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GENERAL R. A. RUDENKO (Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Mr. President, with the permission of the Tribunal, evidence on the count "Despoliation and Plunder of Private, Public, and National Property" will be presented by the State Counsellor of Justice, Second Class, L. R. Shenin.
STATE COUNSELLOR OF JUSTICE OF THE SECOND CLASS L. R. SHENIN (Assistant Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): May it please Your Honors, my task consists in presenting to the Tribunal evidence of the criminal and predatory motives of Hitlerite aggression and of the monstrous plundering of the peoples of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, and the U.S.S.R.
My colleagues have already proved that the attack on the U.S.S.R., as well as on other European countries, was planned and prepared beforehand by the criminal Hitlerite Government.
I shall submit to the Tribunal a number of the conspirators' original documents, statements, and speeches, which in the aggregate will prove that the despoliation and plunder of private, public, and national property in the occupied territories was also premeditated, planned, and prepared on a large scale, and that thus, simultaneously with the development of their purely military and strategic plans of attack, the Hitlerites with the cold-blooded deliberateness of professional robbers and murderers also developed and prepared beforehand the plan of organized plunder and marauding, after having minutely and accurately calculated their future profits, their criminal gains, their robbers' spoils.
The official report of the Czechoslovak Government on the crimes committed by the Hitlerites on the territory of Czechoslovakia, the first victim of German aggression, has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-60 (Document Number USSR-60).
In the third section of this report there is a short extract from an article by Ley, published on 30 January 1940 in the Angriff. I quote:
"It is our destiny to belong to a superior race. A lower race needs less room, less clothing, less food, and less culture than a superior race."
This promise, this program of action, found its concrete expression in the fact that the Hitlerite conspirators subjected all territories occupied by them to unrestrained plunder, highly varied in form and method and entirely shameless in its devastating results. The report of the Czechoslovak Government contains a large number of examples corroborating the corresponding counts of the Indictment.
I shall read this section into the record starting with the first paragraph on Page 72 of the Russian translation. I read:
"The German plan of campaign against Czechoslovakia was aimed not only against the republic as a political and military unit, but also against the very existence of the Czechoslovak people, who were to be robbed not only of all political rights and cultural life, but of their wealth and their financial and industrial resources."(1) Immediate Plunder.
The following characteristic fact is mentioned in the report, namely, the way in which Hitler became acquainted with Czechoslovakia, which he had just seized. I shall read into the record Subparagraph B of this section, entitled, "After the Invasion of 15 March 1939." The Tribunal will find this excerpt on Pages 3 and 4 of the document book. I quote:
"Hitler entered Prague at nightfall on 15 March 1939, and spent the night there in the famous Hradschin castle. He left on the following day, taking with him a number of valuable tapestries. We mention this robbery not because of the value of the stolen objects, but as an example set by the head of the Party and of the German State on the very first day of invasion.
"The German troops who invaded Prague brought with them a staff of German economic experts, that is, experts in economic looting.
"Everything that could be of some value to Germany was seized, especially large stocks of raw materials, such as copper, tin, iron, cotton, wool, great stocks of food, et cetera.
"Rolling stock, carriages, engines, and so on were removed to the Reich. All the rails in the Protectorate which were in good condition were lifted and sent to Germany; later they were replaced by old rails brought from Germany. New cars fresh from the factory which were on order for the Prague municipal tramways and had just been completed were deflected from their purpose and sent to the Reich.
"The vessels belonging to the Czechoslovak Danube Steam Navigation Company (the majority of shares belonged to the Czechoslovak State) were divided between the Reich and Hungary.
"Valuable objects of art and furniture disappeared from public buildings, without even an attempt at any legal justification of such robbery; pictures, statues, tapestries were taken to Germany. The Czech National Museum, the Modern Art Gallery, and public and private collections were plundered.
"The German Reich Commissioner of the Czechoslovak National Bank stopped all payments of currency abroad and seized all the gold reserve and foreign currency in the Protectorate. Thus the Germans took 23,000 kilograms of gold of a nominal value of 737,000 million crowns (5,265,000 pounds sterling) and transferred the gold from the Bank of International Settlement to the Reichsbank."
One of the methods of thorough -- I should say total -- plunder was the so-called economic Germanization. I submit to the Tribunal as evidence of these crimes the following extract from the official Czechoslovak report. This extract the Tribunal will find on Pages 4 and 5 of the document book:"(2) Economic Germanization.
"The Czechoslovak Land Reform Act of 1919, insofar as it benefited Czech nationals, was declared invalid; Czech farmers were expelled from their land and compelled to relinquish their cattle, agricultural implements, and furniture.
"On paper the Czechs received compensation; in fact, however, they were burdened with taxes in order to make good the so-called 'deliberate damage' they were alleged to have caused by their flight. These taxes far exceeded the compensation.
"The large agricultural and government estates or the Czechoslovak Republic automatically became Reich property and came under the jurisdiction of the Reich ministries concerned."(bb) After the invasion of 15 March 1939.
"Germanization of private property began, of course, under the slogan 'Aryanization.'
"The Germanization of rural Bohemia and Moravia was entrusted to a special body called 'Deutsche Siedlungsgesellschaft' located in Prague.
"Czech peasants were offered compensation for their food products but at entirely inadequate prices.
"Rural Germanization, apart from Germanization pure and simple, aimed at pauperizing as many well-to-do Czech nationals as possible.
"The Nazis did their utmost to squeeze as much as possible out of Czech agriculture. Here too their aim was twofold: On the one hand to obtain as much foodstuffs as possible, and on the other, to carry the process of Germanization as far as possible.
"Farmers were turned out of their farms to make way for German settlers -- entire agricultural districts were in this way cleared of Czechs. Agricultural co-operative societies in control of production were transformed into auxiliary organizations and were gradually germanized.
"The looting of property and wealth was followed by the pillaging of products of the soil. Heavy fines and frequently even the death penalty were imposed on Czech peasants for intentional failure to comply with orders regarding production, delivery, and rationing.
"B. Expropriation of banks and their funds.
"In Czechoslovakia industrial undertakings' were directly financed by the banks, which often owned or controlled the majority of shares. Having obtained control of the banks, the Nazis thus secured control of industry.
"(a) After Munich.
"After Munich, two important German banks, the Dresdner Bank and the Deutsche Bank took over the branches of Prague banks, situated in the ceded territory. Thus among the enterprises taken over by the Dresdner Bank were 32 branches of the Bohemian Discount Bank and among those taken over by the Deutsche Bank were 25 branches of Bohemian Union Bank.
"The Czechoslovak banks were joint stock companies. Every joint stock company with even one Jewish director was considered to be Jewish. In this manner the non-Jewish property was also taken over.
"(b) After the invasion of 15 March 1939.
"After the invasion several Czechoslovak banks in Bohemia, in consequence of their Aryanization, became the property of the Dresdner Bank. Among other enterprises, this German bank took over the Union Bank of Bohemia. In this way all the financial interests which these banks had in Czech industry, as well as the entire share capital, fell into German hands.
"By means of various 'transactions,' by gaining influence through the branch banks in the Sudetenland over their respective head offices in Prague, by reducing the share capital, which was later increased with German assistance, by appropriating industrial holdings and in this way acquiring influence over the controlling banks which were thus deprived of their industrial interests, et cetera, the two Berlin banks achieved complete control of the banks of the Protectorate. Gestapo terror helped them."
I skip one paragraph of this report and pass on to the next count:
"C. Destruction of National Industry.
"(a) Compulsory organization.
"They appointed a committee for every new association and all the industrial 'groups' appointing at least one Nazi as chairman or vice chairman or just as an ordinary member. However, all the Czech members actually were mere puppets. "
"(b) Armament factories.
"The Dresdner Bank acquired the most important armament factories in Czechoslovakia, that is, the Skoda Works in Pilsen and the Czechoslovak 'Zborjobka' in Brunn. The private share-holders were forced to surrender their shares at prices far below their actual value; the bank paid for these shares with coupons which had been withdrawn from circulation, and confiscated by the Germans in the districts previously ceded in accordance with the Munich agreement.
"(c) The Hermann Goering Werke.
"The seizure by the Germans of the Czechoslovak banks and thus of the industry, through the big Berlin banks, was accomplished with the help of the gigantic Hermann Goering Werke which seized the greatest Czechoslovak industries, one by one, at the smallest financial cost, that is to say, under the pretext of Aryanization, by pressure from the Reich, by financial measures, and finally by threatening Gestapo measures and concentration camps.
"Finally, all the large Czechoslovak enterprises, factories, and armament plants, and the coal and iron industries fell into German hands. The huge chemical industry was seized by the German concern, I. G. Farben Industrie."
I skip the paragraph concerning the same methods adopted in the case of light industry and pass on to the next count of the report, "Financial Spoliation."
"After the occupation of the territory, ceded apparently in accordance with the Munich agreement, the Germans refused to take over part of the Czechoslovak State debt, although they acquired very valuable State property in the districts taken away from Czechoslovakia. Government bonds of low denominations amounting to a total of 1,600 million crowns were in circulation in the occupied territory.
"The Germans reserved the right to use these obligations in Czechoslovakia as legal tender."
Gentlemen, further on in this report we find a detailed account of the Hitlerite campaign of spoliation directed against the financial economy of the Czechoslovak Republic. With a view to saving time I shall refrain from quoting this excerpt and shall merely submit the balance sheet of the Czechoslovak National Bank.
"The balance sheet of the Czech National Bank showed the following figures for 'other assets' in million of crowns: 31 December 1938, 845; 31 December 1939, 3,576; 31 December 1942, 17,366."
I now quote an excerpt from the section entitled, "Taxes":
"When war broke out the Nazis fixed the war contribution of the Protectorate at an annual sum of 2,000 million crowns (14.2 million pounds sterling). The Nazis claimed that they were entitled to this on the grounds that the Czechs did not have to fight, because the Germans fought for them.
"Immediately after the occupation the Germans seized the proceeds of various indirect taxes and diverted them into the Reich Treasury."
Gentlemen, the excerpt which I just read from the report of the Czechoslovak Government gives an adequate picture of the manner in which, after having seized Czechoslovakia, the Hitlerites subjected it to wanton plunder in every field of its economic life -- agriculture, industry, and finance.
Having seized the entire economic resources of the Czechoslovak Republic, the Hitlerite Government forced this economy to serve their criminal interests, extracting everything possible in order to prepare for further aggression against the peoples of Europe and for new military attacks with the monstrous aim of achieving world domination by the German "master race."
I shall now pass to the reading of the fourth section of the official report of the Polish Government dealing with crimes committed by the Hitlerites in occupied Poland. This report has already been presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-93 (Document Number USSR-93) and, according to Article 21 of the Charter, constitutes irrefutable evidence. I quote an excerpt from this report which the Tribunal will find on Page 14 of the document book:
"Expropriation and plunder of public and private property.
"a) On 27 September 1939 the German military authorities issued a decree concerning the sequestration and confiscation of Polish property in the western provinces. 'The property of the Polish State, Polish public institutions, municipalities and unions, individuals, and corporations can be sequestered and confiscated,' stated Paragraph 1 of the said decree.
"b) The right of the military authorities to dispose of Polish property in the incorporated provinces passed to the 'Haupttreuhandstelle 0st' (created by Goering on 1 November 1939) with headquarters in Berlin and branch offices in Poland. It was entrusted with the administration of confiscated property of the Polish State, as well as with the general policy in Poland in accordance with the plan devised by the Reich Government.
"c) By a decree of 15 January 1940, the entire property of the Polish State was placed under 'protection,' which practically meant confiscation of all State property in the incorporated territories. A special decree of 12 February 1940 dealt with agriculture and forestry in the same way.
