4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship pleases, when the Court adjourned, I was dealing with some points in the memorandum of Dr. Klefisch, and I continue to deal with that document.
Much emphasis has been laid by Dr. Klefisch and by all defense counsel on the serious consequences which will accrue to the persons affected by a declaration of guilt, not only to those against whom subsequent proceedings may be taken, but to the others besides. It is said "that the stigma inflicted upon members of organizations declared criminal would...prove indelible.... Millions of members of organizations declared criminal would remain branded for the rest of their lives. One would point at them, saying, 'Look, there goes an SA criminal!'" But if they are guilty, if they have supported and assisted in a system which entailed throwing the world into war, reviving the horrors of slavery, persecution, and mass murder, ought they not to be so branded? This can be no injustice: It is less--far less--than their deserts. It is the only hope for Germany and the world that her people realize and repent their responsibility for what has happened. Dr. Servatius has asked you to excuse Ortsgruppenleiter because they are members of the lower middle class who lacked political experience. Can it really be that only the upper classes of the German people are able to recognize aggressive war for world domination, slavery, murder, and persecution, as crimes?
Yet there may be more truth in this than any dare to think. You have now seen and heard many witnesses who, some on their own admission, were themselves deeply involved in hideous crime. Have you been able to discern a sense of guilt or shame or repentance? Always it is someone who gave the orders that is to blame; never he who puts these orders into execution. Always it is some other agency of the State who was responsible; to support that State and co-operate with those other agencies is without criticism. If this is the mind of these people today, there can be no more pressing need nor greater justification for branding the guilty as criminal.
It is my intention to discuss the evidence in respect of these three organizations for which the British Delegation has taken
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particular responsibility and which, in the considered submission of all the four prosecuting powers, are criminal. But before dealing with that evidence I trust the Tribunal will bear with me if I make one or two general observations upon the defense which has been put forward on behalf of all these organizations.
In view of the words of Dr. Boehm, I desire to submit that no one can say hereafter that every opportunity has not been afforded them for their defense. An elaborate procedure has been evolved to obtain and place before you their evidence. 102 witnesses have been heard before your Commissioners--witnesses selected by Defense Counsel from the many thousands of members of the organizations available. You have the transcripts of their evidence. Of these witnesses Defense Counsel have selected 20, who have given evidence in this Court and whom you have seen and heard yourselves. In addition to this oral testimony, you have also had submitted to you the substance of no less than 136,213 affidavits, for the SS, 155,000 for the Political Leaders, 2,000 for the Gestapo, 10,000 for the SA and 7,000 for the SD, a total of 310,213. And you have also had presented before your Commissioners another 1,809 affidavits either in substance or in whole, the majority of which are now contained in the transcript of the Commissioners' proceedings.
On the face of it, the evidence which has been given by almost all the witnesses called before your Commissioners is untrue. You yourselves have seen and heard some of these witnesses, selected by Defense Counsel presumably because they were thought to be the most reliable and the ones most likely to impress you. Their evidence is no better.
You will remember Sievers, called for the SS, who denied knowledge of and participation in the experiments on human beings and was presented with a file of his own incriminating correspondence.
The witness Morgen described the variety theater, the cinema, the bookstalls, and the other amenities of Buchenwald. Dachau, he said, was a recreation camp.
Brill, who had served as an Obersturmbannfuehrer in the SS Division Leibstandarte from June until August 1941 on the Eastern Front, knew nothing of the Einsatzgruppen, the slaughter of Jews in the Eastern territories, or of the treatment of the peoples of Poland and Russia taken into captivity for forced labor. Had the conditions in June become so changed from what they had been 2 months before, when Himmler had said to all the officers of that division:
"Very frequently the members of the Waffen-SS think about the deportation of this people here. These thoughts
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come to me today when watching the very difficult work out there performed by the Security Police, supported by your men, who help them a great deal. Exactly the same thing happened in Poland, in weather 40 degrees below zero, where we had to haul away thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands; where we had to have the toughness--you should hear this but also forget it again immediately-to shoot thousands of leading Poles" (1918-PS, US-304).
General Hauser, one time Commander of the SS Division "Das Reich," and subsequently commander of a corps, army, and army group, knew nothing of SS atrocities. He had never heard of the massacre of Lidice.
Gauleiter Hoffmann, who gave evidence before your Commission to explain away his order of 25 February 1945, encouraging the lynching of Allied pilots, said that the order "slipped out" from his command post after he had refused to issue the draft submitted to him by his staff officer.
Hupfauer, of the German Labor Front, supervising the work of that organization in Essen during the latter part of the war, and himself responsible for circulating Himmler's orders to ensure "the discipline and output of foreign workers," denied all knowledge of the brutal treatment of slave labor.
Rathcke, called for the SA, before your Commissioner described how "in the spring of 1933, the SA in all German localities streamed into the churches."
Schneider, another Political Leader called before your Commission, aged 55, denied having ever heard of the boycott of April 1933.
Best, the enslaver of Denmark, gave evidence before you for the Gestapo. Having seen the documents that were presented to him in cross-examination, can you believe one word of what he said? Examples of evidence of this kind could be quoted from the transcript of almost every witness that has been called to defend these organizations.
Consider this evidence from another angle. We know that so-called "demonstrations" were organized and carried out throughout the whole Reich against the Jews on the night of 9 to 10 November 1938, during the course of which 35 Jews were murdered, 20,000 seized and incarcerated for no other offense than that they were Jews; we know that 177 synagogues were destroyed by fire or demolished, that 7,500 stores were destroyed, and that the cost of damage to glass windows alone amounted to 6 million Reichsmark. Even the Supreme Party Court reported:
"The public, down to the last man, realizes that political drives like those of 9 November were organized and directed
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by the Party, whether this is admitted or not. When all the synagogues burn down in the night, it must have been organized by the Party" (3063-PS, US-332).
"Whether this is admitted or not!" Can you find one single man among the 102 witnesses that have been called on behalf of the Party organizations who is prepared to admit it--or anything like it? Can you find one word of admission from among the affidavits that have been submitted by over 312,000 members of these Party organizations? If it was not the Political Leaders, if it was not the SA or the SS, if it was not the Gestapo or SD--what in the name of all common sense was it that organized and directed these demonstrations?
We know that slave labor was employed and brutally maltreated throughout Germany. We know that in 1943, it even became necessary--necessary only in order to increase production and for no reasons of humanity--to alter, I quote, "the hitherto prevailing treatment of Eastern Workers," and for the Party Chancellery and the RSHA to issue orders to all Political Leaders down to Ortsgruppenleiter, and presumably to all stations of the SD and Gestapo that "injustices, insults, trickery, mistreatments, et cetera must be discontinued. Punishment by beating is forbidden" (205-PS, GB-538).
But can you find one single one from all the 102 witnesses and the persons who have sworn affidavits on oath, who has ever seen or heard of the mistreatment of foreign laborers, save only in one or two exceptional instances?
The evidence of all of them is the same. They are asked if they knew of the persecution and annihilation of the Jews, of the dread work of the Gestapo, of the atrocities within the concentration camps, of the ill-treatment of slave labor, of the intention and preparation to wage aggressive war, of the murder of brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen. And they reply with "the everlasting No."
You may be reminded of the words of a great Irishman: "Falsehood has a perennial spring."
Let me turn to consider these three organizations for which I am responsible--the Corps of Political Leaders, the SA, and the SS.
With regard to the Corps of Political Leaders, certain general points have been made by counsel and witnesses for the Defense, which it is convenient to mention before dealing with the evidence. It is said that the Zellen- and Blockleiter ought not to be included as Political Leaders; that they were never regarded as such, and had no authority or political tasks; that they were subordinate to the staff officers in the Ortsgruppe whom the Prosecution has
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agreed to exclude; that they were completely unimportant and in practice little more than the messenger boys of their Ortsgruppenleiter.
We submit that there is overwhelming evidence that this was not so. When you examine the evidence you find them implicated in criminal activities of many kinds. I would ask you particularly to bear this in mind--that it was the normal procedure in the Corps of Political Leaders to pass nothing in writing below the rank of Ortsgruppenleiter. The Organization Book of the Party prescribed, I quote:
"In principle, the Blockleiter will settle his official business verbally, and he will receive messages verbally, and pass them on in the same way. Correspondence will only be used in cases of absolute necessity and practicality."
The witness Meyer-Wendeborn confirmed that this was so in practice:
"Between the Blockleiter and the Zellenleiter on one side, and the Ortsgruppenleiter and the staff on the other, there was supposed to be no written instruction in order not to give these people of lower rank or lower position too much work."
In view of that, you may well think it remarkable that we have happened to find so many written documents as we have which directly implicate the Zellen- and Blockleiter. In dealing with the evidence I shall draw your attention to these documents. But I would also emphasize the other evidence you have of the vitally important role the Zellen- and Blockleiter played.
It has been argued that they were not Hoheitstraeger, as the Prosecution suggest, and various documents have been submitted by the Defense Counsel to establish this contention. Be it right or wrong, it matters little. You will remember that they were included as Hoheitstraeger in the Party's Organization Book, which states: "Among the Politische Leiter, the Hoheitstraeger assume a special position."
It is answered that the Organization Book is inaccurate. The same is said of the SA-Mann--an equally inconvenient publication for the members of the SA. Is there any official publication issued by the official Party publishers which is accurate?
The fact is that by whatever title they may have been known, the Zellen- and Blockleiter formed the essential basis of the whole Party system. Gauleiter Kaufmann admitted:
"Blockleiter and Zellerileiter were the executive organs of the Ortsgrupperileiter."
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Zellenleiter Schneider was asked:
"Would you agree with me that without the Zellenleiter and Blockleiter, the Ortsgruppenleiter could never have carried on the tasks they had to perform?"
"Yes, that is correct."
They were much more than the messenger boys they are now made out to have been. Hirt stated that only persons who were "completely politically reliable" were appointed either as staff officers in the Gaue, Kreise, and Orte or as Zellen- and Blockleiter, and that the people who held the positions of Zellen- and Blockleiter appeared to be supporters of the Nazi Party. The evidence shows the kind of tasks with which they were entrusted, which included the responsibility of "assisting in forming the political judgment" on the members of their area.
It has been suggested that Political Leaders--particularly in war time--were compelled against their will to assume their appointments. But the whole basis of the system was voluntary service, paid or unpaid, and it is confirmed by their own witness Meyer-Wendeborn. Let me quote from his cross-examination before the Commission:
"Question: 'May I take it that Political Leaders were all voluntarily occupying their offices?'
"Question: 'And that also applies, does it not, to the Zellenleiter and Blockleiter?'
"Answer: 'The Zellenleiter and Blockleiter were appointed through the Ortsgruppenleiter after he had had a discussion with the staff. However, if a person considered himself not up to the part, or that he was unable to do the job, or that he did not have the time, we looked for another one.'
"Question: 'And it was decidedly voluntary on the part of the Zellenleiter or Blockleiter whether or not they accepted the position?'
If pressure was brought to bear on some, as the witness Hirt suggested, it could only have happened in the most exceptional cases. If the holders of these offices were required to be "completely politically reliable" it would be remarkable to find among them many opponents of the Party forced unwillingly to act.
It is said also that because, as in peace time, their appointments were not confirmed, their oath taken only at irregular intervals, and because they were given no uniform they were not, in the words
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of the Indictment, "according to common Nazi terminology Politische Leiter of any grade or rank."
I submit that there can be no substance in such an argument. They performed the same tasks, were regarded as the same officials and held the same authority and influence as those whom they replaced.
Again, it is suggested that there was no "Corps" or organization of Political Leaders; but the evidence shows that Politische Leiter of all classes formed a close and well-defined corps. They are described as a "Corps" in the Organization Book. Together they had a common purpose, I quote, "the complete penetration of the German nation with the National Socialist spirit."
They wore a common uniform. They were issued with a common identity card--common to themselves but distinct from the rest of the population. Yearly they took their common oath to their Fuehrer:
"I pledge eternal allegiance to Adolf Hitler. I pledge unconditional obedience to him and the leaders appointed by him."
And, as the Organization Book says of each one of them:
"The Political Leader is inseparably tied to the ideology and the organization of the NSDAP."
there is one further matter upon which I ought to say a word of explanation. It has been argued by the Defense that a great number of the Amtsleiter on the staffs of the various Hoheitstraeger ought not to be included in any declaration of criminality that you make against the Corps of Political Leaders. In the same way as the Blockleiter were said to be innocent, harmless messenger boys, so, too, it is said that these Amtsleiter were harmless and innocent expert advisers to their repective Gau-, Kreis-, or Ortsgruppenleiter. They may have been expert advisers, but they were much more besides, and they certainly were neither innocent nor harmless. They were properly appointed Political Leaders--persons who were "completely politically reliable" and supporters of the Nazi Party. All of them, just as the Hoheitstraeger themselves, took their annual oath of allegiance binding them in blind obedience to their Fuehrer. All of them, although they naturally received their instructions concerning their particular fields of activity from the State Department to which they belonged, nevertheless were subject to the orders of their Hoheitstraeger upon all political matters and in all matters of Party discipline. You may think that these men exercised as dangerous an influence as any other Political Leader because between them they were in closest contact with all grades
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of society and with all professions and trades. We have not documents directly implicating every class of these so-called nonpolitical Political Leaders, but a great many are directly involved by the documents you have seen. I will not enumerate them now. I shall draw your attention to them as I discuss the evidence. It is the submission of the Prosecution that from that evidence, and from the general evidence of the conditions in Germany and of the influence of the Political Leaders, you are entitled and, indeed, compelled to draw the inference that if the purpose and activity of that organization was criminal, then every member of the staffs of the Gau, Kreis, and Ortsgruppen ought to be included. Let it not be thought that because we have all deliberately excluded those members of the Ortsgruppenleiter staffs, we have done so on account of their innocence. That decision was taken for practical rather than any other reasons, and it may well be that that decision was wrong.
It has been suggested by the Defense that there were officers in the various Party organizations such as the DAF, NSV, labor welfare, students' and womens' organizations who were also known as Politische Leiter. Their numbers are given as one and a half million. Let me once again make it clear that if such Political Leaders existed the Prosecution do not seek a declaration of criminality against them. We include only Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter and the Amtsleiter or heads of offices on the staffs of the Reichsleitung, Gauleitung, and Kreisleitung--those Political Leaders who, organized on a geographical basis, were responsible for the political control of the people and the execution and administration of Nazi policy. All others are excluded.
You have had a schedule showing the numbers that are thus involved. According to the Party Organization Book for 1943 they number 600,000. It is said by the Defense that that figure allows for no replacements and that the total figure of all who have at any time held these positions is much greater. Upon that I make two points. First, the figures given in the Organization Book show the maximum establishment allowed for each Gau and Kreis. In practice not all these offices were filled-in urban districts there would be no agricultural Amt; in Gaue where there were no universities there would be no political Amtsleiter for university teachers. Secondly, the 1943 figure of 600,000 includes the Political Leaders of nine foreign Gau--six Austrian, two Polish and one in the Sudetenland--none of which had existed before 1938, so that during the first 5 years of the Nazi regime the total possible number of Political Leaders must have been considerably less than 600,000. The extract submitted by the Defense from the pamphlet Der Hoheitstraeger illustrates the increase which took place in the Hoheitstraeger alone between 1935 and 1939: the figure rose from
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291,671 to 581,650. In view of these considerations it is submitted that, allowing for replacements, the total number of persons, who at any time held those positions in the Corps of Political Leaders which we include for the purposes of a declaration of criminality, cannot have greatly exceeded the figure of 600,000 which we have submitted. And I add that ample allowance must be made for decease, not only through natural causes, but through active service and bombings. It was these men and women who constituted the very core of the National Socialism which led the 48 million voters of Germany in the way and to the end which we have seen.
Let us consider the evidence against them under its main headings. We will see not only how they themselves directly participated in crime, but also how they actively and knowingly assisted and co-operated with the other organizations in the execution of their common criminal purpose.
With regard to the control of the State, Bormann, writing to the Gauleiter in June 1941, stated: "For the first time in German history the Fuehrer consciously and completely has the leadership of the people in his own hand..." (D-75, USA-348).
We see one of the ways in which the Leadership Corps assisted in putting the leadership of the people into the Fuehrer's own hand from the evidence of the Political Leaders' activity during the voting in 1936 and 1938, and we see here the participation of all ranks of Political Leaders.
We have a complete file from the Kreis of Erfurt, Thuringia, in connection with the plebiscite of 1938. Stuetzpunktleiter were to report beforehand all persons in their district whom they might assume with certainty would vote "no" (D-897, GB-541). The orders were issued by the SD jointly to the Stuetzpunktleiter and to all heads of sections of the Security Service. The heads of sections were to support the Stuetzpunktleiter locally as much as possible. It was said by the Defense that the Stuetzpunktleiter referred to in that file were Stuetzpunktleiter of the SD and not of the Political Leadership. Even if you accept that explanation it makes no difference, for it was expressly stated that the whole matter was to be "carried out in the closest collaboration with the Ortsgruppenleiter of the Party" (D-897, GB-541). The Political Leaders could hardly have had any doubts as to what was in store for the people whom they reported when the orders contain the significant paragraph:
"The tremendous responsibility which the Stuetzpunktleiter have, in particular with regard to this report, is stressed once more. The Stuetzpunktleiter must clearly understand the potential consequences for the persons contained in their report."
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The Tribunal will remember the reports that were rendered by the SD after the plebiscite had taken place, showing the means by which the voting papers of suspected persons were checked by the use of skimmed milk and colorless typewriters. You will remember also the methods employed to force doubtful supporters of the Party to vote, I quote:
"The wife of the Jew Bielschowski, who was dragged along just before closing time, voted 'no,' as can be proved.
"The laborer Otto Wiegand had to be requested four times to record his vote on the day of the election and finally only voted under force....
"The husband... recorded his vote. To be sure this was probably exclusively for fear of renewed arrest" (D-902).
And yet again in what must be, perhaps, one of the most dreadful documents in all this Trial:
"The Jehovah's witness Robert Siering and his wife ... deposited their vote after both had been advised of their duty to vote by the police in Griefstedt and had been threatened with the removal of their child in case of non-participation" (D-897).
No one can pretend that these things were happening only in Erfurt. In the Gau Coblenz the Kreisgeschaeftsfuehrer of Kochem, "where supervisory control was ordered in several Ortsgruppen," assured the SD that it was mostly women who voted "no" or invalidly (R-142, USA-481).
In Rothenburg the Party carried out demonstrations against the Bishop who had refused to vote, demonstrations which Mr. Justice Jackson so vividly described in his opening speech.
Nor was it only in the 1938 plebiscite that the Political Leadership was active. It will be remembered that in Bremen Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, and Stuetzpunktleiter were concerned in reporting all civil servants who did not vote in the election which took place on 29 March 1936.
Dr. Servatius brushes this evidence aside with a comment for which there is no scrap of evidence in support. He says:
"It is shown that the commanding agency of the Party in no way enters into action. These are merely individual measures of other agencies. No general practice or knowledge can be deduced from that."
It is unnecessary for me to say more.
The control and supervision of the German people was as much the task of the Political, Leaders as of the SD and Gestapo. Of all the Political Leaders the Blockleiter were the most essential for this
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purpose. They kept their index cards of every householder, index cards which formed the basis of the "political judgment," which the Blockleiter, Zellenleiter, and Ortsgruppenleiter, in co-operation with each other, were to pronounce (D-901 A, GB-546). Again and again the Defense, both before the Commission and before the Tribunal, have bridled at and denied the suggestion that Blockleiter were used as spies. But what else were they when their index cards were to be completed from information which they would, I quote: "have sufficient opportunity ... to obtain by means of conversations ... with the Germans"? They too were urged to make certain of the accuracy of their reports (D-901 A, GB-546).
There is other evidence to show this wretched role the Blockleiter played. In the Party Organization Book the Blockleiter is directed that:
"It is his duty to find people disseminating damaging rumors and to report them to the Ortsgruppe so that they may be reported to the respective State authorities" (1893-PS, USA-323).
We see him spying again when we review the evidence of the part played by Political Leaders in the persecution of the Churches. In co-operation with the Gestapo and the SD the Political Leaders, from the highest to the lowest, took active part in suppressing the influence of the Churches.
Your Lordship, I think I can omit the rest of Page 17 and the first 8 lines of Page 18, which deals with Bormann's decree, which is well known to the Tribunal, and I can go on at the words on Page 18.
How can we doubt that it was the generally accepted policy of all Political Leaders when, whatever Hitler may have said in the Party Program about a "positive Christianity," Bormann was writing to the Gauleiter in 1941 after his notorious denunciation of Christianity:
"National Socialist and Christian concepts are irreconcilable."
Gauleiter Kaufmann was at pains to explain that that directive had been withdrawn a week later. But there is no mention of such withdrawal in the letter from the SD concerning it, written 6 months later in December 1941. And you may think that it is remarkably similar to the policy of the Fuehrer's Deputy Hess, as it was explained to Rosenberg 2 months earlier in April 1941:
"We are inducing schools more and more to reduce and abolish religious morning services. Similarly the confessional and general prayers in several parts of the Reich have already been replaced by National Socialist mottoes."
There is abundant other evidence of the policy being pursued by the higher ranks of the Political Leaders in regard to the Church, with which I need not worry the Tribunal.
Let me confine myself to the lowest ranks, the Ortsgruppenleiter, Blockleiter, and Zellenleiter. You will remember the file of reports for February 1939 of the Ortsgruppenleiter in Darmstadt on ecclesiastical questions.
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"Blockleiter and Party member Kiel informs me ... that meetings of the Confessional Front... are again taking place" (D-901, GB-536).
And another in connection with a Pastor Strack:
"This gentleman should really be rapped on the knuckles seriously for once."
You will remember also the action taken by the Kreisleiter on these reports. The SD and the Gestapo were informed about the Confessional Front meetings reported by the Blockleiter. So also was the unfortunate Pastor Strack, the priest who was "sufficiently well known and ripe for the concentration camp or special court."
Can you doubt that it was also the Blockleiter and Zellenleiter in Thuringia who would have to make the reports required on the way in which the results of the 1938 plebiscite were received by the people "particularly in small towns and villages"? (D-897).
Who else but Blockleiter and Zellenleiter could be employed to find out what the Catholic and Protestant clergy were saying about the Anschluss during their services? Who else but they were in a position to report whether the church bells were rung in the evening after the Anschluss speech in Vienna? (D-897).
Lastly, upon this subject you have the evidence of demonstrations being organized to disrupt the service in Freising Church in 1935, in which the Kreisleiterin of the Nazi Party women's organization was taking a leading part (1507-PS, GB-535).
It was only by acquiring complete control of the State and of the people that the Nazi Government were enabled to carry out their criminal aims. The Political Leaders were an essential element in the acquisition of this control. They supported and executed the orders of a Government which they knew from the first pursued policies which were wrong by methods which were criminal. All knew of their avowed purpose to persecute the Jews. All knew of the Gestapo, the concentration camps, and the Nazi practice of arrest and incarceration without trial. Yet they continued actively to support that Government and to tighten its stranglehold upon the German people. The whole of Dr. Servatius' argument as to the position of the Political Leaders after 1933 shows the grip in which Germany was held by the iron framework of the Party--a political "Iron Maiden" squeezing a people to their death.
With regard to the Jews, when the persecution of the Jews was an openly recognized policy and practice of the Nazi Party, the fact that men voluntarily served their Party in an executive position is in itself sufficient to prove their participation in criminal activity. But we have concrete evidence of the direct participation in the persecution of the Jews by Political Leaders--and again by Political Leaders of all ranks. Within less than a year of the Nazi
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Government coming to power there is evidence that the Corps of Political Leaders were inciting the people of Germany to persecute the Jews. It is hardly possible to imagine that in a civilized State in the year 1933 instructions should be issued to the Political Leaders under the title "Jew Baiting." Yet that was happening. Kreisleiter in the Gau Coblenz were to check lists of Jewish firms and businesses in their district. Once again the importance of accuracy is emphasized. Committees were to be set up within the various Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and Stuetzpunkte which had, I quote, "the task of directing and supervising the communities" in Jew baiting (374-PS). They were to continue the policy which had been inaugurated by the Party with the boycott in April of that year. I quote:
"The Kreisleiter will point out in all gatherings of members or in all public gatherings that the Jew in all countries is again carrying out a low attack which is greatly harmful to Germany. It must be made clear to the masses that no German may buy from a Jew" (374-PS).
