to close arbitrarily all private institutions. In the Netherlands the University of Leyden was closed on 11 November 1941.
By a decree of the Reich Commissioner of 10 May 1943, Official Gazette for 1943, Page 127, the students were forced to sign a declaration of loyalty drawn up in the following terms:
"The undersigned - - - - - - - - hereby solemnly declares on his word of honor that he will conscientiously conform to the laws, decrees, and other dispositions in force in Dutch occupied territory and will abstain from any act directed against the German Reich, the German Army, or the Dutch authorities, or engage in any activity which might imperil public order in the higher teaching institutions in view of the present circumstances and danger."
In Norway rigorous measures were taken against the University of Oslo. I offer in evidence Document Number RF-933. I point out to the Tribunal that this is not in strict order and that Document Number RF-933 is the last in the document book.
This Document Number RF-933 is an article in the Deutsche Zeitung of I December 1943, reproduced in a Norwegian newspaper. It is entitled, "A Cleaning-Up Measure Necessary in Oslo; Purge in the Student World." I shall read only a few paragraphs of this article. I begin with the second paragraph:
"The students of the University of Oslo"-will the Tribunal excuse me. I shall read also the first paragraph:
"By order of the Reich Commissioner Terboven, the, SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Rediess made the following announcement to the students in the lecture room of the University of Oslo on T
"The students of the University of Oslo have attempted to offer resistance to the German Army of occupation and to the Norwegian Government recognized by the Reich, since the occupation of Norway, that is, since 1940."
I shall end the quotation here, and continue at Paragraph 5:
"In order to protect the interests of the occupying power and to assure maintenance of peace and order within this country, rigorous measures are indispensable. Therefore, by order of the Reich Commissioner, I have to make known to you the following:
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"1. The students of the University of Oslo will be transferred to a special camp in Germany.
"2. The women students will be dismissed from the University and must return by the quickest means to their original place of residence, where they will immediately report to the police. Until further notice they are forbidden to leave these places without permission from the police."
I break off the quotation here and continue at the last paragraph but one, on the second page of this Document Number RF-933:
"You ought to be thankful to the Reich Commissioner that other much more Draconian measures are not being applied. Moreover, thanks to this measure, most of you have been saved from forfeiting your life and wealth in the future."
As concerns religious life, the Germans multiplied their harassing methods. By way of example, I offer in evidence Document Number RF-929, which I shall read:
"Oslo, 28 May 1941: To the Commanders of the Sipo and the SD in Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Tromosoe. Subject: Surveillance of Religious Services during the Whitsuntide Feasts. Incidents: none.
"It is requested that you watch the religious services and send in a report here on the result.
"BDS"-commander-"of the Sipo and the SD. Oslo. Signature: (illegible) SS Hauptsturmfuehrer."
Now here is the report following this order to watch the church services. I offer this report in evidence as Document Number RF- 930. I shall read this document, which is very short.
"Trondheim, 5 June 1941.
"The surveillance of religious services during the Whitsuntide Feasts showed no new essential points. Domprobst Fjellbu adheres to his provocative preaching, but so cleverly that he is able to excuse every phrase as applied to religious subjects and void of any political meaning."
The rest of the letter is partly burned.
Finally I should like, in order not to dwell on this matter too long, to quote two examples which show, on the one hand, the constant immorality of the German methods and, on the other hand, the justified protests to which they gave rise on the part of the most qualified authorities. The first example concerns the Netherlands.
The Dutch magistrates were roused to righteous indignation by the German practice of arbitrary detentions in concentration camps. They found the opportunity of making known their disapproval in a manner which came within the normal exercise of their juridical
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functions. Thus, in connection with a particular case, the Court of Appeal at Leeuwarden rendered a decision of which I wish to read an extract to the Tribunal. This is submitted as Document Number RF-931. I shall read to you an extract from this document:
"Whereas the Court cannot declare itself in agreement in the matter of the penalty inflicted upon the accused by the Chief Judge and his presentation of motives, the Court is of the opinion that this penalty should be determined as follows:
"Whereas as regards the penalty to be inflicted:
"The Court desires to take into account the fact that for some time various penalties of detention inflicted by the Dutch Judge upon delinquents of masculine sex, contrary to legal principles and contrary to the intention of the Legislator and of the Judge, have been executed, or are being executed in camps in a manner which aggravates the penalty to a degree such as it was impossible for the Judge to foresee or even to suppose when determining the degree of the punishment.
"Whereas the Court, taking into account the possibility of this manner of executing the penalty to be inflicted at present, will abstain, for conscience sake, from condemning the suspect to a period of detention in conformity, in this case, with the gravity of the offense committed by the defendant, because the latter would be exposed to the possibility of an execution of the penalty as indicated here above.
"Whereas the Court, on the strength of this consideration, will -confine itself to condemning the suspect to a penalty of detention to be determined hereafter, after deducting the time spent by him in preventive detention, and the duration of which is such that the penalty at the moment of the pronouncing of the penalty will have almost entirely expired during the period of preventive detention."
This example is especially interesting, because I now have to indicate that as a result of this decision of the Court of Appeal, the Defendant Seyss-Inquart dismissed the President of the Court by a decree of the 9th of April 1943, which is likewise submitted in evidence under the same document number, RF-931. These two documents constitute a whole.
"By virtue of paragraph 3 of my decree,"-et cetera-"I dismiss from his office as Counsellor of the Court of Appeal at Leeuwarden, such dismissal to take effect immediately, Doctor of Law F.F. Viehoff."-Signed-"Seyss-Inquart."
The second example which I give in conclusion will now be taken from Norway. It is a solemn protest made by the Norwegian bishops. The special occasion which called forth this protest is the
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following: The Minister for Police had issued a decree, dated 13 December 1940, by which he arrogated to himself the right to suppress the obligation of professional secrecy for priests and provided that priests who refused to break the secrecy of the confession would be subjected to imprisonment by his orders.
On 15 January 1941, the Norwegian bishops addressed themselves to the Ministry of Public Education and Religious Affairs, and handed to it a memorandum. In this memorandum they made known their protests against this extraordinary demand by the police and at the same time they protested against other abuses; violent acts committed by Nazi organizations, and illegal acts in judicial matters. This protest of the Norwegian bishops is transcribed in a pastoral letter addressed to their parishes in February 1941. 1 submit it as Document Number RF-932. I should like to quote -an extract from this document on Page 9, top of the page: "The decree of the Ministry of Police, dated 13 December 1940, just published, gravely affects the mission of the priests. According to this decree, the obligation of professional secrecy for priests and ministers may be suppressed by the Ministry of Police.
"Our obligation to maintain professional secrecy is not only established by law, but has always been a fundamental condition for the work of the Church and of the priests in the exercise of their care of souls and in receiving the confession of persons in distress. It is an unalterable condition for the work of the Church, that a person may have absolute and unlimited confidence in the priest who is unreservedly bound by his obligation to keep professional secrecy, as it has been formulated in the Norwegian legislation and in the regulations of the Church at all times and in all Christian countries. "To abolish this Magna Charta of the conscience is to strike at the very heart of the work of the Church, which is all the more serious because Paragraph 5 of the decree stipulates that the Ministry of Police may imprison the priest in question, in order to force a statement without the case having been submitted to a tribunal."
Yet all this was happening during the first year of the occupation. Already the highest spiritual authorities of Norway found themselves in the position of having not only to protest against a particularly intolerable act, but also to, enunciate a judgment upon the whole of the methods of the occupation, which judgment appears on Page 16 of the pastoral, letter, and which I shall read to the Tribunal (last paragraph):
"For this reason the bishops of the Church have placed before the Ministry some of the acts and official proclamations about
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the government of society during these latter times, acts and proclamations which the Church finds in contradiction with the Commandments of God and which give the impression of revolutionary conditions prevailing in the country, instead of a state of occupation by which the laws are upheld as long as they are not directly incompatible with this state of occupation."
This is a very correct juridical analysis; and now, if it please the Tribunal, I should also like to read a last sentence which preceded this, on Page 16:
"When the public authority of society permits violence and injustice and exercises pressure over souls, then the Church becomes the guardian of consciences. A human soul is of more importance than the whole world."
I shall now ask the Tribunal to take the file entitled "Belgium." I point out immediately to the Tribunal that this file does not include any document book. This statement, which deals with very general facts, will be supported as being evidence by the report of the Belgian Government, which has already been submitted by my colleagues under Document Number RF-394. The section which I now take up is a general section concerning military administration in two cases, in Belgium and France; and I shall begin with the file concerning Belgium.
In Belgium the usurpations of national sovereignty by the occupying power are imputable to the military command which committed them either by direct decrees or by injunctions to the Belgian administrative authorities who in this case were the Secretaries General of the 'Ministries.
Concerning the setting up of this apparatus of usurpation I shall read out to the Tribunal two paragraphs of the Belgian report, Chapter 4, concerning Germanization and nazification, Page 3, Paragraph 3:
"The legal government of Belgium, having withdrawn to France, then to London, it was the Secretaries General of the Ministries, that is to say, the highest officials in the hierarchic order, who, by virtue of Article 5 of the law of 10 May 1940, exercised within the framework of their professional activity and in cases of urgency, all the powers of the highest authority."
In other words, these high officials, animated, at least during the first months of the occupation, by the desire to keep the occupying authorities as far removed as possible from the administration of the country, took upon themselves governmental and administrative powers. At the order of the Germans this administrative power after a time became a real legislative power.
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This regime of the Secretaries General pleased the Germans -mans who adopted it. In appointing to these posts Belgians paid by them they could introduce into Belgium under the appearance of legality absolutely radical reforms, which would make of this country a National Socialist vassal state.
It is interesting to note at this point that in order to strengthen their hold on the public life through the local authorities, the Germans did not hesitate by a decree of 14 May 1942, which is referred to in the official report, to suppress the jurisdictional control of the legality of the orders of the Secretaries General, which was a violation of Article 107 of the Belgian Constitution. The Belgian report states in the following paragraphs where the responsibility lies in this matter of breaches of public order, and I shall quote here the actual terms of this report on Page 4, Paragraph 3:
" In conclusion, whether the transformation of the legal institutions be the consequence of German decrees or that of orders emanating from the Secretaries General makes no difference. It is the Germans who bear the responsibility for these, the Secretaries General being in relation to them only faithful agents for carrying out their instructions."
I think that it will likewise be interesting to read the three following paragraphs of the report, for they reveal characteristic facts as to German methods in their seizure of sovereignty.
"If it is necessary to furnish a new argument to support this thesis further, it is sufficient to recall that the occupying power employed all means to introduce into the structure which was to be transformed, from top to bottom, devoted National Socialist agents. This was really the work of termites.
