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THE PRESIDENT: I call on counsel for the Defendant Seyss-Inquart.
DR. STEINBAUER: Your Lordship, High Tribunal, I open the defense case with the last words spoken by Dr. Schuschnigg as he resigned from the Austrian Chancellorship on 11 March 1938: "God protect Austria."
It is a coincidence in history that at a time when the question of the Anschluss is being discussed here with reference to the person of Seyss-Inquart, the four Foreign Ministers are preparing the peace treaties on the basis of the same events. May I, therefore, draw the Tribunal's attention to my documents on this matter and ask that I be permitted to quote from them at somewhat greater length than I had originally intended?
Now, with the permission of the Tribunal, may I begin with the examination of the defendant as witness in his own defense.
[The defendant took the stand.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you state your full name, please?
ARTHUR SEYSS-INQUART (Defendant): Arthur Seyss-Inquart.
THE PRESIDENT: Will you repeat this oath after me: I swear by God-the Almighty and Omniscient-that I will speak the pure truth-and will withhold and add nothing.
[The defendant repeated the oath in German.]
THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, when and where. were you born?
SEYSS-INQUART: I was born in 1892 in Iglau, situated in what was up to now a German-speaking enclave in Moravia. Moravia, at that time, was a crown province of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. There and in the German-speaking enclave Olmutz, also in Moravia, I lived until the age of 15, when with my parents I moved into the vicinity of Vienna where I completed my studies at the Gymnasium and the legal faculty of the University of Vienna. In August 1914 I enlisted in the Army.
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DR. STEINBAUER: Were you in the Army during the whole of the war?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes. I served with the Tyrolean Kaiserjager and saw fighting in Russia, Romania, and in Italy. On a furlough during the war I passed my final examinations, and in 1917 I received my doctor's degree. I was wounded once, decorated several times, three times for bravery in the face of the enemy.
DR. STEINBAUER: What impressions of importance for your later life did you retain from the time of your youth?
SEYSS-INQUART: Relevant to my case is, I think, only the experience of the struggle between the nationalities in Moravia, between the Germans and the Czechs. The Germans in those days were in favor of a unified Austrian state, while the Czechs pursued a predominantly nationalistic policy. It is, however, not without significance that a language compromise was agreed upon in Moravia.
DR. STEINBAUER: What lasting impressions did you retain from your service in the war?
SEYSS-INQUART: Apart from the experience of comradeship at the front, I remember especially the discussion toward the end of the war on the Fourteen Points of President Wilson.
DR. STEINBAUER: Their essential content being the people's right of self-determination?
SEYSS-INQUART: It was clear to us that the realization of those Fourteen Points would mean the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. We Germans regarded it as at least a compensation that in pursuance of this right of self-determination the German Erblande (the domain of the Holy Roman Emperors) would be able to return to the Reich from which they had been separated just 50 years before, in 1866. Yes, these territories had been created by the German Reich and had been part of it for 950 out of the 1,000 years of their existence.
DR. STEINBAUER: What did you do after your return from the war?
SEYSS-INQUART: I devoted myself to my legal profession. In 1921 I set up my own practice, which in time grew into a very successful one.
DR. STEINBAUER: What of your political attitude? Were you a member of any political party?
SEYSS-INQUART: I was not a member of any political party, because I did not want to Me myself to partisan politics. I had good friends in all parties, including the Christian Social and Social
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Democratic Parties; but the party programs seemed to me rather one-sided, too much designed for individual groups of the community.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were you a member of any political clubs, for instance, the Austro-German Volksbund?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, I was a member of the executive of the Austro-German Volksbund, because the only political idea to which I adhered after 1918 was Austria's Anschluss with the German Reich. I witnessed 12 November l918, when the Provisional National Assembly, in fulfillment of the right of self-determination, decided that "Austria is a part of the German Republic." Furthermore, the Constitutional National Assembly repeated the decision 6 months later. But the Treaty of St. Germain forbade the Anschluss. Thereupon the various districts tried to hold plebiscites; in Salzburg and the Tyrol 98 percent of those entitled to the vote were in favor of the Anschluss. Dr. Schuschnigg describes these events in his book, Three Times Austria.
The answer was a serious attempt to divide Austria among its non-German neighbors; but they could not agree on the booty.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, may I at this point submit to the Tribunal and refer briefly to several documents of my document book? The first document, to which I have given the Document Number Seyss-Inquart-1, is on Page 2 of the document book and contains the proclamation of the German-Austrian deputies after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy on 21 October 1918. There the second sentence reads:
"The German-Austrian State claims the territorial jurisdiction over the entire territory of German settlement areas, especially in the Sudetenland. The German-Austrian State will fight any annexation by other nations of territories which are inhabited by German farmers, workers, and citizens."
Then, as Document Number Seyss-Inquart-2, I should like to submit-it is on Page 4 of the document book-the resolution which the witness has already mentioned, passed by the Provisional Austrian National Assembly on 12 November 1918, which says:
"German-Austria is a democratic republic. All public authorities are installed by the people. German-Austria is a part of the German Republic."
The leader of the biggest national party of the time, Dr. Karl Renner, explained the reasons for this law on 12 November and said the following, which appears on Page 6 as Document Number Seyss-Inquart-3:
"Our great people is in distress and misery, the people whose pride it has always been to be called the people of poets and thinkers, our German people of humanism, our German
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people which loves all mankind is deeply bowed in misery.
But it is just in this hour in which it would be so easy and convenient and perhaps also tempting to settle one's account separately and perhaps to snatch advantages from the enemy's ruse, in this hour our people in all provinces wish to proclaim: We are one family and one people living under a common fate."
Then I come to Document Number Seyss-Inquart-4, which is on Page 18...
THE PRESIDENT: Page 8, is it not?
DR. STEINBAUER: Page 18. I beg your pardon, yes, Page 8.
That refers to the plebiscite on 24 April 1921 in the Tyrol, when 145,302 voted for the Anschluss and 1,805 against it. On 18 May 1921, there were 98,546 votes for the Anschluss in the district of Salzburg, and 877 votes against it.
Your Honors, while submitting the document, I said that I maintain there were three component factors leading to the Anschluss: First, the economic emergency which runs as a recurring theme through the entire history of the period. Second, the disunity among the democratic parties, resulting therefrom. Third, the attitude of the rest of the world, particularly the big powers, toward our small country.
Those thoughts are laid down in my document book, and I should like now with reference to the economic emergency of that time to submit as my next exhibit the speech of Prelate Hauser, President of the Austrian Parliament. The speech, made on 6 September 1919, appears on Page 14 of my document boor:. As President of the Parliament he suggested the acceptance of the Peace Treaty of St. Germain, giving the following reason:
"The National Assembly has no choice. Country and people need lasting peace which will open the world to them again morally and economically and which can once again procure work for the masses of our people at home and abroad...."
Then in the second paragraph he says:
"It also has no other choice because our country depends on the big powers for its supply of food, coal, and industrial raw materials as well as in the re-establishment of its credit and its currency."
The same point of view was expressed by the two statesmen Seipel and Schober. In Document Number Seyss-Inquart-17, Seipel, regarded as the greatest Austrian statesman, said at that time:
"But we will never believe that the Central European question is solved as long as the great state which virtually
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makes up Central Europe, the German Reich, is not a party to the solution."
I shall now continue with the examination of the witness.
I want to ask you, Witness, do you still remember the time and the conditions after 1927?
SEYSS-INQUART: On account of the economic situation which you have just described, the League powers again and again forced Austria to make so-called voluntary declarations renouncing the Anschluss. This had repercussions in Austrian domestic politics. The Austrians, who in 1918 had been resolved to have a democratic parliamentary form of government, turned to radical ideas of an authoritarian character.
DR. STEINBAUER: At that time a new party was formed. Which one was that?
SEYSS-INQUART: Then there occurred the so-called Palace of Justice fire, an uprising of the Marxists, which brought in its wake the creation of the anti-Marxists Home Guard, a militant organization. Thus uniforms were introduced into the political life of Austria. The controversy between the Marxists and the anti-Marxists became ever more marked. The only nonpartisan organization at that time was the German-Austrian Volksbund, and the Anschluss idea was the only political objective which still held all parties together. Around the year 1930-at least then it was first noticeable-the National Socialist German Workers Party made its appearance.
DR. STEINBAUER: What impression did that Party make on you, particularly with reference to the seizure of power in the Reich?
SEYSS-INQUART: I want to say quite openly that amidst Austrian conditions the Party appeared somewhat strange. Uniforms had, of course, already been introduced into politics by the Republican Guard of the Marxists and the Home Guard, but in the NSDAP even the actual political leaders wore uniforms and marched in close formation. And also the kind of political intransigence which they displayed was not in keeping with our customary political thinking.
DR. STEINBAUER: But what then were the reasons for that?
SEYSS-INQUART: Well' let me say that the NSDAP did not recognize any value in any other party and was never prepared to co-operate with any other.
DR. STEINBAUER: Then, what positive successes did you think the Party had gained in the Reich?
SEYSS-INQUART: I think that the influence of the Party in Austria-undoubtedly very great as time went on-was due to its
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unqualified determination to attain the Anschluss. I am of the opinion that the radicalism is to be attributed, for instance, to the negation of the customs union by the Hague decision, to please the democratic party leaders.
DR. STEINBAUER: In addition, were there not economic reasons which brought success to the NSDAP?
SEYSS-INQUART: What was discussed in the Reich, and what we heard from the Reich...
THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, I suppose you are hearing the words spoken by Dr. Steinbauer direct, and you are answering them without any pause, which gives the interpreter no chance.
SEYSS-INQUART: We in Austria observed after 1933 the removal of the discriminations imposed by the Versailles Treaty and above all, the elimination of unemployment in the Reich. In Austria, too, about 10 percent of the population were unemployed at that time. Especially the Austrian workers, therefore, were hoping that the Anschluss would put an end to their unemployment; and Austrian farmers were greatly interested in the Reich Food Estate and in the German market control.
DR. STEINBAUER: If I understand you correctly, then, it was the Anschluss idea which brought you, too, in contact with the Party? I do not want to speak of the Party program, which has been discussed here again and again; but I just want to ask you briefly: When did you join the Party?
SEYSS-INQUART: Officially, I became a member of the Party on 13 May 1938, and my membership number is above 7 million.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you have any contact with Dr. Dollfuss?
SEYSS-INQUART: I met Dr. Dollfuss in the period after the war. I knew that he wanted to take me into his Ministry in 1933; and a week before 25 July 1934, at his invitation, I had a discussion with him.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you participate in any way in the murder of Federal Chancellor Dr. Dollfuss on 25 July 1934?
SEYSS-INQUART: No, in no way. Dr. Dollfuss planned to have another discussion with me. He was interested in my view regarding the calming of the very radical situation of that time. I told Dr. Dollfuss already at that time that there were no more nationalists in Austria but only National Socialists, and that the National Socialists were acting only on Hitler's orders.
DR. STEINBAUER: But, I must remind you, Doctor, that the Prosecution have submitted a photograph which shows the murder of Dollfuss being extolled.
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SEYSS-INQUART: That is the so called Annual Commemoration in the year 1938. During that celebration nobody thought of Dollfuss; it was a Commemoration by the Party in honor of the seven SS men who had been hanged in connection with the Putsch attempt at that time. None of us referred to that death as murder.
DR. STEINBAUER: Well, Dr. Schuschnigg succeeded Dollfuss as Federal Chancellor, and I want to ask you: What conclusions were drawn by the NSDAP from this event, as far as you could gather?
SEYSS-INQUART: The NSDAP itself was completely broken up and disorganized, and a small circle of men was formed at that time; I also found my way to those men, and we drew the following conclusions from the events of 25 July:
First, that they represented a considerable danger. I recall the meeting of statesmen in Stresa and their resolutions against Germany. And even though we were never worried about Italy, one had nevertheless to realize that in this very troubled atmosphere anything could easily lead to war. We all agreed that the main task of German policy must be to avoid war.
DR. STEINBAUER: We are now in the year. . .
SEYSS-INQUART: I should like to add that, with regard to domestic policy, the events on 25 July were the worst that could possibly have happened to the prospect of the Anschluss. We reflected on what might be done and came to the conclusion that the Party in the Reich should cease its interference in the Austrian National Socialist Party, the existence of white anticipated the Anschluss; but in return the National Socialists in Austria should once more receive permission to be active, and especially, there should be elections to ascertain the proportional strength of the parties.
DR. STEINBAUER: What I am interested in is the question whether you had any connections with authorities in the Reich at that time, that is, in 1936?
SEYSS-INQUART: I had no connections with authorities in the Reich.
DR. STEINBAUER: Thank you. Did you . . .
SEYSS-INQUART: Only, as Reich Marshal Goering has already testified, when I became a State Councillor, did I, for the first time, meet a leading German politician.
DR. STEINBAUER: When was that?
SEYSS-INQUART: That was in June or July 1937.
DR. STEINBAUER: What was your attitude toward the NSDAP in Austria at that time, when you were State Councillor?
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SEYSS-INQUART: When the agreement of 11 July 1936 was reached-without my having taken any part in it-Dr. Schuschnigg through Minister Klees asked me for my political co-operation. At that time I had particularly close connections with Zernatto, the General Secretary of the Fatherland Front. At the suggestion of Zernatto and his friends I became an Austrian State Councillor and Dr. Schuschnigg gave me the task, in writing, of examining the conditions under which the national opposition could be enlisted to collaborate politically. In order to fulfill that task I did, of course, have to contact the National Socialists, because the national opposition consisted only of National Socialists.
DR. STEINBAUER: Who was the head of the NSDAP in Austria?
SEYSS-INQUART: The Party in Austria had reorganized illegally; Captain Leopold was the head.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were you on friendly terms with him?
SEYSS-INQUART: I could not come to an agreement with Captain Leopold; he did not understand my policy, but thought that on the basis of the agreement of 11 July Dr. Schuschnigg had to allow the NSDAP again in its earlier form. I think I talked to Leopold only twice, or at most three times, throughout that time. He demanded that I be subordinate to him; that I refused.
DR. STEINBAUER: May I in this connection draw attention to the following documents without reading from them?
Exhibit Number Seyss-Inquart-44, on Page 103 of the document book, an excerpt from the Document Number 3471-PS, Exhibit Number USA-583, already submitted to the Court.
Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-45, on Page 105, Document Number 3473-PS, Exhibit Number USA-581.
And Document Number Seyss-Inquart-97, on Page 109, in which Zenatto expressly states that Seyss-Inquart did not fall in with Leopold's aims and efforts.
