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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has had an application from Dr. Steinbauer for permission to put in an affidavit on behalf of the Defendant Seyss-Inquart. Have the Prosecution had an opportunity of seeing that affidavit yet, and have they any objection to it?
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: My Lord, I do not think that all my colleagues have had an opportunity of looking through the affidavit yet. They got it late last night. So if Your Lordship could allow us an hour or two, we would be glad to report later in the day.
THE PRESIDENT: If you would do that, yes.
SIR DAVID MAXWELL-FYFE: If Your Lordship please.
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, may I just take up a few moments of the Tribunal's time? On the basis of a letter which I received last night, I am now in a position to prove that a written order existed forbidding all preparations for active bacteriological warfare.
I have already discussed this matter with Sir David Maxwell-Fyfe; the letter will be translated, and then the question of whether it should be admitted as evidence can be taken up.
I just wanted to mention this, Mr. President, so that the letter should not then be refused as coming too late.
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, you mean that the letter will be translated and submitted to the Prosecution, and then they will let us know whether they are prepared to agree to the letter going in for what it is worth? But it must be done today.
DR. LATERNSER: Yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Very well.
General Telford Taylor.
BRIGADIER GENERAL TELFORD TAYLOR (Associate Trial Counsel for the United States): Mr. President and Members of the Tribunal:
Under the Indictment, the Prosecution seeks a declaration of criminality against six groups or organizations. For purposes of
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clarity in marshalling the evidence and specifying the charges, this division into six parts is appropriate, since it accurately reflects the formal structure of the Third Reich.
In a deeper sense, however, the Third Reich was not sextuple. It was simpler than that. The Third Reich was a political machine and a military machine. It was embodied in, and sought its ends through, the Nazi Party and the Armed Forces. Its successes at home and abroad were achieved by these two instruments. The Wehrmacht owed its resurgence largely to the Nazi Party; the Party, in turn, would have been helpless and impotent without the Wehrmacht. As General Reinecke put it, the two pillars of the Third Reich are the Party and the Armed Forces, and each is thrown back on the success or downfall of the other.
Appendix B of the Indictment specifies the leaders and principal instrumentalities of the Party and the Armed Forces. From the Party, the Indictment specifies, for instance, the Corps of Political Leaders, and also the members of the SS, a principal executive arm of the Party. From the Armed Forces, the Indictment specifies the leading generals, to use the language of the Indictment, who had the principal authority for plans and operations.
The composition of this group of military leaders was described by the Prosecution during the case-in-chief, and little more needs be said by way of exposition. The Defense has taken the view that these military leaders do not constitute a group within the meaning of the Indictment. The arguments in support of this technical objection are, I believe, insubstantial, but I want to meet them directly and clearly.
A number of the points made by the Defense are based either on misunderstanding, or a deliberate misreading of the Indictment's definitions. Thus, several witnesses have told us that the "General Staff" consisted of young officers of relatively junior rank who acted as assistants to the commanders-in-chief. This involves a confusion with what is known to military people as the "General Staff Corps" of War Academy graduates. The Indictment does not include these officers, and the Prosecution made this clear at the outset. Insofar as this, or similar testimony, is an attack on the name which the Indictment applies to the military leadership group, this is an utterly insignificant point. There is no stock phrase in German or English for all the military leaders of the Wehrmacht; the Indictment combines a phrase "General Staff" and "High Command" as most descriptive of the chiefs of the four staffs of OKW, OKM, OKH, and OKL, all of whom were key figures in military planning, and the commanders-in-chief who directed operations. Together, they adequately comprehend the military leadership.
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Several other minor and technical points merit only brief mention. It has been objected that the chart which was attached to the affidavits of Halder, Brauchitsch, and Blaskowitz does not accurately depict the chain of command. That is true; the chart was not intended to show the chain of command. The affidavits to which the chart is attached say nothing about chains of command and the Prosecution has not suggested anything of the kind. Equally irrelevant is the question of whether Keitel might have been shown in the same box with Hitler, instead of having a box to himself. None of these points about the chart involves the addition or subtraction of a single member of the group, or affects the Indictment's definition of the military leadership. Equally irrelevant is the contention that the list of members of the group includes some generals who held only temporary appointments as commander-in-chief and were never formally designated as such. This might later be relevant in the trial of these individuals, if they can show that they never really had the status and responsibility of a commander-in-chief, but is not important in contemplating the group as a whole.
Several affidavits submitted by the Defense point out that a few generals were members of the group for less than 6 months; that a number of them died or were removed or retired from their positions before the end of the war, and that the younger ones were not generals when the war started. This is all quite natural. We are concerned here with a seven-year period, during most of which there was a war, which is a hazardous and wearing occupation. During these years some generals died, others failed, still others fell out of favor; new faces appeared as replacements; the great increase in the number of German army groups and armies brought still other officers into the status of commander-in-chief. To the extent that in war the hazards were sharper and the failures more costly in the Wehrmacht than in politics, this turnover may have been correspondingly greater in the Wehrmacht than in the Party. But again, these questions are relevant only on the degree of responsibility of individual members, and not on the responsibility of the group itself.
A special point has been made of the fact that many members of the group did not become such until after 1942. The argument drawn from this circumstance is, I take it, that the generals who joined the group only after 1942 could not have taken part in the planning and launching of aggressive wars. It is true that by the end of 1942 the Wehrmacht, led by the accused group, had invaded or overrun all or a large part of every neighboring country except Switzerland and Sweden, so that further wars of aggression had become impracticable. I suppose that it might be urged with equal, if any, force that many Germans joined or rose to high rank, in the
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SS or the Party Leadership group after 1942. Certainly the argument ignores that the military leadership group, long after 1942, was a group whose official orders were to murder commandos and commissars and to achieve "pacification" by spreading terror. Many of the atrocities committed by the German Armed Forces occurred late in the war. Once again, this point has substance only in that individual late-comers to the group may show in other proceedings that they never learned of, and did not join in, the criminal activities. The group itself cannot escape responsibility by pleading that it continued to grow after the Third Reich's capacity to initiate aggressive wars had been exhausted.
The Defense tells us that the military leaders were not a "group," because they merely occupied official positions without any "unifying element." This is a factual question. Its solution is not advanced by nice linguistic points, such as whether the German word "Gruppe" means "group" or "number." I suppose that "group" means a number of persons chosen because of some likeness. Or, as Mr. Justice Jackson puts it, the members must have an "identifiable relationship" and a "collective general purpose." I suppose also that the "likeness" or "relationship" and the purpose must be meaningful under the London Agreement.
The generals who held the positions listed in the Indictment constituted the military leadership of the Third Reich. That is their "likeness," their "identifiable relationship," or their "unifying element." Their "collective general purpose" was to build up and train the Wehrmacht, and to make its plans and direct its operations.
The evidence to this effect is, I submit, conclusive and uncontradicted. Leading German generals--Brauchitsch and Halder--have said in sworn statements, that those who held the positions listed in the Indictment had the "actual direction of the Armed Forces" and "were in effect the General Staff and High Command." The technical objections made later by the Defense with respect to the chart are quite irrelevant to this essential point.
The testimony of numerous generals, assuming its credibility, that the military leaders did not have any formal organization or any secret advisory council, is quite wide of the mark. The Prosecution has not charged this; nor has it charged that the military leaders were a political party, or that they had a set or uniform view on internal political matters.
Nor are we surprised to hear from some Defense witnesses that the Germans, like ourselves, found co-ordination within a single service easier to achieve than co-ordination between the Army, Navy, and Air Force. The mere existence of the OKW is sufficient proof of the importance which the Germans attached to inter-service collaboration, and numerous documents show that constant and
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detailed planning and discussion took place between the three services. In any event, it is quite unnecessary to look behind the actual course of events. Surely no one would have suggested in 1941, after witnessing the co-ordinated use of tanks and stukas in Africa, and the team-play of all three services during the Norwegian invasion, that the German war effort lacked co-ordination.
From the standpoint of military planning, we are told by Halder that the most important part of the OKW was the Armed Forces Operations Staff, of which Jodl and Warlimont were the chief and deputy chief respectively. The field commanders, too, participated in planning. We know from Brauchitsch and Blaskowitz that the military plans for the- attacks on Poland and other countries were submitted in advance to the commanders-in-chief of army groups and armies, so that OKH would have the benefit of their recommendations. Brauchitsch and Blaskowitz have also told us that, during operations, the OKH and the commanders-in-chief of army groups and armies were in continual consultation, and that the commanders-in-chief were repeatedly consulted by Hitler himself. The testimony of General Reinhardt is to the same effect. Contemporary documents clearly show the participation of the field commanders-in-chief in planning for the Polish campaign.
The commanders-in-chief of army groups and armies in occupied territories had executive power (Vollziehende Gewalt) within the areas under their command. Within those areas they were supreme, and had the power of life and death over the inhabitants. They had the responsibility for determining such questions as whether the Commissar and Commando Orders should be distributed, and if so, how widely and with what instructions.
To summarize, these generals were an aggregation of persons who directed the German Armed Forces, and whose collective purpose was to prepare it for and lead it in military operations. From time to time, when all the members met together, it was a congregation. The purpose and spirit of the London Agreement clearly bring such a body, of men within the scope of Article 9 thereof. The Agreement established this Tribunal to try such offenses in the planning and waging of aggressive wars, and
violations of the laws and customs of war. The German military leaders are charged, among other things, with developing the plans under which aggressive and illegal wars were initiated, and with directing the Armed Forces in the launching and waging of these wars. They are charged with circulating throughout the Wehrmacht orders directing the murder of certain types of prisoners, and with aiding, abetting, and joining in the murder and ill-treatment of the civilian population, all in violation of the laws and customs of war.
The argument of the Defense that the military leaders are not a "group" and are therefore immune to a declaration under Article 9
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is, we submit, utterly unfounded, and flatly contrary to the plain purposes of the London Agreement. That agreement cannot be reasonably construed to exclude from the purview of Article 9 the leaders of one of the two chief instrumentalities of the Third Reich.
The Defense appears to contend that membership in this group was not voluntary. I say "appears to," because in one breath we are told that the generals could not withdraw from the positions they occupied, and in the next, that many of them resigned because of disagreements with Hitler.
The question is, I think, a simple one. We are not concerned here with the ordinary German conscript who made up the bulk of the Wehrmacht. We are concerned entirely with professional soldiers, and with the most zealous, ambitious, and able German officers in the business. Most of them chose a military career because it was in their blood; as Manstein put it, "they considered the glory of war as something great." They slaved at it and were devoted to their profession, and if they reached the status of commander-in-chief, they were, like Manstein, proud that an army had been entrusted to them. No one became a German commander-in-chief unless he wanted to.
It is true that in time of war a professional soldier cannot resign his commission or his post at his own free will. But this does not turn the professional officer into a conscript or make his status an involuntary one. No one becomes a professional officer without knowing in advance the obligations that will bind him in time of war. The fanatical Nazis who rushed to volunteer for the early Waffen-SS divisions or who voluntarily joined other para-military sections of, the Party could not thereafter resign at will, but I have not heard it urged that they were conscripts or involuntary members. The members of the General Staff and High Command Group were keen professional warriors, who competed with others like themselves for the responsibilities and honors of being commanders-in-chief. They rose within the Wehrmacht just as an ambitious Party member might rise to be a Kreisleiter or Gauleiter.
In fact, retirement was easier for the commander-in-chief than anyone else in the Wehrmacht. The junior officer who protested against what was going on around him, might lose advancement or be moved to a less desirable assignment, or be court-martialed and disgraced. He was not given the option of retiring, and he was usually too young to plead illness plausibly. The commanders-in-chief were in a far better position. No War Office or War Department wants a field commander-in-chief who is in constant and fundamental disagreement with his instructions. Such a commander-in-chief must be removed. Yet often he has sufficient seniority, prestige, and acknowledged ability so that his demotion or disgrace
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would be embarrassing, and retirement or acceptance of resignation is the best solution for all concerned.
And this is just what happened with some of the commanders-in-chief. The record is replete with testimony by or about commanders-in-chief who openly, disagreed with Hitler on tactical matters and as a result of such disagreements were retired or allowed to resign. I note in passing that the record is notably barren of evidence that any commander-in-chief openly disagreed with Hitler--
decisively on the issuance of orders which violated the laws of war, or who forced his retirement on account of these orders. At all events, it is quite clear that a commander-in-chief who wanted to retire could contrive to do so; whether by pleading illness or by honest blunt behavior. If he had the will, there was a way out. And it is worth noting that the three Field Marshals who testified before this Tribunal had all found or fallen into the way out, and the record shows that many others were equally successful and that few of them thereafter suffered serious harm on this account.
I pass now to the criminal activities. The Prosecution submits that the evidence before the Tribunal conclusively established the participation of the General Staff and High Command Group in accomplishing the criminal ends of the conspiracy, and in the commission of crimes under all parts of Article 6 of the Charter and under all Counts of the Indictment. We also submit that the criminal aims, methods, and activities of the group were of such a nature that the members may properly be charged with knowledge of them, and that, for the most part, they had actual knowledge.
I will speak first of the prewar period, or, more accurately, of the period ending in the spring of 1939, when detailed planning for the attack on Poland got under way. It is worth noting that during this early period the group defined in the Indictment never exceeded eight in number, and that four are defendants in this Trial.
I do not want to spend time retreading much-travelled roads. We know that during these years the military leaders built up the Wehrmacht and made it into a formidable military machine which struck terror into neighboring countries and later succeeded in overrunning most of them. There is not a shred of evidence to contradict the charge that members of the General Staff and High Command Group directed the building and assembling of this machine. Some witnesses have testified that the rearmament was for defensive purposes only, but the Wehrmacht's new strength was promptly used to support Hitler's aggressive diplomatic policy. Austria and Czechoslovakia were conquered by the Wehrmacht, even though there was no war. The events of 1939 to 1942 and the terrible offensive power of the Wehrmacht are a further and sufficient
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answer, even without referring to Blomberg's official written statement in June 1937 that there was no need to fear an attack on Germany from any quarter.
Witnesses for the Defense have made much of the fact that the generals had little or no foreknowledge of the absorption of Austria. Many of these witnesses were not at the time members of the group, but the point is in any event not helpful, since the Anschluss was not timed in advance by the Germans, but was precipitated by Schuschnigg's surprise order for a plebiscite. That is why, as Manstein testified, plans for the march into Austria had to be quickly improvised. But the plans were drawn up by Manstein under the supervision of Beck (Chief of the General Staff of the Army, and a member of the group), and other members of the group were closely involved in the Anschluss, as were other generals who later became members.
As to the participation of the generals in the Munich crisis and occupation of the Sudetenland, the Defense's main point seems to be that Brauchitsch, Beck, and other generals opposed risking a war at that time. The record makes it quite clear that the generals' attitude was not based on any disagreement with the objective of smashing Czechoslovakia, or on any opposition to a diplomatic policy supported by military threats. Rather was it their attitude that the Wehrmacht was not as yet (in 1938) strong enough to face a war with major powers. The Defendant Jodl expressed it very clearly in his diary in drawing a contrast between "the Fuehrer's intuition that we must do it this year and the opinion of- the Army that we cannot do it as yet, since most certainly the Western Powers will interfere and we are not as yet equal to them."
The further contention of the Defense that there were no military preparations for the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and that the Commander-in-Chief of the Army gave no instructions in this regard, is completely incredible when weighed against contemporary documents of unquestioned authenticity, which have long bee n in evidence before the Tribunal and which the Defense cannot and did not attempt to explain away. The military directives and planning memoranda contained in the so-called "Fall Gruen" file demolish any such contention, and fully reveal the extensive preparations being made by the Wehrmacht under the leadership of Keitel, Jodl, Brauchitsch, Halder, and others. Jodl's diary gives us further details about such matters as co-ordination of the air and ground offensives, timing of the D-day order, collaboration with the Hungarian Army, and order of battle. It also shows the personal participation of other members of the group and of other generals who later became members. Military preparation for absorption of the remainder of Czechoslovakia is also adequately shown by documents in evidence before the Tribunal.
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One other point about this prewar period should be noted. The military leaders not only participated in the plans; they were delighted with the results. They were afraid of getting into a war before they were adequately prepared, but they wanted a big army, and they wanted the strategic and military advantages which Germany derived from Hitler's Austrian and Czechoslovakian successes. That is, in fact, why the Party leaders -and the military leaders worked together; that is why the generals supported Hitler; that is why the Third Reich, through the Party and the Wehrmacht, was able to achieve what it did achieve. Leading German generals have told the Tribunal this in so many words. Blomberg tells us that before 1938-1939 the German generals were not opposed to Hitler. Blaskowitz says that all officers in the Army welcomed rearmament and therefore had no reason to oppose Hitler. Both of them tell us that Hitler produced the results that all the generals desired.
The testimony of Blomberg and Blaskowitz is in no way weakened by the statements of various Defense witnesses that many army officers disliked some of Hitler's internal policies and distrusted some of the Nazi politicians. It is too much to ask that all partners in crime should like and trust each other. That, in spite of these differences, the Third Reich came so close to imposing its dominion and evil theories on the world merely emphasizes the deep agreement between the Party and the military leaders on the most essential objectives--national unity and armed might--in order to accomplish territorial aggrandizement. This cannot be doubted, and for confirmation we need only look at the testimony of a witness called by the Defense (Colonel General Reinhardt, who was Chief (f the Army Training Section before the war and later commanded a Panzer army and army group on the Eastern Front). When asked what was the attitude of the officers' corps toward Hitler, he replied: "I do not believe there was a single officer who did not back up Hitler in his extraordinary successes. Hitler had led Germany out of its utmost misery, both politically and in its foreign politics, and economically."
So we turn to the war itself. The group of military leaders specified in the Indictment becomes much larger; we are no longer concerned only with the generals in Berlin, but also with the war lords who commanded the Wehrmacht in the field-names far more familiar to and feared by the peoples of the territories overrun by the Germans. Names such as Blaskowitz, Von Bock, Von Kluge, Kesselring, Von Reichenau, Von Rundstedt, Sperrle, and Von Weichs. What do the generals say in defense of the attack on Poland? Some of their statements, like Manstein's explanation that the Poles might "carelessly" attack Germany, are merely laughable. About the best they can say is that they expected that Poland would give in without a struggle. Were this a defense, its credibility is dubious.
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Hitler himself had made it clear to the military leaders that it was not a question of Danzig and the Corridor, but of living space and increasing the food supply under German exploitation. The generals could have hardly expected the Poles to give themselves up entirely without a struggle, and Hitler had said that there would be war and no repetition of the Czech affair.