In view of this evidence; in view of Dr. Servatius' admission that there was no objection on the part of the Political Leaders to the Nuremberg Decrees, and that they welcomed measures which tended to restrict the influence of the Jews; in view of the part we know they played in the 1938 demonstrations--can there be any doubt that throughout these years they were actively participating in the continuous slander and persecution of the Jewish people? It would be strange indeed if it were not so, when we see Heydrich's order to the SD issued on the night of 9 to 10 November 1938:
"The Chiefs of the State Police Offices or their deputies must immediately get in telephonic contact with the Political Leaders--Gauleitung or Kreisleitung--who have jurisdiction over their districts and arrange a joint meeting with the appropriate inspector or commander of the Ordnungspolizei to discuss the organization of the demonstration. At these discussions the Political Leaders will be informed that the German Police have received from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police the following instructions, in accordance with which the Political Leaders should adjust their own measures" (351-PS, USA-240).
It is indeed curious that these instructions should have been issued if all the Gauleiter had been so strongly opposed to such measures as Gauleiter Kaufmann, Streicher, Sauckel, and Wahl say that they were.
Whatever these witnesses you have heard may say of the attitude of the Political Leaders at these demonstrations, we know that 36 Jews were killed (358-PS, USA-508). Of those 36 killed, 4 were murdered either by Ortsgruppenleiter or Blockleiter. It was a court
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composed of Gauleiter and other Political Leaders who saw fit to suspend or pronounce only minor punishments in the case of all the murders committed during these demonstrations by members of the Party, the SS, the SA, and of the Corps of Political Leaders. And for what reasons? I quote:
"In such cases as when Jews were killed without an order or contrary to orders, ignoble motives could not be determined. At heart the men were convinced that they had done a service to their Fuehrer and to the Party" (3063-PS, USA-332).
If these witnesses for the Defense that you have heard here did not understand who was responsible for these demonstrations, it was perfectly clear to the members of the Supreme Party Court.
In France lists of Jews for "collective expatriation"--which meant, of course, deportation to the East--were made out in agreement with the Hoheitstraeger (EC-265, RF-1504). But knowledge of these deportations and of the treatment of Jews in the occupied territories was not confined to the Political Leaders in France. The August 1944 edition of the information circular, Die Lage, contained exact particulars of what was happening in Hungary. I quote:
"It was a matter of course that the German offices in Hungary did everything possible after 19 March to eliminate the Jewish element as rapidly and as completely as was at all possible. In view of the proximity of the Russian front, they commenced with the cleaning up of the Northeastern area, (Northern Transylvania and Carpathian territory) where the Jewish element was the strongest numerically. Then the Jews were collected in the remaining Hungarian provinces and transported to Germany or German-controlled territories.... 100,000 Jews remained in the hands of the Hungarians to be employed in labor battalions. By the appointed day, 19 July, the Hungarian province was without any Jew. Here remarkable consistency and severity were used in the shortest possible time" (D 908, GB-534).
We do not know who received copies of that paper, but we do know that the Defendant Doenitz contributed and that Gauleiter Kaufmann "might have received it." Moreover, it appears from what has been written on the copy we possess that that copy found its way to the NSDAP in the village of Hoechen near Aachen. Doenitz must have known what it contained; so must every other high-ranking Nazi official. Did Kaufmann and all his fellow Gauleiter know nothing of this hideous policy that their Government was pursuing? They say so, but they lie. Will you look at Document 49 of the document book which has been submitted in defense of the Corps of Political Leaders? It is a confidential information bulletin issued by the Nazi Party from the Party Chancellery on 9 October
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1942. It deals with the preparatory measures for the final solution of the Jewish question in Europe and rumors concerning the conditions of the Jews in the East. It is a document which bears in the margin the remark "Open only for G and K," which may mean for Gau and Kreis. But it shows beyond all question that knowledge of these things went far below Kreis. Listen to what it says:
"While the final solution of the Jewish question is being worked out, discussions are lately going on among the population of various parts of the Reich territory concerning 'very severe measures' against the Jews, particularly those in the Eastern territories. Investigations have shown that such statements-mostly in distorted or exaggerated form-were passed on by men on leave from various armies employed in the East who personally had the opportunity to observe such measures."
You may think after what you have heard that it was not possible to exaggerate the "very severe measures" which the soldiers on leave from the East were discussing--and must have been discussing ever since September 1941 in every village and homestead throughout Germany. But even if they were exaggerated they are not denied. The article, which I append as a footnote, makes five main points:
"a) The measures carried out up to that date, namely, elimination of Jews from the various walks of the German people, and expelling the Jews completely from Reich territory, were no longer possible by emigration.
"b) The next generation will no longer consider this question as so vital. Therefore the problem must be solved by this generation.
"c) The complete segregation and elimination of the millions of Jews residing in the European economic sphere remains a compelling necessity in the German people's struggle for existence.
"d) Starting with the Reich territory and then going over to the other European countries included in the final solution, the Jews will in a steady plan be shipped to the East into large camps ... from where they will be either used for labor or sent still further to the East.
"e) These very difficult problems will only be solved with ruthless severity."
If they still deny knowledge of the real fate that awaited these Jews, not one of these defendants, not one of the witnesses who have given evidence before you or before your Commissioners, not one of the members of these organizations can deny knowledge of
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their deportation. And what could they have thought was the meaning of the phrase: "Their complete elimination is no longer possible by emigration"?
On the mildest interpretation, this treatment of Jews in occupied territory is a war crime. The Leadership Corps is being mobilized to ensure that public opinion will not only condone, but support and encourage this war crime. If there were nothing else, this would stamp it as criminal.
But it does not stop there.
In the occupied territories the Corps of Political Leaders were as responsible as any others for the crimes committed against the local population. Frick on 16 December 1941, in giving Rainer his instructions on his appointment as Gauleiter of Carinthia, urged him in the strongest terms to germanize the Slovenes in the incorporated territory and eradicate the Slovenic language (USSR-449). My Lord, we strongly contest the suggestion of Dr. Servatius that it was admissible to germanize former German nations. The claim to germanize any Slav who was held in the old Empire has only to be stated, we submit, for its preposterous character to be seen.
Gauleiter by themselves could not execute such orders. Their subordinates had to play their part. You will remember the instructions of 30 April 1942, issued by the Kreisleiter in Pettau to all Ortsgruppenleiter, for the removal of all Slovenian inscriptions from all religious and lay sites (USSR-143).
We know that the business discussed at the Gauleiter Staff Conference at Marburg included the transfer to Serbia of 2,000, the placing of hundreds in concentration camps, and retaliatory shootings. In June of 1942, when the subject was the evacuation of the prison of Cilli, it is stated that the prisoners were to be transferred or shot to create the necessary space for a large-scale operation. On 13 July half of the 400 arrested are to be rendered harmless through delivery to a concentration camp or shooting. A similar incident, including this time the shooting of a priest, is told in the minutes for March.
In Poland, too, the Political Leaders are co-operating in the appalling treatment of the local people. A letter from the Reich Security Headquarters in November 1942 to the directors of the SD Sections informs them of the iniquitous agreement between Himmler and Thierack by which a trial is to be denied to Poles, Eastern Nationals, Jews, and Gypsies (US-346). It is based on the impudent theory that they are inferior people living in the German Reich's territory. What is interesting in this argument is that there is to be no hesitation in informing the Gauleiter. What possible need could there be to inform the latter unless it was that his assistance and co-operation might be required?
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I pass to consider the evidence in connection with slave labor, which shows perhaps more clearly than the evidence we have in respect of any other particular crime, how deeply every branch of the Corps of Political Leaders was involved. Every witness that has been called by the Defense has denied all knowledge of or participation in the mistreatment of foreign laborers; but what is such evidence worth when you consider the documents which have been presented? The treatment of Polish agricultural workers, for whose care the Bauernfuehrer on the staffs of the Gau-, Kreis-, and Ortsgruppenleiter were particularly responsible, can be seen from the instructions issued to the Kreisbauernschaften in Karlsruhe in March 1941. They were instructions which were issued as a result of' negotiations between the State Peasant Association of Baden and the Higher SS and Police Leader in Stuttgart, and they were received with, I quote, "great satisfaction." The Polish laborer was no longer to have any right to complain. He was prohibited transport, entertainment, and religious worship; he was forbidden to change his employment; there were to be no time Emits to his working hours. I quote:
"Every employer has the right to give corporal punishment to farm workers of Polish nationality.... The employer may not be held accountable in any such case by an official agency. Farm workers of Polish nationality should, if possible, be removed from the community of the home and can be quartered in stables, et cetera. No remorse whatever should restrict such action" (EC-68, USA-205).
We ask: can it really be possible that instructions of that nature were issued in Karlsruhe and nowhere else? Is it possible that while the Poles in Baden were being treated like animals, in the next-door Gau they were being accepted as members of the family? This is the evidence of the witness Mohr, called on behalf of the Bauernfuehrer before the Commission. I quote:
"In practically all cases, I think with very few exceptions, the foreign laborer was accepted in the farmer's family unit. He ate with the family and moved around in the circle of the farmer's family."
In the industrial areas the responsibility for the care of foreign workers was in the hands of the DAF (Labor Front) Political Leaders. Sauckel had decreed in March 1942:
"The food supply for the industrial workers in transit within the Reich is the duty of the DAF.... The care for the foreign workers employed in the Reich will be carried out... by the DAF in the case of non-farm laborers... All camps with foreign non-agrarian workers, regardless of who furnishes or maintains the camps, will be cared for by the DAP.... In
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the German Gaue, the Gauleiter will have the rights of inspection and control of the execution of these orders" (3044-PS, US-206).
It is unnecessary to remind you of the appalling conditions in which the workers of Essen barely existed (D-382, US-897). Once again I ask: is it possible that the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellen- and Blockleiter, and the Political Leaders of the DAF in Essen were unaware of these conditions, when the hutments in which the workers lived and the punishment cells in which they were confined and tortured are situated, as the photographs show, in the very grounds of the Krupp foundries and workshops, with the works railway running within a few feet of their doors, and with the Krupp cranes stretching almost above their roofs?
It is said that if indeed any such conditions did exist in Essen, they were exceptional and due only to the chaos caused by Allied bombing. But it is not so. Before the bombing of Essen had started, the office chief of Krupp's Locomotive Construction Works was complaining that
"the people came in the morning without bread and tools. During both breaks the prisoners of war crept up to the German workers and begged for bread, pitifully pointing out their hunger." (D-361, US-893).
He went to the kitchens to try and find them food:
"Since a few Russians had collapsed already, I telephoned Fraeulein Block and asked for an increase In the food as the special ration had ceased from the second day onwards. As my telephone conversations were unsuccessful, I again visited Fraeulein Block personally. Fraeulein Block refused in a very abrupt manner to give any further special ration."
Fraeulein Block did not let the matter rest there. She reported it to the DAF, who requested Krupp's office chief to go and see them. The DAF representative
"accused me, gesticulating in a very insulting manner, saying that I had taken the part of the Bolsheviks in too apparent a way. He referred to the law paragraphs of the Reich Government which spoke against it.... I then tried to make it clear with special emphasis that the Russian prisoners of war were assigned to us as workers and not as Bolsheviks. The people were starved and were not in a position to perform the heavy work in boiler-making which they were supposed to do."
My Lord, I have stated, and Your Lordship can see, the fun story of how the manager tried to get bread for his workers, and I ask Your Lordship to pass on to the top of Page 29 and just look at the last sentence of the quotation; the last is typical of all I have said. The last two sentences of that paragraph:
"Sick people are a liability to us and not a help to production. To this remark Herr Prior stated that if one was worth nothing then another was, that the Bolsheviks were soulless people, and if 100,000 of them died, another 100,000 would replace them" (D-361, USA-893).
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Nor can it be true that these conditions and this treatment were confined only to Essen. In March 1943 Goebbels found it necessary to hold a conference on the question of increasing production. The minutes of that conference report:
"The hitherto prevailing treatment of the Eastern Workers has led not only to diminished production but has also most disadvantageously influenced the political orientation of the people in conquered Eastern territories and has resulted in the well-known difficulties for our troops.... The treatment of foreigners which, until now, was markedly different for subjects of Western and Eastern countries, will be put on a uniform basis as much as possible, particularly the living standards of the Eastern Workers will be raised" (315-PS, GB-537).
We see from these minutes the attitude of the Party Chancellery-the Party Chancellery from which the Corps of Political Leaders received their orders. Its representative--I quote:
"pointed out the controversies which are already appearing and which would result for the German population if more freedom were granted for the foreigners" (315-PS).
But the need for increased war production was all-important and, notwithstanding the fears his representative had expressed at the meeting in March, on 5 May 1943 Bormann issued from the Party Chancellery a memorandum to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, Verbandsfuehrer, Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenleiter. They were instructed that the treatment of foreign laborers should become more humane, although at the same time it was
"demanded by members of the German race that they observe the difference between themselves and foreign nationals as a patriotic duty.... Injustices, insults, trickery, mistreatment, and so forth must be discontinued. Punishment by beating is forbidden" (205-PS).
Does not that document illustrate the utter lie that every one of these witnesses for the Defense has told? Does it not show more clearly than any other document the savage brutality with which the Political Leaders of the National Socialist Party were encouraging the people of Germany? Is it not almost beyond our comprehension that in these days of enlightenment in a great and civilized country orders should have been necessary from the Government to its Political Leaders to discontinue the mistreatment of men and women that they had deported into slavery? I pass on to the next paragraph.
Lastly, upon this aspect of the case, you will remember the instructions issued by the Gauamtsleiter from Strasbourg in the Gau Baden-Alsace. Foreign women workers induced to sexual
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intercourse by Germans were to be taken temporarily into protective custody and then sent to another place of work. "In other cases the foreign female worker will be sent to a concentration camp for women" (D-884A). Their children, if they were racially satisfactory and hereditarily healthy, were to be seized from them immediately after birth to "go to homes for foreign children to be looked after by, the National Socialist welfare organization."
The provisions of that order do little more than add a detail to the evidence we already have of the callous brutality which was prescribed by the Party for the treatment of foreign workers. But it is an important document because it shows how many branches of the Political Leaders were involved in this trafficking in slaves. Kreisleiter and the Kreisobmann of the German Labor Front were to report cases of pregnancy. In fact, as one might expect, it was the Ortsgruppenleiter that made the necessary enquiries. As well as to the DAF and NSV, the order was circulated to the Gau Propaganda Leiter, the Gau Press Leiter, the Gauamtsleiter for Racial Policy, for National Health, for Peasantry, for National Welfare, for Questions of Race, the Gau Political Leader of the National Socialist women's organization, and to similar staff officers on the Kreisleiters' staff. It is perhaps worth noting the action--or as it might more accurately be described, as a lack of action--which the National Socialist welfare organization took ...
THE PRESIDENT [Interposing]: Sir David, could you tell us what the word "Kreisobmann" means?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: It is the representative of the Labor Front on the Kreisleiter Staff, Sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: I quote:
"As far as I can find out up to now"--reports the Kreisleiter of Villingen--"there have been about 21 pregnancies; of these four abortions are said to have been carried out, during which two of the women died. Of the remaining 17 births, five were still-born. Welfare by the NSV has not taken place anywhere" (D-884A).
You see again the Corps of Political Leaders working hand in hand with the Security Police and the SD and the Reich Commissar for the Consolidation of the German Race, another institution over which Himmler reigned supreme.
On this subject it would almost be enough to say: It is admitted by Dr. Servatius, that the Political Leaders knew that the majority of the workers were forced. It is admitted that they supervised the condition of that labor. Thereafter res ipsa loquitur.
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Now the Attorney General has already addressed you upon the vast scale on which the murder of sick and aged persons was carried out. That "action" commenced some time in the summer of 1940, but long before, in pursuance of their racial policy, the Nazi Government were taking steps to improve the German race. One document we have, dated January 1937, is illuminating upon the part the Political Leaders were expected to take. It is a letter from the Gauleiter of Southern Westfalen setting out Hess's decree of 14 January 1937--I add: the eugenics--given by him and appropriated for the Party record; no other words can describe it; here is the quotation:
"The question whether the person is an imbecile cannot be ascertained solely by carrying out an intelligence test, but requires detailed evaluation of the whole personality of the human being. This review shall not only take into consideration the knowledge and intellectual abilities of the supposed imbecile, but also his ethical, moral, and political attitude. A number of civil service doctors have, up to date, attached little importance to the reviewing of the personality as a whole. They have, up to now, hardly ever called for or used information regarding the political conduct of the supposed patient. Now that the Party, by virtue of the decree of the Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior, is consulted in the proceedings on matters of hereditary diseases against Party members, it is the task of all Gauleiter to ascertain that the law regarding hereditary health will in future be used in the sense in which it was designed.... He must investigate whether the person about to be sterilized has achieved very outstanding merits for the National Socialist Movement. If the Gauleiter reaches this conviction and feels that he must use his influence to prevent the sterilization, he will report to this department" (D-181, GB-528). It needs little imagination to see the abuses to which a decree such as this might be put, abuses which might well prove a convenient weapon for the Nazi Party. That letter from a Gauleiter went to all Gauamtsleiter, Gau Inspectors, and Kreisleiter in his Gau. From the fact that it is stated that the Department for National Health was to carry out preparations for cases to be put before the- Gauleiter, it is clear that the Amtsleiter for that Department of National Health were also closely involved.
My Lord, I have then collected the evidence on euthanasia, as the Tribunal was addressed by- the Attorney General and the evidence was being called to their attention by my learned friend Colonel Griffith-Jones.
May I summarize what the pages contain in the interest of time? My Lord, the remainder of Pages 32 and 33 show the
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Church opposition to euthanasia and the Party support, and the addition at the foot of Page 33, and from there Pages 33a and 34 deal with the question of whether euthanasia is a war crime, and show the evidence that it was deliberately used in order to organize the population for war and restrict the number of useless mouths in the country during the war.
You will remember the evidence of the extent to which mercy killing became general knowledge within a few months of its commencement.
By July 1940 Bishop Wurm was writing to Frick. In August he was writing to the Minister of Justice. In September, having attained no satisfaction, he was writing again both to Frick and to the Minister of Justice. Bishop Wurm was talking about events in Wuerttemberg. They were not confined to Wuerttemberg, to Stuttgart, and Naumburg. several hundred miles away the same thing was happening in Stettin, as the letters of the Stettin supervisor to the Ministry of Justice and to Lammers of 6 September 1940 (M-151, GB-529), and Lammers' letter to the Minister of Justice of 2 October 1940 (M-621, 715-PIS) indicate. By August of next year the same thing was happening around Wiesbaden, as we see from the Bishop of Limburg's letter (615-PS, USA-717) to Frick, the Minister of Justice, and the Minister for Church Affairs. It was happening in Franconia also, and we happen to have a file which shows the part the Political Leaders of Franconia were taking. Can one doubt, when one reads those letters, that the same thing must have been happening in every other area in Germany where these murderous commissions were at work? Bormann writes to the Gauleiter of Franconia and one of his Kreisleiter on 24 September 1940:
"It is natural that the representatives of Christian ideology speak against the Commission's measures: It must be equally natural that all Party offices should, as far as necessary, support the work of the Commission" (D-906).
How can Dr. Servatius say of this evidence that it shows the Political Leaders had no part in the carrying out of these measures and that they had no knowledge of them? That one sentence from Bormann's letter is alone sufficient to justify a declaration of criminality against the Corps of Political Leaders, the corps which provided the heads of the Party offices which were to support those commissions.
It was questioned during the cross-examination of the Defense witnesses for the Corps of Political Leaders as to whether this crime of euthanasia came within the jurisdiction of this Tribunal under Paragraph 6 of the Charter. Surely there can be no serious doubt that the murder of 270,000 persons is a crime against humanity. 270,000 corpses may pale into insignificance beside the slaughter in the occupied territories and the concentration camps; it is, nevertheless, a crime of almost unimaginable proportions. Neither can there be any doubt that it was a crime committed in connection with aggressive war. From Bishop Wurm's letter to Frick on 19 July 1940 (M-152, GB-530) we learn that these murders were taking place on the orders of the Reich Defense Council. Goering, Keitel, Frick, Raeder, Funk, Hess, and Ribbentrop were members of the Reich Defense Council. When the Bishop wrote again on 5 September 1940, he stated:
"If the leadership of the State is convinced that it is a question of an inevitable war measure, why does it not issue a decree with legal force?" (M-152, GE-530).
The purpose of these crimes is clear, as it was clear to the Catholic population of Absberg whom the Ortsgruppenleiter reported as asserting:
"The State must be in a bad way now or it could not happen that these poor people should simply be sent to their death solely in order that the means which until now have been used for the upkeep of these people may be made available for the prosecution of the war" (D-906).
I merely remind the Tribunal in the shortest terms of Bormann's remarks as to similarly worded letters to various families; of the Gaustabsamtsleiter of Nuremberg demanding notification in a more clever form when 30,000 had been
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dispatched and four times as many were waiting; of the doubts of the Kreisleiter of Erlangen; of the grave difficulties as to notification which faced the Kreisleiter of Ansbach. Neither the Kreisleiter nor any of the others appear to have felt any concern at the fact that they themselves were actively supporting an administration conducting mass-murder. If their oath of allegiance to their Fuehrer absolved them from qualms of conscience, can it also acquit them of moral or criminal guilt?
Then, My Lord, if I might resume, after these matters contained in the intervening pages, on Page 35, Line 6. My Lord, I just want to show how it is related to the lower groups of the Political Leaders which we are considering. My Lord, that is after dealing with the various reports and objections to the murder of 270,000 persons on this excuse of euthanasia.
Kreisleiter from all over Franconia were reporting in similar terms. The Kreisleiter from Lauf wrote to the Gaustabsamtsleiter:
"The doctor also informed me that it was well known that the Commission consisted of one SS doctor and several subordinate doctors, that the patients were not even examined and that they only pronounced the verdict in accordance with the medical history noted down."
Then Mrs. Marie Kehr lost two of her sisters in that way and wrote to ask the Reich Minister of the Interior under what decree they had been killed. The Defendant Frick's office passed the matter on to the Gaustabsamtsleiter in Nuremberg. I quote:
"I request that you investigate whether Kehr is politically reliable, especially whether she does not have Church connections. In case this should be so, for my part there are no objections if you give Kehr the desired information orally."
The Gaustabsamtsleiter passed that, letter on to the Kreisleiter. The Kreisleiter passed it on to the Ortsgruppenleiter, who reported--I quote: "That one can inform Mrs. Kehr. She is calm and circumspect."
In February 1941 the Ortsgruppenleiter of Absberg reported on the "wildest scenes imaginable" which had occurred in his village when the local sanatorium had been cleared of patients. You may think his attitude was typical of the great mass of Political Leaders. I quote:
"These incidents during this action, which is after all necessary, are to be condemned all the more because even Party members did not shrink from joining in the lamentations of the other weeping spectators.... It is even said that these poor victims--as they are regarded by the clergy and the religious inhabitants of Absberg--were taken to the Catholic Church for confession and communion shortly before their departure. It seems absolutely ridiculous to want to take
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away by an oral confession the possible sins of people some of whom completely lack all mental powers" (D-906).
My Lord, it has become manifest during these proceedings that other Political Leaders share the views of that Ortsgruppenleiter as to the absurdity of any oral confession.
It is unnecessary for me to remind you of the other reports, except to mention that in addition to the Gaustabsamtsleiter, the Kreisleiter, and the Ortsgruppenleiter, the Gauorganisationsleiter also becomes involved. The Leadership Corps was up to, its elbows in this bloody business.
The Corps of Political Leaders take their share of responsibility for the mistreatment of prisoners of war. In September 1941 Bormann circulated to Gauleiter and Kreisleiter the regulations of the OKW for the treatment of Soviet prisoners of war. From the receipt stamp of that document it appears that the Gauschulungsleiter was the official on the Gau staff chiefly concerned with these matters. You remember the directives contained in those regulations. They were based on the fact that
"Bolshevism is the deadly enemy of Nazi Germany.... The Bolshevist soldier has therefore lost all claim to treatment as an honorable opponent in accordance with the Geneva Convention.... The feeling of pride and superiority of the German soldier ordered to guard Soviet prisoners of war must at all times be visible even in public.... The order for ruthless and energetic action must be given at the slightest indication of insubordination, especially in the case of Bolshevist fanatics.... With Soviet prisoners of war it is necessary already for reasons of discipline that the use of arms should be severe" (1519-PS, GB-525).
You will remember the special Einsatz; groups set up by the SD to screen Soviet prisoners of war in the prisoner-of-war camps in order to discover and eliminate their leaders and intelligentsia. These orders, circulated to Gauleiter and Kreisleiter, explain the purpose and the method of work of those special purpose units and state:
"The Armed Forces must rid themselves of all elements among the prisoners of war which must be considered as the driving force of Bolshevism. The special conditions of the Eastern campaign demand special measures which can be carried out on their own responsibility free from bureaucratic and administrative influence" (1519-PS, GB-525).