My client has been accused by the Prosecution of having played a double game. As counter-evidence, I applied for permission to hear the former Gauleiter Siegfried Uiberreither. He was interrogated here, and I want to quote from the interrogatory, which is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-59, from the counterquestions put by the Prosecution on Page 140:
"Question: 'Was not the Defendant Seyss-Inquart, before the time when the Nazi Party was legalized, that is, before it was declared legal in February 1938, was he not in constant contact with the illegal Nazi Party of Austria?'
"Answer: 'No. I personally did not know Seyss-Inquart until his visit to Graz. In Nazi circles he was considered a non-Party member. I think-I do not know with certainty-that
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he joined the NSDAP only when it was legalized. For this reason, he personally encountered a strong opposition in illegal Nazi circles."'
On Page 6 of the same document it says:
"Question: 'Did not the Defendant Seyss-Inquart play a double game: On one side his legal position in Schuschnigg's Cabinet and on the other side his co-operation with the formerly illegal Nazi Party, whose activity was then legalized to a certain extent through the efforts of the defendant at Berchtesgaden in February 1938?'
"Answer: 'I do not know to what extent he was in touch with the illegal Nazi circles before 12 February. I do not know about it, because I was not in Vienna. But from 18 February his contact with the Nazi Party was not duplicity but his duty. Schuschnigg himself had discussions with Leopold, the leader of the Nazis at that time-before Klausner it was Leopold."'
[Turning to the defendant.] This brings us to 1938. At the beginning of that year you were State Councillor in the Austrian Government. What did you think of the political situation at that time?
SEYSS-INQUART: In many conversations with Dr. Schuschnigg but most of all in continual discussions with Zernatto, I suggested, in line with the conclusions I had drawn from the events of 25 July 1934, that the Reich, and particularly Hitler, be asked to refrain from any interference in Austrian politics through the medium of the Austrian National Socialist Party. I proposed that instead the Austrian National Socialists should receive permission to resume activities. That did not mean at all that I would give up the Anschluss, but I was completely convinced that a lawful and responsible policy of the Austrian National Socialists in Austria would in the course of time win for them the support of a clear majority of the Austrian nation-I mean of the Germans in Austria; and that the demonstration of such a clear majority would no longer be challenged by the powers of the League of Nations. One had to attempt to make Adolf Hitler agree to such a policy by enlisting the support of the autonomous and independent state of Austria for the Fuehrer's policy and the demand for equal rights of the German people. It was in the interests of these ideas that I talked to Field Marshal Goering and Herr Hess. I reported the outcome of these conversations to Dr. Schuschnigg and to Zernatto and I recommended the formation of a coalition government by taking National Socialist ministers into the cabinet, on condition that Adolf Hitler offer adequate guarantees. My suggestions made no headway with either of the two parties, but were not directly turned down.
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Meanwhile, the Austrian National Socialists continued to be active illegally; the police intervened and made arrests; three Austrian concentration camps were set up; in short, the events of that time foreshadowed today's denazification system.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were you at the Obersalzberg on 12 February 1938?
SEYSS-INQUART: No. But I want to describe how that meeting came about. First of all, a renewed Party radicalism set in. At the beginning of 1938, legitimist tendencies were being promoted in Austria, the laws regarding the return of the Hapsburg property were discussed in the State Council. For the moment my own position, therefore, became untenable; I retired and informed Zernatto and State Secretary Keppler who had been officially nominated by the Reich Government to conduct the political affairs relating to Austria. I felt that in view of my task it was my duty to inform Keppler also. I myself accepted an invitation from the Reich Sports Leader Tschammer-Osten and went to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. There, without previous appointment, I met Herr Von Papen. Each of us poured out his troubles to the other, and came to the conclusion that both parties, that is to say, Hitler as well as the Austrian Government-that is, Dr. Schuschnigg-should be made aware of the fact that a clear decision on the lines of my proposal was necessary. At that time, participation of the National Socialists in the government was certainly discussed. Perhaps the Ministry of the Interior was also a subject of discussion, but my name was definitely not mentioned though it was the obvious one. I received no report on the discussions which Herr Von Papen had with Hitler, but I informed Zernatto of my conversation with Herr Von Papen. Zernatto at that time met me half-way on some questions, in particular with regard to the expansion of those sections dealing with national policy which were concerned with the National Socialists; and for this purpose he also placed means at my disposal. It was on 10 February, I think, when I heard through the group of my colleagues that Hitler had invited Dr. Schuschnigg to Berchtesgaden. Among the members of my circle were Dr. Reiner, Dr. Jury, Dr. Kaltenbrunner, Langot, and several others.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were you informed of the outcome of the discussions at the Obersalzberg?
SEYSS-INQUART: I was informed of the outcome of this conference only by Zernatto. On the evening of the 11th, before Dr. Schuschnigg left for Berchtesgaden, I had a detailed discussion with him and Zernatto. We agreed to a large extent regarding the appointment of National Socialists for instance, Jury, Reinthaller, and Fischbock-to certain public functions but not to ministerial
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positions. I did not broach the subject of a ministerial post, because I did not know how Adolf Hitler reacted to the suggestion which I made to Herr Von Papen. On 13 February Zernatto asked me to see him, and he then told me of the results and contents of the Berchtesgaden conference, which were known to him.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection, I want to refer to Document Number Seyss-Inquart-48, Page 111, in which Zernatto states, "I had the definite impression that he"-Seyss-Inquart-"did not until then know anything about the result of the discussion and the contents of the agreement"-of 12 February.
Witness, on the basis of that agreement, you became Minister of the Interior and Police, did you not?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, on 17 February.
DR. STEINBAUER: On 17 February 1938, with the assignment of establishing connections between Austria and the Reich, or rather of improving them. Did you also have a discussion with Hitler himself?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes. The agreement at Berchtesgaden on 12 February contained a definite stipulation to the effect that I was to be liaison man between the Austrian Government and the Austrian National Socialists on one side, and the German Reich on the other. The contents of the protocol appeared to me unsatisfactory and even dangerous. There was no doubt at all that my appointment to the Ministry of the Interior and Security served as a notification, if not a signal, for the Austrian National Socialists that they might expect an early realization of their political objectives. In addition they received permission to profess their beliefs; they could wear the swastika and salute with the raised hand. What was not permitted, however, was their organization; that means, my National Socialist friends in Austria had no possibility of getting in touch with the National Socialists in a legal way. This agreement opened the gates without providing for a regular procedure thereafter. Hence, I myself resolved to see Adolf Hitler in order to make sure whether my plan had his approval I went with Dr. Schuschnigg's assent and with an Austrian diplomatic passport.
DR. STEINBAUER: And when did you talk then to Hitler?
SEYSS-INQUART: I mentioned an incorrect date just now; it was on 16 February that I became Minister and I went to Berlin on the 17th. I talked with Adolf Hitler alone for more than 2 hours.
It was pointed out here by the Prosecution that I saluted Adolf Hitler with the raised-hand greeting. That was permissible under the agreement. But I would ask the Prosecution to admit that during every one of my interrogations I stated that I had
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emphasized to Adolf Hitler at once that I was an Austrian Minister and as such responsible to Austria. I made some shorthand notes on this discussion on the back of a letter, and a few weeks later I dictated those notes to my secretary. I now want to relate the contents of my talk with Hitler on the basis of those notes. My statements . . .
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, will you kindly be as brief as possible; can you do it in headings, perhaps?
SEYSS-INQUART: But this is the most important point with regard to my whole responsibility.
"A condition of Federal Chancellor Dr. Schuschnigg is that I adhere to an autonomous and independent Austria, that I support the Constitution, that is, further development, including the Anschluss, must be based on this. The formation of public opinion in Austria must proceed independently and in accordance with present constitutional possibilities. I must be an active guarantor for Dr. Schuschnigg of the revolutionary way, in the meaning of these statements (Yes), no Trojan horse. The Party and Movement must not adopt a militant attitude against prevailing cultural conceptions. (Yes). No totalitarianism of the Party and Movement; that is, National Socialist ideology to be realized with due appreciation and regard for conditions in Austria; not to be imposed on others by force. The Party as such is not simply to disappear, but to exist as an organization of individuals; no illegal activity, no efforts inimical to the State, everything to be done in a legal fashion, anyone failing to do this, to be locked up."
In the main, Adolf Hitler agreed, and he told me:
"It is not a question of the 25 points. One cannot proclaim a dogma; one must arrive from the pan-German and the national German conception to a National Socialist one."
That was the gist of my conference with Adolf Hitler on 17 February, from 12 to 2:10 o'clock.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you . . .
MR. DODD: Mr. President' I understood the witness to say that he made his notes on the meeting with Hitler and later dictated them to his secretary. It is not clear to me whether he was reading from those notes. Furthermore, we have never seen such notes and I think it should be made clear on the record.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, has the defendant got the notes?
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DR. STEINBAUER: The original was taken from him when he was arrested.
THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, you heard the question I asked; have you got the notes?
SEYSS-INQUART: The original of these notes was among my files in Vienna. I made an application to have these files of mine, which were found, searched for the notes. I handed a copy of the notes to the Prosecution during one of my first interrogations; it is in the files of the Prosecution. I have only copies here; I do not have the original.
THE PRESIDENT: The copy would be just as good for the purposes.
. SEYSS-INQUART: I have placed a copy at the disposal of the Defense.
DR. STEINBAUER: But I gave it back to you.
SEYSS-INQUART: Then you can submit this one.
DR. STEINBAUER: Yes, would you hand it over?
[The document was submitted to the Tribunal.]
THE PRESIDENT: Will you give it an exhibit number, Dr. Steinbauer?
DR. STEINBAUER: Number Seyss-Inquart-61, otherwise it would be confused with the others.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I am confused about this; I still do not understand, and I am sure that my colleagues do not. We have never received any copy of any notes that this defendant has claimed he made soon after, or at the time of, his conference with Hitler. We have no such copy in our files. And I would like to have understood myself whether or not he is now claiming that this copy which is offered to the Tribunal is a copy of this original that he claims he gave to us.
THE PRESIDENT: Is that what you say, Defendant, that the document which you have just handed to your counsel is a copy of the document which you say you produced during your interrogations, which was from the shorthand notes you made at that time?
SEYSS-INQUART: Mr. President, the original notes I made on the afternoon of 17 February. A few weeks later I dictated these notes, which I made in shorthand, to my secretary, who took them down on a typewriter. I had several copies, one of which I presented to the Prosecution during one of my interrogations last summer. I have now given a second copy to my defense counsel. These are
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copies made from the original notes a few weeks after the conference. The original was in my secret files in Vienna.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
MR. DODD: I wonder if we could learn just who it was to whom this defendant gave these notes? Mr. President, I would like to have some search made for them, and some effort made to find them.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you know who was the interrogating counsel?
SEYSS-INQUART: Mr. Dodd himself.
MR. DODD: We do not have it.
SEYSS-INQUART: I think I am right in saying that it was handed over.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, the main points of the contents coincide with the voluntary statement, which the defendant. . .
MR. DODD: I think this is important enough at this point, Mr. President, to clear up. I have the interrogation that I first conducted on this defendant, and it clearly shows that he referred to the notes; but he clearly said at the time that he did not have them, that he left them in a black leather case with other documents in Mondorf, and he asked me if I would make an effort to get them; and I said that I would, and we never have been able to find them, and that is the transcript of the interrogation.
SEYSS-INQUART: May I say that I received them. The black leather case was brought to me here in Court and the notes were in it. I submitted the copy at one of the subsequent interrogations.
[There was a short pause.]
THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Dr. Steinbauer.
DR. STEINBAUER: May I say that Document Number SeyssInquart-49, Page 113, is substantially of the same content. The defendant the present witness, informed Schuschnigg of the substance of that talk; that is evident from Document Number 3271-PS, Exhibit Number Seyss-Inquart-65, on Page 158.
Witness, I want to ask you now whether Hitler approved of your proposals?
SEYSS-INQUART: He clearly said "yes" to a number of things, but on other points he expressed doubts as to whether the Austrian Government would agree; the principal impression was, however, that this policy seemed feasible.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection it has also been alleged that as Minister of the Interior and Police you brought executive power under the control of the Nazis.
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SEYSS-INQUART: I should like to leave the main explanation of this matter to my witness, Dr. Skubl. After Dollfuss' death Dr. Skubl was a special confidant of the Austrian Government and was placed at my side as State Secretary and Inspector General for Security Matters clearly also to act as a kind of check. I had no objection at all to that and was very pleased to have such an expert at my disposal.
I should just like to mention briefly that all orders of the entire executive came from Skubl. I myself never gave a direct order to the Austrian police. Skubl was given instructions by Dr. Schuschnigg, particularly on 10 and 11 March. I myself did not bring a single National Socialist into the Austrian police.
DR. STEINBAUER: All right, that is sufficient.
SEYSS-INQUART: Perhaps I might refer briefly to the public appeal . . .
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection I want to refer to two documents, Numbers Seyss-Inquart-51 and 52, on Pages 117 and 119 respectively. We have now reached Document Book Number 2. The first is a speech by the defendant as Minister, addressed to his police officials, and the second speech is a radio talk which he gave at Linz.
We now come to the critical days in March. Were you informed of the plebiscite plan of Schuschnigg, and by whom?
SEYSS-INQUART: The day before Dr. Schuschnigg announced in Innsbruck the plan for the plebiscite he called me in and informed me of his plan. I asked him at that time whether the decision was
unalterable, and he affirmed that. I expressed my concern that this might lead to difficulties; but I promised him that I would help him wherever I could, either to make the best of this plebiscite or to bring about a suitable outcome-suitable, that is to say, even for the National Socialists. Of course, I had continual contact with the Austrian National Socialists, since I was the liaison man. I spoke at several meetings-Zernatto and Dr. Schuschnigg were informed of that-and recounted what I had discussed with Adolf Hitler or what I had proposed to him. I avoided all possibilities of demonstrations, and as Minister of the Interior also banned such demonstrations. In that connection may I refer to the general ban on public meetings, imposed by me among others, and to the specific prohibition of a demonstration at Graz, evident from the interrogatory of the witness Uiberreither.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did Schuschnigg give you any promises?
SEYSS-INQUART: No. I want to say that on the same evening I was also approached by Dr. Jury who in some way had already
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heard of the plan for the plebiscite. I did not tell him that I had given my assent to Dr. Schuschnigg, though on account of my function as liaison man as laid down in the agreement of 12 February, I should not have allowed silence to be imposed on me; yet, I did keep silent.
