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DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, you were the official appointed by the Fuehrer for the supervision of the entire intellectual and ideological training of the NSDAP and all its affiliated organizations. Did you exert any influence on national lawmaking in that capacity?
ROSENBERG: The Fuehrer once spoke to me in this connection and explained to me that in the leadership of a large movement and of a state three factors had to be considered. There are, for instance, men who by their natures feel they must deal with any rising problems fundamentally through contemplation and then in lectures; then there is the directorate-that is to say, he, himself- who must select that which shows possibilities of realization; and finally, there are those people who have the task of putting the selected problems into practice in the social, political, and economic fields by dint of painstaking labor.
So it was that he originally conceived of my task, and he entrusted me with the supervision of training with the intention of expecting me to adopt a constructive attitude, by reason of my knowledge of the movement. The executive and legislative powers were in the hands of the respective ministries-that is, the Ministry for Education and the Reich Propaganda Ministry-and the general representation of the Party was in the hands of the Party Chancellery. The Party Chancellery occasionally asked me to define my position with regard to this or that question but was not obliged to consider my views.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, did you have any influence on National Socialist school policies?
ROSENBERG: I did not have any direct influence on school policies. The school systems were an affair of the Reich Ministry for Education-the actual internal organization of the schools is not to be confused with the Party training-and the organization of the universities, the task of the ministry concerned with this problem.
DR. THOMA: There were National Socialist educational institutions. Can you tell me what kind of institutions these were and what your function was in that connection?
ROSENBERG: The so-called National Socialist educational institutions were special foundations under the leadership and direction
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of the Ministry for Education and the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, for the purpose of training a distinct disciplined class; and the inspection of these educational institutions was in the hands of a special SS leader detailed to the Ministry for Education.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, you are also accused of religious persecution, especially as it finds expression in your Myth of the 20th Century. Do you admit that occasionally you. were a little too severe toward the church?
ROSENBERG: Of course I will allow that as far as historically founded creeds were concerned I pronounced severe personal judgment. I would like to emphasize, in this connection, that in the introduction to my book I described it as a work dealing with personal opinions; secondly, that this book was not directed against the religious elements in the public, as is shown in the quotation on Page 125 of the document book, Part I; and thirdly, that I rejected a policy of withdrawal from the church, as can be seen in the document book, Part I, Page 122, and also rejected political interference by the state in purely religious confessions which is also expressed clearly in this book. I further rejected many proposals to have my book translated into foreign languages. Only once a Japanese translation was submitted to me, although I was not able to recall having given my approval for the translation.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, you were not trained in theological matters. Don't you believe that in some judgments on theological questions you were wrong?
ROSENBERG: I naturally never assumed that this book, which deals with many problems, does not contain errors. I was, to an extent, grateful to receive criticism, and I made certain corrections; but some attacks I could not consider justified, and I thought that later I would certainly thoroughly revise this work-which, of course, also contained political comments.
DR. THOMA: Did you at any time use State Police measures against your opponents in theology and science?
ROSENBERG: No. I would like to state here that this work was published 2 1/2 years before the assumption of power, and that it was naturally open to criticism from all sides, but that the main criticism arose after the assumption of power. I answered these attacks in two pamphlets, but I never made use of the Police to suppress these attacks or persecute the authors of these attacks.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, in the RSHA there was an of lice for the persecution of "political" churches. Did you have any connection with this department?
ROSENBERG: I know only that a coworker of mine was in contact with many Party offices as a matter of policy and, of course,
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was also in touch with the SS. Through him I received many circular letters from the church authorities: pastoral letters, the circular letters of the Fulda Conference of Bishops, and many others. No arrests of individual church leaders came to my attention-although, of course, later on I did find out that during the war many monasteries had been confiscated, ostensibly for state political reasons-and so I never was able to find out in detail the political motives involved.
I must mention that in the year 1935 a bishop sent an official letter to the administrative head of his province, asking him to prohibit me from delivering speeches in that city. That, to be sure, was of no avail; this church dignitary was not harmed either by me or by anybody else, however.
DR. THOMA: What was your attitude toward the churches coming within the range of the Ministry for Eastern Territories?
ROSENBERG: After the entry of German troops in the eastern territories, the Wehrmacht of its own accord granted the practice of religious worship; and when I was made Minister for the East, I legally sanctioned this practice by issuing a special "church tolerance" edict at the end of December 1941.
DR. THOMA: The Prosecution have presented a number of documents-almost all of them letters by the Leader of the Party Chancellery-to support their contention of religious persecution. I would like to have you state your attitude toward these documents, which have been submitted under Numbers 107, 116, 122, 129, 101; USA-107, USA-351; 116, USA-685...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, you are going too fast for us to get these numbers down. 107-PS, do you mean?
DR. THOMA: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you kindly say PS if you mean PS? 107-PS, 116-PS.
DR. THOMA: Yes, I will add the USA exhibit numbers. 107-PS, 351-USA .
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I would rather have the PS number. If you will give me the PS numbers, or whatever the numbers are, as part of the exhibit number: 107-PS, 116-PS...
DR. THOMA: Yes, Documents 116-PS, 122-PS, 129-PS, 101-PS, l00-PS, 089-PS, 064-PS, 098-PS, 072-PS, 070-PS.
ROSENBERG: The Document Number 107-PS was submitted by the Prosecution as proof of persecution of the churches. This was a circular letter sent out by the Party Chancellery and written by the Chief of the Reich Labor Service. In this circular, on Page 1, it is decreed that denominational discussions were to be prohibited
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within the Reich Labor Service. I believe that was done so that particularly in the Reich Labor Service, where young people of all classes and backgrounds were taken in, denominational and religious discussions would be avoided.
On Page 2 it says:
"Just as it is of no concern to the Reichsarbeitsdienst to forbid its individual members to have a church wedding or funeral, so the Reichsarbeitsdienst must by all means avoid taking part, as an organization, in church ceremonies which exclude Germans of other beliefs."
I considered this decree as the strictest adherence to religious freedom: for it meant that members of the Protestant faith could not be forced to attend Catholic services and vice versa; furthermore, that persons who perhaps did not belong to any religious denomination could not, on order of their organization, be forced to attend the services of one denomination or the other. Therefore, I cannot see that in this case we are concerned with religious persecution.
Document Number 116-PS concerns itself with a letter of the Leader of the Reich Chancellery sent to the Reich Minister for Science and Education and is dated 24 January 1939. This document was submitted to me for my information-I emphasize, "for my information." It refers to correspondence between the Party Chancellery and this Ministry regarding the limitation of theological faculty's, in which it is emphasized that the terms of concordats and church agreements would have to be taken into consideration; secondly, that it was necessary methodically to reorganize the entire higher educational system by amalgamation and simplification; and finally, it states that newly created fields of research, such as racial research and archeology, were also to be taken into consideration.
I could not see why, after 6 years of National Socialist revolution, new fields of specialization in scientific research should not find due consideration within the budget. I personally was interested in seeing that the subjects of agrarian sociology and the early history of Germany received proper consideration, specifically in regard to Germanic intellectual and spiritual history.
The same applies to Document Number 122-PS, also dated April 1939, into which I do not need to go in detail. It sets forth similar views by the Minister for Science, Education, and Popular Culture, stating how many theological faculties he deemed necessary to be retained.
Document 129-PS is a letter of the Reich Minister for Churches to a well-known German author, Dr. Stapel, who was especially interested in religious reform. In this letter, the Reich Church
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Minister expresses the view that a common religious denomination should be especially promoted which would affirm the National Socialist State in particular and, at the same time, could enjoy and rely upon the support of the Reich Church Minister.
In the preliminary interrogation, a letter of mine was submitted to me, written to the Party Chancellery, relative to this matter, in which I declared myself against the calling of such a church congress by the Reich Church Minister on the principal ground that a National Socialist Minister of Churches did not have the function of joining a religious denomination of which he was the direct head, even if undeclared or only in appearance. It is exactly the same viewpoint which has provided the basis for many a reproach against me. If, in addition to publicizing my personal opinion, I had had the intention of providing or leading a religious group, then I would have had to give up all my functions, offices, and activities in the Party. That followed from a point of view of principle which I held. The Minister of Churches, as a National Socialist Minister, was, in my opinion, obliged not to promote a religion to which he was sympathetic, but to be independent of all religious denominations.
Document 101-PS is a letter from the Chief of the Party Chancellery-at that time still Chief of Staff of the Deputy of the Fuehrer-in which the protest is made that many confessional writings tended to impair the resistance of the troops; and he suggested that it would be better to have my office issue such publications. An answer by me has not been presented here-has not been shown to me. My opinion has always been that, being in a Party of lice, it was not for me to write religious tracts, but that, of course, it could be left to every person as an individual-if one had something pertinent to say, to put it in writing, as others did.
Document 100-PS is a reproach from the former Chief of Staff of the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Bormann, that I had stated in the presence of the Fuehrer that the Protestant Reich Bishop, Muller, had written a very good book for the German soldiers. Reichsleiter Bormann said that this book by Muller did not appear suitable to him, because, after all, it was masked confessional propaganda. I do not believe that the reproach directed at me for unhesitatingly approving Reich Bishop Muller's expression of opinion given in a proper way-and naturally in keeping with his way of thinking- can be portrayed as religious persecution.
Document 089-PS is a letter by Bormann, which he sent to me for my information, in which he told me that he had proposed to Reichsleiter Amann that, because of the general scarcity of paper, religious writings, which had decreased by only 10 percent, should be further curtailed. I did not know to what extent the curtailment
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of all periodicals was undertaken at that time. I can only state that in the course of the war even the seven periodicals about art, music, folklore, German dramaturgy, et cetera, which were published by my office, were constantly curtailed and abbreviated along with the rest of the periodicals in the German Reich.
Document 064-PS is a letter of the head of the Party Chancellery, in which I am informed of the letter of a Gauleiter referring to a pamphlet by General Von Rabenau entitled, The Spirit and Soul of the Soldier. This Gauleiter criticized the very denominationally bound viewpoint of General Von Rabenau, and he protested against the fact that this tract appeared in a series of pamphlets published by the Party. In that connection I would like to say that this tract by General Von Rabenau appeared in a series published by my Party office, and that I read this pamphlet personally beforehand and gave him the opportunity to voice his opinion in this series which contained many political tracts of a general historical nature. I did not withdraw this pamphlet.
Document 098-PS contains a new reproach against me by the Chief of the Party Chancellery. He said that Reich Bishop Muller claimed that he had had directives from me to work out basic principles for the organization of religious instruction in the schools.
Bormann set forth at great length that it was not the task of the Party to engage in reform measures with respect to religious instruction in schools. To this I would like to say the following. I could not give any instructions at all to Reich Bishop Muller on this topic. Nevertheless, the Reich Bishop visited me on two occasions, and on one occasion he told me, virtually with tears in his eyes, that he got no proper response to his work. I told him, "Your Excellency, as a military pastor, you are simply not well enough known to the public. It would be quite apropos if you would write a detailed work setting forth your views and your objectives, so that the various groups of the Evangelical Church might get to know your ideas, and in that way you can make your influence felt in the manner you wish." The Reich Bishop may well have spoken about this, and probably made a few additional remarks. I do not believe that the accusation made here by Bormann can be construed as persecution of the churches either.
Document 075-PS is a special circular letter by the Chief of the Party Chancellery, setting forth his personal views on the relationship of National Socialism to Christendom' As well as I remember, this document deals with the following: I had once heard that Bormann had sent a letter of such contents to a certain Gauleiter and also copies of it to all the Gauleiter. I asked him to let me know about it. After much delay I finally received this circular letter. As a Party circular, I considered it improper in
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form and substance. I wrote Bormann-and I believe the letter I sent to him should be found in my records-that I did not consider a circular letter of that sort suitable or proper and I added, in my own handwriting so that it would be taken more seriously, that in my opinion the Fuehrer would not approve a circular letter of this sort. Later I spoke with Bormann about this personally and told him that each one of us had the right to define his position towards this problem, but official Party circulars-and especially in this form-were impossible in my opinion. After this conversation, Bormann was greatly embarrassed, and-as I incidentally heard from my Codefendant Schirach-this circular letter, according to him, was rescinded and declared null and void. I can make no statement about this, however.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I would like to call attention to the fact that I gave the Document Number 075-PS to this document, but it should actually be Document D75.
ROSENBERG: Document 072-PS is a letter from Bormann with reference to the matter of investigating the libraries of monasteries confiscated by the State. I was not told the political reasons involved in each case; but I did hear that the police were demanding the additional right to take over the investigation of this sort of thing. This was a problem which brought me into conflict with Himmler in those years. I considered it completely impossible that such investigation was to be brought under police control as well, and that motivated me, as can be seen from Document 071-PS, to place myself in opposition to Bormann in this matter.
This Document 072-PS gives Bormann's answer to me, in which he points out that Heydrich insisted absolutely on continuing this research and said-I quote: "The scientific refutation of antagonistic philosophy can only be carried out after preliminary police and political preparation." I considered this attitude absolutely untenable, and I protested against it.
These are the pertinent comments which I have to make on these numerous documents. I refused to write official Party tracts of religious semblance or to have catechisms written by my Party offices. I always strove to take what I considered to be a National Socialist attitude in not considering my office a "spiritual" police force; but the fact remained that the Fuehrer had charged Bormann with the official representation of the Party's attitude toward the church.
My answer to all of these letters is missing, and I do not recall whether I replied to everything, or whether I gave these answers orally to Bormann at conferences. But despite the fact that all of these answers are lacking, the Prosecution have stated that both of
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us, that is Bormann and I, had issued decrees for religious persecution and had misled other Germans into participating in these religious persecutions.
I would like to summarize and state on principle that this is ultimately a thousand-year-old problem of the relationship between secular and church power, and that many states have taken measures against which the churches have always protested. When in modern times we look at the laws of the French Republic under the ministry of Combes, and when we look at the legal system of the Soviet Union, we see that both have supported the officially promoted atheist propaganda in tracts, newspapers, and caricatures.
Lastly, I would like to say that in all cases the National Socialist State, so far as I know, gave to the churches more than 700 million marks annually out of the tax receipts for the maintenance of their organizational work, and that up to the end.
DR. THOMA: Witness, the chief of the Party Chancellery, Bormann, in the course of time, met you in still keener opposition. Was the reason for the, one may well say, enmity between you and Bormann the fact that in church matters you were considerably more tolerant than Bormann, himself?
ROSENBERG: It is difficult to say just which reasons played a role here. That this hostility was as deep as it finally revealed itself to be, specifically when dealing with Eastern problems, I realized only later, much later. Ultimately I had to admit, of course, that in a large movement many temperaments and many views may exist, and I did not except myself from having shortcomings and faults which could be criticized by others. I did not believe that differences and opinions could lead to a hostility of such proportions that it would result in undermining the official position of the opponent.