"The decree of 7 March 1941, under the pretext of bringing younger men into the administration, provided for the removal of a great number of officials. They would naturally be replaced by Germanophiles.
"Finally, the Germans set up at the head of the Ministry of the Interior one of their most devoted agents, who arrogated to himself, as we shall see subsequently, the right to designate aldermen, permanent deputies, burgomasters, etcetera, and used his rights to proceed to certain appointments of district commissioners, for instance, by putting into office tools of the enemy."
The Belgian report then analyzes in a remarkably clear manner the violations by the Germans of Belgian public order, classifying these under two headings. The first is entitled "Modifications Made in the Original Constitutional Structure."
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Under this heading we find particular mention of the decree of 18 July 1940, which immediately abolished all public activity; then a series of decrees by which the Germans suppressed the election of aldermen and decided that these aldermen would henceforth be designated by the central authority. This meant the overthrow of the traditional democratic order of communal administrations.
In the same way the Germans, in violation of Article 3 of the Belgian Constitution, ordered by the decree of 26 January 1943 the absorption of numerous communes into great urban areas.
The report then mentions here the fiscal exemptions granted in violation of the Constitution, to persons engaged in the service of the German Army or the Waffen SS. We find here a fresh example of the German criminal and general methods of military recruitment in the occupied countries.
The second heading of the report reads: "Introduction into Belgian Public Life of New Institutions Inspired by National Socialism and the Idea of the State." Such institutions were, in fact, created by the German authorities. The most remarkable are the National Agricultural and Food Corporation and the Central Merchandise Offices. The report analyzes the characteristics of these institutions and proves that they aimed at destroying traditional liberties. They were organs of totalitarian inspiration in which the Leadership Principle was applied, as we have seen was the case in similar institutions in the Netherlands.
I should like now to read the brief but revealing conclusion of the Belgian report on Germanization. We think that it has been sufficiently established by the preceding statement that the Belgian Constitution and laws were deliberately violated by the German occupying power, and this with the purpose, not of assuring its own security, which is obvious, but with the skillfully premeditated intention of making of Belgium a National Socialist State and, consequently, capable of being annexed, seeing that two nationalist states that are neighbors must necessarily exclude each other, the stronger absorbing the weaker.
This policy was carried out in violation of international laws and customs, of the Declaration of Brussels of 1874, and of the Hague Regulations of 1899.
I shall not give detailed indications concerning other applications of this usurpation in connection with Belgium, because many indications have been furnished to the Tribunal already, notably in the economic statement and likewise in M. Dubost's presentation. And, moreover, as the regime in Belgium was clo
sely bound up with the regime in France, the indications which I shall give in the two other sections of my brief will relate particularly to these two countries.
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However, before concluding the presentation which I am now making, I should like to mention the abuses committed by the Germans against the universities of Belgium. We find here again the same phenomenon of hostility-very understandable of course--on the part of the doctrinaires and Nazi leaders against the centers of culture; and this hostility showed itself especially with regard to the four great Belgian universities, which have such a fine tradition of spiritual life. I must point out to the Tribunal that the observations which I intend to present on this point have been taken from the appendices to the Belgian report of which I read some extracts. I must point out that these appendices have not been submitted as documents, although they are attached to one of these originals, which marks their authenticity. I shall have these appendices translated and submitted later and I shall ask the Tribunal, therefore, to consider the indications which I shall give it as affirmations, the proof of which will be furnished, on the one hand, by the deposit of documents and, on the other hand, by oral evidence, since I have called a witness on the subject of these questions. if this method satisfies the Tribunal, and I beg to be excused for the fact that the appendices have not been actually presented with the document, I shall continue my statement on this point.
THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, what are the appendices to which you are referring?
M. FAURE: They are documents which are in the appendix of the Belgian report. They are as follows:
The subject matter of this report is to be found in the Belgian report itself, which has already been submitted. On the other hand, another copy of the same section has been established as the original with a series of appendices. For this reason the appendices were not translated and submitted at the same time as the main report, of which this was only a part. They are appended notes which trace events that occurred in university life. But, as I indicated to the Tribunal, I propose to prove these points by the hearing of a witness. I thought, therefore, that I could make a statement which would constitute an affirmation of the Prosecution and on which I would produce oral evidence. On the other hand, I shall submit the appendices as soon as they have been translated into German, which has not yet been done.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. The Tribunal is satisfied with the course which you propose, M. Faure.
M. FAURE: I shall mention first that in the University of Ghent the Germans undertook special propaganda among the students, with a view to germanizing these young generations. They utilized for this purpose an organization called "Genter Studenten Verband," but their efforts to develop this organization did not achieve
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the success they had hoped. They set up in this university and in others a real espionage system under the cover of an ingenious formula, namely, that of "invited professors," German professors who were supposed to have been invited and who were observers and spies.
The report of one of these invited professors has been found in Belgium. This report shows the procedure adopted as well as the complete failure of the German efforts to exert influence.
In all the universities, the Germans made arrests and deported professors and students, and this action was resorted to particularly when the students refused-and rightly so--to obey the German illegal orders which compelled them to enter the labor service.
As regards the University of Brussels, it should be pointed out that this university had been, from the beginning, provided with a German Commissioner, and that 14 professors had been irregularly dismissed. Later, the University of Brussels was obliged to discontinue the courses, and this as a result of a characteristic incident:
On the occasion of the vacancy of three chairs at the university, the Germans refused to accept the nomination of the candidates proposed in the usual way, and decided that they would appoint professors whose views suited them. This clearly shows the generally applied German method of interfering in everything and putting into office everywhere agents under their influence.
On 22 November 1941 the German military administration notified the President of the University of this decision. Therefore, the university decided to go on a sort of strike and, in spite of all the efforts of the Germans, this strike of the University of Brussels lasted until the liberation.
On this question of the Belgian universities, I should like now to read something to the Tribunal. This concerns the University of Louvain. Before reading this, I must indicate to the Tribunal the circumstances.
The Germans had in this university, as in the others, imposed upon the students compulsory labor. This we already know. But what I am going to read has to do with an additional requirement which is altogether shocking.
The Germans wished to oblige the Rector of the University, Monseigneur Van Wayenberg, to give them a complete list with the addresses of those students who were liable to compulsory service and who evaded it. They wished, therefore, to impose upon the rector an act whereby he would become an informer and this under threat of very severe penalties. The Cardinal Archbishop of Malines intervened on this occasion and on 4 June 1943 addressed a letter to General Von Falkenhausen, Military Commander in Belgium. I
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should like to read this letter to the Tribunal. This letter is to be found in a book which I have here and which is published in Belgium, entitled "Cardinal Van Roey and the German Occupation in Belgium." I do not submit this letter as a document. I ask the Tribunal to consider it as a quotation from a publication. This is what Cardinal Archbishop of Malines writes:
"By an oral communication, of which I have asked in vain for the confirmation in writing, the Chief of the Military Administration Raeder has informed me that in case Monseigneur the Rector of the Catholic University of Louvain should persist in refusing to furnish the list with the addresses of the first year students, the occupying authority will take the following measures:
"Close down the university; forbid the students to enroll in another university; subject all the students to forced labor in Germany and, should they evade this measure, take reprisals against their families.
"This communication is all the more surprising, as a few days previously, following a note addressed to your Excellency by Monseigneur the Rector, the latter received from the Kreiskommandant of Louvain a notification that the academic authority would have no further trouble with regard to the lists. It is true that the Chief of Military Administration Raeder informed me that this answer was due to a misunderstanding.
"As President of the Board of the University of Louvain, I have informed the Belgian bishops, who make up this board, of the serious nature of the communication which I have received; and I have the duty to inform you, in the name of all the bishops, that it is impossible for us to advise Monseigneur the Rector to hand over the lists of his students, and that we approve the passive attitude which he has observed up to now. To furnish the lists would, in effect, imply positive co-operation in measures which the Belgian bishops have condemned in the pastoral letter of 15 March 1943 as being contrary to international law, to natural rights, and to Christian morality.
"If the University of Louvain were subjected to sanctions because it refuses this co-operation, we consider that it would be punished for carrying out its duty and that however hard and painful the difficulties it would have to undergo temporarily, its honor at least would not be sullied. We believe, with the famous Bishop of Milan, St. Ambrose, that honor is above everything----'Nihil praeferandum honestati.'
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"Moreover, Your Excellency cannot be ignorant of the fact that the Catholic University of Louvain is a dependency of the Holy See. Canonically established by the Papacy, it is under the authority and the control of the Roman Congregation of Seminaries and Universities and it is the Holy See which approved the appointment of Monseigneur Van Wayenberg as Rector Magnifique of the University. If the measures announced were to be carried out, it would constitute a violent attack on the rights of the Holy See. Consequently His Holiness the Pope will be informed of the extreme dangers which threaten our Catholic University."
I shall end here the quotation of the letter, but I must point out to the Tribunal that in spite of this protest and any considerations of simple practical interest, which the Germans might have had in maintaining correct attitude in this matter, the Rector Magnifique was arrested on 5 June 1943, and was condemned by the German military court to 18 months imprisonment.
Having recalled the painful facts which the Tribunal has just heard, I should like to observe that they might almost give us the impression that such an event as the arrest and sentence of a prelate, rector of a university, for a wrongful reason was, since there were no tragic consequences, of relatively secondary importance. But I think we should not subordinate our intellectual judgment to the direct test of our sensibility, now grown so accustomed to horrors; and if we reflect upon it, we consider that such an outrage is in itself very characteristic, and the fact that such treatment should have been considered by the Germans as the expression of justice, that is truly characteristic of the plan of Germanization with its repercussions on the world.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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MARSHAL: May it please the Court, I desire to announce that the Defendant Kaltenbrunner will be absent from this afternoon's session on account of illness.
M. FAURE: May it please the Tribunal, I should like to call the witness, Van der Essen.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
[The witness, Van der Essen, took the stand.]
M. FAURE: What is your name?
VAN DER ESSEN (Witness): Van der Essen.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you swear to speak without hate or fear, to say the truth, all the truth, and only the truth?
Raise your right hand and say "I swear."
VAN DER ESSEN: I swear.
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down, if you wish.
M. FAURE: M. Van der Essen, you are a professor of history in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Louvain?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes.
M. FAURE: You are the General Secretary of the University of Louvain?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes.
M. FAURE: You have stayed in Belgium during the whole period of the occupation?
VAN DER ESSEN: To the end; from the end of July 1940 1 never left Belgium.