DR. STEINBAUER: I think, Mr. President, this might be a suitable moment for the recess.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well. We will break off now.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. STEINBAUER: We got as far as the plebiscite which Schuschnigg had planned and which then became known. We come now to 11 March. What did you do in the forenoon on that day?
SEYSS-INQUART: I must say first that a day or two before, after consultation with Austrian National Socialists, I wrote a letter to Dr. Schuschnigg in which I commented on the plebiscite in an unfavorable way. The reasons were primarily that a real plebiscite result was not guaranteed, because it was not a proper plebiscite within the meaning of the national laws. For example, the plebiscite was not decided on by the Council of Ministers but by the Fatherland Front, that is) by the party; and it was to have been carried out by that party.
It was suggested that the plebiscite be postponed and a proper election with all its legal requisites be held. On the evening of 10 March, in the presence of Foreign Minister Schmidt, I had another detailed conversation with Dr. Schuschnigg; and we agreed that the Government-as well as the provincial governments, and so forth-should include National Socialists, that, in effect, a coalition government should be formed; and in that case the National Socialists would also vote "yes." Only with reference to the license of the Party, the activities of the Party, were there still differences of opinion. I reported this to the Austrian National Socialists but they were not much interested, because news had come from Berlin that Hitler had rejected the plebiscite. I was told that on the next day I would receive a letter from Hitler.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you receive a letter?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes. I received a letter from Hitler by courier. I am almost certain that the letter also contained the draft of a telegram for a march into Austria, but I cannot recall whether the draft of a radio speech was also included in it.
DR. STEINBAUER: What did you do in the morning, after receiving this letter?
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SEYSS-INQUART: After receiving this letter I went with Minister Glaise to Dr. Schuschnigg. We were at the Federal Chancellor's office at 10 o'clock, and I informed Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg of the entire contents of this letter without reservation. In particular, I pointed out that in case of a refusal Adolf Hitler expected unrest among the Austrian National Socialists and that he was ready, if disturbances occurred, to answer an appeal for help by marching in. In other words, I expressly called Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg's attention to the possibility of this development.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you ask for an answer from him?
SEYSS-INQUART: The letter set a deadline, 12 o'clock. As our talk lasted until about 11:30, I asked Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg to give me an answer by 2 o'clock. I know that in the meantime, and also on the previous day, he had taken security measures through Dr. Skubl, of which I had approved. A number of age groups of the Austrian Federal Army were called up, the police everywhere received instructions, and a curfew was imposed in the evening.
DR. STEINBAUER: What happened in the afternoon of 11 March?
SEYSS-INQUART: At 2 o'clock I went to the Federal Chancellor's office with Minister Glaise. We had a talk with Dr. Schuschnigg; he rejected a postponement. At that moment I was called to the telephone; Field Marshal Goering was on the phone, and the conversation between us is reproduced here under the Exhibit Number USA-76, Document Number 2949-PS.
And then followed demands and concessions. When I told Field Marshal Goering that Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg rejected the postponement, he declared, in the name of the Reich, that he had to ask for Schuschnigg's resignation, because he had broken the agreement of 12 February and the Reich had no confidence in him. Dr. Schuschnigg was then ready to adjourn, but not to resign. Thereupon Field Marshal Goering demanded not only Schuschnigg's resignation, but my appointment as Federal Chancellor. During a conference with Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg at 3:30 in the afternoon, the Chancellor said that he would hand to the Federal President the resignation of the whole Cabinet. When I was informed of this, I left the Federal Chancellor's office, because I considered my function as a middleman concluded in the meaning of the agreement of 12 February; and I did not want in any way to advocate or promote my own appointment as Federal Chancellor.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection may I refer to my Exhibit Number Seyss-Inquart-58, Page 134 (Document Number 2949-PS). This is an excerpt from the telephone conversations of
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Goering; Goering is listening to reports, and Seyss-Inquart is speaking of the relationship between Germany and Austria. It says here: "Yes, he means that Austrian independence will be preserved...."
Now, that was on 11 March, in the late afternoon?
SEYSS-INQUART: In these telephone conversations it was also suggested that the Party formation, the emigrant Legion, should come to Austria. From the same telephone conversation it is obvious that I opposed this and wanted rather an election or a plebiscite held before the entry of any formation into Austria.
In the course of that afternoon State Secretary Keppler came to Vienna and requested information from me. And so I again went to the Federal Chancellor's office. Berlin repeatedly asked me to intervene with the Federal President in order to effect my own appointment as Federal Chancellor. I always refused to do that.
DR. STEINBAUER: And what did the Austrian NSDAP do at that time?
SEYSS-INQUART: The Party in Austria began demonstrations. Party members left their houses, filled the streets, and as Party members or sympathizers took part in a demonstration against the system and for the National Socialists, a demonstration which assumed enormous proportions.
DR. STEINBAUER: What was the feeling in the Federal provinces?
SEYSS-INQUART: I had no contact with the Federal provinces but learned quite late during that night or on the next day that there, even on a larger scale than in Vienna, big demonstrations of very large crowds had taken place against the Fatherland Front and for the National Socialists.
DR. STEINBAUER: What attempts did Federal President Miklas make to solve this situation?
SEYSS-INQUART: I cannot say anything about that from my own observation, for until 8 o'clock in the evening no one at all approached me on these matters. No one spoke to me about the Federal Chancellorship; no other possibility of a solution was discussed with me. I heard that the Federal President wanted to make Dr. Ender, of Vorarlberg, Chancellor and me Vice Chancellor. I believe that suggestion would have been completely practicable. But I could not discuss it-least of all with Berlin-because no one had said anything to me about it.
DR. STEINBAUER: And when events reached a climax and Schuschnigg offered his resignation, did you compile a Cabinet list?
SEYSS-INQUART: In the course of the evening it became clear that Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg would resign and that the
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Reich would not tolerate any other than a National Socialist Government. Therefore, in order to avoid being taken by surprise, I considered it my task to study whom I should take into a Cabinet. The suggestions mentioned in the telephone conversations were not transmitted by me at all. I chose my colleagues quite independently -naturally after consultations with Austrian National Socialists- and they included also people with strong Catholic ties, such as Professor Mengin, Dr. Wolf, and others.
I asked Foreign Minister Schmidt to enter the Cabinet. He asked me for a reason, and I told him: I want to keep Austria autonomous and independent, and I need a foreign minister who has connections with the Western Powers. Schmidt refused, remarking that Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg had introduced him into politics and that he would remain loyal to him.
DR. STEINBAUER: I should like to submit some documents now: Document Number Seyss-Inquart-50, Page 115, from Zernatto's book on Seyss-Inquart's position; then, on Page 125, Document Number Seyss-Inquart-54, also from Zernatto's book, where it says: ". . . he"-Seyss-Inquart-"no longer has developments in his hands."
Then Document Number Seyss-Inquart-62, Page 149, in white Zernatto quotes from a conversation with Dr. Seyss-Inquart:
"He says that there are two main points on which he will not
compromise. The first is Austria's independence and the
second, the possibility for the conservative Catholic element
to develop its own life."
[Turning to the defendant.] Now we come to a very important question. You then made a radio speech in which you called yourself a Minister, although Schuschnigg had already resigned.
SEYSS-INQUART: The situation was as follows: The resignation of the whole Cabinet was not accepted by the Federal President; and we, including myself, remained Ministers. When Dr. Schuschnigg made his farewell speech, he did not speak of the resignation of the whole Cabinet. He only said, "We yield to force." Dr. Schuschnigg and Federal President Miklas had agreed at that time that I would not actually be appointed Federal Chancellor, but that with the entry of German troops executive power should be passed to me. Therefore, in my opinion, I was de facto Minister of the Interior and Foreign Minister.
DR. STEINBAUER: The Prosecution assert that you yourself exerted pressure on Federal President Miklas to appoint you Chancellor.
SEYSS-INQUART: I did not see Federal President Miklas at all until 9 or 10 o'clock in the evening, after Schuschnigg's speech "We yield to force."
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DR. STEINBAUER: I should like to submit to the Court this speech of Chancellor Dr. Schuschnigg of 11 March under Document Number Seyss-Inquart-53, Page 122; in it he says:
"The Federal President has commissioned me to inform the Austrian people that we are yielding to force. Since we are at all costs determined not to spill German blood, even in this grave hour, we have given orders to our Armed Forces to withdraw without resistance, if the invasion of Austria is carried out, and to await the decision within the next hours."
The Prosecution, Witness, sees evidence of this pressure also in the fact that SS units were called to the Federal Chancellor's of lice at that time. What can you say to that?
SEYSS-INQUART: I believe it was after Schuschnigg's farewell speech, when I saw in the anterooms 10 or 15 young men in black trousers and white shirts, that was the SS. I had the impression that they were doing messenger and orderly duty for State Secretary Keppler and the others. As they approached the rooms in which Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg and President Miklas were, I ordered guards of the Austrian Guard Battalion to be placed at their doors. I may mention that these were selected men of the Austrian Army who according to Austrian standards were very well armed, while these SS men-40 at most-possibly carried pistols. Moreover, 50 steps from the Federal Chancellor's office were the barracks of the Guard Battalion, with a few hundred picked and well-armed anew. If Federal President Miklas and Federal Chancellor Schuschnigg had not been concerned with things other than those which happened in the Federal Chancellor's office and on the street outside it, they could easily have put an end to this situation by calling out the Guard Battalion.
DR. STEINBAUER: The Prosecution has submitted an affidavit of the Gauleiter of Upper Austria, Eigruber, which states that even before you became a Federal Chancellor, you ordered the seizure of power in the various Austrian Federal provinces.
SEYSS-INQUART: That is completely incorrect, and the Gauleiter of Upper Austria also does not claim to have talked to me. I believe he says that he had received a telegram signed by me. I did not send a telegram, and I did not give oral instructions to any Gauleiter or to anyone else for the seizure of power.
Later I heard from Globocznik that he had carried out the seizure of power. He told me of that in these words: "You know, I seized power for you and acted as the government; but I did not tell you anything about it, because you would have been against it."
DR. STEINBAUER: You say you would have been against it. Was the population against it, too, against the marching in, which
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had meanwhile taken place, that is, the invasion as described by the Defendant Goering?
SEYSS-INQUART: One cannot call it an invasion; it was a stormy, loudly cheered entry of German troops. There were no villages-even those with an orthodox Catholic population-and no workers' districts which did not burst out in stormy jubilation. Moreover, both Dr. Schuschnigg and I were completely clear about this; once in 1937 he had agreed with me when I said that the entry of German troops into Austria could not be impeded by anything but the ovations of the population.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection I should like to refer to a Document Number Seyss-Inquart-37, Page 86. This is a quotation from the book by Sumner Welles, The Time for Decision, describing a conversation between him and the Italian Foreign Minister, Count Ciano, and it says:
"Before the occupation of Austria, Dr. Schuschnigg came to Rome. He admitted to me frankly that, if Germany occupied Austria, the majority of Austrians would support the occupation and, if Italy sent troops into Austria to prevent the occupation, the Austrians as one man would join with the Germans to fight Italy."
Now, Witness, we come to the next day, to 12 March. Did you not at that time have a telephone conversation with Hitler?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes; I called the Fuehrer in connection with the entry of troops. I should like to repeat and explain that on the day before, at about 7 o'clock, the negotiations suddenly came to a stop. Everybody waited. At half past 7 State Secretary Skubl came with the news that the entry of German troops had actually begun, according to a report from one of the frontier posts; indeed Field Marshal Goering had repeatedly said that it would take place. Thinking that the entry was actually in progress, Schuschnigg then made his farewell speech. And with that the government of the Fatherland Front had resigned from office. And I state expressly, up to this moment I did nothing which in any way furthered the taking over of control in Austria or to express it more correctly, which intentionally furthered the establishment of the National Socialists and the seizure of power. I only acted as an intermediary within the meaning of the Treaty of 12 February. But from the moment when the system of the Fatherland Front came to an end, I considered it my responsibility to take action. First I made a radio speech, but not the one which had been prescribed for me in the morning. For I did not speak of a provisional government, but referred to myself as Minister of the Interior. Only then did I call on the SA and the SS to act as
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auxiliary police; and like Schuschnigg, I gave the order to offer no resistance to the entry of German troops. Subsequently I was appointed Federal Chancellor, and my Cabinet was approved. On the same night I drove Dr. Schuschnigg home in my car, because I was afraid something might happen to him at the hands of provocateurs; and I asked Dr. Keppler to call up the Fuehrer and ask him not to give the order for the entry of troops. Reich Marshal Goering spoke about that here. In the morning I called up again; then I met the Fuehrer at the airport in Linz, and, as the entry of the troops was in full progress, I asked him whether it would not be possible to have Austrian troops march into the German Reich, so that, symbolically at least, equal rights would be maintained. The Fuehrer agreed; and Austrian troops actually marched into Munich, Berlin, and other cities, in Austrian uniform
DR. STEINBAUER. How, in your capacity as newly appointed Federal Chancellor, did you envisage the further development of the situation?
SEYSS-INQUART: Since the system of the Fatherland Front had broken down, I could no longer entertain my idea of a coalition government. It was clear to me that a National Socialist government with a very strong Catholic tendency would control developments not in the form of an immediate Anschluss but rather-by carrying out appropriate elections and a plebiscite-in the form of an economic and possibly a military union with the German Reich.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, in this connection, I should like to submit an extremely important document, which shows in an entirely new way how the Anschluss Law came about. It is a sworn statement of the former State Secretary of the Interior, Dr. Stuckart, who is imprisoned here. I submit it to the Court and should like to establish the following from this testimony...
'17~; PRESIDENT: Where is the document?
DR. STEINBAUER: It is not in the document book because I received it later. The translation of it has not yet been completed. I will read from the witness' testimony only briefly to establish the connection-I have submitted the original to the Court...
THE PRESIDENT: You are giving it a number, are you?
DR. STEINBAUER: Document Number Seyss-Inquart-92. The witness says in it that Hitler would probably have incorporated the presidency of Austria in his own person, that he, the witness, was told by Frick to draft a law to that effect, but that he was then suddenly ordered to Linz...
THE PRESIDENT: Wait just a minute, Dr. Steinbauer.
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DR. STEINBAUER: In the Dutch matter also, there are a few affidavits which have not yet arrived or which have just come in. Perhaps it would be more expedient to submit these documents when they have been translated.
THE PRESIDENT: The Prosecution will have the affidavit, I suppose?
DR. STEINBAUER: Yes, the Prosecution already have the affidavits.
If I may continue, he says that to his surprise he was told by Hitler in Linz to draft a law providing for the direct, total Anschluss, that is, providing for Austria's status as a province, a Land, of the German Reich, like Bavaria and the other German Lander. He worked out this law, as he had been instructed to do, flew to Vienna, and submitted it for approval to the ministers who were assembled there.