DR. THOMA: Were religious services in the Third Reich, regular Sunday services, and so forth limited in any way?
ROSENBERG: I cannot tell you that at the moment. As far as I know, religious services were never forbidden in the whole of Germany up to the end.
DR. THOMA: Now I come to the Einsatzstab. I give you Document 101-PS, (Exhibit USA-385) in which the essential matters are summarized, and I refer you to the document book of the French Prosecution, Document Number FA-1, in particular. How did the establishment of Einsatzstab Rosenberg come about?
ROSENBERG: The Prosecution contends that it is a matter of a premeditated plan for the plundering of the cultural treasures of other states. In reality, the following was true: We were dealing with an unforeseen situation. A colleague of mine had accompanied
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a press delegation when the German troops marched into Paris and noticed that the Parisians were returning almost completely with the exception of the Jewish population, so that all organizations and institutions in that category of ownership were left behind empty, as well as the residences. and mansions of these leading personalities, so to say, ownerless. He suggested that research into property, archives, and correspondence should be made. I reported the matter to the Fuehrer and asked whether he approved of the carrying out of this suggestion.
This letter of mine to the Fuehrer was submitted to me in the preliminary interrogation but was not submitted to the Tribunal by the Prosecution. Thus, even though the documentary proof of the reason for this entire transaction is at hand, the Prosecution have still maintained the charge of a premeditated plan.
The order of the Fuehrer was issued at the beginning of July 1940, and since a large number of art objects, in addition to the archives, was found in a dangerous position in many mansions, the safekeeping and the transporting of these objects of art into the German Reich was decreed by the Fuehrer.
DR. THOMA: Did you know anything as to what legal reasons Hitler is believed to have had for these measures?
ROSENBERG: Yes, and I would admit. . .
THE PRESIDENT: Just one minute. I don't understand what you are saying. Are you saying that you made a suggestion to the Fuehrer, and that there is proof of your letter making that suggestion, and that the Prosecution are concealing that proof? Is that what you are saying? Will you answer that question? Are you suggesting that they are concealing a proof of the suggestion which you made the Fuehrer for this scheme of taking away Jewish property from France?
ROSENBERG: No, I do not wish to say conceal, but only to say that it was not submitted, even though it was shown to me in a preliminary hearing.
DR. THOMA: May I add a few details, Mr. President. I would like to point out that I repeatedly pointed out in my petitions that this letter must be available, since it was submitted to the Defendant Rosenberg in the preliminary hearings.
THE PRESIDENT: Have you made any application for the document to be produced?
DR. THOMA: Yes, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: When?
DR. THOMA: I repeatedly called attention to this. document- to the submission of this document.
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THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal are quite unaware of having turned down any such request. Let me see the written request.
DR. THOMA: Yes.
Bran; PRESIDENT: It probably is not a matter of very great importance. I only wanted to know what the witness was talking about.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I will send for my files.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, you can go on in the meantime.
ROSENBERG: Of course, it was clear that we were concerned with an unusual problem, and for that very reason I did not talk with the military administration but went directly to the Fuehrer, so that I could get his opinion. But I believe the fact in itself can be understood, that we were interested in going into historical research regarding the extent to which, in the course of recent years or decades, various organizations had taken part in the activity which is here under discussion as destructive of peace; secondly, how many prominent persons individually took part in it; and thirdly, I remembered that many works of art, which in past times had been taken from Germany had not been returned to Germany for many decades, despite the agreement of 1815.
Finally, I thought of a measure which in 1914 to 1918 had been recognized by the Allies as being in agreement with the Hague Convention. At that period German citizens of a certain category- they were the racial Germans abroad, in foreign countries, also in occupied German territory-that is, in the colonies-had their property confiscated and later taken from them without compensation to the extent of a value of 25 billion Reichsmark. In the peace dictate of Versailles, Germany was in addition obliged to post security for these dispossessed Germans and to set up a special fund.
The Chief French Prosecutor declared at this Trial that the Versailles Treaty was based on the Hague Convention. Therefore, I drew the conclusion that this measure against a very distinct category of citizens in the midst of unforeseen military measures, with all due respect for private and public property otherwise, appeared justified.
During the preliminary hearing, I was also asked about the legal hypotheses and had started to point them out, but I was interrupted with the remark that we were not concerned with that problem at the time. The record of this interrogation which the French Prosecution presented here contains the remark that I am supposed to have said...
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THE PRESIDENT: We are not concerned with the interrogations until the interrogations are put in evidence. These interrogations have not been put in evidence yet. You can give your explanations of them if they are put to you in crossexamination.
ROSENBERG: Mr. President, this document is mentioned here in the document book, and the German translation may be found, although not exactly verbatim, in the French files.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, the defendant only wishes to say that from the beginning he pointed out that the Treaty of Versailles, Article 279, was authoritative, that he did not invent that later on.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, all I was pointing out to him was that the various interrogations which have taken place very likely are not in evidence. Of course, if he is referring to interrogations which have been put in evidence-but is he?
DR. THOMA: Yes. This is FA-16 (Document Number L-188). That was submitted, Mr. President.
ROSENBERG: That is what I was speaking of. That was submitted. But this interrogation was...
THE PRESIDENT: Just a moment. If he is referring to an interrogation which has been put in evidence, it must have an exhibit number. ' ~
DR. THOMA: This interrogation is in the document book, and it is known as Document Number FA-16.
THE PRESIDENT: If he is referring to an exhibit, no doubt he can do it.
ROSENBERG: I would like only to rectify somewhat an error in the translation. I did not say, "Yes, it is true; I remember that this measure was taken;" but I said, "I thought it," that is to say, I had thought it earlier, not at the moment when I was asked. I saw this only when I received the translation, which I had not seen prior to that time.
As far as Document 1015-PS is concerned, in order not to delay the Court too long, I would like to point to just a few items- namely, that in the work report of 194044, on Page 2, it was stated that the origin was determined beyond question, and on Page 3 we see that the taking of inventories was done in a conscientious manner on the basis of a scientific catalog, that a workshop for the restoration was set up in order to ensure their arriving at their destination in good condition.
Finally, I would like to add a few words because they seem important to me in view of the charges of the Soviet Prosecution relative to the treatment of cultural treasures by the Einsatzstab in the former Occupied Eastern Territories. At the end of the work
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report, there is stated under the title, "Work in the Eastern regions"-I quote:
"The activity of Special Einsatzstab 'Plastic Art' was limited in the Occupied Eastern Territories to scientific and photographic recording of public collections, their safeguarding and care in collaboration with military and civilian offices. In the. course of evacuation of the area, several hundred of the most valuable Russian icons, several hundred Russian paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, individual pieces of furniture and household articles . . . were recovered and brought to the Reich for safekeeping."
I only wanted to point out by this that the Einsatzstab in the East did not transport any Soviet cultural and art treasures to the Reich, but only brought them to safety-as may be seen from later documents, when the territories directly menaced by operations were evacuated-first into the rear areas, then further back and partly into the Reich.
From the same document I would like to point to a letter of 5 July 1942 from the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery. I refer to the charge of the Polish Government that the entire removal of works of art and museum pieces was concentrated in the Einsatzstab or in the Rosenberg of lice in Berlin. I will return again to this Polish accusation. I just want to point to the paragraph in Dr. Lammers' letter which says that the Fuehrer had decreed that various libraries of the Eastern region were to be confiscated; and then there is stated expressly, "The Government General is not included."
Furthermore, I refer to the directive of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories of 20 August 1941 to Reich Commissioner Ostler.
DR. THOMA: What page?
ROSENBERG: Page 2 of this document. At the end it says...
THE PRESIDENT: What document are you talking about now? What document number?
ROSENBERG: I am sorry, but the copy I have is not marked in red, and I am, therefore, referring to the document in my hands. At any rate, it is at the end of page 1 of the document. This is no special letter, it is a circular letter dated 7 April 1942.
THE PRESIDENT: I only want to get this clear. What I took down was that he was referring to a decree of the 20th of August 1941.
ROSENBERG: I beg your pardon. It is 20 August.
DR. THOMA: 20 August, that is correct, and the year is 1941. It is Page 78 of Document Book 2, at the end of the page.
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ROSENBERG: "I expressly request that you prohibit the removal of cultural objects of any kind from your Reichskommissariat, by any agencies whatsoever, without your approval. What confiscated cultural objects will remain in the Reichskommissariat Ostland and what may possibly be utilized for specialized research work must come under a
later regulation. I request that you inform your subordinate general and district commissioners of this directive. The national administration of museums, libraries, et cetera, regardless of the right of inspection and inventory by the Einsatzstab, remain unaffected by this directive."
I shall come back to this directive later when replying to the accusation by the Soviet Prosecution regarding the administration of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
DR. THOMA: We come now to the furniture operation in France.
ROSENBERG: I am not finished with this matter yet, because exceptionally serious charges have been preferred in this matter. I refer to a second directive of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, dated 7 April 1942, in which, at the end, under I, the fundamental principles I have just read are reiterated. It is in Document Book 2, Page 94. All are told to refrain entirely from independent action.
Under II, it says verbatim:
"In special cases, as an exception, immediate steps can be Taken to secure or remove items to a safe place in order to evade threatening dangers-that is, danger of collapse of buildings, enemy action, climatic influences, et cetera."
I shall come back to this in connection with the accusation of the Soviet Government regarding happenings in Minsk. When Document 076-PS was read, it said at, the end that there was never any order given for the protection of cultural objects. This order has been presented here twice.
Further, I would like to refer to a directive of 3 October 1941 by the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories to the staff leader of the Einsatzstab in the same document-wherein I again call special attention to the document which I have just read.
In addition, I call the Tribunal's attention to an order of the High Command of the Army of 30 September 1942, which was issued in agreement with the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. Here also it says literally at the end, under I, . . .
DR. THOMA: Is that Page 89 of the document book?
THE PRESIDENT: Which is that? September '42?
ROSENBERG: 30 September 1942.
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THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have got that. What about the one of October '41? Where is that?
ROSENBERG: October 41?
THE PRESIDENT: October '41.
ROSENBERG: That is 3 October 1941.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know where it is, Dr. Thoma?
DR. THOMA: It is contained in Document 1015-PS, Exhibit USA-385, but it may be that this document is not listed in this particular index. In my document I cannot locate it at the moment, but it belongs to 1015-PS and was submitted in its entirety.
ROSENBERG: And the order of the Army High Command of 30 September 1942 says, under I:
"Except for special cases, in which the safeguarding of endangered works of culture is urgent, efforts will be made to leave them in their present location for the time being. For this purpose, according to reciprocal agreements between the Quartermaster General of the General Staff of the Army and the Einsatzstab of Reichsleiter Rosenberg, the latter has been granted authority to: c) in order to safeguard against damage or destruction in the operational area of the East also such works of culture which do not fall under paragraph b- especially museum pieces-to protect and/or place them in security."
At the end of this directive, it says under IV:
"Independent of the missions of the Einsatzstab of Reichsleiter Rosenberg, according to Section I, a, b, c, the troops and all military offices located in the operational area are instructed now, as before, to preserve valuable art objects if possible and to protect them from destruction or damage."
I believed it my duty to prove, at least very briefly, that my Einsatzstab, as well as the military offices, issued clear directives and orders for the protection, even during these bitter battles, of objects of art of the Russian, Ukrainian, and White Ruthenian people.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, you know that Hitler and Goering diverted some of the objects of art which were confiscated in France. What part did you play in this matter?
ROSENBERG: In principle the Fuehrer specified, as can be seen from information given by the then Field Marshal Keitel, upon order of the Fuehrer, that he reserved for himself the disposition of these works and any decision related hereto.
I do not wish to dispute in any way that I had the hope that at least a large part of these objects of art would remain in
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Germany, particularly since, in the course of time, many German cultural works were destroyed by particularly severe bombing in the West. These works of art were to be a sort of security for later negotiations. When Reich Marshal Goering, who by directive of the Fuehrer particularly supported this work of the Einsatzstab, earmarked a number of these works of art for his collection, I was- I must say frankly, as the record states-a little uneasy, because with this commission I had taken on a certain responsibility in my name for the total of the confiscated cultural and art objects, and I was, therefore, obligated to catalog them in their entirety and to keep them available for any negotiations or decisions. Therefore, I directed my deputy to make as complete a list as possible of those things which the Reich Marshal, with the approval of the Fuehrer, was diverting for his collection. I knew that Reich Marshal Goering intended later to give this collection to the German Reich and not to bequeath it privately.
In the interrogation record which was produced and read on this point by the French Prosecution there is also a regrettable error to be found. It says that I had been uneasy because Reich Marshal Goering had misappropriated these works of art. In German, the term "entwendet" means as much as to take illegally (to embezzle).
What I said, however, was "verwendet," which has a different meaning.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I would like to point out in this connection the fact that the French used the word "detourne," which means "divert."
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. THOMA: I now turn to the furniture operation in France, and for that purpose I am showing the defendant Document 001-PS, also Volume II of the French Document Book, and I am asking the defendant to state his views with respect to it.
[The document was submitted to the defendant.]
ROSENBERG: Document 001-PS contains, at the beginning, information to the effect that in the East accommodations were found to be so dreadful that I was proposing that ownerless Jewish homes in France and their furniture should be made available for that purpose. This suggestion was approved in a decree issued, by order of the Fuehrer, by the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery on 31 December 1941.
In the course of the ever increasing bombardment in Germany, I considered that I no longer could take responsibility for this, and
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thus I made a suggestion that this furniture should be placed at the disposal of bombed out victims in Germany-which amounted to more than 100,000 people on certain nights that emergency aid would be given to them.
In the report of the French Document Book it is stated in the seventh paragraph how the confiscation was carried out: that these deserted apartments were sealed, that they remained sealed for some time in the event of possible claims, and that then the shipment to Germany was carried out.
I am aware that this, no doubt, was a serious encroachment on private property; but here again, in connection with previous considerations, I thought about the implications and, finally, of the millions of homeless Germans. I want to emphasize in this connection that I kept myself well informed; that the homes, their owners, and the main contents in the way of furniture were recorded in detail in a big book, as a basis for possible negotiations at a later date.
In Germany the matter was so arranged that those people who suffered damage by bombing paid for these furnishings and household goods, which were placed at their disposal; and these deliveries were deducted from the claims which they had against the state. That money was paid into a special fund administered by the Minister of Finance.
The Document 001-PS contains under Number 2 a suggestion which I myself consider a serious charge against me. This is a suggestion that in view of many murders of Germans in France, not only Frenchmen should be shot as hostages, but that Jewish citizens also were to be called to account. I should like to say that I considered these shootings of hostages, since they were announced publicly, a permissible measure under special circumstances in wartime. The fact that this sort of thing was being done by the Armed Forces appeared to me according to the result of the usual investigations, the more so since it was taking place in a territory, a State with which the German Reich had signed an armistice.