M. FAURE: Can you give information on the destruction of the Library of Louvain?
VAN DER ESSEN: It will be remembered that in 1914 this library, which was certainly one of the best university libraries in Europe, containing many early printed books, manuscripts and books of the 16th and 17th centuries, was systematically destroyed by means of incendiary material by the German soldiers of the 9th Reserve Corps, commanded by General Von Ston. This time, in 1940, the same thing happened again. This library was systematically destroyed by the German Army; and in order that you may understand, I must first say that the fire began, according to all the witnesses, during the night from the 16th to the 17th of May 1940 at about 1:30 in the morning. It was on the 17th at dawn that the English Army made the necessary withdrawal maneuver to leave the Q. W. line of defense. On the other hand, it is absolutely certain
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that the first German troops entered on the morning of the 17th, only about 8 o'clock. This interval between the departure of the British troops, on the one hand, and the arrival of the Germans on the other, enabled the latter to make it appear as if the library had been systematically destroyed by the British troops. I must here categorically give the lie to such a version. The library of the University of Louvain was systematically destroyed by German gunfire.
Two batteries were posted, one in the village of Corbek, and the other in the village of Lovengule. These two batteries on each side systematically directed their fire on the library and on nothing but the library. The best proof of this is that all the shells fell on the library; only one house near the library received a chance hit. The tower was hit 11 times, 4 times by the battery which fired from Lovengule, and 7 times by the battery which fired from Corbek.
At the moment when the Lovengule battery was about to begin firing the officer who commanded it asked an inhabitant of the village to accompany him into the field; when they arrived at a place from where they could see the tower of the library, the officer asked, "Is that the tower of the university Library?" The reply was "Yes." The officer insisted, "Are you sure?" "Yes," replied the peasant, "I see it every day, as you see it now."
Five minutes later the shelling began, and immediately a column of smoke arose quite near the tower. So there can be no doubt that this bombardment was systematic and aimed only at the library. On the other hand, it is also certain that a squadron of 43 airplanes flew over the library and dropped bombs on the monument.
M. FAURE: M. Van der Essen, you are a member of the official Belgian Commission for War Crimes?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes.
M. FAURE: In this capacity you investigated the events of which you speak?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, indeed.
M. FAURE: The information which you have given the Tribunal, then, is the result of an inquiry which you made and evidence by witnesses which you heard yourself?
VAN DER ESSEN: What I have just stated here is most certainly the result of the official inquiry made by the Belgian War Crimes Commission, assisted by several witnesses heard under oath.
M. FAURE: Can you give information on the attempt at nazification of Belgium by the Germans, and especially the attempt to undermine the normal and constitutional organization of the public authorities.
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VAN DER ESSEN: Certainly. First, I think it is interesting to point out that the Germans violated one of the fundamental principles of the Belgian Constitution and institutions, which consisted of the separation of powers, that is to say, separation of judicial powers, of executive powers, and legislative powers; because in the numerous organizations of the New Order, which they themselves created either by decree or by suggesting the creation of these organizations to their collaborators, they never made a distinction between legislative and executive powers. Also, in these organizations freedom of speech for the defense was never, or very little, respected. But what is much more important is that they attacked an organization which goes far back in our history, which dates back to the Middle Ages; I mean the communal autonomy which safeguards us and safeguards the people against any too dangerous interference on the part of the central authority. This is what happened in this domain: It would be sufficient to read, or to have read for a short time, the present day Belgian newspapers, to observe that the burgomasters, that is to say the chiefs of the communes, the aldermen of the principal Belgian towns, such as Brussels, Ghent, Liege, Charleroi, and also of many towns of secondary importance-all these aldermen and burgomasters are either in prison or about to appear before courts-martial.
That shows sufficiently, I think, that these burgomasters and these aldermen are not those who were appointed by the King and by the Belgian Government before 1940, but all of them were people who were imposed by the enemy
by means of groups of collaborators, VNV or "Rexists."
It is of capital importance to establish that fact, because the burgomaster, as soon as he was directly responsible to the central authority-in other words, as soon as the Leadership Principle was applied-could interfere in all kinds of ways in the administrative, political, and social life. The burgomaster appointed the aldermen; the aldermen appointed the communal officials and employees, and the moment the burgomaster belonged to that Party and was appointed by that Party, he appointed as communal officials members of the Party who could refuse ration cards to refractory people, or order the police to give, for instance, the list of Communists, or of those suspected of being Communists; in short, they could interfere in almost any way they wished, and by every possible means, in the communal life of Belgium.
If we examine the big towns and the small towns, we can say that everywhere there was truly a veritable network of espionage and interference following the events or acts of which I have just informed you.
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M. FAURE: It is true, then, to say that this meddling by the Germans with the administration of the communes constituted a seizure of Belgian national sovereignty?
VAN DER ESSEN: Certainly, since it made the fundamental principle of the Belgian constitution disappear, that is to say, the sovereignty that belongs to the nation and more especially to the Communal Council which appointed aldermen and burgomasters. From then on it was impossible for them to make themselves heard in the normal way, so that the sovereignty of the Belgian people was directly attacked by the fact itself.
M. FAURE: Since you are a professor of higher education, can you give us information concerning the interference in education?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, sir, certainly.
First, there was interference in the domain of elementary and secondary education through the General Secretary of Public Education, on whom the Germans exercised pressure. A commission was set up which was entrusted with the task of purging the text books. It was forbidden to use text books which mentioned what the Germans did in Belgium during the 1914-18 war; this chapter was absolutely forbidden. The booksellers and publishing houses could still sell these books, but only on the condition that the bookseller or library should tear out this chapter. As for new books which had to be reprinted or republished, this commission indicated exactly which ones should be cancelled or removed. That was serious and alarming interference with primary and secondary education.
As regards higher education, the interference was unleashed, so to speak, from the very beginning of the occupation; and first of all, for motives which I need not explain here but which are well known, in the free University of Brussels.
The Germans first imposed on the University of Brussels a German Commissioner, who thus had in his hands the whole organization of the university and even controlled it, as far as I know, from the point of view of accountancy. Moreover they imposed exchange professors. But serious difficulties began the day when, in Brussels as elsewhere, they required that they should be informed of all projects of new appointments and all new appointments of professors, in the same way as the assignment of lecture courses and other subjects taught in the university. The result was that in Brussels, by virtue of this right which they had arrogated, they wished to impose three professors, of whom two were obviously not acceptable to any Belgian worthy of the name. There was one, notably, who, having been a member of the Council of Flanders during the occupation of 1914-18, had been condemned
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to death by the justice of this country and whom they wanted to impose as a professor in the University of Brussels in 1940. Under these conditions the university refused to accept this professor, and this was considered by the occupying authorities as sabotage.
As a penalty, the President of the Board of the University, the principal members of the board, the deans of the principal faculties, and a few other professors, who were especially well known as being anti-Fascists, were arrested and imprisoned in the prison of Witte with the aggravating circumstance that they were considered as hostages and that, if any act whatsoever of sabotage or resistance occurred, they, being hostages, could be shot.
As far as the other universities were concerned, as I have just said here, they wished to impose exchange professors. There were none at Louvain because we refused categorically to receive them, the more so as it appeared that these exchange professors were not, primarily, scholars who had come to communicate the result of their researches and their scientific work, but a great many of them were observers for the occupying authorities.
M. FAURE: In this connection, is it true that the Belgian authorities discovered the report made by one of these so-called "invited" professors?
VAN DER ESSEN: That is indeed the case. The Belgian authorities got hold of a report by Professor Von Mackensen, who was sent as an exchange professor to the University of Ghent. In this report-drawn up with infinite care and which is extraordinarily interesting to read because of the personal and psychological observations which it contains concerning the various members of the faculty of Ghent-in this report we see that everyone was observed and followed day by day, that his tendencies were labeled, that a note was made as to whether he was for or against the system of the occupying power, or whether he had any relations with students who were N.P. or Rexists. The slightest movements and actions of all the professors were carefully noted; and I add, with great care and precision. It was almost a scientific piece of occurred, they, being hostages, could be shot.
M. FAURE: M. Van der Essen, I described this morning to the Tribunal various incidents which occurred in the University of Louvain, of which you were the General Secretary. Therefore I should like you to tell the Tribunal briefly the actual facts connected with these incidents, especially, those connected with the imprisonment of the Rector Monseigneur Van Wayenberg.
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, indeed, sir. Serious difficulties began in the University of Louvain after the appearance of the decree of compulsory labor of 6 March 1943, by which students of the
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university were forced to accept compulsory labor. I would add, not in Reich territory, but in Belgium. But this action, which was held out to the university students as a sort of privilege, was entirely inacceptable to Belgian patriots for the simple reason that, if the university students accepted to go and work in the Belgian factories, they automatically expelled workmen, who were then sent to Germany as the students took their place.
That was the first reason why they did not wish to work for the enemy; the second was because, from a social point of view, they wanted to show solidarity with the workers, who suffered very much because the students had refused. At least two-thirds of the students of Louvain refused to do compulsory work. They became refractory, the classes became empty, they hid themselves as best they could, and several went into the Maquis.
The German authorities, when they saw the way things were going, demanded that the list of students be given to them, with their addresses, so that they could arrest them in their homes or, if they couldn't find them, they could arrest a brother, or sister, or father, or any member of the family in their place. This was the principle of collective responsibility which was applied here the same as in all other cases.
After having used gentle means, they resorted to blackmail and ended up by adopting really brutal measures. They renewed the raids, they dismissed Dr. Tschacke and Dr. Kalische, I think, and many others. They ordered searches to be made in the university offices to lay their hands on the list of students; but as this list was carefully bidden, they had to go away empty-handed. It was then that they decided to arrest the Rector of the University, Monseigneur Van Wayenberg, who had hidden the lists in a place known only to him. He declared that he alone knew the place so as not to endanger his colleagues and the members of the faculty.
One morning in June two members of the Secret Police from Brussels, accompanied by Military Police, came to the Hall. They arrested the rector in his office and transferred him to the prison of Saint-Gilles in Brussels, where he was imprisoned. Shortly afterwards he appeared before a German tribunal which condemned him to 18 months imprisonment for sabotage. To tell the truth, he was in jail for only 6 months, because the doctor of Saint-Gilles saw that the rector's health was beginning to fail and it would be dangerous to keep him longer if one wished to avoid a serious incident, also because of the many petitions by all sorts of authorities. Thus the rector was freed. However, he was forbidden to set foot on the territory of Louvain; and they enjoined the university to appoint, immediately, another rector. This was refused.