No Gauleiter or Kreisleiter can tell this Court that he did not know that Russian prisoners of war were being murdered.
It was not only for their information that Political Leaders received these instructions. Bormann, writing to all Reichsleiter,
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Gauleiter, Verbaendefuehrer, and Kreisleiter in September 1944 emphasized:
"The co-operation of the Party In the commitment of prisoners of war is inevitable. Therefore the officers assigned to the Prisoner-of-War Organization have been instructed to co-operate most closely with the Hoheitstraeger; the commanders at the prisoner-of-war camps have to detail immediately liaison officers to the Kreisleiters. Thus the opportunity will be afforded the Hoheitstraeger to alleviate existing difficulties locally, to exercise influence on the behavior of the guard units, and better to assimilate the commitment of the prisoners of war to the political and economic demands."
It was to be the task of the Political Leaders to orientate both the guards and the plant owners "again and again politically and ideologically," and this was to be. done in co-operation with the DAF.
It is unnecessary to repeat the evidence of the treatment of Russian and other prisoners of war employed by Krupp. The Political Leaders were as callous of their prisoner-of-war slaves when they died as they had been while they lived. Gauleiter and Kreisleiter received from Bormann Frick's instructions for the burial of Soviet prisoners of war. Tarred paper was made to serve for coffins, no burial ceremonies or decorations of the graves were to be allowed, costs were to be kept as low as possible and the "transfer and burial is to be carried out unobtrusively; if a number of corpses have to be disposed of, the burial will be carried out in a communal grave" (D-163, USA-694).
What did the last rites of those whom they had worked to death matter to the Nazi Government and its Political Leaders? They mattered just as much or just as little as any recognized form of simple decency or honor.
As early as March 1940 Hess had circularized the Political Leaders with directives for behavior in case of landings of enemy planes or parachutists. You will remember the order, "Likewise enemy parachutists are immediately to be arrested or made harmless." In view of less ambiguous orders which were to follow and of the extraordinary precautions to maintain secrecy in respect of that order, can you now doubt what that somewhat ambiguous phrase was intended to convey? You remember that it was to be disseminated orally only to Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellen and Blockleiter. Transmittal of the order by official orders, poster, press, or radio was prohibited, and amongst the other precautions it was declared to be a State secret document. You will remember also that in addition to all the Hoheitstraeger being informed, the order went to the Reich Organization Directorate, the Reich Propaganda Directorate, and the Reich Student Leadership office, which
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each had their own representative included in the Amtsleiter of the Gau, Kreis, and Ortsgruppen staffs, and that it went also to SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, would that be a good time to break off?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Yes, My Lord.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: In August 1943 Himmler instructed the Police that it was not their task to interfere in clashes between Germans and terror fliers (R-110, USA-333). Gauleiter were to be informed verbally.
In May 1944 Goebbels was writing to the Voelkischer Beobachter that it was not bearable to use German Police to protect murderers. The next day Bormann directed all Gauleiter, VerbaendeFuehrer, Kreisleiter, and Ortsgruppenleiter that several instances had occurred in which aircraft crews who had bailed out or had made forced landings had been lynched on the spot by the incensed populace. I quote: "No police measures or criminal proceedings were invoked against the German civilians who participated in these incidents" (057-PS).
It was hardly necessary for us, in order to understand the purpose of that letter, to have captured a Gauleiter's order taking advantage of the invitation that Bormann had extended. In February 1945 the Gauleiter for Westfalen-South expressly directed his Kreisleiter to encourage the lynching of Allied airmen:
"Fighter bomber pilots"--he wrote--"who are shot down are on principle not to be protected against the indignation of the people. I expect from all police offices that they will refuse to lend their protection to these gangster types" (L-194).
You will have seen Gauleiter Hoffmann's evidence before your Commissioners upon this matter and you will pay such attention to it as you think it deserves.
Let me conclude this review of the evidence against the Corps of Political Leaders by reminding you of the evidence of two witnesses called in defense of the organization, Von Eberstein, whom
you yourselves heard give evidence for the SS, and Wahl, a Gauleiter, who testified before your Commissioners.
You know the evidence that all the Political Leaders have given as to concentration camps--that they had nothing to do with them, that they knew nothing of what was happening inside them.
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But what did the witness Eberstein tell you? I quote from his evidence:
"In the beginning of March 1945, the Gauleiter and Reich Defense Commissioner Giesler in Munich ordered me to come to him and demanded that I should influence the commandant of Dachau to the effect that when the American troops approached, the prisoners--there were 25,000 people there at the time--were to be shot. I refused this demand with indignation, and I pointed out that I could not give any orders to the commandant, whereupon Giesler said to me that he, as Reich Defense Commissioner, would see to it that the camp would be bombed by our own forces. I told him that I considered it impossible that any German Air Force commander would be willing to do this. Then Giesler said he would see to it that something would be put into the soup of the prisoners, that is, he threatened to poison them. On my own initiative I sent an inquiry to the Inspector of Concentration Camps by teletype and asked for a decision from Himmler as to what was to be done with the prisoners in case the American troops approached. Shortly thereafter the news came that the camps were to be surrendered to the enemy. I showed that to Giesler. He was quite indignant because I had frustrated his plans" (Record of 5 August 1946, Morning Session).
And lastly, the witness Wahl, Gauleiter of Schwaben, gave this evidence:
"Question: 'Witness, I was asking you about the conversation which you had with your wife on the question whether or not you should resign your position as Gauleiter. Isn't the implication to be drawn from that conversation this: that you were ashamed of what other Gauleiter were doing and that all around you you saw things going on which you disapproved and wanted to disassociate yourself from?'
"Question: 'That is true, isn't it?'
"Answer: 'Yes, that is true.'"
And in answer to another question he said:
"I want to stress the point that it is not my task and not my wish here to justify all the Gaue. Among the Gauleiter there were maniacs and bloodthirsty fools as everywhere else."
I pass to the SA.
Before dealing with the evidence against this organization, I would say a word upon the question of voluntary membership.
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Counsel for the SA has argued that membership was not voluntary; it is said that great pressure was brought to bear upon the German people to make them join one or other of the Nazi Party organizations and that, in the case of certain sections of the SA, not only was pressure brought to bear but membership was enforced by decree. On the evidence to which I shall draw your attention you may well think that if, as in certain cases, undoubtedly pressure was exerted upon individuals to join the Party, and in some cases, perhaps, to join this particular organization, the consequences of refusal as they have been pictured by the Defense are very much exaggerated. It is submitted that even if you accept without qualification the evidence of some of those witnesses as to particular cases of compulsion, the evidence which you have as to the organization as a whole is perfectly clear: the membership was from the first until the last voluntary; never was there at any time compulsion recognizable in law as such, either physical or as a result of legal decrees.
Then, My Lord, I have set out, for the assistance of the Tribunal, the English law on compulsion. I do not intend to trouble the Tribunal with it for the moment. It takes the rest of Pages 4l and 42. If I might, My Lord, I should like to continue at the top of Page 43.
The English law upon what constitutes physical compulsion sufficient to excuse crime has been clearly established for many years and is stated in Halsbury's "Laws of England" (Hailsham Edition, volume 9, Pages 23-24, Paragraph 20) in these words:
"A person compelled by physical force to do an act which, if voluntarily done, would be a crime, is free from criminal responsibility, but the person compelling him is criminally liable.
"The use of threats inducing a person, from present fear of death, to join with rebels is, it seems, an excuse, so long as the person is under the influence of such fear.
"Subject to this exception, a person who commits a- crime when influenced by threats or 'moral force,' or by the confining of his person, or by violence not amounting to actual compulsion is not excused. Necessity, in the sense of compulsion arising from hunger or from imminent danger
to a person's own life or property, is no excuse for crime."
Let me shortly discuss the evidence upon this point. The General Service Regulations for the SA, published in 1933, laid it down that, I quote,
"He who cannot or will not subordinate himself is not suited to the SA and has to withdraw" (2820-PS, USA-427).
The Organization Book of 1940 states again, I quote:
"Service with the SA is and remains voluntary.... As in recruitment for the SA no advantages may be promised and no pressure whatever may be exercised, the SA man should have the possibility to withdraw."
The witness Juettner agreed with that statement as correct. He was asked: "Did it always remain a fundamental principle of the
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SA that membership should be voluntary?" and answered: "That was always the principle adhered to by the leadership." He was asked again: "If a man no longer agreed with the SA views, was he expected to withdraw?" and said: "Numerous men left the SA for a variety of reasons."
By no stretch of imagination can the evidence given in respect of the Reiterkorps be said to constitute compulsion, physical or by decree. It is true that the original riding organizations were arbitrarily amalgamated into the SA, but as the witness Walle, called on behalf of this branch of the SA, himself admitted:
"Membership in the SA was voluntary in 1933 and this did not change.... A man could resign from the Reiterkorps, but he had to give up his sport inasmuch as the riding installations were no longer at his disposal.
"The Riders' Association"--he said--"submitted to the process of co-ordination because it enabled them to continue their athletic activity."
You may think that it was during the years 1933 and 1934 that the activities of the SA were more obviously criminal to all the people of Germany than at any other time. How then can the loss of "sporting activities" constitute compulsion and afford an excuse for membership? Is the risk of the loss of a horse and stable to be regarded as legal justification for participation in murder?
It should be remembered also that both in the case of the Reiterkorps and the Stahlhelm, although those organizations may have been amalgamated with the SA by legal decree, there is no evidence before you that the decrees contained one word which might be construed as compulsion upon individual members to take up membership in the SA.
The Stahlhelm. is in much the same position as the Reiterkorps, except that the evidence that Juettner gave before the Commission is clearer still. Let me quote from the transcript of his evidence:
"Question: 'There was nothing, was there, to stop a member of the Stahlhelm from withdrawing from the SA when the two organizations were combined in 1933?'
"Answer: 'As far as I was concerned in my district no member of the Stahlhelm who did not desire to do so would have been compelled to join the SA.'
"Question: 'And that goes generally for the whole of Germany, does it not?'
"Answer: 'It is reported that there were instances in which members of the Stahlhelm agreed to transfer only because it was ordered.'
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"Question: 'But there is no instance where a man was forced to join or continue his membership?'
"Answer: 'No, Sir.'"
Almost pathetic evidence was given of the fate that awaited civil servants if they refused to join--refused to join not the SA, be it noted, but any Party organization. But the witness Boley, who himself gave this evidence, showed how exaggerated it was when he admitted to the Commissioner that in those offices in which he was, himself employed, only 18 percent of the civil servants had become members of the Party or of one of its organizations. And those offices were the Reich Finance Ministry and Reich Chancellery--the very heart of the Nazi Government.
The witness Freiherr von Waldenfels is another outstanding example of how a German who had the character to stand up for what he believed to be right could continue to do so without any dire results. Himself a civil servant and a leading member of the Stahlhelm in 1933, he resigned on its amalgamation with the SA, refused to join the SA, the Party, or any other Party organization, yet nevertheless continued to hold his position until the end of the war.
Evidence has been given by the Defense that university students were compelled by decree to become members of the SA. This contention has been supported by an order of the SA University Department in Munich, dated 16 April 1934, which is contained in the SA Defense Document Book.
Upon that document I make two submissions. First, the reference to "SA service" does not connote membership of the SA but a course of training under SA direction; secondly, the sentence in Paragraph 3, "All newly matriculated students are therefore bound to join the SA," is not in accordance with the policy of the SA Leadership and does not represent the practice in universities generally.
We have submitted to you another similar order issued by the SA University Department at Cologne 2 days before. When that order is read with the Munich order, it becomes apparent that this submission is well founded.
Paragraph 1 of both orders is identical. All students are to be, I quote, "regimented by the SA University Department in order ... to be physically and mentally trained in a uniform manner in the spirit of the National Socialist revolution" (D-971). In Paragraph 2 it is expressly stated that it is a matter of indifference whether they are members of the SA at all. Paragraph 3, while following the same form in both orders, differs essentially. In both cases the orders are said to be based upon the same decree of the Supreme SA Leadership of 27 March 1934. We have not seen that decree,
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but Paragraph 3 of the Cologne order makes it clear that membership of the SA was not intended to be compulsory as is suggested by the Munich order. It is evident also that the SA service with which both orders are concerned is something different and independent from membership in the organization. How can compulsory "SA service" mean compulsory SA membership when it is expressly stated that except during the 11 days from 25 April to 5 May there is a ban on the enrolment of new members? The next words in both orders mark the essential difference between the two. In Munich students "are therefore bound to join the SA," while in Cologne they are, I quote, "thereby offered the possibility of joining the SA." If the SA service, which was to be compulsory for all German students, connoted membership of the SA, there could be no question of "offering" them "the possibility" of joining. You may think that in Munich, the heart of National Socialism, the decree of the Supreme SA Leadership of 27 March was deliberately misinterpreted to suit the desire of a particularly fanatical Sturmfuehrer. On the face of the documents it is apparent that whatever was happening in Munich was not characteristic of every other university in Germany.
Juettner confirms the case for the Prosecution. He states: "I have already expressed that in some instances pressure was exercised by organizations outside the SA, for instance, in the case of students and in the case of Finance Schools."
But in answer to the question: "There was nothing which compelled a student to join the SA if he disapproved of what the SA stood for?" he said: "I share that opinion."
I add, the Tribunal will observe that on the points of which I quote in the evidence of Juettner, there is corroboration in writing of that evidence. The fact is as he explained: where organizations were amalgamated with the SA "the vast majority of men were proud of the SA and proud to serve in the SA." If further evidence were wanted of the voluntary nature of this organization, both in theory and in practice, it is to be found in the steps which were taken by the SA leadership itself to reduce its members after the large influx that had taken place in 1933 and 1934 by the incorporation of such organizations as the Stahlhelm and Reiterkorps, and by the large numbers of candidates that flocked to every Party organization after the Nazi seizure of power. From 4,500,000 in 1934, the membership of the SA had dropped to 1,500,000 at the outbreak of war in 1939. Juettner explained the causes of this reduction. It was due partly to the Kyffhaeuserbund, another old soldiers' organization, being excluded from the SA. But it was due also to the introduction of examinations for their members, failure to pass which resulted in dismissal, and to the fact that those who, I quote, "for reasons of their occupation were unable to do service and accordingly did
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not cheerfully continue to serve us in the SA," were also dismissed. Such a weeding out and reduction in numbers from 4 1/2 to 1 1/2 millions in 5 years is hardly compatible with the story of the whole of the German youth, the whole of the German civil service and of the population generally being compelled to become members of this organization. It is submitted that this is conclusive evidence of the voluntary nature of this organization.
How can it be maintained that all civil servants, whose total number the witness Boley gave as 3 million, a million Stahlhelm members, 100,000 students, 200,000 Reiterkorps members, and others besides, were all compelled to join the SA, when the total membership of that organization in 1939 was only 1,500,000?
It may well be that upon a small unwilling minority pressure was brought to bear; that the consequences of refusal would have been serious. But this issue is to be decided upon recognized and established principles of law. Even were it not so, could we feel sympathy for these people? Did they show sympathy for the thousands of their fellow-countrymen that were taken to the horrors of the concentration camps? Did they sympathize with the thousands of Jews that were slandered and persecuted unceasingly over the years?
You will remember, however, that when certain questions in connection with the organizations were argued before you in February, I stated on behalf of the Prosecution that we did not seek a declaration of criminality against certain sections of the SA. We excluded
(1) All wearers of the SA Party badge who were not strictly members of the SA.
(2) Members of the SA Wehrmannschaften who were not otherwise members of the SA. You may well think, having heard the evidence that you have of the crimes committed by the Wehrmannschaften in Poland and in the Eastern territories, that that branch of the SA ought not to be excluded. Nevertheless, we feel that many members of the units which were involved in those atrocities were also members of the SA proper, and We therefore respectfully submit that our original statement can properly stand.
(3) Members of the SA Reserve who at no time served in any other formation of the organization.
(4) The National Socialist League for Disabled Veterans.
It has been reiterated time and again that the Prosecution are anxious to obtain a declaration of criminality only against those who bear a major responsibility for the crimes that have been committed. In view of this and in view of the evidence that has been presented to you since February, we desire respectfully to recommend certain additional exclusions from among the general membership of the organization.
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First, the total strength of the SA in 1934 was given you by Juettner as 4 1/2 million. That figure included 1,500,000 members of the Kyffhaeuserbund. Shortly after the amalgamation of that organization with the SA in 1933 the two were again separated. We respectfully recommend the exclusion of all those members of the Kyffhaeuserbund who did not retain their membership of the SA after that separation.
Secondly, we believe that we are also justified in asking for the exclusion of certain sections of the Stahlhelm. So that you may understand the grounds for this recommendation, it may be of assistance if I briefly remind you of the structure and history of that organization. It was composed of:
(1) The Scharnhorst, which was the Stahlhelm youth organization for boys under 14, with a strength of about 500,000.
(2) The Wehrstahlhelm, which included the Jungstahlhelm (boys from 14-24 years of age) and the Stahlhelm sports formations (men from 24-35 years of age). The total strength of the Wehrstahlhelm was 500,000.
3) The Kernstahlhelm which consisted of men between 36-45 years of age. Its strength has been given as 450,000.
The total strength of the Stahlhelm was therefore approximately 1 1/2 million men and boys.
In 1933 the Stahlhelm. was placed under the control of the Nazi Party. The Scharnhorst was transferred to the Hitler Jugend, the Wehrstahlhelm to the SA proper, and the Kernstahlhelm to the SA Reserve. Since we have already excluded the SA Reserve, we are left to consider only that part of the Stahlhelm which was incorporated into the SA proper--500,000 members of the Wehrstahlhelm.
You have evidence both from witnesses and from documents contained in the Defense Document Book that many of these 500,000 Stahlhelm members were opposed to their transfer to the SA, and to the policies and aim of the SA and the Nazi Party. Many, including the witness Von Waldenfels, refused to join the SA. It is a possible hypothesis that many more, although opposed to the policies of the SA, were prepared to join in view of the assurance that was given to them that they would retain their independent character, identity, and leaders in the same way as did the Reiterkorps, and that they would never be called actively to associate themselves with the SA proper. On the other hand, there can be no doubt whatsoever that many wholeheartedly joined the SA, and participated to the fullest extent in its criminal activities. Juettner himself is an
example, and he declared that he was by no means alone. You will
remember his evidence:
"Numerous SA men came to me in the first few months who had formerly belonged to the Stahlhelm; like myself they felt
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regret that their fine old organization was no longer in existence. But together with me they hailed the fact that they were now permitted to participate in this large community of the SA."
Speaking of his own district he said: "Really, after 1935, the nucleus of the SA was my old Steel Helmet organization; therefore many Steel Helmet men remained in the SA."
To exclude the whole of the Stahlhelm would entail the exclusion of men like Juettner and many other Stahlhelm members who were to form the nucleus of the SA.
We believe that a just and practical distinction may be drawn between these two classes. In July and August of 1935 the assurance which had been held out to the Stahlhelm, that they would retain their independent status side by side with their membership of the SA was broken. The organization of the Stahlhelm was finally dissolved; their uniforms, their meetings, and all their previous activities were prohibited. From that time the Stahlhelm, members who remained in the SA were indistinguishable from the rest of that body. They had joined the SA in 1933, knowing, as one of their own witnesses has declared, the criminal nature of the policies and activities of the SA. Now in 1935 they could have had no illusion that by remaining members they would be expected to support that policy and participate in these activities. None who remained members after that date can absolve themselves from a major responsibility for the crimes committed by the SA and by the Nazi Government, of which the SA was one of the essential bulwarks. We therefore respectfully recommend for your consideration whether all those members of the Stahlhelm who resigned or were ejected from the SA prior to 31 December 1935 might also be excluded. We submit that. those who remained are rightly included in the criminal organization of the SA.
You will appreciate the effect of these exclusions upon the number of SA members involved in these proceedings. The exclusion of the 1,500,000 Kyffhaeuserbund and 500,000 Kernstahlhelm alone reduces Juettner's total to 2 1/2 million, and that takes no account of the other exclusions which the Prosecution have suggested.
Lastly, I would say a word about the Reiterkorps. I have already submitted that there is no legal basis for suggesting that their membership was involuntary. The Prosecution recognizes, however, that in so far as the Reiterkorps retained its separate organization of riding clubs, its own identity, and its own leaders, you may find that it is in a somewhat special position when you are considering the criminal responsibility of the SA. It is of course open to the Tribunal to give effect to that special position of the
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Reiterkorps if it so desires. You will remember that its membership totalled 200,000.
Upon one further point which has been raised by the Defense I ought, perhaps, to say a word. It has been urged that the weekly paper Der SA-Mann, upon which the Prosecution have drawn for a small part of their evidence against this organization, is inaccurate and does not truly represent either the policy or the activities of the SA. You have heard the evidence for and against this proposition. I need only remind you that the paper was published by the official Nazi publishing house, the Eher Company, which published also Mein Kampf, the Organization Books, the orders and decrees of the Nazi Government, and all other official Nazi publications.
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, before you pass from the subject of numbers, does the figure which you gave of 2 1/2 million allow for replacements?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, My Lord; the same applies with regard to replacements. We submit that it would have to bear against that the very heavy number of deaths which had occurred during the years of the war. You have only got to figure a period of 5 years after the outbreak of the war. During that period, the 4 1/2 million were reduced to 1,500,000. After that, the replacements, we submit, would be offset by deaths during the war. Your Lordship will also appreciate that what we are trying to do is to take the original figure--Juettner's original figure of 4 1/2 million. We submit that that is reduced to 2 1/2 million. If you accede to our suggestion with regard to the Kyffhaeuserbund and the Kernstahlhelm alone, that would reduce it to 2 1/2 million. You then have to take into account our suggested exclusion of the Stahlhelm. members who left before the end of 1935, and then, of course, we leave the question of the Reiterkorps to the Tribunal; but after you have done that, after you have arrived at a figure which may be somewhere about 2 million, the fact is that that figure was reduced in the 5 years to 1,500,000 according to Juettner's evidence.
I was dealing with the SA-Mann and I continue: it carries under its title the description "The official organ of the Supreme SA Leadership." Its editor, writing to the Defendant Rosenberg, describes it without contradiction as the "combat publication and official organ of the Supreme SA Leadership," with a circulation of 750,000 (4009-PS, GB-614). Lutze himself recommends it in his annual training directive for 1939 as one of the official, I quote, "aids to the preparation and carrying out of training." I submit to you that in the face of that evidence the testimony of witnesses for the Defense upon this matter ought not to be accepted.
I invite you to consider the whole of the literature you have seen in connection with this organization. It is all the same all about
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war, about lawless violence, about racial hatred. There is not one word on the ordinary matters of decent living, of the interests and activities and the ways of life of ordinary, decent, civilized, peaceful citizens--the things which fill great portions of the newspapers and literature of decent, law-abiding, peaceful countries. Compare, the literature of the SA with that of any organization or society in any other country in Europe. The SA, the organization which prided itself upon its responsibility of educating and training the manhood of Germany, spoke only of militarism, of arrogance, of bullying and hatred. What need for this if their purpose was what they say? I turn to consider very briefly the evidence upon which we base our submission that this organization was criminal. The aims of the SA were the aims of the Nazi Party itself. Training in the SA is described in the Organization Book as--I quote:
"Education and training according to the doctrines and aims of the Fuehrer as they are set forth in Mein Kampf and in the Party Program for all, phases of our lives and our National Socialist ideology..." (2354-PS, USA-323).
Lutze, Chief of the SA, speaking to the Diplomatic Corps and foreign press in 1936 told them:
"When I state in the beginning that the obligations of the SA are those of the Party, and vice versa, I only mean that the SA considers the Party Program its own as well.... The SA cannot be independent of the National Socialist Movement but can only exist as a part of it. In the framework of the Party the SA are its protective troops, its fighting shock troops, to which belong the most active members of the Movement, politically speaking. The tasks of the SA are those of the Party, and vice versa. They are therefore of an internal political nature" (2471-PS, USA-413).
In the interests of time I do not propose to dwell upon the evidence of how this organization performed its role as "the protective troops" and "the fighting shock troops" of the Party. All this may well be said already to be a matter of historical fact. In the words of the Indictment, the SA was developed by the Nazi conspirators, before their accession to power, into a vast private army, and utilized for the purpose of creating disorder and terrorizing and eliminating opponents. It is said that the violent and criminal activity of its members, if indeed any such activity existed at all, was purely defensive--forced upon it in order to protect its members and their Party leaders from the violence of the Communist and other political parties. It is for you to judge the value of that evidence. In doing so, you will have it in mind that all the documentary evidence upon this question, which is being submitted to you in the Defense document book, is of Nazi origin and authorship. You may think
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that that description of the SA as a defensive organization is wholly inconsistent with the evidence you had from the witness Severing, from Gisevius, and in the affidavit you have had from the American Consul, Geist.