Secondly, this happened during a period of excitement, due to the war which had just broken out with the United States of America and to our recollection of the report from the Polish Ambassador, Count Potocki, dated 30 January 1939, which the Tribunal has forbidden to be read.
In spite of everything, however, I must say that I consider this suggestion as a personal injustice. Looking at it from the legal side, I would like to point out that in Document 1015-PS, under letter Y. there is a letter from the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, which is dated 31 December 1941, and in which it says:
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"Your memorandum dated 18 December 1941 has been submitted to the Fuehrer. The Fuehrer has agreed in principle with the suggestion under 1. A copy of that part of the memorandum which deals with the utilization of Jewish household goods I have sent to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands, together with a letter of which a copy is attached hereto."
In this matter Point 1 was accepted and tacitly, though just as emphatically, Point 2, which deals with this suggestion, was turned down. This suggestion, therefore, had no legal consequences. Later on I never again referred to this suggestion, and I must say that I had forgotten all about it until it was again put before me here.
DR. THOMA: I now turn to the subject, "Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories." The defendant is eager to express his opinion with regard to Molotov's note-that he, the defendant, was a Czarist spy-since this affects his personal character. I therefore ask the defendant whether he at any time had relations with the Czarist police.
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, the Indictment which has been presented to the Defendant Rosenberg at no point incriminates him of having been a Czarist spy. Therefore, we consider that this question is irrelevant.
DR. THOMA: The Molotov notes have been submitted to the Tribunal, and so have been put in evidence. Therefore, I think that I may be permitted to put that question.
THE PRESIDENT: He has answered in the negative already, so you can pass from it, can't you? It has formed no part of the Indictment.
DR. THOMA: Yes.
[Turning to the defendant] When did you learn that you were proposed for the position of Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and for what reason were you given this commission?
ROSENBERG: May I state with regard to this that at the very beginning of April-as far as I can remember it was 2 April 1941-the Fuehrer summoned me in the morning and explained to me that he regarded a military clash with the Soviet Union as inevitable. As reasons he quoted two points: first, the military occupation of Romanian territory-that is to say, Bessarabia and North Bukovina; second, the continual reenforcing for a long time and on a gigantic scale of the Red Army along the line of demarcation and in Soviet Russian territory generally. These facts were
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so striking that he had already given the relevant military and other orders and had decided to assign me as a political adviser in a decisive capacity. Thus I was faced with a fait accompli, and an attempt even to discuss the matter was countered by the Fuehrer with the remark that the orders had been given and that scarcely anything could be altered in the matter, whereupon I told the Fuehrer that, of course, I wished the best of luck to the German arms, and I was at his disposal for the political advice which he desired.
Immediately afterwards I caned a meeting of some of my closest assistants, since I did not know whether the military operations would be starting very soon or later on. We made a number of drafts concerning the possible treatment of political problems and possible measures to be taken in the territories to be occupied in the East. These drafts have been submitted here. On 20 April 1 received a preliminary task, which was to form a central department for dealing with Eastern questions and to get in touch with the highest Reich authorities concerned with these matters.
DR. THOMA: I should like to submit to the defendant the instructions which he drafted after his appointment.
I have just one more request to the Tribunal. These instructions are now crossed out in the photostatic copy and bear all sorts of remarks. I request, therefore, that the Tribunal take personal cognizance of the photostatic copies so that they can see how these instructions have been crossed out. The documents themselves have already been submitted to the Tribunal as numbered exhibits.
ROSENBERG: May I refer to these documents-1017-PS, 1028-PS, 1029-PS, and 1030-PS...
THE PRESIDENT: They have already been put in evidence?
DR. THOMA: Yes, they have been put in.
[Turning to the defendant.] May I ask you to state the exhibit numbers?
ROSENBERG: I have just mentioned the exhibit numbers.
DR. THOMA: What are the USA exhibit numbers?
ROSENBERG: Document Number 1028-PS has Exhibit Number USA-273; Document 1030-PS has Exhibit USA-144. On the others 1 do not find any USA numbers.
DR. THOMA: Document 1017-PS is Exhibit USA-142; Document 1028-PS is Exhibit USA-273; Document 029-PS is Exhibit USA-145; Document 1030-PS is Exhibit USA-144. They are contained in the special document book for the Defendant Rosenberg. I state in this connection that these are provisional drafts, with notations by the secretary, from the end of April and the beginning of May.
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These provisional drafts were not released but, as can be seen, were crossed out and supplemented with written remarks in the margin; and, in addition, they contain viewpoints which later on were not approved by the Fuehrer. For this very reason, as far as the Ukraine is concerned they could not be applied at all. The written instructions which went out to the Reich Commissioners for the East and the Ukraine, after the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories had been formed, were unfortunately not found, so that I cannot refer to them.
DR. THOMA: On 20 June 1941-that is to say, one day before the outbreak of the war against Russia-did you make a speech to everybody concerned with Eastern affairs regarding those Eastern problems? The document concerned here is Exhibit USA-147, from which the Prosecution quoted a single paragraph several times.
ROSENBERG: This is a fairly long impromptu speech made before those who were concerned with, and assigned to deal with Eastern problems. With regard to this, I state that it was my duty, as a matter of course, to consider political measures which would have to be proposed to avoid a situation in which the German Reich would have to fight every 25 years for its existence in the East; and I should like to emphasize that that which I authentically said in a confidential speech does not correspond in any way with the Soviet accusations that I was in favor of a systematic extermination of the Slavic peoples.
I do not wish to occupy the Tribunal's time by reading very much here; nevertheless I would like to read a few paragraphs to justify myself. It says on Page 3 (Exhibit USA-147):
"Originally, Russian history was a purely Continental affair. For 200 years Moscow-Russia lived under the Tartar yoke, and its face was mainly turned to the East. The Russian traders and hunters opened up the East as far as the Urals. Some Cossack treks went to Siberia, and the colonization of Siberia is no doubt one of the great accomplishments of history."
I think that this expresses my attitude of respect toward that historic achievement.
On Page 6 it says:
"From this it follows that Germany's aim is the freedom of the Ukrainian people. This must without fail be made a point in our political program. In what form and to what extent a Ukrainian State can be formed later is of no purport just now.... One must proceed cautiously in this direction. Literature dealing with the Ukrainian struggles must be promoted so that the Ukrainian people's historical consciousness can be revived. A university would have to be founded
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in Kiev, technical colleges established, the Ukrainian language cultivated, et cetera."
I have quoted this as documentary evidence of the fact that it was not my intention to destroy the culture of the peoples of the East.
In the next paragraph I pointed out that it was important to win, in the course of time, the voluntary cooperation of the 40 minion people in the Ukraine. On Page 7 reference is made to the possible occupation of the Caucasian territories as follows: "Here the aim will not be to establish a Caucasian National State but to find a solution on Federal lines which, with German help, might go so far as to influence these people to ask Germany to protect their cultural and national existence." Here, too, there is no question of a desire to exterminate.
Now comes a matter which has been described by the American Prosecution as a particularly serious, incriminating factor. It deals with the so-called colonization and the property of German peoples in the East. This paragraph is worded as follows:
"Quite apart from all these problems, there is a question which is of an equally general nature, and which we must all think about-namely, the question of German property. German people have worked in this immense territory for centuries. The result of that work, among other things, was the acquisition of vast lands. The land confiscated in the Baltic countries can be compared in size with East Prussia; the entire real estate in the Black Sea was as great as Wuritemberg, Baden, and Alsace put together. In the Black Sea area more land was cultivated than is arable in England. These comparisons of size must make it clear to us that the Germans there did not idly exploit or plunder the people, but that they did constructive work. And the result of this work is German national property; irrespective of earlier individual owners. Just how that may one day be compensated cannot yet be considered. But a . . . legal basis can be established."
I wished to quote this so that I can refer to it later on when we deal with the agrarian problem, particularly in respect to the Reich Commission East, where in spite of these reflections the 700 year old German property was not restored but handed to the Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians by law, as has been proved.
In a later paragraph it states:
"We must declare in this connection that even now we are not enemies of the Russian people..."
THE PRESIDENT: Are you still reading from Document 1058-PS? ROSENBERG: Yes. I continue to quote the following paragraph:
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"We must declare in this connection that even now we are not enemies of the Russian people. All of us who knew the Russians before know that the individual Russian is a very likable person, capable of assimilating culture, but lacking only in the strength of character possessed by the Western European... Our fight for a regrouping is conducted quite in line with the right of national self-determination of peoples...."
I shall not read to the Tribunal the end, which they can later take cognizance of in detail if they so wish.
I made that speech fully convinced that, after my first expository remarks to the Fuehrer about the subject, he had essentially agreed with me. I did not know-and he did not tell me-that other military and police orders had already been issued; otherwise it would have been practically impossible for me-and particularly in Heydrich's presence-to make a speech which obviously contradicted flatly the conceptions of Himmler and Heydrich.
As far as the passage from this document which had been quoted by the Prosecution is concerned, I have the following to say: I heard from people working on the Four Year Plan that, in the event of an occupation of the Moscow industrial region and of far-reaching destruction by war operations, large-scale industries could no longer continue, and that activities would probably be limited to operating a number of key industries only. That would necessarily result in considerable unemployment. Besides, it was not clear how large the supply reserves in the East were, and in view of the general food situation and of the blockade the German food supply had to be a primary consideration.
This is back of the remark that under certain circumstances a large-scale evacuation of Russian territories might be necessary where large numbers of industrial workers might become unemployed. And in connection therewith, I should like to refer to Document 1056-PS, which contains the first directive from the Ministry for Eastern Affairs, according to which the providing of food supplies for the population also was made a special duty.
DR. THOMA: On 17 July 1941 you were appointed, by decree of the Fuehrer, to act as Reich Minister for the administration of the newly occupied Eastern Territories. On the preceding day there had been a conference between Hitler, Keitel, Goering, and Lammers, during which you stated your administrative program in detail I refer to Document L221, Exhibit USA-317 and ask you to comment upon it. It is on Page 123 in Rosenberg Document Book 2.
ROSENBERG: This document, which is obviously a final resume by Bormann, has, of course, been submitted here four or five times.
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During that meeting I had actually not intended to present a voluminous program, but this session had been called for the purpose of discussing the wording of the intended Fuehrer decrees concerning the administration of the Occupied Eastern Territories and to give all the participants an opportunity to state their views on that subject. I was also preoccupied with a number of questions dealing with personnel, which I wanted to submit to the Fuehrer. I was surprised, therefore, when the Fuehrer began passionately, and at considerable length, to expound this policy in the East while making many unexpected observations for me. I had the impression that the Fuehrer himself was aroused by the unanticipated powerful armament of the Soviet Union and our hard struggle against the Red Army. That had obviously caused the Fuehrer to make some of the statements to which I may perhaps refer at the end.
In the presence of the other witnesses, I countered the unexpected statements of the Fuehrer, and in addition I should like to read from Bormann's record the following paragraphs which have not been read until now. I quote from the original Document L221 on Page 4:
"Reich Leader Rosenberg emphases that, in accordance with his views, each Kommissariat would require a different treatment of the population. In the Ukraine we would have to initiate a program furthering art and culture. We would have to awaken the historical consciousness of the Ukrainians, and establish a university at Kiev, and the like. The Reich Marshal, on the other hand, points out that we have to think first of guaranteeing our food supply-everything else should be dealt with later.
"(Incidental question: Is there still anything like an educated class in the Ukraine, or are upperclass Ukrainians to be found only as emigrants outside present day Russia?)"
This is a comment by Bormann. I continue to quote:
"Rosenberg continues that certain independence movements in the Ukraine deserved support as well."
Then follows on Page 5 a quotation of the intentions of the Fuehrer, where it says-and I quote:
"Likewise the Crimea, including a considerable hinterland (territory north of the Crimea), must become Reich territory; the hinterland must be as large as possible.
"Rosenberg complains about this because of the Ukrainians living there.
"(Incidental question:"-again from Bormann-"It frequently appears that Rosenberg has quite a liking for the Ukrainians; he wants to enlarge the former Ukraine to a considerable extent.)"
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Thus there is evidence that I tried to persuade the Fuehrer with all my might to agree to the same points which I made in my speech on 20 June 1941 before the assembled department heads.
The further content of the document shows that the Reich Marshal was interested particularly in the appointment of the former Gauleiter Koch, and that I opposed this candidate since I was afraid that Koch, due to his temperament and being so far removed front the Reich, might not follow my directives. To be sure, while making the protest I could not have known that Koch later on, in disobeying my directives, would go as far as he did and-I shall add-upon special instigation by the head of the Party Chancellery.
Toward the end, on Page 10 of the original of the record, there appears a passage which has not been read, which I am now quoting:
"A lengthy discussion sets in regarding the competency of the Reichsfuehrer-SS. Obviously the participants have also in mind the authority of the Reich Marshal at the time."
I personally wish to add that this is a private remark made by the head of the Party Chancellery and does not by any means represent the actual minutes of a meeting. I quote further:
"The Fuehrer, the Reich Marshal, and others emphasize repeatedly that Himmler shall by no means have greater jurisdiction than he had in Germany proper; this, however, was absolutely necessary."
These minutes show that this was a rather heated discussion, since, not only during that conference, but before that I had opposed the idea that the police should have legally independent executive authority in the occupied territories-that is to say, that they were to be independent of the civil administration. I also spoke against the presented version of the Fuehrer decree, which had already been prepared. I did not find any support whatsoever for my opinion from anyone present, and that explains to a great extent the later developments and the wording of the decree, signed on the following day by the Fuehrer, which was the ruling applicable to the entire administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories.
DR. THOMA: On 17 July you were appointed Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and at the same time other appointments were made. The question now arises: What was the extent of your competency and of your activities in the Eastern Territories?-Rosenberg Document Book, Volume II, Page 46.
ROSENBERG: May I refer you to Paragraph 2, which deals with the establishment of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, where a Reich Minister is appointed, and Paragraph 3, which reads as follows:
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"Military authorities and powers are exercised in the newly occupied Eastern Territories by the commanders of the Armed Forces in accordance with my decree of 25 June 1941. The powers of the Delegate for the Four Year Plan in the newly occupied Eastern Territories, according to my decree of 29 June 1941, and those of the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, according to my decree of 17 July 1941, are subject to special ruling and are not affected by the following regulations."
Paragraph 6 states, "At the head of each Reich Commission shall be a Reich commissioner . . . ," and then follow detailed regulations, stating that the Reich commissioners and the commissioners general shall be appointed by the Fuehrer personally, and that consequently they could not be relieved or dismissed by me.
Paragraph 7 rules that the Reich commissioners shall be subordinated to the Reich Ministers and shall receive instructions exclusively from them wherever Article 3 is not applicable-that is, the Paragraph 3 which refers to the commanders of ~ the Armed Forces and the Chief of the German Police.