"d) The confiscation of private property in the western provinces was initiated by a decree of 31 January 1940. Special permission was required for acquisition of property and transfer of ownership rights in all enterprises in the incorporated territory. By another decree of 12 June 1940, Goering authorized the 'Haupttreuhandstelle fist' to seize and administer, not only State property, but also the property of citizens of the 'former Polish State.'
"e) The process of confiscation, however, went further. The property of Polish citizens became liable to seizure and confiscation unless the owner acquired German citizenship in accordance with Hitler's decree of 8 October 1939.
"Other decrees dealt with the repayment of debts, because the sequestrators were authorized to repay debts to privileged creditors only. These were members of the 'Deutsche Volksliste' so far as war debts were concerned, as well as citizens of the Reich or the free city of Danzig, as regards debts incurred after 1 September 1939."
I skip two pages of this report enumerating the companies which were specially created for carrying out of this plunder activity and also for plundering the Polish-Jewish population, which as is already known to the Tribunal, was later exterminated. I pass on to the end of the Polish Government report. The Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 17 of the document book.
Mere quotations from these and other decrees may create a wrong impression as to the means used by the defendants in the case of the Jewish property in Poland. But it should be pointed out that steps concerning Jewish property were only preliminaries to infinitely greater crimes in the future. At the end of this section of the report is justly stated -- I quote:
"Aside from the crimes which have been proved and described here, there are thousands of others which fade into insignificance beside the numberless crimes of mass murder, mass plunder, and mass destruction."
It is impossible to enumerate all the crimes committed in Poland under the direct leadership of the Defendant Frank, who was the head of all the administration in the so-called Government General.
Frank's diaries which were found and became part of the evidence in this case, give a clear and concrete idea of the crimes committed by the Hitlerites in Poland under his direction. In these diaries, Your Honors, are entries which have a direct bearing on the subject of my presentation.
Therefore I should like, with your permission, to quote excerpts from this diary which have not yet been quoted.
I quote from the volume entitled "Conference of Departmental Heads for 1939-1940" (Document Number USSR-223), Pages 11 and 12. In your document book, gentlemen, this excerpt is on Page 21:
"My relationship with the Poles resembles that between an ant and a plant louse. When I treat the Poles helpfully, tickle them in a friendly manner, so to speak, I do it in the expectation that I shall profit by their labor output. This is not a political, but a purely tactical and technical problem. In cases where, in spite of all measures, the output does not increase, or where I have the slightest reason to step in, I would not hesitate to take even the most Draconian action."
From the volume entitled "Diary 1942" I quote:
"Dr. Frank: 'We must remember that notes issued by the Bank of Poland to the value of 540,000,000 zlotys were taken over in Occupied Eastern Territory by the Governor General without any compensation being made by the Reich. This represents a contribution of more than 500 million exacted from the Government General by Germany, in addition to other payments.' "
From the same volume, Page 1277 -- this concerns the Governor's conference which took place on 7 December 1942, in Krakow -- measures for increasing production for the years 1942-43 were discussed. A certain Dr. Fischer stated:
"If the new food scheme is carried out, it would mean that in Warsaw and its suburbs alone 500,000 people would be deprived of food."
From the same volume on Page 1331, Frank speaks:
"I shall endeavor to squeeze out from the reserves of this province everything that it is still possible to squeeze out.... If you recall that I was able to send to Germany 600,000 tons of grain and that an additional 180,000 tons were reserved for local troops, as well as many thousands of tons of seed, fats, vegetables, besides the export to Germany of 300 million eggs, et cetera, you will understand how important work in this region is for Germany."
This same Frank on Page 1332 states the following -- the Tribunal will find this quotation on Page 27 of the document book:
"These consignments to the Reich had, however, one definite drawback to them, since the quantities we were responsible for delivering exceeded the actual food supplies required by the region. We now have to face the following problem. Can we, as from February, cut 2 million non-German inhabitants of the region out of the general rationing scheme?"
In the volume entitled "Workers Conferences for 1943," we find an excerpt concerning the conference of 14 April 1943, which took place in Krakow. On Page 28 of the document book, the Tribunal will find the excerpt which I wish to read into the record.
"President Naumann is speaking, and he quotes the figures estimated for 1943-44:
"One thousand five hundred tons of sweets for the Germans, 36 million liters of skimmed fresh milk; 15,100,000 liters of full cream milk for the Germans."
On Page 24 the same person continues -- this total account is on Page 28 of the document book:
"Last year, more than 20 percent of the total amount of live stock in the Government General was requisitioned. Cattle which were really required for the production of milk and butter were slaughtered last year so that the Reich and the armed forces could be supplied and the meat ration maintained to a certain extent. If we want 120,000 tons of meat, we must sacrifice 40 percent of the remaining live stock."
"In answer to a question by the Governor General, President Naumann replied that 383,000 tons of grain were requisitioned in 1940, 685,000 tons in 1941, and 1.2 million tons in 1942. It appears from these figures that requisitions have increased from year to year and have steadily approached the limits of possibility. Now they are preparing to increase the requisitions by another 200,000 tons which will bring them to the extreme bounds of possibility. The Polish peasant cannot be allowed to starve beyond the point where he will still be able to cultivate his fields and carry out any further tasks imposed upon him, such as carting wood for the forestry authorities."
However, the quotation which I have read from Naumann's reply in no way influenced the policy of the merciless plundering of the Polish people, whose fate, to use Frank's own words, interested him from one angle only.
In the volume entitled "Diary, From 1 January to 28 February 1944" there is the following statement by Frank made at the conference of the leaders of German agriculture on 12 January 1944. The Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 30 of the document book.
"Once we have won the war, the Poles, Ukrainians, and all other people living around can be made into mincemeat, or anything else, as far as I am concerned."
I believe, Your Honors, that after this quotation there is no need for me, as a representative of the Soviet Prosecution, to add anything more to that section of my statement which deals with the crimes committed by the Hitlerite criminals on the territory of the Polish State. Indeed, any one of the sentences quoted is more than sufficient to give us an exact picture of the regime in Poland created by Frank, and of Frank, himself, who created this regime.
Turning now to the plunder and pillage of private and public property by the Hitlerites in Yugoslavia, I must, Your Honors, read the appropriate extracts of the official report of the Yugoslav Government, submitted to the International Military Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit USSR-36 (Document Number USSR-36). This report, in accordance with Article 21 of the Charter, is submitted as irrefutable evidence.
Count 6 of this report, entitled "Plunder of Public and Private Property," reads as follows -- this count is on Page 32 of the document book:
"6. Plunder of public and private property.
"Along with the exploitation of manpower the plundering of public and private property was systematically carried out in Yugoslavia. This plunder was carried out in various ways and within the scope of the different measures taken. In this way, too, Germany succeeded in completely exhausting the economic and financial forces in occupied Yugoslavia and in destroying her almost completely from the economic point of view.
"We shall cite here only a few examples of this systematic plunder:
"A. Currency and credit measures.
"Just as in other occupied countries, the Germans, immediately after their entry into Yugoslavia, carried out a series of currency measures which enabled them to take out of Yugoslavia in great quantities goods and other valuables at an insignificant price. As early as 14 April 1941"-- that is to say, even before the occupation of Yugoslavia was actually completed --"the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, 'on the basis of the authority received from the Fuehrer and Supreme Commander of the German Armed Forces,' issued the 'Proclamation Concerning Occupied Yugoslav Territory.'
"Article 9 of this proclamation fixes an obligatory rate of exchange of 20 Yugoslav diners for 1 German mark. Thus the value of the diner in relation to the Reichsmark was artificially and by force lowered. The real rate of exchange before the war was much more favorable to the Yugoslav currency. "This proves clearly the violation of the appropriate regulations of the Hague Convention, as well as the existence of a plan prepared in advance for the depreciation of Yugoslav currency."
I submit to the Tribunal a certified photographic copy of the aforementioned proclamation as Exhibit Number USSR-140 (Document Number USSR-140).
"The second predatory measure in the field of currency policy was the introduction of German bonds (Reichskreditkassenschein) as an obligatory means of payment in the occupied territory of Yugoslavia. This measure was also mentioned in Paragraph IX of the proclamation submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-140. These so-called occupation marks, which were without any economic foundation and without any value whatsoever in Germany itself, were printed in Yugoslavia in accordance with the needs of the German forces of occupation and authorities and in this way served as a means for enabling them to make purchases at a very low price.
"On 30 June 1942" -- that is to say, more than a year later -- "these Reich bonds were withdrawn. This took place after the Germans had already bought up almost everything that could be purchased in Yugoslavia, and the Yugoslav State Bank had been liquidated and all its properties plundered. In its stead the Germans created the so-called Serbian National Bank.
"However, so that the Germans would suffer no loss through this measure, the Serbian National Bank was forced to exchange the so-called occupation marks for new diners. The marks thus exchanged were simply withdrawn from the Serbian National Bank by the Germans against receipt. In this way one of the most shameless plunders was carried out, which cost Yugoslavia many thousands of millions of diners."
I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-194 (Document Number USSR-194), "the German decree of 30 June 1942 concerning the withdrawal of notes issued by the Reichskreditkasse and also a certified copy of the decree concerning the Serbian National Bank, of 29 May 1941," as Exhibit Number USSR-135 (Document Number USSR-135).
"It can be seen from these documents that the German occupation authorities carried out by force the illegal liquidation of the Yugoslav State Bank, under the pretext that Yugoslavia no longer existed, and that they took advantage of this liquidation in order to plunder the country on an enormous scale.
"The Germans established the so-called Serbian National Bank exclusively for the purpose of creating an instrument for their predatory economic and currency policy in Serbia. The bank was administered by officials whom they themselves appointed.
"The measures taken with regard to Yugoslav metal coins are also very characteristic. The Yugoslav coinage, which contained a certain percent of silver and brass, was withdrawn, and replaced by coins of very poor metal alloy. Naturally, the Germans carried to Germany a large quantity of the most valuable Yugoslav coins.
"B. Requisitions and fines."
The Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 40 of the document book:
"Reich Minister Speer, head of the Armament and War Production Ministry, declared that fixed prices were the Magna Carta of the Armament Program."
The Defendant Goering, on 26 March 1943, issued a decree demanding a further decrease in the prices of all goods imported from the occupied countries.
"This lowering of prices was attained by means of currency measures as well as by means of requisitioning, confiscation, fines, and in particular, through a special price policy.
"By means of requisitioning, a policy of fixed low prices, and compulsory sales, the Government of the Reich was enabled to plunder thoroughly the Yugoslav people. This went so far that even the quisling institutions collaborating with the Germans frequently had to declare that the quotas of goods demanded by the Germans could not be filled.
"Thus, a report made by the district chief, for the Moravski District" -- quisling administration of Milan Nedic -- "on 12 February 1942, stated:
"1. If they are deprived of so many cattle, the peasants will not be able to cultivate their fields. On the one hand, they are ordered to cultivate every inch of ground, on the other hand, their cattle are ruthlessly confiscated.
"2. The cattle are purchased at such a low price that the peasants feel that they are hardly compensated at all for the loss of their cattle.
"Similar examples from other regions or districts of Yugoslavia are very numerous.
"In order to plunder the country, the Germans often reverted to the systematic imposition of money fines. For instance the cash fines imposed by the 'Feldkommandantur' in Belgrade during 1943 alone amounted to 48,818,068 diners. In Nish, during the first 3 1/2 months of 1943, the cash fines amounted to 5,065,000 diners.
"Finally, we should like to give here a few details regarding the clearing accounts through which the export of Yugoslav goods to Germany was carried out. As early as 1 March 1943 the clearing balance in favor of Serbia amounted to 219 million Reichsmark, or 4,380 million diners. By the end of the occupation Germany owed Serbia 10,000 million diners.
"The situation was the same in all the other provinces of Yugoslavia, and only the methods of plundering varied according to local conditions.