My Lord, I set out part of the evidence. Again I don't propose to read it to the Tribunal today. I remind you of what Severing told you about the rowdy battalions and arrogance, and I ask the Tribunal to look at the last word of the quotation, at the top of Page 52:
"The observation of the so-called armed organizations during the years of my office was one of my most important tasks. The toughest organization of all these turned out to be the SA. They were the rowdy battalion, and with the arrogance with which they sang their songs they forced themselves into the streets. They cleared the streets for themselves where there was no opposition for them.... Wherever the SA could exercise their terror unhindered they acted in such a manner. "Those were not ordinary little fights between political antagonists during election fights. That was organized terror."
The Stahlhelm witness, Gruss, confirmed the evidence that Severing gave. "I believe," he said, "that, on the whole, Severing describes it correctly."
It is my submission that the evidence of SA criminality during the years 1933 and 1934, from the coming into power of the Nazi Government until the Roehm purge, is well established and may be dealt with shortly. The same violence, the same disregard for the law and for the rights and privileges of all but themselves, continued. It is sufficient to remind you of what Gisevius said--and again, My Lord, I remind you that is the statement of Gisevius about the use of the SA auxiliary police, about private prisons, about arrests; and again, if I may quote the last sentence of that quotation:
"The SA organized huge raids. The SA searched houses, the SA confiscated property, the SA cross-examined people. The SA put people into jail. In short, the SA appointed themselves auxiliary police and paid no attention to any of the customs from the period of the liberal system. ...Woe to anyone who got into their clutches! From this time dates the bunker, that dreaded private prison, of which every SA storm troop had to have at least one. Taking away became the inalienable right of the SA....The efficiency of a Standartenfuehrer was measured by the number of arrests he bad made and the good reputation of an SA man was based on the effectiveness with which he 'educated' his prisoners....
"Brawls could no longer be staged in the fight for power, yet the fight went on; only the blows were now struck in the full enjoyment of power."
Gisevius went on to describe in more detail the illegal arrests of political opponents by members of the SA, the prisons they established and the treatment meted out to their victims. He said:
"It was the bestiality tolerated during the first months that later encouraged the sadistic murders in the concentration camps."
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Having heard Schaefer, first Commandant of Oranienburg, cross-examined, have you the slightest doubt that atrocities were committed by SA men in that camp? You have the evidence of the witness Joel that the SA established a concentration camp at Wuppertal on the initiative of the local SA commander. At Hohnstein and at Bredow also SA guards were torturing and murdering their prisoners (787-PS, USA-421). You will remember the letter written in June 1935 from the Ministry of Justice to Hitler himself:
"In the camp serious mistreatment of the prisoners has been going on at least since the summer of 1933. The prisoners were not only, as in the protective custody camp at Bredow near Stettin, beaten into a state of unconsciousness for no reason with whips and other tools, but were also tortured in other ways..." (787-PS, USA-421).
Comment is unnecessary, except to emphasize that sadism and illegal arrests of this kind were being practised and carried out by SA men throughout the Reich. I quote:
"Within 6 weeks of the Nazis' coming to power in January 1933 the German newspapers were quoting official sources for the statement that 18,000 Communists had been imprisoned, whilst 10,000 prisoners in the jails of Prussia included many Socialists and intellectuals" (D-911, GB-512).
Sollman, Social Democrat member of the Reichstag, was taken to the Brown House in Cologne to be "tortured, beaten and kicked for several hours" (3321-PS, USA-422). In Nuremberg a man called Pflaumer was beaten on the soles of his feet until he died (D-923, GB-615). In Munich the former editor of the newspaper The Lower Bavarian Peasant, Dr. Alois Schloegl, had his house wrecked and was himself ill-treated (D-906, GB-616). These are only a few of the incidents of this kind which the Prime Minister of Bavaria describes when he says, I quote: "Of their total number throughout Germany there can be no count" (D-930, GB-617).
This was no political revolution. This was no self-protection from Communist opposition. These men were the servants of the Government with the sure knowledge that all Government agencies--the press, the law, and the Police--were under orders to condone and to assist. They ran no risks; their victims had no court nor protection to which they could appeal. This was nothing but sheer sadism, criminal brutality, encouraged by the Party and the SA leadership. You have the evidence of Geist, the American Consul:
"I personally can verify that the Police had been instructed not to interfere.... These officers told me that they and all the other police officers had received definite instructions
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not to interfere with the SA, the SS, or the Hitler Youth" (1759-PS, USA-420).
Defendant Goering, speaking on 3 March 1933, described the role that the SA were to perform from then on. He declared that the Communists would be suppressed by the brown shirts. The Police would not be used as in a bourgeois democracy; I quote:
"I do not have to give justice; my aim is only to destroy and exterminate, nothing else.... The struggle to the death in which my fist will grasp your necks I shall lead with those down there--those are the brown shirts" (1856-PS, USA-437).
Let me deal in rather greater detail -with the activities of the SA during those years, after 1934. It has been suggested that following the Roehm purge the SA diminished both in numbers and in importance and that the criminal activities of its members ceased. That its numbers were reduced is unquestionable--I have indicated the evidence of the reasons why. That it waned in importance is also true to the extent that official favor was bestowed more and more upon the SS for reasons that are well known. Nevertheless, the SA, both in the eyes of its own leaders, its members, and of the Nazi Party authorities, remained politically and militarily an important and vital force.
By June 1934 the political opponents of the Nazi Party had been suppressed or incarcerated. Little wonder that we have less evidence of those incidents of "mastery of the streets" which filled the history of Germany during previous years. But the aims of the organization remained the same--fanatical support of the policy of the Nazi Government, the suppression of such opposition as remained, particularly the Churches and the Jews. And in addition intensive preparation for aggressive war.
Already the SA and the SS had been employed in the action to dissolve the trade unions. The Church and the Jews remained an ever present problem. I have already referred to the Nazi Party's policy of suppression of all Church influence, but I would remind you of the part the SA was playing in this fight during the years after 1934. You remember the incident in Freising church in February 1935, when the Kreisleiterin instructed all her Nazi women to accompany SA storm troopers to attend the service in Freising church. It was SA men who arranged for the bells to ring during the Cardinal's service. It was SA men who afterwards led Hans Hiedl out into a field at night and beat him unmercifully for his resentment at the interference with the service, and I set out Hans Hiedl's account of the story (1507-PS, GB-535).
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"The leader took a handkerchief from his pocket and tied it over my mouth. He then pressed me to the ground and held me while the two others started beating me. They gave me about 15 to 20 heavy blows from the seat down to the ankle of the left foot. The gag became loose and I screamed loudly. They then let go of me and helped me up. I was given strict instructions not to tell anybody about this incident if I wanted to keep my business. They then gave me a kick and told me 'Now run home in a trot, you black brother.'"
Are you impressed with the defense that that was only an isolated incident? When you consider the evidence of wholesale and widespread acts of violence which had characterized the SA in the eyes of all Germany and the world during the years of Nazi struggle, can you doubt that similar incidents were taking place throughout Germany in 1935 and afterwards, whenever the occasion presented itself? Does the very nature of an organization such as this change within a few months? If the nature and aims of the SA had changed, why should the SA-Mann have been publishing articles in 1937 and 1938 decrying the Church in such articles as:
"My dear Franciscans"
"The Black Balance--Political Catholicism"
"The Church wants to dictate to the State"
"Unmasked Political Catholicism"
"Does the Vatican want War?" (3050-PS, USA-414).
If the violent manners of the SA had been converted during these years, why should the official organ of its Supreme Leadership have been recounting stories of its early battles? Their titles tell their tale:
"We subdue the Red Terror"
"Nightly street battles on the Czech border"
"The SA breaks the Red Terror"
"Bloody Sunday in Berlin" (3050-PS, USA-414)
and that description of "9 November 1923 in Nuremberg" when, during the height of the disturbances, someone shouted, "The Jewish place will be stormed! Out with the Jews!" (3050-PS, USA-414).
The part the SA played in the ever-increasing persecution of the Jews dissolves any doubt there may be of the continuing criminality of that organization during the years after 1934. Of the boycott in April 1933 Goebbels had written in his biography:
"1 April 1933: All Jewish stores are closed. At their entrances SA sentries are standing" (2409-PS, USA-262).
It was only an example of how tbroughout all Germany the SA provided the Nazi Government with a means of putting its
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policy into effect. The instructions issued by the Defendant Streicher and his committee had directed:
"The SA and the SS are instructed to warn the population by means of pickets from entering Jewish enterprises once the boycott has started" (3389-PS, USA-566).
You have the evidence of Kurt Schmitt, Minister of Economics and member of the Reich Cabinet until January 1935:
"... I have to say that the SA gained a more and more disastrous influence as a destructive element in economic and Jewish matters..." (4058-PS, USA-922).
You have the evidence of their own witness, Freiherr von Waldenfels, who was asked: "Did the SA take an active part in the persecution of the Jews after 1934?" and answered:
"As far as I have been told stories--yes. I myself saw the looting of shops in Munich, but whether that was done by order or whether it originated with individuals I cannot say."
He tried to minimize the significance of the SA after 1934, but his evidence was quite clear.
"Question: 'In their less important role did they continue the policy and practice that they had been carrying out before, the persecution of the Jews?'
"Answer: 'There is no doubt.'"
Goebbels, speaking to the SA in October 1935, reminded them that they were the "strongest arm of the Movement" and that the Nazi Government was an "anti-Jewish Government" (3211-PS, USA-419).
if the active persecution of the Jews was not a continuing role of the SA, after 1934, why should Lutze, Chief of Staff of the SA, speaking to the Diplomatic Corps and deputies of the foreign press in January 1936, have had to explain away the title with which the foreign press so often branded the SA--"The bearer of a barbaric and uncivilized race struggle"? (2471-PS, USA-413). Why should all these articles have been appearing in the SA-Mann almost monthly during-the years 1935-1939 in wording so similar to that favoured by Der Stuermer? The titles are sufficient to indicate their nature. I only draw attention to three: "Murder, the Jewish Slogan"; "Jewish World Revolution in the U.S.A."; "Gravediggers of World-Culture" (3050-PS, USA-414).
And if the members of the SA were not in fact continuously and actively persecuting the Jews after 1934, how is it possible to account for the part they played in the demonstrations of November 1938? You will remember the instructions received by
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the SA 50th Brigade at Darmstadt in the early morning of 10 November:
"On the order of the Gruppenfuehrer all the Jewish synagogues within the 50th Brigade are to be blown up or set on fire immediately.... The action is to be carried out in civilian clothes" (1721-PS, USA-425).
You will remember also the reports of the different SA Fuehrer to the SA Group Headquarters of the Electoral Palatinate--in the area of the 50th Brigade, 35 synagogues blown up, destroyed by fire, or wrecked; in Mannheim, 21 synagogues, churches, or meeting houses; in the area of Standarte 174 of 151st Brigade, all the synagogues destroyed and Jews taken into protective custody; in the area of Standarte 250, 11 synagogues destroyed, all shop windows of Jewish stores broken, the Rabbi and several prominent Jews taken into protective custody by the Gestapo "for their own safety," the "infamous Rabbi Neuburger," who was known because of his foreign connections, taken into protective custody "at the instigation of the SA," together with all male Jews from various villages; in the area of Standarte 17, two synagogues completely burnt down and several Jewish stores demolished; and the report from the 51st Brigade--"Completion of the matter of the synagogues. Everything has been carried out up to Roehlsheim."
Then, My Lord, I give some further details and I ask Your Lordship to leave the next paragraph and go on to the last paragraph on that page, where I say:
Those events in the Mannheim district cannot have been, as the Defense would have you believe, an exception to the policy of the SA Leadership and to the general behavior of SA members in the rest of Germany. Altogether 267 synagogues were destroyed that night. We can properly ask: Why should the 50th, 51st, and 151st Brigades alone have received instructions to destroy all synagogues? Why should Juettner himself have issued to, all SA units the orders from Hess that all offices of the Party and its branches which had safeguarded valuable property were to hand it over to the nearest office of the Gestapo?
We ask you to say that that evidence is in itself conclusive. Nevertheless you have in addition the report of the proceedings of the Supreme Party Court in connection with the murders of Jews which took place during those demonstrations. Fifteen SA men committed murder. They did so all over Germany: in East Prussia, in Dessau, in Hanover, in Bremen, in Saxony, and in Munich. Were they, too, all isolated incidents?
Goering's biographer wrote of the SA in 1937:
"The present reorganization of the Security Police is hardly noticed by the public. Their ranks are strengthened by the SA, the most reliable instrument of the Movement" (3252-PS, USA-424).
Hardly could any organization have received a more damning testimony. I pass to the preparation for war and wartime activities
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Immediately after the Nazi Party came to power the SA became the embryo army with which the Nazis commenced their preparation for aggressive war. Geist, the American Consul, tells you: "Particularly through the years 1933 and 1934 hordes of storm troopers and SA were much in evidence practising military exercises. They were being converted into a military organization. I frequently encountered, the storm troopers deployed in fields and forests engaged in military technical exercises. This was all part of a general plan to prepare Germany's manpower for war" (1759-PS, USA-240).
Geist's assumption is confirmed by Lutze himself, writing in 1939: "But already in 1920, at the founding of the SA, the Fuehrer established the extensive mission of this SA.... The SA shall be the bearer of the military thought of a free people. In the same sense the Fuehrer said in his book Mein Kampf: 'Give the German nation 6 million perfectly trained bodies in sport, all fanatically inspired with the love of the Fatherland and trained to the highest intensive spirit, and a National Socialist State will, if necessary, have created an army out of them in less than two years.'
"The men never forget the mission of the Fuehrer to require the military training of the German man and to reconstruct the military spirit in the German people" (3215-PS, USA-426). What use is it for SA witnesses to come now and tell this Tribunal that "The SA did not have any military character and did not desire to have it.... The SA always preserved the nonmilitary character of its training program."
There is abundant other evidence of the military character and purpose of the SA and of its intensive training and preparation for war.
Dr. Ernst Bayer, writing on the orders of the Supreme SA Headquarters in 1938, yet again describes the aims of the SA: "The SA was commissioned to obtain an increase and preservation of a warlike power and a warlike spirit in the German people" (2168-PS, USA-411).
As early as May 1933, Von Reichenau. suggested that the Supreme Command of the SA should be represented on the Reich Defense Council, and I add that there was a pencil note showing that that has already been done (2822-PS, GB-205).
A regular officer was appointed to the SA to assist them in "military" training. "For the purpose of camouflage... he was to wear SA uniform" (2823-PS, USA-429). We know the form which the training took from 1933 until 1939 from the training directives and other documents--some issued by Lutze himself--shooting, grenade throwing, judging distance, map-reading, and marching
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(2820-PS, USA-427; 1849-PS and GB-610; 2401-PS, USA-430; D-918, GB-594). We know also that as early as July 1933 the SA had formed specialized units such as signals and motorized companies and separate air wings. The SA Command was anxiously stressing the need for secrecy in the case of any publications, I quote, "which might give other countries an opening to construe German infringement of the terms of the Versailles Treaty" (D-44, USA-428).
The publication of pictures "enabling other countries to prove the alleged formation of technical troop units" was forbidden. It is hardly necessary again to quote Dr. Ernst Bayer to see the purpose of these technical units, but I quote him:
"There originates in these technical units of the SA a trained crew whose capabilities and knowledge are not the last things of extraordinary value in the service for defense of the country" (2168-PS, USA-411).
Similarly he wrote of the Reiter Corps:
"...At present the SA each year is able to furnish many thousands of young trained cavalrymen to our Wehrmacht" (2168-PS, USA-411).
Can we doubt that every member of the SA knew to what end all this was leading when the Chief of Staff himself was saying publicly that the training principle of the SA was "always the spiritual, moral, and physical culture of militarization of the whole German nation"? (3050-PS, USA-414).
In March 1934 permanent liaison had been established between the SA and the Reich Defense Ministry in connection with all "A" tasks. Juettner has explained what these "A" tasks were -- "training and border protection." Did border protection mean preparations for the military seizure of the Rhineland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia?
In that same month of 1934, the SA were in fact forming in the Rhineland an armed staff with a heavy machine gun company (D-951, GB-607).
Early in 1934 the SA were also making plans--I quote:
"...to have the Austrian formations in Bavaria march into Austria around 8 or 9 February. Then a military dictatorship would be proclaimed" (4013-PS, GB-608).
The account of the part the SA played in the abortive Dollfuss Putsch is before you. When the time eventually came for the Anschluss, SA units were among the first to enter Austria (3050-PS, USA-414).
THE PRESIDENT: Sir David--
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Your Lordship--
[The Tribunal recessed until 1400 hours.]
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SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I continue with the military activities of the SA, with the last sentence on Page 62.
In Czechoslovakia the SA provided the chief support for the Sudeten Free Corps. In October 1938, a few weeks after the Munich crisis, the OKW liaison officer with the Free Corps reported:
"Supplies had been organized by the SA, ...arms supplied by the Austrian SA. With magnificent camaraderie and unselfishness, the SA Leadership had looked after the Free Corps materially. Equipping and feeding remained in the care of the NSDAP and the SA."
My Lord, I add, to remind the Tribunal that in the appendix to that document there will be found a list of the prisoners, the booty taken by the Free Corps, and the casualties inflicted by them in what was a time of peace. This support to the Free Corps was certainly included in "border control," as Juettner himself admitted.
The crimes of the SA did not end with the outbreak of war. Again I quote from the witness Juettner:
"At the beginning of the war with Poland the SA Group Sudeten carried out transports of prisoners of war into the camp. Other SA groups in the East may have been used for similar purposes. Later on the SA Leadership and the SA as an organization had nothing to do with this question."
When you consider the evidence you have heard of the appalling conditions in which these prisoners from the East were transported into their camps, are you satisfied that that task of guarding transports was as innocent as it appears?
Juettner has also left us a report, dated June 1941, describing the activity of the SA in the war. In the communication zones its members gave assistance to the Political Leaders in their tasks of education and orientation. 21 groups of SA men were being used for guarding prisoners. The organization of the SA groups in Danzig, Posen, Silesia, and the Baltic provinces is described in these words:
"In these regions also, as before in the fight for power, the SA was the assault unit of the Party.... In these regions also SA service, practically speaking, is directed towards strengthening the defensive forces. It was therefore necessary to overcome the inferiority complexes of the racial Germans, the result of Polish suppression, and to bring their appearance and bearing into keeping with SA standards" (4911-PS, GB-596).
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How sinister these innocent words become in view of all the evidence of what was, taking place in these eastern and Baltic provinces.
The administration of the ghetto of Vilna was in the hands of the SA and its inmates were guarded by SA guards. Some of these Jews were made to live enchained in deep pits where the SA
"...fastened chains round both ankles and round the waist; they weighed 2 kilos each and we could only take small steps when wearing them. We wore them permanently for 6 months. The SA said that if any man removed the chains he would be hanged" (D-964, GB-597).
Their work consisted of digging up mass graves:
"We dug up altogether 80,000 bodies .... Amongst those I dug up I found my own brother" (D-964, GB-597).
At Vilna, too, SA guards were forcing the Jews to extract the gold from, the teeth of their dead brothers with prongs, washing it in benzine and packing it into, 8 kilogram boxes which the SA officer in charge personally took away.
HERR BOEHM: Mr. President, I believe that the statements which were just made refer to Affidavit D-964, the submission of which by the Prosecution was rejected by the Court. It is Affidavit GB-597. The whole affidavit is reproduced in print here on Page 64, and the contents of the statements just made have been taken from this affidavit, the submission of which is not approved.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I respectfully disagree with Dr. Boehm I have the affidavit in front of me, D-964, which has the exhibit number GB-597. Paragraph 7 reads:
"Our work consisted in digging up mass graves, removing the bodies and burning them."
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. But, Sir David, what Dr. Boehm was saying is that we rejected the affidavit.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, not this affidavit. I distinctly remember reading it. It has an exhibit number.
I selected one affidavit dealing with each kind, and this one of Szloma Gol was the affidavit I selected with regard to Vilna.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, what ground do you have for saying that it was rejected? If it was rejected, you must have some reasons for thinking so? Where is the transcript? Do you have the transcript with you?
HERR BOEHM: I am of the opinion that this affidavit was among those affidavits the submission of which the Court rejected. At the moment I cannot look into this, but I shall be glad to do so after the
session, in order to make sure that this is correct. I believe that
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this affidavit belonged to the affidavits which were rejected on account of the conclusion of the submission of evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: This was not one of the 11 affidavits which were rejected?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: No, My Lord. Your Lordship will, remember that I had about a half dozen Jewish witnesses from the Baltic provinces, and the Tribunal said that I could call three, and that they were to be available for cross-examination by Dr. Boehm
The deponent of this affidavit, Szloma Gol, was one of the three that I selected, and I put in this affidavit, which received the Exhibit Number GB-597.
My Lord, that is the recollection of myself, of Colonel Griffith-Jones and of Major Barrington, who were helping me at the time. And the fact that it has an exhibit number is prima facie evidence that the Tribunal accepted it.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better go on. If Dr. Boehm can produce evidence that it was rejected, it will be stricken from your speech and will be disregarded.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: Very well, My Lord.
The ghetto of Schaulen; south of Riga, was in charge of the SA. 700 to 800 men were there, recognizable by their brown uniforms and swastika armlets.
"In August 1941 the SA surrounded the whole ghetto and numbers of them went into the houses and took out women, children, and old men and put them into lorries and drove them away. I saw all this myself. It was done exclusively by SA. I saw them take children by the hair and throw them into the lorries. I did not see what happened to them but a Lithuanian told me afterwards that they had been driven 20 kms. away and shot. He said he had seen the SA make them undress and shoot them with automatic pistols" (D-969, GB-600).
The SA guarded the ghetto of Kaunas where 10,500 Jews were shot in the dreadful "action" of 28 October 1941. So also did they guard the labor camps of Sakrau, Mechtal, Markstedt, Klettendorf, Langenbielau, Faulbrueck, Reichenbach, and Annaberg in Upper Silesia, where Poles, Frenchmen, Belgians, Dutch, and Greeks slaved and died through ill-treatment and malnutrition and where "the methods of the SA by no means lagged behind those of the SS."
There can be no doubt of the veracity of these Jews who underwent those years of nightmare in the ghettos and labor camps in the East. Not only are the conditions they describe confirmed again
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and again from other sources and from the Germans' own documents, but even the identification of a particular SA man they mention is corroborated. Leib Kibart gave you the name of the district commissioner in whose courtyard the Jews from the Schaulen ghetto were daily cursed and beaten by their SA guards. He told you he was called Gewecke and that he was a member of the SA. We have the signature of Gewecke on one of his own letters dated 8 September 1941, complaining that the SS were interfering in his arrangements for the "orderly confiscation of Jewish property." The letter-heading on that document is "The Regional Kommissar in Schaulen."
Nor was it only in guarding duties that the SA were employed. They were forming Einsatzkommandos of their own, and units of the SA were sharing in the bloody work of annihilating the partisans. The Regional Commander of the Security Police and SD in Krakow, in writing to the Defendant Frank, tells of the work of a special SA Einsatzkommando which was formed for the purpose of collecting workers from the civilian population.
The Generalkommissar for White Ruthenia reported in June 1943 that,
"By order of the Chief of Band Combating, SS Obergruppenfuehrer Von dem Bach, units of the Wehrmannschaften have also participated in the operation. SA Standartenfuehrer Kunze was in command of the Wehrmannschaften" (R-135, USA-289).
That action to which the Generalkommissar referred was the terrible operation "Cottbus," which you will remember and of which the Generalkommissar reported "the political effect upon the peaceful population is simply dreadful in view of the many shootings of women and children."
The SA had been organized in the Government General in 1941. Speaking in December 1943, the Defendant Frank said:
"When 2 1/2 years ago I gave orders for the SA to be formed, I was guided by a thought which today fills me more emphatically than ever. I strove to ensure... that an emergency reserve of absolutely unshakable National Socialists should, under all circumstances, exist in the Government General. It is quite clear that this emergency reserve of pronounced National Socialist fighters can only be the SA.... Here as an SA comrade with my SA comrades I can, within the framework of the SA, truly cultivate what has to do with the 'Volk' in a way which I cannot do in the political field, where I have to take numerous things into account and have top have a whip in my hand without interruption, like a lion-tamer in a lion's cage, in order to keep the bandits in check. That is
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a point of view which a Gauleiter in the Reich never need take into account.... It (the SA) has for the first time been employed here in a new area with new methods and tasks which, however, have been solved owing to the very fact that the SA is here, the same as it-was in the period of struggle in the Reich" (2233-PS).