I should like to establish in three documents the impression which the Anschluss made on the population. First, Document Number Seyss-Inquart-30. This is the celebration at which the Viennese welcomed the Fuehrer in the biggest square in Vienna, the Heldenplatz. On that occasion, on 15 March, the witness welcomed the Fuehrer and said:
"The goal for which centuries of German history have battled, for which untold millions of the best Germans have bled and died, which has been the final aim of fierce struggle, the last consolation in the bitterest hours-has today been reached. Austria has come home."
Hitler now ordered that this Anschluss Law subsequently be sanctioned by a plebiscite of the Austrian population. Documents showing the results of this plebiscite have already been submitted to the Court. I should just like to point out, in addition, the attitude of the Catholic bishops toward the plebiscite-that is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-32, Page 73-and the attitude at that time of the present Federal President, Dr. Karl Renner-that is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-33, Page 76. On the attitude of the other powers to the Anschluss question I shall quote from testimony of the witness Schmidt, who as the then Foreign Minister was the qualified man; but I should like to submit one document on it, namely Document Number Seyss-Inquart-38, Page 89. That is the House of Commons speech of Chamberlain, who was Prime Minister at the time. In reply to a question regarding the Anschluss he said: ". . . nothing could have stopped this action by Germany unless we and others had been ready to use force to prevent it."
[Turning to the defendant.] Now Austria has been incorporated, it is a part of the Greater German Reich, with Seyss-Inquart as
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Chancellor. Did you remain Federal Chancellor or did you receive another state function after the seizure of power?
SEYSS-INQUART: On the 13th during the night, I reported on the Anschluss Law to the Fuehrer; and I took the opportunity of discussing three questions with him immediately. That was, however, not at all easy, for the Fuehrer was deeply moved and wept.
First, I asked that the Austrian Party might retain relative independence and be headed by an Austrian as the provincial leader; second, that Austria as a state might also enjoy a certain degree of independence. To the first request the Fuehrer said, "Possibly"; to the second he said, "Yes"; Austria would receive her own governor, a Reichsstatthalter. I then rose and asked the Fuehrer that I be allowed to return to my private practice as a lawyer. As a third request, I asked that the unjust exchange rate of 2 schillings to 1 mark be altered to 1.50. The Fuehrer agreed to that also.
On 15 March, on the occasion of the celebration which has already been mentioned here, the Fuehrer told the radio announcer, "Announce that Reichsstatthalter Seyss-Inquart will now speak." That to me was actually the first news of my appointment as Reichsstatthalter. I held that post until the end of April 1939.
DR. STEINBAUER: Who really directed policy in Austria after the Anschluss?
SEYSS-INQUART: Burckel was sent to Austria immediately with the task of reorganizing the Party and preparing the plebiscite. The interference of. Burckel and his collaborators, and various plans somewhat strange and adverse to Austrian conceptions, caused me, on 8 April, in Burckel's presence, to call the Fuehrer's attention to this sort of co-ordination and in my hearing the Fuehrer said to Burckel: "Burckel, you must not do that, otherwise the enthusiasm of the Austrians for the Anschluss will change to dissatisfaction with the Reich."
Nevertheless, a few weeks later he made Burckel Reich Commissioner for the Reunion. He controlled the Party and politics and propaganda, including church policy, and he had the right to give me instructions in state matters.
DR. STEINBAUER: You know that the Prosecution make charges against you in connection with the policy in Austria shortly after the Anschluss. The first charge is with regard to the Jewish question, namely, that you participated in this grievous treatment of the Jewish population, or that you were responsible for it.
What can you say to that?
SEYSS-INQUART: I cannot at all deny it; for certainly, as chief of the civil administration, I issued orders along that line in my
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field of authority, though Burckel claimed that the Jewish question as such was part of his field; and in a document which has been
submitted here, he called the Jewish question a matter arising as a consequence of the Anschluss.
DR. STEINBAUER: May I, in this connection, refer to two documents. One is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-64, a decree on Page 154. It is the decree of the Fuehrer on the appointment of Burckel as Reich Commissioner for the Reunion of Austria with the Reich. I emphasize here especially Article 4, which gives Burckel the detailed authority to issue orders to the witness. The second document is Exhibit Number Seyss-Inquart-67, Page 163; the Court already has it; it is Document Number 2237-PS. With this long document, I only want to demonstrate that the entire solution of the Jewish problem, particularly in November 1938, was a matter with which the defendant had nothing to do.
The defendant's own attitude I should like to show by submitting an affidavit which came to me unsolicited from Australia. This is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-70, Page 175. I am fully aware of the Tribunal's view that it is not very weighty evidence that some defendants have submitted letters from Jews; "One swallow does not make a summer," as the proverb says. The reason for my submitting this document is Paragraph 12 on Page 4, in which the witness, Dr. Walter Stricker, who comes from a highly respected Jewish family in Linz, says the following:
"After my departure from Austria, I heard of other cases in which Dr. Seyss gave similar help to Jews and that in May 1938, when persecutions of Jews became particularly severe, he protested to the Gauleiter Burckel."
It is therefore quite clear that the defendant did not participate but rejected this radical policy.
Witness, you know from the trial brief that you are charged with having played a double game. What was the attitude of the Party toward you after the Anschluss?
SEYSS-INQUART: I know that this charge is made against me and has been made against me before. Radical circles of the Party made the same accusation against me, and I will admit openly that I can understand why it was made. I attempted to bring together two groups which, as history has shown, simply could not be brought together; and since this could not be anticipated at the time, the radical elements of both groups must have come to the conclusion that the man who attempted it was not honest in his attempt. But more important is something else. The final solution of the Austrian question was not my solution at all, but the solution of the radical elements in the Party. I myself, however,
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from 11 March at 8 o'clock in the evening, participated in that solution. As a result, it is easy for people to say that I participated in it beforehand and prepared for it; but that is not true. Only at 8 o'clock in the evening, after Schuschnigg and the Fatherland Government had resigned, did I too adopt this point of view, because under the given political conditions there was no other possibility. For there was no political power in Austria other than that of the National Socialists; the alternative was civil war.
I myself welcomed the Anschluss Law, and my decision also determined that of my colleagues. On 13 March, of course, I welcomed the opportune moment. At most, there might have been some sort of hesitation as to whether the Anschluss should actually then be carried through. I considered that, but as I saw it, there was no need for misgivings from the foreign political point of view; because, according to all reports, everything would pass quietly. Domestically, there had never been so much enthusiasm in Austria. I felt that no Austrian statesman, no man in a position of responsibility, ever had the whole population behind him as much as I. But the Anschluss Law was valuable and useful, insofar as in any case the Reich would in reality have had the authority, and thus it was certainly better it had full responsibility outwardly too.
DR. STEINBAUER: The Defendant Kaltenbrunner told me that he and you were at this time very closely shadowed by Heydrich. Is that correct?
SEYSS-INQUART: Heydrich in particular was among those who distrusted us, and "us" includes Kaltenbrunner. At the end of 1937 Heydrich wrote a secret report, which I later received. In this report he said that the solution of the Austrian question in favor of the Party was inescapable, that the policy of State Councillor Seyss-Inquart might, however, prove to be the only obstacle, for he would be in a position to produce something like Austrian National Socialism. After the Anschluss a so-called "escort" detail was attached to me with the sole task of sending to Heydrich constant reports on what I was doing. I had as little objection to this as to the fact that, as Austrian Minister of Security, my telephone conversations were intercepted.
DR. STEINBAUER: After you had allegedly played the main role in this affair, what reward did you receive for your activity? Were you given an estate or a gratuity of several hundred thousand marks? Did you ever receive anything like that?
SEYSS-INQUART: No, and there was no question of anything like that. My reward was the knowledge of having worked for the formation of Greater Germany.
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DR. STEINBAUER: I would still like to ask you: Did you ever receive anything?
SEYSS-INQUART: No. On my fiftieth birthday...
DR. STEINBAUER: But you received a title, did you not?
SEYSS-INQUART: Do you mean the title of Gruppenfuehrer of the SS? On 15 March I was named Gruppenfuehrer of the SS, as an honorary rank. I must add that I did not try to obtain it and that I went through no examinations or other such things. As a rule an honorary rank in the SS does not entail membership in the general SS; it does not bestow on the holder either command or disciplinary powers. I myself learned that when I complained to Himmler about Burckel and demanded proceedings-that letter has been submitted here. Himmler told me then that he had no disciplinary powers over Burckel, who held only an honorary rank. I myself, as regards the SS...
DR. STEINBAUER: I think that is sufficient.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, as I understood it, the defendant said that he received a secondary post to furnish reports to Heydrich. What was that secondary post? Is that what you said?
SEYSS-INQUART: Heydrich wrote a secret report against me. No, I am sorry, Heydrich sent an "escort" detail...
THE PRESIDENT: You said in 1937 Heydrich issued a secret report about Austria, and then said that the solution was unavoidable except for the policy of Seyss-Inquart. That was the substance of it, was it not?
SEYSS-INQUART: I did not quite understand that.
THE PRESIDENT: And after that, I understood you to say you received a secondary post to furnish reports to Heydrich.
SEYSS-INQUART: No, Heydrich sent four or five of his men to accompany me as a kind of guard escort, and these men had orders to report my movements to him.
THE PRESIDENT: I see; I must have misunderstood the translation.
DR. STEINBAUER: To sum up, I can say that apart from your appointment as SS Gruppenfuehrer you received no awards; with the exception of a promise that you would become Reich Minister within a year? Is that correct?
SEYSS-INQUART: This promise was given at the end of April 1938. I refer to a question in the cross-examination of the Reich Marshal. Before 13 March 1938 I did not receive the slightest promise from the Reich on anything and was not in any way under obligation to anyone or bound to obey anyone in the Reich.
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DR. STEINBAUER: And with that I can close the chapter on Austria and briefly discuss the Czechoslovakian question.
You are accused, on the basis of a congratulatory letter sent to the Fuehrer by Henlein, of having taken an active part in the annexation of Czechoslovakia.
SEYSS-INQUART: In the affairs of September 1938 I had no other part at all than that of receiving, as Reichsstatthalter in Austria, the refugees from the border areas, lodging, and caring for them in Austria. Henlein, and a few other leaders, I knew personally but did not interfere in their politics and was not well acquainted with their relations to the Reich.
DR. STEINBAUER: What can you say about Slovakia?
SEYSS-INQUART: The relations between Vienna and Bratislava were very good even at the time of the old Austrian Monarchy. I myself had relatives in Bratislava. Hence the Slovaks and the Germans knew each other well. We knew in particular the complaint of the Slovaks that the promise of Pittsburgh had not been kept, that they had not received full autonomy of Slovakia. Father Hlinka was in favor of complete autonomy; he was venerated in Slovakia as a saint, and at least three-quarters of the Slovakian people were behind him; he advocated independence from the Parliament in Prague and the adoption of Slovakian as the official language. After March 1938-to be exact, after September 1938- I met a few Slovakian politicians, Sidor, Dr. Tiso, Dr. Churchansky, and perhaps one or two others. The Fuehrer himself once asked me to inform him and to send him a report on Slovakian conditions; and I commissioned two of my colleagues, who had very good personal connections in Slovakia, to obtain the desired information. In March 1939 I talked to Sidor and Dr. Tiso, because they wanted to confer with me on possible Berlin-Prague developments and their consequences for Slovakia; at least, so I was told by my colleagues who had invited me. Mention was made in these discussions of the possibility of a Berlin-Prague clash and of the concern for the integrity of Slovakia, because there was the danger that the Hungarians, and the Poles too, might take advantage of the occasion by occupying Slovakian territory. The Slovakian gentlemen wanted assurances on what Berlin intended to do and what they could do to preserve the integrity of their country. I spoke very openly with these gentlemen; but I did not ask them to declare their independence, for they themselves had to make that decision. We discussed rather the question of whether differences between Slovakian and German interests existed, and we established that they did not exist.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection I should like to refer to two documents. One is Document Number Seyss-Inquart-71,
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Page 181. This is the reference to the Pittsburgh Treaty. The second document is Exhibit Number Seyss-Inquart-72 (Document Number D-751), Page 183, submitted by the Prosecution as Exhibit Number USA-112, as proof that the defendant was in unlawful contact with the Slovakians.
You are, of course, acquainted with this document, Witness. It is a report of Viscount Halifax, of 21 March 1939. Who was in Bratislava with you at that time? Or were you there at all?
SEYSS-INQUART: State Secretary Keppler was at that time sent from Berlin to Vienna with the task of putting certain questions to the Slovakian Government. Both Burckel and I had refused to take over such an assignment; that was one of the few instances in which I agreed with Burckel. As chief of territorial administration it fell to me to make preparations for the visit to Bratislava, and it was agreed that State Secretary Keppler would go to Bratislava in my car. Burckel and I accompanied Keppler. No generals or other representatives of the Wehrmacht were present. The record of the conversations may be considered accurate.
DR. STEINBAUER: It says in the document "and five German generals."
SEYSS-INQUART: That is wrong.
I should like to call the Court's attention to the-fact that both the Slovakian Minister Sidor and Monsignor Tiso, who later became President, declare in this document that they negotiated only with Burckel; the name Seyss-Inquart does not appear at all.
DR. STEINBAUER: Then, to sum up, can I say that you did not engage in the activity with which the Prosecution charge you in connection with Czechoslovakia or Slovakia? Is that correct?
SEYSS-INQUART: At any rate, I do not think that, in pursuing the interests of the Reich, I overstepped those limits which in such negotiations must be conceded to someone charged with representing legitimate interests. I did not participate when on 12 March Dr. Tiso through Burckel-I did not overstep the limits justified in representing legitimate interests of the German Reich.
DR. STEINBAUER: Thank you, that is sufficient.
Then in 1939, on 1 May 1939, you became Minister without Portfolio. Is that correct?
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you ever take part in a Cabinet session, or a session of the Secret Defense Council?
SEYSS-INQUART: It no longer existed.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you have influence in any way on the decision to make war on Poland?
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SEYSS-INQUART: In no way whatever.
DR. STEINBAUER: When the war with Poland had actually begun, did you express your opinion on it to Hitler?