"Confiscations were one of the most widespread and effective means of plundering Yugoslavia.
"Before the occupation of Yugoslavia was completed in 1941, a decree on confiscation was issued by the Germans in the combat zone. Pursuant to this decree the Germans confiscated enormous quantities of agricultural products, raw materials, semi-manufactured, and other goods."
I submit to the Tribunal a certified copy of the above-mentioned decree as Exhibit Number USSR-206 (Document Number USSR-206).
"Immediately after the occupation of the country, the German occupation authorities introduced by means of numerous decrees, the system of confiscation of private and public property."
In order to save time I skip a part of this section of the document which quotes concrete examples of the confiscation of property belonging to the Yugoslav population, and I pass on to the next count, which is entitled, "Other Methods of Plunder." The members of the Tribunal will find this section on Page 52:
"Together with the aforesaid methods of plunder, which were carried out on the basis of various decrees, laws, and regulations, more primitive methods of looting were practiced throughout the Yugoslav territory. They were not sporadic incidents but constituted a part of the German system for enslavement and exploitation.
"The Germans plundered everything from industrial and economic undertakings, down to cattle, food, and even simplest objects for personal use."
I shall cite a few examples:
"1. Immediately after their entry into Yugoslavia, the Germans looted all the bigger firms and storehouses. They generally engaged in this form of looting at night, after the so-called curfew hours.
"2. The order of Major General Kuebler" -- which has already been submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution as Document Number USSR-132 -- "contains the following passage:
" 'Troops must treat these members of the population who maintain an unfriendly attitude toward the occupation forces in a brutal and ruthless manner, depriving the enemy of every means of existence by the destruction of localities which have been abandoned and by seizing all available stocks.' "
"On the basis of this and similar orders, the Germans ceaselessly looted the country under the pretext of so-called 'control of existing stocks,' using the opportunities afforded by the 'destruction of localities which had been abandoned.'
"3. Punitive expeditions, which became an everyday event during the occupation, were, naturally, always accompanied by the looting of the victims' property. In the same way they robbed their prisoners and the bodies of those who had fallen fighting in the Free National Army, as well as all the internees in the concentration camps.
"4. Not even churches were spared. Thus, for example, the German unit 'Konrad-Einheit,' which operated in the vicinity of Sibenik, looted the Church of St. John in Zablad."
There are numerous examples of the same kind.
"During the 4 years the whole of Yugoslavia was systematically looted. This was carried out either through numerous so-called 'legal measures,' or through mass looting on the part of the Germans. The Nazi occupation forces showed great inventive ability and applied to Yugoslavia the experience which they had gained in other occupied countries.
"These criminal measures damaged the Yugoslav State and its citizens to such an extent that one can consider it simply as economic destruction of the country."
From this Your Honors may see that the plunder of public and private property in Yugoslavia was conducted by the Hitlerites according to a preconceived plan, that it affected every class and every branch of the country's economy, and caused enormous material loss to the Yugoslav State and to its citizens.
THE PRESIDENT (Lord Justice Sir Geoffrey Lawrence): I believe this would be a convenient time to recess.
[A recess was taken.]
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: After the invasion of Greece, the Hitlerite conspirators pursued their policy of merciless despoliation of the occupied countries and immediately began to plunder her national property. The official report of the Greek Government on the crimes committed by the Hitlerites has already been submitted to the Tribunal.
The appropriate section of this report entitled, "Exploitation," gives the concrete facts of the plunder of public and private property in Greece. I quote the following excerpts from the part, "Exploitation," from this report of the Greek Government, which will be found on Page 59 of the document book:
"Owing to her geographical position, Greece was used by the Germans as a base of operations for the war in North Africa. They also used Greece as a rest center for thousands of their troops from the North African and Eastern fronts, thus concentrating in Greece much larger forces than were actually necessary for purpose of occupation.
"A large part of the local supplies of fruit, vegetables, potatoes, olive oil, meat, and dairy products were confiscated to supply these forces. As current production was not sufficient for these needs, they resorted to the requisitioning of livestock on a large scale, with the result that the country's livestock became seriously depleted."
In addition to requisitioning supplies for their armies, the Hitlerite conspirators exacted enormous sums of money from Greece to cover the so-called cost of occupation. In the report of the Greek Government the following remark is made on the subject -- this is on Page 60 of the document book -- I read:
"Between August 1941 and December 1941 the sum of 26,206,085,000 drachmas was paid to the Germans, representing a sum of 60 percent more than the estimated national income during the same period. In fact, according to the estimates of two Axis experts, Dr. Barberin, from Germany, and Dr. Bartoni, an Italian, the national income for that year amounted to only 23,000 million drachmas. In the following year, as the national income decreased, this money was taken from national funds."
Another method of plundering Greece which the Hitlerites applied on a vast scale was the so-called requisitions and confiscations. In order to save time, I shall, with the permission of the Tribunal, merely read into the record a brief excerpt from the Greek report dealing with this question. I quote:
"One of the enemy's first measures on occupying Greece was to seize all the existing stocks in the country by requisition or open confiscation. Among other goods, they requisitioned from the wholesale and retail trade 71,000 tons of currants and 10,000 tons of olive oil; they confiscated 1,435 tons of coffee, 1,143 tons of sugar, 2,520 tons of rice, and a whole shipload of wheat valued at 530,000 dollars."
As the country was divided among three occupying powers, the Hitlerites blockaded that part of Greece which was occupied by their own troops and forbade the export of food supplies from that zone. The Hitlerites began to confiscate all existing stocks of food and other goods, a measure which reduced the population to a state of extreme misery and starvation. This plundering had such catastrophic consequences for the Greek nation that, finally, even the Germans themselves were forced to realize that they had gone too far. The practical result of this was that towards the end of 1942 the German authorities promised the International Commission of the Red Cross that they would return to the population all the local products confiscated and exported by the armies of occupation. The Germans also undertook to replace them by the importation of products of the same caloric value. This pledge was not fulfilled.
As in all the occupied countries, the Germans issued and put into circulation an unlimited amount of currency. It should be noted that this currency represented the so-called occupation marks without any security. I quote an excerpt from this report, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 63 in the document book. I read:
"From the very first they" -- the Germans -- "put into circulation 10,000 million occupation marks, a sum equal to half the money in circulation at that date. By April 1944 the monetary circulation had reached 14,000 million drachmas, that is, it had increased 700 percent since the start of the occupation."
The Germans, after causing great inflation in that way, purchased all goods at prices fixed before the occupation. All goods purchased, as well as valuables, articles of gold, furniture, and so forth, were shipped by the Germans to Germany.
Finally, as in every country they occupied, the Hitlerites put into operation in Greece also the so-called "clearing system." Under this system, all goods earmarked for export were first confiscated or put under embargo by the military authorities. Then they were bought up by German firms at arbitrarily fixed prices. The price of the goods established in this one-sided way was then credited to Greece. The prices for merchandise imported from Germany were fixed at from 200 to 500 percent higher than their normal value. Finally, Greece was also debited with the price of merchandise imported from Germany for the needs of the occupation forces. The Germans called this cynical method of plundering "clearing."
I quote a short excerpt from the report of the Greek Government which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 64 of the document book. I read:
"In consequence, notwithstanding the fact that Greece exported the whole of her available resources to Germany, the clearing account showed a credit balance of 264,157,574.03 marks in favor of Germany when the Germans left. At the time of their arrival the credit balance in favor of Greece was 4,353,428.82 marks."
In this way, Your Honors, the Hitlerites plundered the Greek people.
May it please Your Honors, I pass on to the statement of the facts of the monstrous plunder and pillage to which private, public, and state property was subjected by the Hitlerite usurpers in the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The irrefutable original documents which I shall have the honor to present for your consideration, Your Honors, will prove that long before their attack on the U.S.S.R., the fascist conspirators had conceived and prepared their criminal plans for the plunder and spoliation of its riches and of its national wealth.
Like all other military crimes committed by the Hitlerites in countries occupied by them, the plunder and pillage of these territories was planned and organized beforehand by the major war criminals whom the determination and valor of the Allied nations have brought to justice.
The crimes committed by those who carried out the conspirators' criminal plans over wide areas of the Soviet land, on the fertile steppes of the Ukraine, in the fields and forests of Bielorussia, in the rich cornfields of the Kuban and the Don, in the blossoming gardens of the Crimea, in the approaches to Leningrad and in the Soviet Baltic States -- all these monstrous crimes, all this mass plunder and wholesale pillage of the sacred wealth created by the peaceable and honest work of the Soviet peoples, Russian, Ukrainian, Bielorussian, and others -- all these crimes were directly planned, designed, prepared, and organized by the criminal Hitlerite Government and the Supreme Command of Armed Forces -- the major war criminals, now occupying the dock.
I shall begin with evidence as to the premeditated nature of the crimes committed on U.S.S.R. territory. I shall prove that the wholesale indiscriminate pillage of private, public, and state property committed by the German fascist usurpers was not an isolated occurrence, not a local phenomenon. It was not the result of the disintegration or the thefts of individual army units but was, on the contrary, an essential and indissoluble part of the general plan of attack on the U.S.S.R. and represented, moreover, the fundamental purpose, the chief motive underlying this criminal aggression.
May I beg the indulgence of the Tribunal if, in stating the facts connected with the preparations for this type of crimes, I am obliged to refer very briefly also to several of the documents already submitted to the Tribunal by my American colleagues. I shall endeavor, however, to avoid repetitions and shall mainly quote such extracts from these documents as have not been previously read into the record.
It is known that simultaneously with the elaboration of "Plan Barbarossa," which provided for all strategic questions connected with the attack on the U.S.S.R., purely economic problems arising from the plan were elaborated.
In the document known under the title, "Conference of 29 April 1941 with Branches of the Armed Forces," and presented to the Tribunal by the American prosecution on 10 December as Document Number 1157-PS, we read:
"Purpose of the conference: Explanation of the administrative organization of the economic section of undertaking 'Barbarossa-Oldenburg'.... "
Further on in this document it is indicated that the Fuehrer, contrary to previous practice in the preparation measures envisaged, ordered that all economic questions were to be worked out by one center and that this center is to be "the special-purpose economic staff Oldenburg under the direction of Lieutenant General Schubert" and that it is to be under the Reich Marshal, that is, Goering. Thus, as early as April 1941, the Defendant Goering was in charge of all preparations for plundering the U.S.S.R.
To finish with this document, I should like to recall that provision is made in it, even at that early date, for the organization of special economic inspectorates and commands at Leningrad, Murmansk, Riga, Minsk, Moscow, Tula, Gorki, Kiev, Baku, Yaroslavl, and many other Soviet industrial towns. The document points out that the tasks of these inspectorates and commands included "the economic utilization of suitable territory" that is, as is explained below, "all questions of food supply and rural economy, industrial economy, including raw materials and manufactured articles; forestry, finance and banking, museums, commerce, trade, and manpower." As you see, Your Honors, the tasks were extremely wide and extraordinarily concrete.
The Plan Barbarossa-Oldenburg was further developed in the so-called "directives for economic management of the newly occupied eastern territories" which were also elaborated and issued secretly before the attack on the U.S.S.R.
Before passing on to the "Green File" I should like to present to the Tribunal and read out in part another document -- the so-called "File of the District Agricultural Leader," which was submitted to the Tribunal by my colleague Colonel Smirnov as Document Number USSR-89. These very detailed instructions for future district agricultural leaders which were also worked out and published in advance, bore the title of "District Agricultural Leaders File," and were dated 1 June 1941. Naturally this document, too, is also marked "top secret."