Meanwhile at home in the Reich the SA were taking over--I quote:
"...the functions which had previously been entrusted only to the SS and Sipo and Army, for instance, the guarding of concentration camps, prisoner-of-war camps, supervision of forced laborers in Germany and occupied territories. This co-operation of the SA was planned and arranged by high offices in Berlin as early as the middle of 1943" (3232-PS, USA-435).
In Styria the camp of Frauenberg was being operated as a labor camp for habitual drunkards, delinquents, and shirkers. 300 inmates worked in the neighboring stone quarries and on road construction. SA men provided the guards. Can we picture the conditions in which these shirkers and delinquents lived-or died?
Violence and murder and mastery of the -streets during the years of struggle! Illegal arrest, unauthorized concentration camps, unbelievable sadism during the years of triumph, 1933 and 1934! Ruthless suppression and brutal persecution of Jews and Christians and of every opposition, coupled with warlike and aggressive training during the years from 1934 until the outbreak of war! And after that, more concentration camps, more sadism, more suppression and persecution, this time of the allegedly racially inferior peoples they had conquered; and violence and murder, but not, as it had been in the distant days of 1933, of individuals; now it was of whole peoples. It is the same pattern running through the years. Can your decision frank these men again to terrorize the peoples of Germany and Europe?
My Lord, I do not conceive it to be necessary to deal at any length with the evidence against the SS. You are already too well aware of the character of this organization and of the activities of its members. The letters SS appear in connection with almost every one of the crimes, great and small, of which you have now heard daily over the course of almost 10 months. It may all be summarized, even if understated, in the words of their leader Himmler, I quote:
"I know there are some people in Germany who become sick when they see these black coats. We understand the reason and do not expect that we shall be loved by too many" (1851-PS, USA-440).
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I would therefore address you only upon one or two particular points that have arisen and to which the Prosecution attach particular importance.
The history of the development of the SS may be stated in a few words. Created originally as an elite bodyguard for the protection of Hitler himself, together with the SA it formed a private Nazi army and the basis of what was to become the vital instrument in the conspiracy to wage aggressive war. Its value as a thoroughly reliable "instrument of the Fuehrer" was demonstrated in June 1934 when it performed the function of executioner in the blood purge which accompanied the murder of the SA Leader Roehm. I quote:
"It appalled everyone," said Himmler later, "and yet everyone was certain that he would do it again if such orders were issued and if it were necessary" (1919-PS, USA-170).
The willingness of the SS to do it again was to be exemplified a millionfold in the ensuing years.
Until January 1933 the SS consisted of a single unit. There were no special branches, and, apart from their common role with the SA and their special position as Hitler's bodyguard, they had no other particular tasks. After the Nazi Party had come to power, however, and particularly after 1934, its members increased and its organization expanded and became more complex. New units were created, such as the SS Totenkopfverbaende, the task of which was, and continued to be, the guarding of concentration camps. A few selected units were given arms and in effect became Himmler's private army, known as the SS Verfuegungstruppe. At the same time certain functions became the speciality of other groups which, while not having a separate organizational status, came to be designated as separate branches, for instance, the SD, who were the intelligence service of the SS and who were later to work in such close co-operation with the Gestapo.
Although it became customary to distinguish between the several branches and formations of the SS by name, in terms of administration and command they were parts of the one SS, all under the command of the Reichsfuehrer SS and all administered and controlled through the various main offices of the SS Supreme Command.
At the outbreak of war the majority of the Allgemeine SS, the great mass of the SS membership which had remained unarmed, were drafted into the Wehrmacht. New recruits were enrolled in the Verfuegungstruppe, which was expanded to form the, fighting divisions of the SS and it was these fighting divisions which in about 1940 came to be known as the Waffen-SS.
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The Tribunal has seen from the report of the SS Statistical Institute how the SS had developed by 30 June 1944. By then it had a total membership of 794,941. The Allgemeine SS-the original nucleus of the SS-had declined in importance during the war because more than half of its 200,000 members had been called up, to the Wehrmacht, the Labor Service, or other special Nazi agencies. The remaining 594,000 belonged to the Waffen-SS. The Tribunal has seen how 368,000 of the Waffen-SS were in field units. About 160,000 were in reinforcement, training, and reserve units; 26,544 were in other units and offices directly subordinate to the Operational Headquarters of the SS High Command; 39,415 were in the SS Main Offices.
It is particularly significant to see how these 39,415 men of the Waffen-SS were distributed. The Tribunal will see that there I attached a total. Witnesses have told you that the Waffen-SS had nothing to do with the concentration camps. But no less than 24,000 of them were in the WVHA, the offices which organized and were responsible for the administration and personnel of the concentration camps. That 24,000 did not include the Totenkopf SS which provided the guards. Waffen-SS men also provided the manpower of the various Nazi genocide organizations operating, within and on behalf of the SS, the Race and Settlement Main Office, the Office of the Reichskommissar for the Consolidation of German Folkdom, the central office for persons of German race, the personal staff of Himmler, including Sievers' infamous Ahnenerbe.
It is said of the Waffen-SS that it was in effect a purely military organization the character of which was no different from any unit of the Wehrmacht. On the evidence this is not so. It is true that the Waffen-SS was the combat arm of the SS. But, although its fighting formations came under the command of the Army for operational purposes, they always remained an integral part of the SS.
Indeed, the Hitler order regarding the function of the SS on mobilization provided that if placed under the command of the Army it, I quote: "remains a unit of the NSDAP politically." Recruiting, training, promotions, administrations, and supply of the Walffen-SS throughout the war remained the function of the Supreme Command of the SS. It was recruited through the SS Main Office. It was organized, administered, and supplied through the SS Operational Office, which was the seat of its Command Headquarters.
Members of the Waffen-SS were subject to jurisdiction by the SS Main Legal Office. Like all other formations of the SS, the Waffen-SS was subject to Himmler's jurisdiction as Reichsfuehrer SS. It was in theory and in practice as much an integral part of the
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SS organization as any other branch of the SS. You will remember the evidence that Von Rundstedt gave, I quote:
"The troop units of the SS were subordinate only to Himmler. I had no disciplinary power nor judicial power over them. I could not give them leaves or issue awards. I was responsible only for the technical employment of these divisions, much as I might use a Yugoslav or Hungarian division."
These then were the broad outlines of the SS, this all-powerful "state within the state," as General Detzel called it. The Defense now seeks to divide this all-embracing unity of the SS into various totally separate components united only in the person of Himmler. He and three or four of his subordinates are alone made responsible for the millionfold crimes that were committed. But this contention violates both truth and sense. We are dealing in this Trial not with the murder of 10 men here or 20 there. In this Indictment is charged not only the murder of millions but a demonic plan of genocide, of the planned murder of whole nations, peoples, and races. The SS was the chosen instrument for this plan which "outheroded Herod." This plan could only be executed by the use of the whole of the SS, of every branch of the SS working in unison and in co-operation with each other. The evidence given in this Trial has shown that the crimes of the Nazi conspirators could not have been executed in an improvised way by sporadic criminal acts. They were carefully planned, prepared, and put into action through the SS and other criminal organizations. The men of the SS were particularly qualified for this plan of crime. Physically trained and selected, they were politically indoctrinated in Nazism and were committed to blind obedience to the commands of Hitler and Himmler and the rest of the Nazi leaders. "Orders must be sacred," said Himmler. Not only was membership voluntary during the first 16 years of the existence of the SS from 1925 on, it was subject to most careful selection in an endeavor to produce what the SS called a "male racial elite," a "super-stratum," a "band of definitely Nordic German men." SS men had to be fanatical Nazis of "Aryan" descent.
Much emphasis has been made by the Defense that during the course of the war the voluntary basis of the recruitment was replaced by compulsory drafting. The witness Brill gave evidence that "at the end of the war there were more draftees in the Waffen-SS than volunteers."
It may be helpful to the Tribunal if I very shortly discuss the evidence of that witness. While it is not questioned that at some stage during the war considerable numbers of men were arbitrarily drafted into the Waffen-SS, the date when this practice commenced
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and the extent to which it was carried, as they have been given by the witness Broil, are both challenged.
He told you that the first 36,000 were conscripted between the autumn of 1939 and the spring of 1940. To say that the 36,000 were compulsorily drafted into the SS is deliberately misleading. When he was cross-examined before the Commissioner upon a similar statement he admitted that those 36,000 were already members of the Allgemeine SS which they had voluntarily joined. They were not conscripted: they were simply posted from one part of the SS to another. Figures of the subsequent conscripts which he gave were as follows: During 1942, 30,000; during 1943, 100,000; and during 1944, 210,000, making a total of 340,000. Even on these figures he is far short of justifying his statement that by the end of the war there were more conscripts than volunteers. He gave the grand total of the Waffen-SS as 910,000--a figure which included its strength in 1940 and all subsequent reinforcements, both voluntary and compulsory; 340,000 amounts to only just over one-third of that total.
On the question of the date at which recruits were first conscripted into the SS there is considerable evidence to refute this witness. In February 1940 Hess was instructing the Party offices to assist in the voluntary recruitment for the SS. In the decrees which he issued there was no suggestion of compulsory drafting. In April 1942 a recruiting pamphlet was emphasizing the voluntary basis of the Waffen-SS in these words, I quote:
"Every youth in the National Socialist Reich knows that he must himself initiate proceedings in order to complete his military service in the Waffen-SS. That so many young Germans have volunteered for the Waffen-SS is a living testimonial of the confidence of today's young generation in the Waffen-SS, its spirit, and above all, its leadership" (3429-PS, USA-446).
The Soldier's Friend, a pocket diary for the German Armed Forces published in 1943, the year in which Brill would have you believe that 100,000 men were conscripted without choice, was describing the members of the SS as hopeful young men who had "voluntarily decided to join the ranks of the Waffen-SS." It stated, I quote:
"Everyone has acquainted himself with the comprehensive manual for the Waffen-SS. The principal points are as follows:
"1. Service in the Waffen-SS counts as military service. Only volunteers are accepted" (2825-P9, USA-441).
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In April of the same year Himmler was directing the Defendant Kaltenbrunner on the admission of Sipo officials into the SS:
"I wish to make it clear again,"--he said--"I want an admission only if the following conditions are fulfilled:
"1. If the man applies freely and voluntarily" (2768-PS, USA-447).
And the Organization Book for 1943 explains that the Waffen-SS, by admitting volunteers for the duration of the war, makes it possible for these volunteers to fight in the battle for the evolution of the National Socialist idea. I am entitled also to make this comment upon Brill's evidence. You will remember that I have already referred you to the statements which this witness made upon the activities of the SS Division Leibstandarte which must, in my respectful submission, be regarded as perjured testimony. In view of the suspect nature of his evidence and of the evidence there is to contradict it, it is my submission that whatever may have been
the extent of compulsory service in the SS it was very much less and came into being at a very much later date than he contends.
But whatever the truth of this matter may be, it is our submission that the fact that a number of men were compulsorily enrolled ought not and cannot afford this organization a defense. The instances of crime committed by the SS during the war are so widespread, so constant, and so vast that you are compelled to infer that the vast majority of its members, whether in the first place they joined voluntarily or otherwise, readily accepted the tradition of the SS and themselves became willing parties to its criminal activities. May I consider in outline only some of the evidence upon which that conclusion must be drawn.
You know already the form of education and training that the SS man received--a training for "the racial struggle" which Himmler commanded them to prosecute "without mercy." Racial theories, geopolitics, eugenics--that was their curriculum. Mein Kampf was their Bible. Their basic philosophy was expressed by Himmler:
"It must be a matter of course that the most copious breeding should be from this racial super-stratum of the Germanic people. In 20 to 30 years we must really be able to present the whole of Europe with its leading class. If the SS, together with the farmers ... then run the colony in the East on a grand scale without any restraint, without any question about any kind of tradition, but with nerve and revolutionary impetus, we shall in 20 years push the national boundary 500 kms. eastwards" (1919-PS, USA-170).
The propagation of ideas like these could only have accustomed SS men to the conception of a world in which the destruction, enslavement, and degradation of "inferior" peoples were regarded
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as an honorable duty. Pangs of conscience did not and could not trouble these men. The Tribunal will remember the words of Von dem Bach-Zelewski when he was asked whether the murder of 90,000 Jews by one small Einsatz group (to which, incidentally, the Waffen-SS provided most of the killers) was in keeping with Nazi philosophy. He said:
"I am of the opinion that when, for years, for decades, the doctrine is preached that the Slav race is an inferior race and Jews not even human, then such an outcome is inevitable."
Not only were SS generals like Von dem Bach-Zelewski and Ohlendorf themselves infected by this poison. It is our submission that it did--and must have--poisoned the ordinary SS man who did the killing. Their extermination of Jews was regarded as, I quote:
"A page of honor in our history."
Honor! Cold-blooded mass murder regarded as honor! Do we need further evidence to prove the type of man this filthy education bred? Long before they had enrolled themselves in the SS their members had been saturated with racial hatred and Fuehrer worship. SS training was only a more advanced course. When they joined the SS, to whatever part they went they saw the practical application of all that they had learnt before. Everywhere, in every office, in every unit, murder was the trade. And wherever murder was to be done it was the members of the SS that were enrolled to do it.
The Ahnenerbe was a department of the SS. Its list of members included the names of over one hundred professors and other educated men--all SS members, who relied upon the murderous business of hundreds of other SS members to supply them with the bodies for their experiments and the specimens for their collections--bodies of commissars who were to be taken alive and then decapitated, care being taken that, I quote: "the head should not be damaged."
Professor Hirt wrote:
"By procuring the skulls of the Jewish-Bolshevik commissars, who represent the prototype of the repulsive but characteristic sub-human, we have the chance now to obtain a scientific document" (085, GB-574).
The Office for the Consolidation of German Folkdom was an office of the SS, the office responsible for the awful crime of genocide and all that it entailed. The RSHA and the WVHA, controlling and responsible for the concentration camps, were manned by SS. The crimes of the SS in the concentration camps need no further mention except to emphasize that the inquiries instituted by the SS judicial system, of which the witness Morgen gave evidence, were not inquiries into mass murder but into cases of corruption by SS
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officials. That witness is another whom I have already suggested to be unworthy of belief. How can the story of an investigation by an SS judge into the murders by Hoess at Auschwitz, which were interrupted by the advance of the Allies, be taken seriously? What further investigation could have been needed when Morgen himself knew all the details of the Auschwitz killings some time in 1943 or 1944? Do you doubt that had the Allies lost the war Hoess would still be committing mass murder in that concentration camp and that SS judges would still be investigating corruption and isolated crimes?
The Einsatzkommandos were primarily SS. They show 'in miniature the co-operation between the various branches of Himmler's system and the unity of the SS. Action Group "A" was composed as follows: Waffen-SS 34.4 percent; SD 3.5 percent; Criminal Police 4.1 percent; Gestapo 9.0 percent; Auxiliary Police 8.8 percent; other Police 13.4 percent.
The system of exterminating Jewry was handled by SS. The Warsaw ghetto is but one example. The deportation, murder, and robbery of the Poles and other peoples occupying territory which was required for German settlement was undertaken by SS. You will remember the Globocznik report, the action in which thousands of Poles were removed from their homes and 178 million Reichsmark acquired for the WVHA and which, in the words of Globocznik himself, was, I quote:
"...carried out by order"--of the Reichsfuehrer SS--"and only the decency and honesty as well as the surveillance of the SS men used for this purpose could guarantee a complete delivery" (4024-PS, GB-550). One is surprised that he did not add "pecunia non olet."
The Waffen-SS came to be the spearhead of Nazi wars of aggression, particularly in the invasion of the Soviet Union, and exemplified the tyranny and slaughter which were inherent in Nazi domination. I quote:
"We will never let that excellent weapon, the dread terrible reputation which preceded us in the battles of Kharkov, fade, but will constantly add new meaning to it."
So said Himmler to the officers of three SS divisions in Kharkov in 1943 (1919-PS, USA-170).
The Waffen-SS succeeded in constantly adding new meaning to its reputation for terror. Numerous instances have been submitted to the Tribunal of the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity by units of the Waffen-SS. They. are fresh in the Tribunal's mind and I will not recapitulate them. I would only remind the Tribunal that some 6f the worst atrocities took place in 1943 and 1944, at which time a proportion of the Waffen-SS were conscripts.
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How can it be contended that the members of the SS, and particularly of the Waffen-SS, were merely soldiers--soldiers who had no knowledge and took no part in these crimes? How can it be said that it was not they whose aims were criminal? Wherever we find Nazi crimes being committed we find also SS men involved. Always it is said that these SS men were something special, members of the SD or some other particular branch, members of the SS who had been drafted away to serve with special units such as the Einsatzkommandos, members of the SS who were not really SS men at all, but doctors or Police. Can this be really so? Let us ignore the evidence of the concentration camps, of the Einsatzkommandos, of the vast and brutal crimes against the populations of their invaded territories, of the mass exterminations of Jews throughout half the countries of Europe, of the legion instances of individual crime and sadism, of the legion other instances of murder in battle, and of every other breach of the laws of warfare. Let us ignore the evidence of all these crimes, although each one of them was committed by different SS men in different towns and villages throughout the length and breadth of the Greater Reich. Let us ignore them although they did not constitute one sudden wave of crime but were being done day after day over the years. Let us ignore the fact that in almost no instance of crime of which we have heard were any other than SS men involved. Let us ignore all this if you wish. Without it the criminality of the SS, from the highest to the lowest, is established by the records which we have of those three speeches that Himmler made to the officers of his SS units.
In April of 1941 he was talking to all of the officers of the SS Division Leibstandarte. In October 1943 he was addressing his major generals at Posen. In the same month the commanding officers of every regiment in three of his SS divisions were listening to what he said at Kharkov. Those speeches have been quoted to you again and again and you know the sentiments that were expressed and the subject-matter that they covered. Will you try to imagine a general from your own countries talking to all the officers of one of your own divisions of hauling into slavery "thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands" of people; of shooting "thousands of leading Poles"? Will you try to imagine a British or an American or a Soviet or a French army commander telling his major generals: "What happens to a Russian, to a Czech, does not interest me in the slightest.... Whether 10,000 Russian females fall down from exhaustion while digging an anti-tank ditch interests me only insofar as the anti-tank ditch for Germany is finished" (1919-PS, USA-170, Page 23).
Or saying this:
"I also want to talk to you, quite frankly, on a very grave matter.... I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the
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extermination of the Jewish race. It is one of those things it is easy to talk about--'The Jewish race is being exterminated,' says every Party member, 'that is quite clear, it is our program, elimination of the Jews, and we are doing it, exterminating them.' And then they come, 80 million worthy Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are vermin, but this one is an 'A 1' Jew. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500, or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time-apart from exceptions caused by human weakness-to have remained decent fellows, that is what makes us hard" (1919-PS, USA-170, Page 65).
Can you see him telling all the commanding officers of one of his divisions:
"Anti-Semitism. is exactly the same as delousing. Getting rid of lice is not a question of ideology, it is a matter of cleanliness. In just the same way anti-Semitism for us has not been a question of ideology but a matter of cleanliness" (1919-PS, USA-170).
If you can imagine so much, can you imagine what you would say of the officers and of the men that they commanded? Is it possible that officers and men in these Waffen-SS divisions who could be spoken to in such a way were high-minded, clean-living, decent, and honorable soldiers? Such men, be they from Germany or from any other country in the world, would not tolerate these words. Those speeches have become hackneyed enough during the course of this Trial, but they never lose their significance. They show that every member of those SS units was a prototype of his SS Fuehrer. If it were not so the Defendant Goering could not have said, after telling Mussolini the horrors of Germany's methods in fighting the partisans, I quote:
"Members of the Party discharge this task much more harshly and efficiently.... The SS, the guard of the old fighters of the Party, who have personal ties with the Fuehrer and who form a special elite, confirm this principle" (729, GB-281).
If it were not so the Defendant Hess could not have written:
"The units of the Waffen-SS ... are more suitable than other armed units for the specific tasks to be solved in the Occupied Eastern Territories due to their intensive National Socialist training in regard to questions of race and nationality" (3245-PS, GB-267, Page 354).
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We know what Hitler had in mind as the future role of the Waffen-SS State Police: to impose German authority in the conquered countries; State Police who would never fraternize with the proletariat and underworld. That was their destined role which all the Army knew because, by order of, the OKW, it had received the "greatest publicity." We know enough of the Nazi State Police, of the education and training of the Waffen-SS and the practical application of that training during these years of war to fit them for the task that lay ahead of them, to know also the sort of methods which they would have employed. It is those men, the men who were intended and had been trained to police and terrorize Europe, who compose the organization of the SS which we ask you to convict as criminal.
Such are the main considerations in connection with these three organizations, the Corps of Political Leaders, the SA and the SS to which I desire to draw your attention. It was these organizations which provided the machinery by which the crimes that these defendants conceived were executed. These three organizations were not separate and distinct from each other, as their counsel have attempted to portray them. It was their members who together constituted--and still do--the fundamental and dangerous core of National Socialism. As the separate branches of the National Socialist elite their aims and purposes were the same and they worked and co-operated with each other using the same methods which were criminal for all to see. From the outset this was so and continued so until the end. Nothing more clearly demonstrates these things than the evidence of how the National Socialist Party and Government debased the concepts of law and order and corrupted the judicial practice of their courts in order to protect themselves and their followers in the criminal courses they were pursuing.
Hardly had the Nazi Government come to power when the Nazi ministers, Nazi police, and Nazi judiciary were condoning violence and murder committed by the SA and the SS and the Gestapo. And for what reasons--reasons which must have demonstrated to all Germany, and must demonstrate to all the world today, the very rottenness of National Socialism:
"As the deed did not originate from ignoble motive"--I quote--"but rather served the achievement of an exceedingly patriotic aim and the advance of the National Socialist State, the quashing of the proceedings ... does not seem incompatible with the orderly administration of criminal justice" (D-923, GB-615).
Such was the opinion of the Public Prosecutor to the Provincial Court in Nuremberg in respect of the SA men who had beaten a
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Communist to death--beaten him until the soles of his feet were so swollen, I quote:
"...owing to the mass of blood gathered there, that after the blood had been drained off by incision, pockets nearly the size of a fist were formed (D-923, GB-615).
In Munich the State Minister of the Interior was giving similar reasons for quashing proceedings against SS guards in Dachau who had beaten a prisoner on the head until he died, I quote again:
"As a reason it is pointed out that the conducting of investigations would cause great harm to the prestige of the National Socialist State, since these proceedings would be directed against members of the SA and SS, and thus the SA and SS as the chief protagonists of the National Socialist State would be immediately affected" (D-926, GB-568).
Nazi judges were suspending proceedings against members of the SA in agreement with the supreme leadership of that organization. I quote again:
"The deed and intention of the SA men were only aimed at the well-being of the National Socialist movement. Political reason and the purity of intentions is thus beyond doubt" (D-936, GB-616).
When judges not yet accustomed to these new conceptions of law did convict SA guards who, I quote, "not only attempted to wring confessions from inmates but acted in a sheer lust for torture," they were at once expelled from the Party; the prosecutor who happened himself to be a member of the SA was warned that he should resign and the Gauleiter wrote to the Supreme Court advising that a pardon should be substituted for the sentence that had been imposed.
Can there be any doubt that candidates for membership of these organizations did not know that membership afforded the license to murder?
Nor were these concepts of law confined to the State and Party courts; the military could not resist anything so attractive. By 1939 a military judge was granting to an SS man extenuating circumstances, I quote:
"... because he was induced to participate in the shooting by a corporal handing him a rifle. He was in a state of irritation owing to numerous atrocities committed by Poles against persons of German race. As an SS man particularly sensitive to the sight of Jews and to the hostile attitude of Jewry to the Germans, he therefore acted quite thoughtlessly in youthful rashness" (D-421, GB-567).
Those SS soldiers had been sentenced to imprisonment for "manslaughter" which the army commander refused to confirm. It was for "manslaughter" of a kind known only to National Socialists
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who, as we have seen in this Court, display a curious sensitiveness to the word "murder." This they called manslaughter:
"After about 50 Jews, who had been used during the day to repair a bridge, had finished their work in the evening, these two men drove them into a synagogue and shot them all without reason" (D-421, GB-567).