SEYSS-INQUART: In the second week of September I wrote a letter to Hitler. I hope that this letter too is among my Vienna files. I read a copy of it about a year and a half ago, and I remember the contents well. I called Hitler's attention to the fact that among the German people there was no enthusiasm at all; but, on the contrary, the gravest concern that it would be a life-and-death struggle. I expressed my opinion that the war would not end by a military solution but would have to be solved politically and that the basis for such a political solution would be the alliance with the Soviets, which should perhaps be extended to a military alliance. Consideration should be given to the fact that the Soviets, like Czarist Russia, would never abandon their interests in the Balkans and that Pan-Slavism would also play a role; consequently, Russia would have to be reckoned with in the Czechoslovakian and Polish questions. I said that it was necessary at all costs to maintain the belt of neutral states. Then the war on the narrow Western Front would run its course. The Italian policy, however, should not become a burden for Germany; but an agreement should be reached with Greece and Turkey. England could not be defeated through the air or by U-boats; one had to attack her position in the Mediterranean to force her to make peace.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you receive an answer to this letter from the Fuehrer?
SEYSS-INQUART: I received no direct answer, but once in a conversation he made a remark which showed clearly that he had read the letter. He said to me, "I do not want to destroy the British Empire at all," whereby, however, he implied that he had miss understood my letter.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, if the Tribunal agree, I think this would be a suitable time to adjourn.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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DR. STEINBAUER: We last spoke about your attitude with regard to the question of Czechoslovakia. You talked about your position as Reich Governor in Vienna, and described your intolerable relations with Burckel, which was the reason why you changed your work and went to Poland. What were your functions in Poland?
SEYSS-INQUART: First of all, I was appointed administrative chief for Southern Poland, which position actually came within the organization of the Armed Forces. This administrative post, however, was never set up, since the Government General was created forthwith and I became the Deputy of the Governor General. My sphere of influence was legally defined but depended, of course, upon the different cases in which the Governor General needed me as his deputy. On 19 January 1940, he determined this at a conference.
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection I should like to refer to Document Seyss-Inquart-73, on Page 185, which is an extract from Dr. Frank's diary. On Page 14 of this diary he describes the functions of Seyss-Inquart, and then on Page 30 he says something which he repeated to main person, namely, that he bore the responsibility for what happened there.
Now, you became the deputy of the Governor General-although by rank as a Reich Minister you were actually placed higher-and you exercised certain functions there which, as we have heard, consisted primarily of making out reports. Under Document Number 2278-PS is a report which you yourself wrote, in which there are certain things for which you are accused. Will you please tell us what you have to say about this report on your official travels.
SEYSS-INQUART: My secretary wrote that report. I have read it, of course.
DR. STEINBAUER: It is Exhibit USA-706.
SEYSS-INQUART: It is brought against me, among other things, that the Governor of Lublin had suggested that the Jews be transferred from Lublin to the district of Cycow and then decimated. The Prosecution itself has stated that this is an insertion made by the writer. In any case this was not an official report at a meeting.
Cycow itself was a settlement occupied by a group of Germans, and by employing Jews in that area I could hardly be suspected of wanting to exterminate the Jews in that district because of the climatic conditions. I knew, however, that it was the Governor's wish to have the very large Jewish population of Lublin removed from the town. I remember nothing of any specific intention expressed by the word "decimating" in the sense of annihilating. The Governor of Radom reported to me that desperate criminals
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there had been shot. It is true, he did tell me that. I was under the impression that this had been done by the summary courts martial, which still functioned at the time. But there are several passages in this same report where I always point out that German courts must be introduced, and that no sentence must be carried out without proper court procedure. I think that quite probably I said the same thing at the time I was at Radom-only this is not mentioned in the report.
I have been accused of wanting to monopolize certain vital products, such as salt, et cetera. That was quite natural, considering the economic chaos in which we found Poland. We had to arrive at a "natural" economic system, and supply the agricultural population with certain products so that they in turn could supply food to the Polish town populations. In this connection I wish to point out that I urged the reestablishment of the Polish National Relief Organization under the former Polish management, and that I asked for 9 million zloty to be placed at its disposal also for motor vehicles, et cetera. In addition to this I said that compulsory work must be replaced by normal employment as soon as possible.
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, the so-called "AB Action" plays a considerable part in the Polish question. It is an abbreviation for "extraordinary pacification action." Since that might still have happened in your time, I should like to ask if you know anything about it.
SEYSS-INQUART: This affair took place during the very last
period of my stay in Poland. With the beginning of the Norwegian campaign the resistance movement in Poland became extremely active, and grew as a result of the campaign in the West. The Security Police demanded the severest countermeasures. Buhler really made the objection which he stated here on this witness stand. I always understood the Governor General's words just as Bubler wanted them to be understood. But Bubler was quite right in making the objection, because the Police might have interpreted these words as giving them much greater powers than the Governor General intended to give them.
Dr. Frank always opposed the sentences passed by these summary courts martial, and he set up his own investigation commission. I was the chairman of this commission as long as I was in Poland, and sometimes we canceled as many as 50 percent of the sentences imposed.
DR. STEINBAUER: How long were you actually Deputy during your period of office, when Dr. Frank was prevented from carrying out his duties?
SEYSS-INQUART: Ten days, I believe.
DR. STEINBAUER: Ten days. Well, then, I think I can rapidly wind up the Polish question by asking: Did you introduce any measures which could really be said to be in the interests of the Polish population?
SEYSS-INQUART: During the winter of 1939-40 there was a famine in Polish towns. I myself intervened with State Secretary Backe, and on one occasion, for instance, I obtained 6,000 tons of grain for the large cities. I approached Reich Marshal Goering and the Fuehrer too, and asked for the town of Lodz to be left under the administration of the Government General. I did the same for the coal district west of Krakow.
DR. STEINBAUER: I now come to the main part of the accusation held against you, and that is the question of your activities in the Netherlands.
My first question is this: How did you become Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands?
SEYSS-INQUART: The Fuehrer appointed me.
DR. STEINBAUER: And where were you at the time?
SEYSS-INQUART: I was on a service mission in the Government General, and Dr. Lammers called me to headquarters.
DR. STEINBAUER: So you did not apply for this job?
SEYSS-INQUART: No, that did not even enter my mind. At that time I had just asked the Fuehrer for permission to join the Armed Forces.
DR. STEINBAUER: But did not your war injury prevent your joining the Armed Forces?
SEYSS-INQUART: I had hoped that I might be useful somehow or other.
DR STEINBAUER: And what were the instructions the Fuehrer gave you with regard to your new position?
SEYSS-INQUART: The instructions are described in Document 997-PS, which vitas submitted by the Prosecution. That gives a fair picture of them.
DR. STEINBAUER: That is Exhibit RF-122.
SEYSS-INQUART: I was responsible for the civil administration, and, within this administrative task, I had to look after the interests of the Reich. Apart from this I had a political task. I was to see to it that while Dutch independence was maintained, the Netherlands should be persuaded to change their pro-British attitude for a pro-German one and enter into a close economic collaboration.
I wish to draw your attention to Paragraph 3 of this document, in which I pointed out the difficulties connected with these two tasks,
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and the difficulties in co-ordinating them. I showed that one cannot co-ordinate the two so easily. An occupational power, I said, demands the suppression of all official activities and an awakening of a common political will, but grants such freedom which in the end may lead the Dutch to feel dependent on their own decisions. It was not my intention, therefore, to force upon the Dutch people any definite political will.
DR. STEINBAUER: Was this order of the Fuehrer ever altered later on?
SEYSS-INQUART: No, this order was never altered.
DR. STEINBAUER: How did you carry out this task from the political point of view? Did you ask the existing parties in Holland to co-operate?
SEYSS-INQUART: With the exception of the Marxists I allowed all parties to remain, and I gave them as much freedom to continue their activities as was compatible with the interests of the occupying forces. I particularly helped the National Socialist parties.
DR. STEINBAUER: The Prosecution make the accusation against you that in your speeches you often describe things quite differently from the way in which you carry them out. In this regard I refer to Document 3430-PS, Exhibit USA-708.
It is asserted there that you tried to force National Socialism upon the Dutch. That is Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-76, on Page 197 of my document book.
SEYSS-INQUART: It is certainly correct that the goal which 1 had set for myself, and which I proclaimed in my speeches, was not reached in practice, nor could it have been. However, it may be possible that it gave the Dutch the impression that I was trying to force National Socialism upon them because, after all, later on I could admit only National Socialist parties, whereas I had to dissolve the others. I never used state methods of coercion to force any Dutchman to become a National Socialist, nor did I make membership in the National Socialist Party a condition for exercising the general rights and privileges to which every Dutchman was entitled.
Incidentally, I referred to this quite clearly in my speech. I said:
"I shall always act as a National Socialist.... But that does not mean that I shall force National Socialism on one single person. National Socialism is a matter of inner conviction.
"There are two groups of organizations. There is the political, in the case of which I attach importance to the demand that each and every member be led to National Socialism-but these are absolutely voluntary organizations.... Then there
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is the vocational... in which it is immaterial what political views the individual has, as long as he fulfills his duties in his particular profession."
DR. STEINBAUER: Why and when did you dissolve the political parties in Holland?
SEYSS-INQUART: That happened during the second half of 1941. With the beginning of the Eastern campaign all the political parties, with the exception of the National Socialists, adopted an actively hostile attitude toward the occupational forces. In the interests of the occupational forces that could no longer be tolerated.
I think it remarkable, to say the least, that for 11/~ years I allowed those parties to continue their work since, after all, they were no less hostile to National Socialism than National Socialism is today with regard to the democratic parties.
DR. STEINBAUER: Tell me, is it true or not that you showed partiality, and gave preference to the NSB Party?
SEYSS-INQUART: That is quite true as far as the field of political propaganda was concerned; it is untrue as far as state matters were concerned.
The creation of a so-called National Political Secretariat has keen held up as an accusation against me. That was a National Socialist advisory body for my administration, and it was not allowed to exercise any influence on the Dutch administration. Any such attempts were strictly prohibited by me.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you not, nevertheless, put individual members of the NSB into state positions?
SEYSS-INQUART: That is true, and it seemed a matter of course to me, because I had to find colleagues on whom I could rely. They were not under Party orders, however; on the contrary, in most cases certain differences developed between these people and the heads of the Party.
In the face of urgent remonstrances I did not create a National Socialist government in the Netherlands-as was the case in Norway -and chiefly because certain Dutch gentlemen like General Secretary Van Damm, President Van Lohn of the Supreme Court, and Professor Schneider who was President of the Cultural Committee, urged me to realize how wrong it would be to do so.
DR. STEINBAUER: President Vorrink, a witness who has been examined here, talked about a policy of exploitation which you carried on. Is that true?
SEYSS-INQUART: The use of the National Socialist parties for the benefit of German policy did actually occur. I observed it, and I stated the fact publicly. I regretted this occurrence, but I could
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not stop it. The German occupational forces had to introduce a number of measures which were oppressive for the Dutch people, and which discredited our Dutch friends.
DR. STEINBAUER: What do you have to say to the accusation brought against you that you had co-ordinated all the cultural institutions?
SEYSS-INQUART: Certainly this accusation is, so to speak, correct in part. With the prohibition of the political parties, most of the organizations of the free professions became impossible, since right down to the chessplayers' club everything in the Netherlands was organized on a political basis. In the interests of the occupational forces I had to create new supervisory bodies. Maybe it was due to lack of imagination that these organizations were, in part at least, very similar to their prototypes in the Reich. But I used these organizations only for purposes of supervision, and never asked them to co-operate politically. Not only did I refrain from making the exercise of a profession dependent on co-operation, but I did not even insist upon compulsory collection of membership fees.
I admit that we made two mistakes from two errors of judgment: First of all, we had the mistaken impression that the order we imposed as occupational authorities was necessarily the right one-at least the better one; and secondly, that in an occupied country, an independent political will can develop. It was there that our policy failed.
DR. STEINBAUER: What institution did you then set up?
SEYSS-INQUART: I created a cultural association (Kulturkammer), a medical association (Arztekammer), a chemists' association (Apothekerkammer), and a board of agriculture (Landstand). Then there was a workers' front, but that was a voluntary organization. Members could leave it without any disadvantage to themselves whenever they wished.
DR. STEINBAUER: Then another charge is brought against you, that of "Germanization." What do you say to that?
SEYSS-INQUART: First of all, I must get something quite clear. In English, you say Germany, and in Russian you say Germanski. Both mean German (Deutsch). And when we spoke of Germanization then, we did not mean "making them into Germans";
we meant a political and cultural union of the so-called Germanic peoples, with reciprocal equal rights. That we did intervene in this way, I stated in a speech, Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-103.
"Why do the Germans interfere with everything in the Netherlands?"
Then I went on to say that in this total warfare there would be moments of tension...
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THE PRESIDENT: page is that on?
DR. STEINBAUER: It is still Exhibit USA-708, which has not been translated' But the entire book has been presented.
THE PRESIDENT: Has it got a PS number?
DR. STEINBAUER: Its document number is 3430-PS. It has been made Exhibit USA-708. It is a book entitled Vier Jahre in den Niederlanden, and it contains a collection of speeches made by the witness, several of which have been submitted by the Prosecution. The witness is now replying to them.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
SEYSS-INQUART: There are moments of tension when there is no longer any dividing dine between what is important to the military war effort and something which is private and a matter for civilians.
I was quite aware of the fact that all public activities might be used for or against the occupational forces and that I had, therefore, to exercise control over them.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were there any attempts on the part of the NSDAP in the Reich to influence your administration for the interests of the Party?
SEYSS-INQUART: The Auslands-Organisation in the Netherlands made an alteration in its set-up which permitted it to support the policy of the Dutch National Socialist Party in every respect. It had, however, no particular influence of its own.
DR. STEINBAUER: That is the important thing. Now, let us turn to the administration proper. Who were the competent authorities in the Netherlands?
SEYSS-INQUART: In the civilian sector there was the Reich Commissioner; on a similar footing was the military commander and the Armed Forces, and the Police had a sector of its own. The military commander had special rights to intervene, and from July 1944 a part of the executive powers was transferred to him.
The Police were merely placed at my disposal, but came under the Higher SS and Police Leader, who was suggested by Himmler and appointed by the Fuehrer. I was never asked about this beforehand. The Police reserved the right to investigate. That is to say, if I gave them an order they would investigate to see whether the order was in line with the instructions which Himmler had given directly to the Higher SS and Police Leader.
Then there were the Plenipotentiary General for Allocation of Labor and the Armament Minister, who carried out the orders for the Four Year Plan.
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DR. STEINBAUER: Yes; and as another Reich organization, there was Rosenberg's Einsatzstab too-and Speer, to complete the picture?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, Speer was the Minister for Armaments. Then there were other smaller and separate assignments of a special nature.
DR. STEINBAUER: So that you were really nothing but a kind of executive organ for the superior Reich offices?