But in any event it is not claimed by the Defense that the generals hoped for a "Blumenkrieg." The witnesses for the Defense have agreed that the Germain demands on Poland were to be enforced by military threats and armed might. There is no evidence that the generals opposed this policy of sheer hold-up. In fact, it is clear that they heartily endorsed it, since the Polish Corridor was regarded by them as a "desecration" and the regaining from Poland of former German territory as a "point of honor." And it has never been a defense that a robber is surprised by the resistance of his victim, and has to commit murder in order to get the money.
There is no controversy concerning the knowing participation of the members of the General Staff and High Command group in the planning and launching of the attack itself. Brauchitsch has described how the plans were evolved, and then passed to the field commanders-in-chief for their recommendations. We know, both from his own testimony and from contemporary documents, that Blaskowitz, one of the field commanders-in-chief, received the plans for the attack in June and thereafter perfected them in consultation with the army group and OKH. Rundstedt's chief of staff received the plans, and there can be no doubt that all the other commanders-in-chief did also. A week before the attack, all the members of the group met at the Obersalzberg for the final briefing.
As the war spread to other countries, and eventually over the entire continent of Europe, the Wehrmacht grew and many more army groups, armies, air fleets, and naval commands were created and the membership in the group was correspondingly enlarged. All three branches of the Wehrmacht participated in the invasion of Norway and Denmark, which was an excellent demonstration of "combined operations," involving the closest joint planning and co-ordination between the three services. The documents before the Tribunal show that this operation was a brain-child of the German admirals; the proposal originated with Raeder and other naval members of the group and, after Hitler's approval had been obtained, the plans were developed at the OKW. Numerous members of the group participated in its planning and execution. The testimony of several army commanders that they had no foreknowledge of the attack is, not surprisingly, a fact, since the OKH and the Army commanders-in-chief were all fully absorbed at the time in planning the much larger attack on the Low Countries and France. Only a few German divisions were used in Norway and
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Denmark and, since it was a "combined operation," the plans were developed in OKW, not OKH.
Dr. Laternser's defense of the Norwegian attack on the basis that it was a preventive move to forestall an English invasion of Norway, might have some superficial plausibility if there were any evidence that the Norwegian invasion was improvised to meet an emergency. But it is totally and wantonly incredible in the fact of documents which show that the Norwegian invasion had been under discussion since October 1939, that active planning began in December that on 14 March Hitler was still hesitant about giving the order for the attack because he was "still looking for some justification," and that all through the weeks preceding the Norwegian attack there was discussion within the General Staff group as to whether it might not be preferable to initiate the general Western offensive against France and the Low Countries before undertaking the Norwegian campaign.
As for the major attack in the West, it appears from the testimony of Defense witnesses that Hitler wanted to attack in the fall of 1939, and that Brauchitsch and other generals persuaded him to postpone until the spring of 1940. This postponement indeed shows that the generals had considerable influence with Hitler, but hardly excuses the later attack. When the spring of 1940 arrived, according to Manstein, "the offensive in the West, from the point of view of the soldier, was absolutely inevitable," There is no evidence that a single German commander protested against or opposed the flagrant and ruthless violation of the neutrality of the Low Countries.
The explanations of the Defense concerning the crimes against peace are labored and implausible, and are in conflict equally with the documents before the Tribunal and with the history of the years in question. Nor is it true that the military leaders were mere puppets without influence on Hitler or the course of events. Naturally there were disagreements not only between Hitler and the Wehrmacht, but within the Wehrmacht itself. If Hitler prevailed at times, so at times did the Wehrmacht, whether it was to postpone the Western offensive or to launch the attack on Denmark and Norway, Despite the attempt to make the contrary appear, Hitler was not so stupid as to act without the benefit of military advice. One need only look at Hitler's directive to the military leaders of 12 November 1940, written after the successful conclusion of the Western offensive, in which Hitler discusses very tentatively his future plans in France, a possible offensive in Spain, whether Madeira and the Azores should be occupied, what assistance should be given the Italians in North Africa, what to do in Greece and the Balkans, what the future might hold with regard to the Soviet
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Union, and whether to invade England in the spring of 1941. Hitler concluded:
"I shall expect the commanders-in-chief to express their opinions on the measures anticipated in this directive. I shall then give orders regarding the method of execution and synchronization of the individual actions" (444-PS).
No, the leaders of the Wehrmacht were not puppets. If the generals owed their opportunity to rebuild the Wehrmacht largely to Hitler and the Nazis, it is very true that Hitler was utterly dependent on the generals for carrying out his plans. Brauchitsch has pointed out that "the carrying out of the orders that were given to the Army and to the army groups required such a high knowledge of military matters, and such ability and psychological understanding, that there were only a few people who were actually able to carry out such orders." And it is worth noting also that despite the very real and natural friction between the war lords and a former corporal, Hitler never, until July 1944, turned outside the ranks of the Army for his commanders-in-chief. Even during these final desperate months only four outsiders, Himmler himself and three others from the Waffen-SS, achieved the coveted distinction. Nor was the Wehrmacht that swarmed over the continent of Europe led by reluctant men. These aggressive wars were launched and waged by men who worshipped armed might, and wanted to extend the hegemony of Germany. That is, at bottom, why the Nazis and the Wehrmacht leaders gave the Third Reich its unity. I recall the Tribunal's attention to Admiral Fricke's memorandum of June 1940:
"It is too well known to need further mention that Germany's present position in the narrows of the Heligoland Bight and in the Baltic--bordered as it is by a whole series of states and under their influence--is an impossible one for the future of Greater Germany. The power of Greater Germany in the strategic areas acquired in this war should result in the existing population of these -areas feeling themselves politically, economically, and militarily to be completely dependent on Germany. If the following results are achieved-that expansion is undertaken (on a scale I shall describe later) by means of the military measures for occupation taken during the war, that French powers of resistance (popular unity, mineral resources, industry, and armed forces) will be so broken that a revival must be considered out of the question, that the smaller states such as the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway are forced into a dependence on us which will enable us in any circumstances and at any time easily to occupy these countries again--then in practice the same, but psychologically much more, will be achieved.
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"The solution, therefore, appears to be to crush France, to occupy Belgium, part of Northern and Eastern France, to allow the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway to exist on the basis indicated above" (C-41).
In the face of documents such as this one, we-have nevertheless heard the generals say over and over again that they were never told about what was going on and heard about events for the first time over the radio. Over and over again they have protested that they never heard about certain things until they were lodged in the jail at Nuremberg. Military figures, like so many others in this case, have not hesitated to put the responsibility for things which they cannot deny or avoid on the shoulders of one or two people whom they seek to portray as peculiar and unrepresentative of the group. The common denominator of these scapegoats is that they are all dead. The dead Reichenau is made to share the blame with the other dead who cannot speak--Hitler, Himmler, Dr. Rasche, and the rest. These defenses are mean and they are utterly incredible, The world will never believe them.
No group of men was more intimately concerned than were the military leaders with what was going on in and around Germany in the years before the war. The military leaders now tell us that they neither knew, nor cared to know, nor ought to have known, about these things. If what they say is true, then they are utterly unique, for nearly all the world had heard something about these things. One of the most remarkable things about this Trial has been that, instead of a series of startling revelations, the documents assembled here and the labor devoted to them have served to confirm what was already known or suspected throughout the world many years ago. I cannot suppose that anybody will ever subscribe to the view which the military leaders gave been forced by circumstances to put forward here in order to try and clear themselves from a stain which is far too dark to be effaced.
The crimes against peace in which the General Staff and High Command group participated led inevitably to the war crimes which followed. Without the participation of this group in the crimes against peace, there would not have been any war crimes. It is not a change from one subject to another, but only the inevitable chain of causation, which leads us now to consider the methods by which the Wehrmacht waged the wars it had launched.
We do not, of course, suggest that the hands of every German soldier were plunged into innocent blood, or that the rules of war and the laws of decency were disregarded by every German commander. But we do say that the nature and extent of the atrocities ordered by the leaders of the Wehrmacht and thereafter perpetrated by it in many countries of Europe, reveal and prove a calculated
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indifference on the part of the military leaders to the commission of crimes.
The uncontested fact is that the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, under instructions from Hitler as its Supreme Commander, issued various orders which flagrantly contravened the rules of war. These included the orders for the shooting of commandos and political commissars, the orders to "pacify" the occupied territories of the Soviet Union by spreading terror, and others. The Defense does not dispute the issuance of these orders, and it does not and cannot contest their criminality. Rather are we told that the German commanders were honorable soldiers, that they disapproved of these orders, that they tacitly agreed not to execute the orders, and that the orders were not executed.
Let us test this defense against the facts in the case of the Commando Order. The original order and the other relevant documents are all in evidence. In October 1942, Hitler ordered that enemy commandos were to be slaughtered to the last man; that even if they surrendered, they were none the less to be shot immediately, unless interrogation were necessary, in which case they were to be shot thereafter. The order was not a purposeless piece of criminality; Allied commando operations were doing serious harm to the German war effort, and Hitler thought this order would act as a deterrent.
The order was issued from the OKW and distributed to all three branches of the service, Army, Navy, and Air Force. There is ample evidence that it was widely distributed and well known within the Wehrmacht. Rundstedt, commander-in-chief in the West, reported on 23 June 1944 that "the treatment of enemy commando groups has so far been carried out according to the Hitler order." Two years later, under different circumstances, Rundstedt testified that he "evaded" and "sabotaged" the order, and that it was not carried out. But we know from the documents that it was carried out. Pursuant to this order, British and Norwegian commandos were executed in Norway in 1942 and 1943; American commandos were shot in Italy in 1944; Allied soldiers were executed in Slovakia in 1945. And, in the nature of things, the order must have been carried out in other instances of which, unhappily, no trace now remains.
In the light of these documents, what remains of the defense? Stated most favorably, merely that, because some of the military leaders disapproved the order, it was not executed as often as it might otherwise have been. But this defense is worse than worthless; it is shameful.
We must not forget that to kill a defenseless prisoner of war is not only a violation of the rules of war. It is murder. And murder is not the less murder whether there is one victim, or 55 (which is the number of slaughtered commandos shown by the documents),
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or Ohlendorf's. 99,000. Crime has been piled upon crime in this case until we are in danger of losing our sense of proportion. We have heard so much 'of mass-extermination that we are likely to forget that simple murder is a capital offense.
The laws of all civilized nations require that a man go to some lengths to avoid associating himself with murder, whether as an accomplice or accessory or co-conspirator. And these requirements can reasonably be applied to the German military leaders. Before this Tribunal they have made much of their traditions of honor, decency, courage, and chivalry.
Under German military law, a subordinate is liable to punishment for obeying the order of a superior if the subordinate knows that the order requires the commission of a general or a military crime. The Commando Order required the commission of murder, and every German officer who handled the order knew that perfectly well.
When Hitler directed the issuance of this order, the leaders of the Wehrmacht knew that it required the commission of murder. The responsibility for handling this question lay squarely on the group defined in the Indictment. The chiefs at OKW, OKH, OKL, and OKM had to decide whether to refuse to issue a criminal order or whether to pass it on to the commanders-in-chief in the field. The commanders in the field, Army, Navy and Air Force, had to decide whether to execute it or refuse to execute it, and whether to distribute it to their subordinates.
One can imagine that there were many meetings and telephone conversations among various members of the group to discuss this matter. There is no evidence that a single member of the group openly protested or announced his refusal to execute it. The general result was that the order was distributed throughout a large part of the Wehrmacht. This put the subordinate commanders in the same position as their superiors. We are told that some of the generals tacitly agreed not to carry out the order. If so, it was a miserable and worthless compromise. By distributing the order with "secret" or "tacit" understandings, the commanders-in-chief merely spread the responsibility and deprived themselves of any effective control over the situation. A tacit agreement to disobey cannot be so widely circulated. The inevitable result, and the result proved by the documents, was that the order was carried out and innocent men were murdered.
Because he was responsible for enforcing the Commando Order, General Dostler was tried, convicted, and shot to death. For the same crime, General Falkenhorst now stands condemned to die. But the responsibility for these murders is shared by Falkenhorst and Dostler with every German commander-in-chief at home or in the
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field who allowed this order to become the official law of the Wehrmacht and participated in its distribution. On this charge alone, I submit, the General Staff and High Command group is proved to have participated directly, effectively, and knowingly in the commission of war crimes.
On the Eastern Front, the callous indifference of the German war lords to violations of the laws of war and to mass-suffering and death produced results equally criminal and, because on a grander scale, far more horrible. The atrocities committed by the Wehrmacht and other agencies of the Third Reich in the East were of such staggering enormity that they rather tax the power of comprehension. Why did all these things happen? Analysis will show, I believe, that this was not simply madness and bloodlust. On the contrary, there was both method and purpose. These atrocities occurred as the result of carefully calculated orders and directives, issued prior to or at the time of the attack on the Soviet Union, which form a coherent, logical pattern.
One need not here consider the reasons why Hitler, in the fall of 1940, began to consider seriously making an attack on the Soviet Union. We do know that, beginning in September of 1940, he was constantly discussing this possibility with the military leaders, who had ample opportunity to express their views to him. We know that there was a division of opinion among the generals and admirals; none of them appear to have been much governed by moral scruples, but some thought the attack unnecessary, and others were dubious that a quick victory could be achieved. However, still others agreed with Hitler that the attack should be launched. When Hitler, in consultation with and with the support of part of the military leadership, decided to make the attack, there is no indication that any leading generals stood out decisively against the decision, and they embarked on the war with the utmost determination to carry it through to a successful conclusion.
Whatever may have been the reasons which prompted the attack, there was one factor which, once the decision had been made, became a vitally important object and purpose. of the attack. That was to seize large areas of the Soviet Union and to exploit these areas for the material benefit of Germany. To accomplish this, it was desired to "pacify" and crush all opposition in the occupied territory as rapidly as possible and with a minimum expenditure of manpower and material, to obliterate the Soviet political system and set up new German-supported regional political administrations, and to revise and expand the productive resources of these areas and convert them to the uses of the Third Reich.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.
[A recess was taken.]
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GEN. TAYLOR: Mr. President, at our recess I was describing the program for the exploitation and pacification of the Occupied Eastern Territories. Hitler had very definite ideas as to how this program should be carried out, and these ideas were partially embodied in the series of directives and orders with which the Tribunal is now familiar. Some of these orders were to be executed directly by the Wehrmacht, some of them by other agencies of the Reich, but in co-ordination with and supported by the Wehrmacht.
For the rapid and economical "pacification" of occupied territories, after Hitler had consulted Brauchitsch, the OKW issued the order of 22 July 1941, which ordered the commanders-in-chief to establish security, not by sentencing the guilty in courts of law, but by spreading "such terror as is likely, by its mere existence, to crush every will to resist amongst the population." For the same purpose, the OKW issued the order of 13 May 1941, which suspended the use of military courts for punishing offenses by enemy civilians, and directed that the troops themselves should accomplish pacification by "ruthless action," the most extreme methods, and "collective despotic measures" against localities. In furtherance of these abominable policies, it was further ordered that the German troops who committed offenses against Soviet civilians were not to be punished at all, unless punishment were necessary to maintain discipline and security or prevent waste of food or material. Every commissioned officer on the Eastern Front was to be instructed promptly and emphatically to behave in accordance with these principles. The language of the order was calculated to incite officers and men alike to the most despicable behavior.
In these two orders we can see the basic composition of this revolting picture. In more detail, Hitler expected particularly bitter opposition to his new Russian policies and regimes from officers and agents of the Soviet Government and from all Jews. These elements he decided to exterminate utterly, as they would otherwise remain a constant focal point of resistance within the occupied areas.
In furtherance of these policies of mass murder, the OKW issued the order for the killing of all political commissars who might be captured. This, like the Commando Order, required the murder of defenseless prisoners of war. And in this case, the military leaders behaved in precisely the same fashion. Not one commander-in-chief openly protested or openly announced his, refusal to execute the order. A few commanders may have refused to distribute it down to the troops, but it was distributed and became well known over the entire Eastern Front. As in the case of the Commando Order, we are told that by tacit agreement among the commanders it was not carried out. The evidence in support of this is that particular commanders or other officers never personally knew of an instance where a captured commissar was shot. We may assume the truth of
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some of these statements, but it is none the less totally incredible, in view of the order's wide distribution, and the deliberate brutalizing of the German soldier by such orders as these, and such directives as Reichenau and Manstein issued to their troops, that the Commissar Order was not carried out in many cases. It must have been.
The campaign of mass-extermination was extended from commissars to all Communists by the OKW order of 16 September 1941, which directed that all cases of resistance to the Wehrmacht, no matter what the circumstances, should be attributed to Communists and that "the death penalty for 50 to 100 Communists should generally be regarded as suitable atonement for one German soldier's life."
Terrorization and exploitation of the Russian countryside and extermination of undesired elements obviously could not be carried out by the Wehrmacht alone. Many other agencies of the Third Reich had an important share in this far-flung, evil program. Among these other agencies, perhaps the most unspeakable were the special task forces of Himmler, known as Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos. The mission of these units was to assist in "pacification" and pave the way for the new political regime by stamping out opposition, and particularly by slaughtering Communists and Jews. We know, both from contemporary documents and from the confession of the leader of one of these units, with what terrible fidelity that mission was performed.
The particular missions of the Einsatzgruppen were assigned by Himmler, but these units could not simply be turned loose in the operational and rear areas of a conquered territory without administration, supply, communication facilities, and sufficient control by the military to ensure that their tasks would be co-ordinated with, and at least would not obstruct, military operations. The Defense has made every effort to conceal this plain fact, but any soldier, and indeed anyone who gives the matter thought, must know that it is true.
And this is quite clear from the documents. The OKW Directive for Special Areas of 13 March 1941 provided that Himmler could send these units into operational areas in order to perform "special tasks for the preparation of the political administration, tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing political systems." But the order carefully specified that the execution of Himmler's tasks should not disturb military operations, and that the units were subject to the supreme authority of the commander-in-chief of the army in the operational area. The billeting and feeding of Himmler's units was to be furnished by the Army. It was directed that further details should be arranged between the OKH and Himmler. Brauchitsch has confirmed that
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subsequently the details were settled at a conference between Heydrich and General Wagner of OKH, and Schellenberg, who drafted the agreement, has described its contents.