Let me conclude by reminding you of the opinion of the Supreme Court, the supreme guardian of National Socialist honor and discipline, to whose august authority and jurisdiction the members of all these organizations were subject. Of the murders committed during the 1938 demonstrations by Hoheitstraeger and members of the SA and SS, the investigation of which had been entrusted to the Secret State Police and Party jurisdiction of Gauleiter and other Political Leaders, it was pleaded that, I quote, "in such case's as when Jews were killed without an order or contrary to orders, ignoble motives could not be determined." The purpose of those proceedings in the Party Court were, I quote again, "to protect those Party comrades who, motivated by decent National Socialist attitude and initiative, had overshot their mark" (3036-PS, USA-332).
In those few lines you have the secret of all the death and suffering, the horror and tragedy, that these defendants and the members of these organizations have brought upon the world. You see to what depths of evil they corrupted the human conscience. No ignoble motive--the murder of women and children through "decent National Socialist attitude and initiative." Such was the National Socialist creed which the members of these organizations fanatically accepted, the creed which--can one doubt--they still cherish and, given the opportunity to do so, would revive.
With regard to the High Command and General Staff, it is not my intention to trespass on the ground which will be covered so well by my colleagues. Nevertheless I want to state, as clearly and emphatically as it, may be stated, that the British Delegation unreservedly joins them in the request for the condemnation of the group indicted under that name.
The men involved have joined in wars which they knew were unjust wars of aggression. They have borne essential parts in the deeds which in the hands of their immediate perpetrators are undeniably war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet they protest their innocence.
Our case against them has as clear a basis on the facts of this case as in the lessons of history.
They carried out orders which on the admission of many of them bit deep into the remnants of their consciences. They knew that they were doing what was wrong, but they now say "Befehl ist Befehl"--an order is an order.
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All decent men find it difficult to blame others for absence of moral courage--they are only too conscious of their own failings in that direction. But there comes a point when, faced with crimes which are obvious murder or barbarity, there is a higher duty. Even Dr. Laternser admitted this was so. His suggestion to the witness Schreiber that he ought to have protested at the Army Staff's proposals for bacteriological warfare came strangely on behalf of these men whose very defense has been to declare the impossibility and uselessness of protest. What nonsense--what utter nonsense--is this which you have been asked to listen to by these defendants and their generals when their own counsel, to discredit a witness, must ask the very question which the Prosecution have been asking of themselves since the day this Trial began. In fairness to all military tradition it should not go forth that soldiers have sheltered behind the letter of a command from facing moral problems--and deciding them, rightly or wrongly, as moral problems. Great captains are not automata to be weighed against a rubber stamp. I need not traverse the history of our military figures--the philosophy of Montrose, the brooding thoughts of Marshal Ney, the troubled heart of Robert E. Lee in 1861--to find examples. Two of the greatest names in German military history spring to one's mind: Von Clausewitz leaving the Prussian Army to serve in that of Russia; Yorck von Wartenburg making his decision of neutrality--both put what they deemed the needs of Europe and humanity above the orders of the moment. How much more clear and obvious was the duty when the work of drafting, issuing, and carrying out the Nacht und Nebel Decree, the Commando Order, the Commissar Order, Hitler's order to murder our 50 Air Force officers, meant the defiling of every idea which every soldier cherishes and holds dear; when-as all of them who ever served upon the Eastern Front could see with their own eyes they were asked to support and co-operate in a calculated system of mass-extermination and utter brutality.
These men, of all men, knew their leader to be a callous murderer, yet for years they had met in conference after conference to sit at his feet and listen to his words. They fed his lust for power and enslavement with the best of their professional skin. While the defenseless peoples of the East, the men, women and children of Poland, of the Soviet Union, and of the Baltic states, were being deliberately slaughtered and deported into slavery to allow for German "Lebensraum," these men talked of the necessities of war. When their own cities were bombed and Germans killed, they called it murder. Only in July 1944, when Hitler's star was dimmed, did three Field Marshals and five Colonel Generals recognize that he was murdering also their own country and took action. When that star was rising in victory they had
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hailed it and ignored the blood-red colour of the clouds from which it rose.
So much for the facts and the merits. It is perhaps permissible to say one word on the construction of the Charter. The use of the two words "group" or "organization" surely connotes that the entity in question may have been either formally organized by the Nazis or selected by the Prosecution as a group which existed in living reality. This group was united by its special knowledge given at so many conferences, and voluntarily bound by the transmission of those criminal orders. For that reason we ask that it should be condemned.
With regard to the Reichsregierung also I only desire to make it clear that the British Prosecution is again asking unhesitatingly for a conviction. Beyond this I wish to make two points only.
Some question has been raised as to the position of those known Nazis who joined the Cabinet in 1933. If anyone in that Cabinet did not know to what he was committing himself on 30 January 1933, he had a very good idea in March when the Jews were attacked. His knowledge increased in April, when the whole nation was organized in boycotting the Jews and the official figures of 20,000 people under arrest were given in the German Press. In June 1934 he knew that murder was being used as an instrument of policy. In 1935 and 1936 he knew that the foreign policy was being carried on at the calculated risk of war.
The other point on which I want to comment is the picture, given by the Defense, of ministers in complete ignorance of what was going on. In my submission, government does not function like that. Whether totalitarian or democratic, a government can only act by dealing with human beings. The lives of human beings are not lived in watertight compartments; their infinitely varying interests are inextricably interlocked. The most completely authoritarian minister must, as indeed Dr. Kubuschok in his speech was disposed to agree, consider the repercussions of his actions on the acts of his colleagues. In other words, he must know what is going on.
It is because the men of this group knew what was going on, supported it and took the principal positions and richest rewards of the State for themselves as the price of such support, that we, ask for the conviction of the organization today.
I have endeavored to show how the SD and the Gestapo fit into the scheme of the Nazi State. As one would expect, the evidence that I have mentioned introduces them in innumerable ways. Beyond once more emphasizing my support of my colleagues' plea for their conviction, I do not intend to comment further upon those organizations.
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My Lord, I am deeply conscious that one of the greatest difficulties, and not the least of the dangers, of this Trial is that those of us who have been engaged day in and day out for 9 months have reached the saturation point of horror. Shakespeare attempted to picture that saturation point in the memorable lines:
"Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quartered with the hands of war;
All pity chok'd through custom of fell deeds."
It is only when we stand a little apart from what has been our daily companion for 40 weeks that we realize that the "domestic fury and fierce civil strife," the results of which Mark Anthony was prophesying, are an inconsiderable bagatelle beside the facts which we have had to consider.
It is not merely the quantity of horrors-although these organizations have been the instruments of death for 22,000,000 people it is the quality of cruelty which produced the gas chambers of Auschwitz or the routine shooting of Jewish children throughout a continent claiming to be civilized. There is not one of these organizations which is not directly connected with the sorry trade of murder in a brutal form. Who can doubt that the Reich Cabinet knew of the euthanasia used to conserve the physical resources of Germany for war? It is beyond question that the High Command and General Staff passed on these orders of which you have heard so much and which are all reduced in the end to plain murder; the Leadership Corps shared in killing Jews and ruining the bodies of slave laborers. I have simply to mention the SS and the crimes come unbidden into the mind without any words of mine. Conniving, assisting, and finding a reason for these crimes were the SD and the Gestapo. The SA trained its Baltic recruits to reach the SA standard which came to fruition in the ghetto of Kaunas or the pit at Vilna.
The late President Woodrow Wilson once said:
"It is indispensable that the Governments associated against Germany should know beyond a peradventure with whom they are dealing."
If Europe is to be cleansed of Nazi evil it is indispensable that you and the world should know these organizations for what they are.
It has been our somber task to assist you to this knowledge; having done so, we sometimes wonder if the stench of death will ever wholly pass from our nostrils. But we are determined to do our utmost to see that it will pass from Germany, and that
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the spirit which produced it will be exorcised. It may be presumptuous for lawyers, who do not claim to be more than the cement of society, to speculate or even dream of what we wish to see in its place. But I give you the faith of a lawyer. Some things are surely universal: tolerance, decency, kindliness. It is because we believe that there must be a clearance before such qualities will flourish in peace that we ask you to condemn this organization of evil.
When such qualities have been given the chance to flourish in the ground that you have cleared, a great step will have been taken. It will be a step towards the universal recognition that
"...sights and sounds all happy as her day, And laughter learnt of friends, and gentleness,
And hearts at peace...."
are not the prerogative of any one nation. They are the inalienable heritage of mankind.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
MR. THOMAS J. DODD (Executive Trial Counsel for the United States): Since the 20th day of November 1945, this International Military Tribunal has been in almost continual session. In these many months, a record of more than 15,000 pages has been compiled. Over 300,000 affidavits have been submitted; about 3,000 documents have been offered and oral testimony has been heard from some 200 witnesses.
This great mass of evidence, oral and written, almost exclusively of German origin, has established beyond question the commission of the crimes of criminal conspiracy, aggressive war, mass murder, slave labor, racial and religious persecutions, and brutal mistreatment of millions of innocent people. The four prosecuting powers have indicted and hold responsible for these 'frightful 'crimes as individuals the 22 defendants named in the Indictment.
But the four prosecuting powers, recognizing that the 22 individual defendants could not by themselves alone accomplish the execution of these enormous crimes, have also named in the Indictment the Nazi organizations as the principal media by and through which these transgressions were effected. These organizations--some Nazi-created, some Nazi-perverted--were the agencies upon which the defendants relied and through which they operated for the accomplishment of their criminal purposes over the complacent people of Germany and over the conquered peoples of Europe.
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The named organizations fall into two classes: in the first class are those which are peculiarly Nazi creations, having no counterpart outside the Nazi regime and which had no intrinsically legitimate purpose. This group includes the Politische Leiter, the SA, and the SS. In the second class are those which existed in one form or another before the Nazi regime, but which were corrupted by the Nazis. This group includes the Reich Cabinet, the High Command and General Staff, and the Gestapo. As to, this second class, it is not our contention that the institutions themselves were basically criminal, but rather that they became criminal under Nazi domination, although, by its very nature as a secret political police system, the Gestapo was the most easily adapted to criminal purposes and became one of the most effective of all instruments of Nazi criminality.
It would be a mistake to consider these organizations named in the Indictment as isolated, independently functioning aggregations of persons, each pursuing separate tasks and objectives. They were all a part of, and essential to, the Police State planned by Hitler and perfected by his clique into the most absolute tyranny of modem times. That Police State was the political Frankenstein of our era, which brought terror and fear to, Germany and spread horror and death throughout the world. The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was its body, the Reich Cabinet its head, its powerful arms were the Gestapo and the SA, and when it strode over Europe its legs were the Armed Forces and the SS. It was Hitler and his cohorts who created this police state monster, and it brought Germany to shame and the nations of Europe to ruin.
It would likewise be erroneous to view the structure of this police system as something casual, or its growth and development as normal political phenomena. For it was planned from the earliest days by the conspirators. The Nazi "old fighters" had a design for despotism. They built the SA at the outset as a private band of strong-arm men to wield the club against the political opponent, and the whip against the Jew. They established the SS as the dread guard of the Fuehrer and of themselves. When they seized power they abolished police protection and substituted police persecution as the mission of the Gestapo. They wiped out all semblance of free government and set themselves up in the Reich Cabinet with plenary powers. They depraved the highest traditions of military ethics and substituted "willing tools" for ranking men at arms. They obliterated all other political parties and fastened on the German people a political straightjacket in the form of the Leadership Corps.
Deprive the Nazi conspirators of these organizations and they could never have accomplished their criminal aims. Take away the SA and they would have lost the mastery of the streets; take
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away the SS and they would have had no concentration camp system; take away the Gestapo and they would have had no means of illegal arrest and unlimited detention; take away the Reich Cabinet and they would have had no subservient law-making body; take away the truckling military men and they could not have secretly planned their attacks or ultimately waged their wars.
The provisions of the Charter empowering the Tribunal to declare a group or organization criminal, and the functions of the Tribunal under those provisions, have been dealt with in the legal arguments and memoranda previously submitted to the Tribunal by the Chief Prosecutors. At that time, in response to the request of the Tribunal, Mr. Justice Jackson stated the grounds which, in our view, warrant declaring a group or organization criminal.
Before now undertaking to summarize the evidence, it may be well to restate those tests:
(1) It must be a "group" or "organization" within the meaning of Article 9 of the Charter, that is to say, it must be an aggregation of persons associated in some identifiable relationship, having a collective general purpose, or pursuing a common plan of action.
(2) Membership in the organization must have been basically voluntary, that is to say, the membership of the organization as a whole, irrespective of particular cases of compulsion against individuals or groups of individuals within the organization, must not have been due to legal compulsion.
(3) It must have participated directly and effectively in the accomplishment of the criminal aims of the conspiracy, and it must have committed crimes against the peace or war crime or crimes against humanity, as charged in the Indictment.
(4) The criminal aims or methods of the organization must have been of such a character that its membership in general may properly be charged with knowledge of them.
(5) Under the Charter the Prosecution must also establish that at least one of the defendants in the dock, who is a member of the organization, is guilty of some act on the basis of which the organization may also be declared criminal.
These are the tests of criminality which the American Prosecution has conceded must be met with respect to each organization before a declaration of criminality as to that organization is warranted. My distinguished colleague, Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe, has discussed in his address the evidence against most of the organizations; and the Russian and French Chief Prosecutors will review specific, crimes committed by these groups. I shall not discuss the High Command since it is to be the subject of a special argument by a member of the American staff. I shall, with the consent of the Tribunal, address my remarks to the general proposition of
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whether the Prosecution has sustained the burden of proving by competent evidence that each of the named organizations is criminal under all of the principles stated.
The evidence clearly establishes that the five organizations in question are groups or organizations as we interpret these terms in the Charter--that is, each is an aggregation of persons associated in an identifiable relationship, having a collective general purpose.
That the Political Leadership Corps were an identifiable aggregate, had a common purpose, and functioned as a group, is clear. Ample evidence as to the structure and functions of the Leadership Corps of the Party is to be found in Nazi publications--the Organization Book of the NSDAP; Der Hoheitstraeger, the official magazine of the Leadership Corps; in the chart of the Leadership Corps, and a chart of the Party itself. This group, some 600,000 strong, had special uniforms, carried special membership cards, enjoyed countless special privileges. The term "Politische Leiter" is not one we have invented for the purpose, of giving an appearance of cohesion to a number of unrelated individuals performing similar, but un-co-ordinated, functions in the Party. The Organization Book of the NSDAP itself deals with all these Party workers as a unit under the designation "Politische Leiter." It shows the hierarchical structure under which they were organized and the manner in which directives were passed down automatically through the chain of command to the lowest level and were carried into effect by all members of the group. It shows further that in the functioning of this corps, the Leadership Principle reached perfection. All Party workers were bound by identical oaths to unconditional obedience to the Fuehrer and to all leaders appointed by him. At each level, regular and frequent conferences were held, and the higher and lower levels met together periodically for discussions of policy. The Leadership Corps constituted a perfect pyramid in which every stone at every level was necessary to maintain the whole structure. It had one single, common purpose--the maintenance of the organization and ideology of the Nazi Party.
The Indictment defines the Reich Cabinet as consisting of three classes of persons:
(1) members of the ordinary Cabinet after 30 January 1933; (2) members of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich; and (3) members of the Secret Cabinet Council. These three classes together make up the group of 48 members which we are prosecuting under the designation "Reichsregierung." Each of these, taken by itself, constitutes an identifiable aggregate working toward a common end. The ordinary Cabinet of any government is as -clear an example of a group as could be found. The ordinary Cabinet of the Nazi Reich did not differ in that
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respect from similar institutions in other governments. It met frequently as a Cabinet in the early days of the Nazi regime, and when meetings thereafter became uncommon, it continued to function as a group in passing on decrees and laws through the procedure of circulating drafts of proposed enactments to all its members. An example of this procedure is before the Tribunal in the form of a memorandum from the Defendant Frick to the Chief of the Reich Chancellery. -The same cohesion and unified function is found in the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich, which was established in 1939. Like the ordinary Cabinet, its members consulted together in actual meetings, as shown by the minutes of such meetings in September, October, and November 1939. And, like the ordinary Cabinet, it also functioned by using the circulation procedure, a typical instance of which is the letter from Dr. Lammers of 17 September 1939 to members of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. The Secret Cabinet Council, an advisory body on foreign policy, consisting of eight members, was an identifiable unified aggregation, as appears from the decree which created it. The inclusion of these three classes under the single designation "Reichsregierung" is not an attempt to create an artificial relationship among three separate and independent entities. Actually, the three were collectively as much a group as each was independently, for the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich and the Secret Cabinet Council were really committees formed out of the ordinary Cabinet. The decrees creating these two committees demonstrate that the entire personnel was composed of individuals who were in the ordinary Cabinet. Not only in personnel, but in action, functions, and purpose as well, the ordinary Cabinet and its committees were unified. Members of the ordinary Cabinet who were not members of these committees, were nevertheless present at meetings of the Council of Ministers, as shown by minutes of such meetings, and under the circulation procedure received drafts of decrees prepared by the Council of Ministers. This aggregation-the Cabinet and committees formed of some of its members-had a single collective purpose, that of governing the Reich in such a fashion as to carry out the schemes of the Nazi conspirators.
The SA, which was created in 1920, is one of the simplest examples of the type of group or association contemplated by the provisions of the Charter. It was defined by a German law as a component of the Party, having its own legal personality, and it was characterized by the Organization Book of the NSDAP as a distinct entity. It had an identifiable membership of from 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 members, bound together by common standards, wearing a common and distinctive uniform, having
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common aims and objectives, and carrying on common activities. The general purpose of the SA, to which the whole membership was devoted, was stated in the Organization Book of the NSDAP: "to be the bearer of the National Socialist armed will," and, according to the same Party manual, a member had to withdraw if he no longer agreed with the SA views or was not in a position to fulfill completely the duties imposed upon him as a member of the SA.
Like the SA, the SS was beyond question a unified organization. It was established by German law as a component of the Party having its own legal personality. It was described in the Organization Book of the NSDAP as a "homogeneous firmly welded fighting force bound by ideological oaths." It had a clearly identifiable membership which rose to about 600,000 toward the end of the war, composed of persons who met the same basic uniform standards of race ideology. 'Despite its many functions and activities and its numerous departments and offices and branches, it was an integrated and unified organization and it was, according to Himmler's tirade to the SS Gruppenfuehrer on 4 October 1943: "One bloc, one body, one organization." It had of course its own uniform and enjoyed special privileges, while pursuing the general purposes of the Nazi conspirators, running all the way from neighborhood bullying through political, racial, and religious barbarities. to the waging of wars of aggression and the most violent and revolting crimes against humanity.
From its earliest days, the Nazis always regarded that portion of the police forces called the "Gestapo," or "Secret State Police," as a separate group, a clearly identifiable aggregate performing a common function. The very purpose of Goering's decree of 26 April 1933, establishing the Gestapo in Prussia, was to create in that province a single body of secret political police, separated from the other Prussian police forces, an independent force having its own particular task, on which he could entirely rely. The same motives led to the establishment of similar identifiable groups of secret political police in other German provinces. The steps by which these groups were all consolidated into a single secret political police force for the whole Reich are fully detailed in the decrees and laws which have been cited to the Tribunal. When the RSHA was created in 1939, the Gestapo was not dispersed, but became a distinct department of that central office, as shown by the chart of the RSHA introduced in evidence, and by the testimony of the witnesses Ohlendorf and Schellenberg. They easily estimated the number of persons in the Gestapo at from 30,000 to 40,000.
Throughout these proceedings, the Gestapo and the SD have been considered together, due to the fact that criminal enterprises
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with which each is chargeable were supported, to a greater or lesser degree, by both. The Indictment charges the Gestapo with criminality as a separate and independent group or organization. The Indictment includes the SD by special reference as a part of the SS, since it originated as part of the SS and always retained its character as a Party organization, as distinguished from the Gestapo which was a State organization. The SD, of course, had its own organization, an independent headquarters with posts established throughout the Reich and in occupied territories, and with agents in every country abroad. It had a membership of from 3,000 to 4,000 professionals assisted by thousands of honorary informers, known as V-men, and by spies in other lands; but we do not include honorary informers who were not members of the SS. Nor do we include and I insert this-members of the Abwehr who were transferred to the SD toward the end of the war, except insofar as such Abwehr members also belonged to the SS.
Now, if it is asked where the ubiquitous SD man is to be found, the answer is not at all difficult, although some of the testimony and arguments made before the Tribunal have been confusing, we fear.
Until 1939 the SD man was always to be found in the head office of the SD, of the Reichsfuehrer SS, or in the various regional offices of the SD throughout the Reich. During that period the SD was repeatedly identified as a department of the SS in SS organization charts and plans and bylaws and decrees issued by the Government. During this period the SD was the political intelligence agency of the SS, the Party, and the State, and it provided secret political information to, the executive departments of the State and Party, but particularly to the Gestapo. After 1939 the SD man is to be found in Offices III and VI of the RSHA, and in the various regional SD offices within Germany, in the occupied territories, and in the Einsatz groups of the Security Police and the SD in areas close behind the front.
In the course of the argument some confusion has also arisen over the characterization of the RSHA, WVHA, Department Eichmann, and Einsatz groups. The RSHA was a department of the SS, and substantially all of' its personnel belonged to the SS. It was under the command of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner. In addition to the SD, which was always an SS formation, it included the Gestapo and the Reich Criminal Police, both of which were State agencies. For this reason the RSHA was also carried as a department of the Reich Minister of the Interior.
The WVHA was strictly another SS department. The WVHA was under the leadership of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Pohl, who was
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charged with the administration of concentration camps and 'the exploitation of the labor of the inmates.
There was no Department Eichmann as such. Eichmann was simply the head of the department of the Gestapo which was charged with matters pertaining to the Churches and to the Jews. It was this department of the Gestapo which had primary executive responsibility for the rounding-up of the Jews of Europe and the committing of them to concentration camps. The Eichmann Department, so-called,, within the Gestapo, was no more independent of the Gestapo than any other department under Mueller.
The Einsatz groups of the Security Police and SD--and it is very important, we think, that the full title be held in mind at all times--were the offices of the Security Police and SD operating in the field behind the Army. When police control had been sufficiently established in newly occupied territories, the mobile Einsatz groups were eliminated and they became regional offices under the commanders of the Security Police and SD in occupied territories. The Einsatz groups were a part of the Office of the Security Police and SD, the RSHA, and as such were a part of the SS, limited only by the fact that some personnel assigned to the groups were not members of the SS.
In 1939, the main offices of the SD and the Gestapo were consolidated in the RSHA, but the SD at all times preserved its independent identity.
Surely the Prosecution has met the requirements of, group proof as to these organizations, not only by the standards which it has imposed upon itself, but as well by every ordinary rule of reason and experience.
Membership in the Leadership Corps was indisputably voluntary. No one was compelled to join the NSDAP, much less to become one of the leaders of the Nazi Party. We do not doubt that many joined the Leadership Corps for business, social, or other selfish reasons. These are the commonplace motives for cheap political prestige, but they cannot and do not amount to legal compulsion.
No one was drafted into the Reich Cabinet. Moreover, some of its members resigned when they found themselves in conflict with its aims and objectives. Schlegelberger left because of the infringement of the independence of the judiciary; Schmitt resigned because he was convinced that Hitler's course was the way to war; Eltz von Ruebenach resigned because of Hitler's policy against the Christian Churches. A place in the Nazi Cabinet circle with its titles and tinsel was the high ambition of most of the Nazis. Competition for these places was fierce and any present
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effort to fend off a declaration of criminality against this group with a pretense of membership by force is ludicrous.
So free of compulsion was membership in the SA that the Organization Book of the NSDAP, as late as 1943, urged SA men to withdraw from the organization if they felt they were unable to agree with the aims and ideology and to fulfill all the duties imposed upon them. Party members Were not forced into the SA lists. The controls and the disciplines imposed on SA members within the framework of the organization have nothing to do with the voluntary character of the membership itself. The willing submission of the SA man to the SA Command is not the same thing as compulsory and involuntary entry into the organization.
Applicants for the SS not only were volunteers, but in addition they had to meet the strictest standards of selection, as is illustrated in the SS Soldier's Manual, and by Himmler's insistence on free and voluntary application for membership as set out in his letter of 1943 to Kaltenbrunner. The SS characterized itself as an elite and select corps, advertised that it carefully weeded out every applicant who did not conform to its racial, biological, and ideological standards, and made it plain to everyone that unusual qualifications were required for membership. Such in fact was Himmler's boast to the Wehrmacht when he said, and I quote:
"Should I succeed in selecting from the German people for the organization as many as possible who possess this desired blood, and in teaching them military discipline and the understanding of the value of blood and the entire ideology resulting from it, then it would be possible actually to create such an elite organization as should successfully hold its own in all cases of emergency" (1992-A-PS).