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M. FAURE: Very well. Is it true to say that the German authorities persecuted, more systematically, persons who belonged to the intellectual elite?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, there can be no doubt as to this. I might give, as examples, the following facts:
When hostages were taken it was nearly always university professors, doctors, lawyers, men of letters, who were taken as hostages and sent to escort military trains. At the time when the resistance was carrying out acts of sabotage to railways and blowing up trains, university professors from Ghent, Liege, and Brussels, whom I know, were taken and put in the first coach after the locomotive so that, if an explosion took place, they could not miss being killed. I know of a typical case, which will show you that it was not exactly a pleasure trip. Two professors of Liege, who were in a train of this kind, witnessed the following scene: The locomotive passed over the explosive. The coach in which they were, by an extraordinary chance, also went over it; and it was the second coach containing the German guards which blew up, so that all the German guards were killed.
On the other hand, several professors and intellectuals were deported to that sinister camp of Breendonck, about which you know, some for acts of resistance, others for entirely unknown reasons; others were deported to Germany. Professors from Louvain were sent to Buchenwald, to Dora, to Neuengamme, to Gross-Rosen, and perhaps to other places too. I must add that it was not only professors from Louvain who were deported, but also intellectuals who played an important role in the life of the country. I can give you immediate proof. At Louvain, on the occasion of the reopening ceremony of the university this year, as Secretary General of the University, I read out the list of those who had died during the war. This list included 348 names, if I remember rightly. Perhaps some thirty of these names were those of soldiers who died during the Battles of the Scheldt and the Lys in 1940, all the others were victims of the Gestapo, or had died in camps in Germany, especially in the camps of Gross-Rosen and Neuengamme.
Moreover, it is certain that the Germans hated particularly the intellectuals because, from time to time, they organized a synchronized campaign in the press to give prominence to the fact that the great majority of intellectuals refused categorically to rally to the New Order and refused to understand the necessity for the struggle against bolshevism. These articles always concluded by stressing the necessity of taking measures against them. I remember well certain newspaper articles which simply proposed to send these intellectuals to concentration camps. There can be no doubt therefore that the intellectuals were deliberately selected.
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M. FAURE: I shall ask you no questions on anything relating to deportations or to camps, because all that is already well known to the Tribunal. I shall ask you, when replying to the following question, not to mention deportation.
Now, my question concerns the whole of the atrocities which were committed by the Germans in Belgium and, especially, at the time of the December 1944 offensive by the German armies. Can you give information concerning these atrocities?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, sir. As a matter of fact, I can give you exact and detailed information, if necessary, on the crimes and atrocities committed during the offensive of Von Rundstedt in the Ardennes, because as a member of the War Crimes Commission I went there to make an inquiry, and I questioned witnesses and survivors of these massacres; and I know perfectly well, from personal knowledge, what happened.
During the Von Rundstedt offensive in the Ardennes they committed crimes which were truly abominable in 31 localities of the Ardennes, crimes committed against men, women, and children These crimes were committed, on the one hand, as it happened elsewhere and as it happens in all wars, by individual soldiers, so I shall let that pass; but what I particularly want to stress are the crimes committed by whole units who received formal instructions, as well as crimes committed by known organizations; if I remember rightly, I think they were called Kommandos zur besonderen Verwendung, that is to say, commandos with special tasks which operated unchecked not only in the Belgian Ardennes but which also committed the same kind of crimes, carried out in the same way, in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
As regards the first, the crimes committed by whole units, I should like merely to give one very typical example, in order not to take up the time of the Tribunal. It happened at Stavelot, where about 140 persons-the number varies, let us say between 137 and 140-first it was 137, then they discovered some more bodies-about 140 persons, of whom 36 were women and 22 were children, of which the oldest was 14 years and the youngest 4 years, were savagely slaughtered by German units belonging to SS tank divisions, one the Hohenstaufen Division, the, other the SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division. This is what the divisions did. We have full information about this from the testimony of a soldier who took part in it. He was arrested by the Belgian Security Police. He deserted during the Von Rundstedt campaign, dressed himself as a civilian, and then worked as a laborer on an Ardennes farm. One day as he was working stripped to the waist, he was seen by Belgian gendarmes, who saw by the tattooing on
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his body that he was an SS man. He was immediately arrested and interrogated.
This is the method used by the soldiers of the Hohenstaufen Division. There was a line of tanks, some were Konigstiger (Royal Tigers), followed and preceded by Schutzenpanzer. At a certain moment the ObersturmFuehrer of this group stopped his men and delivered them a little speech telling them that all civilians whom they encountered should be killed. They then went back to their tanks, and as the tanks advanced along the road, the ObersturmFuehrer would point to a house. Then the soldiers entered it with machine guns in their hands. If they found people in the kitchen, they killed them in the kitchen; if they found them sheltering in the cellar, they machine-gunned them in the cellar; if they found them on the road, they killed them on the road. Not only the Hohenstaufen Division, but also the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler Division, and others acted in this manner on formal orders according to which all civilians were to be killed. And what was the reason for this measure? Precisely because, during the retreat in September, it was mainly in that part of the Ardennes that the resistance went into action and quite a number of German soldiers were killed during that retreat. It was therefore to revenge this defeat, to avenge themselves for th e action of the resistance, that orders were given that all civilians should be killed without mercy during the offensive launched in this region.
As far as the other method is concerned, this is still more important from the point of view of responsibility, for it concerns persons commanding troops of the Sicherheitspolizei, that is to say, of the Security Police, who in most villages they came to immediately set about questioning the people as to those who had taken part in the resistance, about the secret army, where these people lived, whether they were still there or whether they had fled. In short, they had special typed questionnaires with 27 questions, always the same, which were put to everyone in the villages to which they came.
Here again I shall proceed as I did in the first case. In order not to take up too much of the Tribunal's time, I shall simply give the example of Bande, in the Arrondissement of Marche. At Bande one of these SD detachments, the officers of which said they were sent especially by Himmler to execute members of the resistance, seized all men between 17 and 32 years of age. After having questioned them thoroughly and after sorting them out in a quite arbitrary manner-they didn't keep any people belonging to the resistance, for most of them had never taken part in it; there were only four who were members of the resistance-they led them away along the road from Marche to Basteuil with their hands
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raised behind their heads. When they reached a ruined house, which had been burned down in September, the officer who commanded the detachment posted himself at the entrance of the house, a Feldwebel joined him and put his hand on the shoulder of the last man of the third row who was making his way towards the entrance to the house; and there the officer, armed with a machine gun, killed a prisoner with a bullet in the neck. Then this same officer executed in this manner the 34 young men who had been kept back.
Not content with killing them, he kicked the bodies into the cellar; and then fired a volley of machine gun bullets to make sure that they were dead.
M. FAURE: M. Van der Essen, you are a historian; you have taught scholars; therefore you are accustomed to submitting the sources of history to criticism. Can you say that your inquiry leaves no doubt in your mind, that these atrocities reveal that there was an over-all plan and that instructions were certainly given by superior officers?
VAN DER ESSEN: I think that I can affirm it, I am quite convinced that there was an over-all plan.
M. FAURE: I would like to ask you a last question: I think I understood that you yourself were never arrested or particularly worried by the Germans. I would like to know if you consider that a free man, against whom the German administration or police have nothing in particular, could during the Nazi occupation lead a life in accordance with the conception a free man has of his dignity?
VAN DER ESSEN: Well, you see me here before you, I weigh 67 kilos, my height is 1 meter 67 centimeters. According to my colleagues in the Faculty of Medicine that is quite normal Before the 10th of May 1940; before the airplanes of the Luftwaffe suddenly came without any declaration of war and spread death and desolation in Belgium, I weighed 82 kilos. This difference is incontestably the result of the occupation. But I don't want to dwell on personal considerations or enter into details of a general nature or of a theoretical or philosophical nature. I should like simply to give you an account-it will not take more than 2 minutes-of the ordinary day of an average Belgian during the occupation.
I take a day in the winter of 1943: At 6 o'clock in the morning there is a ring at the door. One's first thought-indeed we all had this thought-was that it was the Gestapo. It wasn't the Gestapo. It was a city policeman who had come to tell me that there was a light in my office and that in view of the necessities of the
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occupation I must be careful about this in the future. But there was the nervous shock.
At 7:30 the postman arrives bringing me my letters; he tells the maid that he wishes to see me personally. I go downstairs and the man says to me, "You know, Professor, I am a member of the secret army and I know what is going on. The Germans intend to arrest today at 10 o'clock all the former soldiers of the Belgian Army who are in this region. Your son must disappear immediately." I hurry upstairs and wake up my son. I make him prepare his kit and send him to the right place. At 10 o'clock I take the tram for Brussels. A few kilometers out of Louvain the tram stops. A military police patrol makes us get down and lines us up-irrespective of our social status or position-in front of a wall, with our arms raised and facing the wall. We are thoroughly searched, and having found neither arms nor compromising papers of any kind, we are allowed to go back into the tram. A few kilometers farther on the tram is stopped by a crowd which prevents the tram from going on. I see several women weeping, there are cries and wailings. I make inquiries and am told that their men folk living in the village had refused to do compulsory labor and were to have been arrested that night by the Security Police. Now they are taking away the old father of 82 and a young girl of 16 and holding them responsible for the disappearance of the young men.
I arrive in Brussels to attend a meeting of the academy. The first thing the president says to me is:
"Have you heard what has happened? Two of our colleagues were arrested yesterday in the street. Their families were in a terrible state. Nobody knows where they are."
I go home in the evening and we are stopped on the way three times, once to search for terrorists, who are said to have Red, the other times to see if our papers are in order. At last I get home without anything serious having happened to me.
I might say here that only at 9 o'clock in the evening can we give a sigh of relief, when we turn the knob of our radio set and listen ten to that reassuring voice which we hear every evening, the voice of Fighting France: "Today is the 189th day of the struggle of the French people for their liberation," or the voice of Victor Delabley, that noble figure of the Belgian radio in London, who always finished up by saying, "Courage, we will get them yet, the Boches!" That was the only thing that enabled us to breathe and go to sleep At night.
That was an average day, a normal day of an average Belgian during the German occupation. And you can well understand that we could hardly call that time the reign of happiness and felicity
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that we were promised when the German troops invaded Belgium on 10 May 1940.
M. FAURE: Excuse me, M. Van der Essen. The only satisfaction that you had was to listen to the London radio; this was punished by a severe penalty, if you were caught, I suppose?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, it meant imprisonment.
M. FAURE: Thank you.
THE PRESIDENT: Are you finished, M. Faure?
M. FAURE: No more questions, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko? The American and British prosecutors?
[Each indicated that he had no question.]
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendants' counsel wish to ask any questions?
DR. EXNER: You have been speaking about the university library at Louvain. I should like to ask something: Were you yourself in Louvain when the two batteries were firing at the library, and at the library only, in 1940?