Paragraph 9 states, "The Reich commissioners are responsible for the entire administration of their territory with regard to civilian affairs."
In the next paragraph the entire management of the German railways and mails is placed under the jurisdiction of the ministries concerned, as is not otherwise possible in war.
Paragraph 10 requires the Reich Minister, whose headquarters are specified as Berlin, to coordinate, in the highest interest of the Reich, his wishes with those of the other supreme authorities in the Reich, and in the event of differences of opinion to seek a decision by the Fuehrer.
I need not submit to the Tribunal the Fuehrer decree concerning Commands of the Armed Forces, since it is sufficiently clear what we are concerned with, nor the decree regarding the powers of the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, dated 29 June 1941, in which it is stated that the Delegate for the Four Year Plan-that is, Reich Marshal Goering-may also issue instructions to all civilian and military services in the Occupied Eastern Territories. Of decisive importance for an estimate of the entire legal relationship, however, and the consequence finally resulting therefrom is the decree of the Fuehrer regarding police protection in the Occupied Eastern Territories, dated 17 July 1941. It says under Provision I as follows, "Police security in the newly occupied Eastern Territories is a matter for the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police."
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By this Paragraph I all security measures in the Eastern Territories were placed under the unlimited jurisdiction of the Reichsfuehrer SS, who thereby, alongside the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories and next to the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, became the third independent central Reich authority in Berlin, with the result that the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories could not install a security or police department in his ministry in Berlin.`
Under Provision II it states that the Reichsfuehrer SS is also authorized, apart from the normal instructions to his police, to issue instructions directly to the civilian Reich commissioners under certain circumstances, and that he is obliged to transmit orders of fundamental political significance through the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, unless it is a question of averting an imminent danger. This wording gave to the Reichsfuehrer SS the actual possibility of deciding for himself what he considered politically important in his orders and what not, and what his orders regarding the averting of impending danger concerned.
Provision IIB is of very great importance, since the quotation of Document 1056-PS (Volume V, Page 60) has given the Tribunal the impression that the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories had units of the SS under his command in the Occupied Eastern Territories. Even though it appears from Provision I, which I have just quoted, that this is incorrect, a wording which is often used in connection with the powers of the SS has led to this misunderstanding. This wording is quoted under III of the Police Security Decree as follows:
"For the carrying out of police security to each Reich commissioner shall be attached a Higher SS and Police Leader who shall be directly and personally subordinate to the Reich commissioner. Leaders of the SS and Police shall be assigned to the Commissioners General, to the chief, and to the area commissioners, and shall be subordinated to them directly and personally."
Dr. Lammers, who was charged with the drafting of these proposals, has replied upon questioning that this wording was chosen to mean that the civilian Reich commissioner could certainly give instructions to the police on political matters, but that by the choice of the words "personally and directly subordinate" the actual giving of orders was exclusively reserved for the Chief of the German Police. And, as far as I know, Himmler insisted particularly on this wording because it allowed the Reich Commission outwardly to manifest to the population a certain uniformity of administration, while, according to Reich law and in practice, the power to issue orders bypassed the civilian administration. The agreements
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between Heydrich and the General Quartermaster of the Army here submitted, the contents of which I heard for the first time during this Trial, emphasize that this corresponds to the facts and point out just how these matters developed and how orders and authorizations of the police were worded.
The other decrees deal with the establishment of the Reich commissions themselves, and I do' not believe that I need quote them to the Tribunal. They represent the detailed elaboration of that which has preceded.
I should merely like to refer now to the Lammers decree of 9 February 1942, which refers to technical matters and armament. I point out that, due to later wishes expressed by other agencies of the Reich, the departments for technical matters and propaganda, which had been attached originally to the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories and the Reich Commission head offices, were separated from these bodies and subordinated to the corresponding ministries in such a way that Reich Minister Speer had his deputies in the Reich Commissions as liaison officers, just as the Reich Transport Minister also had; and that political propaganda instructions were to be issued by the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, but their practical execution left to the Reich Minister for Propaganda.
DR. THOMA: Herr Rosenberg, I think you should be a little briefer.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the Tribunal hopes you will.
DR. THOMA: The most important thing in the whole matter, apart from the jurisdiction of the Police and SS Leader, is your position with regard to the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor. What were the conditions regarding authority and subordination? Was Sauckel entitled to give you instructions?
ROSENBERG: The authority which the Delegate for the Four Year Plan had received from the Fuehrer is clearcut; and the Fuehrer decree of 21 March....
THE PRESIDENT: The question was: "Was Sauckel entitled to give you instructions?" Then you begin to tell us about the Four Year Plan. I am sure you can answer that question directly.
DR. THOMA: I believe . . .
ROSENBERG: The Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor had the right to give instructions to all top authorities in the Reich, and that included the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. This was...
DR. THOMA: That is enough. Were you entitled to tell Reich Commissioner Koch that the quotas of laborers which were required would or could no longer be fulfilled-"yes" or "no"?
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ROSENBERG: I could not do that as simply as that, since the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor had been given very definite quotas by the Fuehrer, and when these quotas appeared too large to me-and that was always the case-I would call together the Plenipotentiary General and his representatives and the representatives of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories for a conference so as to reduce the figures to a somehow bearable size; and the reduction of these quotas did, in fact, often result from such conferences, even though they still remained very high. Officially, however, I could do no more than make such representations.
MR. DODD: This defendant continues to make a speech. The question was very simple. He was asked whether he was entitled to tell the Reich Commissioner Koch that the quotas of laborers which were required could not be filled. He has now 3 minutes, and I am sure that he will take 30 minutes if he is allowed to go on. He should be kept to all elements surrounding that question.
DR. THOMA: Witness, I must underline Mr. Dodd's suggestion. I have asked you, were you entitled to tell Reich Commissioner Koch that he should not carry out this drafting of labor?
ROSENBERG: I could not do that.
DR. THOMA: Then the answer is "no." Did you, nevertheless, do so on one occasion? Did you once tell him that he should make use of his rights and powers and simply not fill these quotas?- "yes" or "no"?
ROSENBERG: Yes, I did that expressly in a letter to the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, and the document has been presented in court. It is dated December 1942; and in that letter I officially drew his attention to many incidents which took place during this labor recruitment drive, and I requested him urgently to help me in putting an end to these intolerable occurrences.
DR. THOMA: May I ask you briefly to refer to this question of labor mobilization on the basis of the documents. They are documents which have already been presented by the United States: Documents Number 016-PS, 017-PS, 018-PS, 054-PS, 084-PS, 294-PS, 265-PS, and 031-PS. I think you can be brief about all these documents since they speak for themselves.
THE PRESIDENT: Are they in the document book?
DR. THOMA: They are partly in the U.S.A. Document Book "Alfred Rosenberg"-the special document book.
ROSENBERG: Document 016-PS is a letter written to me by the Plenipotentiary General, dated 24 April, in which he elaborates his
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program. It has several times been referred to by the Prosecution, and I would like to refer you to two brief points which relate to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
On Page 17 of the document, under the tine, "Prisoners of War and Foreign Laborers," Paragraph 3 at the end reads literally:
"As far as the beaten enemy is concerned-and even if he has been our most terrible and implacable opponent-it has always been a matter of course to us Germans to refrain from any cruelty and petty chicanery and always treat him correctly and humanely, even then, when we expect useful service from him."
And then it says, on Page 18, in Paragraph 5:
"Therefore in the Russian camps, too, the principles of German cleanliness, orderliness, and hygiene must be meticulously observed."
That, as far as I was concerned, was the decisive point; and I fully agreed with this principle of the Plenipotentiary General My letter-Document 018-PS-dated 21 December 1942, is to be understood on The basis of that agreement.
DR. THOMA: Document Book Rosenberg, Page 64, Volume II.
ROSENBERG: May I summarize and explain briefly? I give therein my agreement to the solution of the problem of the Eastern Workers, and I state that we, Sauckel and myself, hold to the same principles-that is, in reference to the points of Sauckel's program which have just been quoted.
I further state that, in spite of these common principles, various unfortunate occurrences caused me to draw attention to methods not to be tolerated. On Page 2, I complain that, according to reports received by the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, various hospital barracks and camps for sick eastern Workers, which were to be erected for allowing them recovery before returning home, had not come up to expectations, and that the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories had of its own accord communicated with the Reich Commissioner for Hospitals and Health.
On Page 3, with reference to the quotas for the Occupied Eastern Territories, I state that my responsibility earnestly bound me, in filling the quotas, to exclude all methods the toleration and practice of which could one day be held against me and my officials:
"In order to attain this end, and to accord the exigencies due to the special political situation in the Occupied Eastern Territories with the measures of the commissions and staffs of your agencies, I have empowered the Reich Commissioner
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for the Ukraine, insofar as necessary, to make use of his authority to eliminate recruiting methods which run contrary to the interest of the conduct of the war and war economy in the Occupied Eastern Territories."
DR. THOMA: Were you aware of the fact that, at the same time when these methods were discontinued, the workers demanded could not be shipped?
ROSENBERG: That I could not readily assume, lance I knew also that right at the start of the use of propaganda in many regional commissions, a large number of volunteers from the country-not from the cities, from the country-reported, and at this point a legal basis for the prevention of incidents which had taken place in every camp-as shown by the complaints of this letter-was given the Reich Commissioner.
I might here very briefly refer to the other documents quoted by the Prosecution, Document 054-PS-that is a criticism of abuses which reached me from the liaison officer of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories with Army Group South. It is severe criticism. But I shall refer to Page 1 of the telegram, where it says in Paragraph a:
"With few exceptions, the Ukrainians in the Reich who are working individually-for example, in small workshops, as farmhands or as household employees-are very satisfied with their conditions."
But in Paragraph b:
"Those accommodated in collective camps, on the other hand; complain very much."
This was an attempt to exert influence on questions and dealings concerning a region under the authority, not of the civil, but of the military administration with its seat in Kharkov, and to exert influence even in German national territory where I, as Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, had no right to issue instructions; but by criticism the lot of all Eastern Workers was always being improved and, to be sure, to the utmost.
Document 084-PS refers to a number of problems and measures for the improvement of the lot of the workers' families and the energy with which the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories defended a policy of decent treatment of the Eastern peoples with reference to the question of pay, the deduction of taxes, et cetera. But I do not think I need to go any further into detail, since the Plenipotentiary General will probably do that himself. I merely refer to my constant efforts in this direction. I should also like to mention here that there was an agreement between the Plenipotentiary General and the Ministry for the Occupied
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Eastern Territories according to which Eastern workers, after returning home, were to receive an allotment of land so that they would feel no prejudices against those who had stayed at home.
Document 204-PS also contains complaints regarding insufficient allowances, to which I need not refer in detail, and to which I merely allow myself to draw the attention of the Tribunal.
Document 265-PS is a report from the Commissioner General at Zhitomir, in the Ukraine, in which he states that the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, on his tour through the Eastern territories, had personally pointed out the gravity of the whole labor mobilization program and had transmitted the unconditional orders of the Fuehrer that these quotas must be placed at the disposal of the Reich. The Commissioner General remarks further after this serious portrayal of the situation, he had no other choice during the enrollment process than to assign certain workers to the police force to aid the local authorities which had been set up.
Document 031-PS appears to me personally to be of particular importance since the Prosecution has stated with reference to this document that I am accused of having approved of the planning and carrying out of the biological weakening of the Eastern peoples, according to a statement at the end of this document. Only the first and last portions of this document have been quoted; and I must ask that I be permitted to inform the Tribunal of the true state of affairs.
At the beginning of the document is the observation that the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, after he had once turned down the suggestion that young people should be transferred from Army Group Center to the Reich, was once more presented with the problem and under very special conditions and prerequisites. In the actual record it states that, in view of the fact that a large number of adults were working and had to leave the young people behind without any care, Army Group Center had the intention of resettling these youths and taking care of them in a proper manner. At the end of Page 1 of this document and at the beginning of Page 2, it states that the Minister was afraid that this action might have very unfavorable political repercussions, that it would be considered as deportation of children, and that he desired it to be greatly curtailed.
Under Point 4 it states that if the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories would not support that action and carry it out, then Army Group Center-which, of course, was in no way subordinate to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories-would carry out the action on its own authority. This army group, however, was addressing itself to the Ministry for
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the Occupied Eastern Territories in particular, because in their opinion-as it says literally, "the guarantee for correct political and fair dealing would be assured." The army group would like to see this action carried out under the most inoffensive conditions. As far as possible these children should be accommodated in villages, in groups, or collected in small camps. Later on, from there they were to be placed at the disposal of small workshops.
Then, later on, it states:
"In the event of a reoccupation of the territory, the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories can then in a proper way return these youths, who then, together with their parents would surely be a positive political factor in the reconstruction of that territory."
At the end it states that under these conditions the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories agreed to take care of these youths. I agreed because I was fully conscious of the fact that through the Youth Department of the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories I would, wherever possible, be able to guarantee the greatest care for these children. I want to add that on one occasion I paid a visit to the great works at Dessau, where four and a half thousand youthful workers were employed, and where there was a separate children's camp under the care of White Ruthenian mothers. I could ascertain that these workers were wearing very good clothes, that they were being taught mathematics and languages by Russian women teachers, and that the children's camp tended by Russian women had a kindergarten which was looked after by the Hitler Youth. In the evening of that day the White Ruthenian woman who cared for the children thanked me, with tears in her eyes, for the humane care being given them.
I would like to point out a phonetic error which has appeared in this record. This city-as I said-was Dessau, and not Odessa as is stated in the record. I never visited Odessa in all my life.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, we have finished the labor problem, and I am coming to the Reich Commissioners. Perhaps this would be a suitable moment to break off.
THE PRESIDENT: Can you indicate to the Tribunal how long you are likely to be with your examination?
DR. THOMA: I am of the opinion that we may be through by 3:30. However, the Defendant Rosenberg is shaking his head, and, therefore, I cannot tell you for certain.
Like PRESIDENT: Well, the Court will recess until 5 minutes past two.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1405 hours.]
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DR. THOMA: First, I wish to submit to the Court as Exhibit Rosenberg-11, Document 194-PS, the secret order of Rosenberg to Koch of December 1942 on the fitting treatment of Ukrainian civilians-dated 14 December 1942.
Witness, please give us your opinion on this general instruction in connection with your directions in Document 1056-PS.
ROSENBERG: Document 1056-PS is not a direct instruction of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories but it was the result of discussions with various central agencies of the Reich Government officially interested in the East. In this document there are contained directions of the Eastern Ministry itself, and agreements with the various technical agencies such as the Transportation Ministry, the Post Office Department, and also the Police, in order to manifest, at least in the East, a certain unified civil administration. For the reasons which I have enumerated at the beginning this was no longer possible, and as far as the other questions of the subordination of the SS and Police Leader are concerned, to which I have referred the Prosecution on the basis of this document, I might indicate what I took the liberty of saying at the beginning in connection with the comment on the staffing of the administration of the Eastern territories, dated 17 July 1941.