SEYSS-INQUART: No, I was not an ordinary official. I bore the responsibility for the Reich in the civilian sector. Perhaps during the first few months departments in Berlin went straight ahead and ignored me, but I then concentrated the administration in such a way in my own hands that nothing occurred in the civilian sector to which I had not previously given my consent. The Fuehrer acknowledged this quite plainly on one occasion, and I should like to remark that you must not draw any conclusions from this with regard to other occupied territories. I am completely convinced that in the Eastern Territories and in the Government General the same centralization did not exist.
DR. STEINBAUER: What possibilities did you have, then, of setting up an administration?
SEYSS-INQUART: The initiative for, and the extent of, the demands made by the Reich came, of course, from the competent central offices in the Reich. I investigated the demands with my colleagues in consultation with the Dutch offices. We would then make counterproposals which seemed to us reasonable for the Dutch. And if the Reich still demanded more, then we made efforts not to exceed what could be expected. Until 1943 all demands were fulfilled by the Dutch authorities themselves. I gave my officials no authority to make such demands until after this period. Then the demands became so large, that I no longer expected the Dutch authorities to supply them.
DR. STEINBAUER: I come back to the question of the Police for a moment, which, as you said, stood directly under Himmler. . .
SEYSS-INQUART: You asked what possibilities I had?
DR. STEINBAUER: Yes.
SEYSS-INQUART: I had two possibilities: with the Queen of the Netherlands and the Government gone to England, I could have nominated a new Dutch Government, as in Norway, or conducted the administration of the country myself. I decided on the second solution.
DR. STEINBAUER: How did you organize the existing Dutch police force?
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SEYSS-INQUART: Whereas the German Police were not in any way dependent on me, the Dutch police were under my orders; but it was a matter of course that I should transfer the supervision of the Dutch police to the Higher SS and Police Leader as well-that is, in the capacity as my Commissioner General for Security. The Dutch police were divided into three or four different branches. I think that we can safely say we were acting in the interests of the occupational power when we co-ordinated them as regards organization.
DR. STEINBAUER: What was the Home Guard (Landwacht)?
SEYSS-INQUART: The Home Guard was a protection squad organized by the Dutch National Socialists. In 1943 there were serious cases of terror attacks on National Socialists some very cruel murders. There was the danger of the counterterror of which we had heard in Denmark and, in fact, several unfortunate incidents did happen. Consequently I had this Home Guard organized with orders to act as a regular disciplined auxiliary police force, and to control street traffic at night, and guard railways, et cetera. The result was that these acts of terror ceased almost entirely, and until the middle of 1944 no further difficulties arose.
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, we now come to an exceptionally important chapter.
SEYSS-INQUART: May I just for a moment refer to Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-101? This document has been held against me by the Prosecution . . .
THE PRESIDENT: Is 101 the right designation?
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, the speeches which the defendant is quoting have been sent down by me to be mimeographed. Although they are actually already before the Tribunal, the translation department did not quite catch up, as they wanted to translate all the affidavits too. So they are not here yet in the translation, but I hope to have them by tomorrow morning.
THE PRESIDENT: Hasn't it got a PS number, or any other designation?
DR. STEINBAUER: It is a book, Exhibit USA-708. The Prosecution have only quoted individual passages from it.
THE PRESIDENT: I see.
SEYSS-INQUART: The Prosecution have quoted Page 167.
On 1 August 1943 I made a speech announcing special measures which would bring difficulties and restrictions upon the Dutch, and the Prosecution believe that the shootings which took place later are connected with it. That is an error. The restrictions I spoke of
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in that speech concerned only an order forbidding Dutch people to stay in places outside their own provinces, so that bands of terrorists from the northwest could not get to the east. As this happened just during the vacation time, it really was a restriction for the Dutch.
DR. STEINBAUER: Now I come to the next question. Did you change and possibly misuse the existing organization of the lower courts?
SEYSS-INQUART: I took over the organization of the Dutch courts entirely. The administration of justice in the Netherlands was of a commendably high standard. Only on two occasions did I supplement it. The Dutch judges showed little understanding of the economic situation. For instance, on one occasion a group of black market butchers, who had killed large numbers of cattle and brought them to the black market, were fined 200 Builders; so I installed special economic judges, Dutchmen, who had more understanding of these economic necessities. But the legal situation remained as it was. Of course, we also introduced our German courts, as every occupational power does.
DR. STEINBAUER: So that we had Dutch courts, German courts for Germans staying in the Netherlands, and the police courts?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, but also for the Dutch who violated the interests of the German occupational forces.
DR. STEINBAUER: Now, it is alleged in the proceedings that through these courts there were 4,000 executions, which have to be accounted for.
SEYSS-INQUART: That is completely false. If I take into account all the death sentences which were pronounced and actually carried out by the German courts, the police courts, and the military courts; and if I add to them the cases where Dutchmen lost their lives in clashes with the executive powers; then, according to a statement of the Higher SS and Police Leader, up to the middle of 1944 there were less than 800 cases in 4 years-that is to say, less than were caused by a bombing attack on the town of Nijmegen. The shootings came afterwards.
DR. STEINBAUER: You also exercised the rights to reprieve, for which you had a special reprieve department?
DR. STEINBAUER: In this connection I wish to refer to Document Seyss-Inquart-75, Page 190 in the document book. This is the affidavit of Rudolf Fritsch, who was a judge at the Prussian Supreme Court and reprieve expert for the Reich Commissioner. I should like to quote two paragraphs from this document, and I refer to the second paragraph on Page 3:
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"In exercising his right to reprieve, the Reich Commissioner proceeded from the standpoint that this was one of the most sacred rights of the head of a state, and that it was especially calculated to create a friendly, confidential atmosphere between the Germans and the Dutch. Therefore, in the beginning it was he himself who made the decision in every case, on the basis of case reports which were submitted to him together with a suggestion for a reprieve from the reprieve department. After about 2 to 3 months he delegated the exercise of the right to reprieve within his own organization to the chief of the Department for Reprieves. The latter was competent except in the following cases: 1) the cancellation of proceedings; 2) decision in case of death sentences; 3) decision in fundamental questions; 4) decision in isolated cases without precedent. . .
"No sentence of death was carried out without there being an official examination of the question of a reprieve, even when a formal appeal for a reprieve was not submitted."
Then I come to Page 5, the last paragraph:
"Since co-operation with authorities in the Dutch courts proved that they could be trusted, the Reich Commissioner gradually delegated in the main the right of reprieve to the Dutch Minister of Justice. From the huge amount of mail which came in . . . I repeatedly learned of police actions staged by the Gestapo whereby regular jurisdiction was eliminated.... In such cases I would collect material and use it to take action in order to bring the persons involved before regular courts for judgment. And I was actually successful with such action. This was proof to me that the Reich Commissioner opposed the wild police methods of the Gestapo and was an adherent of regular legal procedure."
I think that with this we can close this subject of justice and now come to the question of finance.
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, but the Fuehrer's order excluding courts is also very important.
DR. STEINBAUER: Well, if you wish to add something else.
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, it is decisive.
After the strike at Amsterdam, I proposed summary courtmartial procedure. That is not an invention of recent times; it is summary court procedure for special emergencies, such as you can find in the legislation of every country. The summary courts martial were subject to special precautionary provisions. First of all, a proper judge had to be there; secondly, the defense was allowed a counsel, who could be Dutch; thirdly, evidence had to be given in
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the proper manner, and if the question of guilt was not clearly determined, then the case had to be transferred to the ordinary courts. This summary court-martial procedure was only in force for 2 weeks at the time of the general strike in May 1943. The number of people shot later on cannot be traced back to these summary courts martial. Also they had been provided for the special emergency of the Netherlands again becoming a theatre of war.
In the meantime, however, a decree came from the Fuehrer which had already been made public in an order from the High Command of the Armed Forces. I refer to 1155-PS-no, I beg your pardon, that is wrong-it is Document 835-PS.
On 30 July 1944 the Fuehrer ordered that all non-German civilians ire occupied territories who were guilty of sabotage or terror actions were to be handed over to the Security Police. The Higher SS Leader and I both objected to this order, as we clearly realized what damaging effects it would have, especially in the Netherlands. Through such an order the Dutch would only be driven into illegal organizations.
During a period of 4 to 6 weeks the Higher SS and Police Leader never carried out the order. But he then received a severe reprimand from Himmler, and from that time on he was obliged to deal with the Dutch who had been arrested for sabotage or illegal activities, and had to judge them according to his own jurisdiction, shooting them when necessary. One can account in this way for the shootings on a larger scale, but I do not believe that there were as many as 4,000. As often as I could, I urged the Security Police to be most careful in carrying out this order, but I never received any reports on the individual cases. I had the impression that there were perhaps 600 to 700.
DR. STEINBAUER: If I understood you correctly, then this was a police affair, which was directly...
SEYSS-INQUART: At all events it no longer came under my authority or influence. But if, at that time, I gave the Security Police orders to check up on an illegal movement somewhere, I nevertheless had to realize that some Dutchman or other, who was discovered to be the leader of such a movement, would be shot by the Police without the courts or myself being able to investigate the case. But then I could not desist from safeguarding the security of the occupational authorities, because the Fuehrer decree had been issued.
DR. STEINBAUER: I now come to the chapter of finance. A document has been presented here where a certain Mr. Trip announces his resignation. Who was this gentleman?
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SEYSS-INQUART: Mr. Trip was the President of the Bank of the Netherlands-that is to say, the bank of issue-and he was also the General Secretary for Finance. I think he can readily be considered one of the world's leading banking experts. He is an outstanding personality and one of the men described today as a Dutch patriot.
DR. STEINBAUER: He was also General Secretary for Finance, was he not?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes. Until March 1941 he was the General Secretary for Finance. In my first speech to the general secretaries I said that I would not ask any general secretary to do anything that was contrary to his conscience. If he thought that there was something he felt he could not do, then he could resign without any harm to himself. I said that all I asked was that he carry out my orders loyally as long as he remained in office. Mr. Trip was in office until March 1941, and then he resigned because there was something he refused to carry out. He did this without the slightest disadvantage to himself.
DR. STEINBAUER: Who was his successor?
SEYSS-INQUART: I should like to say that what Mr. Trip carried out until March 1941 is, in my opinion, justifiable in every respect. Otherwise he most certainly would not have done it.
His successor was Mr. Rost van Tonningen. Rost van Tonningen was a League of Nations Commissioner in Austria who there had had tasks similar to those I gave him in the Netherlands.
DR. STEINBAUER: What about the costs of occupation?
SEYSS-INQUART: As far as the civilian administration was concerned, Mr. Trip and I agreed that I receive 3 million Builders a month. Then there was another 20 million in fines in addition to that. During the first 3 years I saved 60 million Builders, which remained in the Netherlands as a special bequest.
As far as the cost of the military occupation was concerned, I had no authority to check that. The Armed Forces put in their demands to the Minister of Finance, and I then received orders to place the money at their disposal. During 1941, the Reich exacted indirect occupation costs. It took the point of view that not only the expenses which were incurred directly in the Netherlands should be paid for, but that the cost of preparations in the Reich should be borne too. Fifty million marks per month were demanded-partly in gold. Later this contribution was designated as voluntary assistance for the East...
THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean marks, or do you mean guilders?
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SEYSS-INQUART: Marks, 50 million marks. Later on this contribution was called voluntary assistance for the East, for political reasons, but of course it was not so. Later on, the Reich demanded
that this sum be increased to 100 millions, but I refused.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. Trip retired as General Secretary for Finance because the foreign currency embargo, which still existed at the time between Germany and the Netherlands, was lifted?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, that is correct. I received a request by my administration for the purpose of intensifying economic exchanges between the Reich and the Netherlands-to lift the foreign currency embargo so that, without having recourse to banks of issues guilders could be exchanged for marks, and vice versa. The fundamental possibility of such exchanges had already been determined under Mr. Trip, but it was subject to the control of the bank of issue, that is to say, of the Netherlands Bank as well. Mr. Trip raised objections and I passed the matter on to Berlin Berlin decided that it was to be carried out and Mr. Trip resigned. I appointed Mr. Rost van Tonningen, President of the Bank of the Netherlands, and I published the decree.
I wish to say that the President of the Reichsbank, Herr Funk, was against this procedure, and I can quote in explanation that at that time the effects could not be foreseen as turning out as catastrophic as they did later on. At that time the Netherlands were completely cut off, and the Reich had reached the height of its power. It was to be expected that the mark would become the leading currency in Europe, and that thereby the guilder would have been given the same importance. In February 1941, for instance, imports from the Reich into the Netherlands were greater than the exports from the Netherlands into the Reich. Reich Minister Funk always held the view that these were real debts, so that in the event of a different outcome of the war such debts which amounted to some 41/, billion would have had to be paid back to the Netherlands.
DR. STEINBAUER: If I understood you correctly, it was your General Secretary for Finance, Dr. Fischbock, who suggested this matter contrary to the wishes of Trip.
SEYSS-INQUART: I do not know whether the suggestion came from Fischbock alone. I presume that he must have talked it over with other people; but it was he who put the matter to me.
DR. STEINBAUER: You have also been accused of imposing collective penalties in the form of fines, which is contrary to international law.
SEYSS-INQUART: Collective fines are prohibited under international law only in case of individual offenses. The large collective
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fine of 18 million guilders was imposed in connection with the general strike in Amsterdam, Arnhem, and Hilversum, in which the entire population took part. Later, I had collective fines paid back whenever it was discovered that definite individuals were responsible for the offense.
DR. STEINBAUER: Can you give us any example?
SEYSS-INQUART: I think witness Schwebel will be able to tell you that. It was in towns in the south of Holland where it happened.
DR. STEINBAUER: You are also accused by the Prosecution of responsibility for what happened in the hostage camp in Michelsgestel. What have you to say to that?
SEYSS-INQUART: I can take full and absolute responsibility for what happened in the hostage camp in St. Michelsgestel. It was not a hostage camp in the actual sense of the word: I took Dutchmen into custody only when they had shown themselves to be active in resistance movements. The camp at St. Michelsgestel was not a prison. I visited it. The inmates of the camp played golf. They were given leave, in the case of urgent family affairs or business matters. Not a single one of them was ever shot. I think the majority of the present Dutch Ministers were at St. Michelsgestel. It was a sort of protective custody to temporarily hinder them from continuing their anti-German activities.
DR. STEINBAUER: In addition to this you are said to have prohibited the reading of pastoral letters, and to have put Catholic priests and Lutheran ministers in concentration camps?