These infamous gangs of murderers, in short, were fed and housed by the Army and would have been helpless, without the Army's support. The testimony of some of the German generals that these killings of thousands upon thousands took place without their knowledge would make one smile, were not the truth so black and sickening. A military area, even far behind the front, is not a desert where one can wander to and fro unchallenged. It is a veritable maze of rear headquarters, trucking companies, ammunition dumps, supply depots, signal installations, hospitals, gasoline dumps, railway guards, prisoner-of-war stockades, anti-aircraft batteries, airfields, engineers, ordnance units, motor pools-a thousand and one other troops that furnish the base of operations and the line of communications for an army in the field. The smooth functioning of this vast and complicated train is vital to the success of the combat troops. The enemy knows this, and is eager both to disrupt it and to extract intelligence from it through sabotage groups, agents, and partisans. Therefore the occupying forces guard their installations, patrol the roads and railways, and garrison the centers of population. Travellers, no matter what uniform they wear, are stopped and questioned and asked for identification. These troops in the rear come in close contact with the civilian population, and know what is going on among them. Military Police and counterintelligence troops police the area and report on its condition to higher headquarters.
Furthermore, a commander in the field dislikes to have autonomous units under special orders from home at large in his area. This is particularly true when, as here, the units came as servants of Himmler, whom the German generals say they thought to be their enemy, intent on usurping their powers and functions. The idea that Himmler's extermination squads flitted through Russia, murdering Jews and Communists on a large scale, but secretly and unbeknown to the Army, is utterly preposterous--the desperate sparring of men who have no recourse but to say what is not true.
Let us look again at the pattern as a whole. Most of it was written down in plain German before the attack on Russia was launched. Terrorize the populace, let acts of violence and brutality on the part of German troops go unpunished, kill the commissars, kill 100 Communists whenever you can find an excuse, make way for and feed and house Himmler's squads performing "tasks which result from the struggle which has to be carried out between two opposing. political systems." And the political system for which the
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commanders-in-chief were fighting had already been exterminating Communists and Jews and boasting about it for years.
The German generals were bright enough to understand this pattern. In any event, it had been explained to them. The OKW directive suspending the courts-martial ended with a directive to the military leaders to inform their legal advisers about the verbal information in which the political intentions of the High Command were explained to the commanders-in-chief. The Defendant Rosenberg, at the time of or before' the invasion, advised Keitel, Jodl, Warlimont, Brauchitsch, and Raeder about his "political and historical conception of the Eastern problem." According to Brauchitsch, Hitler had explained the ideological nature of the war to all the commanders-in-chief in conference at the time the Commissar Order was issued. The affidavits of Generals Roettiger, Rode, and Heusinger further confirm the obvious conclusion that the whole pattern of "pacification" was well understood throughout the German military leadership.
An army demoralized and brutalized by criminal orders and evil doctrines will behave in a brutal way in circumstances where they have no explicit orders. I have not, for instance, seen a written order that Soviet prisoners who could not march should be shot. I am prepared to believe that some German generals treated prisoners as well as they could, but I also find convincing the complaint of the young German lieutenant that efforts to pacify and exploit the Ukraine were being frustrated because:
"... prisoners were shot when they could not, march any more, right in the middle of villages and some of the bigger hamlets, and the corpses were left lying about, and the population saw in these facts what they did not understand and which confirmed the worst distortions of enemy propaganda."
For the same reasons, the anti-partisan warfare was carried out brutally, and with enormous loss of life among innocent civilians. As the divisions of the German Army were transferred between the Eastern and Western Fronts, the practices on each front spread to the other. Slaughter at Kherson and Kovno was reflected in massacre at Malmedy and Oradour. The German Army
had been demoralized by its leaders. I recall to the Tribunal that a high German military judge, as early as 1939, granted "extenuating circumstances" to an SS officer who, without any reasons, shot 50 Jews in a Polish synagogue because:
"... 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."
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One must remember the observation before this Tribunal of SS Obergruppenfuehrer Von Aem Bach-Zelewski, who pointed out that:
"... when for years, for decades, the doctrines are preached that the Slav race is an- inferior race and Jews not even human, then such an explosion is inevitable."
The defense of these charges is the same as in the case of the Commando Order. A mass of affidavits have been submitted by individual commanders-in-chief and subordinate officers in which they express their abhorrence of these orders and profess that they did not execute them. Again we hear of tacit understandings, even in the face of evidence as to the slaughter which the orders caused. It makes one gasp that such a defense can be put forward at all, apparently without shame.
Again I say that the responsibility lies squarely on the group specified in the Indictment. Keitel, Jodl, Brauchitsch, Goering, and their colleagues at the center -of affairs circulated these malignant
orders, the criminality of which a child could see. Kleist, Kluge, Rundstedt, Reichenau, Schobert, Manstein, and the other field commanders-in-chief distributed them to their subordinate officers. No secret agreements could forestall the terrible result which followed inevitably.
Is it really too much to ask that the commanders-in-chief should have refused to distribute these orders? As soldiers they were bound to obey their Supreme Commander, but their own law and code says that it is the duty of every soldier to refuse to obey orders which he knows to be criminal. This is hard for the ordinary soldier acting under pistol-point orders from his lieutenant. It is far less difficult for the commander-in-chief; he is expected to be mature, educated, accustomed to responsibility, and disciplined to be steady and unflinching when put to a test. Under their own law and under the traditions they are so shameless as still to vaunt, the leaders were in duty bound to reject these orders. Their failure caused suffering and death to hundreds of thousands; their failure resulted directly in countless murders and other brutal crimes; and
they, far more than the soldiers whom these orders led into crime, are the real criminals.
Hitler needed the commanders-in-chief; he needed them desperately and would have been helpless without them. They could have held securely and firmly to the standards which every soldier, and indeed every man, is expected to meet. And it was not, in most cases, fear of Hitler that caused them to betray these standards. They were ready enough to disagree with Hitler on other matters which they regarded as more important. They did not want to risk a breach with Hitler over what they callously regarded as a minor matter. They were intent on "larger" things--
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the conquest of Europe--on which they and Hitler were in agreement.
Some of the military leaders, we cannot tell how many were willing to go much further and to stand sponsor for Nazi ideology. Reichenau and Manstein lent their names and prestige shamelessly in order to advance these vile doctrines. We cannot capture all the orders; we cannot tell how many German commanders-in-chief there are who, like Manstein, unctuously protesting their disapproval of Nazi doctrine, could be confronted with their own nauseating manifestoes.
We may assume, for the sake of argument, that many German commanders-in-chief disliked the pattern of orders and doctrines which the evidence here has unfolded. He who touches filth is not excused because he holds his nose. For reasons which appeared to them sufficient, the German military leaders helped to weave this pattern. It is just this calculated indifference to crime which makes their conduct so unspeakable. Those individual commanders-in-chief, if any, who can show clean hands may come forth and clear themselves. But the military leaders as a group, E submit, are proved beyond doubt to have participated directly, effectively, and knowingly in numerous and widespread war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Under Articles 9 and 10 of the London Agreement for the Trial of Major War Criminals, Keitel and Raeder and the other military defendants are on trial not only as individuals, but as representatives of the German military leadership. The military defendants committed their crimes as military leaders and hand-in-hand with others. It is in their representative capacity that the military leaders in the dock are truly important.
The evidence against this group is so complete and compelling that their attempts at defense must be desperately and inconsistently contrived. When called to account as a group for their
crimes the famous German General Staff disintegrates, like a child's puzzle thrown on the floor, into 130 separate pieces. We are told that there is nothing there. Called upon to state their views on Hitler, aggressive war, or other unpleasant subjects, the pieces reassemble themselves into pattern instantly and magically. With true German discipline, the same words come from every mouth. When the question is the participation of the Wehrmacht in killing Jews, they indignantly deny that their soldiers would do such things. When the question is the enforcement of law and discipline within the Wehrmacht, we are met by affidavits saying that German soldiers who killed Jews were court-martialed and shot. Charged with responsibility as a group, they plead immunity on the ground that they could not resign and that their status was therefore
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involuntary. Seeking to establish that they disapproved the policies of Hitler, they boast that many of their number who expressed their opposition were allowed or requested to resign. The inconsistency of their appeal to the soldier's oath of obedience is particularly shameless. Charged with launching aggressive wars against neighboring countries, they plead the oath in their defense. Accused of crimes committed during the war, they take credit to themselves for refusing to obey criminal orders. And so it is represented that the soldier who in time of peace was completely bound by his oath to give unquestioning obedience, regardless of consequences, to a perjured head of state, could nevertheless, when his country was at war and obedience supposedly far more necessary, dabble in secret disobedience and thereby shift the blame and responsibility for the murder of commandos and commissars onto other shoulders.
Let us look once more at these military leaders whose actions we have just examined. They are a group in more ways than one. They are more than a group; they are a class, almost a caste. They have a course of thought and a way of life. They have distinctive qualities of mind, which have been noted and commented on by the rest of the world for many decades, and which have their roots in centuries. They have been a historical force, and are still to be reckoned with. They are proud of it.
To escape the consequences of their actions, these men now deny all this. But in their very denial, the truth is apparent. Their group spirit and unity of outlook and purpose is so deep that, it drops from their lips willy-nilly. Read their testimony; always they refer to themselves as "we" or "we old soldiers," and they are forever stating "our" attitude on this or that subject. Rundstedt's testimony is full of such expressions of the attitude of the German military leaders as a group on a great variety of questions. Manstein told us that "we soldiers mistrusted all parties"; "we all considered ourselves the trustees of the unity of Germany"; and "the National Socialist aim of unification was according to our attitude, though not the National Socialist methods."
What are the characteristics of the German military leaders? They have been familiar to students of history for a long time; books have been written by them and about them. They are manifest in the documents and testimony before the Tribunal.
They are careful observers of Germany's internal politics, but their tradition and policy is not to identify themselves with parties or internal political movements. This is the only true note in the refrain, which has been sung so often at this Trial, that "we were soldiers and not politicians." They regard themselves as above politics and politicians. They are concerned only with what they
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consider to be the deeper, unchanging interests of Germany as a nation. As Manstein put it:
"We soldiers mistrusted all parties, because every party in Germany placed its own interests above the interests of Germany. We all considered ourselves the trustees of the unity of Germany in this respect...."
The German military leaders are deeply interested in foreign politics and diplomacy. Any intelligent professional officer must be. Training is conducted, equipment is built, and plans are evolved in the light of what is known about the military potential and intentions of other countries. No officers in the world were more aware of this than the Germans; none studied the international scene as closely or with such cold calculation. It was their mentor, Clausewitz, who described war as an instrument of politics.
The German military leaders want Germany to be free from political fluctuations, and a government which will mobilize German resources behind the Wehrmacht and inculcate in the German public the spirit and purposes of militarism. This is what Rundstedt meant when he said that: "The National Socialist ideas which were good were usually ideas which were carried over from old Prussian times and which we had known already without the National Socialists." That is what Manstein meant by the "unity" of Germany.
The German military leaders believe in war. They regard it as part of a normal, well-rounded life. Manstein told us from the witness box that they "naturally considered the glory of war as something great." The "considered, opinion" of OKW in 1938 recited that:
"Despite all attempts to outlaw it, war is still a law of nature which may be challenged but not eliminated. It serves the survival of the race and state or the assurance of its historical future.
"This high moral purpose gives war its total character and its ethical justification."
These characteristics of the German military leaders are deep and permanent. They have bean bad for the world, and bad for Germany too. Their philosophy is so perverse that they regard a lost war, and a defeated and prostrate Germany, as a glorious opportunity to start again on the same terrible cycle. Their attitude of mind is nowhere better set forth than in a speech delivered by General Beck before the German War Academy in 1935. The
audience of young officers was told that "the hour of death of our old magnificent Army" in 1919 "led to the new life of the young Reichswehr," and that the German Army returned from the first World War "crowned with the laurels of immortality." Later on
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they were told that if the military leaders have displayed intelligence and courage, then losing a war "is ennobled by the pride of a glorious fall." In conclusion, they are reminded that Germany is a "military-minded nation" and are exhorted to remember "the duty which they owe to the man who recreated and made strong again the German Wehrmacht."
In 1935, that man was Hitler. In previous years it was other men. The German militarist will join forces with any man or government that offers fair prospect of effective support for military exploits. Men who believe in war as a way of life learn nothing from the experience of losing one.
I have painted this picture of the German military leaders not because it is an unfamiliar one, but because it is so familiar that it may be in danger of being overlooked. We must not become preoccupied with the niceties of a chart or details of military organization at the expense of far more important things which are matters of common knowledge. The whole world has long known about and suffered at the hands of the German military leadership. Its qualities and conduct are open and notorious. Is the world now to be told that there is no such group? Is it to hear that the German war lords cannot be judged because they were a bunch of conscripts? We have had to deal seriously with such arguments only because there are no others.
That the case against the German militarists is clear does not make it the less important. We are at grips here with something big and evil and durable; something that was not born in 1933, or even 1921; something much older than anyone here; something far more important than any individual in the dock; something that is not yet dead and that cannot be killed by a rifle or a hangman's noose.
For 9 months this courtroom has been a world of gas chambers, mountains of corpses, human-skin lampshades, shrunken skulls, freezing experiments, and bank vaults filled with gold teeth. It is vital to the conscience of the world that all the participants in these enormities shall be brought to justice. But these exhibits, gruesome as they are, do not lie at the heart of this case. Little will be accomplished by shaking the poisoned fruit from the tree. It is much harder to dig the tree up by the roots, but only this will in the long run do much good.
The tree which bore this fruit is German militarism. Militarism is as much the core of the Nazi Party as of the Wehrmacht itself. Militarism is not the profession of arms. Militarism is embodied in the "military-minded nation" whose leaders preach and practice conquest by force of arms, and relish war as something desirable
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in itself. Militarism inevitably leads to cynical and wicked disregard of the rights of others and of the very elements of civilization. Militarism destroys the moral character of the nation that practises it and, because it can be overthrown only by its own weapons, undermines the character of nations that are forced to combat it.
The wellspring of-German militarism through the years had been the group of professional military leaders who have become known to the world as the "German General Staff." That is why the exposure and discrediting of this group through the declaration of criminality is far more important than the fate of the ,uniformed individuals in the box, or of other members of this group as individuals. Keitel and Raeder and Rundstedt and Kesselring and Manstein have shot their bolt. They will not lead the legions of the Wehrmacht again.
What is really at stake now is not the lives of these particular men, but the future influence of the German General Staff within Germany, and, consequently, on the lives of people in all countries. That is why it was declared at Yalta:
"It is our inflexible purpose to destroy German militarism and Nazism, and to ensure that Germany will never again be able to disturb the peace of the world. We are determined to disarm and disband all German armed forces; break up for all time the German General Staff that has repeatedly contrived the resurgence of German militarism."
The first steps toward the revival of German militarism have been taken right here in this courtroom. The German General Staff has had plenty of time to think since the spring of 1945, and it well knows what is at stake here. The German militarists know that their future strength depends on re-establishing the faith of the German people in their military powers and in disassociating themselves from the atrocities which they committed in the service of the Third Reich. Why did the Wehrmacht meet with defeat? Hitler interfered too much in military affairs, says Manstein. What about the atrocities? The Wehrmacht committed none. Hitler's criminal orders were discarded and disregarded by the generals. Any atrocities which did occur were committed by other men, such as Himmler, and other agencies, such as the SS. Could not the generals have taken any steps to prevent Germany's engulfment in war and eventual destruction? No; the generals were bound by their oath of obedience to the Chief of State. Did not an SS general say that the Field Marshals could have prevented many of the excesses and atrocities? The reaction is one of superiority and scorn: "I think it is impertinent for an SS man to make such statements about a Field Marshal," says
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Rundstedt. The documents and testimony show that these are transparent fabrications. But here, in embryo, are the myths and legends which the German militarists will seek to propagate in the German mind. These lies must be stamped and labeled for what they are now while the proof is fresh.
This is as important within our own countries as it is here in Germany. Militarism has flourished far more widely and obstinately in Germany than elsewhere, but it is a plant which knows no national boundaries; it grows everywhere. It lifts its voice to say that war between East and West, or Left and Right, or White and Yellow, is inevitable. It whispers that newly devised weapons are so terrible that they should be hurled now lest some other country use them first. It makes the whole world walk under the shadow of death.
German militarism, if it comes again, will not necessarily reappear under the aegis of Nazism. The German militarists will tie themselves to any man or party that offers expectation of a revival of German armed might. They will calculate deliberately and coldly. They will not be deterred by fanatical ideologies or hideous practices; they will take crime in their stride to reach the goal of German power and terror. We have seen them do it before.
The truth is spread on the record before us, and all we have to do is state the truth plainly. The German militarists joined forces with Hitler and with him created the Third Reich; with him they deliberately made a world in which might was all that mattered; with him they plunged the world into war, and spread terror and devastation over the continent of Europe. They dealt a blow at all mankind; a blow so savage and foul that the conscience of the world will reel for years to come. This was not war; it was crime. This was not soldiering; it was savagery. These things need to be said. We cannot here make history over again, but we can see that it is written true.
M. AUGUSTE CHAMPETIER DE RIBES (Chief Prosecutor for the French Republic): Mr. President, Your Honors:
We have asked you to condemn the leaders responsible for the drama which has bathed the world in blood. Today, when we ask you to declare as criminal the organizations which served as instruments for their designs, we seek from your justice the moral condemnation of an entire coherent system, which has brought civilization into the gravest danger it has known since the collapse of the Roman world.
And we attach as much importance to the sentence which we are asking for today as to the one which we requested yesterday.
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For, if we believe it necessary that the guilty should be punished, we think it no less salutary solemnly to remind those in power today, and who will be in power tomorrow, of the dictates of a moral law without which neither order nor peace can rule in the universe.
Who does not see, in fact, that in the times in which we are living, when man's folly has made use of the prodigious progress of science and technology for the work of death, and when, as a philosopher has said "our civilization has equipped itself for suicide," the problems confronting the agony of the world are above all moral problems?
"Humanity," says our great Bergson, "groans, half crushed by the weight of the progress it has made.... The increased body awaits the addition of a soul, and the machine requires a mystic faith."
We know what it is, this mystic faith of which Bergson was thinking. It was there at the zenith of the Graeco-Roman civilization, when Cato the Elder, the wisest of the wise, wrote in his treatise on political economy: "One must know the right time to sell one's old oxen and one's old slaves," and introduced these two ideas of the individual person and human brotherhood into the world, which sufficed to convulse it.
The person, that is to say, the spiritualized individual, no longer an isolated human being, a mere cipher in the political order, a cog in the economic gear, but man as a whole, body and soul-soul incarnate, no doubt, but, above all, a soul for the flowering of which society has been fashioned; social man, who finds his full development only in fraternal communion with his neighbor, man whose mission confers a dignity upon him which gives him the right to escape from every attempt at bondage or monopoly.