The "elite" were required to establish Nordic descent: In the case of an officer applicant as far back as the year 1750, and for regular applicants to the year 1800. In addition, unusual physical standards of height and odd requirements of Nordic appearance were set up and the political and ideological background of every "elite" candidate was carefully scrutinized. It is highly significant that we have proof of insistence on these racial and ideological qualifications as late as 1943, even in the Waffen-SS. It has been argued that because some men were conscripted into the Waffen-SS in the last desperate stages of the war, the organization as a whole was not a voluntary one. Those who were actually forced into divisions of the Waffen-SS may have an adequate defense in subsequent hearings, but we insist that compulsion born of a frantic effort to stave off defeat in the closing hours of the war does not change the essentially voluntary aspect of the membership as a whole. Whatever pressures may have been exerted to expand the
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membership of this organization, it originated and remained basically voluntary and selective.
The SD as a part of the SS was composed of SS men with special qualifications. The deeds of this organization best explain the nature of these special qualifications, for the record in this case is replete with horrible tales of their doings. The SD man was simply a surcharged SS man. If the membership of the SS was basically and fundamentally voluntary, as we claim it was, then it follows automatically that the SD membership was likewise voluntary.
The Gestapo was at all times a State organization, a branch of the Government similar in all usual respects to, other branches of the Government. In considering the voluntary character of its membership, all other considerations are secondary to this basic determination of the Gestapo as an agency of State. If membership in the Gestapo was compulsory, membership in the Order Police, and in the department of safety, and in the department of finance must have been compulsory too. When the Gestapo was created following the seizure of power, it is true that many members of the previously existing political police system of the various Laender were transferred to it. But they were under no legal compulsion to join. As the Gestapo affiant Losse stated, and I quote from his affidavit: "If they had refused, they would have had to reckon with a dismissal from the service without pension, so that unemployment would have threatened them." The witness Schellenberg stated that new members of the Gestapo were taken on a voluntary basis. Any one of them could have resigned and sought employment in other branches of the Government or in positions disassociated from Government service. To become a member of the Secret State Police, a person 'applied for a position just as in any other branch of Government. The witness Hoffmann, in testifying before the Commission, stated that he applied for a job in three branches of the Government, of which the Gestapo was one. The Gestapo accepted his application and in that way he became a member of the organization. There was nothing to prevent a Gestapo official from resigning his position if the aims and activities and methods of the organization became repugnant to, him. The witness Tesmer testified before the Commission that if an officer refused to carry out a criminal order he probably would be removed from his employment. Even after the war began, when all governmental officials were more or less frozen in their positions, members of the Gestapo were able to resign. The witness Tesmer himself resigned from the Gestapo during the war, and the witness Straub testified that a person could resign his position in the Gestapo at the risk of going to the front on active military service. Surely this was not compulsion in any legal sense. The sacrifices which members of the political police might face upon resignation, such as loss of
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seniority and forfeiture of pension rights, may have seemed decisive to those who remained in the Gestapo, but such considerations could under no circumstances be construed as legal compulsion justifying continued membership in an organization of such notorious criminality. There may be particular instances where some members of the Army Secret Field Police were later transferred from the military to the Gestapo. In such instances, these individuals may have gained on the basis of military orders a personal defense to the crimes committed by the Gestapo during the period of their membership. But such special instances, justifiable in subsequent proceedings, can in no way affect the basic character of the Gestapo as a single department of the Government with no greater degree of compulsion to join, and no greater legal restraint from resigning, than any other department of the State.
Now, it takes character to stand up against great evil--this has always been so. It may be necessary for a man to brave some humiliation and some sacrifice in order to refuse to do the evil bidding of an evil master. But responsibility for the crimes of these organizations should not be evaded by the application of a dry, technical, or meaningless concept of compulsion.
From the establishment of the Nazi Party in 1920 until the conclusion of the war in 1945, these organizations were used by the conspirators for the execution of their schemes, and each committed one or more of the crimes described in Article 6 of the Charter, and participated in the general conspiracy. The Leadership Corps was the first of the organizations to appear on the stage. The next step was the creation, in 1920, of a semi-military organization, the SA, to secure by violence a predominant place for the Party in the political scene. Out of this group, the more select and fanatical SS was formed in 1925, to replace the SA while the latter was banned, and then to join with it in laying the groundwork for the revolution. Upon the seizure of power in 1933, the next organization, the Reich Cabinet, took its place in the conspiracy. With the Government in their hands, the conspirators hastened to suppress all potential opposition, and to that end they created the Gestapo, and the SD. Internal security having been guaranteed, they then obtained for promotion of their plans of aggrandizement the last of their implements in the form of the Military.
Each of these was necessary to the successful execution of the conspiracy--the Leadership Corps to direct and control the Party through which political power had to be seized; the SA and SS to oppose political opponents by violence and, after 1933, to fasten the Nazis' control on Germany by extra-legal activities; the Cabinet to devise and enact the laws needed to ensure continuance of the regime; the Gestapo and the SD to detect and suppress internal
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opposition; and some servile soldiery to prepare and carry out the expansion of the regime through aggressive war.
Each of the organizations continued to play a necessary and vital part at all times throughout the conspiracy. The program of the Nazi regime stemmed from the Nazi Party. As Hitler said in 1933: "It is not the State which gives orders to us, it is we who give orders to the State." And later in 1938 he added:
"National Socialism possesses Germany entirely and completely since the day when, 5 years ago, I left the house in Wilhelmsplatz as Reich Chancellor.... The greatest guarantee of the National Socialist revolution lies in the complete domination of the Reich and all of its institutions and organizations, internally and externally, by the National Socialist Party" (Document 2715-PS).
It was the Leadership Corps that formulated the policy of that Party. It was the Leadership Corps that held the Party together. It was the Leadership Corps, through its descending hierarchy of leaders, down to the Blockleiter who controlled 40 households, that kept a firm grip upon the entire populace. Every crime charged in the Indictment was a crime committed by a regime controlled by the Party, and it was the Leadership Corps which controlled the Party and made it function.
While the Party, through the Political Leaders, gave orders to the State, it was the Reich Cabinet--the law-making, executive, and administrative representative of the State--that transformed those orders into laws. Just as the Leadership Corps made the Party function, so the Cabinet made the State function. Every crime which we have proved was a crime of the Nazi State, and the Reich Cabinet was the highest agency for political control and direction within the Nazi State.
But policy and laws are not enough. They must be put into effect and carried into operation. The four other organizations were the executive agencies of the Party and the State. When it was a question of enforcing laws, of detecting, apprehending, imprisoning, and eliminating opponents or potential opponents, the SD, the Gestapo, the SS, and the machinery of concentration camps came into play. The close relationship between the SD and the Gestapo, and the importance of the former in selection of Nazi officials, is disclosed by the Defense affidavit of Karl Weiss, who averred that all political police officials were screened by the SD before being accepted into the Gestapo. And the SD violated the integrity of German elections by reporting how the people voted in secret ballots. When the policy called for war, the para-military organizations like the SA and SS laid the foundation, and top militarists prepared the plans for a powerful German army. When it became
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a question of exterminating the population of conquered territories, of deporting them for slave labor, and of confiscating their property, the OKW and the SS had to plan joint operations and, in collaboration with the Gestapo, to carry them into effect. Thus, the Party planned, the Cabinet legislated, and the SS, SA, Gestapo, and the military leaders executed. The manner in which this was done can be illustrated by taking up a number of the principal crimes alleged in the Indictment and showing how the five organizations participated in the commission of each crime.
The basic program for aggression is to be found in the Nazi Party Program of 25 points, proclaimed by Hitler in 1920 and declared unalterable. It included demands for the unification of all Germans in Greater Germany, for the abrogation of the treaties of Versailles and St. Germain, for land and colonies, and for the creation of a national army. As the Party Manual shows, this platform was the table of commandments, and from it was drawn the dogma for every Political Leader. All members of the Leadership Corps bound themselves to follow these precepts and to spread this doctrine.
As early as April 1933, the Cabinet by resolution created the Reich Defense Council, a body of Cabinet members whose function was to prepare the nation for war. In October 1933, the Cabinet proclaimed Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations and the Disarmament Conference. A year and a half later, in March 1935, it re-established the Wehrmacht and provided for compulsory military service. Its war-planning measures were carried further by its enactment, in May 1935, of a secret unpublished Reich Defense Law, providing for the appointment of a Plenipotentiary General for War Economy with sweeping powers, and its decision that the plenipotentiary should begin his work at once, even in peacetime. In February 1938, on the eve of the seizure of Austria, a second component of the Reich Cabinet, the Secret Cabinet Council, was created to advise Hitler in conducting foreign policy. And it was the Defendant Von Neurath, the president of that council, who took diplomatic steps to justify and excuse this aggressive action. After the seizure had been accomplished, it was the Cabinet which provided for the reunion of Austria with the Reich. Six months later, by another secret and wholly unpublished law, the Cabinet provided for a Three Man College of plenipotentiaries whose function it was to have prepared at all times complete plans and ready measures for the sudden and not-to-be-declared war. In November 1938, it was a Cabinet law which provided for the integration of the Sudetenland with Germany, and in March 1939 for the incorporation of Memel into Germany. The Tribunal will remember the dramatic meeting of the Reich Defense Council held in June of 1939, where preparations were completed for the coming war and
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detailed plans were approved, such as using prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates for war production, compulsory work for women in wartime, and the bringing of hundreds of thousands of workers from the Protectorate to be housed together in hutments. In August 1939, on the eve of the attack on Poland, the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, the third component of the Reich Cabinet, was created out of members of the Cabinet to act as a smaller working group in the exercise of legislative and executive wartime powers. Thereafter, it was this component of the Reich Cabinet, rather than the ordinary Cabinet, which enacted most of the legislation for carrying on the war, but with the knowledge and participation of the entire membership of the ordinary Cabinet.
While the Cabinet was thus preparing the legal and administrative framework for aggression, the other organizations were actively engaged in related preparations to the same end. An aggressive militaristic psychology on the part of the people and the building-up of a powerful army were essential to prepare the nation for war. To the attainment of these ends, the SA assiduously devoted itself. First in 1933 by engaging in an intensive propaganda campaign demanding colonies, "Lebensraum," the abrogation of the Treaty of Versailles, falsely attributing aggressive designs to Germany's neighbors and generally spreading the now well-known Party bromides. Almost simultaneously, it organized a training program. for German youth in the technique of modem war, at first in dark secrecy, but finally in the open, when it felt itself sufficiently prepared and was sure of no outside interference. But the SA did not confine itself to mere preparations. When the first aggressive action, that against Austria, was taken, units of the SA marched through the streets of Vienna and seized the principal government buildings, and in the plans for the seizure of the Sudetenland the SA formed a part of the Henlein Free Corps and furnished it with supplies and equipment.
The activities of the SS were similar to the SA, and even more widespread. Like the SA, it served as a para-military organization in the years preceding 1933. Like the SA, it participated in the aggression against Austria and in the conspiracy to undermine Czechoslovakia through the Henlein Free Corps. Its activities are distinguishable from those of the SA in these matters only because it played the more important part. Its professional combat forces joined with the Army in marching into the Sudetenland and Bohemia-Moravia, and in the invasion of Poland. One of its main departments, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, was a center for Fifth Column activities. The SD of the Reichsfuehrer SS operated a network of spies throughout the world, and its agents were spying in the United States before Germany declared war upon America-
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The largest branch of the SS, the Waffen-SS, was created and developed for the sole purpose of carrying on the war and participated, as an SS army, in all phases of the war in the East and in the West. Its shameful record of war atrocities needs no amplification here. The Gestapo and SD were likewise involved in the commission of crimes against the peace. The very incident that served as an excuse for the invasion of Poland, and thus set off the entire war, was executed by the Gestapo and the SD. I refer to the simulated Polish attack on the radio station at Gleiwitz. where concentration camp prisoners were dressed in Polish, uniforms, murdered, and left as evidence of a Polish raid, so as to afford Hitler a justification for the attack upon Poland. Of course the professional military clique planned and participated in all aggressions from the militarization of the Rhineland in 1936 to the attack on Soviet Russia in 1941.
The waging of these wars of aggression was possible for Germany only by the utilization of millions of enslaved workers, and the slave labor program was possible only with the assistance of these organizations. Sauckel was the master slaver, but he needed a million Party whips to enforce his merciless dictates. The SS, the Gestapo, and the SD at his bidding drove the foreign serfs within the Reich borders under the lash of deceit, of kidnapping, of heart breaking family separations, of arson, of torture, and of murder. The Leadership Corps, in co-operation with the Nazi Labor Front and with industrial management, were Sauckel's receiving agents for these unfortunate ones. At the Reich level and at the Gau level members of the Leadership Corps helped arrange for the conditions of bedding, feeding, and restraining these wretched humans, giving them less attention and less decent concern than primitive man often gave to his brutes. The Gauleiter, functioning as Reich Defense Commissioners, at the order of Speer and Sauckel, and under the most revolting conditions of conveyance shunted the slaves from receiving depots to armament industries where like stanchioned beasts they were submitted to sub-human indignities and worked to death. Medical care and even the most simple medical supplies
were refused them. Denied even the social advantages of the barn yard, they struggled under less than good stable standards. With a crassness unknown to ordinary domestic animal care, directives providing for the abortion of female laborers were distributed to Gauleiter and Kreisleiter and their staffs. Their keepers were of the SD and the Gestapo, and the cell blocks of the concentration camp awaited any who chafed under the cruelty. Urged on by Speer, the Gauleiter utilized prisoners of war for slave labor purposes, and Rosenberg's minions in the Eastern territories under the spur of Sauckel's demands gleaned new millions for thralldom.
The Army harnessed thousands for the construction of military
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fortifications and for military production, and Keitel carried out Hitler's order by hitching honorable soldier war prisoners to machines that made materials for war. The greedy Goering sought war prisoner slaves for his air armament industries and suggested new, uses for old orders violating recognized codes of warfare, and his aid Milch thought of the forced use of Russian prisoners of war to man anti-aircraft batteries as comedy relief for the oppressive madness of the times. Depravity supplanted degradation, and death became the declared objective of concentration camp labor establishments under the SS. Of necessity all of this went on with high Cabinet approval as the impact of this whole terrible program created new problems for Germany.
So the slaves suffered in the midst of the German population as thousands of them were farmed out for better or for worse to householders, to great and to small industries, until at last, in the closing hours of the conflict, under pressure of the grim necessities of the war situation and solely to increase the war effort, the Nazi Government itself was forced to issue an order to slacken the violence against those who were in chains. The great significance of this order cannot be overstated. By its own terms, it makes perfectly clear that cruelty to the slaves was a State policy carried out by the German people. It is damning evidence against the whole German nation. It is, in our judgment, one of the most important documents in this case and it is shocking to realize that it came from the Party Chancellery and the Reich Security Main Office-both high State agencies; and it was directed, in writing, to all Political Leaders down to Ortsgruppenleiter, and to the lowest level of German society by word of mouth.
The sweep of the crimes committed against the Jewish people is too great for the human mind to grasp completely. Our whole experience in living conditions, our mental processes, make it so We shudder at one bestial murder, we shrink from a few disgusting crimes, but when confronted with mass horror, we find ourselves groping for adequate reaction. We simply cannot comprehend six million murders. In the regular course of life it is good that this is so; but in weighing the evidence in this case it is something of a handicap for all parties except the guilty. Of some facts, however, we do have full knowledge and full understanding. They are an in evidence before this Tribunal. We know that these indicted organizations all share responsibility for the vast crimes committed against the Jewish people. We know that the evil geniuses of the Nazi plan understood how to nurture a nation for hatred. They began easily by having the Leadership Corps write into the Party platform that only a member of the race could be a citizen. Thus
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they laid the groundwork for the basic premise upon which Jews were deprived. of human rights in Germany. Then the same Leadership Corps began the work of directing a campaign of abuse against the whole Jewish people. Every man's failure, all worry, each disappointment, any fear, was resolved in the crucible of Jewish responsibility. Throughout the Reich, Jew-baiting committees were established under the direction of various Political Leaders. Led by Gauleiter Streicher, Party members engaged in open violence against Jews and their property by destroying the synagogue here in Nuremberg. Then came the hideous occurrences on the night of 10 November 1938 under the incitement of Party Propaganda Leader Goebbels, and with the open assistance of the Leadership Corps and the SA. To add mockery to malefaction, the Nazis set up a Supreme Party Court to investigate these outrages, and although it found that instructions for carrying out these pogroms had been telephoned by the Gauleiter to their subordinate leaders, it ruled that in the killing of Jews without orders or contrary to orders, "at heart the men were convinced that they had done a service to their Fuehrer and to their Party," and under the guise of this judicial hypocrisy none of the participants were so much as expelled from the Party.
Throughout the years, as this hate movement progressed, all manner of discriminatory legislation was enacted to restrict the mobility of the Jew, to impoverish him, and to degrade him. Great numbers of these legislative monstrosities, all the creations of the Reich Cabinet, are in evidence in this record. With quickened pace the Nazis moved to new cruelties and from a mixed-up policy which demanded the departure of the Jew and called for his detention in German concentration camps, they approached the depths of shame in a Reich Cabinet proposal for the sterilization of even half-Jews. In a cold setting of sadism and sin, the Reich Cabinet reviewed the manner in which half-Jews were to be treated, and then recommendations of the Cabinet were submitted to Hitler for final action. The SA men were among the first to apply direct force and brutality against the Jewish people in Germany. The witness Severing has told the Tribunal from the witness stand that during the years after 1921 the SA engaged in organized terror against the Jews. These street ruffians, having nearly completed their orgies against ordinary political opponents, now found new uses for their clubs and whips and new outlets for their perverse propensities. Any Jew was fair game and it was open season the year round for Jew-hunting. They smashed into private homes and abused the terrified Jewish inhabitants without any pretense of cause or provocation. And they interlaced their physical violence with their constant tirade of slanderous anti-Jewish propaganda.
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The oppression, persecution, discrimination, and brutality at the hands of the Leadership Corps, the Reich Cabinet, and the SA were only the beginnings of the dreadful fate that the Nazis prepared for the Jews. In this fashion, the way was paved for the sinister activities of the Gestapo when it came into play. Now these secret policemen moved in with their wraith-like methods. Trembling Jews were hauled from their beds in the middle of the night and dispatched without semblance of accusation to concentration camps, and often their family members awoke to find them missing. Thousands of Jewish people so disappeared never to be seen or heard of again, and all over Europe today surviving family remnants with aching hearts are seeking clues or indications of the fate that befell them. Sad to relate, the only answer to most of the searching is to be found in the records of this Tribunal, in the captured documents of the SS, the SD, and the Gestapo, and in the death books of the gas chambers, the mass graves, and the crematoria.
By this time the Nazis were astride much of Central Europe. Wallowing in their early bloody successes and puffed up with premature confidence in their ability to dominate the continent, they dropped all sham about the Jew in Germany and laid bare his ultimate doom. The Jew was to be wiped from the face of Europe--not by migration, not by mass movement, but by annihilation. It was Goering who ordered Heydrich as Chief of the Security Police and SD to work out a "complete solution" of the Jewish problem in the areas occupied by the Reich: And it was Heydrich, as Chief of the Security Police and SD, and acting upon Goering's order, who instructed the Gestapo to murder all Jews who could not be used for slave labor. Gestapo men, under the leadership of Eichmann, went into the occupied territories, and, with the assistance of local officers of the Security Police and SD, succeeded in herding virtually all of the Jews of Europe into concentration camps and annihilation centers. With unabated fury the Nazis plunged from Goering's "complete solution" to Himmler's "final solution." This was the last responsibility, and who but Himmler as head of the SS could fulfill this unholy mission? In his foul hands and those of his SS was placed the assignment for the complete destruction of the Jew. He warmed to his task. His SS men, having been tested and proved in the Warsaw ghetto and in the clearing of the Jews from Galicia, were ready for the refinements of the extermination plants. And with Hitler's order to Himmler, SS exterminator Hoess opened the largest murder mart in history. Two thousand human beings at a time perished in his modern slaughterhouses. All over German-occupied Europe SS plants of the Hoess Auschwitz design gassed living Jews with dispatch and destroyed their remains in ovens streamlined for mass operation. Thus the
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SS made it possible for Himmler to declare in his Posen speech, I quote:
"I also want to talk to you quite frankly on a very grave matter.... I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race.... this is a page of glory in our history..." (1919-PS, USA-170).
And I would like to say parenthetically, Mr. President, that the quotation which appears on Page 29 of the text is incorrect and should be stricken, and the one which I have read is the proper one.
At the close of the war in Europe, an incredulous world recoiled from the fact of this crime--a crime that can never be completely understood, completely explained, or properly requited. Slowly mankind moved to its sad and sober acceptance. But this was not the, end, for the Nazis, through propaganda conduits, had piped their racial and religious poison into most of Europe and to a large part of the world. To restore the moral health of Central Europe is not enough, seepage from Nazi sewers of slander has polluted many of man's Pierian springs, and the virus of hate and bigotry and intolerance has fouled the waters. It will take generations of mental and moral sanitation to stamp out this Nazi plague. Thus the crime lives after the criminals-these defendants and these organizations.
The transition from the mistreatment of political opponents, of racial and religious groups, to the abuse and the killing of prisoners of war in violation of the rules of warfare was not difficult for the members of the indicted organizations. These offenses were the result of the aggressive war aims for which the Reich Cabinet had a direct responsibility. The history of mistreatment of honorable soldiers who had surrendered is too well known to this Tribunal to require detailed discussion here. Yet it is worthwhile to recall to mind that Reichsleiter Goebbels and Bormann, speaking for the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, were those who instituted the policy of lynching Allied airmen by the German populace. This savage policy was carried out by the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, while at the same time military units of the SS wantonly executed prisoners of war on every battlefield. To the Gestapo and the SD was given the first responsibility for carrying out the barbaric Hitler order of 18 October 1942 and its subsequent amendments calling for the summary execution of Allied commando's and paratroopers. Nor should it be forgotten that throughout the war the Gestapo screened prisoners of war for Jews and those of the Communist political faith, who, were then deliberately murdered. The Tribunal will recall that the particular document which concerns the screening of prisoner-of-war camps was introduced in the later stages of the Trial, and proved conclusively that local
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Gestapo offices at Munich, Regensburg, Fuerth, and Nuremberg screened prisoner-of-war camps in Bavaria for classes of prisoners of war to be sent to Dachau for liquidation by SS guards, and that these Gestapo, offices were criticized by the High Command for failure to screen as effectively as the High Command desired. I should like to point out that this particular crime of which I am now speaking has been carefully avoided by counsel for the defendant organization in pleading the case for the implicated organizations. Yet it is one of the clearest cases of wilful premeditated murder of prisoners of war in violation of established international law. It is positive demonstration of the complete savagery of the responsible organizations with respect to the treatment of prisoners of war. It is Document Number R-178, Exhibit Number USA-910. The infamous Bullet Decree, under which the Gestapo sent recaptured officer prisoners of war to Mauthausen Concentration Camp for execution by SS guards, is additional proof of the criminal character of these organizations.
The Nazis always knew that the Christian Church was an unsurmountable obstacle to their evil intentions, but with characteristic cunning they first moved against it under the disguise of necessary emergency legislation, which was enacted by the Reich Cabinet and which laid the groundwork for the later enabling legislation placing all manner of restrictions on usual Church activities. This was the first and the decisive step, and once it had been taken, the fate of the Christian Church was sealed; only time and the turn of events remained for its fulfillment. In the entire Reich Cabinet of that time, made up almost exclusively of men who pretended to wear the badge of Christianity, only one (Baron Eltz von Ruebenach) stood up for the faith. So clear was the intention of the Cabinet decrees, that he had no hesitancy in asserting that Nazism and Christianity could never be reconciled. But for Baron Eltz von Ruebenach, there were many who were willing to play the Nazi game. For a mess of political pottage, they denied their faith and handed to the political leadership its first weapon for use against the clergy. From these, first steps, much of the hitherto unexplained moral decadence of the times undoubtedly stems. From these beginnings came the speedily declining influence of the Church. The Nazis wanted it that way. In their political philosophy there was no place for Caesar and for God. Schirach and Rosenberg as Reichsleiter and members of the Leadership Corps, together with countless associates, hammered away at all spiritual forces-never by a frontal attack, but always from the flank, while the hounds of the Leadership Corps carried out systematic slandering of the clergy and constant undermining of sacred religious practices. Soon the anti-clerical campaign was expanded to the confiscation of Church properties, and in the later years broke out into open
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suppression of religious education and even of simple spiritual activities. There can be no doubt as to the real attitude toward the Christian Church, for it clearly appears in the organized espionage system instituted against the clergy by the Gestapo and the SD. For this shabby task, members of these two organizations were carefully schooled in a deceitful course of conduct rigged to establish a record, as a later basis, for the complete abolition of the Christian Church in Germany when the war was over. Lying, falsification, and entrapment were fundamental methods for the building up of this fabricated evidence. The Gestapo, not content with breaking up Church organizations and prohibiting Church groups from social gatherings, or with its task of preparing false testimony, made wholesale arrests of clergymen, placed them in protective custody, and finally lodged them in concentration camps. From a program of such basic evil it was not to be expected that the SS, would remain aloof. Although heavily occupied with wrongdoing all over Europe, it found time to confiscate Church properties and monasteries on its own responsibility and had Catholic priests by the hundreds cruelly murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp.