This instruction begins, "12 Commandments for the Behavior of Germans in the East and Their Attitude towards Russians." My colleague, Colonel Smirnov, read into the record only one of those commandments, and I, with the Tribunal's permission, shall read into the record the other commandments. The first commandment states -- the members of the Tribunal will find it on Page 69 of the document book. I read:
"Those of you who are sent to work in the East must adopt as your guiding principle the rule that output alone is decisive. I must ask you to devote your hardest and most unsparing efforts to this end."
What sort of "work" is meant is clearly shown by the following commandments. I quote extracts from this document:
"5th commandment: It is essential that you should always bear in mind the end to be attained. You must pursue this aim with the utmost stubbornness; but the methods used may be elastic to a degree. The methods employed are left to the discretion of the individual....
"6th commandment: Since the newly incorporated territories must be secured permanently to Germany and Europe, much will depend on how you establish yourself there.... Lack of character in individuals will constitute a definite ground for removing them from their work. Anyone recalled for this reason can never again occupy a responsible position in the Reich proper."
In this way the future "agricultural leaders" were not only ordered to be implacable, merciless, and cruel in their plundering activities, but were also warned of what would happen to them if they were not implacable enough or if they showed "lack of character."
The following commandments develop the same idea:
"7th commandment: Do not ask, 'How will this benefit the peasants?' but 'How will it benefit Germany?'
"8th commandment: Do not talk -- act! You can never talk a Russian around or persuade him with words. He can talk better than you can, for he is a born 'dialectic'....
"Only your will must decide, but this will must be directed to the execution of great tasks. Only in this case will it be ethical even in its cruelty. Keep away from the Russians -- they are not Germans, they are Slavs.
"9th commandment: We do not wish to convert the Russians to National Socialism; we wish only to make them a tool in our hands. You must win the youth of Russia by assigning their task to them -- by taking them firmly in hand and administering ruthless punishment to those who practice sabotage or fail to accomplish the work expected of them.
"The investigation of personal records and pleas takes up time which is needed for your German task. You are neither investigating magistrates nor yet the Wailing Wall.
"11th commandment: . . . his (Russian) stomach is elastic, therefore -- no false pity for him!"
Such were these commandments for agricultural leaders, which one should -- to be more exact -- call "commandments for cannibals." The file begins with these "commandments," which are followed by a perfectly clear-cut program for the plundering of U.S.S.R. agriculture. At the beginning of this program we read:
"Fundamental economical directives for the Organization of Economic Policy in the East, Agricultural Group.
"As regards food policy, the aim of this campaign is:
"1. To guarantee food supplies for many years ahead for the German Armed Forces and the German civilian population."
As you see, Your Honors, a perfectly clear and candid formulation of the aims of the attack on the U.S.S.R. is given. Of course, it does not exhaust these aims. This aim was not confined to the stealing of provisions, and provisions were far from being the only thing stolen. This is only an extract from the agricultural leaders' file, and they were not the only people to be entrusted with tasks of pillage and to perform these tasks.
The file as a whole contains the following sections of a carefully thought out and extremely concrete program for the plunder of the Soviet Union's agriculture. I read the table of contents. Your Honors will find this document on Page 67 of the document book:
"1. 12 commandments. 2. General economic directives. 3. Organization chart. 4. Instructions for the regional agricultural leader. 5. Instructions for securing personnel. 6. State farms: Directives on the taking over and management of State farms. 7. Directives for taking over and managing collective farms. 8. Agriculture machine depots, directives regarding administration. 9. Directives for registration. 10. Furnishing food supplies for the cities. 11 Schedules for agricultural work. 12. Price lists."
I am not, Your Honor, going to take up your time by reading the whole of this document, which consists of 98 typewritten pages. I am presenting it to the Tribunal in its entirety, to be included in the files of the Trial.
I shall read from this document, already presented to the Tribunal by my American colleagues on 10 December of last year as Exhibit Number USA-147 (Document 1058-PS), only a few short lines. It is a note of the record of a speech made by Rosenberg at a secret conference on 20 June 1941, dealing with questions of the East. In his speech, Rosenberg stated particularly:
"The problem of feeding German nationals undeniably heads the German demands on the East just now, and here the southern regions and the northern Caucasus must help to balance the German food situation. We certainly do not consider ourselves obliged to feed the Russian people as well from the produce of these fertile regions. We know that this is a cruel necessity, which has nothing to do with any humane feelings. It will undoubtedly be necessary to carry out evacuation on a large scale and the Russians are doomed to live through some very hard years."
Thus did the leaders of Hitlerite Germany formulate the tasks they set themselves when preparing their attack on the Soviet Union.
Already in August 1942 -- that is, from 26 to 28 August -- Gauleiter Koch, who had just arrived from Hitler's headquarters, spoke at the conference in Rovno. The record of this conference was found in Rosenberg's archives. This document was kindly put at our disposal by our American colleagues. It is registered as Document Number 264-PS, but it has not been presented to the Tribunal.
I read into the record an excerpt from this record. The members of the Tribunal will find it on Page 72 in the document book. I read:
"He" -- Koch -- "explained the political situation and his tasks as Reich Commissioner" -- in the following way -- " 'There is no free Ukraine. We must aim at making the Ukrainians work for Germany, and not at making the people here happy. The Ukraine will have to make good the German shortages. This task must be accomplished without regard for losses....
" 'The Fuehrer has ordered 3 million tons of grain from the Ukraine for the Reich, and they must be delivered.... ' "
I shall show later how far this original figure -- 3 million tons of grain -- was exceeded by the Hitlerite plunderers, whose avid appetites grew from month to month.
All these aims of plunder had been planned in advance by the criminal Hitlerite Government, who worked out an organized scheme for carrying out organized plunder and practical methods of pillaging the occupied territories.
With the Tribunal's permission I shall read extracts from a secret document by Reich Marshal Goering which was captured by units of the Red Army. This document bears the title, "Directives for Economic Management in the Newly Occupied Areas in the East (Green File)," and extracts of it have already been mentioned by my colleagues. This document is presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-10 (Document Number USSR-10).
The title page of the document reads -- Page 76 of the document book:
"Eastern Staff for Economic Leadership; top secret.
"Note: The present directives are to be considered as top-secret documents (documents of State importance) until X-Day; after X-Day they will no longer be secret and will be treated as open documents for official use only.
"Directives on the subject of economic management in the newly occupied areas in the East (Green File).
"Part I. Economic tasks and organization, Berlin, June 1941; printed by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces."
As is clear from the text of the document, these directives were published immediately before Germany's attack on the U.S.S.R. "for the information of military and economic authorities regarding economic tasks in the eastern territories to be occupied."
In setting forth the "main economic tasks" the directives state in the first paragraph:
"I. According to the Fuehrer's order, it is essential in the interests of Germany that every possible measure for the immediate and complete exploitation of the occupied territories be adopted. Any measure liable to hinder the achievement of this purpose should be waived or cancelled.
"II. The exploitation of the regions to be occupied immediately should be carried out primarily in the economic field controlling food supplies and crude oil. The main economic purpose of the campaign is to obtain the greatest possible quantity of food and crude oil for Germany. In addition, other raw materials from the occupied territories must be supplied to the German war economy as far as is technically possible and as far as the claims of the industries to be maintained outside the Reich permit."
I omit the next part of the excerpt, and I pass on to the following excerpt, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 78:
"The idea that order should be restored in the occupied territories and their economic life re-established as soon as possible is entirely mistaken. On the contrary, the treatment of the different parts of the country must be a very different one. Order should only be restored and industry promoted in regions where we can obtain considerable reserves of agricultural products or crude oil."
I omit the rest of this quotation in order to save time.
Further, the plan devised in advance for the organized plunder of the Soviet Union provided in detail for the removal from the U.S.S.R. to Germany of all raw materials, supplies, and stocks of goods available. In confirmation of this I cite excerpts from this document so that I shall not have to read it in full. The members of the Tribunal will find these excerpts on Page 83, 87, and 88 of the document book:
"All raw materials, semimanufactured, or finished products of which we can make use are to be withdrawn from commerce. This will be done by IV Wi and by the economic authorities by means of appeals and orders, by ordering confiscation or by military supervision, or both."
Page 88 -- from the section "Raw Material and the Exploitation of Commercial Resources":
"Platinum, magnesium, and rubber are to be secured at once and transported to Germany as soon as possible."
Back of Page 87:
"Food products, articles for personal use, and clothing discovered in combat and rear zones are to be placed at the disposal of IV A for immediate military requirements."
Back of Page 83 -- in the section of the directives entitled "Economic Organization" we find a project of an apparatus with wide ramifications which was to carry out this organized plunder of the U.S.S.R. I shall read a series of excerpts from this section, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 79 of the document book:
"A. General questions.
"To guarantee undivided economic leadership in the theater of military activities, as well as in the administrative areas to be established at a later date, the Reich Marshal has organized the 'Staff for Economic Leadership East' directly under himself and headed by his representative, State Secretary Korner."
"The orders of the Reich Marshal apply to all economic spheres, including food supply and rural economy."
In directing your attention to these two excerpts, Your Honors, I consider it definitively proved that the Defendant Goering not only had personal charge of the preparations for the plunder of private, public, and state property, but later on directed personally the vast apparatus specially set up for these criminal purposes. You can judge of the projected organization of this apparatus, by the following extracts from the Green File. I read:
"Organization of Economic Administration in the operational area.
"1. The economic establishments, subordinated to the Economic Staff East, insofar as their activities cover the theater of military activities, are incorporated in the army staffs and are subordinate to them in military matters, namely:
"A. In the rear area: One economic inspectorate at each of the chief commands of the rear area; one or several mobile units of the economic section with the security divisions; one IV Wi group at each of the field command headquarters.
"B. In the army administration district: One IV Wi group (liaison officer Wi Ru Amt) with the army commander. One IV Wi group for each of the field commands attached to the army of the region; in addition, as and when necessary, economic units are sent forward to the armies in the field. These units are subordinate in military matters to the army command."
Further on, in Paragraph 4 of this same section, under the title "Structure of the Individual Economic Institutions" the whole plan of construction of the Economic Staff East is described. I shall cite it in my own words in order to save time. The members of the Tribunal will find the document to which I refer at the back of Page 79 in the document book.
Chief of the Economic Staff with the leadership group (field of activity, leadership questions, also manpower); Group IA, in charge of food and agriculture, running the entire agricultural production and also the assembling of supplies for the army; Group W, in charge of industry, raw materials, forestry, finance, banking property, and trade; Group M, in charge of troop requirements, armaments, and transport; economic inspectorates attached to army groups, in charge of the economic exploitation of the rear area. Economic task forces organized in the zone of each security division and consisting of one officer as commander, and several specialists in different branches of the work. Economic groups attached to the field commands, who are responsible for supplying the immediate requirements of the troops stationed within the sphere of activity of the field command and for preparing the economic exploitation of the country in the interests of war economy.
To these economic groups were attached experts on manpower, food production and agriculture, industrial economy and general economic questions; the economic section, attached to the army command, with special technical battalions and platoons as well as special intelligence subsections for industrial research, particularly in the field of raw materials and crude oil, and subsections for discovering and securing agricultural produce and machines, including tractors.
This same plan also provides for special technical units for crude oil -- battalions and companies -- and also the so-called mining battalions.
Thus, under the direct control of the Defendant Goering, a whole army of plunderers of all ranks and branches was provided, prepared, trained, and drilled in advance for the organized pillage and looting of the national property of the U.S.S.R.
Your Honors, I will not take up your time by reading the whole text of the Green File; I shall limit myself to enumerating its remaining sections, which bear the following titles -- Page 77 in the document book:
"Execution of individual economic tasks; Economic transport; Problems of military protection of economy; Procuring of supplies for the troops out of the resources of the country; Utilization of manpower, particularly of the local population; War booty, paid labor, captured material, prize courts; Economic objectives of war industries; Raw materials and utilization of goods available; Finance and credit; Foreign trade and clearings; Price control."