It is this mystic faith which in the realm of politics has inspired all the written or traditional constitutions of all civilized nations ever since Great Britain, the mother of democracies, guaranteed to every free man, by virtue of Magna Charta and the Act of Habeas Corpus, that he should be "neither arrested nor imprisoned, except by the judgment of his peers delivered by the due process of the law."
It is this faith which inspired the American Declaration of 1776:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men have been endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights."
It is that which inspired the French Declaration of 1791:
"The representatives of the French people, constituting a National Assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetfulness, or contempt for the rights of man are the sole causes of common
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misfortunes and the corruption of governments, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man. Consequently, the National Assembly recognizes and declares, in the presence and under the protection of the Supreme Being, the following rights of the man, of the citizen."
Does not the idea of the high dignity of the human individuality also inspire the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which, in Chapter X, proclaims "the fundamental rights and duties of citizens of the U.S.S.R.... without distinction as to nationality or race"?
Finally, does not the' Charter of the United Nations, signed on 26 June 1945 at San Francisco by 51 nations, begin with this solemn declaration:
"We, the Peoples of the United Nations, are resolved to preserve future generations from the scourge of war, which twice within the span of human life has inflicted indescribable sufferings on humanity, and to proclaim our faith in the fundamental rights of man, in the dignity and value of the human individual, in the equality of rights of men and women, as well as of nations, large and small...."
Certain ones among us have been able to secularize this mystic faith as much as they desired. All of us recognize that it is Christianity's chief contribution to the world and that, extending its conquests slowly in the course of centuries, it has laid the foundations of world-wide civilization.
It was against this mystic faith that Hitler, in the middle of the 20th century, attempted a violent reaction, by opposing' to it his barbarous ideology of race distinction, his primitive conception of social life regulated by biological laws alone.
For he not only envisaged establishing the military domination of Germany in Europe, but his ambition was to impose on the world his "culture," which overthrows all the moral and intellectual foundations upon which the civilized world has rested ever since the dawn of the Christian era. For him the biological laws which govern animal communities are equally applicable to human communities, and first of all those of natural selection and the struggle for existence.
So there could be no question of the autonomy of the human individual. Like the ant in the ant-heap, the individual exists only by and for the whole. The State is not made for the individual, but the individual for the State.
So, also, there could be no question of pity, nor of brotherly love. Christianity, the religion of the degenerate and the sick, would be
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replaced by the new religion which recognizes no law but that of might, no duty but that of domination.
This animal conception of human life, this "culture," this religion, is not the work of a philosopher propounding a new theory in the field of intellectual speculation, it is the work of a realist who puts it into practice. In the sphere of domestic policy it would order the purging of the German people of the elements which contaminate
it, and the improvement of the race of blond Aryans. And so Jews would be driven out or exterminated. The abnormal, the sick, the weak, would be eliminated or at least sterilized. Youth, snatched at an early age from family life, would be trained by the State for its mission, which is "to make the world tremble." "I want," Hitler said to Rauschning, "I want to see in its eyes the gleam which one sees in the eyes of a stag." But by this he slanders the stag, which kills, no doubt, because it is hungry, because it is afraid, or because it is in rut, but which is not versed in the sadism of refined tortures.
This conception of life is applied by Hitler to international relations.
"A stronger race"--he writes in Mein Kampf--"will drive out the weaker ones, for the vital urge in its ultimate form will break down the absurd barriers of the so-called humanity of individuals, to make way for the humanity of Nature, which destroys the weak to give their place to the strong."
And we know what crimes have been committed in the name of this new religion, how many dead the realization of this sham doctrine of life has cost: the concentration camps, the gas chambers, and the crematory ovens; the inoculations with viruses, the sterilizations, the vivisection practised on prisoners and deportees, the enslavement of peoples considered assimilable, and above all the methodical extermination of those alleged to be inferior, and, in short, "genocide"--all this is the monstrous fruit of the Hitlerite ideology.
M. de Menthon was right when he said that the sin against the spirit is the fundamental vice of National Socialism, and the source of all the crimes committed in its name. And did not Louis Veuillot have the gift of prophecy when he wrote in his Parfums de Rome in 1871:
"Germany, Germany, to whom heaven had-given so much! When thou shalt see the ghost of an emperor reappear, who will not wield the sword to protect justice and defend the ancient law, but who will call himself the emperor of the
people and the sword of the new law.... then will be the hour of great expiation."
We have shown who those were who were principally guilty of all the crimes of National Socialism. But to realize their diabolical
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plan of universal domination, not only of territories but of men's consciences, they needed collaborators inspired with the same faith, trained in the same school, and that is why the leaders, the "Fuehrer," conceived and brought into being, little by little, this complicated and coherent system of leadership, coercion, and control, which constitutes the whole of the organizations of the State and of the National Socialist Party.
Executive bodies were necessary, from which emanated, by virtue of the "Fuehrerprinzip," general orders and directives; and they were the Reich Cabinet and the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.
Instruments were needed for control, for propaganda, for Police and for the execution of orders, and they were the Gestapo, the SA, the SD, and the SS.
Finally, it was necessary for the Army to be at the service of Party policy, and this was the work of the General Staff and the High Command, purged of all elements which were insufficiently nazified.
It is possible that the members of these organizations, these groups or these services were more or less the fanatics of the regime, and the Tribunal will recall the plausible distinction made in the course of Ribbentrop's examination between the "pure Nazis" and those who were so only halfway.
All had at least accepted the doctrine and the material advantages which the regime lavished upon them. Because certain of them made mental reservations are they less contemptible and less guilty?
That all these organizations, these groups or these services contributed to the work of universal domination by every means has been abundantly proved in the course of these proceedings. Have not the defense counsel of the organizations constantly intervened during the interrogations of the individual defendants, and were not all of these defendants, in various capacities, members of one, and often of several, of these organizations, so that the close cooperation between the collective organizations and the men who are now in the dock has been indisputably established?
After-these proceedings, which have been so thorough, and after the presentations of my eminent colleagues of the American and British Prosecution, I shall refrain from recalling once more the innumerable atrocities in which the groups or organizations enumerated in the Indictment have participated by ordering them, by committing them, or by permitting them. I should only like to reply, briefly to two of the arguments to which the Defense Counsel, and particularly those for the Gestapo, the SD and the High Command, appear to attach the greatest importance.
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It is possible, they say at first, that abuses were committed in the heat of the struggle, which had become pitiless in the course of the war which had become total, but, it was never a question of anything but individual crimes, which might involve the responsibility of the persons who committed them, but not that of the groups which censured them.
Watertight compartments, says the Defense in the second place, separated the various organizations of the Reich. For this reason the activity of each organization should be examined separately and this examination does not reveal a criminal intention or activity in any of them.
First argument: In order to determine whether or not an organization is criminal, it is necessary, says the Defense, to examine the essential principles of its structure. Now, there is nothing criminal in these. So that the crimes, should any have been committed, can only be attributed to individuals, and do not permit the conclusion to be drawn that the character of the group as a whole is criminal.
Thus the Gestapo, according to the terms of its constitution, was a State Police, charged, like the police of all civilized states, with aiding in the work of justice and protecting the community against individuals who might threaten its security. It is possible that it may sometimes have received and carried out orders from above which were not directly relevant to its essential mission of protection, such as mass arrests of Jews, the extermination' of Russian prisoners of war, the murder of recaptured prisoners who had escaped. But such accidental activities did not fall within its competence as an institution. They would not alter the essential character of the organization which had nothing criminal about it.
Thus the SD is constitutionally simply a service for obtaining information and sounding public opinion, a sort of Gallup poll, harmless in itself.
It is possible that members of the SD accidentally collaborated in the repressive measures of the Gestapo. It is true that members of the SD held a number of high positions and indulged in a number of questionable activities, but they were not acting then as functionaries of the SD and could not compromise the organization, the institutional character of which had nothing criminal about it.
Thus the High Command was charged institutionally only with the defense of the Reich, and solely with that defense. It did not deal with politics and had nothing to do with the Police. It is possible that it may sometimes have overstepped its mission. It is true that it signed orders to deport to an unknown destination those who resisted, to hand over to the Police for extermination the commandos and escaped prisoners, which was contrary to military honor, but it acted then merely as an intermediary for Hitler's or
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Himmler's orders. This accidental activity outside its own province could not change its essential character, which was not criminal in any way.
Thus the Defense always tries to distinguish between the institutional character of the organization, which it believes it has shown to be non-criminal, and the practical activity of the group which, it admits, is open to criticism, a distinction which is understandable
in a democratic regime, where pre-established institutions limit the arbitrary nature of governments, and the autonomy of the individual and the liberty of the citizen are protected from the misuse of power, but which is incomprehensible in the Hitler regime.
Did Best, the police theorist, trouble himself about respecting a principle when he wrote that the methods of the Police are prescribed by the enemy? Does the decree of 28 February 1933 trouble itself about principle, when it allows the all-powerful state to ignore all legal restraints?
Did Hitler make any distinction between principle and practice, when, at the conference of 23 May 1939 held in the Chancellery and attended by the members of the High Command, he stated:
"The principle of avoiding the solution of problems by adaptation to circumstances must be banished. Rather must circumstances be adapted to necessities.... It is no longer a question of justice or injustice, but of the existence or nonexistence of 80 million people."
In reality, under the Hitler regime no pre-established institutions, no legality, no limitation to arbitrariness, no excesses of power were possible. There is no other principle than the "Fuehrerprinzip," no other legality than the good pleasure of the chief, whose orders must be executed without any possible dissension all the way down the scale.
The concept of a so-called institution which was supposed to have presided over the constitution of the collective organizations and given them a certain character, is merely an a posteriori construction originating in Defense Counsel's ingenuity.
The concrete activity of the collective organizations is the only thing which counts, and we have proved that it was criminal.
Moreover, the Defense seeks grounds for the exculpation of the collective organizations in the fact that the members of the Gestapo, the SS, or the SD who indulged in these criminal acts did not perform them in the name of their original organization, but were temporarily detached from them.
Has it not been proved, on the contrary, that in the general organization of the National Socialist system these groups played the role of reserves and preparatory schools from which the leaders,
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for their work of domination, drew executives who were perfectly prepared for the criminal deeds entrusted to them?
And is not the fact that Hitler often conferred on his accomplices the dignity of honorary membership in one of these organizations also proof of the importance which he attached to the evidence of orthodoxy implied by membership of one or other of these groups?
Thus, whatever point of view one may take, the first argument of the Defense cannot be maintained.
THE PRESIDENT: M. Champetier de Ribes, I think you can hardly finish your speech before the adjournment; I think perhaps we had better adjourn now.
M. CHAMPETIER DE RIBES: Yes, Sir.
[A recess was taken until 1400 hours.]
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THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has had an application from Dr. Stahmer on behalf of the Defendant Goering that certain affidavits offered in evidence by Dr. Laternser on behalf of the General Staff and High Command should be considered on behalf of the Defendant Goering. And the Tribunal, of course, will consider those affidavits on behalf of the Defendant Goering as it would consider all the rest of the record.
Yes, M. Champetier de Ribes.
M. CHAMPETIER DE RIBES: Mr. President and Gentlemen, the Defense submits a second argument.
The organizations, it says, were independent and did not know each other. Some were subject to the State, others to the Party; and State and Party were active in different domains. The various sections within the organizations themselves were watertight compartments and acted quite independently. And at the risk of sacrificing the most compromised cells, Defense Counsel are trying to clear from responsibility the greatest possible number of these supposedly isolated groups.
But this argument is contradicted by all we know of the general organization of the Reich's administrative services. In establishing the personal responsibility of each individual defendant, M. Dubost showed that the close interlocking of the organizations and the services is beyond discussion.
The National Socialist State is totalitarian. Its officials, as well as its services, derive their inspiration from a common ideology and pursue common aims. Unity of action is ensured by the penetration of the Party, the expression of the political will of the people, throughout the whole State machine.
This unification of State and Party was effected by the law of 1 December 1933: "The National Socialist Party has become the representative of the conception of the German State and is indissolubly bound to the State." (Article 1.) Public services must cooperate with the Party services. In fact, this interpenetration and unification of State and Party was effected by the concentration into the same hands of the powers emanating from both. Hitler was simultaneously head of the State, the Army, and the Party. Himmler, as Chief of the SS, which is subject to the Party, was simultaneously head of the Police, which was subject to the State. The Gauleiter, Party functionaries, in most cases also represented the State in their capacity of Reich Governors or Chief Administrators of Prussia. The Chief of the Party Chancellery had a part in the elaboration of important laws and in appointing higher State
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officials. The law of 7 April 1933 provides for the purging of State officials suspected of insufficient devotion to the Party, and we know with what brutality this purging was carried out in the High Command.
Thus, in their acts as in their writings, the interdependence of State, Party, and Army is realized to the fullest extent, and in the sum total of their activity it is impossible to distinguish what share of responsibility belongs to the one or to the other.
Is it necessary to give examples of this? We have already furnished many and fear to weary the Tribunal.
It will suffice to recall the close co-operation between the Gestapo, the SD, the SS, and the Army in the common elaboration of general instructions and in the execution of operations against resistance forces, reprisals against civil population, and the extermination of the Jews.
Do we not find convincing proof of it in Hitler's instruction of 30 July 1944, which has frequently been quoted:
"All acts of violence committed by non-German civilians in the occupied territories, against the Wehrmacht, the SS and the Police, and against the installations which they use, must, as acts of terror or sabotage, be fought in the following way:
"a) The troops and each individual member of the Wehrmacht, SS, and Police must kill on the spot terrorists and saboteurs caught in the act.
"b) Anyone caught afterwards must be transferred to the nearest local station of the Security Police and the Security Service..." (F-673).
By mentioning the Wehrmacht, the SS, and the, Police three times, side by side, does not Hitler stress the close co-operation existing between these organizations?
Is it necessary to recall once more Keitel's numerous instructions, Marshal Kesselring's order of 14 January - 1944, and General Von Brodowski's diary of operations, which place the Army at the disposal of the Police, or the Police at the disposal of the Army, for the savage repression of the resistance forces? Is it necessary to recall Keitel's orders to the commanding generals in France, Holland, and Belgium that the Army should participate in the pillage of art treasures organized and directed by Rosenberg?
Did not, the witness Hoffmann--quoted by the Gestapo--declare to the Court on 1 August that the "Nacht und Nebel" decree was the work of collaboration between the High Command and the Ministry of Justice?
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The Defense therefore tries in vain to lessen these responsibilities by dividing them between the State and the Party agencies, between the so-called independent organizations.
It is no more successful when it tries to establish the existence of watertight compartments separating within the same organization the various sections composing it. For example, whom does it expect to believe that the administrative officials of the SD (Security Service) and of the Gestapo were unaware of the vast scale of the deportations, when they had to solve the difficult problem of arranging the convoys; or that the maintenance offices could fail to know of the exterminations carried out by chemical means, when they had to repair the gas vans?
In fact, all the departments of the Gestapo, the SD, the SS, and the High Command are jointly responsible for the crimes committed in common; and what is true of these organizations is true also of the Reich Cabinet and the Political Leaders, as has been shown by my honorable colleagues of the Prosecution.
Are organizers less guilty than those who committed the deeds; is the brain less responsible than the arm? We therefore consider we have proved the joint culpability of all those organizations which we request you to declare as criminal.
Does that mean that our purpose is to obtain from the competent tribunals the most severe sentences against all members of these organizations? Certainly not. In requesting of your justice the moral condemnation of the organizations, without which the crimes of National Socialism could not have been perpetrated, we are not asking you to condemn without hearing men who can indeed plead their cases in person before the competent tribunals
Moreover, although the Charter of your Tribunal decrees that "in cases where a group or organization is declared criminal lay the Tribunal.... such criminal nature is considered proved and shall not be questioned," it does not say anywhere that all members of such groups or organizations must be arraigned before competent authorities, and in our opinion only those should be prosecuted who, having knowledge of the criminal activity of the group or organization, deliberately joined it, thus participating personally in the crimes committed by all collectively.
We think, on the other hand, that in the interest of serene justice and in the hope of universal pacification, the penalties must be made proportionate to the gravity of the offences charged, and that if the most severe penalties are justly attendant upon the crimes of which a member of an organization is found personally guilty, mere affiliation, even voluntary, to- one of these groups should only be punished by penalties involving loss of freedom or even only by loss of all or some civil or political rights.
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And if the Tribunal share this opinion, nothing in the Charter prohibits them from saying so in whatever form they deem most fitting. Your verdict therefore will not be, as Dr. Steinbauer seemed to fear in his final pleading for Seyss-Inquart, the conclusion of a "trial of the vanquished by the victor." It will be the solemn and serene manifestation of eternal justice.
In this same final pleading, trying to contrast the words of M. de Menthon with the attitude of one of the most heroic chiefs of the French Resistance, who has since become President of the Government of the Republic, Dr. Steinbauer recalled M. Georges Bidault's words while visiting severely wounded Germans after the liberation. "Comrades," he said to them, "I wish you a speedy recovery and a happy return to your country."
Seyss-Inquart's counsel was wrong. There is no contradiction between the words of Frangois de Menthon and those of Georges Bidault; and the French people, just as, I am sure, the free citizens of the United Nations, can all reconcile the severity necessary for the culprits with pity for those who perhaps were only the victims.
In declaring the collective organizations criminal in order to enable the competent authorities to punish the guilty, but only the guilty, in solemnly reminding the world that before the arbitrary rule of men and governments a moral law existed, incumbent on public figures as well as on private persons, on nations as well as on individuals, a law which cannot be broken with impunity, your sentence will contribute greatly to the great work of universal peace which is being undertaken in the organization of the United Nations as well as at the Peace Conference, in New York as in Paris, by the representatives of the free peoples, "anxiously awaited by sincere men of upright heart."
GENERAL R. A. RUDENKO (Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.): Your Lordship! Your Honors!
We have now come to the final stage of the Trial which has been conducted with exceptional care and with the greatest skill. The Prosecution has presented exhaustive proofs for the individual cases of the major war criminals now in the dock. We fully support also the charges against the criminal organizations-the Government of Fascist Germany, the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces, the Leadership Corps of the German National Socialist Party, the State Secret Police (Gestapo), the Security Detachments of the German National Socialist Party (SS), Security Service (SD), and Detachments of SA.
As it has been established by the legal proceedings, Hitlerized Germany was headed by a gang of conspirators who seized the power of the State and the administration of the whole country. A group of conspirators of this kind, operating in a state with a
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population of many millions, at the centre of a huge State machinery, could not exist without a whole system of subsidiary criminal organizations connecting the conspirators with the remote districts, the leaders of the main thoroughfares with the leaders of the streets and byways. Therefore in Hitler's Germany there was a network of organizations possessed of great power: the Leadership Corps of the NSDAP, Gestapo, SS, SD, et cetera, which functioned under the constant and direct leadership of the conspirators. The law of 1933, according to which the machinery of the Fascist Party was merged into the State machinery of Hitler's Germany, was an open legal recognition of the fact.