However, as far as Document 1056-PS is concerned, I would like to point out that among the seven points which are especially stressed here, only the third point, "Care of the Population," is quite expressly mentioned. Then, further along in the document it is again explained that this supplying of the population with foodstuffs and so forth is to be given special attention and That the problems of medical and veterinary help are to be given special consideration, even calling upon military authorities if necessary. Except for that I do not wish to go into this document further.
The Document 194-PS is unfortunately the only piece of instruction of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories to the Reich commissioners that could be found. It is an instruction dated 14 December 1942, in which once again the humane and political attitude to be taken is prescribed. It is emphasized in the beginning-I permit myself a few short reference that German behavior should never give the impression that the Ukraine had no hope at all for the future; that directives of German offices were to be executed but should be given great thought. It says further:
"The people of the East have at all times seen in Germany the bearer of a legal order, which although bound by severity, is not an expression of arbitrariness. If one is able to make
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it clear to the peoples of the East by appropriate legal measures that although the war brings fearful hardships, yet transgressions will be justly investigated and judged, then these peoples will be easier to govern than if the impression of an arbitrary tyranny such as theirs is given."
"The elementary school with its 4-year curriculum should be strictly adhered to and should be followed by a proper technical school training for practical hie. The German administration needs men for veterinary work, transportation, farming, geological research, et cetera) whom the German people is not in a position to supply. In these fields, the Ukrainian youth taken away from the streets can be roused to the consciousness of collaboration in the reconstruction of their country. In doing this, it would be inadmissible for German offices to confront the population with contemptuous remarks. Such an attitude is not worthy of the German." Then further:
"One becomes master by adopting a fitting attitude and behavior but not by overbearing conduct. Not by pretentious speech does one govern peoples, and not by ostentatious disdain of others does one win authority."
Then, several other questions are dealt with in this directive, but I do not wish to take up the time of the Tribunal too much with these details. I was interested in showing in what sense I wanted to form the attitude of the civil administration, and in order not to have this directive shelved in the large offices I decreed that it was to be read in all offices.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I should dike now to turn to the special charge of the Soviet Prosecution and in particular to refer to those documents that pertain to Rosenberg's Einsatzstab in the East and to the alleged destructions. Therefore, I will submit to the defendant Exhibit USSR-376 (Document 161-PS), Exhibit USSR-375 (Document 076-PS), Exhibits USSR-7, 39, 41, 49, 51, and 81. The documents were submitted to the defendant.
THE PRESIDENT: Are any of these in your document books?
DR. THOMA: The documents of the U.S.S.R., the ones I mentioned last, I do not have in a special document book. But I assumed and ascertained early this morning that these documents had been submitted to the Tribunal: USSR-39, 41, 251, 89, 49, and 353.
THE PRESIDENT: I was asking only for what purpose you were referring to them now. Of course we haven't all the books here. They are not in your books?
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DR. THOMA: Number 161-PS is in Document Book 3, Page 34 Nothing else is mentioned in the document book.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
ROSENBERG: The Document 161-PS deals with an order for the bringing back of certain archives from Estonia and Latvia. The Soviet Prosecution have concluded from this that there was a plundering of the cultural treasures in these countries. I would dike to state that the instructions ' which I had read from Document 1015-PS requested in an unequivocal manner that all these cultural objects were to remain in the country. And that was done. I permit myself to refer to the date of that document, which is 23 August 1944 when combat activity had spread over this territory, and when these cultural objects and archives were to be safeguarded from combat activities. It was here a matter of having the aforementioned archives sheltered in Estonian country estates. That is, they were still to remain in the country itself, even in the midst of combat activity. As far as I know some of these archives were still brought to Germany later and I believe they were safeguarded in Schloss Hochstadt in Bavaria.
Document 076-PS has been used by the Prosecution as proof of a plundering of the library treasures in Minsk. We are concerned here with a report which a deputy of the commander of the rear area had issued and which was directed to the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. From this report we can see in fact that some destruction had taken place in certain libraries, but that that was a consequence of troops having been quartered there, because the city of Minsk had been destroyed and the billeting facilities were overburdened.
But then under Number 1, and again under other paragraphs, it is expressly shown that posters had been put up everywhere, and that these things were put under control and were not to be touched after that. It is added that any further removals would have to be considered as plundering.
Under Number 2, I would like by all means to point out that it has been confirmed here that the most valuable part of this library of the Academy of Sciences came from the library of the Polish Prince Georg Radziwill, which the Soviet authorities had taken from the occupied Polish territory to Minsk and had' incorporated into the library of the Academy of Sciences long before any other state or other German offices were active in that area. There are a number of other documents, namely, 035-PS and' several others already submitted to the Tribunal, which make'' statements about the taking back of cultural objects from the Ukraine too. The date on these documents, that is, the year 1943, shows also that these cultural objects remained' in the country
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until then, as had been ordered, and that only when combat activity made it necessary, was a withdrawal carried out. Document 035-PS says, on Page 3, Number 5:
"The infantry division"-concerned-"attaches great importance to the further evacuation of valuable institutions since the Armed Forces can in no way protect this area sufficiently and bombardment by artillery is to be counted on shortly."
DR. THOMA: I would like to submit this document under Rosenberg-37; it has not yet been submitted.
ROSENBERG: It then adds: "Wehrmacht equipment, means of transportation, et cetera, shall be provided as far as possible by the...infantry division."
DR. THOMA: May I have the document again? [The document was handed to Dr. Thoma.] I would like to submit it to the Tribunal.
ROSENBERG: The evacuation then actually took place under artillery bombardment, and hence cultural objects which had come from Kharkov and other cities also during combat, were transferred only then to Germany.
Now I would like to deal with the documents which the Soviet Prosecution have given in detailed presentation of the Extraordinary State Commissions for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. I would like, in this connection, to discuss just a few concrete details:
On Page 1 of the Document USSR-39 it states:
"From the beginning of their occupation of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic, the Germans and their accomplices destroyed the independence of the Estonian people and then tried to establish a 'new order'; to demolish culture, art, and science; to exterminate the civilian population or to deport thermal slave labor to Germany; and to lay waste and plunder cities, villages, and farms."
I should like to remark in that connection, first of all, that the 20 year independence, after the Soviet attack in 1919, was broken by the marching in of the Red Army in 1940, a standpoint that is...
GEN. RUDENKO: Mr. President, it seems to me that the document which is now being looked over by the Defendant Rosenberg, naturally gives him a basis for replying to the concrete accusations of his criminal activity while he was Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. However, I am of the opinion that what the Defendant Rosenberg has said just now is plain fascist propaganda and has naturally nothing to do with the matter.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, if the Defendant Rosenberg makes a few introductory remarks to his statement on the document from
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which he wants to quote, I ask that he not be interrupted right away. We will deal with a few pertinent statements taken from the document.
ROSENBERG: So far as Point 2 is concerned, I would like to remark . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Is this document he is dealing with, a document that he wrote himself or had anything to do with? I haven't got the document before me.
DR. THOMA: The document has been submitted by the U.S.S.R. and it contains charges against Rosenberg-charges of having undertaken demolitions and expropriations in these territories, and he is entitled to state his position with regard to this.
THE PRESIDENT: But when you say "his question," can't he say what he did in connection with the document, or the subject of the document? I mean, when you say "state his position," it is such a very wide phrase it may mean almost anything. If you ask him what he did in connection with the subject of the document it is different, but it is more concrete and special.
DR. THOMA: What did you do in these occupied areas, contrary to the assertion of the Soviet Prosecution?
ROSENBERG: To refute the assertion that I destroyed culture and art and science in Estonia, I must point out that one of the first directions of the Eastern Ministry was to establish indigenous administrations in these three countries and to have the German administration in principal serve as a supervisory body. The limitations due to the war conditions were naturally given in times of war; they applied to spheres of war and armament economy, to the sphere of police security, and naturally to the political attitude in general.
A complete cultural autonomy was enjoyed by Estonia and Latvia as well as by Lithuania; their art and their theaters were active all through these years; many faculties of the university at Dorpat functioned and so did some faculties in Riga; the judicial sovereignty of these countries was under the power of the indigenous administration-national directorates as they were called-with all the authoritative departments necessary for the administration. The entire school system remained untouched. I visited these territories twice, and I can say only that the commissioners in charge there did everything to work as closely as possible in accordance with the desires of the indigenous administration which often expressed itself with criticism regarding the German administration, although, frankly speaking, we could not quite fully recognize the political sovereignty in the midst of war.
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On Page 2 of this document it is stated, under corporal punishment for of flee employees, that the intruders had prescribed corporal punishment of Estonian workers in accordance with the regulation of the railway administration of 20 February 1942, for neglect of work or if the employee came drunk to work. This regulation of the director of the railway administration corresponds with the facts. But when this regulation was made known, of course it aroused the indignation of the German civil administration. Reich Commissioner Lohse at once annulled it, and we asked the Reich Minister of Transportation to have this impossible official removed. This took place immediately; he was disqualified and called home, and the fact that he was recalled was to be made known in the press. However, I cannot say whether it actually appeared in the press.
On Page 5 of this document, in Paragraph 2, it is set forth that the Germans destroyed historical edifices, that they had searched through and destroyed the Tartu-that is, the University of Dorpat which had a glorious past of more than 300 years, and was one of the oldest seats of higher learning.
Now I would like to add that these houses dating from the 17th and other centuries were constructed by Germans exclusively, and that German troops would certainly not be interested in destroying arbitrarily the houses of their own people. Secondly, this 300 yearold University of Dorpat was a German university for 300 years, which in fact supplied Russia and Germany with scholars of European repute.
THE PRESIDENT: That is quite irrelevant, quite irrelevant. The question is whether it was destroyed.
ROSENBERG: In the year 1942 I was once in Dorpat. A large part of the city had been destroyed through combat activity, but the university buildings were still standing. In this connection I had the opportunity to learn that the Einsatzstab Rosenberg in the
Ukraine could confiscate 10,000 to 12,000 volumes belonging to the University of Dorpat and restore them again to their rightful owner.
I consider it out of question that an arbitrary destruction of this old German university could have been carried out by German troops and I can assume only that it was the result of combat activity, if a destruction actually had taken place.
As far as the other details of the document are concerned, I cannot define my position. It deals with many shootings of a police nature, matters clearly connected with combat activity, and I cannot make any statement about this, since it obviously refers to the time of the retreat.
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refer again to the declarations I have just made. On Page 6, Column 1, at the beginning, it says that the Germans in their rage against Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia destroyed all national cultures, national monuments, schools, and literature. But this, as I have just stated, is not in accordance with the facts. The Note of the Peoples' Commissar for Foreign Affairs of 27 April 1942, which has been read here repeatedly and in detail, makes on Page 1, Column 1 the same assertion that here the pillage of the territory of the Soviet State had been carried out. I refer to the statement I have just made.
On Page 7 it is stated that the Germans intended and actually executed wholesale robbery of the land given free of charge by the Soviet Government to the collective farms (Kolkhozes) for their permanent use. I do not wish to make any statements on this special question here. State Secretary Riecke, whom the Tribunal has approved as witness, will make his expert statements on the law for the new agrarian order issued to strengthen farming in White Ruthenia and the Ukraine.
As the Soviet Prosecution withdrew the charge against me of having been a former Czarist spy, I do not need to go into that. I also cannot, of course, check in detail the various quotations which have been submitted here. But in one case it is possible for me to give an explanation here. It is on Page 9, Column 1, at the top, where the Foreign Commissar's so-called "Twelve Commandments" for the behavior of the Germans in the East is mentioned. There follows a quotation from which it can be concluded only that it is an unbroken quotation from a German directive. These 12 commandments have been submitted by the Soviet Prosecution to the Tribunal, under Exhibit USSR-89 (Document USSR-89). It deals, as it has been established, with a directive of the State Secretary Backe, of the beginning of June 1941, a directive which I have learned of only here. This apparently unbroken quotation of the Foreign Commissar proves to be a compilation of fragments of sentences which were actually Dispersed over a page and a half of the document, and these fragments, moreover, have not been given in their proper sequence, but in a completely different sequence from that in the document. But I would like to call your attention to a few changes in the wording.
Under Point 6 of the commandments:
"You must therefore"-this is directed to the agricultural leaders-"you must therefore carry out with composure the most severe and ruthless measures that are demanded by the national requirements. Deficiencies in character on the part of the individual will lead to his recall as a matter of principle.
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Anyone who is recalled for such reasons can no longer have an authoritative position in the Reich."
In the quotation of the official note it says:
"Therefore, you yourself will have to take with composure the most cruel and ruthless measures that are dictated by German interests. Otherwise you cannot have any responsible positions at home."
Therefore, instead of the word "severe" the word "cruel" has been substituted: in place of "national requirements" it says very generally "German interests"; and in place of the reference to a "lack of character" it is set down quite generally that if one does not thus take the most cruel measures one cannot have any responsible positions. I would not want to identify myself otherwise in any way with these 12 commandments, but I would like to state that on Page 3 under Point 7 it says:
"But be just and personally decent, and always set a good example."
And in part 9:
"Do not spy on Communists. The Russian youth has been trained for communism for two decades. Russian youth does not know any other education. It is therefore senseless to punish them for the past."
I believe that also there, Herr Backe who otherwise used stronger language, does not mean any regulation for extermination.
Now, I am passing to the charge by the Polish Government. It concerns me in one point only. On Page 20, under Point 5, it is stated that the exploitation, plundering, and the carrying off of art objects, et cetera, from museums and collections of all kinds, was centralized under the office of Rosenberg in Berlin. That is incorrect, as has been shown by the report of State Secretary Muhlmann, which has been read here many times and which shows that an entirely different department was set up for the safeguarding of these works of art. Furthermore, I read today a decree by Dr. Lammers, dated, I believe, 5 July 1942, in which the Government General was expressly excluded.
I must, however, admit that in one case in the beginning, the Einsatzstab confiscated a German collection of music and it was taken to the Reich for purposes of research. This action was not right, and from a correspondence with the then Governor General Frank that must also be here in my file, it is shown that we had agreed that this collection was to be returned to the Government General as a matter of course after a scholarly survey had been made, which I, to be sure, requested.
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The incorrectness of this charge may be seen also from the fact that it is contended here that I had in the Einsatzstab among the various departments also an office "East" for Poland. The incorrectness of this statement may be gathered from the fact that the so-called special purpose staffs which were established for music and the plastic arts in the East were actually expert special staffs, and besides them the so-called working groups had regional tasks. I could, therefore, not have had an office "East" for Poland and at any rate the term "Poland" was never used in official circles- only the term "Government General." I believe I can limit myself to this explanation. In addition, there have been presented a number of other general documents from Smolensk and from other cities, referring to much destruction and police measures. I cannot testify here concerning these points.