So some Christians and numberless Jews were united in a community of suffering. Arid thus in a strange arrangement of circumstances, the Nazis who "tried to destroy both, may have founded the beginnings of an understanding that can grow best because it has survived the worst.
The concentration camp was the master weapon in the Nazi arsenal of tyranny. To the SA belongs the disgrace of having first established and maintained such camps to which it sent persons whom it had illegally arrested. Even SA meeting places were used for the confinement of potential opponents who were beaten and abused by SA men. SA members served as guards of the state concentration camps during the first months of the Nazi regime, and there applied the technique of brutality which they had acquired in operating their own illegal camps. Although the legal basis for protective custody was the extorted decree of the Reich President for the protection of the State in 1933, which suspended clauses of the Weimar Constitution guaranteeing civil liberties to the German people, the Reich Cabinet soon obliged with ready legislation which made more expeditious the internment of political enemies and other undesirables under the concentration camp system. So interested in the establishment of these camps were members of the Reich Cabinet that Frick, Rosenberg, and Funk while serving in that body, inspected the camps. And the Reich Cabinet budget set aside 125 million Reichsmark for the SS and for the management and maintenance of the concentration camps.
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In order to achieve domination of the German people, the concentration camp system was placed at the disposal of the Leadership Corps, and it made use of these camps as a dumping ground for thousands of Jews who were apprehended under Leadership Corps auspices during the pogroms of November 1938. As shown by the affidavit of the defense witness Karl Weiss, Gauleiter frequently put pressure upon the Gestapo to commit political enemies to concentration camps or to prevent their release in proper time.
The co-operating military men had direct interest in the concentration camps system; Soviet prisoners of war were sent to concentration camps to be employed in the armament industries of the Reich, and officers of the OKW worked out with the Gestapo the plans for sending returned Soviet prisoners of war to the Concentration Camp, Mauthausen, where they were put to death for honorable attempts to escape from their captors.
But the two organizations which were most directly concerned with and implicated in the concentration camp system were the Gestapo and the SS. In the early days the concentration camps were under the political direction of the Gestapo, which issued orders for punishment to be inflicted upon the inmates. The decree of 1936 declared that the Gestapo should administer the concentration camps, but it was the SS which furnished guards from the Death's Head Battalions and ultimately became responsible for all internal administration of the camps. The Gestapo remained the sole authority in the Nazi State empowered to commit political prisoners to concentration camps, although 'the SD joined the Gestapo in committing Poles who did not qualify for Germanization. The Gestapo sent thousands upon thousands of persons to concentration camps for slave labor and shipped millions of persons to annihilation centers for extermination.
The atrocities committed by the SS within the concentration camps are in themselves adequate to convict the SS as a criminal organization. The witness Hoess testified that toward the end of the war approximately 35,000 members of the Waffen-SS were employed as guards in concentration camps.
In his never-to-be-forgotten confession in this courtroom he said that in Auschwitz alone, during the time he was commandant, the SS exterminated two and one half million men, women, and children by gassing and burning, and that another half million died from starvation and disease, and among those killed were 20,000 Soviet prisoners of war. When the SS did not murder bedridden patients, they drafted them for labor which they could perform in their beds. It ordered women prisoners to be beaten by other prisoners, and in its unrestrained savagery killed, maimed, and tortured inmates of
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concentration camps by carrying out what were called medical experiments, but which were in fact sojourns in sadism.
The concentration camp system was the heart of the Nazi scheme for tyranny. Conditions in these camps were cruel, because the Nazis required the force of fear to perpetuate their hold over the common people. Behind every Nazi law and decree stood the spectre of concentration camp confinement. The agencies which created, maintained, directed, and utilized these camps were the organizations named in this Indictment.
In addition to the crimes of waging aggressive war, persecution of the Jews, forced labor, persecution of the Churches, and concentration camps, which we have been considering, the indicted organizations participated of course in many other crimes in aid of the conspiracy. The Leadership Corps was active in destroying the free trade union movement, and the SA took the initial direct action against the trade unionists. The art treasures of Europe were seized and despoiled by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg of the Leadership Corps in conjunction with the Gestapo and the SD. The SS carried out the vicious Germanization program under which citizens of occupied territories were driven from their homes and lands to make way for racial Germans. The Gestapo and officers -of the OKW conceived and carried out the hellish- "Night and Fog" decree, by which hapless civilians of occupied countries disappeared into the Reich, never to be heard of again. Thus, in a crime of which only the Nazis were capable, the awful anguish of relative and friend was added to wanton murder.
In no respect can the criminal activities of these organizations be better illustrated than in the murderous work of the Einsatz Groups of the Security Police and the SD, which were first organized by the SD in September of 1938 in anticipation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia. With their leaders drawn from the SD and the Gestapo, and staffed by members of the Waffen-SS, they coordinated slaughter and pillage with military maneuvers, and reports of their activities were forwarded to the Political Leaders through the Reich Defense Commissioners. Even the SA participated in these jackal anti-partisan expeditions in the East.
When the German armies broke into Czechoslovakia and Poland, into Denmark and Norway, the "Einsatz" bandits followed for the purpose of striking down resistance, terrorizing the population, and exterminating racial groups. So well did these terror specialists do their work that four new units were set up before the attack on the Soviet Union, one of them headed by the infamous Chief of the SD, Ohlendorf, who testified in this courtroom to the incredible brutality of his accomplishments, and to the shocking details of the operation carried out in coordination with branches of the military.
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His testimony will be remembered for its cold account of callous murder, enslavement, and plunder, and most of all for the horrible program of destroying men, women, and children of the Jewish race. Mankind will not soon forget his sickening story of the mobile murder of women and little children in gas vans, nor of the evil-hardened killers whose very stomachs turned at the awful sight when they unlatched the doors of the death cars at the gravesides. These were the men who sat at the edge of anti-tank ditches, cigarette in mouth, calmly shooting their naked victims in the back of the neck with their machine pistols. These were the men who, according to their own corpse accountants, murdered some two million men, women, and children. These were the men of the SD.
The organization chart of the Security Police and the SD now before the Tribunal was prepared and certified to by SD official Schellenberg, the Chief of Office VI of the RSHA, and by SD official Ohlendorf, Chief of Office III of the RSHA. This chart is Exhibit USA-493, and it shows that these Einsatz Groups were an integral part of the Security Police and SD under the supreme command of the Defendant Kaltenbrunner and not, as has been argued before this Tribunal, independent organizations responsible directly to Himmler. The officers of these groups were drawn from the Gestapo and the SD and, to a lesser extent, from the Criminal Police. They received their orders from the various offices of the RSHA, that is, from Office III or Office VI, as appears on that chart, as to matters pertaining to the SD, and from Office IV, as to matters pertaining to the Gestapo. They filed their reports with these offices, and these offices made up consolidated reports which were distributed to higher police officials and Reich Defense Commissioners, several examples of which have been introduced in the course of these proceedings.
Counsel for the Gestapo--and I am departing a little from the text, Mr. President, in order to meet the argument that has been made by Counsel for the Gestapo--has argued that the Gestapo was erroneously blamed for the crimes committed in the occupied territories, but he says, interestingly enough, that the SS committed these crimes. And then Counsel for the SS argues before the Tribunal that the SS was erroneously blamed and the SD committed the crimes. And then Counsel for the SD says to the Tribunal that the SD was erroneously blamed and the Gestapo was really to blame after all. Counsel for the SS says also that the Gestapo wore the feared black uniform and that therefore Gestapo men were frequently mistaken for SS men. Counsel for the SS blames the Gestapo for the running of the concentration camps and Counsel for the Gestapo says, no, it was the SS who ran the concentration
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camps. Now the fact is that all of these executive agencies participated in the commission of these vast crimes against humanity.
It is a strange feature of this Trial that counsel for the respective organizations have not sought to deny these crimes but only to shift responsibility for their commission. The military defendants blame the Political Leaders for initiating wars of aggression; the Gestapo blames the soldiers for the murder of escaped prisoners of war; the SA blames the Gestapo for concentration camp murders; the Gestapo blames the Leadership Corps for anti-Jewish pogroms; the SS blames the Cabinet for the concentration camp system; and the Cabinet blames the SS for the exterminations in the East.
The fact is that all these organizations united in carrying out the criminal program of Nazi Germany. They are to blame. As they complemented each other, it is unnecessary to define as a matter of precise proof the borders of their own deviltry. When the Reich Cabinet promulgated the decree for securing the unity of the Party and State it insolubly bound these organizations for good and for bad. When the membership of these organizations swore an oath of obedience to Hitler, they united themselves for all time with him, his work, and his guilt.
All members of the Reich Cabinet had full knowledge of the functions and activities of the Cabinet. They carried out their work together. They met as a body. They considered proposed measures as a group, and they acted as a Cabinet. Sometimes they met as the Reich Cabinet, sometimes as the Reich Defense Council. But in every case they jointly considered proposed legislation and enacted the laws which gave the rubber-stamp of legality to the machinations of the top conspirators. From the budgetary matters of the Reich alone, if from no other source, the members of the Reich Cabinet, each year of the Nazi regime, were of necessity informed to a very extensive degree on all matters that were going on in Germany. They knew about the concentration camp system because they voted the money for maintenance of concentration camps, and because their ministers inspected concentration camps. They knew about the plans for aggressive war because they laid the groundwork for the war economy. They knew about the forced labor of prisoners of war in armament industries because they planned it even in advance of war, as the evidence shows. They prepared the political blue prints for the entire program of aggression and of aggrandizement. Planning requires consultation, and consultation imparts knowledge.
Now any member of the SA who could read had full knowledge of the aims and objectives of the SA. The weekly periodical, The SA-Mann, and the monthly periodical, The SA Leader, stated time and again the purposes, objectives, tasks, and methods of the SA.
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The duties and activities of the SA in fighting in the streets, abusing political opponents, and chastising Jews are stated in almost every issue of these publications. The para-military nature of the organization was self-evident. The SA participated in election proceedings, in the plan to set fire to the Reichstag, in anti-Jewish pogroms and boycott activities. Its activities were widespread and well-known, and its criminality was open and notorious. Much of this infamy was commonly known throughout the world. Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner, the Prime Minister of Bavaria, stated in his affidavit,. I quote from it:
"The gross excesses of the SA and the SS in the service of the NSDAP were accomplished so publicly that the whole populace knew of them. Everyone who entered these organizations as a member knew of such excesses."
That is what Dr. Hoegner said. That is Document Number D-930,. Exhibit Number GB-617.
The Political Leaders dealt in information and in propaganda. They were the agents of the ideology and the political detectives who checked on the reactions of the people. Knowledge for them was a two-way circuit. They knew the plan and its operations and they learned of its effects. A, typical example is found in the order to lynch Allied airmen. This order had to be passed throughout the Leadership Corps in order to reach the lower echelons who were to carry out the 1ynchings. They saw to it that the order was carried out and they made reports on its effectiveness. There were no secrets in any Nazi cell or block unknown to them. The turn of a radio dial--the facial expression of disapproval--the inviolate secrets between cleric and supplicant-the ancient trust between father and son--even the sacred confidences of marriage--were their stock in trade. Knowledge was their business.
Every member of the SS took an oath of obedience unto death to Hitler and every member of the SS was indoctrinated in the full meanings of Hitlerian ideology. In 1936, Himmler, in describing the SS as an anti-Bolshevistic fighting organization, openly stated, I quote:
"We shall take care that never again in Germany, the heart of Europe, will the Jewish-Bolshevistic revolution of subhumans be able to be kindled either from within or through emissaries from without" (1851-PS).
Can anyone doubt that SS men understood the meaning of these words? Or of Himmler's confession, again I quote: "I know that there are some people in Germany who become sick when they see these black coats." He went on to say that he did not expect that he and his SS men would be loved by too many. We say, the sickness which he referred to, which overcame people when they saw the
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black coats, was the malady of fear--fear of the brutal methods of the SS, the murders they committed on the streets, and the beatings they inflicted in the concentration camps. It was known to everyone that black-coated SS men carried out the murders of 30 June 1934. Even Von Manstein, of the Army, was in this witness-stand testifying that his soldiers so feared the evil SS that they were afraid to report SS mass killings in the East. The knowledge that is necessary to bind the SS organization is the knowledge that a member of the Death's Head Battalion had of atrocities committed in the concentration camp, that a member of the anti-partisan bands had of the killings, kidnappings, and plunder that went on behind the fighting lines, that a member of the SS Panzer Divisions had of the killings of prisoners of war, or that a member of the SS
Medical Corps had of the savage experiments on human beings. This knowledge was diffused by frequent changes in their duties. The Death's Head Battalions, which at first were charged with the guarding of concentration camp inmates, subsequently were put into the fighting front; whereas during the war the fighting troops, the Waffen-SS, were used for guarding concentration camps and for carrying out exterminations in annihilation centers. The SS came generally to be known as the symbol for an organization both sinister and savage.
The objectives of the Gestapo were laid down by law and discussed time and again in semi-official publications such as the Voelkischer Beobachter, Das Archiv, the magazine of the German Police, and Best's basic handbook on the German Police. Every member knew that the Gestapo was the special police force set up by Goering and developed by Himmler to strike down potential opponents of the tyranny. Every member knew that the Gestapo operated outside the law, that the Gestapo could arrest on its own authority and imprison on its independent judgment. Every member knew that the Gestapo was the agency which filled the concentration camps with political opponents. All knew that the Gestapo was organized for the specific purpose of persecuting the victims of Nazi oppression--the Jews, the Communists, and the Churches. The right to use torture in interrogations had to be known to all who interrogated. There could be no secrecy as to the criminal aims of the Gestapo or the criminal methods by which this primary agency of terror carried out its work. And that it was an instrument of terror was known not merely to the membership--it was known throughout Germany and Europe, and in every country of the world, where the very name Gestapo became the watchword of terror and of fear.
So we ask that a common-sense and realistic test of knowledge be applied by this Tribunal in judging these organizations for what they are, the most vicious and evil of all Nazi inventions. Surely
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they shall not escape condemnation for the vast crimes they have committed through a false and flimsy defense of ignorance in their own circles. For long,. long years after this hall is emptied and for centuries beyond present perspective, the roll call of terror against humankind will be led by these appellations-Nazi, Nazi Party Leadership, SA, SD, SS, and Gestapo.
Over 300,000 members of these organizations have been heard either in person or by affidavit. But there is a Charter requirement that there be a member of each organization in the dock who is guilty of an offense relating to the organization of which he is a member, for the purpose of ensuring that there would be present before the Tribunal someone who could speak for each organization. So the great number of witnesses who have appeared before the Commission and the Tribunal has, in effect, made superfluous this Charter protection to the organizations.
The measure of criminality of each organization is not limited to the acts committed by the defendant in the dock who was a member of the organization. It is wholly sufficient, we think, to meet the Charter requirements if the defendant member is guilty of some crime relating to his position as a member of the organization. In every case the criminality of the named organizations is based upon evidence which greatly surpasses the specific criminal acts of the defendants. The concept of membership stated in the Indictment in this connection is in no sense a technical one. The 'word representative might as well have been used, since the object of the provision was to ensure that there would be some defendant qualified to speak for, or otherwise represent, each of the named organizations.
Seventeen of the 22 individual defendants were members of the Reich Cabinet. All of these defendants participated to a greater or lesser degree in the meetings- of the Reich Cabinet, of the Secret Cabinet Counsel, and of the Reich Defense Council. All of them considered, acted upon, and participated in the enactment of the legislation which led to the instigation of wars of aggression and the commission of discriminatory acts against racial minorities. The criminality of each of these defendants is founded in part upon his participation in the supreme legislative body of the Nazi system, the Reich Cabinet.
Ten of the individual defendants were members of the Leadership Corps. The activities of Gauleiter Von Starch and Streicher are illustrative of the criminality of all these defendants in their capacity as leaders of the Nazi Party.
It was as Gauleiter of Franconia that Streicher carried out his venomous campaign against the Jews and it was as Gauleiter of Vienna that Starch exploited slave labor.
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Nine of the defendants were SS members. It is hardly necessary to go beyond SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner as a representative of this organization. Here is a defendant who was the head of the most powerful department in the entire SS, the Reich Security Main Office. His activities in directing this organization need no amplification. His shame disgraces all.
Eight of the defendants were members of the SA, of which Goering assumed command in the year 1923 at the very inception of the Nazi struggle for power. It was Goering who directed the SA in the Munich Putsch, and it was Goering who built and made of the SA a fighting body of street rowdies.
Goering and Kaltenbrunner were members of the Gestapo. Goering, the founder of the Gestapo, bragged that every Gestapo bullet fired was his bullet, and that he assumed full responsibility for the acts of the Gestapo and was not afraid to do so. As Chief of the Reich Security Main Office, Kaltenbrunner had direct responsibility for the Gestapo. The Tribunal has seen orders for commitments to concentration camps carrying his typed or facsimile Signature; it has reviewed evidence that orders for executions in concentration camps were issued in his name; and it has examined many criminal orders from him as Chief of the Security Police and SD to regional Gestapo offices.
The integration of defendants and organizations is further demonstrated by the fact that most of the defendants were members of more than one of the named organizations. Frank, Frick, Goering, and Bormann were members of four.
Cabinet members Ribbentrop and Neurath were SS generals. SA Generals Rosenberg and Starch were Cabinet members. Gauleiter Sauckel and Streicher were SA generals. Field Marshal Keitel and Admiral Doenitz were Cabinet members. The complete significance of this integration is shown in the sinister murder of the French General Mesny. This murder was directed and planned by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Kaltenbrunner, as head of the Gestapo and SD, and by SS Obergruppenfuehrer Ribbentrop, as a member of the Reich Cabinet. Kaltenbrunner worked out the mechanics of the murder and Ribbentrop, worked out the plan of deception.
Counsel for the Gestapo, in arguing before the Tribunal, has argued that the murder was accomplished by the Reich Criminal Police rather than by the Gestapo, since at the time Panzinger, who worked out the details, had succeeded to the duties of Nebe as Chief of Office V of the RSHA. But I should like to remind the Tribunal that there is not one shred of evidence before it to show that Panzinger ever retired from the post he had had for years as head of the department in the Gestapo responsible for special actions and assassinations. Anyway, the murder of General Mesny, according
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to their own organizational chart, was a political action, was a political murder, and a matter under the cognizance of the Gestapo, not of the Criminal Police.
Parenthetically, I should like to say that if it is contended at any later time that this nefarious episode was an act of 'reprisal, then I ask the Tribunal to bear in mind that reprisals against prisoners of war are expressly forbidden under the 1929 Convention, to which Germany was a signatory at this time and to which it had been a signatory for many years.
The whole macabre tragedy, from the faked removal of Mesny from the officers' prisoner-of-war camp at Koenigstein to the sacrilegious ceremony attending the burial of his ashes with military honors at Dresden, required the connivance and action of the Reich Cabinet, the military men, the SS, the SD, and the Gestapo. Throughout this particularly sad and sordid episode there is evident the outstanding fact of all Nazism-hypocrisy. This was white-collar homicide, custom-built for deceit, starched up with foreign office formality, bearing the cold sheen of Kaltenbrunner's SD and Gestapo, and supported and sustained by the outwardly respectable yoke of the professional army.
I should also like to add at this point--I think I can conclude it in a very short time--that counsel for the, defendant organizations have each taken a large part of their time in arguing the legal principles which derive from the Charter, and in many cases seek to go behind the Charter itself. They have argued that the procedure envisioned by the Charter amounts to collective punishment, that the idea of fastening criminality on organizations is unique in law and that the maxim nulla poena sine lege is being violated by these proceedings.
I shall not review the legal arguments on this subject since they were exhaustively covered by Justice Jackson in his address last February. But I do assert again to the Tribunal that we are not here seeking a collective condemnation of individuals; we are seeking to establish one thing, and one thing only, and that is that these organizations which taken together fastened the police state
upon Germany and perpetrated these crimes, shall be characterized in history for what they were, for what they are worth--organizations, the aims, purposes, and actions of which were basically criminal, and which openly violated all tenets of decency and law held in every civilized society.
Now, Defense Counsel argue that if you declare these organizations criminal, the members will become martyrs. I say that if you exonerate these organizations, the members who took these vows of unconditional obedience to Hitler and Himmler and who committed millions of people to concentration camps, mistreated
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and starved and murdered thousands more in the names of these organizations, will say: "We are vindicated. What Hitler told us, what Himmler told us, was the truth. These organizations to which we gave our unconditional obedience were not criminal organizations and we are not to be censured for having belonged to them." They will find in your acquittal of. these organizations justification for these horrible crimes and thereby new reasons to convince people in Germany that no wrong was done. And it will give them the terrible opportunity for reviving them in one form or another and for inflicting again upon the civilized world the terrible consequences of criminal group action.
I should also like to point out, because I have read into the record some remarks relative to the Sedition Act of 1940, that the United States Sedition Act of 1940 was cited only to show that the concept of organizational criminality is not foreign to Anglo-American jurisprudence.
Under the Sedition Act, each person indicted of course has the opportunity of resisting in court the charge of criminality of the organization to which he is accused of belonging. But that is not to say, it seems to me, that apart from constitutional questions, which are inapplicable here, the Congress of the United States could not provide, as in this Charter, that the criminal character of the organization should first be litigated in a general proceeding in which all members are given a chance of appearing in person or by representation, reserving their personal defenses to subsequent trials in which they may contest all questions except the single question of whether the organization was criminal. For what we seek here is not a criminal conviction of the members of these organizations. Their individual criminality--I think it is worth repeating--is not an issue now before this Tribunal. The only issue is whether the Tribunal shall or shall not declare these organizations to have been criminal,
Finally, Mr. President, the very anonymity which the Nazis intended to give to crime by the use of these organizations plagues us to the very end of this Trial. After these proceedings are concluded, this same organizational anonymity will plague the Allied powers in seeking to bring to book those who are responsible for these terrible offenses. It is a sobering fact that the vast majority of the crimes committed in the names of these organizations must go unpunished. But Nazism must not escape by this route which it rigged for itself; it must not survive in secret and undenounced organizational entities to prepare a new onslaught against civilization. By a declaration of criminality against these organizations, this Tribunal will put on notice not only the people of Germany, but the people of the whole world. Mankind will know that no crime
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will go unpunished because it was committed in the name of a political party or of a state; that no crime will be passed by because it is too big; that no criminals will avoid punishment because there are too many.
On 28 February 1946, in this courtroom, the Chief Prosecutor for the United States of America, Mr. Justice Robert H. Jackson, made a statement before this Tribunal concerning the criminality of these organizations. That statement represents the attitude of the United States in these proceedings towards the organizations. I can do no better than to remind the Tribunal of it again. I quote from what Mr. Justice Jackson said on that occasion:.
"In administering preventive justice with a view to forestalling repetition of these crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes, it would be a greater catastrophe to acquit these organizations than it would be to acquit the entire 22 individual defendants in the box. These defendants' power for harm is spent. That of these organizations goes on. If, these organizations are exonerated here the German people will infer that they did no wrong and they will easily be regimented in reconstituted organizations under new names behind the same program.
"In administering retributive justice it would be possible to exonerate these organizations only by concluding that no crimes have been committed by the Nazi regime. For these
organizations' sponsorship of every Nazi purpose, and their confederation, to execute every measure to attain these ends, is beyond denial. A failure to condemn these organizations under the terms of the Charter can only mean that such Nazi ends and means cannot be considered criminal and that the Charter of the Tribunal declaring them so is a nullity."
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[The Tribunal adjourned until Friday, 30 August 1946 at 1000 hours]