To strengthen the union between the governing body and the organizations, each of the conspirators acted in several capacities and held several offices, representing many persons: Goering, for example-Reich Minister, Commander of the Air Force, Delegate for the Four Year Plan, Reichsleiter, Supreme Commander of SA and SS; Hess-Cabinet Minister, Hitler's Deputy for the Party, General of SS and SA; Rosenberg-Reichsleiter of 'the National Socialist Party for questions of ideology and foreign policy, as well as Cabinet Minister and Obergruppenfuehrer of SA and SS, et cetera. Just as Goering the Minister is inseparable from Goering the Obergruppenfuehrer of SS, so are the Gestapo and the other criminal organizations inseparable from the State in Hitler's Germany. It is possible to imagine Hitler's Germany without libraries, without schools, even without hospitals, but Hitler's Germany without SS and Gestapo could not exist.
Reflecting this political reality, the Charter of the International Military Tribunal provides for two kinds of participation in the criminal associations of Hitler: Article 6 of the Charter refers to participation in the criminal conspiracy, and Articles 9 and 10 refer to the participation in the criminal organizations. Both of these conceptions are organically and indissolubly connected, for they express in legal terms the correlation and the connection which actually existed in real life between the conspiracy and the organizations in Hitler's Germany.
After having closely connected these two kinds of participation of the Hitlerites in international crimes, that is, participation in the conspiracy and participation in the organizations, the Charter of the International Military Tribunal has established with full reason different criminal and legal consequences for two kinds of participation.
Participation in the conspiracy can by its very nature only refer to a limited number of persons, and is provided for by the Charter as an independent criminal action. The question of responsibility for participation in the criminal organizations, comprising hundreds
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of thousands of members, on the other hand, is differently defined by the Charter. Based entirely upon the principles of law and justice, the Charter of the Tribunal leaves it to the competence of the national tribunals to determine the individual responsibility of the members of the organization, which is closely connected with the determination of the guilt and of the criminality of a great number of individual persons.
According to Article 10 of the Charter, "if the Tribunal considers one or another organization as criminal, the national courts have a right to prosecute separate individuals for belonging to criminal organizations." Therefore the Tribunal has the right to consider an organization as criminal, not for the purpose of punishing this organization as a whole or all of its members, but thus to enable the national courts to prosecute individuals for belonging to such organizations as have been declared criminal.
In accordance with the instructions of Article 10 of the Charter the tribunals of the U.S.S.R., the U.S.A., Great Britain, and France, and of 18 states which joined the London Agreement, may certainly condemn, but they have the right also to come to a conclusion that the defendant was not a member of the organization at all, or belonged to it only formally and was in fact far removed from it, and according to such a conclusion they may acquit him. All these questions, as well as related -questions, were and remain within the competence of the national courts. These courts are limited only in one theoretically important respect, which is in principle of profound importance: if the International Tribunal considers the organization as criminal, the national tribunals cannot deny or, even discuss the criminal character of such an organization; here for the first time in legal history the sovereignty of individual countries is limited by the enforcing power of the verdict of the international legal authority--the Tribunal.
This definition of the competence of the International Tribunal and the national courts is very essential in order to understand the regulations of the Charter of the Tribunal concerning criminal organizations. And, indeed, just because the Tribunal will have to decide only the general question concerning the criminality of the organization, and not separate questions about the individual responsibility of these various organizations, the Charter does not indicate any particular criterion of the concept "organization," and in this case does not bind the Tribunal by any formal requirement. The absence in the Charter of a detailed definition of a criminal organization is not, therefore, an omission in the Charter but a theoretical position on principle, which follows from the above-mentioned fact, namely, relegating the elucidation of the question of facts to the, agencies of national justice. Therefore, attempts to
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require some kind of factual signs (voluntary membership, mutual information) in order to consider the organization as criminal do not find any support in the Charter but differ from its entire structure. The main and only task presenting itself to the Tribunal is not such investigations with which national courts deal and will have to deal, but the establishing of one decisive fact, namely, whether by its criminal actions the organization participated in the realization of the plan of Hitler's conspirators. Complying with this task the Charter established the order of the proceedings for the prosecution of organizations.
In fact, the Charter of the Tribunal provides that for the decision on the question concerning the criminal organizations it is necessary to consider the case of the definite representative of such an organization sitting in the defendants' dock. The defendants at this Trial were at the same time participants of the conspiracy and leading members of the organizations, the criminal character of which the Tribunal has to decide. Consequently the evidence submitted that has been used for the individual cases of the defendants is at the same time the essential evidence for the organizations which they represent. The documents submitted by the Prosecution have quite clearly proved that the organizations mentioned in the Indictment served as a constant and direct instrument for realizing the criminal plans of the conspirators. Thus the criminal character of these organizations has been fully and comprehensively proved through the present proceedings. The Tribunal has endeavored to secure the most comprehensive investigation of the case of the organizations. By means of broadcasts, through the Press, and by special announcements, the members of the accused organizations have been invited to submit their explanations to the Tribunal. The Tribunal is aware of the number of persons now in internment camps who wish to avail themselves of this possibility. The formation of an auxiliary commission has made it possible for the Tribunal to interrogate the greatest possible number of members of the organizations who will later be examined and dealt with by competent national courts. Thus, as a result of complicated preliminary work, a group of witnesses selected by the Defense appeared before the Tribunal. Not being able to deny the irrefutable force of the documentary evidence submitted by the Prosecution, the Defense decided to summon its own witnesses in opposition.
Your Honors, we remember these witnesses and their, testimonies. If more evidence is required to prove that falsehood is a constant and invariable companion of crime among the Hitlerites, the false testimonies of Kaufmann, Sievers, Von Manstein, Reinecke, Best, and others can serve as convincing illustrations. These "witnesses," in their effort to whitewash the criminal organizations, of
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which they were the leading members, reached the heights of absurdity. The SS and the Gestapo are found to be a society of the elect, a club of noble men, an Order of Knights. It is not without reason that the Defense included Rosenberg among the Knights. All of them sparkle with moral purity and all of them are filled with pity towards their neighbors. The Obergruppenfuehrer of the professional tormentors of the SS hastened to save Jews from the pogroms, while General Von Brauchitsch was a zealous pacifist. It is instructive to find that without any exception, all the organizations, which are considered as criminal by the Indictment, are pure and immaculate according to the testimonies of the witnesses. But who then murdered the 12 million peaceful citizens? Who tortured the prisoners of war and deported millions of people for slave labor in Germany from the occupied territories? No defendants are to be found! Lies-cynical, blasphemous lies, from the lips of men whose -conscience did not hesitate before murder, whose honor did not prevent them from committing perjury-do not deserve to be refuted.
While examining the case concerning the criminal organizations, the Prosecution submitted striking supplementary documents testifying to new atrocities of the Hitlerite criminal organizations. Facts, irrefutable facts have been established. The inflexible will of the law is clear. The time has come to draw conclusions.
At the congress of the Nazi Party in 1934 Hitler declared:
"It is not the State that has created us, but we who have created the State: it is possible that we are considered by some as a party, by others as an organization, by yet others as something else; but in reality we are what we are."
The present Trial gives a comprehensive and exact answer to the question of who the Hitlerites were. The Fuehrer at the head of a criminal gang of conspirators, appearing in different roles and having various titles (Ministers, Gauleiter, Obergruppenfuehrer, and so forth), surrounded by a network of criminal organizations created by him, who had seized in their grip millions of German citizens--this was the outline of the political structure of Hitler's Germany.
The recognition of the criminal character of the organizations mentioned in the Indictment, as well as the recognition of the existence of the conspiracy, are therefore the necessary conditions for the triumph of justice, the triumph longed for by all freedom-loving nations.
With regard to the separate organizations which the Prosecution deemed indispensable to designate as criminal, I find it necessary to
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mention the following, in addition to the convincing arguments expressed by my honorable colleagues:
In Count One, Paragraph IV, Article "A" of the Indictment, entitled "The Nazi Party as the Central Core of the Common Plan or Conspiracy," it says:
"In 1921 Adolf Hitler became the supreme leader or Fuehrer of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party), known as the Nazi Party, which had been founded in Germany in 1920. He continued as such throughout the period covered by this Indictment. The Nazi Party, together with certain of its subsidiary organizations, became the instrument of cohesion among the defendants and their co-conspirators and an instrument for the carrying out of the aims and purposes of their conspiracy."
The legal investigation has fully confirmed this conclusion.
The numerous crimes of Hitler's clique were inspired and directed by the Nazi Party-the motive power of the Fascist conspiracy.
Many of the defendants and the so-called witnesses for the Defense said that they were National Socialists who wanted to protect Germany against attack from other countries. This is an evident falsehood. Only impostors could assert that Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and other freedom-loving countries wanted to strike a blow against the integrity and independence of Germany. In reality the German Fascists are not nationalists but imperialists, whose main and decisive aim was the seizure of foreign land so as to further the expansion of militant German capitalism. They shamelessly called themselves Socialists. Only insolent demagogues can assert that the German Fascists--who eliminated all democratic freedom from the people, replacing it by concentration camps, who introduced slave labor at works and factories and restored serfdom in the villages of Germany and in the countries occupied by them--are the defenders of the interests of the workers and peasants. And if these imperialists and reactionaries disguised themselves in the garb of "nationalists" and "socialists," they did it exclusively to deceive the nation. The program of the Nazi Party itself contained the principles of the plan for domination, involving the seizure of foreign territories and establishing the principles of human hatred. In one of the annuals of the NSDAP, published under the direction of Ley, it was said:
"The Program ... is the political foundation of the NSDAP and, consequently, the fundamental political law of the State. All legal principles should be applied in the spirit of the Party Program. After seizing power the Fuehrer has managed
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to realize the fundamental parts of the Party Program, beginning with the basic principles up to the details."
Hitler's Party is inseparable from Hitler's Government, from the SS, Gestapo, and other criminal organizations of Hitler's regime, as the Nazi leaders in the dock are inseparable from the tormentors of Auschwitz and Maidanek, Babye-Yar and Treblinka.
"What I have achieved,"--said Hitler--"is known to the Party, thanks to which I became great, and which was in turn glorified by me."
Indeed, soon after the Hitlerites seized power the decree of 14 July 1933 forbade the creation of any other political parties besides the Nazi Party. The NSDAP became the only political party in Germany. A little later, on 1 December 1944, the law was issued "Concerning the Unity of the Party and State," in which it was mentioned:
"After the victory of the' National Socialist revolution, the NSDAP is the standard-bearer of German statesmanship and is inseparably connected with the State.
"To ensure close collaboration of the Party organizations with the offices of the State, the Deputy of the Fuehrer is appointed member of the Government of the Reich."
Paragraph 3 of this law proclaimed the members of the NSDAP and the SA (including the organizations subordinated to them) as "the leaders and motive power of the National Socialist Government."
The law of 1 December 1933 was the fundamental measure which provided the leaders of the criminal Nazi Party with full political power in Germany, as this law established the Nazi Party
as the embodiment of the State.
In order to attract the masses of the population to the Fascist regime, the Hitlerites introduced the most shameless social bribery, besides exploiting the national feelings and the unheard-of social demagogy. Major organizations were created: the Hitler Youth, Labor Front, the SA, the SS, et cetera. The numerous members of these organizations were bound to the Fascist regime not only through various privileges and material, advantages, but also, by mutual responsibility for committing common crimes. The overwhelming terror machine, with its ramified network of detection, provocation, perfidy, concentration camps, summary justice, operated against all who were discontented with the regime.
The system of combining the leading posts of the Nazi Party with the leading posts of the terroristic organizations--SS, SD, Gestapo--and of the Government helped in promoting the realization of the plans of the Fascist conspirators and rendered easier
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the realization of the plans for the subordination and control of the German nation and the German State.
The Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler was simultaneously Reichsleiter of the NSDAP. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ribbentrop, was a general of the SS, and, the Deputy of the Fuehrer, Hess, was simultaneously a Reichsminister. The President of the Secret Cabinet Council, Neurath, was a general of the SS, and one of the leaders of the Gestapo, Best, was Kreisleiter of the Nazi Party, and so on.
After having secured, with the assistance of the Party, full control over Germany, Hitler's conspirators went on with the realization of their aggressive plans. In his speech before the Reichstag on 20 February 1938, Hitler said:
"The greatest guarantee of the National Socialist revolution consists in complete external as well as internal domination by the National Socialist Party over all offices and organizations of Germany.... All offices are under control of the supreme political leadership."
I have already mentioned in my final statement that the Party changed, under the leadership of Bormann, into a police organization, which was in close co-operation with the Gestapo and the SS; that the entire Party machinery was drawn upon for the realization of the aggressive plans of the leaders of Hitlerite Germany; that the Party machinery took an active part in the measures of the German military and civil authorities for the inhuman exploitation of prisoners of war, and participated in the deportation into slavery of the population of the territories occupied by the Germans.
When we speak here at the Trial about Goebbels' lies, Himmler's terror, and Ribbentrop's perfidy, this refers also to the Nazi Party. When the Prosecution submitted proofs of the criminal activity of Goering and Hess, Rosenberg and Streicher, Von Schirach and Frank, Speer and Sauckel, these were simultaneous proofs of charges against the Party, at the head of which were the defendants. These proofs were quite sufficient to consider the entire Nazi Party as a criminal organization, as understood in Article 9 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal. However, the Prosecution does not raise the question of the responsibility of the rank-and-file members of the Party, many of whom became the victims of their faith.
In full conformity with the Indictment, we raise the question of declaring it as a criminal organization only as far as it concerns the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, which was the brain, the backbone, and the driving power of the. Party, without which the
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Hitlerite conspirators would not have been able to carry out their
The Leadership Corps was a specially selected group, within the Nazi Party itself, and as such was endowed with extraordinary prerogatives. Political Leaders were 'organized according to the "Fuehrerprinzip," which was applied not only to Hitler, but to the entire Leadership Corps. "The basis of the Party organization is the principle of the Fuehrer idea"--is written in the statute of the Nazi Party. Each Political Leader was sworn in. According to the Party statute the wording of the oath was as follows: "I pledge eternal allegiance to Adolf Hitler; I pledge unconditional obedience to him and to the leaders appointed by him."
All Political Leaders were appointed by special selection. The only difference was that some of them, such as Reichsleiter, Gauleitef, and Kreisleiter, were appointed by Hitler himself, whereas the others, heads of departments and division chiefs in Gau and Kreis, as well as Ortsgruppenleiter, were appointed by the Gauleiter. Such Political Leaders as Block- and Zellenleiter were appointed by the Kreisleiter.
Many of these Reichsleiter and Gauleiter have appeared here before Your Honors. In the defendants' dock are Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Schirach, Frick; together with the missing Reichsleiter Bormann, Himmler, Ley, and Goebbels they represented the leading group of the Nazi Party, and they were leaders of the Fascist conspiracy as well.
Here is the Gauleiter of Franconia, Streicher, and the slave trader Sauckel, the Gauleiter of Thuringia. You have heard of Erich Koch's devilish activity in Ukraine. Erich Koch was a Gauleiter too. The Gauleiter of Lower Styria, Uiberreither, carried out the mass shooting and executions in Yugoslavia. I will quote some short extracts concerning his activity:
"20 June 1942. Within the period covered by this report, 105 people were shot in the district of Celje, and 362 arrested.... The chief of the Security Police will Empty the prison in two weeks' time. Part of the imprisoned people will be transferred to other prisons and the others shot. Thus we shall prepare enough room for the next large-scale action.
"30 June 1942. Sixty-seven persons were shot in Celje. Among them six women ......
Gauleiter Wagner terrorized people in Alsace, Gauleiter Terboven in Norway. Gauleiter Bohle, Leader of the Auslands-Organisation, set up and directed a widely ramified terroristic network for espionage and diversionist activities abroad and created the socalled "Fifth Columns" in different countries.
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According to the decree of I September 1939, 16 Gauleiter were appointed Reich Defense Commissioners. Later, in connection with the mobilization of the military resources, the Gauleiter carried out even more important tasks.
Each district was proclaimed a Reich Defense Area, and the Gauleiter became commissioners of these areas. According to the Cabinet Council decree of 16 November 1942, it was laid down that in wartime the Gauleiter were entrusted with extraordinary tasks. During the war, the Gauleiter were in charge of billeting; they were entrusted with important military duties, and all branches of German war economy were co-ordinated by them. And at the end of the war the Gauleiter were the commanders of the Volkssturm in their respective areas.
We should remember that when in March 1945 Speer was appointed Hitler's plenipotentiary for the total destruction of industrial objectives, bridges, railways, and other means of communications, he sent his telegraph-order to the Gauleiter, for they were personally supervising the carrying out of the destruction of important objectives on the spot.
And now, after all this, the Defense is trying to present Hitler's party as a kind of welfare society, and its leaders as lady patronesses; it is trying to confuse a very clear case by a heap of written documentary evidence collected in various prisons and camps where the arrested Fascists are being held.
Counsel Servatius understands that the probative value of this mass of written evidence is highly dubious, and he resorts to the last argument, saying that "the Defense was unable to visit the camps in Austria, no applications having been received from the Soviet Zone." But was the testimony of the witnesses for the Defense more convincing in consequence? Does the fact that Servatius did not visit Austria change the situation in the very least? Servatius was given unlimited opportunities of visiting the camps in the Soviet Zone of occupation. He visited certain camps. He knew that the right of the members of the organizations to submit declarations and to make statements before the Tribunal had been repeatedly announced in the newspapers published in the Soviet Zone and broadcast by radio. Servatius knew all this, but nevertheless he still endeavored to deceive the Tribunal. He attempted to do this in other cases as well.
When Servatius refers to Hess's directive of 27 July 1935 in order to confirm the fact that the Corps of Political Leaders never existed, and that allegedly the title of "Political Leader" was not an official one, he passes over in silence that it was indicated, in this very same directive, that "naturally the term 'Political Leaders' remains in use."
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Servatius artificially increases the number of the leading staff of the NSDAP to 2,100,000 persons, in order demagogically to impute to the Prosecution a tendency to punish millions of Germans. At the same time, and in order to shelter outstanding Fascist leaders from all legal responsibility, without any proof whatsoever he affirms that, out of the workers of the Gauleiter organizations, 140,000 were only "honorary workers." The infamous Fascist Kaufmann, summoned by the Defense to the witness-stand, having been a member of the Nazi Party since 1921, and a Gauleiter for 20 years, did not know anything about the crimes of the Hitlerite conspirators. He was a "socialist," and was only entrusted with the welfare of the population.