In conclusion I would like to refer only to Document 073-PS, which a few days ago was submitted to the witness Dr. Hammers. This document is concerned with the transmission of a document of the Foreign Office, in which some mistaken information was given after it had been said that the Soviet prisoners of war were under the command of the Reich Minister for the occupied Eastern countries.
In the introduction, it can be seen that here we are concerned exclusively with the doctrinary care and propaganda work which Minister Goebbels considered his province, rather than that of the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office stated that it had leading jurisdiction over all prisoners of war with the exception of this moral and propaganda care of the Soviet prisoners of war, which in this respect were attended to by the Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, because these prisoners did not come under the provisions of the Geneva Convention. This statement, that they were not bound by the Geneva Convention, was the legal opinion issued by the Fuehrer's headquarters for the setting up of the administration in the Occupied Eastern Territories.
DR. THOMA: Witness, in the course of these proceedings you have been accused at least four times in the matter of gold dental fillings in the prison in Minsk. In this connection a document has even been submitted, regarding the handling of the Jewish question, and a further document deals likewise with an arson and anti-Jewish "action," also in the district of Minsk. Will you please tell us what you have to say in that connection?
ROSENBERG: I might perhaps give the following general answer about the many files and reports from my office: In the course of 12 years of my Party office and 3 years in the Eastern Ministry, many reports, memoranda, carbon copies from all sorts of divisions were delivered to my office. I know of some of them, of some I
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received oral knowledge which was then entered in detail in the files, and there are a great number of more important and some entirely unimportant things which I was entirely unable to take note of during these years.
As far as these documents are concerned, I must say with regard to Document 212-PS, that this clearly represents a submission to my office-which is without heading, without signature, and without any other details which I never received personally, but which I assume was probably delivered from police circles to my of lice. Thus, with the best intentions I cannot state my position as to the contents of this document.
As far as Document 1104-PS which deals with the terrible incidents in the city of Sluzk is concerned, that is a report from October 1941, and I must say that this report was submitted to me. This report aroused indignation in the Eastern Ministry, and as is seen here, my permanent representative, Gauleiter Meyer, sent a copy of this complaint of the civil administration, together with all the criticism of the civil administration, to the Police, to the Chief of the Security Police, at that time Heydrich, with the request for investigation. I must say that the Police had their own jurisdiction, in which the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories could not interfere. But I am unable to say here what measures Heydrich took. Yet, as may be seen from this, I could not assume that an order- which was attested to by the witness here yesterday-was given to Heydrich or Himmler by the Fuehrer. This report, and many other communications which came to my ears, regarding shootings of saboteurs and also shootings of Jews, pogroms by the local population in the Baltic States and in the Ukraine, I took as occurrences of this war. I heard that in Kiev a larger number of Jews had been shot, but that the greater part of the Jews had left Kiev; and the sum of these reports showed me, it is true, terrible harshness, especially some reports from the prison camps. But that there was an order for the individual annihilation of the entire Jewry, I could not assume and if, in our polemics, the extermination of Jewry was also talked about, I must say that this word, of course, must make a frightful impression in view of the testimonies we think are available now, but under conditions prevailing then, it was not. interpreted as an individual extermination, an individual annihilation of millions of Jews. I must also say that even the British Prime Minister, in an official speech in the House of Commons on 23 or 26 September 1943, spoke of the extermination in root and branch of Prussianism and of National Socialism. I happened to read these words from this speech. However, I did not assume that in saying this he meant the shooting of all Prussian officers and National Socialists.
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Regarding Document Rosenberg-135 (Exhibit USA-289) I would like to say the following: It is dated 18 June 1943. On 22 June, I returned from an official visit to the Ukraine. After this official visit I found a pile of notes a rout conferences. I found many letters and, above all, I found the Fuehrer decree of the middle of June 1943 which had already been given verbally, in which the Fuehrer instructed me to limit myself to the basic principles as far as legislation was concerned, and not to interest myself too much with the details of the administration of the Eastern Territories. I was dejected when I returned from this journey and I did not read this document. But I cannot assume that this document was not at all mentioned to me by my office My subordinates were so conscientious that I can assume only that in the course of their reporting to me about many documents, they told me that another great disagreement between the Police and Civil Administration was again at hand, as there had been many disagreements of that nature before and I perhaps said, "Please give this to Gauleiter Meyer or give it to the police officer, to the liaison officer so that he can investigate these matters." Otherwise these terrible details would have remained in my memory. I cannot say any more in regard to this subject than I was able to say when it was brought up in the interrogation.
DR. THOMA: I submit to the Tribunal the Exhibit Rosenberg-13, a memorandum from Koch to Rosenberg, a complaint about Rosenberg's criticism and justification of his policy in the Ukraine, dated 16 March 1943, and a letter from Rosenberg to Reich Minister Lammers dated 12 October 1944, in which he states to the Fuehrer his wish to resign. May it please the Tribunal, regarding Rosenberg-13, memorandum from Koch to Rosenberg...
THE PRESIDENT: What number?
DR. THOMA: Rosenberg-13, Document 192-PS, Document Book Number 2, Page 14; I would like to read this to the Tribunal personally and to make the following introductory remark.
THE PRESIDENT: It is a very long thing, Dr. Thoma. You do not need to read it all, surely?...
DR. THOMA: I shall not read all of it, Your Honor. But I have unfortunately only the opportunity of presenting State Secretary Riecke as an official of the Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories. The Tribunal, however, even from this witness, who will appear before them, will be able to see that the best officials which the German Reich had, were used in the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories and that every individual complaint was conscientiously checked. It is not so, that in addition to what we have heard today numerous other crimes have been committed
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which have not come to the knowledge of the Tribunal, but I believe that everything has been exhaustively presented of the "admittedly terrible things" that happened in the East during these 4 or 5 years. And the question now is how Gauleiter Koch responded to it.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal are simply asking you not to read the whole of the document which covers many pages. That means you can go ahead and read the essential parts of it.
DR. THOMA: Therefore, I would like to assert that each and every complaint which was received by the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories was followed up. Gauleiter Koch writes:
"Various recent decrees of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, in which my work was criticized in an exceptionally severe and offensive manner and from which have resulted misinterpretations of the policies as well as my legal position, have induced me to present this report to you, Mr. Reich Minister, in the form of a memorandum."
And then follow remarks which show that the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories investigated the complaints. He complains:
"On 12 January 1943, for example, I was informed by the Ministry that Anna Prichno of Smygalovka, an Eastern Worker, had objected that her parents who remained in the Ukraine could not pay their taxes. I was asked to cancel these taxes or to reduce them by half and also to report how I decided."
On Page 13:
"Lately numerous individual complaints from Eastern Workers employed
in the Reich have been passed on to me and on each single case I have been asked to give a report, usually on such short notice that it was impossible to comply with the request."
On Pages 15 and 16:
"Hence, I found it strange"-writes Gauleiter Koch-"to have the decree I/41 of 22 November 1941 state that the Ukrainian people were strongly permeated with German blood, which fact as to account for their remarkable cultural and scientific achievements. But when on top of this a secret decree of July 1942, to which I will refer more closely at the end of this section, declares that very many points of contact exist between the German Ukrainian people, one is no longer only surprised but astonished. This decree demands not only correct but even amiable manners in dealing with Ukrainians."
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"In the following I would like to give a few more examples of lack of reserve towards Ukrainians. For instance, by decree of 18 June 1942, II 6 f 6230, I was informed that you were procuring a total of 2.3 million Reichsmark worth of Ukrainian schoolbooks, charged to my budget without even contacting me about it previously."
THE PRESIDENT: Do you think it necessary to read all this? I am not quite sure how far you have gotten because I have been reading on.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, may I make a remark in this connection? I have already limited my selection. This memorandum is quite a thick copybook; however, I will try to be still more brief, and want only to emphasize that on every page you will find a complaint about the conscientiousness with which Rosenberg followed up all these individual complaints. But I will be very brief:
"It is not necessary that your Ministry stress over and over again as it does by many written and telephone protests that any violence in recruiting of workers has to be discontinued."
And then there is one further very brief remark:
"And if I issue more decrees against floggings than actually take place, I will make myself ridiculous.
"That happened a few times, and every single case was strongly censured."
And now we come to something very important, Your Honors, namely, how Gauleiter Koch threatens representations to the Fuehrer, and says:
"Nobody has ever asked me, as an old Gauleiter, to submit to him articles I write, for nobody but the Fuehrer can ever absolve me of the political responsibility that I bear for an article signed with my full name. . .
"Finally, in addition to these statements on my responsibility I should like to allude to the relations between the Fuehrer and the Reich commissioners. As an old Gauleiter I am accustomed to go to my Fuehrer directly with all my problems and requests, and this right, in my capacity as Oberprasident, has never been denied me even by my superior minister. ..
"By decree I 6 b 4702/42, I was ordered to abstain from referring to the wishes of the Fuehrer in my reports to you, as the forwarding of the Fuehrer's wishes were your affair exclusively. I must state here that in my position as an old Gauleiter the Fuehrer has repeatedly given me his political directives . . .
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"If one takes away or curtails the position of the Reich commissioners in relation to the Fuehrer, then very little remains in keeping with the position of the Reich commissioner."
On Page 50 he says:
"I have to state expressly that I must, under these circumstances, refuse to accept responsibility for the success of the labor recruiting and the spring planting."
Rosenberg recommended to him to go on with the recruiting of labor.
At the end he says:
"My position has been encroached upon by you so often in the last 3 weeks that it can be restored only by the Fuehrer."
Thereupon a conflict developed in Hitler's presence at the Reich Chancellery among Rosenberg, Bormann, and Koch, and the result was that Bormann and, in the main, Koch, were upheld and the Defendant Rosenberg was notified to limit himself to matters of principle only.
Thereupon the defendant submitted his resignation.
Now, I ask the defendant to go into this in more detail. It is in Document Book 2, Page 27.
ROSENBERG: I would like to remark...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, I think we had better adjourn now for 10 minutes.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. THOMA: Witness, some days ago the document was mentioned from which it becomes clear that the forest district of Zuman was to be the private hunting ground for the Reich Commissioner, and that hundreds of people were shot, because resettling them would have been too complicated and take too much time. Will you make a statement about that?
ROSENBERG: As time went by I received much information regarding instances of acts of violence committed in the East. Upon investigating, it was found very often that these reports did not conform with the facts. In this case this report appeared to me quite credible so I took the opportunity to report it to the Fuehrer directly, considering that I was having trouble with Gauleiter Koch.
Apart from other questions-schools in the Ukraine, establishment of technical schools, and certain personal statements of Koch which I submitted as a complaint-I also submitted this report.
At the audience with the Fuehrer, Reich Commissioner Koch submitted an opinion of the Chief of the Forest Administration of the
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Ukraine. From this it appeared that these forest districts had to be used for supplying timber either for railway ties or other emergency needs. And since various guerrilla units and partisans had flocked together in these wooded districts and such a task was extremely dangerous owing to the insecure situation, it was established that Koch, not in the interest of the hunting earlier contemplated, but for this reason, had ordered a cleaning up of this district; and in the course of this cleaning up a considerable number of partisans had been found and they had been shot. The remaining population from these forest districts had been resettled, and, as Koch added, in addition to this statement of the Chief of the Forest Administration, a number of these resettled persons had even expressed gratitude for the fact that they had received better soil to work than they had in these forest areas. On receiving these reports from Koch the Fuehrer shrugged his shoulders and said:
"It is difficult to decide here. According to the statement of the Forest Administration for the Ukraine that I have here, I must leave the matter alone, and the other decisions regarding Ukrainian policy will be sent to you."
This happened in July in the shape of a decree which is also in my files, but which, unfortunately, has not been found. It is a decree about which the witness Lammers has spoken and which in principle states that the Reich Minister should cause no obstruction, the Minister for the East should confine himself to basic matters, should submit his decrees to the Reich commissioner for his opinion and, in the event of conflict, the decision of the Fuehrer must be secured.
After this decree of the Fuehrer I made a renewed attempt to represent the views which I considered right. But, of course, I will not deny that on several occasions, due to pressure from the Fuehrer's headquarters, I became a little weary. And when it was said, and said in clearcut terms, that I was apparently more interested in these Eastern peoples than in the welfare of the German nation, I made some appeasing statements; but my decrees and the further application of my instructions continued in the old way. As I have now been able to ascertain, I reported to the Fuehrer personally on eight different occasions on this matter, and I submitted written petitions and formulated my decrees with this aim in mind.
When then, in 1944, the Reichsfuehrer SS, too, occupied himself not only with police affairs, but also with policy in the Eastern territories, and when I had not been able any longer to report to the Fuehrer's headquarters, since the middle of November 1943, I made one last attempt to make a suggestion to the Fuehrer regarding a generous Eastern policy. At the same time, I asked very clearly, in the event of a refusal, to be relieved from any further work. This
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document (Document Rosenberg-14) is a letter to Dr. Lammers of 12 October 1944, at the beginning of which it is said that:
"In the face of current developments in the Eastern problem, I beg you to submit the accompanying letter to the Fuehrer personally. I consider the way and manner in which the German policy in the East is being handled today as very unfortunate; while I have not participated in the negotiations, I am nevertheless made responsible for them. Therefore I beg you to submit my letter to the Fuehrer as soon as possible for his decision."
Dr. Lammers then immediately transmitted this letter to the Fuehrer's secretary, Bormann. In the letter to the Fuehrer it says on Page 2:
"For observation and the steering of this development I have created regional offices for all the Eastern peoples in the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, which can now, after many tests, be regarded as suitable for their purposes and well set up. They also contain representatives from the various regions and races concerned, and if it seems in the interest of German policies, these may be recognized as a special national committee."
These central offices mentioned here had the task of seeing to it that the representatives of all Eastern peoples received personally the complaints of their countrymen who were in sovereign German territory and presented them to the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories which in turn would take up these complaints with the German Labor Front authorities, with the Police, or the Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor.
On Page 5 it says then:
"I have informed the Reich Minister and the Chief of the Reich Chancellery what the Eastern Ministry has done in the sphere of political direction in a letter dated 28 May 1944, and I am asking you, my Fuehrer, to have the contents read to you."
This is a reference to a further statement.
On Page 6 it states:
"I am asking you, my Fuehrer, to tell me whether you still desire my activity in this field, for since it has not been possible for me to report to you orally, and the problems of the East are brought to you and discussed from various sides, I must, in consideration of this development, assume that you perhaps consider my activity as no longer necessary.