VAN DER ESSEN: I was not in Louvain, but I should say this: Louvain was in the K. 0. line, that is in the very front line; and the population of Louvain was obliged by the British military authorities to evacuate the town on the 14th so that nearly all the inhabitants of Louvain had left at the time when these
events took place and only paralytics and sick persons, who could not be transported and who had hidden in their cellars, were left; but what I said concerning these batteries, I know from the interrogation of the two witnesses who were on the spot just outside Louvain. The library was not set on fire from within, but shelled from without. And these witnesses of whom I speak lived in these two villages outside the town where the batteries were located.
DR. EXNER: Were there any Belgian or British troops still left in the town?
VAN DER ESSEN: The Belgian troops were no longer there. They had been replaced by the British troops when the British had taken over the sector and at the time when the library was seen to be on fire. The first flames were seen in the night of the 16th to the 17th at 1:30 in the morning. The British troops had left. There remained only a few tanks which were operating a withdrawal movement. These fired an occasional shot to give the impression that the sector was still occupied by the British Army.
DR. EXNER: So there were still British troops in the town when the bombardment started?
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VAN DER ESSEN: There were no longer any British troops; there were merely a few tanks on the hills outside Louvain in the direction of Brussels, a few tanks which, as I said, were carrying out necessary maneuvers for withdrawal.
I would have liked to add a few words and to say to the very honorable Counsel for the Defense that, according to the testimony of persons who were in the library-the ushers and the janitors not a single British soldier ever set foot in the library buildings.
DR. EXNER: That is not surprising. At the time the German batteries were firing were there still British batteries or Belgian batteries firing?
VAN DER ESSEN: No.
DR. EXNER: So all was quiet in the town of Louvain; the troops had left; the enemy was not there yet, and the batteries didn't fire?
VAN DER ESSEN: That was the rather paradoxical situation in Louvain; there was a moment when the British had left and the Germans had not yet arrived; and there remained only the few ill persons, the few paralytics who could not be moved and who were left behind in cellars. A few other persons remained too: the Chief of the Fire Service and Monseigneur Van Wayenberg, the Rector of the University, who had brought the dead and the dying from Brussels to Louvain in the firemen's car and made the journey several times. There was also my colleague, Professor Kennog, a member of the Faculty of Medicine who had taken over the direction of the city.
DR. EXNER: Do you know where these German batteries were located?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, indeed. One was located at Corbek and the other at Lovengule, one on the west side and one on the north side. The only shell hits on the tower of the library were four hits from the east side and seven from the north side. If there had still been British or Belgian batteries, the shells would have come from the opposite side.
DR. EXNER: Can you tell me anything about the caliber of these batteries?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, we saved the shells and at present they are in the Library of Louvain, or rather in what serves as a library for the university. There are four shells and two or three fragments of shells.
DR. EXNER: And do you know the name of the peasant who was supposed to have been asked by a German officer whether that was really the University of Louvain? Do you know the peasant personally?
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VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, indeed, his name is M. Vigneron.
DR. EXNER: Do you know the peasant yourself? Do you know him?
VAN DER ESSEN: I do not know him personally. It was the librarian of the university who had a conversation with him and who induced the War Crimes Commission to interrogate this peasant.
DR. EXNER: You are a member of that commission yourself?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, I am ready to declare that I took no direct part in the inquiry concerning the Library of Louvain, just as Monseigneur the Rector and the librarian took no active part in the inquiry concerning the Library of Louvain. It was made by an officer of the judicial delegation who acted alone and quite independently upon the order of the Prosecutor of Louvain, and we kept entirely out of the matter.
DR. EXNER: Have you seen the official files of this commission?
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, certainly.
DR. EXNER: I am surprised they weren't brought here. Tell me, why did the director of the library or the person who was directly concerned not go, after the occupation of the town, to the mayor or to the commander of the town?
VAN DER ESSEN: I don't think I understand the question very well.
DR. EXNER: When the German Army came, a town commander was appointed. Why didn't the mayor of the town, or the Dire Director of the University Library go to the town commander and tell him about these things?
VAN DER ESSEN: Why didn't he tell him about these things for the very simple reason that at that time everything was in complete disorder and there was hardly anybody left in the town, and on the other hand as soon as the German Army arrived, it systematically closed the entrance gate of the library so that the Belgians could not make any inquiry. Then two German inquiry commissions came upon the scene. The first worked on 26 May 1940 with an expert, Professor Kellermann of the School of Technology in Aachen, accompanied by a Party man in a brown shirt. They examined what was left and they summoned before them as witnesses the Rector of the University and the Librarian. From the very beginning of the inquiry they wished to force the rector and the librarian to declare and admit that it was the British who had set fire to the library. And as a proof, this expert showed shell cases saying, "Here, sniff this, it smells of gasoline and shows that chemicals were used to set fire to the library." Whereupon the
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Rector and the Librarian of the University said to him, "Where did you find this shell case, Mr. Expert?" "In such and such a place." "When we went by that place," said the rector, "it wasn't there." It had been placed there by the German expert. And I will add, if you will permit me, because this is of considerable importance, that a second inquiry commission came in August 1940, presided over by a very distinguished man, District Court of Appeal Judge Von Neuss. He was accompanied this time by the expert who had directed the inquiry into the firing of the Reichstag. This commission again examined everything, and before the rector and another witness, Krebs, from the Benedictine Abbey of Mont-Cesar, they simply laughed at the conclusions of the first commission, and said they were ridiculous.
DR. EXNER: You have said that the library building had towers. Do you know whether there were artillery observers in these towers?
VAN DER ESSEN: You ask whether there were artillery observers? All I can say is that the rector had always opposed this from the beginning, and he certainly would have opposed any attempt of this kind, knowing that the' presence of artillery observers in the tower would obviously provide the enemy with a reason to fire on the library. The rector knew this and he always said to me, "We must be extremely careful to see that British soldiers or others who might take the sector do not go up in the tower." I know from the statements of the janitor that no Englishman, no British soldier, went into the tower. That is absolutely certain. As for Belgians, I must confess that I cannot answer your question, as I don't know.
DR. EXNER: It would not be so very amazing, would it, if the university library had been hit by German artillery. After all, it has happened that the libraries of the Universities of Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Breslau, Cologne, et cetera, have been hit. The only question is whether this was done deliberately, and here it occurs to me that the peasant ...
VAN DER ESSEN: The peasant ...
DR. EXNER: I would like to ask you: Was there any mention in these inquiries as to the motive which might have induced the German Army to make this an objective?
VAN DER ESSEN: All the evidence seems to indicate, and this was the conclusion arrived at by the commission, that t he motive, I will not say the main motive, because there is no certainty in this sort of thing-that the motive which is very probable, almost certain, for the destruction of the library was the German Army's desire to do' away with a monument which commemorates the Treaty of Versailles. On the library building there was a virgin wearing a helmet crushing under her foot a dragon which symbolized the
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enemy. Certain conversations of German officers gave the very clear impression that the reason why they wished to set fire systematically to this building was their desire to get rid of a testimony of the defeat in the other war, and above all, a reminder of the Treaty of Versailles. I may add that this is not the first time that the Germans have destroyed the University of Louvain.
DR. EXNER: You believe that the commander of that battery knew that?
VAN DER ESSEN: There is very interesting testimony which I should like to submit to the honorable Counsel for the Defense. On the day when the batteries were installed, the two batteries which I mentioned, I spoke to a tax collector, a civil servant, who lived in a villa on the road to Roosweek, a few kilometers from Louvain. That afternoon some German high ranking officers came to his house to ask for hospitality. These officers had with them a truck with all the necessary radio apparatus for sending wireless orders to the German artillery to fire. These officers installed themselves in his house, and dinner was naturally served to them, and they invited him to sit with them. After hesitating a moment, he accepted, and during the meal there was a violent discussion. The officers said, "These Belgian swine"-excuse my using this expression, but they used it-"at any rate they did put that inscription on the library." They were referring to the famous inscription "Furore Teutonica" which in fact was never on the library; but all the German officers were absolutely convinced that this inscription "Furore teutonica diruta, dono americano restituta" (destroyed by German fury, restored by American generosity) was on the building, whereas, in fact, it never has been there. However, I am quite willing to admit that in Germany they might have believed that it was there; and the very fact that there should have been a discussion among the officers in command of these two batteries, seems to prove that if they directed the fire onto the library, it was in order to destroy this monument. It was probable that they wanted to get rid of a monument which, according to their idea, bore an inscription which was insulting to the German Army and the German people. That is the testimony which I can give to the honorable Counsel for the Defense. I give it as it is.
DR. EXNER: You mean that the captain who commanded this battery knew about that inscription! I don't believe it.
VAN DER ESSEN: Certainly.
DR. EXNER: Thank you.
DR. STAHMER: Witness, you have said that 43 airplanes flew over the library and dropped bombs on it. As you told us yourself, in reply to Professor Exner's question, you were not in the town at the time; where did you get that information?
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VAN DER ESSEN: As I have already said, it is not my testimony which I am giving here, because for my part I have none; but it is the testimony of the lawyer, Davids, who had a country house a Kesseloo.
This lawyer went out in the morning to look at the sky. He had a considerable number of refugees in his home, among them women and children, and as- airplanes were continually overhead he had gone out in the morning to see what was going on. He saw this squadron of airplanes which he counted-remember he was an old soldier himself-and there were 43 which were flying in the direction of the library; and when they arrived over the library, exactly over the gable at the farthest point from the house of the witness, they dropped a bomb, and he saw smoke immediately arise from the roof of the library. That is the testimony on which I base the statement I just made.
DR. STAHMER: So it was just one bomb that hit the library?
VAN DER ESSEN: We must distinguish here, sir, between artillery fire and bombs which are dropped by planes. From a technicalpoint of view, it seems absolutely certain that a bomb from a plane hit the library, because the roof has metal covering and this metal roofing is quite level, except in one part where it caves in. We consulted technicians, who told us that a metallic surface would never have sunk in to such an extent if it had been hit by artillery fire and could only have been caused by a bomb from a plane.
DR. STAHMER: How many bombs in all were dropped by airplanes?
VAN DER ESSEN: As the witness was at a height dominating the Louvain area from where he could see the library on the plain, it was impossible for him to count exactly the bombs which these planes dropped. He only saw the bombs fall. Then he saw the smoke which arose from the roof of the library. That's all I have to say concerning this point.
DR. STAHMER: How many bomb hits were counted in the city?
VAN DER ESSEN: On this point I can give you no information, but I know that some airplanes passed over the library quarters in a straight line going north to south. These bombs, at that time, in May 1940, damaged, but not very seriously, the Higher Institute of Philosophy, the Institute of Pharmacy, and a few other university buildings; also a certain number of private houses.