Another Defense witness, Hans Wegscheider, having been an Ortsgruppenleiter for a period of 12 years, went even further in his testimony. He declared that during these 12 years he did not get enough time to read even Mein Kampf.
A third witness, Meyer-Wendeborn, a Kreisleiter since 1934, even surpassed Kaufmann in trying to help his accomplices. Where the latter gave an affirmative answer to the question: "Were Blockand Zellenleiter a kind of Political Leader?" Meyer-Wendeborn answered the question in the negative.
It would be very easy, by citing further examples, to prove the inconsistency of the Defense standpoint, but I consider it useless to enter into a discussion with the Defense summoning such witnesses as Kaufmann, Wendeborn, and such like.
Among the Political Leaders of Hitlerite Germany (this title was legalized by Hess's decree of 27 July 1935, as shown in Defense Document Number 12) there was within the Party hierarchy a separate group of so-called "Hoheitstraeger," which occupied a special position. Together with the Gauleiter and Kreisleiter, the group of Hoheitstraeger also included the Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter.
The special character of Political Leaders called "Hoheitstraeger" is described in the Organization Book of the NSDAP and in the periodical called Der Hoheitstraeger, which was strictly confidential to everybody except to a certain group of the Leadership Corps of the Party, the SS, and the SA.
From the contents of this periodical it is quite evident that the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party paid constant attention to the measures and doctrines which were applied as the Fascist conspiracy was being realized. In 1937-38 the following problems were treated in the periodical mentioned.
The slanderous anti-Semitic articles, among them some by the well-known Ley, the attacks on the Church, the reasons for the necessity of increasing the Lebensraum and seizing colonies; the
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motorization of the Armed Forces; the utilization of the Nazi Party cells and blocks to gain votes favorable to the Hitlerites in the elections; the cult of leadership, race theory, et cetera--these problems were treated in each copy of the periodical. And even after this evidence the Defense is trying to assert that the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was not acquainted with the plans of the Hitlerite conspirators.
The Nazis are trying now to disavow the compromising relations they had with Gestapo and SD, but these relations are indisputable.
As early as 26 June 1935, Bormarm had issued an order which reads:
"In order to bring about a closer contact between the Party offices and its organizations with the chiefs of the Gestapo, the Deputy of the Fuehrer requests that the chiefs of the Gestapo be invited to attend all of the larger official Party rallies and its organizations."
In another regulation issued on 14 February 1935, and also signed by Bormann, it was stated:
"Because the work of the Party is primarily benefited by the work of the SD, it is inadmissible that its expansion be upset by prejudiced attacks when individuals fail. On the contrary, it must be assisted wholeheartedly."
The Tribunal has at its disposal numerous proofs of the gravest crimes in which the entire Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party participated, from Reichsleiter to Blockleiter included. I will mention here only a few of them.
While carrying out the plans of the Hitlerite conspirators for the enslavement of the Yugoslav people, the Kreisleiter of the Pettau district, assisted by Ortsgruppenleiter and Blockleiter, destroyed all inscriptions, posters, and announcements written in the Slovene language. This Fascist ruler went even so far as to order the Ortsgruppenleiter "to see that all Slovene inscriptions on the saints' images (icons), chapels, and churches should immediately be entirely removed."
In his letter of 13 September 1944, addressed to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, and Kreisleiter, Bormann informed them of the agreement concluded with the OKW to the effect that the "co-operation of the Party in the commitment of prisoners of war is indispensable." Therefore the officers assigned to the prisoner-of-war organization were instructed to co-operate most closely with the Hoheitstraeger. The commandants of the prisoner-of-war camps had to detail immediately liaison officers to the Kreisleiter.
What the results of this co-operation were and the way in which the prisoners of war were exploited in Germany is well known.
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In Goering's decree of 27 March 1942, issued in connection with the appointment of Sauckel as Plenipotentiary General for the Allocation of Labor, it was stated that Sauckel was authorized to issue orders "... to the Party organs, to the Party agencies, and to the organizations attached to them."
And Sauckel took advantage of this authorization. As he wrote in his "program issued for the Fuehrer's birthday," he, "with the Fuehrer's and the Reich Marshal's consent, as well as with the consent of the Head of the Party Chancellery," appointed all Gauleiter of the German Reich his plenipotentiaries. Sauckel's decree defined the Gauleiter's tasks as follows:
"To secure the uninterrupted collaboration of all State, Party, military, and economic authorities in order to attain the greatest effect in the field of the employment of labor."
On 25 September 1944, Himmler issued a top-secret directive concerning "the safeguarding of the discipline and efficiency of foreign workers." In this directive Himmler warned that:
"The managers and shop stewards in all industries must pay close attention to the frame of mind of the foreign workers. For this purpose close co-operation of the Party, State, and economic authorities with the Gestapo is of the greatest importance...."
Further on in this directive, it was stated that all members of the NSDAP working in industries, subject to instructions given them by the Kreisleiter through the Ortsgruppenleiter, are obliged "to watch the foreign workers most carefully and notify the shop stewards immediately about the remarks made in order that they may be communicated to the 'Abwehr' officials." Where there was no permanent Abwehr official the information was to be delivered to the Ortsgruppenleiter. Himmler's directive prescribed that "in the interests of unified political leadership the Abwehr officials should co-ordinate their work with the Gestapo leaders, who, in case of need, will be summoned by the Kreisleiter."
That is exactly what was meant by "political leadership" of Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenleiter. Similar espionage functions were carried out by the Blockleiter, too, and this was clearly indicated in the Organization Book of the NSDAP.
"A Blockleiter should expose all persons spreading pernicious rumors and report them to the Ortsgruppenleiter, in order to enable the latter to report them to the State authorities through official channels."
A Blockleiter had the task "of propagating the National Socialist ideology amongst members of the Party and the people entrusted to him." He recruited members for the Hitler Youth, SA, and SS organizations, and for the DAF (German Labor Front), that is, he
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secured attendance at the Party rallies, participation in demonstrations, et cetera.
"A Blockleiter has to carry out a constant National Socialistpropaganda."
What kind of Nazi propaganda it was we all know very well.
"We want to re-arm again.. .."--wrote Hitler--"Therefore, all available means--starting from the child's A B C up to the latest newspaper, every theater and cinema, every signpost and signboard, are to be put at the service of this great mission."
Not every German knew these words of Hitler, but everyone knew the Blockleiter of his block, and this man was continuously spreading the Fascist virus poisoning the people's minds, thus assisting in the realization of the general plans of the Hitlerite conspirators.
The Blockleiter appeared as small Fuehrer, but even they were endowed with very positive powers over the population living in the areas entrusted to them. Certainly the Blockleiter did not work out the plans for aggressive wars, but they did contribute very much to the realization of these plans. They formed, too, a very important part of the Nazi Party, which was the center of the Fascist conspiracy. That is why we insist on proclaiming the group of the Political Leaders of the Nazi Party as a criminal organization together with all big and little Fuehrer, Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter--that is to say, the whole Leadership Corps of the monstrous machinery of Fascist dictatorship.
Among other criminal organizations created by German Fascism special attention should be paid to the so-called "Schutzstaffel" of the Hitlerite party, abbreviated to "SS." The gravest crimes of German Fascism are associated with the title of "SS"-mass murder carried out in concentration camps, merciless butchery of the civilian population and of prisoners of war, fanatical large-scale massacres. Generally speaking, the "SS" men were supposed to carry out the genocide plans of Hitler and his clique. The Reichsfuehrer "SS" Himmler often called the "SS" the "Black Corps.' Das Schwarze Korps was also the title of the official SS newspaper, the organ "of the Reichsfilhrer of the SS."
It was not a name picked up at random. The whole system applied by the "SS," starting from the so-called "Allgemeine SS," that is, the "General SS," and up to the camp guards and the Waffen-SS, was actually built up as a special corps of criminal convinced of their own impunity, and purposely trained and taught in the spirit of the most cruel and inhuman Hitlerite "theories."
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The chief Fascist conspirators needed the mass cadres for carrying out the murder of millions of enslaved people, for the seizure of territories, and the realization of the so-called program of "Germanization." All these tasks were carried out by the SS men.
The "SS" organization was created and became famous as Hitler's Praettorian Guard, an organization of pogrom-makers and murderers. During the whole period of its existence, it remained the same.
Among other evidence presented by the Soviet Prosecution, there was a copy of Das Schwarze Korps of 20 August 1942, in which the leading article was entitled "Should We Germanize?" The contents of this article, which represent the Nazi ideas of Himmler, are, of such importance if one seeks a correct illustration of the character of the SS, that I am going to quote a small extract:
"...The following slogan has been given out by the Reichsfuehrer SS: It is our task to germanize the East not in the old sense, that is, to teach the people living there the German language and German laws, but to see to it that only German people, that is people with Germanic blood, should live in the East!"
This article was published for the information of the SS men at a time when criminal German Fascism was still sure of its victory and had already started to carry out the extermination of millions of people.
At a conference of Gruppenfuehrer held in Poznan on 4 October 1943, Himmler, the creator of the SS, in a speech concerning the extermination of the European Jews, stated--I refrain from giving the quotation of this speech because it was quoted by Sir David yesterday.
I do not want to dwell upon the history of the SS. One may add only to what has already been said that the "Schutzstaffel," created early in 1925, became, according to Hitler's special decree of 20 July 1934, an independent organization of the Hitlerite party, just after the political murders committed by the SS men on 30 June 1934.
Hitler's decree states as follows:
"In consideration of the great meritorious service of the SS, especially in connection with the events of 30 June 1934, I raise it to the status of an independent organization within the NSDAP."
The process of development of the SS in the Hitler State points clearly to the steadily increasing consolidation of the SS, the so-called General SS as well as the Waffen-SS, and the police organization of the Gestapo, SD, Einsatzgruppen, and Sonderkommandos
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who carried out the large-scale "actions," that is, massacres and "filtrations" in the camps, et cetera.
This process of development was confirmed on 17 August 1938 by a secret decree of Hitler, in which, explaining the reasons compelling him to unite on 17 June 1936 the offices of the Chief of the German Police and the Reichsfuehrer SS, he stated:
"By appointing the Reichsfuehrer SS Chief of the German Police at the Ministry of the Interior on 17 June 1936, I have created a foundation for the consolidation and reorganization of the German Police."
In accordance with this measure, the "Schutzstaffel" of the Nazi Party, directed by the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, entered into close collaboration with the German Police. And only in this close collaboration with the most ruthless members of the Police, created by German Fascism and especially appointed to carry out tortures and extermination, could the exact task of the SS be understood.
The Defense unsuccessfully tried to refute this evidence. It has tried to present to the Tribunal this organization as being composed of a number of absolutely independent cells, separated by means of innumerable partitions, such as Allgemeine SS, Waffen-SS, SS Emergency Troops, or the "Totenkopf" Division.
It appears that outside of a small section of "Totenkopf" not one of the units or sections of the SS had any connection with the Police and the concentration camps, any more than with the police activities conducted by Hitler, Himmler, Heydrich, and Kaltenbrunner, or for that matter with the other grave crimes committed by the Hitlerites. As a result, in the opinion of the Defense, the only participants in the crimes perpetrated by these executioners were the Gestapo members Mueller and Eichmann, and the Chief of the "D" administration of the SS, Pohl. To wit, these particular persons murdered and tortured over 10 million people.
Among the famous perjurers already known to the Tribunal, witnesses for the defense of the SS, such as the former Fuehrer of the SS and Police of the Oberabschnitt in Munich, SS-Obergruppenfuehrer Baron von Eberstein, Colonel General of the Waffen-SS Hauser, the Chief of the SS Recruiting Section, Brill, or the SS judges Reinecke and Morgen, should by all rights rank foremost for the impudent lies to which they resorted in order to justify the SS and its members.
However, even falsehood has its limits. Carried to absurd proportions, it not only did not help the criminals, but instead served to expose them. It seems to me that the Tribunal will duly appreciate the testimony of Judge Morgen of the SS, who describes one
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of the most brutal SS concentration camps, Buchenwald, as practically a sanatorium for the internees, abounding in good food and playgrounds, in easy work in the open air and a large library.
The documents which expose this criminal organization are in complete contradiction to the unintelligent lies of the "witnesses" for the defense of the SS. These lies are also contradicted by the irrefutable logic of facts-facts of the gravest crimes, the organizers and perpetrators of which were members of all the chief sections and organizations of the SS.
At the beginning of the war the SS organization consisted of the following main links:
(1) The so-called Allgemeine SS, where the SS member received general training before being assigned to the Waffen-SS or to one or another of the police organizations. The General SS served as a reservoir from which reinforcements were drawn for special Fascist organizations, such as the Gestapo, the SD, the administration of the ' concentration camps (that is "Group D"), and others.
(2) The Waffen-SS, whose activities the Defense and the defendants have so insistently tried to present as the "guard units" of the former German Army, and far removed from police activities. The Waffen-SS included, among other units, those organizations, the criminal character of which even the defense for the SS did not dare challenge. These were the camp commands of the Waffen-SS, who conducted mass extermination of the peaceful population and of the prisoners of war in the concentration camps. It was the "Waffen-SS" which also included the SS police regiments that made up the units responsible for the destruction of populated centers and villages, and the perpetration of innumerable crimes in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union and in the countries of Eastern Europe.
(3) The SS system included the SS economic administration in charge of concentration camps, the administration for the consolidation of the German nation, which put into practice the infamous doctrines of racial distinction, and all the Hitlerite police organizations, among them such agencies as Einsatzgruppen and Sonderkommandos.
It is hardly worth while disputing the assertions of the defense that the relation of the SS to the Police was "purely external" and is only to be explained simply by Himmler's "personal union." It is well known what importance Himmler attached to the fact that all the officials of the Police had to be members of the General SS, which served as the reservoir and the cementing nucleus of the entire SS police system of German Fascism. Amongst other evidence submitted to the Tribunal, there is a letter from Himmler to Kaltenbrunner dated 24 April 1943, in which he speaks of "the order of the
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enrolment of the Sipo officials (Security Police) into SS membership" in cases where "the applicant is eligible both racially and ideologically, if he can provide guarantees as - to the number of children, the health of all his kinsfolk, and proof that he is personally in good health and is not a degenerate."
To this dishonorable "Black Corps" of German Fascism was given a special role in the realization of the Fascist criminal plans. These degenerates dressed in the SS uniform and devoid of any idea of human morality were not only assured of impunity for their crimes, but they were daily indoctrinated with the idea that they were the "most valuable racial class, which would form the foundation of the future great German Empire."
They were repeatedly told this by Himmler and by the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter who had been raised by Himmler to high ranks in the SS and promoted up the ladder of the SS hierarchy, dependent on the value placed on their activities by the Reichsfuehrer SS.
As an SS member, Ribbentrop, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fascist Germany, was not at all ashamed of being compared as a member of the SS to the murderer Pohl, or plunderer and executioner Globocznik; on the contrary, he was exceedingly proud of it.
"I shall always consider it a special honor to belong to this proud Fuehrer corps, the corps which is of decisive importance to the future of our great German empire," wrote Ribbentrop in his letter to Himmler, when he was promoted from Gruppenfuehrer to Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS.
Thus one and the same SS system united the commandant of Treblinka, Unterscharfuehrer Kurt Franz, the inventor of the "deathvans," Untersturnifuehrer Becker, the SS experimenter on live persons, Dr. Rascher, and the Reich Minister and SS Obergruppenfuehrer, Ribbentrop.
At a conference of the SS Gruppenfuehrer in Poznan, in his speech on the unity of the SS and the Police, Himmler stated:
"I am always doing something towards this end, a cord is being constantly drawn around these separate sections so that they may grow into one. Alas, if these bonds were ever loosened, then everything--you may be sure of this--would sink back into the old unimportance in one generation, and in a short space of time.... I think that we owe it to Germany, for the German Reich needs the SS organization. She needs it at least for the next few centuries."
In concluding his speech, he said:
"When the war is won--then, as I have already told you, our work will start.
"... that as a result of this order the greatest increase in the population will result through this careful breeding of the
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Germanic people. In 20 to 30 years we really must be able to present the whole of Europe with its leading class. If the SS, together with the farmers-we together with our friend Backe--then organize 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 kilometers eastward....
"... we shall impose our laws on the East. We will forge ahead, pushing our way forward little by little to the Urals."
It is impossible to enumerate in a short statement all the grave crimes committed by the members of the SS. Nor is it necessary, since the evidence submitted to, the Tribunal is too recent and vivid in our minds. I shall dwell briefly upon some questions which refer to the responsibility of separate SS groups, in connection with the objections which have been raised by counsel.
No matter to which of the special SS organizations an SS member belonged, first and foremost he was a member of the General SS. His expulsion from such membership signified loss of his position and of all the privileges connected with it.
In this connection I shall read one of the documents submitted by the Soviet Prosecution on - the subject of the criminal acts committed by the Hitlerites against Soviet prisoners of war. In this
case we have documents of the investigations conducted by the SS officials in relation to an "incident," as it is called in these documents, which occurred during the execution of a "special treatment" operation. The significance of this last term is well known to the Tribunal. In this particular case, a certain SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer Kallbach, who investigated the so-called "corrective labor camp" for Soviet prisoners of war in Berdichev, decided to put to death 78
Soviet prisoners whose condition is described in the records of the interrogation by the commander of the camp as very seriously wounded. Some were without legs, some without arms and others had lost at least one of their limbs, only a few had no injured limbs, but these were so crippled as a result of other kinds of wounds that they were unable to work. The fact that the Soviet prisoners of war could not be utilized for work was the only reason for their murder.
The execution of the sentence was entrusted to three SS men, SS-Unterscharfuehrer Paal, SS-Rottenfuehrer Hesselbach and SSMann Vollprecht. These three SS men are characterized in the evidence as follows:
"I know that the three above-mentioned persons, whom I assigned to shoot the prisoners of war, had participated in mass executions of many thousands of persons in Kiev. The
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local authorities, even since my arrival, had given them the task of shooting many hundreds of persons."
However, it so happened that, when 28 of the prisoners were being transported to the place of execution, they put up a heroic resistance against their executioners, killed two of them and managed to escape.
It was in connection with this that the investigation was ordered. The commander of the SS detachment in Berdichev was prosecuted, not for his orders to murder 78 sick innocent people, but for allowing, the possibility of escape.