Thus the plunder of all branches of the U.S.S.R.'s national economy was foreseen.
To conclude I shall read into the record Keitel's order, dated 16 June 1941, 6 days before the attack on the U.S.S.R., in which he instructed all military units of the German Army to be ready to execute all the directives of the Green File. I shall now read this order -- you will find this, Your Honors, at the back of Page 89 of the document book:
"By the Fuehrer's order, the Reich Marshal has issued 'Directives for the Guidance of the Economic Administration of the Territories To Be Occupied.'
"These directives (Green File) are intended for the guidance of the military command and economic authorities in the economic tasks within the territories to be occupied in the immediate future. They contain directives for supplying the army from the resources of the country and give orders to army units to assist the economic authorities. Army units must comply with these directions and orders.
"The immediate and thorough exploitation of the territories to be occupied in the immediate future in the interest of Germany's war economy, especially in the field of fuel and food supply, is of the highest importance for the further conduct of the war."
I omit the second part of this order which contains detailed instructions as to how the directives of the Green File should be executed, and I read only the last paragraph of Keitel's order:
"The exploitation of the country must be carried out on a wide scale, with the help of field and local headquarters, in the most important agricultural and oil-producing districts.
"Chief of the High Command of the Wehrmacht, Keitel."
The concluding provision of this document, which says that "the exploitation of the country must be carried out on a wide scale" was strictly observed by units of the German Army; and the occupied regions of the U.S.S.R., from the very first day of the war, were subjected to the most merciless plunder. In confirmation of this, I shall later present to the Tribunal a series of original German documents, orders, directives, instructions, decrees, and so forth, issued by German military authorities.
Meanwhile, to finish with the Green File, I may state in conclusion that this striking document is definite evidence of the remarkable qualifications for plunder and the vast experience in brigandage of the Hitlerite conspirators.
The program for plundering the occupied territories of the Soviet Union, conceived on a wide scale and elaborated in detail by the conspirators, was put into practice by the Hitlerite aggressors from the very first days of their attack on the U.S.S.R.
Apart from the organized plunder carried out by the vast apparatus specially formed for this purpose -- an apparatus consisting of all kinds of agricultural leaders, inspectors, specialists in economics, technical and intelligence battalions and companies, economic groups and detachments, military agronomists, and so forth -- the so-called "material interest" of the German soldiers and officers, who had unlimited possibilities of robbing the civilian population and sending their booty to Germany, was widely encouraged by The Hitlerite Government and the High Command of the German Army.
The universal plundering of the population of the towns and villages of the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. and the mass removal to Germany of the personal property of Soviet citizens, the property taken from the collective farms and co-operative unions and the property of the State itself, was carried out according to a prearranged plan wherever the German fascist aggressors appeared.
I turn, Your Honors, to the presentation of individual Soviet Government documents on this question. A few months after Hitlerite Germany's treacherous attack on the U.S.S.R., the Soviet Government had already received irrefutable data about the war crimes committed by the Hitlerite armies in the Soviet territories they occupied.
My colleagues have already presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-51 a note of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., Molotov, dated 6 January 1942.
In order to avoid repetition and to save time, I shall read only a few excerpts from this note which have a direct bearing on the subject of my presentation. You will find the quoted extracts, underlined on Page 100 of the document book:
"Every step which the German fascist army and its allies took on the occupied Soviet territory of the Ukraine and Moldavia, Bielorussia and Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, the Karelo-Finnish territory and the Russian districts and regions is marked by the ruin or destruction of countless objects of material and cultural value."
The last paragraph of this quotation:
"In the villages occupied by German authorities, the peaceful peasant population is subjected to unrestrained depredation and robbery. The farmers are robbed of their property, acquired through whole decades of persistent toil, robbed of their houses, cattle, grain, clothing -- of everything, down to their children's last little garments and the last handful of grain. In many cases, the Germans drive the rural population, including old people, women, and children, out of their dwellings as soon as the village is occupied and they are compelled to seek shelter in mud huts, dugouts, forests, or even under the open sky. In broad daylight the invaders strip the clothing and footgear from anyone they meet on the road, including children, savagely ill-treating those who try to protest against, or offer any kind of resistance to, such highway robbery.
"In the villages liberated by the Red Army in the Rostov and Voroshilovgrad regions in the Ukraine, the peasants were plundered again and again by the invaders. As successive German army units passed through these areas each of them renewed their searches, lootings, arsons, and executions for failure to deliver up provisions. The same thing took place in the Moscow, Kalinin, Tula, Orel, Leningrad, and other regions, from which the remnants of the German troops are now being driven by the Red Army."
In order to save time I shall not read the next paragraphs of this note, but shall give an account of them to the Tribunal in my own words. They contain a whole series of concrete facts of the looting of the peaceful population in different regions of the Soviet Union and the names of the victims as well as the list of such things and belongings as were taken from these peaceful citizens. Further, this note reads as follows:
"The marauding orgies of the German officers and soldiers have spread to all the Soviet areas they have seized. The German authorities have legitimatized marauding in their armies and encouraged looting and violence. The German Government sees in this practice the realization of their bandit principle that every German combatant must have 'a personal interest in the war.' Thus, in a confidential order of 17 July 1941, addressed to all commanders of propaganda squads in the German Army and discovered by Red Army units when the 68th German Infantry Division was routed, explicit instructions are given to foster in every officer and soldier of the German Army the feeling that he has a material interest in the war. Similar orders inciting the army to mass looting and murder of the civil population are also issued by the armies of the countries fighting on the German side.
"On the German-Soviet front, and especially in the vicinity of Moscow, more and more fascist officers and soldiers can be met dressed in pilfered clothes, their pockets crammed with stolen goods and their tanks stuffed with women's and children's wearing apparel torn from their victims' bodies. The German Army is becoming more and more an army of ravenous thieves and marauders, who are looting and sacking flourishing towns and villages of the Soviet Union, ravaging and destroying the property and belongings of the laboring population of our villages and towns, the fruit of its honest toil. These are facts testifying to the extreme moral depravity and degeneracy of the Hitlerite Army, whose looting, thievery, and marauding have earned it the contempt and the curses of the entire Soviet nation."
Several months later, on 27 April 1942, in connection with the information which continued to come in regarding the crimes committed by the German fascist armies, Molotov, People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., published for the second time a note on the monstrous misdeeds, atrocities, and acts of violence of the German fascist invaders in occupied Soviet territories and on the responsibility of the German Government and the High Command for these crimes. This second note is also submitted to the Tribunal . . .
THE PRESIDENT: General, what do you mean by "published"?
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: What I mean is that this note was first sent to all the governments with whom the U.S.S.R. Government maintained diplomatic relations. The text of the note was also published in the Soviet official press.
This document has already been presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit Number USSR-51 (Document Number USSR-51). I shall read a few brief excerpts from this document which have a direct bearing on the subject of my presentation.
THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now, and you can read it after the adjournment.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
MARSHAL (Colonel Charles W. Mays): May it please the Court: I desire to announce that the Defendant Streicher will be absent on account of illness.
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: I shall read now excerpts from the note of the People's Commissar. . .
[The proceedings were interrupted by technical difficulties in the interpreting system.]
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
THE PRESIDENT: Owing to the delay the Tribunal will sit until half past 5 tonight without further adjournment.
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: I am reading into the record excerpts from the note by the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs dated 27 April 1942, and in order to save time I shall, with your permission, quote only a few of the most necessary excerpts from this note. They are very short. In this note, attention was drawn to the fact that the documents captured by the Soviet authorities and put at the disposal of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs are evidence of the premeditated nature of the plunder carried out by the Hitlerites.
I read the following excerpts; last paragraph on Page 44 of my statement, Russian text.
"The appendix to Special Order Number 43761/41 of the Operations Department of the General Staff of the German Army, states:
" 'It is urgently necessary that articles of clothing be acquired by means of forced levies on the population of the occupied regions enforced by every possible means. It is necessary above all to confiscate woolen and leather gloves, coats, vests, and scarves, padded vests and trousers, leather and felt boots, and puttees.'
"In several places liberated in the districts of Kursk and Orel, the following orders have been found:
" 'Property such as scales, sacks, grain, salt, kerosene, benzine, lamps, pots and pans, oilcloth, window blinds, curtains, rugs, phonographs, and records must be turned in to the commandant's office. Anyone violating this order will be shot.'
"In the town of Istra, in the Moscow region, the invaders confiscated decorations for Christmas trees and toys. In the Shakhovskaya railway station they organized the 'delivery' by the inhabitants of children's underwear, wall clocks, and samovars. In districts still under the rule of the invaders, these searches are still going on; and the population, already reduced to the utmost poverty by the thefts which have been perpetrated continually since the first appearance of the German troops, is still being robbed."
I omit the rest of the quotation from Mr. Molotov's note and conclude with the last paragraph:
"The general character of the campaign of robbery planned by the Hitler Government, on which the German Command tried to base its plans for supplying its Army and the districts in its rear, is indicated by the following facts: In 25 districts of the Tula region alone the invaders robbed Soviet citizens of 14,048 cows, 11,860 hogs, 28,459 sheep, 213,678 chickens, geese, and ducks, and destroyed 25,465 beehives."
I omit the remainder of this quotation which gives an inventory of all property, cattle, and fowl confiscated by the invaders from 25 districts of the Tula region.
Your Honors, the notes which I have read, mention only a few of the innumerable crimes and cases of plunder committed by the Hitlerites on Soviet soil.
With the permission of the Tribunal I shall now present several German documents from which you will see how the German commanders and officials themselves described their soldiers' behavior. Later I shall read candid statements by the German fascist leaders saying that German soldiers and officers must not be hindered in their marauding activities. It is natural that under these conditions the moral disintegration of the German fascist armies should reach its culminating point. Things reached such a point that the Hitlerites begin to plunder each other, thereby proving the truth of the well-known Russian proverb, "A thief stole a cudgel from a thief."
May I now quote from the document which I present to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-285. This is an extract from a report of the German District Commissioner of Zhitomir to the Commissioner General of Zhitomir dated 30 November 1943. You will find the document to which I refer on Page 93 in the document book. I read:
"Even before the German administration left Zhitomir, troops stationed there were seen to break into the apartments of Reich Germans and to appropriate everything that had any value. Even the personal luggage of Germans still working in their offices was stolen. When the town was reoccupied it was established that the houses where the Germans lived were hardly touched by the local population, but that the troops just entering the town had already started to loot the houses and business premises...
I read the second excerpt from the same document:
"The soldiers are not satisfied with taking the articles they can use, but they destroyed some of the remaining items; valuable furniture was used for fires, although there was plenty of wood."
Now I shall read into the record an excerpt from a report of the German District Commissioner of the town of Korostyshev to the Commissioner General of Zhitomir. The members of the Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 94 of the document book.
"Unfortunately the German soldiers behaved badly. Unlike the Russians they broke into the storehouses even when the front line was still far away. Enormous quantities of grain were stolen, including large quantities of seed. That might have been tolerated in the case of combat units.... Upon the return of our troops to Popelnaya, the warehouses were again broken into immediately. The 'Gebiets- und Kreislandwirt' nailed up the doors again, but the soldiers broke in once more."
I read into the record other excerpts from the same document:
"The Kreislandwirt reported to me that the dairy farm was plundered by retreating units; the soldiers carried away with them butter, cheese, et cetera."
And the second excerpt:
"The co-operative store was plundered before the eyes of the Ukrainians. Among other things the soldiers took with them all the cash in the store."
Then the third excerpt:
"On the 9th and 10th of this month the guards of the field gendarmerie were posted at the co-operative store in Korostyshev. These guards could not repel the onslaught of the soldiers...."