DR. STAHMER: When were the bombs dropped, before the artillery fire or afterwards?
VAN DER ESSEN: The bombs were dropped before and afterwards. There were some air raids. I myself was present during a
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terrible air raid on the afternoon of 10 May 1940 by a squadron of seven planes. I am not a military technician, but I saw with my own eyes the planes -which dive-bombed the Tirlemont Bridge. The result of this bombing was that a considerable number of houses were destroyed and 208 persons killed on the spot, on the afternoon of 10 May 1940.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the other Defense Counsel wish to cross-examine?
HERR BABEL: Witness, when did you last see the university building; that is, before the attack?
VAN DER ESSEN: Before the fire? I saw it on 11 May 1940.
HERR BABEL: That is to say, before the attack?
VAN DER ESSEN: Before the attack.
HERR BABEL: Was it damaged. at that time, and to what extent?
VAN DER ESSEN: On 11 May absolutely nothing had happened to the library. It was intact. Until the night of the 16th to 17th of May, when I left, there was absolutely no damage.
HERR BABEL: Apart from the hits on the tower, did you notice any other traces of artillery fire on the building?
VAN DER ESSEN: On the building I don't think so. There were only traces of artillery fire ...
HERR BABEL: From the fact that only the tower had been hit, couldn't it be thought that the tower and not the building was the target?
VAN DER ESSEN: When I said that the tower was struck, I meant only the traces that could be seen on the walls, on the balcony of the first story, and on the dial of the clock. Apart from that, nothing could be seen on the building for the simple reason that the building had been completely burned out inside and nothing could be seen on the charred walls. But it is absolutely certain that either a bomb from a plane or an artillery shell-I personally think it was the latter-hit the building on the north side, after the fire. The trace of shell fire can be seen very visibly. It is just here that the fire began. Witnesses who saw the fire of the Abbey of Mont Cesar. . . .
HERR BABEL: After the fire, when did you see the building for the first time?
VAN DER ESSEN: After the fire, in July 1940.
HERR BABEL: That is, much later?
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VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, but still in the same condition. Nothing had been done to it.
It was still as it was originally.
HERR BABEL: Do you know whether, while the building was burning, an attempt was made to stop the fire and save the building?
VAN DER ESSEN: It is absolutely certain that attempts were made to stop the fire. The Rector of the University, Monseigneur Van Wayenberg, told me himself and has stated that he sent for the firemen, but the firemen had gone. Only the chief and two members of the fire brigade were left, and all the water mains at that time were broken as a result of the bombardment. There was no water supply for several days.
HERR BABEL: Did German troops take part in these attempts to save the building?
VAN DER ESSEN: No, they were not there yet.
HERR BABEL: How do you know that? You weren't there.
VAN DER ESSEN: But the Rector of the University did not leave the town of Louvain. The rector was there and so was the librarian.
HERR BABEL: Did you speak to the rector on this question, as to whether German troops took part in the attempt to save the building?
VAN DER ESSEN: I spoke to the rector and to the librarian. In my capacity as General Secretary of the University I discussed with the rector all general questions concerning the university. We discussed this point especially, and he told me categorically that no soldier of the German Army tried to fight the fire.
HERR BABEL: You also have spoken about the resistance movement. Do you know whether the civilian population was called upon to resist the German troops?
VAN DER ESSEN: Where? In the Ardennes?
HERR BABEL: In Belgium?
VAN DER ESSEN: In Belgium the resistance was mainly composed of the secret army, which was a military organization with responsible and recognized commanders, and wore a distinctive badge so that they could not be confused with simple francs-tireurs.
HERR BABEL: Do you know how many German soldiers fell victims to the resistance movement?
VAN DER ESSEN: How German soldiers fell victims to this resistance? I know very well because everywhere in the Ardennes the resistance went into action, and legally, with chiefs at their head, carrying arms openly, and with distinctive badges. They openly attacked the German troops from the front.
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HERR BABEL: That was not my question. I asked you if you knew roughly how many German soldiers became victims of that resistance movement?
VAN DER ESSEN: I don't understand what is implied by the question of the honorable Counsel for the Defense.
HERR BABEL: That is not for -you to judge, it is for the Tribunal.
VAN DER ESSEN: Does the honorable Counsel for the Defense mean the events of the Ardennes which I alluded to a while ago, or does he speak in a quite general sense?
HERR BABEL: The witness in his statements had himself brought up the question of the resistance movement, and that is why I asked whether the witness knows.. .
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Babel, the witness has already answered the question by saying that he cannot say how many Germans were killed by the resistance movement.
HERR BABEL: But he can say whether a certain number of Germans did fall victims to the resistance.
VAN DER ESSEN: There were real battles.
HERR BABEL: The witness will also be able to confirm that the members of the resistance are today considered heroes in Belgium. From what we have read in the papers and from what has been brought up here, these people who were active in the resistance movement are now considered heroes. At least I could draw that conclusion.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you' please continue your examination.
HERR BABEL: Witness, you have said, if I understood you correctly, that you lost 15 kilograms weight.
VAN DER ESSEN: Yes, indeed.
HERA BABEL: What conclusion did you draw from that fact? I could not quite understand what you said.
VAN DER ESSEN: I simply meant to say that I lost these 15 kilos as a result of the mental suffering which we underwent during the occupation, and it was an answer to a question of M. Faure on whether I considered this occupation compatible with the dignity of a free man. I wanted to answer "no," giving the proof that as a result of this occupation we suffered much anguish, and I think the loss of weight is sufficient proof of this.
HERR BABEL: During the war, I also, without having been ill, lost 35 kilos. What conclusion could be drawn from that, in your opinion?
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THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Dr. Babel, we are not interested in your experiences.
HERR BABEL: Thank you, Sir. That was my last question.
THE PRESIDENT: Does any other Counsel wish to ask any questions? [There was no response.] M. Faure?
M. FAURE: I have no questions.
THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.
[The witness left the stand.]
M. FAURE: I ask the Tribunal kindly to take the presentation file and the document book constituting the end of the section on the seizure of sovereignty, which bears the title "France."
France, Eke Belgium, was placed under the regime of the military occupation administration. There was, moreover, in France a diplomatic representation. Finally, it must be noted that the police administration always played an important role there. It became increasingly important and was extended, particularly during the period which followed the appointment of General Oberg in 1942.
As regards this last part of my section on the seizure of sovereignty, I should like to limit myself to mentioning a few special features of these usurpations in France and certain original methods employed by the Germans in this country, for this question has already been extensively dealt with, and will be further dealt with by me under the heading of consequences of German activities in France.
I wish to draw the attention of the Tribunal to four considerations. First, the German authorities in France, at the very beginning, got hold of a special key to sovereignty. I speak of the splitting up of the country into five different zones. This splitting up of the country by the Germans compensated to a certain extent for the special situation which the existence of unoccupied French territories created for them.
I have already indicated that the Armistice Convention of 22 June, which has already been deposited with the Tribunal , provided for the establishment of a line of demarcation between the occupied zone and the so-called unoccupied zone. It might have been thought at that time that this demarcation between the occupied and the unoccupied zone was chiefly drawn to meet the necessity of military movements in the occupied zone. It might also have been concluded that the separation of the zones would be manifested only through the exercise in the occupied zone of the ordinary rights of an armed force occupation. I have already had occasion to quote to the Tribunal a document, the testimony of M. Mon Noel, which contained the verbal assurances given in this
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respect by General Keitel and by General Jodl, who are now the defendants before you bearing these names.
Now, in fact, this demarcation of zones was interpreted and applied with extreme rigor and in a manner that was wholly unforeseen. We have already seen the far reaching consequences of this from the point of view of the economic life of the country. There were also serious consequences from the point of view of local administration, which was continually hampered in its tasks, and from the point of view of the life of the population, which could move from one part of French territory to another only with great difficulty. In this way the Germans acquired a first means of pressure on the French authorities. This means of pressure was all the more effective as it could be used at any time and was very elastic. At times the Germans could relax the rules of separation of the zones, at others they could apply them with the greatest severity.
By way of example, I quote an extract from a document, which I present in evidence under the Document Number RF-1051.
This document is a letter of 20 December 1941 addressed by Schleier of the German Embassy to the French Delegate De Brinon, a letter concerning passes to German civilians wishing to enter the unoccupied zone. The French authorities of the de fa cto government had protested against the fact that the Germans obliged the French authorities to allow any person provided with German passes to enter the unoccupied zone where they could take on any kind of work, particularly spying, as one may imagine.
The letter which I quote is in answer to this French protest, and I wish to mention only the last paragraph which is the second paragraph on page 2 of this Document Number 1051.
"In case the French Government should create difficulties concerning requests for passes presented with the German approval, it will no longer be possible to exercise that same generosity as shown hitherto when granting passes to French nationals."
But what I have just said is only a first point concerning the division of the country. This first division had as basis an instrument which was the Armistice Convention, although this basis was exceeded and was contestable. On the other hand, the other divisions which I am going to mention were simply imposed by the Germans without warning of any kind, and without the enunciation of any plausible pretext.
I must recall that a first supplementary division was that which separated the annexed Departments of the Haut-Rhin, the Bas-Rhin, and the Moselle from the rest of France; and in this connection I have already proved that they had been really annexed.
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A second division affected the Departments of Nord and the Pasde-Calais. These departments were in fact attached to the German Military Administration of Belgium. This fact is shown by the headings of the German Military Command decrees, which are submitted to the Tribunal in the Belgian Official Gazette. Not only did this separation exist from the point of view of the German Military Command Administration, but it also existed from the point of view of the French Administration. This last mentioned administration was not excluded in the departments under consideration, but its communications with the central services were extremely difficult.
As I do not wish to develop this point at length, I should like simply to quote a document which will serve as an example, and which I submit as Document Number RF-1052. This is a letter from the military commander under the date of 17 September 1941, which communicates his refusal to re-establish telegraphic and telephonic communications with the rest of France. I quote the single sentence of this letter:
"Upon decision of the High Command of the Army it is so far not yet possible to concede the application for granting direct telegraphic service between the Vichy Government and the two departments of the North."
A third division consisted in the creation within the unoccupied zone of a so-called forbidden zone. The conception of this forbidden zone certainly corresponded to the future projects of the Germans as to the annexation of larger portions of France. In this connection I produced documents at the beginning of my presentation. This forbidden zone did not have any special rules of administration, but special authorization was required to enter or to leave it. The return to this zone of persons who had left it in order to seek refuge in other regions was possible only in stages, and with great difficulty. Administrative relations, the same as economic relations between the forbidden zone and the other zones were constantly hampered. This fact is well known. Nevertheless, I wish to quote a document also as an example, and I submit this document, Number RF-1053. It is a letter from the military commander, dated 22 November 1941, addressed to the French Delegation. I shall simply summarize this document by saying that the German Command agreed to allow a minister of the de facto government to go into the occupied zone, but refused to allow him to go into the forbidden zone.