I have quoted this document not simply to remind you of one of the countless episodes of SS brutalities in the territory temporarily occupied by the SS, but to read a quotation in which a typical warning of responsibility for perjury is given by the investigating SS men prior to the interrogation. It states:
"...I have been notified of the substance of the forthcoming interrogation. It has been pointed out to me that the giving of false evidence on my part will result in punishment and expulsion from the SS."
Upon admission into the General SS, the future member of this criminal organization takes an oath, which includes the following words:
"...I take an oath to you, Adolf Hitler, Fuehrer and Reichskanzler, to obey you unto death and all those whom you have appointed to command, me."
And no matter where the SS man was serving, whether he was murdering people in Treblinka and Auschwitz, or torturing them during the interrogations in the torture chambers of the Gestapo, he always remained what he was-a stupid, ruthless member of the General SS who knew only two duties: blind obedience to the "Fuehrer and Reichskanzler," and unconditional execution of every criminal order.
The organization of the Waffen-SS originated from the so-called Leibstandarte, Hitler's bodyguard, and the "Death's Head" Division, which was set up mostly in concentration camps.
In wartime the Waffen-SS were augmented, in addition to police divisions and units, by other units and formations, the so-called "camp commands," which carried out directly the extermination of millions of people and instituted the system of torturing prisoners before killing them.
This simple enumeration of the units composing the Waffen-SS fully proves their criminal character.
The Soviet Prosecution has submitted as evidence the sentence of the Military Tribunal of the Fourth Ukrainian Front and a report
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of the Extraordinary State Commission concerning the atrocities of the German Fascist invaders in Kharkov and in the Kharkov area, from which it is evident that the units of the SS, particularly the SS Adolf Hitler Division under the command of Obergruppenfuehrer Dietrich and the SS "Death's Head" Division under the command of Obergruppenfuehrer Simon, are responsible for the extermination of more than 20,000 peaceful citizens of Kharkov and for the shooting and burning alive of prisoners of war.
In Kiev alone, during the period of the German occupation, there were more than 195,000 peaceful citizens tortured to death, shot, and poisoned in the "death-vans," most of them exterminated by SS units; for which, according to the reports of the Extraordinary State Commission, the former chief of the Waffen-SS in Southern Russia and in the Ukraine, Major General Troenfeld, together with SS Lieutenant General Huettner and other commanders of the Waffen-SS are responsible.
In the town of Rovno and the Rovno district, the Germans exterminated 102,000 persons. Among many others, a soldier, Adolf Mitzke, belonging to the fourth squadron of the 17th SS Cavalry Division, testified how the SS men carried out these crimes; on the order of his regimental commander, Adolf Mitzke, together with the other soldiers of his regiment, carried out the shooting of peaceful citizens, among them women, and set villages on fire.
In the official note of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., V.M. Molotov, dated 27 April 1942 and presented to the Tribunal under USSR-51, a description of atrocities committed by the SS Cavalry Brigade in the region of Toropetz is reported. I quote from the report:
"In January 1942, when Red Army troops smashed the German SS Cavalry Brigade in the district of Toropetz, among the captured documents was found ' the report of the 1st Cavalry Regiment of the above-mentioned brigade on the 'pacification' of the Starobinsk district in Bielorussia.
"The regimental commander reports that in addition to the 239 war prisoners shot by a detachment of his regiment, 6,504 peaceful inhabitants were executed. The report states that the detachment operated in accordance with Regimental Order Number 42 of 17 July 1941. The commander of the 2d regiment of the same brigade, Von Mahill, states in his 'Report on the conduct of the pacification operations in the District of the Pripet Marshes from 24 July to 11 August 1941': 'We drove the women and children into a swamp, but this did not have the desired effect as the swamp was not deep enough for them to drown. At a depth of one meter it was possible in most cases to reach firm ground (possibly sand).' In the same
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headquarters, Telegram Number 37 was found, sent by the Standartenfuehrer and commander of the SS Cavalry Brigade to a mounted detachment of the above-mentioned 2d Cavalry Regiment, dated 2 August 1941, which announces that the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of Police, Himmler, considers the number of peaceful inhabitants who are being exterminated as 'too negligible,' points out that 'it is necessary to act radically,' that 'the commanders of the formations are too lenient in their conduct of operations,' and orders that the number of persons shot be reported daily."
The whole criminal activities of the SS units in the territory of Yugoslavia, Poland, and other temporarily occupied countries of Eastern Europe followed the same pattern.
I wish to bring to the attention of the Tribunal the numerous documents presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet and British Prosecution, in which the crimes committed in the territory of Yugoslavia by the SS division "Prince Eugen" are illustrated.
In particular I wish to draw the attention of the Tribunal to the Report Number 29, issued by the Yugoslav State Commission regarding the atrocities committed by the aforesaid SS division. This communication describes how the SS soldiers, members of the Waffen-SS, who called themselves "the German Guards," burned alive the entire population of villages, including women and children. I will remind you as well of the deposition given by the SS Major General August Schmidthuber, describing how, on the order of the commander of the 1st SS Battalion, Kaaserer, peaceful citizens were locked up in a church in Krivaya Reka, and then the church building was blown up. I refer the Tribunal to the wellknown statement of the officers of that same division concerning the mass shooting of hostages and murdering of prisoners of war.
A secret directive of Himmler's was read before the Tribunal, by which it was shown that SS units were instructed to annihilate thousands of inhabited localities, towns, and villages in the temporarily occupied regions of the Soviet Union. In this directive Himmler wrote as follows:
"The aim to be achieved is that when areas in the Ukraine are evacuated, not a human being, not a single head of cattle, not a hundredweight of cereals, and not a railway line remains behind; that not a house remains standing, not a mine exists which is not 6astroyed for years to come, that there is not a well left unpoisoned. The enemy must really find a land completely burnt and destroyed."
In carrying out the criminal orders of the Reichsfuehrer SS (Himmler's order of 10 June 1943), the Waffen-SS deported into
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German slavery the populations of entire regions, driving the Ukrainian and Russian children into special concentration camps.
The so-called Waffen-SS were the specially selected SS units, composed in the main of volunteers as well as of members of the General SS, called upon to carry out the criminal plans of Hitler and his clique.
The attempts of the Defense and of the defendants themselves to declare the SS a kind of "German Guards" having nothing to do with any kind of police function and whose hands are unstained with the blood of innocent people, are in full contradiction with the ruthless and irrefutable facts. Nevertheless, we do not deny that among the soldiers of the Waffen-SS were some who were compelled to serve. However, the question of the degree of responsibility of any particular person is a question for competence of the national tribunals. Nevertheless, the Waffen-SS as a whole are an essential part of the system, and the SS organization is therefore undoubtedly criminal.
THE PRESIDENT: Shall we adjourn now?
[A recess was taken.]
MR. DODD: Mr. President, I am prepared to make a report on the attitude of the Prosecution concerning the application of the Defendant Seyss-Inquart to submit an affidavit. We are all in agreement in opposing the affidavit of Seyss-Inquart. It is really argumentative, as we read it. We have had it translated, and it does not raise anything new; it does express the defendant's attitude toward a number of documents that were in evidence, some as early as last January, and there are various comments in tt about evidence and so on. But it seems improper to us that at this stage of the Trial the defendants should make such an offer. His counsel made his argument, and indeed he will have another opportunity himself to address the Tribunal. None of these matters, in our judgment, in our opinion, are proper, nor should they be admitted by the Tribunal at this time. Now there is one matter raised in, this affidavit, the matter of two documents, 3640-PS and 3645-PS, of which the Defendant Seyss-Inquart says they were not introduced in evidence, although they were referred to by the French Prosecutor, M. Dubost; and that is so. And of course, M. Dubost and M. de Ribes and those other gentlemen of the French Prosecution with us agree that it was inadvertent, and that they should not have been there. And we have no objection to so stating to the Court--we wanted to state--we want the Court to understand that these two documents are not--were not actually admitted in evidence; and, of course, we should not have referred to them in our
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argument. But other than that one matter which is raised, we see nothing that would be helpful to the Tribunal.
THE PRESIDENT: Is it in German?
MR. DODD: Yes, yes, Your Honor, it is in German. Our translation is not complete. It was done by one of our people hurriedly and is in outline form and for my own information. I can go through it paragraph by paragraph if the Tribunal would cafe to have me.
THE PRESIDENT: Very long?
MR. DODD: It is-no, it is not. My outline is one page and a little more than a half. The affidavit itself is six pages. Our analysis of it is a page and a half.
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, if the only objection to the affidavit is that it is argumentative, is that really a very serious objection when there are so many documents?
MR. DODD: Well no, Sir, I expect it is not. Our -objection is just what I have stated, and no more than that. I do not want to press it too much. If the Tribunal feels it would be better to have it in and have it translated, there is nothing in the affidavit that we need make any reply to. I feel perfectly sure of that, and I do not think it is worth pressing, really.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal thinks that in the circumstances it will be better to allow the affidavit to be offered in evidence. And the Tribunal notes that 3640-PS and 3645-PS have not been offered in evidence. And therefore we should ...
MR. DODD: Yes, Mr. President, 3640-PS and 3645-PS were not offered in evidence.
THE PRESIDENT: And we shall therefore disregard any reference to them.
MR. DODD: Yes, Sir. As well I would like to inform the Tribunal concerning our attitude about the letter of Dr. Laternser's; we have no objection to this letter at all. We are all in agreement about it.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Mr. Dodd said they had no objection to the letter. It will be...
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, there is a small paragraph in this letter that I should like very much to read into the record; two sentences of it.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, if the letter is in evidence, it is not necessary to take up time by reading it into the record. The Prosecution have agreed that the letter may be treated as part of the evidence of the record.
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DR. LATERNSER: But since the witness Schreiber has given his testimony, I nevertheless consider it important that one very brief paragraph consisting of two sentences should be read into the record if possible.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, wait a minute. No, Dr. Laternser, the letter will be admitted as part of the evidence of the record. We do not desire that further time should be taken up on the matter.
DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, with reference to this subject I today received another exhibit during the recess, but of course I do not know if the Tribunal is willing to accept it in evidence, and in order to complete this subject of the evidence, may I beg the Tribunal to allow me to present it. It concerns a document from which it can be seen that in the case of one of the Allied Nations bacteria warfare as a defensive and offensive weapon had equally been developed, and that 4,000 people were occupied with it. I should merely like to present it for that one reason so as to be able to submit a fact to the Tribunal which would be of importance for the proper judgment of this particular subject.
THE PRESIDENT: No, that falls within the principle, which we have decided over and over again, that such evidence is not admissible.
DR. LATERNSER: But since we are here concerned with a new subject, Mr. President ...
THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser: the Tribunal is perfectly well aware of the argument which you have presented to us that any investigations which were taken in bacterial warfare were done solely for defensive purposes. That argument is perfectly clear, and any other argument based upon allegations as to what the Allied Nations may have done is irrelevant.
GEN. RUDENKO: On 4 October 1943, in his speech addressed to the SS Gruppenfuehrer in Poznan, Himmler stated:
"We want a complete unity with the Party and all its organizations. It is very fortunate that we are completely united with the 'SA.'
"The new Chief of Staff Schepmann considers his most essential task that of creating peace and accord among the old Party groups."
Thus the creator of those SS who in 1934 liquidated the heads of the SA Putsch, in 1943 confirmed the full unity of the SS with the SA and emphasized the importance of this Hitlerite criminal organization in the general conspiracy.
During the whole process of the growth of the Hitlerite Party and of the Hitlerite State, the SA was the criminal organization to
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which the ringleaders of German Fascism attached special importance, considering it one of the main weapons for terrorizing and fooling their own nation and for preparing the ground for aggression against other nations.
It is no use to argue with counsel for the SA about the part played by this criminal organization in the common plan of the Fascist conspiracy.
Essentially, the plea of Herr Boehm was, generally speaking, devoid of any legal argument that would render it worthy of attention. It was a statement made from the viewpoint of a convinced Nazi, repeating, in a number of cases, the worst instances of Hitlerite propaganda, which counsel had carefully extracted from the SA Press.
DR. MARTIN LOEFFLER (Counsel for the SA): Mr. President, may I be allowed to make a brief objection to this very severe personal attack? Unfortunately Dr. Boehm has been prevented from appearing at today's session, but during the recess I have been able to ascertain from the General Secretary's list--which is also available to the Russian Delegation--that attorney Dr. Boehm has never been a member of the National Socialist Party. The reproach that in his pleading he wished to spread National Socialist propaganda, is therefore entirely without foundation. In the whole of Germany there would not be a single normal person who, having kept aloof from joining the Party for the years during the Nazi regime, would now advocate Nazi propaganda at this Trial.
One more point, Mr. President....
THE PRESIDENT: But we are not considering whether Defense Counsel belonged to the Party or not, and this observation of the Soviet Prosecutor does not say that Dr. Boehm was a member of the Party. It may be rather strongly expressed, but What he says is, this is the statement made from the viewpoint of the convinced Nazi. It is a perfectly different thing from saying that Dr. Boehm was a Nazi.
DR. LOEFFLER: Air. President, I have nothing to add to the statement except that I am asking the Tribunal to take cognizance of the very difficult position in which the Defense find themselves, and to consider that it is impossible to represent the organizations of the Party without representing also the attitude, the point of view, of the Party. That is all I had to say, but if the Russian Prosecutor fails to find any legal argument in Dr. Boehm's final plea, in that case these are presented in great detail in the excellent memorandum of my colleague Dr. Klefisch, and we were told that there would be a reply to that final plea. This reply has so far not been received.
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THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, the translation which we have got of your statements is possibly ambiguous, and therefore the Tribunal would like to be assured that what I said about it was accurate and that you were not suggesting that...
GEN.RUDENKO: Quite right, Mr. President. You have said precisely what I am asserting here, that the speech was simply made from the Nazi point of view, but I have no confirmation of the fact that Boehm himself did belong to the Party, and I think
that such polemics are admissible.
THE PRESIDENT: I think perhaps, General Rudenko, that it would be proper for you to withdraw any suggestion that Dr. Boehm himself was a convinced Nazi.
GEN. RUDENKO: But I never did, assert that Dr. Boehm was a convinced Nazi. I am simply asserting that, judging by his speech, he might possibly have the Nazi point of view.
THE PRESIDENT: What you mean is that Dr. Boehm. was representing a certain point of view, and, of course, as counsel he does not represent his own point of view; he merely represents the point of view of the case which he is presenting. Is that what you meant?
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, of course, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Go on.
GEN. RUDENKO: The "Sturinabteilungen" or "SA" were the first striking force in the hands of the conspirators, the first military "terror" organization founded by them. They were organized by Hitler in 1921, with the full support of the Reichswehr, who were hoping for revenge. The nucleus of the "SA" was made up of men such as Streicher and Roehm, rabid anti-Semites, chauvinists, supporters of the idea of the conquest of "living space," of officers who left the Army, and soldiers of the defeated Kaiser's army.
The shock units were composed of the most reactionary elements seeking revenge, and adventurers joined the SA tempted by the decorative side of this criminal organization and seeing in it a possibility of participating in pogroms and plunder. From the very beginning the SA was strictly a voluntary organization. This principle remained in force during the whole process of development of the shock units (SA).
From the Munich Putsch in 1923 until the seizure of power by the Hitlerites in 1933, the SA remained a faithful weapon in the hands of the Hitlerite Fascist clique, securing for it the "mastery of the streets" and the elimination of political opponents.
Together with the SS, the shock units were an integral part of the Hitlerite Party. This fact was officially declared in the
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ordinance of March 1935 (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1935, Part I, Page 502), and the same was to be found in the organizational charter of the Hitlerite Party.
In his pamphlet The SA, SA Sturmfiffirer Bauer wrote:
"The public would never have learned of the stirring speeches and the propaganda of our small faction in the Reichstag or of the aspirations and aims of the Party, had it not been hearing the footsteps of the marching SA units and their battle songs."
But the "footsteps of the marching SA and their battle songs" were not the only thing heard by the German public. They were far more aware of the blows of rubber truncheons, the shots fired at political opponents, and the pogroms in the working-class quarters. For the chief Fascist conspirators, the main value of the SA lay precisely in their function as a weapon to be used for pogroms and terror. During the period of the struggle for power and afterwards, the SA were first of all an instrument of brute force, a means for the elimination and extermination of political opponents.
This situation was very frankly depicted by Goebbels in a speech delivered. by him in 1935. He then stated:
"The internal political opponents did not just disappear for some unknown secret reason. No, they disappeared because our movement had at its disposal the strongest weapon in the country, and this strongest weapon was the SA units."
The Tribunal will remember the evidence given by the witness Gisevius, of the terror caused by the SA in the streets of Gennan towns, of the "pogrom-makers" in SA uniforms, who beat, killed, scoffed at human dignity, and transformed the headquarters of the SA into houses of torture.
It is true that when the Hitlerites came to power, another terroristic organization was actually formed, 'which became the principal executor of their plan, and, with the SA formed the reserve of that great police machinery which was set up by German Fascism. These were the SS, and the "brown shirt" men surrounding Hitler had to stand aside and give way to the "Black Corps" of the SS as head of the Hitlerite Party organization.
Goering's official biographer speaks of the wide use of the SS as a political police reserve. He notes that when forming the Gestapo, Goering admitted into the ranks of this organization--one of the most dangerous criminal organizations of German Fascism-many members of the SA, "they being the most reliable from the political point of view."
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Evidence has already been presented to the Tribunal, showing that after the Fascists came to power, members of the SA together with the SS formed detachments for guarding the concentration camps.
Describing the concentration camp of Oranienburg, the SA Sturmbannfuehrer Schaefer states:
"The most reliable and daring members of the SA were chosen for work in the camp, that is, they were the permanent camp guards. In this way we formed a nucleus of experienced guards, who were always ready for action."
It seems unnecessary for me to dwell on the way the prisoners were treated in those camps and the behavior in the concentration camps of the men of the SA in their role of executioners. The men of the SA directly organized the first anti-Semitic pogroms. This is proved by the documents submitted by the Prosecution and by the original reports of the SA commanders of units and detachments. As with the SS, the SA were imbued with the same spirit of ferocious anti-Semitism, which finally led to the establishment of the Treblinka and Chelmno camps.
However, in analyzing the criminal character of the SA organization, another of its important functions in the execution of the general plan of development of the Hitlerite conspiracy must not be omitted. The SA was the organization under whose cover the mass training of the military personnel for the Wehrmacht was carried out. This personnel was later on called upon to carry out the Hitlerite plans of aggression. This criminal activity was carried out with a maximum degree of secrecy with regard to the outer world.