And the last excerpt:
"Pigs and fowls were slaughtered to the most irresponsible degree and taken away by the soldiers.... The appearance of the troops themselves can only be described as catastrophic."
In these towns, Your Honors, is the conduct of the German soldiers depicted by a German commissioner in his official report.
There is no doubt that this description is an objective one, especially since it is supplemented by an official report of the German Ukrainian company for supplying agriculture in the Commissariat General, addressed to the Commissioner General of Zhitomir. This is how the report describes the results of a raid by German soldiers on the company's premises, ". . . The office was in a horrifying and incredible condition." Second excerpt:
". . . A 20-room private house at Hauptstrasse Number 57 had an appalling appearance. Carpets and stair carpets were missing, and all the upholstered armchairs, couches, beds with spring or other mattresses, chairs, and wooden benches."
I skip a few lines:
"The condition of the living rooms generally is almost indescribable."
I omit two more excerpts from the document.
Such, Your Honors, is the heartcry of the German brigands of the company for the economic adoption of the Ukraine, who themselves complain of the brigands in the German Army.
In order to show that it was not only in Zhitomir and Korostyshev that such things took place, I shall quote yet another report, this time by the Commissioner of the Kazatinsky district, which contains the following statement, ". . . The German soldiers stole food, cattle, and vehicles." This laconic but significant introduction is followed by no less significant details:
"Threatening him with a pistol, the corporal demanded the keys of the granary from the District Commissioner.... When I said that the key was in my pocket, he yelled, 'Give me the key.' With these words he pulled out his pistol, stuck it against my chest, and shouted, 'I'm going to shoot you -- you are a shirker.' He followed up this remark by a few more specimens of invective, thrust his hand into my pocket and grabbed the key, saying, 'I am the only person who gives orders here.' This occurred in the presence of numerous Germans and Ukrainians."
The chief of the main department, Dr. Moisich, relates the same story in a report to the Commissioner General of Zhitomir, dated 4 December 1943. All these documents are being presented in their original form to the Tribunal.
I shall now, Your Honors, proceed to read excerpts from the official reports and communiques of the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union for the investigation and establishment of crimes committed by the German intruders and their accomplices. In order to save time, I ask the Tribunal to permit me to read only a few excerpts from these documents, and to give you the contents of the rest in my own words.
The report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the looting and crimes perpetrated by the Hitlerites in the city and district of Rovno has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-45. The corresponding section of this report reads as follows:
"During their stay in Rovno and the district, Hitlerite officers and soldiers unrestrainedly plundered the peaceful Soviet citizens and thoroughly looted the property of cultural and educational institutions."
I shall not quote all the data mentioned in this report of the Extraordinary State Commission. The report made by the Extraordinary State Commission on the atrocities committed by the Hitlerites in Kiev, and submitted to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-9, emphasizes the fact that the Hitlerites plundered the peaceful population of Kiev. I quote a brief extract, "The German occupation forces in the city of Kiev looted factory equipment and carried it off to Germany."
Following the directives of the criminal German Government and the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces, the satellite states also joined in plundering and other crimes. Romanian troops who temporarily occupied Odessa along with German Armed Forces plundered this flourishing city in accordance with instructions from their German masters. The report of the Extraordinary State Commission concerning the crimes committed by German and Romanian invaders in Odessa reads in part as follows:
". . . The Romanians damaged Odessa considerably from the economic and industrial point of view during.the occupation.
"German-Romanian aggressors have confiscated and removed to Romania 1,042,013 centners of grain, 45,227 horses, 87,646 head of came, 31,821 pigs, et cetera, belonging to co-operative farms and co-operative farmers."
The report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the damages inflicted by the German fascist invaders on industry, urban economy, and cultural and educational institutions in the Stalino region, already presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-2, also gives a good deal of data on the looting and removal to Germany of the factory equipment of this important industrial region.
I have quoted only a few of the reports compiled by the Extraordinary State Commission on certain districts of the Ukraine. This flourishing Soviet republic was subjected to unrestrained looting by the Hitlerites. The Hitlerite conspirators considered the Ukraine a tidbit and plundered her with exceptional voracity. I should like to read several documents in proof of the above.
Rosenberg's letter to Reichsleiter Bormann dated 17 October 1944. This document which has already been submitted on 17 December by the United States Prosecution under Exhibit Number USA-338 (Document Number 327-PS) states that the Central Trading Company for the East for marketing of agricultural produce sent the following goods to Germany in the period between 1943 and 31 March 1944 only:
"Cereals, 9,200,000 tons; meat and meat products, 622,000 tons; oil seed, 950,000 tons; butter, 208,000 tons; sugar, 400,000 tons; fodder, 2,500,000 tons; potatoes, 3,200,000 tons, and so forth." The Defendant Rosenberg reported his "agricultural achievements" to Hitler's closest assistant in these terms.
It should be noted that during the first year of the war the voracity shown by the Hitlerites in plundering the Ukraine was so great, that it awakened certain misgivings even in themselves.
I shall read an excerpt from a letter addressed by the Inspector of Armaments in the Ukraine to the Infantry General Thomas, Chief of the Economic Armament Office of the OKW. The letter is dated 2 December 1941. This document was submitted to the Tribunal by the United States Prosecution on 14 December as Document Number 3257-PS. I read a short excerpt:
"The export of agricultural surpluses from the Ukraine for the purpose of feeding the Reich is only possible if the internal trade in the Ukraine is reduced to a minimum. This can be attained by the following measures:
"1. Elimination of unwanted consumers (Jews; the populations of the large Ukrainian towns, which, like Kiev, receive no food allocation whatsoever).
"2. Reduction as far as possible of food rations allocated to the Ukrainians in other towns.
"3. Reduction of food consumption by the peasant population."
Having outlined this program, the author explains further: "If the Ukrainian is to be made to work, we must look after his physical existence, not for sentimental motives, but for purely business reasons."
I omit the next paragraphs of this quotation.
However, the Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine, Koch, went steadily on with his policy of ruthlessly plundering the Ukraine. In due course I shall submit to you numerous further documents, also in the original, in confirmation of the above. Koch's policy met with the approbation of the Hitlerite Government.
It is worthy of note that at the beginning of the war the plundering of the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. was organized in accordance with the directives contained in the Green File, already mentioned. I submit to the Tribunal, as Exhibit Number USSR-13 (Document Number USSR-13), a letter by Goering dated 6 September 1941 on the subject of inspection for the seizure and utilization of raw materials, in which, among other things, the following passage occurs -- the Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 131 of the document book:
"The war emergency demands that the supplies of raw materials found in the recently captured eastern territories be put at the disposal of the German war economy as quickly as possible. The Directives for the Economic Management of the Occupied Eastern Territories (Green File) are to be taken as authoritative."
I omit the last part of the quotation.
Later however, when the Germans set up their so-called civil administration and organized a number of special economic bodies in various occupied territories including the Ukraine, in particular, disputes arose among the numerous German military and civil bodies and organizations, all of whom were engaged in plundering the occupied territories. Rosenberg, as Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories, began to insist that all military and economic organizations in the Ukraine were to be liquidated and their functions transferred to German civil administrations.
I submit to the Tribunal a draft report for State Secretary Korner on this subject, dated 3 December 1943, as Exhibit Number USSR-180 (Document Number USSR-180). I read from it:
"Subject, 1. Economic administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories; 2. General economic staff for the occupied territories.
"In a letter to the Reich Marshal, dated 20 November 1943, copies of which were sent to the Chief of Staff of the OKW, and the Leader of the Party Chancellery, Minister Rosenberg made the following demands:
"1. For the Ukraine.
"a. Military economic establishment still in existence to be dissolved.
"b. The office of Chief of the Army Group Economic Departments to be abolished and the military functions of the latter to be taken over again by the Chief Quartermaster.
"c. In case of the retention of the office of the Chief of the Army Group Economic Departments the practice of the same specialists working both in the Reich Commissariat and under the Chief of the Army Group Economic Departments to be discontinued."
I omit the rest. In the same draft are detailed objections made by General Stapf and submitted by him to Keitel. He criticizes Rosenberg's suggestion and advises the retention of the Economic Staff East.
And now, with the permission of the Tribunal, I present as Exhibit Number USSR-174 (Document Number USSR-174), another original document which is a covering letter from the Permanent Deputy of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories to State Secretary Korner on the same subject.
Written suggestions by Rosenberg were appended to this letter in which Rosenberg insists that the entire economic activities be placed under the control of his ministry once more. As this is a rather long document and I am presenting it in the original, I ask your permission not to read it since it is mainly concerned with Rosenberg's proposal, which I have already described to the Tribunal. For the information of the interpreters -- I omit two pages of my presentation and pass to Page 62.
Evidently Rosenberg did not receive the answer he wanted, so on 24 January 1944 he again wrote to Goering on the same subject. I submit this letter as Exhibit Number USSR-179 (Document Number USSR-179). In this letter Rosenberg suggests -- I shall read into the record a short quotation, which the Tribunal will find on Page 151 of the document book:
". . . in the interest of smooth working and economy of staff, I would request that the Economic Staff East and its subordinate agencies be abolished and that the economic administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories and even in those districts where fighting is still going on, be transferred to my sphere of authority."
Goering replied to this in a letter dated 14 February, which I offer in evidence as part of the same Exhibit Number USSR-179. I quote:
"Dear Party Member Rosenberg:
"I received your letter of 24 January 1944 regarding economic administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories. Since the Reich Commissariat Ukraine is now almost entirely army administrative territory"-- this is a reference to the Red Army offensive -- "I consider it advisable to postpone our conference on the future organization of the economic administration until the military situation is completely clarified."
Thus, Your Honors, Rosenberg's claims met with resistance on the part of other German authorities who stubbornly refused to give up such a choice "economic activity."
Rosenberg in his turn refused to yield and continued to press his demands. I now offer in evidence the following document, Exhibit Number USSR-173 (Document Number USSR-173) -- this is a letter from Rosenberg to Goering dated 6 March 1944. In this letter, Rosenberg refers to his experience in Bielorussia and again urges his proposals. It is a long document and I shall not read it, as it is presented to the Tribunal in toto. But Goering still had his doubts and decided against Rosenberg.
On 6 April 1944, a month after the above-mentioned letter was sent off, Rosenberg again wrote to Goering. This document I submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-176 (Document Number USSR-176). May I omit reading it into the record, since in substance it is like the last; and the arguments advanced in it are not such as to interest us greatly now. I omit Page 65 and pass on to Page 66.
Thus, Your Honors, even when the Red Army was delivering its last crippling blows against the German fascist hordes, the Hitlerite brigands went on quarreling about the spoils. I think there is no need to prove that while this haggling continued, the occupied territories were looted in feverish haste by the German authorities, both military and civil.
Now, Your Honors, I shall read some brief excerpts from the report made by the Extraordinary State Commission of the Soviet Union on the crimes committed by the Hitlerite invaders in the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republics, which were also mercilessly plundered by the German fascist aggressors.
All these reports have been already presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution. The report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the crimes of the Hitlerites in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic contains the following statement:
"As the result of the way in which the Hitlerite invaders managed affairs, even according to incomplete data, the number of livestock and poultry in all the 14 districts of the Lithuanian S.S.R. decreases in comparison with the year 1940-41 by 136,140 horses, 565,995 cattle, 463,340 pigs...."
I shall now quote excerpts from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the crimes committed by the German invaders in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic. For the information of the interpreters -- this quotation is on Page 68, second paragraph:
"The Germans plundered the depots of tractors and agricultural machinery throughout Latvia; and according to figures which are far from complete, they sent to Germany 700 tractors, 180 motor vehicles, 4,057 ploughs, 2,815 cultivators, 3,532 harrows."