SEYSS-INQUART: It is true that I prohibited one pastoral letter, which may happen in times of occupation-because it publicly opposed the measures of the occupational power and incited people to disobedience. That was an isolated case, and it never happened again-for the good reason, too, that there were no more provocations of such a kind in the pastoral letters. In fact, I even intervened and canceled the prohibition issued by the Police, whenever it was a matter only of a criticism toward the measures taken by the occupational powers, and there was no incitement to resistance.
I myself never sent priests to concentration camps. On the contrary, at the beginning of 1943 after having made repeated urgent requests, I finally received a list from the Security Police with the names of the priests who were shut up in concentration camps. There were 45 or 50 of them altogether. Three or four were mentioned as having died in the concentration camp. On the grounds of the facts of their case, I sought out about a third of them and demanded their release; for the second third I demanded investigation within the coming 6 months; and it was only as far as the last
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third was concerned that it was impossible for me to intervene without violating my own responsibility towards the Reich.
Dutch hostages were also taken for purposes of reprisal. When the Netherlands came into the war, the Germans in the Dutch East Indies were put into prison and allegedly mistreated. The Reich demanded the arrest of 3,000 Dutchmen. The Security Police arrested 800 and took them to Buchenwald. When I heard that the mortality \vas high, I made such urgent appeals that the hostages were finally returned. They were then accommodated in such a way that one could no longer talk of a prison. They were given leave, and when necessary I released them. In the end, I had less than 100.
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, you are said to have prohibited prayers in church, and especially prayers for the Queen.
SEYSS-INQUART: That is incorrect. The prayers in Dutch churches were obvious demonstrations. Prayers were made-as was quite natural-for the Queen of the Netherlands, and for her happiness and prosperity, and the fulfillment of her wishes. At the same time there were prayers for the Reich Commissioner, for his enlightenment. I was severely reproached for tolerating these demonstrations. But I found nothing wrong with these prayers, and did not prohibit them. Perhaps, in some isolated cases a subordinate authority would put in his say, but this was always suppressed.
DR. STEINBAUER: That would not have been so bad; but it is said that you were particularly cruel and had a large number of people shot without legal proceedings. What have you to say to that?
SEYSS-INQUART: As far as I can remember, there was only one real case of hostages being shot-that is, people were shot without there being any causal connection with a crime. This occurred in' August 1942, and the case has already been brought up here. It was handled strictly according to the so-called Hostage Law, which has been quoted here. It was in connection with an attack on an army transport, and 50 or 25 hostages were to be shot. It was, I think, the Higher SS and Police Leader who made the demand through the Military Commander upon request of the High Command of the Army.
My intervention consisted in reducing this figure to 5 and in looking over the list which had been submitted to me by other departments, and which has been read out here in court. I, too, noticed something peculiar about it. The Higher SS and Police Leader had expressly emphasized that the list had been drawn up strictly in keeping with the directives, saying that the attack could be traced back to rightist circles of resistance, not to those on the Left, so that no workers could be shot. I only exercised my influence
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insofar as I caused the Higher SS and Police Leader to cross off the list the names of fathers with several children.
DR STEINBAUER: Witness, what do you know, in detail, about the people who were shot when the camp at Vught was evacuated?
SEYSS-INQUART: When the British and Canadians were advancing through Belgium toward the south of Holland, I had so much to do to keep order in my province that I could not pay any special attention to the camp at Vught, which was under police direction. The Higher SS and Police Leader informed me generally that the most seriously charged political prisoners, numbering about 200, would be transferred to the Reich, that the less seriously charged political prisoners would be set free, and that ordinary criminals would be placed under the command of a Dutch police officer and handed over to the Canadians. It was only here that I heard some people had been shot, and the only way I can explain it is that at the last minute the Reich forbade these people to be transported into the Reich and gave orders for them to be shot. I do not believe there were 600 of them, because from what the witness Kollpuss said there seem to have been some 130 to 150. But even that is enough.
DR. STEINBAUER: What do you know about the shooting of hostages after the attack on the SS and Police Leader Rauter?
SEYSS-INQUART: The attack on the Higher SS and Police Leader came from the resistance movement, and was carried out with British weapons.
DR. STEINBAUER: What do you know about the Putten case?
SEYSS-INQUART: Excuse me, I have not finished my previous statement.
DR. STEINBAUER: Oh, you want to give a more exact. . .
SEYSS-INQUART: Himmler, at that time, gave orders for 500 hostages to be shot. Rauter's deputy Dr. Schongarth refused, and informed me that there were a number of Dutchmen in the prisons who were to be shot, in accordance with the Fuehrer's order, because they had been convicted of other acts of sabotage. He had hesitated, he said, since the number was somewhat larger, but now he could not hesitate any longer. He did not give me the actual figure. In this situation I could not, in my opinion, prevent him from carrying out the order, because we had to suppress the resistance movement by all means. The movement had been organized and supplied with arms by the Dutch Government in London, and it presented a serious danger to the German occupational forces.
Two hundred and thirty Dutchmen were supposed to be shot- amongst them 80 in Apeldoorn alone-and this seemed to me a lot.
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But Dr. Schongarth told me that in the north of Apeldoorn there was a center of the illegal resistance movement.
DR. STEINBAUER: I want to ask you, last of all, what do you know about the Putten case?
SEYSS-INQUART: In Putten there was an attack on German officers. Three were murdered. The whole thing took place within the Armed Forces, the SS, and the Police; and I knew that measures of reprisal were planned. I myself, at that time, was concerned with the construction of defenses. The Higher SS and Police Leader informed me that he had received the order to burn the village of Putten, and to transfer the male population to a concentration camp in the Reich. However, he had reduced the figure to 40 percent, and later on he reported to me that there was a high mortality rate in German concentration camps. Both he and I applied to the military commander to have these men returned. The military commander agreed. Whether this order could still be carried out
I do not know.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, perhaps at this point we could have a short recess?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.
[A recess was taken.]
DR. STEINBAUER: Your Lordship, I should like to come back to the question of the embargo on foreign currencies.
The Defendant Reich Marshal Goering has just informed me, during the recess, that in this conflict, Fischbock, Trip, and Wohlthat on the one hand, and on the other Funk, who was against it, and he himself, Goering, as head of the Four Year Plan, made a decision to lift the embargo on foreign currencies. And he writes me here, "I bear the responsibility." So it was a decision which was taken by Goering.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, it is not, of course, a regular way in which to inform the Tribunal about anything, to tell them what one of the defendants may have said to you during an adjournment.
DR. STEINBAUER: He wrote it.
THE PRESIDENT: I am afraid that doesn't make it any better. You may ask the witness any question about it.
DR. STEINBAUER: As regards the question of shooting without a court sentence, I should like to refer to a very important document. Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-77, Page 199. This is Document F-224 D, a report made by Kriminalkommissar Mund. He says the following on Page 3:
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"In my opinion it is very likely that General Christiansen demanded the maximum number of victims to be executed. Christiansen spoke of numerous measures of reprisal to Rauter, who was an impulsive and tactless man, and he on his part applied pressure to the Commander of the Security Police (Dr. Schongarth) . . ."
He reports further on Page 5:
"It was often a question of prisoners who had already been sentenced to death by the Higher SS and Police Leader.
"Reprisals for punishable acts were a matter for the Police. After August 1944, and in accordance with an order of the Fuehrer's, these measures of reprisal were interpreted in such a way that a number of Dutchmen were shot for acts of sabotage and attempts at murder although they had been arrested for entirely different reasons."
SEYSS-INQUART: May I explain that briefly?
DR. STEINBAUER: Please do.
SEYSS-INQUART: For example, leading members of the resistance movement were arrested, and on examination by the Higher SS and Police Leader it was decided that they should be shot according to the Fuehrer's orders. The Higher SS and Police Leader had called upon his court officer for this examination. When later on an attempt to blow up a bridge was made, instead of shooting hostages these men were taken and shot. That was the exact opposite of the shooting of hostages-or at least, it was supposed to be.
DR. STEINBAUER: Now, I come to Chapter IV-B, "Concentration Camps and Prisons." My first question: Who was competent in these matters?
SEYSS-INQUART: For concentration camps and for police detention prisons, the Police were competent. For court detention prisons, and court authorities, I myself was competent-that is, the court prisons were under my charge.
DR. STEINBAUER: Were there concentration camps in the Netherlands, too?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes, especially the big concentration camp of Putten near Hertogenbosch. Then also a police transit camp near Amersfoort, and a Jewish assembly camp in Westerborg. I have already spoken of St. Michelsgestel; that was a protective custody camp. And then there might be mentioned the camp at Ommen, which was neither a police nor a concentration camp, but abuses occurred there.
DR. STEINBAUER: What can you tell me about the Hertogenbosch Camp?
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SEYSS-INQUART: Hertogenbosch was originally meant as a Jewish assembly camp, at the time when we intended to keep the Jews in the Netherlands. But Reichsfuehrer Himmler gave orders for it to be turned into a concentration camp. After some reflection I was satisfied with this idea. In consideration of the fact that I could not prevent Dutchmen from being put into concentration camps, I preferred them to be in concentration camps in the Netherlands, where I might still be able to exert a certain influence.
DR. STEINBAUER: But there are supposed to have been excesses in these concentration camps, too-for example, especially in the Vught Camp, which you mentioned.
SEYSS-INQUART: That is quite true. There were excesses in prisons, as well as in concentration camps. In wartime I consider this almost unavoidable, because subordinates get unlimited power over others and it cannot adequately be controlled. Whenever I heard of any excesses, I took steps-the first time toward the end of 1940, or 1941, when the president of my German court reported to me that a prisoner had been brought up with injuries from blows on the head. I had the case investigated, and the prison warden received disciplinary punishment and was sent back to the Reich.
In the Vught Concentration Camp, soon after its opening, there was a high mortality rate. Immediately I had an investigation started, using the services of Dutch medical personnel. Every day- and later on every week-I had the mortality figures reported to me, until they sank to what was approximately a normal level. Of course, I do not know whether the director of the camp reported the normal death cases only, or whether he included the cases of shooting-I could not say.
In this cams there were excesses due to drinking parties and reveling; brawls and fights were also heard now and then. The head of the camp was removed and sent to the Reich. I noted that the Higher SS and Police Leader had apparently himself tried to maintain order, although he was not in charge of the camps; they were under Gruppenfuehrer Pohl.
There was one very serious case which, in Document Number F-224 D, is described under the title, "Women in Cell.", The head of the camp. allegedly for disciplinary reasons. had a large number of women crowded into a cell overnight, whereby three or four women were smothered to death. When we heard of that, we demanded court action. The Central Administration in Berlin refused. and we turned to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and did not give in. The head of the camp was put on trial and received at least 4 years-I believe even a sentence of 8 years. That is indicated, moreover, in the French report.
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DR. STEINBAUER: What about the Amersfoort Camp?
SEYSS-INQUART: That was a police transit camp-that is, for police prisoners who were to be turned over to the courts, or who were to be sent to the Reich; or persons who refused labor service who were being sent to the Reich. In general, they were not to be there more than 6 or 8 weeks. There were Dutch guards in this camp-not Dutch Police, but a voluntary SS guard company, I believe.
Excesses did occur here. General Secretary Van Damm called my attention to the fact that a Dutchman was supposed to have been beaten to death there. I urged the Higher SS and Police Leader to bring this case to light. He did this through his court officer, and sent the documents to me. According to the documents, severe mistreatment occurred, but no one was killed, and the persons responsible were punished.
I repeatedly called the attention of the Higher SS and Police Leader to the fact that concentration camps and prisons in wartime actually favored the perpetration of brutal excesses. If, here or there, not a severe case but certain mistreatment was reported to me, I always called his attention to it. He then reported to me either that the case had not occurred, or that he had taken steps, and so forth.
In particular, I always had the food ration statistics of the concentration camps and prisons reported to me. The food rations were satisfactory. I believe that the Dutch in the concentration camps and prisons, at the end of 1944 and in 1945, received more than the Dutch in the western Netherlands. Of course, I do not want to give too much importance to this fact-, because the Dutch did suffer from hunger.
DR. STEINBAUER: Then there was the Westerborg Camp.
SEYSS-INQUART: The Dutch Government had already set up Westerborg as a completely free camp for Jews who had fled from Germany. This was enlarged into an assembly camp for Jews. In the camp itself there were Jewish guards to maintain order. Dutch Police guarded the camp on the outside. There was only a detail of the Security Police for supervision in the camp. In all the files I found no report about excesses in the camp itself. Every Sunday clergymen went to the camp, at least one clergyman for the catholic Jews, and one for the so-called Christians. They, too, never reported anything.
DR. STEINBAUER: We will speak about their removal later on.
Now I would like to speak about Ommen. There is a long report on that.
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SEYSS-INQUART: Ommen was intended as a training camp for those Dutch who voluntarily wanted to be employed in the economy in the Eastern Territories. They were given instruction on the country, the people, and their language. The head of the camp borrowed prisoners from a neighboring Dutch prison for the work. Then I received reports that these prisoners were being mistreated. The judges of Amsterdam turned to me. I gave the Dutch judges of Amsterdam permission to personally inspect the camp and speak to the prisoners. That was done, according to Document F-224(d), on
March 1943. Thereupon the Amsterdam judges wrote a long letter to the General Secretary for Justice. They complained about the mistreatment of the prisoners, which they had noted, and about the fact that Dutch prisoners were transferred to prisons in the Reich for labor assignment. The complaints were justified, and I ordered that the prisoners be sent back from the Ommen Camp to the Dutch penal institution, and that Dutch prisoners be returned from German prisons to Dutch prisons. This procedure was correct, and therefore I necessarily took due steps to settle the matter.
DR. STEINBAUER: But now I have to ask you a certain question and confront you with a charge. Document RF-931 shows that you removed judges who made such complaints, namely, in Leeuwarden.
SEYSS-INQUART: In my eyes the procedure of the court of Leeuwarden was incorrect. These judges did not consult me, but publicly asserted in a verdict that the Dutch prisoners were being sent to German concentration camps and shot. According to the facts, which lay before me, that was false. I then informed them of the results obtained by the Amsterdam judges. The Leeuwarden judges refused to pass further judgments. I asked them to continue to officiate, but they refused. I then dismissed them as persons who refused to work. Of course, I could have had them tried by a German court with charges of making atrocity propaganda.
DR. STEINBAUER: Did you receive complaints from the Red Cross about conditions in the camps?
SEYSS-INQUART: In the Netherlands we had the arrangement that a representative of the Dutch Red Cross, Mrs. Van Overeem, could visit all concentration camps and prisons, especially for the purpose of verifying whether the food packages were being delivered. Neither Mrs. Van Overeem nor the heads of the Dutch Red Cross ever directed any complaint to me. I should like to say that this circumstance Divas especially gratifying for me, because the Dutch complained about everything, and if for a change I received no complaints, then that was a certain relief for me.