"In addition rumors are spread by sources unknown to me of the dissolution of the Ministry of the Occupied Eastern Territories; in fact it is said that these rumors are used in official
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correspondence to the highest Reich authorities. because of various demands which have been made. Under such circumstances fitting work is not possible, and I ask you to give me directives as to how I should act in view of the state of affairs which has developed."
In the middle of the next paragraph, I point out the following, from ideas that I voiced first in my speech of 20 June and in my protest during the meeting of 16 June. And it says here literally:
"This plan provided that in order to mobilize all the national forces of the Eastern peoples, they should be promised in advance a certain autonomy and the possibility of cultural development, with the aim of leading them against the Bolshevist enemy. This plan, which in the beginning I ventured to assume you approved of, has not been carried out, because the peoples were treated in a way which was politically opposite to this.
"Solely and only because of the agrarian order of 1942, approved by you, has their willingness to work been maintained to the end in view of a certain hope of acquiring property."
Attached to this letter to the Fuehrer there is the suggestion for the adjustment of the Eastern policy, which is reiterated for the last time. And in Paragraph 2 in the middle of Page 2 it says:
"These regional and local offices for the peoples of the East, attached to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, are, in the name of the Reich Government, to be recognized by him as national committees at a date to be fixed by the Fuehrer. The reran 'National Committee' is to be understood by the Reich Government to mean that these authorized spokesmen can submit the wishes and complaints of their peoples."
On Page 2 in the middle, it says:
"In the leadership of the peoples of the East..."
THE PRESIDENT: Is the Tribunal interested in all this detail? The substance of it has been given by the witness, has it not? He summarized the whole letter before he began to read any of it. There is nothing new up to now.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, the defendant wanted to summarize again briefly what his ideas were for the Ukraine, namely, autonomy, free cultural development; and that was the core of the difference with Koch, namely, that Koch stressed mainly the idea of exploitation; therefore the defendant wanted to say once more what was the whole plan of his intentions towards the Soviet Union. But this topic can now be dropped.
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Before I make a statement about the question of the willingness to do construction work in the Ukraine I want to have the defendant make a statement on the subject of the treatment of prisoners of war. Document 081.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it anywhere in your books? Is it Document 081-PS?
DR. THOMA: It has been submitted under a USSR exhibit number.
[The document was submitted to the defendant.]
Have you got it, Defendant?
ROSENBERG: It is Exhibit USSR-353. The complaints regarding prisoners of war came from various sources. Fairly near the beginning they were already lodged with the Eastern Ministry; then later on, particularly during the winter 19411942, they were brought by passing officers or soldiers and were reported to me by my political department. We then passed these complaints on to the competent military offices with a request that, for obvious reasons, they should be given consideration.
These complaints were received frequently and my staff, as time went by, stated to me that they encountered a great deal of understanding for these wishes, particularly for the wish expressed by us that prisoners from this large number of Soviet prisoner-of-war camps should be selected according to their nationality and taken to small camps, because through this national segregation, good political and humane treatment would be best guaranteed. In view of the numerous complaints about the death of many thousands of Soviet prisoners, I received more than once reports that during battles of encirclement, units of the Red Army had defended themselves in the hardest way and had not surrendered. In fact they were completely exhausted from hunger when they finally were captured by the Germans, and even numerous cases of cannibalism had been established, born of their tenacity not to surrender in any case.
The third complaint I received was to the effect that political commissars were shot. This complaint too was passed on by us. That an order existed in this connection was unknown to me. We concluded from other reports that here clearly there must have been a political or police reprisal, since we heard that many German prisoners, who later were freed, were most of them found, again dead or mutilated. Later on I was informed that such shootings were prohibited, and thus we assumed that the political commissars also belonged to the regular Red Army.
Now here is Document 081-PS. It has been stated by the Prosecution that this is a letter from the Minister for the Occupied Eastern
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Territories to the Chief of the OKW. The document was also found in my files. But it is not a letter from me to the Chief of the OKW, Keitel; on the contrary, it was obviously deposited in my office by the sender. In the lefthand top corner on Page 1, it can be seen that there is a figure "I." That means Department "I." In the case of letters originating from me such a reference would always be absent, since "I" was not a department of my own of lice. Furthermore, letters of mine to the Chief of the OKW were always of a personal character, either beginning with the name of the addressee, or a personal address. Chief of the OKW is the office. In the same way the ordinary address, "Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories," would not be a personal letter to me, but would mean the office.
I will not go into these details, but I will take the liberty of reading one final paragraph in connection with which I may also state that it is in keeping with the spirit which I endeavored to instill in my collaborators. And likewise, they thought that they ought to act and express themselves in this spirit. It states, literally, on Page 6:
"The main demand..."
THE PRESIDENT: What is the date?
ROSENBERG: The letter is dated 28 February 1942. That is to say, it was in the winter, in that dreadful cold period. On Page 6 it states literally:
"The main demand will have to be that the treatment of prisoners of war be carried out in accordance with the laws of humanity and as befits the dignity of Germany. . .
"It is understandable that the numerous cases of inhuman treatment of German, prisoners-of -war by members of the Red Army which have been recorded have so embittered the German troops that they wish to pay them back in their own coin.
"Such reprisal measures, however, in no way improve the situation of German prisoners of war but must ultimately result in both sides no longer taking any prisoners."
I merely wanted to quote this letter because I have no other documents at my disposal on the activity of my political department, and this is only an example of the work, which I think touches on these problems.
DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I wanted to bring to an end questions relating to the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories by submitting an affidavit from Professor Dr. Dencker on the employment of agricultural machinery in the Ukraine. Document
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Rosenberg-35 has already been granted me by the Tribunal. This affidavit concerns the following...
THE PRESIDENT:. Have you finished your examination now?
DR. THOMA: I have finished the questions relating to the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. I have only a few more brief questions.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has seen this affidavit recently so there is no need to read it. Now, if you will, give us the exhibit number.
DR. THOMA: Rosenberg-35. This deals with machinery which had a value of 180 millions and was delivered to the Ukraine-agricultural machinery.
Witness, were you a member of the SA or the SS?
ROSENBERG: No, I belonged neither to the SA nor the SS.
DR. THOMA: So you have never worn an SS uniform?
DR. THOMA: Do you know anything about concentration camps?
ROSENBERG: Yes. This question, of course, has been put to everybody and the fact that concentration camps existed became known to me in 1933. But although this may appear a repetition, I must nevertheless state that I knew by name only two concentration camps, Oranienburg and Dachau. When these institutions were explained to me I was informed, among other things, that in one concentration camp there were 800 communist functionaries whose previous sentences averaged 4 year prison terms or partly also penitentiary terms. In view of the fact that this involved a complete revolution and even though it had legal basis it was still something revolutionary, I considered it comprehensible that protective custody should be for some time decreed by this new State for these hostile persons. But at the same time I saw and heard how our toughest opponents, against whom otherwise no charges of a criminal nature were made, were treated so generously that, for example, our strongest opponent, the Prussian Minister Severing was retired with full ministerial pension, and I considered this very attitude as National Socialistic. Thus I had to assume that these arrangements were politically and nationally necessary, and I was thoroughly convinced of this.
DR. THOMA: Did you participate in the evacuation of the Jews from Germany?
ROSENBERG: I should perhaps add one thing: I visited no real concentration camp, neither Dachau nor any other one. Once it was in 1938-I questioned Himmler on how things really were
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in the concentration camps and told him that one heard from the foreign press all sorts of derogatory atrocity reports. Himmler said to me, "Why don't you come to Dachau and take a look at things for yourself? We have a swimming pool there, we have sanitary installations-irreproachable; no objections can be raised."
I did not visit this camp because if something actually improper had been going on, then Himmler, upon being questioned about it, would probably not have shown it to me. On the other hand I desisted from going for reasons of good taste; I simply did not want to look at people who had been deprived of their liberty. But I thought that such a talk with Himmler made him aware that such rumors were spreading.
A second time, later on-I cannot say, however, whether it was before or after the outbreak of the war-Himmler himself spoke to me about the matter of the so-called Jehovah's Witnesses, that is, about a matter which, has also been submitted by the Prosecution as a religious persecution. Himmler told me only that it was certainly impossible to put up with conscientious objections, considering the situation the Reich was in, that it would have incalculable consequences; and he went on to say that he had often talked personally to these internees in order to understand them and eventually convince them. That, he said, has been impossible, however, because they replied to all questions with quotations-quotations from the Bible which they had learned by heart, so that nothing was to be done with them. From that statement by Himmler I gathered that since he was telling me such a story he could not possibly want to plan or carry out executions of these Jehovah's witnesses.
An American chaplain has very kindly given me in my cell a church paper from Columbus. I gather from that that the United States, too, arrested Jehovah's Witnesses during the war and that until December 1945, 11,000 of them were still detained in camps. I presume that under such conditions, every state would answer in some way such a refusal of war service; and that was my attitude too. I could not consider Himmler wrong on this point.
DR. THOMA: Could you intervene in the case of Pastor Niemoller?
ROSENBERG: Yes. When the case of Pastor Niemoller was being tried in Germany I sent one of my staff to the trial because I was interested in it both from an official and humane point of view. This official-his name was Dr. Ziegler-made a report to me from which I concluded that this arraignment was based partly on misunderstandings on the part of the authorities, and furthermore that he was not as seriously incriminated as I had assumed. I then submitted that report to the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Rudolf
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Hess, and I asked him whether he could not give this case consideration also, and after some time, when I was with the Fuehrer once) I brought the conversation around to this subject, and stated that I thought this whole trial and the subsequent handling most unfortunate. The Fuehrer told me:
"I have asked only one binding statement from Niemoller- that he, as a clergyman, will not challenge the State. He has refused to give that and hence I cannot set him free. Apart from that, I ordered that he receive the most decent treatment possible, that he, being a heavy smoker, receive the best cigars, and that he have the means for carrying on all learned studies, if he wants to do this."
I do not know on what reports the Fuehrer based this statement, but as far as I was concerned it was clear that I was not in a position to intervene any further in this matter.
DR. THOMA: We come now to the last question but one: Is it true that after the seizure of power, you made a certain examination of your attitude towards the Jews, and that the whole treatment of Jews immediately after the seizure of power underwent a certain modification? Further, that originally it had been intended to settle the Jewish question in quite another way?
ROSENBERG: I will not deny that during that time of struggle up to 1933, I too had used strong polemic arguments in my writings, and that many hard words and suggestions appeared in that connection. After seizure of power I thought-and I had good reason to think that the Fuehrer thought so too-that now one could renounce this method, and that a certain parity and a chivalrous treatment of this question should be observed. Under "parity" I understood the following-and I stated it in a public address on 28 July 1933 and also at the Party rally in September 1933 publicly over all the broadcasting systems-that it was not possible, for example, that the communal hospitals in Berlin should have 80 percent Jewish doctors when 30 percent was their ratio. I stated further at the Party rally that we had heard of conditions that the Reich government, in connection with all these parity measures and beyond that, were making exceptions for all those members of the Jewish people who had lost a relative, father or son, during the war; and I used the expression that we would now have to make efforts to solve this problem in a chivalrous way. That it turned out otherwise is a tragic destiny, and I must state that the activities following in connection with the emigration and the support of this emigration in many countries abroad had as a result the aggravation of the situation; then things occurred which were regrettable and I must say robbed me of the inner strength to continue petitioning the Fuehrer for the method I favored. As I
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said, what was stated here recently in the veiled phraseology of the police and made known here, and what has been testified to here the other day, I considered simply impossible and I would not have believed it even if Heinrich Himmler himself had related it to me. There are things which, even to me, appear beyond the humanly possible, and this is one of them.
DR. THOMA: I have one last question. In connection with this question I should like to submit Exhibit Rosenberg-15, Document 3761-PS. This is contained in the document book but it has not yet been submitted to the Tribunal as an Exhibit. It contains a letter from Rosenberg to Hitler, written in 1924, containing the request that he should not be nominated as a candidate for the Reichstag.
Witness, you have taken part in all phases of the development of National Socialism from its beginning to its dreadful end. You have participated in its meteoric rise and its dreadful descent, and you know well that everything centered in this one person. Will you inform the Tribunal what you did yourself, and how much you were able to accomplish to avert having all the power centered in this one single person, and what you did to have the effect in every way alleviated? I am showing you first this document given to you, and then Document 047-PS, which has also already been submitted to the Tribunal under the Exhibit Number USA-725.
[The documents were submitted to the defendant.]
ROSENBERG: I did actually serve this National Socialist movement from its very first days on and I was completely loyal to a man whom I admired during these long years of struggle because I saw with what personal devotion and passion this former German soldier worked for his people. As far as I personally am concerned, this letter refers to an epoch...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, exactly what is your question to the witness? We don't want him to make a speech. We only want to know what question you are putting to him.
DR. THOMA: What suggestions did you make, and did you publicly advocate suggestions to restrict the authority of the Fuehrer?
ROSENBERG: I must say that at that time I advocated-and this in full agreement with Adolf Hitler-and I advocated in my book, Myth of the 20th Century, the view that the Leadership Principle did not consist of one head but that both the Fuehrer and his collaborators are to be bound by common duties. Further, that this Leadership Principle concept should be understood to mean the establishment of a senate or, as I described it, Ordensrat, which would have a correcting and advisory function.
That point of view was emphasized by the Fuehrer himself when he had a senate hall with 61 seats built in the Brown House in
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Munich, because he himself considered it necessary. Then I again advocated this policy in a speech in 1934, but...
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal does not think this is in answer to the question as to what he did to limit the Fuehrer's power. We want to know what he did, if anything, to limit the Fuehrer's power.
DR. THOMA: In a public meeting he pointed out that-I draw your attention to Document Book 1, Volume II, on Page 118...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, I didn't want you to point it out to me, I wanted the witness to point that out to the Tribunal.
DR. THOMA: In that case, will you concentrate on those two speeches which you made at that time.
ROSENBERG: I can quote the speeches, but they are not a direct answer to the question either. They signify that I stated that the National Socialist State may not be a caste which reigns over the German nation and that the Fuehrer of a nation must not be a tyrant. However, I did not see in Adolf Hitler a tyrant, but like many millions of National Socialists I trusted him personally on the strength of the experience of a 14 yearlong struggle. I did not want to limit his own full power, conscious though I was that this meant a personal exception for Adolf Hitler, not in keeping with the National Socialist concept of the State. Nor was this the Leadership Principle as we understood it or a new order for the Reich.
I served Adolf Hitler loyally, and what the Party may have done during those years, that was supported by me too. And the ill effects, due to the wrong masters, were branded by me, in the middle of the war, in speeches before political leaders, when I stated that this concentration of power as it existed at that moment, during the war, could only be a phenomenon of the war and could not be regarded as the National Socialist conception of a State. It may be opportune for many, it may be opportune for 200,000 people, but to adhere to it later on would mean the death of the individuality of 70 million.