"In consequence of the despoliation of Latvian rural economy by the German invaders, the livestock in Latvia was decreased by 127,300 horses, 443,700 head of cattle, 318,200 pigs, and 593,800 sheep."
Further, I shall read a short excerpt from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the Estonian S.S.R.: I quote:
"The German invaders plundered the rural population of Estonia without restraint. This plunder took the form of forcing the peasants to hand over various kinds of farm produce.
"The quantities of farm produce to be delivered as ordered by the Germans were very high."
I omit part of the quotation and I read the second paragraph on the next page:
"The Germans confiscated and drove to Germany 107,000 horses, 31,000 cows, 214,000 pigs, 790,000 head of poultry. They plundered about 50,000 beehives."
I omit one more paragraph and I read the last quotation from this report:
"The Hitlerites took away 1,000 threshing machines, 600 threshing machine motors, 700 motors for driving belts, 350 tractors, and 24,781 other agricultural machines which were the personal property of individual peasants."
Your Honors, a similar policy of plundering private, public, and national property was also carried out by the German fascist invaders in the occupied territories of Bielorussia, Moldavia, the Karelo-Finnish S.S.R. and the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.
Various military units and organizations in different districts of the U.S.S.R. employed the same methods of plunder at all stages of the war in accordance with the same criminal plan and in pursuit of the same criminal aims. This plan was worked out, these aims were determined, these crimes were organized by the major war criminals who are now in the dock.
The U.S.S.R. Prosecution has at its disposal tens of thousands of documents on this subject. The presentation of all these numerous documents to the Tribunal would require such a long time that it would only complicate the Trial. For this reason, with the Tribunal's permission, I shall not quote any further documents or reports of the Extraordinary State Commission on separate regions and republics, but I shall read into the record the statistical report of the Extraordinary State Commission relative to the material damage done by the German fascists to state enterprises and establishments, collective farms, public organizations, and individual citizens of the U.S.S.R.
This document is being presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-35 (Document Number USSR-35). I shall read into the record only those extracts from the report which have a direct bearing on the subject of my presentation. They are stated as follows -- Page 71 of the statement:
"The German fascist aggressors destroyed and pillaged 98,000 collective farms, 1,876 State farms, and 2,890 machine and tractor stations. Seven million horses, 17 million head of cattle, 20 million pigs, 27 million sheep and goats, and 110 million poultry were slaughtered or shipped to Germany."
The Extraordinary State Commission calculates the damage done to the national economy of the Soviet Union and to individual villagers and townspeople at 679,000 millions of rubles reckoned at the official prices current in 1941 as follows:
"1. State concerns and institutions, 287,000 million rubles; 2. collective farms, 181,000 million rubles; 3. villagers and townspeople, 192,000 million rubles; 4. co-operatives, trade unions, and other public organizations, 19,000 million rubles."
I omit the following sections of this report, which describe how this damage is divided among separate Soviet Republics, and I pass on to the fourth paragraph, which describes the destruction of collective farms, state farms, and machine tractor stations. In order to save time, I shall confine myself to a few separate excerpts:
"While burning the villages and hamlets, the German fascists plundered completely the inhabitants of these villages. Those of the peasants who offered resistance were brutally murdered."
Further, some concrete data are given on the plundering in the Kamenetz-Podolsk and the Kursk region, the collective farm "For Peace and Work" in the region of Krasnodar, the collective farms "For the Times" in the Stalino region, as well as collective farms in Mogilev and Zhitomir districts and others. The German fascist invaders inflicted great damage on the state farms of the U.S.S.R. They shipped out of collective farms all stocks of agricultural products and destroyed farm and other buildings belonging to the state farms.
"Horse Farm Number 62 in the Poltava district lost its stock of Russo-American trotting brood mares through the German occupation. Up to the war, this stud farm had 670 brood mares. The Germans acted in the same way in regard to other breeding farms."
I omit the remaining excerpt of this section; and I pass on to Paragraph 6, which deals with the mass looting of Soviet citizens' property by the Germans:
"In all the republics, districts, and territories of the Soviet Union which were occupied, the fascist German invaders looted the property of the rural and urban population, stealing valuables, property, clothing, and household articles, and imposing fines, taxes, and contributions on the peaceful population."
The same section contains a whole series of concrete facts of the plunder of Soviet citizens in Smolensk, Orel and Leningrad Provinces; the Dniepropetrovsk and Sumsky Provinces, et cetera. With the Tribunal's permission, I omit two pages of my presentation, and I read the following paragraph at the bottom of Page 76:
"The plundering of the Soviet population was being carried out by the German aggressors throughout the whole of the occupied Soviet territory.
"The Extraordinary State Commission has undertaken the task of estimating the damage done to the Soviet citizens by the occupation authorities and has established that the German fascist invaders burned down and destroyed approximately four million dwelling houses which were the personal property of collective farmers, workers, and employees; confiscated 1 1/2 million horses, 9 million head of cattle, 12 million pigs, 13 million sheep and goats; and took away an enormous quantity of household goods and chattel of all kinds."
The above documents and reports of the Extraordinary State Commission depict the crimes committed by the Hitlerites in the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. These crimes had been organized by the defendants.
The fact that Goering, in his capacity as Reich Marshal and Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan of the Hitlerite Government, was directly in charge of all the operations of the German military and civil authorities for the preparation and execution of despoliation of the occupied territories, is clearly shown by the documents which I have already presented. Nevertheless, I beg the indulgence of the Tribunal to read the final document on this matter, that is, the decree issued by Hitler on 29 June 1941.
A copy of this decree was kindly put at our disposal by the American Prosecution, and it has not yet been presented. I, therefore, present it to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-287 (Document Number USSR-287). This decree reads as follows:
"1. Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, will employ, within the scope of the power allotted to him for the purpose, all means necessary for exploiting to the fullest extent supplies and economic resources discovered in the newly occupied eastern territories and for developing all their economic possibilities for the benefit of the German war economy.
"2. For this purpose he is also authorized to give direct orders to military authorities in the newly occupied eastern territories.
"3. This decree will become effective as from today. It must first be made public by special order."
However, Your Honors, the granting of extraordinary powers to Goering does not, in any way, mean that the other defendants took only a passive interest in organizing the looting of the occupied territories. All of them, jointly and separately, worked feverishly in this direction. Frank robbed the Poles; Rosenberg managed affairs in the Ukraine and in the other occupied territories of the U.S.S.R.; Sauckel and Seyss-Inquart were busy here and there; Speer and Funk made schemes for and carried out predatory measures within the scope of the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry for Armament and War Production, while Keitel acted in the field of the Armed Forces.
In this connection I should like to submit to the Tribunal two more documents relating to Keitel's economic activities. These documents, Your Honors, are presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit Number USSR-175 (Document Number USSR-175). On 29 August 1942 Keitel, in his capacity of Chief of the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces, issued the following order under "Number 002865/42-g.Kdos. regarding securing of supplies for the Armed Forces." I shall read only two short excerpts from this order. Your Honors will find them on Page 181 of the document book. I read:
"The food situation of the German people is such that it is necessary for the Armed Forces to contribute as far as possible towards alleviating it. All the necessary means of doing so exist in the combat zones and in the occupied territories both in the East and in the West.
"It is essential, above all, that much greater quantities of supplies and forage . . . should be secured in the occupied territories of the East than has been the case up to now."
The second excerpt:
"All establishments should consider it their pride as well as their duty to attain this goal at all costs so that in this field, too, they may play a decisive part in achieving victory."In a memorandum by section chiefs Klare and Dr. Bergmann, dated, "19 November 1942, most secret, subject: Procurement of Supplies for the Armed Forces"-- I submit this memorandum in the original to the Tribunal under the same number, Document Number USSR-175 -- we find the following estimate of the results achieved by the above-mentioned order from Keitel. I now read into the record only the first paragraph of this memorandum.
"By order of the Fuehrer, the Chief of the OKW has decreed in the attached order of 29 August 1942 that the Armed Forces must, as far as possible, contribute towards the task of ensuring food supplies for the German people and that they must themselves make every effort, not only to obtain sufficient food supplies locally to cover the needs of the armies, but also to ensure that the quantities required by the Reich are secured in addition.
"As the result of this order co-operation between the Army and the economic authorities has fortunately grown closer."
Now with Your Honor's permission, I shall read into the record one more document, namely, a telegram sent by Keitel on 8 September 1944. This document was kindly put at our disposal by the American Prosecution and registered as Document Number 743-PS. It was not presented to the Tribunal before; I therefore submit it now as Exhibit Number USSR-286, and I quote:
"1. To General Staff of the Army: Attention General Quartermaster, Office of Chief of Staff, (Anna).
"2. To General Staff of the Army: Attention General Quartermaster, Army Administration Office, (Anna-Bu).
"3. To Commanding General, Army Group North.
"4. To Commanding General, Army Group Center.
"5. To Economic Staff East.
"6. To Military District H.Q.I."
I read this text as follows:
"1. The Fuehrer has entrusted Gauleiter Koch with the utilization of local resources in the parts of Reichskommissariat Ostland occupied by troops of Army Group Center. Furthermore, the Fuehrer has ordered that all German and local administrative authorities be subordinated to Gauleiter Koch. In securing economic resources, Gauleiter Koch is to maintain contact with competent Supreme Reich agencies.
"2. All authorities of the Armed Forces will give Gauleiter Koch every assistance in their power in executing this order."
Thus, Your Honors, even at the end of 1944, when under the blows of the Red Army and its allies Hitlerite Germany was precipitated towards its final defeat and only a few months before its final military and political collapse, Hitler, Keitel, Koch, and many others were still stretching out their already stiffening fingers to grab the property and wealth of others.
This is the evidence I have to show regarding the looting and marauding perpetrated by the Hitlerite hordes in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union. But they plundered not only the living, they also plundered the dead. My colleague, Colonel Smirnov, has already presented comprehensive evidence on this question. I do not wish to quote it again, but I refer to it only to show how closely interlocked and all-embracing was the circle of their crimes. As Rauschning testifies in his book, which has already been presented by the Soviet Prosecution to the Tribunal, Hitler once said:
"I need people with strong fists whose principles will not prevent them from taking human life if necessary; and if on occasion they swipe a watch or a jewel, I don't care a tinker's damn."
And Hitler actually found these men in the persons of the defendants and their numerous accomplices.
As the documents which I have just presented show, the Defendant Goering, on account of his position in Hitler's Government as Reich Marshal and Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan and as head of the whole criminal system for the plundering of the occupied territories, was guilty of these crimes.
For this reason the stenographic record of a secret conference of German administrative leaders (Reich Commissioners) for the occupied countries, which took place on 6 August 1942, is of particular interest. Goering presided over the meeting. This document, like many other original documents which I had the honor of presenting today to the Tribunal, was found by Soviet military authorities in September 1945 in one of the municipal buildings of the town of Jena, in Thuringia.
This extraordinary document contains a long speech by Goering and the replies of the Hitlerite rulers of the occupied countries. And, Your Honors, many of the people who are sitting in the dock now took part in this conference. The contents of this document are such that any comment on my part is unnecessary. Therefore, if it pleases the Tribunal, I shall proceed to read from this document.
"Stenographic notes; Thursday, 6 August 1942, 4 p.m., in the Hermann Goering Hall in the Air Ministry.
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'The Gauleiter stated their views here yesterday. Although they may have differed in tone and manner, it was evident that they all feel that the German people have too little to eat. Gentlemen, the Fuehrer has given me general powers exceeding any hitherto granted within the Four Year Plan.