In order that the Tribunal may realize the situation of these five zones which I have just mentioned, I have attached to the document book a map of France indicating these separations. This map of France was numbered RF-1054, but I think it is not necessary for me to produce it as a document properly speaking. It is intended to enable the Tribunal to follow this extreme partitioning by looking,
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first at the annexed departments, and then at Nord and the Pas-de-Calais, the boundaries of these departments being indicated on the map, then at the forbidden unoccupied zone, which is indicated by a first line; and, finally, the line of demarcation with the unoccupied zone. This is, by the way, a reproduction of the map which was published and sold in Paris during the occupation by Publishers Girard and Barere.
To conclude this question of the division I should like to remind the Tribunal that on 11 November 1942 the German Army forces invaded the so-called unoccupied zone. The German authorities declared at that time that they did not intend to establish a military occupation of this zone, and that there would simply be what was called a zone of operations.
The German authorities did not respect this juridical conception that they had thought out any more 'than they had respected the rules of the law of the occupation; and the proof of this violation of law in the so-called operational zone has already been brought in a number of circumstances and will be brought again later in the final parts of this presentation.
Apart from this division, the inconveniences of which can well be imagined for a country which is not very extensive and whose life is highly centralized, I shall mention the second seizure of sovereignty, which consisted in the control by the Germans of the legislative acts of the French de facto government.
Naturally, the German military administration, in conformity with its doctrine, constantly exercised by its own decrees, a real legislative power in regard to the French. On the other hand-and it is this fact which I am dealing with now-in respect to the French power the sovereignty of which the Germans pretended still to recognize, they exercised a veritable legislative censorship. I shall produce several documents by way of example and proof of this fact.
The first, which I submit as Document Number RF-1055, is a letter from the Commander-in-Chief of the Military Forces in France to the French Delegate General; the letter is dated 29 December 1941. We see that the signature on this letter is that of Dr. Best, of whom I spoke this morning in connection with Denmark, where he went subsequently and where he was given both diplomatic and police functions. I think it is not necessary for me to read the text of this letter. I shall read simply the heading: "Subject: Bill Concerning the French Budget of 1942, and the New French Finance Law."
The German authorities considered that they had the power to take part in the drawing up of the French de facto government's budget, although this bore no relation to the necessities of their military occupation. Not only did the Germans check the contents of the laws prepared by the de facto government, but they made
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peremptory suggestions. I shall not quote any document on this point at the moment, as I shall. be producing two: One in connection with propaganda and the other in connection with the regime imposed upon the Jews.
The third seizure of sovereignty which the Germans exercised consisted in their intervention in the appointment and assignment of officials. According to the method which I have already followed, I submit, on this question, documents by way of example. First I submit a document which will. be Document Number RF-1056, a letter of 23 September 1941, from the Commander-in-Chief Von Stulpnagel to De Brinon. This letter puts forth various considerations, which it is not necessary to read, on the sabotage of harvests and the difficulties of food supplies. I read the last paragraph of Document RF-1056.
"I must, therefore, peremptorily demand a speedy and unified direction of the measures necessary for assuring the food supplies for the population. A possibility of achieving this aim I can see only by uniting both ministries in the hands of one single and energetic expert."
It was, therefore, a case of interference on the very plane of the composition of a ministry, of an authority supposedly governmental. As regards the control of appointments, I produce Document Number RF-1057, which is a letter from the Military Command of 29 November 1941. 1 shall simply summarize this document by indicating that the German authorities objected to the appointment of the President of the Liaison Committee for the Manufacture of Beet Sugar. You see, therefore, how little this has to do with military necessities.
I next produce Document Number RF-1058, which is likewise a letter from the Military Command. It is brief and I shall read it by way of example:
"I beg you to take the necessary measures in order that the Subprefect of St. Quentin, M. Planacassagne, be relieved of his functions and replaced as soon as possible by a competent official. M. Planacassagne is not capable of carrying out his duties."
I shall now quote a text of a more general scope. I produce Document Number RF-1059, which is a secret circular of 10 May 1942, addressed by the Military Command Administrative Staff to all. the chief town majors. Here again we find the signature of Dr. Best.
"Control of French policy as regards personnel in the occupied territories.
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"The remodelling of the French Government presents certain possibilities for exercising a positive influence on French police in the occupied territories as regards personnel. I, therefore, ask you to designate those French officials, who, from the German point of view, appear particularly usable and whose names could be submitted to the French Government when the question of appointing holders for important posts arises."
Thus we see in the process of formation this general network of German control and German usurpation. I now produce Document Number RF-1060. This document is an interrogation of Otto Abetz, who had the function of German ambassador in France. This interrogation took place on 17 November 1945 before the Commissioners Berge and Saulas at the General Information Bureau in Paris. This document confirms German interferences in French administration and likewise gives details about the duplications of these controls by the military commander and the Gestapo. I quote:
"The Military Commander in France, basing himself on the various conventions of international law"-this is Otto Abetz who is speaking and it is not necessary to say that we in no way accept his conception of international law-"considered himself responsible and supreme judge for the maintenance of order and public security in the occupied zone. This being so, he claimed the right to give his approval for the appointment or the retaining of all French officials nominated to occupy posts in the occupied zone. As regards officials residing in the free zone who were obliged by reason of their functions to exercise them subsequently in the occupied zone, the Military Commander also stressed the necessity for his approval of their nomination. In practice the Military Commander made use of the right thus claimed only when the officials were nominated and solely in the sense of a right to veto, that is to say, he did not intervene in the choice of officials to be nominated and contented himself with making observations on certain names proposed. These observations were based on information which the Military Commander received from his regional and local commanders, from his various administrative and economic departments in Paris, and from the police and the Gestapo, which at that time were still under the authority of the Military Commander.
"From 11 November 1942 on, this state of things changed because of the occupation of the free zone. The German military authorities settled in this zone demanded that they should give their opinion in regard to the nomination of
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officials in all cases where the security of the German Army might be affected. The Gestapo for its part acquired in the two zones a de facto independence with regard to the regional and local military chiefs and with regard to the Military Commander. It claimed the right to intervene in connection with any appointment which might affect the carrying out of their police tasks.
"Having been recalled to Germany from November 1942 to December 1943, 1 did not myself witness the conflicts which resulted from this state of things and which could not fail to compromise in the highest degree the so-called sovereignty of the Vichy Government. When I returned to France the situation was considerably worse because the Gestapo claimed, in the occupied as well as in the unoccupied zone, the right to make the nomination of prefects subject to its consent. It even went so far as to propose itself the officials to be nominated by the French Government. Seconded by me, the Military Commander took up again the struggle against these abusive demands and succeeded in part in restoring the situation to what it was before November 1942 .....
The document which I have just read constitutes a transition to the fourth consideration which I should like to submit to the Tribunal. In putting this consideration I should like to stress the juxtaposition and the collaboration of the various agents of usurpation, that is to say, the military command, the embassy, and the police. As regards the latter I shall deal at greater length with its role in the last part of my brief.
With regard to the setting up of the German Embassy in France, I produce before the Tribunal Exhibit Number RF-1061. This document was in my file as a judicial translation of a judicial document in the file concerning Otto Abetz in Paris. On the other hand, it is also contained in the American documentation and bears the Document Number 3614-PS. It has not, however, as yet been submitted to the Tribunal. It deals with the official appointment of Otto Abetz as ambassador. I should like to read this Document RF-1061.
"Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 August 1940.
"In answer to a question of the General Quartermaster, addressed to the High Command of the Armed Forces and transmitted by the latter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Fuehrer had appointed Abetz, up to now minister, as ambassador and upon my report has decreed the following:
"I. Ambassador Abetz has the following functions in France:
"1. To advise the military agencies on political matters.
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"2. To maintain permanent contact with the Vichy Government and its representatives in the occupied zone.
"3. To influence the important political personalities in the occupied zone and in the unoccupied zone in a way favorable to our intentions.
"4. To guide from the political point of view the press, the radio, and the propaganda in the occupied zone and to influence the responsive elements engaged in the molding of public opinion in the unoccupied zone.
"5. To take care of the German, French, and Belgian citizens returning from internment camps.
"6. To advise the secret military police and the Gestapo on the seizure of politically important documents.
"7. To seize and secure all public art treasures and private art treasures, and particularly art treasures belonging to Jews, on the basis of special instructions relating thereto.
"II. The Fuehrer has expressly ordered that only Ambassador Abetz shall. be responsible for all political questions in Occupied and Unoccupied France. Insofar as military interests are involved by his duties, Ambassador Abetz shall act only in agreement with the Military Command in France.
"III. Ambassador Abetz will be attached to the Military Commander in France as his delegate. His domicile shall continue to be in Paris as hitherto. He will receive from me instructions for the accomplishment of his tasks and will be responsible solely to me. I shall, greatly appreciate it if the High Command of the Armed Forces (the OKW) win give the necessary orders to the military agencies concerned as quickly as possible.
This document shows the close collaboration that existed between the military administration and the administration of foreign affairs, a collaboration which, as I have already said on several occasions, is one of the determining elements for establishing responsibility in this Trial, a collaboration of which I shall later on give examples of a criminal character.
I now wish to mention to the Tribunal that I eliminate the production of the next document which was numbered RF-1062. Although I am personally certain of the value of this document which comes from a French judicial file, I have not the original German text. This being so, the translation might create difficulties, and it is naturally essential that each document produced should present incontestable guarantees. I shall therefore pass directly to the last document, which I wish to put in and which I submit as Document
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Number RF-1063. This is a detail, if I may call it such, concerning this problem of the collaboration of the German administrations, but sometimes formal documents concerning details may present some interest. It is a note taken from the German archives in Paris, a note dated 5 November 1943, which gives the distribution of the numbering of the files in the German Embassy. I shall read simply the first three lines of this note: "In accordance with the method adopted by the military administration in France, the files are divided into 10 chief groups." There follows the enumeration of these methods and groups used for the classification of the files. I wish simply to point out that under their system of close collaboration the German Embassy, a civil service department of the foreign office, and the Military Command had adopted filing systems wider which all records and all files could be kept in the same way.
I have now concluded my second section which was devoted to the general examination of this seizure of sovereignty in the occupied territories, and I should like to point out that these files have been established with the collaboration of my assistant, M. Monneray, a collaboration which also included the whole brief which I present to the Tribunal.