I said that in the presence of the Higher SS leaders and other organization leaders or Gauleiter. I got in touch with the heads of the Hitler Youth, together with my staff, fully conscious that after the war a reform would have to be carried out here in the Party, so that the old demands of our Movement, for which I too had fought, would find respect. However, that has not been possible any more; fate has finished the Movement and has taken a different course.
DR. THOMA: Witness, can you state a concrete fact from which it arises that the Party, from the beginning, did not have the idea of coming to power alone but also by collaborating with other parties?
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ROSENBERG: That, of course, is a historical development of 14 years, and if I can evaluate that letter here, then I would like to say that at the end of 1923, after the collapse of the so-called "Hitler Putsch," when the then representatives of the Party either were arrested or had emigrated to Austria, and when I remained in Munich with a few others, I advocated that a new development must take place and that the Party should prove itself in a parliamentary contest.
The Fuehrer, who was then in prison at Landsberg, turned that suggestion down. My collaborators and I continued to try to influence him, however, whereupon the Fuehrer wrote me a long, handwritten letter, which is also in the files, in which he once more developed his reasons for not wanting to comply with my suggestion. Later on, nevertheless, he agreed.
And here in this letter I asked him-he later agreed-not to nominate me as Reichstag candidate, because I felt not entitled to the privileges of a Reichstag deputy by favoring a Reichstag election, and secondly, because I felt myself too new in Germany for exposing myself in such a way after only a few years of activity.
DR. THOMA: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Do any of the defendant's counsel want to ask any questions?
DR. SERVATIUS: Witness, in September and October 1942 you received various reports regarding unbearable conditions in connection with the recruiting of workers in the Occupied Eastern Territories. Did you investigate to find out whether the statements contained in these reports were true?
ROSENBERG: These allegations, which were received by the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, have been constantly checked by Main Department of Labor and Social Policy during all these years and I asked the Tribunal to hear as a witness here the official who always had charge of this question, Dr. Beil. This request has been granted by the Tribunal, but I now hear that Dr. Beil is ill and that he can give a report of his experiences only by a written statement. From my knowledge I can say the following:
These matters were reported to me frequently by Dr. Beil and the so-called Central Department for People of Eastern Nationalities. In a letter which has already been mentioned I transmitted them to Sauckel. Then they were always sent to the Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine or some other administrative officials for investigation and comments. A part of these proved to be correct, a part proved to be untrue and exaggerated; and as far as I know, the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor, Sauckel, even made
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the complaints received from me an occasion for his own intervention, as did the German Labor Front, which was responsible for the welfare of all foreign workers in Germany. There was constant negotiation with the head of this Labor Front, and the Ministry for Occupied Eastern Territories made requests here continuously, until eventually, at the end of 1944, Dr. Ley, as the chief of this welfare department, thought that he could inform me that now after considerable difficulties, really lasting and good conditions had been achieved. I replied to him even then that I could express my pleasure about it, but that I still received reports that here and there things were going wrong. In practice the members of my ministry, together with inspectors of the German Labor Front, went to inspect a number of labor camps in order to investigate the complaints and then have them adjusted by the Labor Front.
DR. SERVATIUS: You are talking here mainly about conditions in Germany, which did not come under your jurisdiction. What did you do regarding Koch? ~ the memorandum of 16 March 1943, which has already been mentioned here, a reply to these complaints? In that memorandum you write Koch that he must use legal means only and that he must call the guilty to account. Was this an answer to these reports?
ROSENBERG: Yes, it was an answer because by December 1942 there had been quite a number of complaints already.
DR. SERVATIUS: And what did Koch reply?
ROSENBERG: Koch replied to me that he, for his part, also wanted and would employ legal means, but in the document read today, in his report dated 16 March 1943, he complained several times that I did not always believe these assurances, but that in every case the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories not only intervened, but even demanded of him a report on the carrying out of these instructions.
DR. SERVATIUS: Thus he denied considerable abuses?
ROSENBERG: Yes, he denied considerable abuses. He referred in the document to one particularly serious case, namely, that individual houses had been burned down in Volhynia because those who had been called upon to work had resisted the recruiting by means of force, as he explained, and he said that he had no other way of doing it. He added that this case in particular had caused new complaints on the part of the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
DR. SERVATIUS: Was he entitled to such measures, in your opinion? ~
ROSENBERG: Reich Commissioner Koch had jurisdiction over the execution of all orders coming from the highest Reich authorities.
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He was responsible for the execution of all measures within the bounds of the instructions. He had, I now believe, often overstepped the bounds of these instructions and acted on his own initiative in taking, as he thought, exclusively war economic measures. Sometimes I heard of these measures, and often I did not, as appears from the document.
THE PRESIDENT: The question you were asked was whether in your opinion he was entitled to burn houses because people refused to work, and you have given a long answer which seems to me to be no answer to the question.
ROSENBERG: In my opinion he did not have the right to burn down houses and therefore I intervened, and he tried to justify himself.
DR. SERVATIUS: In order to carry out the labor recruiting, there were to be recruiting measures which, it is true, had to be applied with a certain amount of administrative coercion. How far was coercion permissible, is there legal and illegal coercion, and how do you judge the measures that were carried out in practice?
ROSENBERG: I myself insisted up until 1943 on a voluntary recruitment. But in the face of the urgent demands from the Fuehrer
I could not maintain this stand any longer and I agreed therefore- in order to have a legal form at least-that certain age groups should be called up. From these age groups all those working who were needed in the Occupied Eastern Territories were to be excluded. But the others were to be brought from all sides with the help of their own administrations in the regional commissariat, that is, the little burgomasters in the Occupied Eastern Territories, and there is no doubt, of course, that to give force to these demands the police stood at the disposal of the administration in the execution of this program.
DR. SERVATIUS: If there were abuses, could Koch stop them? Did you have no influence in the matter?
ROSENBERG: It was the duty of the Reich commissioner to whom the regional government of the Ukraine was subordinated to investigate and to take action, in accordance with the instructions which he had received from me.
DR. SERVATIUS: But why did you go to Sauckel as well? Was it Sauckel's duty also to stop this?
ROSENBERG: Sauckel, as the deputy of the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, had the right to give instructions to me, as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, and over and above that, he had the right to bypass me and give instructions to the Reich commissioners, a right which he used a few times in giving lectures in the general districts of the Ukraine and of the Eastern territories.
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DR. SERVATIUS: Was he-was Sauckel responsible for the conditions in the Ukraine?
ROSENBERG: Sauckel was not responsible for the execution of these demands, but of course on the basis of the authority given him by the Fuehrer he made the demands so harsh and exact that the responsible regional governments of the commissioner general felt themselves bound by conviction and appearance to back up the recruiting of labor by force as appears, for example, from the report, Document 265-PS, from the Commissioner General in Zhitomir. I think this can also be seen from the report of the District Commissioner in Kovno, of which I cannot give the exact number.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did Sauckel have an organization of his own?
ROSENBERG: Yes, he had a staff, but I cannot make a statement on the size of it. He took care only that the civil administration had labor offices attached to it, and his requirements as to the civil administration in the East for the direction of these labor offices were forwarded to the administrative offices. To my knowledge he did not have a large organization.
DR. SERVATIUS: Before Sauckel came into your ministry was there not already a department of "Labor," which had its corresponding subordinate departments on the middle and lower levels?
ROSENBERG: I cannot give you a precise answer to that. At any rate, I think a department "Labor and Social Policy" was set up almost at the beginning of the ministry, but at the moment I am not able to tell you the exact date. Perhaps Dr. Beil's statement will contain some details.
DR. SERVATIUS: Thus, you are not informed regarding the organization of this recruitment of workers?
ROSENBERG: No, I am informed as far as I have just told you, but I cannot give you exact information about the date of the foundation of this main department "Labor and Social Policy" in the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did labor offices for the Occupied Eastern Territories exist, which had their head in your ministry?
ROSENBERG: The work-yes, insofar as the Main Department of Labor and Social Policy did of course cooperate with the civil administration; that is, both Reich commissioners had continuous contact and had correspondence with the appropriate department, namely the labor office attached to the Reich commissioner. A correspondence with the lower agents, with the general districts, was naturally not carried on, but there was continuous consultation with the appropriate department attached to the Reich commissioner.
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DR. SERVATIUS: In your letter you speak of "Sauckel offices." What offices do you mean by this?
ROSENBERG: Well, I mean, first of all, his immediate deputy Peuckert, who later, in order to guarantee smooth cooperation, formally took over the direction of this main department of "Social Policy." He was but very rarely at the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories since he was officially working especially for Sauckel; and apart from that, Sauckel had a few other gentlemen with whom my main department negotiated continuously regarding the reduction of the quotas. . .
THE PRESIDENT: the witness Sauckel Will give all this information. What is the good of wasting our time putting it to Rosenberg?
DR. SERVATIUS: It is important in order to ascertain the responsibility. Later I cannot call on Rosenberg as a witness again; a number of questions will arise, to which I...
THE PRESIDENT: I understand that, of course, but these are all details of Sauckel's administration which Sauckel must know himself.
DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, but I will have no opportunity later on to question the witness Rosenberg regarding the individual authorities within the organization, namely: Who was responsible, who had the right to supervise, who had the duty to intervene? Why were letters addressed to individuals? Why has he to answer them? One cannot understand that, if one does not ask the witness-if he is not first asked about it before. I would suggest that the witness Rosenberg should be called again in connection with Sauckel's case, after Sauckel has spoken; that would save time.
THE PRESIDENT: There is no issue with the Prosecution about it. If there is no issue with the Prosecution, then Sauckel's evidence about it will be quite sufficient.
DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, the witness Rosenberg, in his letter-in a letter addressed to Sauckel-mentioned the fact that his of flees were using these objectionable methods. Since in my opinion such offices did not exist, and thus Rosenberg was addressing the wrong person, I must establish what of flees there really were. It is a complaint about conditions that were oppressive to Rosenberg and he addressed himself to Sauckel, instead of Koch.
THE PRESIDENT: Ask him some direct question, will you?
DR. SERVATIUS: What did Sauckel do upon receiving the letter you addressed to him?
ROSENBERG: I did not receive a letter in reply to it; but I heard that Sauckel, then at a meeting of his labor offices in Weimar, went
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into these complaints in detail and that he tried to do his best to remove the grounds for these complaints.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did not that meeting take place a fortnight later, that is on 6 January 1943, and were you not present also?
ROSENBERG: Possibly. I spoke at a meeting at Weimar once; whether or not it was this one, I am not able to say.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did you hear Sauckel's speech at this meeting?
ROSENBERG: No, I have no recollection of it.
DR. SERVATIUS: Did you get the speech in writing later?
ROSENBERG: I cannot remember that either.
DR. SERVATIUS: Later on I want to submit the speech as a document in connection with Sauckel's case. I have a number of further questions.
Did other departments, too, in the occupied territories, concern themselves with the recruitment of laborers?
ROSENBERG: Yes, I received indeed some reports that also, for its part, the so-called Tort Organization engaged workers for the carrying out of their technical tasks, and I think also the railway administration and other offices in the East were making efforts to get new workers for themselves.
DR. SERVATIUS: Is it not correct that the Armed Forces were demanding workers, that workers were demanded for road construction, were needed by the domestic industry, and that there was a general effort to keep manpower at home and not let them go to Germany?
ROSENBERG: That is correct, and it is a foregone conclusion that the Armed Forces, the Todt Organization, and other offices wanted to keep as many laborers as possible in the country for the growing amount of work there and they probably did not like to part with their workers. That goes without saying.
DR. SERVATIUS: Sauckel repeatedly pointed out that workers must be supplied under all circumstances and that all obstacles must be removed. Did that refer to the resistance of the local offices which did not want to give up these workers?
ROSENBERG: It certainly referred to this local manpower, and in a conference which I had with Sauckel in 1943 and which is also in evidence as a document here but which was not submitted today, reference was made to it. Sauckel stated that by order of the Fuehrer he would have to raise a large number of new workers in the East and that in this connection, I am thinking of the Armed Forces most of all who had been, as he expressed it, hoarding workers who might instead have been active in Germany.
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DR. SERVATIUS: Did Sauckel have anything to do with the recruitment of workers, which took place in connection with the germanizing of the East?
ROSENBERG: I cannot quite understand this question. What do you mean in this case by "germanizing"?
DR. SERVATIUS: The SS undertook the resettlement in the East. In connection with this manpower was shifted. Was this manpower allotted to Sauckel upon his request?
ROSENBERG: First of all I do not know exactly which resettlement you are talking about.
DR. SERVATIUS: A report has been presented to me which concerns the Jews who were sent into Polish territory. I assume that they reached your territory, too.
Do you not know about that?
ROSENBERG: Based on my own knowledge, I can say only that this concentration of the Jewish population from Eastern Germany, in certain cities and camps in the East, was carried out under the jurisdiction of the Chief of the German Police, who also had this assignment for the Occupied Eastern Territories. In connection with the resettlement in camps and with the concentrations in ghettos, there probably also developed a shortage of labor or something like that. I merely do not know what that has to do with Germanization.
DR. SERVATIUS: I have no further questions.
THE PRESIDENT: Before we adjourn, I should like to know what the position is about the Defendant Frank's documents. Does anybody know anything about that?
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I wish to say that insofar as we are concerned, we have been in consultation with Dr. Seidl for the Defendant Frank as well as the representatives of the Soviet prosecuting staff. We are prepared to be heard at any time that the Tribunal would care to hear us on the documents.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Then, Dr. Thoma, how many more witnesses have you got and how long do you think you will be in the Defendant Rosenberg's case?
DR. THOMA: I have only one witness, Your Honors, the witness Riecke. I believe that as far as I am concerned, he can be examined in one hour at the most; I do not think it will take as long as that. After that, it depends on the crossexamination.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, yes; then you may finish the Defendant Rosenberg's case tomorrow?
DR. THOMA: It depends upon the crossexamination.
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Bran; PRESIDENT: Yes, of course. Then, Dr. Seidl, will you be able to go on at once in Frank's case? Supposing we finish Rosenberg tomorrow-tomorrow is Wednesday, is it not? Will you be able to go on on Thursday morning in Frank's case?
DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, I can start with Frank's case as soon as Rosenberg's case is finished. As far as the documents are concerned, there was difficulty regarding only one document and I have foregone the presentation of this one document. But apart from that, these documents have for the greater part already been presented by the other side.
THE PRESIDENT: If there is only one document in question, we can hear you upon it now. As I understand you, you have only one document about which there is any difference of opinion.
DR. SEIDL: That has been settled already because I have given up presentation of this document.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. There is no further difference of opinion?
DR. SEIDL: There is no further difference of opinion.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, then you are perfectly ready to go on?
DR. SEIDL: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Have the documents been translated yet?
DR. SEIDL: As far as I know, they already have been all translated.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well, thank you.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 17 April 1946 at 1000 hours.]