" 'At this moment Germany commands the richest granaries that ever existed in the European area, stretching from the Atlantic to the Volga and the Caucasus, lands more highly developed and fruitful than ever before, even if a few of them cannot be described as granaries. I need only remind you of the fabulous fertility of the Netherlands, the unique paradise that is France. Belgium too is extraordinarily fruitful, and so is the province of Posen. Then above all, the Government General has to a great extent the rye and wheat granary of Europe, and along with it the amazingly fertile districts of Lemberg (Lvov) and Galicia, where the harvest is exceptionally good. Then there comes Russia, the black earth of the Ukraine on both shores of the Dnieper, the Don region, with its remarkably fertile districts which have scarcely been destroyed. Our troops have now occupied, or are in process of occupying, the excessively fertile districts between the Don and the Caucasus.' "
Goering then goes on to say:
" 'God knows, you are not sent out there to work for the welfare of the people in your charge but to squeeze the utmost out of them, so that the German people may live. That is what I expect of your exertions. This everlasting concern about foreign peoples must cease now, once and for all.
" 'I have here before me reports on what you expect to be able to deliver. It is nothing at all when I consider your territories. It makes no difference to me if you say that your people are starving.
" 'One thing I shall certainly do. I will make you deliver the quantities asked of you; and if you cannot do so, I will set forces to work that will force you to do so whether you want to or not.
" 'The wealth of Holland lies close to the Ruhr. It could send a much greater quantity of vegetables into this stricken area now than it has done so far. What do I care what the Dutchmen think of it.
" 'The only people in whom I am interested in the occupied territories are those who work to provide armaments and food supplies. They must receive just enough to enable them to continue working. It is all one to me whether Dutchmen are Germanic or not. They are only all the greater blockheads if they are; and more important persons than they have shown in the past how Germanic numskulls sometimes have to be treated. Even if you receive abuses from every quarter, you will have acted rightly, for it is the Reich alone that counts.' "
And now I come to the next excerpt:
" 'I am still discussing the western territories. Belgium has taken care of herself extraordinarily well. That was very sensible of Belgium. But there, too, gentlemen, rage incarnate could seize me. If every plot of ground in Belgium is planted with vegetables, then they must surely have had vegetable seed. When Germany wanted to start a big campaign last year for utilizing uncultivated land, we did not have nearly as much seed as we needed. Neither Holland nor Belgium nor France have delivered it, although I myself was able to count 170 sacks of vegetable seed on a single street in Paris. It is all very well for the French to plant vegetables for themselves. They are accustomed to doing this. But, gentlemen, these people are all our enemies and you will not win over any of them by humane measures. The people are polite to us now because they have to be polite. But let the English once force their way in and then you will see the real face of the Frenchman. The same Frenchman who dines with you and in turn invites you to dine with him will at once make it plain to you that the Frenchman is a German-hater. That is the situation, and we do not want to see it any other way than it is.
" 'It is a matter of indifference to me how many courses are served every day at the table of the Belgian king. The king is a prisoner of war; and if he is not treated as such, I will see to it that he is taken to some other place where this can be made clear to him. I am really fed up with the business.
" 'I have forgotten one country because nothing is to be had there except fish; that is Norway.
" 'With regard to France, I say that it is still not cultivated to the greatest possible extent. France can be cultivated in a very different way if the peasants there are forced to work in a different manner. Secondly, inside France itself the population is gorging itself to a scandalous degree....
" 'Besides, Heaven help a German car parked outside a French tavern in Paris! it is reported. But a whole row of French gasoline-driven vehicles parked there doesn't bother anyone.
" 'I would say nothing at all, on the contrary, I would not think much of you if we didn't have a marvelous restaurant in Paris where we could get the best food obtainable. But I do not want the French to be able to saunter into it. Maxim must have the best food for us.' "
Mr. President, I see one of the German Defense Counsel wishes to take the floor. I shall, therefore, give him an opportunity to do so.
DR. ALFRED THOMA (Counsel for Defendant Rosenberg): Mr. President, I have only a short question.
The prosecutor has not told us where this document can be found, in which document book and what number it has. He mentioned only the page on which the Court can find that document.
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: This document was presented to the Tribunal as Document Number USSR-170. The photostatic copy was turned over to Defense Counsel.
May I continue, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT: It comes from the archives of the Defendant Goering, does it not? You have so stated.
MR. COUNSELLOR SHENIN: Yes.
" 'For German officers and men three or four first-class restaurants excellent, but not for the French.' "
I quote the next excerpt:
" 'Furthermore, you should be like bloodhounds on the track of anything the German people can use; that stuff should be brought here out of the warehouses like lightning. Whenever I issued a decree, I stated repeatedly that soldiers are entitled to buy as much as they want and whatever they want, as much as they can carry....
" 'Now you will say -- Laval's foreign policy. Herr Laval calms down Herr Abetz and as far as I am concerned, may go to Maxim's, although it is out of bounds. But the French will soon have to learn. You have no idea of the impudence they have. When our friends hear that a German is interested they charge fantastic prices. They charge three times the normal price and if they hear that the Reich Marshal is in the market, they charge five times the normal price. I wanted to buy a tapestry. Two million francs was asked. The woman was told that the buyer wanted to see the tapestry. She said she did not wish to let it out of her sight. Well, then she would have to go with it. She was told that she was going to see the Reich Marshal. When she arrived the tapestry was priced at 3 million francs. I reported it. Do you think anything was done? I submitted the case to the French court and they taught milady that it is inadvisable to profiteer when dealing with me.
" 'All that interests me is what we can squeeze out of the territory now under our control with the utmost application and by straining every nerve; and how much of that can be diverted to Germany. I don't give a damn about import and export statistics of former years.
" 'Now, regarding shipments to the Reich. Last year France shipped 550,000 tons of grain, and now I demand 1.2 million tons. Two weeks from now a plan will be submitted for handling it. There will be no more discussion about it. What happens to the Frenchmen is of no importance. One million two hundred thousand tons will be delivered. Fodder -- last year 550,000 tons, now 1 million; meat -- last year 135,000 tons, now 350,000; fats -- last year 23,000, this year 60,000.' "
And so on.
The next excerpt from this address concerns the quotas to be fixed for deliveries from countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, and the Government General. In reply to Goering's questions and instructions definite figures were quoted by those attending the meeting. I omit one page and continue:
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'So much for the West. A special order will be issued concerning purchasers who buy up all the clothes, shoes, et cetera, that are to be had.
" 'Now comes the East. I have settled this point with the Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht waives the demands it made on the home country. How much hay was required?'
"Backe: '1.5 million tons. Over 1 million tons straw and 1 1/2 million tons oats. We can't manage that.(?)'
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'Now, gentlemen, there is only one thing more regarding Wehrmacht supplies. I want to hear nothing more about you until further notice. No more requests. The country -- with its sour cream, apples, and white bread -- will feed us abundantly. The Don valley will take care of the rest.' "
Passing to the next quotation -- Goering is speaking:
" 'The Wehrmacht in France will, of course, be supplied with food by France. That is a matter of course, and I did not even mention it before.
" 'Now about Russia: There is no doubt of her fertility. The position there is almost incredibly good....' " The next quotation, Goering is still speaking: " 'I was glad to hear that the Reich Commissioner in Ostland is doing just as well, and the people are just as fat and chubby and puff a lime when they work. Nevertheless, I shall see to it, no matter how carefully certain groups are treated, that some contribution is made from the inexhaustible fertility of this area.' "
After this Lohse, Reich Commissioner for Bielorussia, addressed the meeting:
" 'May I state my opinion in a few words? I should like to give you more but certain conditions have to be observed. The harvest is certainly excellent but in more than half of the area of Bielorussia which is well cultivated, it is scarcely possible to get in the crops, unless we can put a stop to the disturbances caused by guerillas and partisans. I have already been crying out for help for 4 months.' "
Lohse goes on to describe the activities of the partisans in Bielorussia. In this connection Goering interrupts him and says:
" 'My dear Lohse, we have known each other for a long time. I know well enough that you are a great poet.' "
And Lohse answered:
" 'I won't stand for that; I have never written poetry.' "
In conclusion I quote the last three quotations from Goering's speech. He said:
" 'We must have buyers from the Ministry of Economics, Funk, in the Ukraine and elsewhere. We must send them to Venice to buy odds and ends, those frightful alabaster things and cheap jewelry, et cetera. I don't think there is any other place except Italy where one gets quite such junk.
" 'Now let us see what Russia can deliver. I think, Riecke, we should be able to get 2 million tons of cereals and fodder out of the whole of Russia.'
"Riecke: 'That can be done.'
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'That means that we must get 3 million, apart from Wehrmacht supplies.'
"Riecke: 'No, all that is in the front areas goes for the Wehrmacht only.'
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'Then we bring 2 million.'
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'A million and a half then.'
"Reich Marshal Goering: 'All right.' "
The discussion went on in the same way. Goering's speech ends with the following sentence:
" 'Gentlemen, I would just like to say one thing more. I have a very great deal to do and a very great deal of responsibility. I have no time to read letters and memoranda informing me that you cannot supply my requirements. I have only time to ascertain from time to time through short reports from Backe whether the commitments are being fulfilled. If not, then we shall have to meet on a different level.' "
As Your Honors have heard, besides Goering this conference was attended by the Defendants Rosenberg, Sauckel, Seyss-Inquart, Frank, Funk, and others. As you have heard, Goering finished his speech with a direct threat against the participants in this conference, by saying that "we shall have to meet on a different level." This threat came true. The matter has, in every sense of the term, been met on a different level -- from the level of the dock.
Thus the whole volume of evidence submitted establishes beyond all doubt:
1. That simultaneously with their well-laid preparations for the military invasion of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Greece, and the U.S.S.R., the criminal Hitlerite Government and the Supreme Command of the German Armed Forces worked out a plan for the mass plunder and spoliation of private, public, and state-owned property in the territories belonging to these countries.
2. That having worked out this criminal plan, the conspirators carried out all the preliminary measures necessary for its execution by training special bodies of officers and officials for the despoliation of the territories they meant to seize by preparing and issuing special instructions, reference books, and orders for this purpose, and by creating a special and very complicated organization of all sorts of "economic inspectorates," "detachments," "groups," "joint stock companies," "plenipotentiaries," et cetera, and by calling in a large number of specialists in different branches, military experts on agriculture, agricultural leaders, economic spies, et cetera.
3. That in accordance with this long-prepared plan, they subsequently plundered and despoiled private, public, and state property in the occupied territories and also robbed the peaceful population of these territories, having recourse to atrocities, violence, and arbitrary practices of the most appalling nature.
4. That in order to make the soldiers and the officers of the German Army "economically interested" in the war, the conspirators not only failed to prosecute cases of marauding and robbery committed by German soldiers and officers, but even encouraged these crimes and incited their men to commit wholesale looting.
5. That by the commission of all these crimes the conspirators caused enormous economic damage to the people of the occupied territories, exposing them to starvation and suffering, and that they profited by their criminal activities for the personal gain and enrichment of themselves and their adherents.
6. That having thus planned, prepared, and initiated wars of aggression against the freedom-loving nations, the conspirators aimed at the predatory despoliation of these nations and thereafter achieved these criminal ends by means of equally criminal and predatory methods.
On the strength of the above, the defendants have consciously and deliberately violated Article 50 of the Hague Convention of 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law accepted by the penal codes of all civilized nations, as well as the national law of those countries in which these crimes were committed.
For these criminal acts, Your Honors, each and all of which are covered by Article 6(b) of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, all the defendants must be found guilty; all of them without exception must be held responsible both individually and as members of the conspiracy.
May it please Your Honors, the documents which I have presented to the Tribunal and which I have read into the record are silent witnesses to the crimes organized and committed by the defendants.
But the conscience of the Judges will hear the testimony of these silent witnesses' who relate truthfully the story of the arbitrary practices and crimes of the Hitlerite brigands and the boundless sufferings of their innumerable victims.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 21 February 1946 at 1000 hours.]