I shall now ask the Tribunal to take the files relative to Section 3, devoted to the ideological Germanization, and to propaganda.
When I had occasion to speak to the Tribunal about forced labor and economic pillage I said that the Germans had taken all available manpower, goods, and raw materials from the occupied countries. They drained these countries of their reserves. The Germans acted in exactly the same manner with regard to the intellectual and moral resources. They wished to seize and eliminate the spiritual reserves. This expression "spiritual reserves," which is extremely significant, was not invented by the Prosecution. I have borrowed it from the Germans themselves. I have quoted to the Tribunal another extract from a work which was submitted as a document under Number RF-5 of the French documentation. This was a book published in Berlin by the Nazi Party. The author -was Dr. Friedrich Didier. This work has a preface by the Defendant Sauckel and is entitled Working For Europe. The quotation which I should like to make appears in the document book under 1100, which is simply the order of sequence, as the book itself has already been presented and submitted. The book includes a chapter entitled "Ideological Guidance and Social Assistance." The author is concerned with the ideological guidance of the foreign workers who were taken away by millions to the Reich by force. This preoccupation with the ideological guidance of such an important element of the population of the occupied countries is already
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remarkable in itself; but it is, on the other hand, quite evident that this preoccupation is general with regard to all the inhabitants of the occupied countries, and the author in this case has simply confined himself to his subject. I have chosen this quotation to begin my section because its wording seemed to me to be particularly felicitous to enable us to get an idea of the German plans in regard to propaganda.
Page 69 of the book that has been put in evidence reads:
"The problem of ideological guidance of the foreign worker is not as simple as in the case of the German fellow worker, In employing foreigners far more importance must be paid to the removal of psychological reservations. The foreigner must get accustomed to unfamiliar surroundings. His ideological scruples must be dispersed, if he has any. The mental attitude of the nationals of former enemy states must be just as effectively refuted as the consequences of foreign ideologies."
In the occupied countries the Germans undertook to eliminate the mental reserves and to expurgate the ideology of each man in order to substitute for them the Nazi conception. Such was the object of the propaganda. This propaganda had already been introduced in Germany and it was carried on there unceasingly. We have seen from the article just quoted that there was also a preoccupation with the ideological guidance of the German worker, although the problem was considered there to be more simple. When we speak today of Nazi propaganda we are often tempted to underestimate the importance of this propaganda. There are grounds for underestimating it, but they, are false grounds. On the one hand, when we consider the works and the themes of propaganda, we are often struck by their crudeness, their obviously mendacious character, their intellectual or artistic poverty. But we must not forget that the Nazi propaganda utilized all means, the most crude as well as the more subtle and often skillful methods. From another point of view the crudest affirmations are those that carry most weight with some simple minds.
Finally, we must not forget that if the Germans had won the war, these writings, these films, which we find ridiculous, would have constituted in the future our principal and soon our sole spiritual food.
Another remark that is often heard is that German propaganda achieved only very poor results. Indeed, these results are quite insignificant, especially if one takes into account the means which this propaganda had at its disposal. The enslaved peoples did not listen to the news and to the exhortations of the Germans. They threw themselves into the resistance. But here again we must consider
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that the war continued, that the broadcasts from the countries which had remained free gave out magnificent counter propaganda, and that finally the Germans after a time suffered military reverses.
If events had been different perhaps this propaganda would, in the long run, have brought about an acquiescence on the part of the more important elements of the populations which would have been worse than the oppression itself. It is fortunate that only a very small minority in the different countries were corrupted by the Nazi propaganda, but however small this minority may have been, it is for us a cause for sadness and of just complaint.
The slogans of Nazi propaganda appear to us less childish and less ridiculous when we consider the few wretches who, influenced by it, enrolled in a legion or in the Waffen SS to fight against their countries and against humanity. By their death in this dishonorable combat or after their condemnation some of these men have expiated their crimes. But Nazi propaganda is responsible for the death of each one of them and for each one of these crimes.
Finally, we are not sure that we know today exactly the real effect of Nazi propaganda. We are not sure that we are able to measure all the harm which it has done to us. The nations count their visible wounds, but propaganda is a poison which dissolves in the mental organism and leaves traces that cannot be discerned. There are still men in the world who, because of the pro
paganda to which they have been subjected, believe, perhaps obscurely, that they have the right to despise or to eliminate another man because he is a Jew or because he is a Communist. The men who believe this still remain accomplices and, at the same time, are victims of Nazism.
One of my colleagues has shown that while the physical health of the occupied peoples was severely undermined, their moral health appears more robust; but it must still be anxiously watched for a certain time in the future.
For these reasons, the French Prosecution has considered that there was room in this accusation for the section on spiritual Germanization and propaganda. This propaganda is a criminal enterprise in itself. It is an onslaught against the spiritual condition, according to the definition of M. de Menthon, but it is also a means and an aggravating circumstance of the whole of the criminal methods of the Nazis, since it prepared their success and since it was to maintain their success. It was considered by the Germans themselves , as numerous quotations show, as one of the most reliable weapons of total war. It is more particularly a means and an aspect of the Germanization which we are studying at this moment. I should add that German propaganda has been constantly
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developed for many years and over considerable areas. It assumed very diverse forms. We have therefore only to define some of its principal features and to quote merely a few characteristic documents, chiefly from the point of view of the responsibility of certain persons or of certain organizations.
Over a long period of time the Reich had developed official propaganda services in a ministerial department created as early as 1933 under the name of Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, with Goebbels at the head and the Defendant Fritzsche performing important functions. But this ministry and its department were not the only ones responsible for questions of propaganda. We shall show that the responsibility of the Minister and of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is equally involved. We shall likewise show that the Party took an active part in propaganda.
Finally, I mention here that in the occupied countries the military commands constituted organs of propaganda and were very active. This fact must be added to all those which show that the German military command exercised powers wholly different from what are normally considered to be military powers. By this abnormal extension of their activities, apart from the crimes committed within the framework of their direct competence, the military chiefs and the High Command have furnished justification for the allegation of joint responsibility.
The German propaganda always presents two complementary aspects, a negative aspect and a positive aspect: A negative or, in a sense, a destructive aspect, that of forbidding or of limiting certain liberties, certain intellectual possibilities which existed before; a positive aspect, that of creating documents or instruments of propaganda, of spreading this propaganda, of imposing it on the eyes, on the ears, and on the mind. An authority has already said that there are two different voices: The voice that refuses truth and the voice that tells lies. This duality of restrictive propaganda and of constructive propaganda exists in the different realms of the expression of thought.
I shall mention now, in my first paragraph, the measures taken by the Germans as regards meetings and associations. The German authorities have always taken measures to suppress the right of assembly and association in the occupied countries. We are here concerned both with the question of political rights and of thought. In France, a decree of 21 August 1940, which appeared in the Official Gazette of German Decrees of 16 September 1940, forbade any meeting or association without the authorization of the German military administration.
It must not be thought that the Germans utilized their powers in this matter only in regard to associations and groups which were
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hostile to them, or even those whose object was political. They were anxious to avoid any spreading of an intellectual or moral influence which would not be directly subordinated to them. In this connection I present to the Tribunal, merely by way of example, Document Number RF-1101, which is a letter from the Military Commander dated 13 December 1941, addressed to the General Delegate of the French Government. This deals with the youth groups. Even with regard to associations or groups which should have a general public character, the German authorities gave their authorization only on condition that they would be able to exercise not only their control over these organizations, but a real influence by means of these organizations.
I shall read the first paragraph of this Document Number RF-1101.
"The General Secretariat of Youth has informed us by letter of 11 November 1941 of its intention to establish so-called social youth centers whose aim shall be to give to youth a civic education and to safeguard it from the moral degeneracy which threatens it. The creation of these social youth centers, as well the establishment of youth camps, must be sanctioned by the Commander-in-Chief of the Military Forces in France. Before being able to make a final decision as to the creation of these social centers, it appears indispensable that greater -details should be furnished, particularly about the persons responsible for these centers in the various communes, the points of view which win prevail when selecting the leaders of these centers, the principal categories of youth to be recruited and detailed plans for the intended instruction and education of these young people."
I shall now produce Document Number RF-1102. This document is a note, dealing with ...
THE PRESIDENT: [Interposing] M. Faure, could you tell us how long you think you will be on this subject of propaganda?
M. FAURE: I expect to speak for about two hours, or two and a half hours.
THE PRESIDENT: What is the program after you have done with this subject of propaganda?
M. FAURE: Mr. President, as I indicated at the beginning of my presentation, it includes four sections. The propaganda section, about which I am speaking now, constitutes Section 3. The fourth section is devoted to the administrative organization of the criminal action. It corresponds, more exactly, to the second heading under Count Four of the Indictment relative to the persecution of the Jews in the occupied countries of the West. After this section I shall have completed my presentation. Does the Tribunal likewise
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wish me to indicate what will follow in the program of the French Prosecution?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we would like to know.
M. FAURE: M. Mounier will deal with the analytical brief and the recapitulation of the individual accusations of the Prosecution. Then I think M. Gerthoffer is to speak rather briefly about the pillage of art treasures which has not been dealt with; it appears now that it would be suitable to deal with it within the framework of the presentation.
THE PRESIDENT: Then we will adjourn now.
M. FAURE: Mr. President, I should like to ask the Tribunal if it is convenient for it to see tomorrow, in the course of my propaganda section, a few projections on the screen of documents which relate to this chapter.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think so. Certainly.
HERR BABEL: Regarding the questions which I asked the witness, there is something I did not understand. I did not want, in any case, to speak about the resistance or about its methods which were animated by patriotism. I did not want to judge, or even think anything derogatory about it. I wanted only to prove that deeds which are said to have been committed by the German troops were in many cases caused by the attitude of the civilian population and that actions against Germans which were contrary to international law have not been judged in the same way as lapses laid to the charge of members of the German Wehrmacht. I am of the opinion that the Indictment of the organizations...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Babel, will you forgive me for a moment. You concluded your cross-examination some time ago, and the Tribunal doesn't desire
HERR BABEL: Yes, Mr. President, but I thought that by this statement I could clarify it for the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: We -don't need any clarification at all. We quite understand the point of your cross-examination and we shall hear you when the time comes, very fully in all probability, in support of the arguments which you desire to present.
HERR BABEL: I did so because I thought that you ...
THE PRESIDENT: You must give the Tribunal credit for understanding your cross-examination. We really cannot continue to have interruptions of this sort. We have some twenty defendants and some twenty counsels, and if they are all going to get up in the way that you do and make protests, we shall never get to the end of this Trial.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 5 February 1946 at 1000 hours.]
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