I should like to remark that about the beginning of 1944, according to the reports submitted to me, about 12,000 Dutch persons were
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in concentration camps or prisons. That is the same as if today, in an of Germany, 120,000 Germans were in prisons or camps. That occasioned my setting up legal commissions which had to visit the camps and the prisons in order to make investigations and determine what prisoners could be released or placed on trial. Naturally, in cases where there were orders for arrest from Berlin, I could do nothing.
DR. STEINBAUER: Witness, so you say that you waged a constant struggle with the Police on this question?
SEYSS-INQUART: I would not like to call it a struggle.
DR. STEINBAUER: Do you believe that you were successful?
SEYSS-INQUART: Yes. I believe so, on the basis of certain definite facts. I have followed the proceedings here very carefully, and-we have heard most terrible things. The reports from the Netherlands, it seems to me, are not that bad. I do not want to say that I disclaim every excess. However, such reports as those about Breedonck in Belgium, do not exist. The reports show beatings as the most serious charge. There is only a single report here-that is Document F-677, the report of the tax collector Bruder-which attains the level of the usual atrocity reports. But I do not believe that this report should be accepted at its face value, since Bruder does not even say who told him this. And the information itself is not credible. Me asserts, for example, that the prisoners who were at work had to prostrate themselves before every SS guard. I do not believe that the camp authorities would have permitted that, because then the prisoners would not have been able to work.
It is hard for me to say, but I do not think that conditions in the Netherlands were quite as bad as all that.
DR. STEINBAUER: I think that I can now conclude this chapter and turn to Point V of the Indictment, which deals with the question of labor commitment. What problems did you have in the Netherlands in the field of labor commitment?
SEYSS-INQUART: In the field of labor commitment we must distinguish between three or perhaps four different phases. When I came to the Netherlands, there were about 500,000 unemployed: registered unemployed, those who might become so due to demobilization of the Dutch land and naval forces, part-time workers, and so forth. It was an urgent problem-not only a social one-for me to reduce the number of unemployed. For, in the first place, such an army of unemployed is without doubt a good source of recruits for illegal activities. In the second place, as the war continued, it was to be expected that the material condition of the unemployed would steadily become worse.
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At that time we instituted measures which I must, despite all charges, call voluntary labor recruitment. That lasted until the middle of 1942-that is, about 2 years. During that period, I gave neither the German nor the Dutch labor authorities full power to press any worker to work abroad. Without doubt there was a certain economic pressure, but I believe that always exists in this connection. The recruitment was carried out by the Dutch labor offices, which were subordinate to the Dutch General Secretary for Social Administration. There were German inspectors in the labor offices. There were also private hiring agencies; companies from the Reich sent their own agents over. On the whole, about 530,000 Dutchmen were engaged to work in the Reich. In the period which I call "voluntary," 240,000 to 250,000 volunteers went to the Reich and about 40,000 to France.
By the first half of 1942, this reservoir had been used up. The Reich demanded more workers. We then considered introducing compulsory labor service. I recall I did not receive instructions to this effect from Sauckel, but from Bormann as a direct Fuehrer order. Now, labor commitment occurred predominantly, but not exclusively, in the following way. Young and, as far as possible, unmarried Dutchmen were called to the labor of lice, where they received certificates of conscription for work in the Reich. The Dutch report itself says that only a few refused. Of course, some of those who refused were arrested by the Police and taken to the Reich. The Higher SS and Police Leader reported to me that this totaled 2,600 people of about 250,000 to 260,000 labor conscripts, and of the total engaged 530,000 persons. So this meant only 1 percent, or even 0.5 percent. I believe that the figure resulting from compulsory measures in the Reich was no lower-or higher.
At the beginning of 1943 the Reich demanded a large commitment of workers, and I was advised to draft whole age groups to send to the Reich. I call attention to the fact that all of these workers received free labor contracts in the Reich and were not put into labor camps. I decided to draft three young age groups-I believe 21 to 23 years of age-in order to spare married men. The success was satisfactory in the first group; in the second group it was moderate; and in the third it was quite bad. I realized that I could draft further groups only by sheer force. I refused to do so. But at that time I managed, due to Minister Speer's understanding, to arrange not to have the workers taken to their work, but that the work be brought to the workers. Big orders arrived in the Netherlands, and the industries charged with filling these orders were declared "blocked" industries. Among them was the Organization Todt.
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Dutchmen who were needed in the Netherlands were exempted. Over a million certificates of exemption were issued by the Dutch authorities. It was clear that that was Dutch sabotage, but I did not want to take steps against it. No woman was ever forced to work outside the Netherlands, nor were young people under 18. Reich Minister Lammers has confirmed here that at the beginning of 1944 he transmitted the Fuehrer order to me demanding that 250,000 workers be brought to the Reich. He also confirmed that I refused it. At that time Gauleiter Sauckel came to me and discussed this matter with me. I must state that he understood my arguments surprisingly quickly, and did not insist on carrying out the forced recruitment. By "forced recruitment," I mean blocking off whole districts and seizing the men.
In the course of 1944 labor recruitment ceased almost completely. Instead of 250,000 I believe 12,000 were sent to the Reich. But something entirely different took place in the fall of 1944. From experience gathered in France and Belgium, the High Command of the Army decided that able-bodied Dutchmen were to be drawn from Holland-that is, the western Netherlands. That was because the Netherlands Government in England had set up an illegal army. I had the organizational charter in my hands. There was a complete General Staff and a complete War Ministry. We estimated that there were about 50,000 illegal troops. If an appeal was made and one more able-bodied Dutchman joined, the illegal forces would have been more numerous than the German troops in Holland. Moreover, they had received very good equipment from England. Full shiploads of the most modern tommy guns were confiscated by us, but I am convinced that the larger part of the weapons was not confiscated.
The High Command of the Army, through the military commanders, ordered the removal of the able-bodied Dutchmen. The measure was entirely carried out by the Armed Forces. A general who was sent for that very purpose was entrusted with the task, with an operational staff of his own. This measure was carried out by the local commandants. My local authorities were informed of the action to be taken, sometimes at the last moment and sometimes not at all. Of course I knew about the measure. In view of these reasons I could not take the responsibility of protesting against it. I only intervened when it was necessary to protect civilian interests, and prevent the workers in the vital industries from being removed also. I entrusted this to the Plenipotentiary General for the Total War Effort, whom Dr. Goebbels had sent to the Netherlands in the meantime. His task was to issue exemption certificates. He issued 50,000 of them.
THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean Himmler?
10 June 9G
SEYSS-INQUART: Goebbels, the Delegate for Total War Effort.
I admit that this measure led to conditions which were unbearable for the Dutch. I am certain that, as for feeding, temporary lodging, and transportation, the population in the bombed German territories did not live under any better conditions. But one could not demand this from the Dutch. Many Dutch people told me, at that time, that they would be willing to agree to this labor commitment-by no means in order to aid the German cause, but only in order to avoid these severe conditions-if they would be drafted in orderly proceedings. I then did that. The Plenipotentiary General for the Total War Effort issued the proclamation which has been submitted to the Court. The people were called to the labor offices, recorded on lists, sent home again to get clothes, and ordered to report to the railroad stations. Not the Police but labor officials took them to the Reich to be put to work under normal conditions. The Dutch report, in its objectivity, recognizes this fact. It speaks of the better transportation facilities for those mobilized for labor. I am responsible for this labor mobilization for the reasons which I have given.
DR. STEINBAUER: Mr. President, may I remark in this connection that my Exhibit Seyss-Inquart-78, Document 1726-PS, Exhibit USA-195, Page 200, excerpt from the Netherlands Government report, confirms the statement of my client fully. I should like to read it briefly because it is important. Page 2:
". . . workers who refused-relatively few-were prosecuted by the Security Service."
Then, Page 3:
". . . apart from that, the measure was not very successful. Certain German authorities seem to have opposed its execution, because many former members of the armed forces received exemption; others went underground....
"The result was that in the last month of 1943, and in the greater part of 1944, relatively few persons were deported...."
And then, Page 6:
". . . until the end of 1944, the method of transportation for deportees was bearable....
"Anyone who reported for the manpower mobilization in January 1945, enjoyed improved transportation facilities- that is, almost the whole journey by rail, although only in freight cars...."
SEYSS-INQUART: Even for our own use we had no other cars at that time.
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I should like to refer to the fact that I also drafted Dutch workers in order to carry out the construction work entrusted to me by the Fuehrer on the resistance lines east of the Ijssel. I used part of the transports which came from Rotterdam, et cetera, for this purpose, and thus I prevented these people from being sent to the Reich. I had no influence on the treatment in the Reich; I only forbade further transports into the Gau Essen, because it was reported to me that in the Rees Camp the treatment was very poor, and that some Dutch people had died.
DR. STEINBAUER: Now I come to the next count of the Indictment-that is, to the Jewish question. The Netherlands Government report, Exhibit USA-195, sums up all ordinances submitted by the Prosecution. I should like to submit this Document 1726-PS to my client, so that it may remind him of the laws. The Court already has it.
[Turning to the defendant.] What did you, as Reich Commissioner, do about the Jewish question?
SEYSS-INQUART: When I took over the functions of the Reich Commissioner, I of course realized that I had to take a definite attitude, and would have to take some steps with regard to the Jews in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, in western Europe, is perhaps one of the best known and one of the oldest seats of Jewish communities in western Europe. Moreover, in the Netherlands there were a great many German Jewish emigrants.
I will say quite openly that since the first World War and the postwar period, I was an anti-Semite and went to Holland as such. I need not go into detail about that here. I have said ad that in my speeches, and would refer you to them. I had the impression, which will be confirmed everywhere, that the Jews, of course, had to be against National Socialist Germany. There was no discussion of the question of guilt as far as I was concerned. As head of an occupied territory I had only to deal with the facts. I had to realize that, particularly from the Jewish circles, I had to reckon with resistance, defeatism, and so on.
I told Generaloberst Von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, that in the Netherlands I would remove Jews from leading posts in the economy, the press, and the administration. The measures taken by me from May 1940 to March 1941 were limited to that. The Jewish officials were dismissed, but were given pensions. The Jewish firms were registered, and the heads of the firms were dismissed. In the spring of 1941 Heydrich came to me in the Netherlands. He told me that we would have to expect that the greatest resistance would come from Jewish circles. He told me that the Jews would at least have to be treated like other enemy aliens. The English, for instance, in the Netherlands, were interned
10 June 46
and their property confiscated. In view of the large number of Jews-about 140,000-this was not so simple. I admit frankly that I did not object to this argument of Heydrich's. I also felt that this was necessary in a war which I absolutely considered a life and death struggle for the German people. For that reason, in March 1941 I ordered that the Jews in the Netherlands be registered. And then things went on step by step.
I will not say that the final results-as far as the Netherlands are concerned-were intended thus from the beginning; but we decided on this method. The regulations cited here, if they appeared in the Dutch Legal Gazette, were mostly signed by me personally. At least, they were published with my express assent. Individual measures mentioned here, however, were not by me. For example, in February 1,000 Jews were supposed to have been arrested and sent to Buchenwald and Mau1hausen. That much I know. In the Amsterdam ghetto.
THE PRESIDENT: February of what year?
SEYSS-INQUART: February 1941. In the Amsterdam ghetto, a National Socialist was killed by Jews. Reichsfuehrer Himmler thereupon ordered 400 young Jews sent to Mauthausen. I was not in the Netherlands at that time. That was, by the way, the reason for the general strike in Amsterdam in March 1941. After my return to the Netherlands, I protested against this measure, and to my knowledge such a mass transfer to Mauthausen did not occur again. Synagogues were also burned. Apparently someone ambitiously tried to imitate the 8 November 1938. I immediately intervened. Further incidents did not occur. On the other hand, the Police wanted to tear down the old temple in Amsterdam. General Secretary Van Damm called this to my attention, and I prevented it.
I indicated earlier that the motive for the measures is to be found in the consideration to treat Jews like enemy aliens. Later, with other measures, the original intention was certainly abandoned; they became the same as those taken against the Jews in the Retch. Perhaps, in one case or another, this was even exceeded, for I know that, for example, in the Netherlands there was a drive to get the Jews sterilized.
Our goal was to keep the Jews in the Netherlands-namely, in two districts of Amsterdam and then in the Westerborg Camp and in the Vught Camp. We had also prepared to create the necessary opportunities for Shirk. I instructed the General Secretary for Education to withdraw as much money from the Dutch budget for the education of the Jews as they should have according to their proportion of the population. It is certain that with this measure of concentrating the Jews in two districts and two camps, harshness
10 June 46
occurred which was perhaps unavoidable, and which might even in some cases be considered as excessive.
Finally, the Security Police demanded the introduction of the so-called Jewish Star. A not inconsiderable number of Jews were not in the confined areas, and the Security Police demanded that they be marked in order that it might be ascertained whether the Jews adhered to the other restrictions. In the eyes of Germans, this star was certainly considered a stigma. The Dutch did not consider it as such. There was many a Dutchman who, out of protest, wore such a star himself.
About 1942, I believe, Heydrich came along with further demands-this time that the Jews be evacuated. He explained this by saying that Holland would sooner or later be a theater of war, in which one could not allow such a hostile population to remain. He pointed out that he was responsible for the police security of the Reich, and that he could not bear this responsibility if the Jews remained in Holland. I believe that we in the Netherlands opposed this evacuation project for 3 or 4 months while attempting to find other ways out.
Finally, Heydrich had a Fuehrer decree sent to me, according to which he had unlimited powers to carry out all measures in the occupied territories as well. I inquired of Bormann what this meant, and this order was confirmed, whereupon the evacuation of the Jews was begun. At that time I tried to ascertain the fate of the Jews, and it is rather difficult for me to speak about it now because it sounds like mockery. I was told that the Jews were to be sent to Auschwitz. I had people sent from the Netherlands to Auschwitz. They came back with the report that that was a camp for 80,000 people with sufficient space. The people were comparatively well off there. For example, they had an orchestra of 100 men. A witness here, confirming that this orchestra played when victims arrived at Auschwitz, made me think of that report.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, you probably won't finish today.
DR. STEINBAUER: No.
THE PRESIDENT: How long do you think you are likely to be?
DR. STEINBAUER: I hope to be finished, at the latest, by noon tomorrow, but perhaps it will take only an hour. I still have questions on plundering, economic measures, and destruction. Then I will be finished.
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 11 June 1946 at 1000 hours.]