"In addition to my instructions ... dated 11 July 1933, 1 am compelled to ask all SA authorities to exercise the greatest caution with regard to any publicity given to the SA service, not only in the press, but also in the information and news sheets of the individual SA units. Just these last few days the Reich Ministry of the Interior, at the request of the Foreign Office, has given strict instructions to all Reich authorities, whereby the strictest control is to be exercised on all publications which might lead other countries to impute German infringements of the terms of the Versailles Treaty."
This secret order of the SA Chief of Staff fully refutes the assertion of the Defense relative to the "Peaceful character" of the SA and the "purely sporting" character of their activities.
The organization structure of the SA with its brigades and regiments had a purely military character. From the moment of their inception the SA units, under the guidance of the most
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reactionary officers of the Reichswehr, who had joined the Hitlerites, began the preparation of cadres for future war. Later, after the seizure of power by the Hitlerites, the SA became an organ for mass military training, and officers of the Wehrmacht in SA uniforms carried out in these units a purely military training of SA men. The leaders of the SA well understood the position they occupied after the seizure of power in the realization of the Hitlerite plans of aggression.
In this connection it is pertinent to present again to the Tribunal a short excerpt from an article published in the organ of the SA, Der SA-Mann, of 6 January 1934:
"...the SA man, according to the will of the Fuehrer, stands as the defender of the National Socialist revolution before the gates of power, and will remain there forever. There are still gigantic missions awaiting fulfilment, which would be unthinkable without the presence and the active cooperation of the SA.
"What has been accomplished up until now, the seizure of power in the State and the elimination of those elements who are responsible for the pernicious developments of the postwar years as the bearers of Marxism, liberalism, and capitalism, are only the preliminaries, the springboard for the real aims of National Socialism"
In the entire subsequent development of Hitlerism. the SA men were a loyal weapon in the hands of the criminal Hitlerite clique. During the war, through a special directive, the members of the SA were entrusted with the guarding of the prisoners of war and of the "workers from the East," not being allowed to alleviate in any way the brutal man-exterminating regime established for them. Members of the SA acted as guards in several "worker camps."
The SA was one of the most criminal mass organizations of the Hitler Party. The criminal activity of its members, with the exception of the Veterans' Union and persons belonging to the SA sports clubs, has been fully proved in the course of this Trial. The SA of the German Fascist Party, whose activity comprises a greater part of the crimes of the Hitler regime, must undoubtedly be declared a criminal organization by the Tribunal.
The Gestapo was founded by the Defendant Goering on 26 April 1933 at the time when he was Prime Minister of Prussia, and during the early period of its existence it was directed by him personally.
Gradually, however, the Reichsfuehrer SS Heinrich Himmler took over all control of the Political Police of the Reich territory into his own hands. The law of 10 February 1936 declared the Gestapo to be a special police organ for the whole Reich. By his decree
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of 17 July 1936, Hitler appointed Himmler the Chief of the German Police, thus legitimizing the "personal unity" already achieved by the SS and the Police on the whole.
In harmony with this principle of "personal unity," that is, unity of leadership, Himmler in- his very first decree on the structure of the German Police dated 25 June 1936, appointed Reinhard Heydrich as Chief of the Sipo (Security Police), which already comprised within the same system both the Gestapo and the Criminal Police. Heydrich's successor, after his death, was the Defendant Kaltenbrunner.
In 1939, in consequence of the consolidation of the leading role of the SD in the general security scheme of the Nazi State, and for purposes of the further unification of the Police under one single control, a reorganization of the central security organizations took place. This resulted in the fusion of the SS Main Office with the Main Office of the Security Police into a single SS semi-governmental, semi-Party organization--"Reich Security Main Office," or the RSHA.
Thus the Secret State Police, then briefly known as "Gestapo," and up to then existing as part of the Main Office of the Security Police, became Amt IV of the RSHA.
.The functions of the Gestapo in the general system of the security organs of the Third Reich were clearly defined by the same Heydrich in an article published in the German periodical The German Police. He defined the role of the SD as that of political intelligence within both the Nazi Party and the Nazi State, whose task included the study and analysis of the political atmosphere and of the political trends and tendencies, both inside and outside the bounds of the Reich, for the purpose of keeping the Nazi leaders informed. The function of the Secret State Police, as Heydrich saw it, was to reveal and render harmless those political elements within the Nazi regime which were hostile and unreliable.
The whole of the Gestapo with its system of central, regional, penal, and other special branches and formations, had as its object the accomplishment of this cardinal point of its program. For its fulfilment, this function required the most careful individual selection of the Gestapo personnel. These were selected from amongst the most qualified personnel of the general Police and, of the administration, who had already proved to be fanatical adherents of the Hitlerite regime, and also from amongst the regular employees of the SD. The latter were usually given supervisory positions in the Gestapo.
The affidavit submitted by the former chief of Amt VI of the RSHA, Walter Schellenberg, establishes that 75 percent of the Gestapo employees were also members of the SS. They had either
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been members of the SS prior to entering the Gestapo or else they became members as soon as they started their careers in this criminal and terroristic organization. The number of Gestapo employees in the period of 1934 to 1945 reached between 40 and 50,000. Such a staff, to quote Fouche, allowed the Gestapo, "to have eyes to look everywhere and hands to seize anyone."
The criminal activity of the Gestapo did not confine itself merely to the territory of the Reich. During the period of preparation for aggression, it was the Gestapo to whom was entrusted the task, jointly with the SD, of organizing one of the first operational groups or Einsatzgruppen intended to function in the territory of the Czechoslovakian Republic.
With the beginning of hostilities and in conformity with the plan already prepared and approved, the Gestapo placed at the disposal of the Armed Forces a certain percentage of its experienced workers to organize the so-called "Secret Field Police," the GFP. The GFP units in the Army exercised the functions of both the Gestapo and the Sipo in the Reich and were also empowered with ,vide police and punitive powers directed against the civilian population and the guerilla fighters in theaters of military operations.
From the very beginning of its existence the Gestapo, had wide powers in connection with extra-judicial measures of reprisal directed against elements threatening the Nazi State or the Nazi Party. One of the main types of reprisal used against such elements was the utilization of the right of "preventive arrest" and "preventive imprisonment," which the Gestapo used widely both in the territory of the Reich and in the areas afterwards annexed or occupied by Germany. The places of preventive arrest were the widely-known and notoriously terrible German concentration camps. Confinement in a concentration camp could be effected through a simple written order signed by the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, Heydrich, by Kaltenbrunner, who later on replaced him, or on the order of the chief of Amt IV of the RSHA, Miller. Frequently the order of confinement in a concentration camp was issued personally by the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Heinrich Himmler.
Never did the victim of preventive arrest know for just how long he would have to undergo a period of torture and suffering; the length of confinement depended entirely on the arbitrary will of the Gestapo. Even when the Gestapo knew the length of time that it planned to keep the man in prison, it still was strictly forbidden to disclose this either to the prisoner or to his relatives.
These concentration camps were the prototype of the extermination camps which materialized in the subsequent period of
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aggressive operations and which generations to come are bound to remember with horror, namely, Maidanek, Auschwitz, Treblinka, and many others.
As the punitive executive organization of the Nazi State, the Gestapo had close connections with the Nazi Party. In the appendix to the decree issued by the Reich and Prussian Minister, dated 20 September 1936, it states without any ambiguity that "the special functions of the Security Police demand the closest and fullest mutual understanding and collaboration ... also with the Gauleiter of the NSDAP. In studying the decree of 14 December 1938 concerning the collaboration of the Party organs with the Gestapo it is easy to see that there existed the closest contact between the various organizations of the Fascist conspirators, especially between the Gestapo and the Party leaders. Defendants Hess and Bormann were always careful to maintain close contact
between the Party and the Gestapo.
As I have already stated, together with other criminal Fascist organizations, the Gestapo, actively participated in the preparation of plans for the seizure of territory belonging to other states.
The list of 4,000 Yugoslav citizens, compiled in 1938 and seized in May 1945 in the Gestapo headquarters in Maribor, proves beyond doubt that the Gestapo participated in the plans for the invasion of Yugoslavia in its own special way. We also see from the testimony of Dragomir Jovanovich, one of the Yugoslav Quislings, who was chief of the Serbian police during the German occupation, that the Gestapo organizations for Yugoslavia were planned in
advance. In accordance with a preconceived plan, the police posts were distributed among the German residents of Yugoslavia.
Exhibit Number USSR-509, submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution, likewise shows that for Czechoslovakia also the agencies of the Reich Security Main Office planned the functions of the SD and the Gestapo long before the actual occupation of the country.
The report of the Czechoslovakian Government points out still another type of participation by the Gestapo in planned aggression. The Reich Security Main Office also placed in Czechoslovakia agents for assassinating, or for kidnapping and carrying off to Germany, known anti-Fascists. The fact that the Gestapo participated in carrying out Germany's aggressive plans is also confirmed by a series of documents which show that even before the actual perpetration of the treacherous attack on Russia the Hitlerite blackguards had compiled lists of persons, personnel files, and other data regarding "important officials of the government organs and the community leaders of the Soviet Union to be annihilated." For instance, together with the/ SD and the Criminal Police, the Gestapo prepared the
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"special intelligence guide for the U.S.S.R." "The German Intelligence Guide," "Lists of persons whose residence must be determined," and other similar intelligence reference books and lists of persons.
The criminal activity of the Gestapo connected with plans for aggression, both within the Reich itself and in the West, has already been dealt with by my respected colleagues. For that reason I shall pass on to the subject of the Gestapo crimes in the temporarily occupied territories of the U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, what is the reference to "The German Intelligence Guide," "List of persons whose residence must be determined," and other similar intelligence reference books and lists of persons? USSR-3 is what I have got. Is that the right document?
GEN. RUDENKO: Yes, USSR-3, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you.
GEN. RUIDENKO: The crimes which the Hitlerites had committed with the help of the police organization in the temporarily occupied territories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland are of the same pattern. The various Gestapo organs were the executive machinery which carried out most of these crimes.
The very first mass operation for annihilating the Polish intelligentsia, the so-called "Operation AB," was conceived by Frank, approved by Hitler, and perpetrated by men of the Gestapo. It was the agents of the Gestapo who, with the aid of several SS units and under the direction of the SS and Police Leader for Poland, Obergruppenfuehrer Krueger, as well as Brigadefuehrer Streckenbach, succeeded in exterminating several thousand Polish intellectuals when carrying out this atrocious mass operation.
In accordance with Frank's decree of 9 October 1943, the notorious "Standgerichte" (Summary Courts), created "to suppress attacks on the work of German reconstruction in the Government General," also consisted of Gestapo, agents.
Again it was the Gestapo which carried out the terrible reprisals against the clergy which resulted in the murder of about 700 priests and the imprisonment of about 3000 priests in concentration camps as early as January 1941.
As is thoroughly proven by the documents submitted by the Soviet Prosecution, the Gestapo established special mass extermination centers for the Jewish population of Poland. In contrast to such extermination camps as Maidanek and Auschwitz, which were under the jurisdiction of the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office, the secret extermination camp in Chelmno, where over
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340,000 Jews were done away with by means of murder vans, was both founded and directly administered by the Gestapo, which created for the purpose a special unit "Sonderkommando Kulmhof" This Gestapo Sonderkommando was under the administrative supervision of the Gestapo chief in the city of Lodz, Braunfisch. It was also the Gestapo which founded Treblinka, the prototype of all subsequent extermination camps. Eichmann's plan for the extermination of the Jews in Europe, with the help of special extermination camps created for the purpose by the "D" Section of the SS, originated in the Gestapo, where Eichmann worked as subordinate of the Gestapo official Mueller. It was the Gestapo that was responsible for the annihilation of 3,200,000 Jews in Poland, 112,000 in Czechoslovakia, and 65,000 in Yugoslavia.
It was the Gestapo that introduced and practised in the occupied territories of Eastern Europe the criminal system of hostages and the principle of collective responsibility, thus arbitrarily and constantly widening the number of persons liable to reprisals. For example, it was the Gestapo that together with the Defendant Frank issued the notorious decree of mass reprisals with regard to the "families of saboteurs," the decree which stated that:
"... not only should the seized saboteurs be executed on the spot but also all the male kin of offenders should be immediately shot, while all female relatives over 16 years of age should be confined in concentration camps."
What went on in Poland is typical of Gestapo behavior not only in Poland, but applies also to Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. 200,000 persons passed through the Gestapo prison in Brno, Czechoslovakia, during the period of occupation alone. Only 50,000 of these were freed. Others were killed or sent to slow death in a concentration camp. The order of 9 March 1942 gave the Gestapo the right to use "preventive confinement" and "protective custody."
Thousands of Czech patriots, particularly physicians, teachers, lawyers, and clergy were arrested even prior to the war. In addition lists were compiled in each region of persons liable to be arrested as hostages at the first sign of disturbance of public order or security. Karl Hermann Frank, addressing leaders of the "movement for national unity" announced in 1940 that 2,000 Czech hostages, then in concentration camps, would be shot unless Czech leaders signed a declaration of loyalty. When an attempt on Heydrich's life took place, many of the hostages were executed.
In 1939 the Gestapo called together factory directors and warehouse supervisors of the various Czech industrial concerns. They were made to sign the following statement: "I am cognizant of the fact that I shall be shot immediately if the plant stops work without a justifiable cause." Schoolteachers in Czechoslovakia
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similarly had. to. sign declarations making themselves responsible for the loyalty of their students.
It was the Gestapo which was responsible for that unheard-of crime of the annihilation of the village of Lidice and its population.
The Gestapo terror in Yugoslavia assumed an especially vicious character. The confirmation of the fact can be found in the following quotation from Report Number 6 of the Yugoslav State Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes:
"A group of hostages were hanged in Celsje (Cilli) on hooks used by butchers to suspend uncut meat. In Maribor, victims worked in groups of five, placing bodies of shot hostages into boxes and then loading them on to trucks. As each five-man team finished its job, it was shot and the next group of five persons replaced it in the loading job. This went on continuously. The Sodna Street in Maribor was covered with blood from these lorries. The number given of 50,000 victims appears too small, as several hundred were shot each time, in Granz as many as 500 being murdered at once."
Numerous documents have been submitted to the Tribunal dealing with the mass shooting of hostages and signed by the competent regional chiefs of the Gestapo in Yugoslavia. I shall not dwell upon the details of these documents, as I suppose the Tribunal still has them clearly in mind.
The legal proceedings have thoroughly revealed those monstrous crimes which the Gestapo committed in the temporarily occupied Soviet territory. There the Gestapo personnel functioned either among the operational units-the Einsatzgruppen, the Einsatzkommandos, and the Sonderkommandos of the SD and of the Security Police--or else it comprised the Secret Field Police, which was also partly composed of both Gestapo and Criminal Police officials.
As a rule, it was the Gestapo officials who on all occasions carried out the inhuman executions and mass actions, acting under the general political leadership of the members of the SD staff and with the assistance of officials of other police organizations, as well as units of the Waffen-SS, widely used for these purposes. Numerous cases of mass murder and torture of peaceful Soviet citizens by the Gestapo have been established by the Tribunal. As an example I shall content myself with the description of separate characteristic facts.
In the small town of Wjasma alone, by order of the chief of the Gestapo, several thousands of peaceful citizens were killed or tortured to death. The Fascist monsters not only killed their victims, but made them dig their own graves. In the village Zaitchiki, in
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the Smolensk district, men of the Gestapo drove into one house 23 old men, women, and children and set the house on fire, burning alive all those who were inside. In the psychiatric hospitals of Riga, Gestapo men exterminated all the inmates of these asylums. As stated in the report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the crimes of the German Fascist usurpers in the town of Rovno, in the Rovno district, as retaliation for each act, of resistance, the Gestapo men perpetrated mass murder. When a German judge was killed by an unknown person in November 1943 in Rovno, the Gestapo shot more than 350 prisoners who were then being held in the town prison.
It is known from the report of the Extraordinary State Commission on the crimes of the German Fascist usurpers that the Gestapo used "death-vans" for the extermination of Soviet citizens. In the town of Krasnodar and the Krasnodar region, the Gestapo men, forming part of operational groups, exterminated through poisoning by carbon monoxide more than 6,700 Soviet citizens, including women, old men, and children who were under treatment in the Krasnodar hospital, as well as persons held in the Gestapo prison.
In the outskirts of the town of Krasnodar, in a big anti-tank trench, several thousands of corpses of Soviet citizens were buried who had been poisoned by gas and thrown there by the Gestapo.
In the Stavropol region 54 children who were seriously ill and were being treated at the health resort of Tiberda were poisoned by gas in death-vans, as were also 600 patients of the Stavropol psychiatric hospital.
The evidence given by Kovaltchouk, who lived in the Stavropol region, gives us an idea of the tortures practised by the Gestapo. They interrogated at night only. These interrogations were made in a separate room, where special torture devices had been set up, amongst them chains with metal bars fixed in the concrete floor, to which the prisoner's arms and legs were chained. The arrested person was first of all stripped naked, then laid on the floor, his hands and legs shackled, after which he was beaten with rubber sticks. Sometimes a wooden board was placed on the back of the victim and sharp blows were then dealt with heavy weights on the board.
The torture chamber was arranged in such a way that when an arrested person was being tortured, the other arrested people, who were in an adjoining room awaiting interrogation, were able to watch the scene. When after torture a prisoner became unconscious, he was thrown aside by the modem inquisitors and the next victim, in many cases already half unconscious, was dragged into the room. These unheard-of tortures were used by the Gestapo even on women.
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I shall mention one example only. Such tortures during interrogation were most extensively used throughout the occupied territories of the U.S.S.R. Medieval tortures were used during interrogations on special orders emanating from the RSHA and Mueller, Chief of the Gestapo. In one of those strictly secret orders the authorities gave the following instructions: "Third degree can include the following treatment: a very simple diet (bread and water), a hard bunk, a dark cell, deprivation of sleep. exhausting drill, beating with birch rods:
The intelligentsia, including distinguished men of science and art who were in the Soviet territories temporarily occupied by the Germans, were likewise subjected by the Gestapo to unheard-of torture and persecution. The persecution by the Gestapo of representatives of the intelligentsia was carried out in accordance with a plan which had been elaborated beforehand. For instance, before the German troops had occupied Lvov, detachments of the Gestapo had in their possession lists of the principal representatives of the Lvov intelligentsia who were to be exterminated. Immediately after the occupation of Lvov by the Germans, mass arrests and shooting of professors, physicians, lawyers, writers, and artists started. Paying no heed to the human dignity of their victims, the Gestapo subjected the arrested scientists to the most cruel tortures, after which they finally shot them.
An investigation carried out by the units of the Red Army, after Lvov had been freed from the German occupants, showed that over 70 prominent scientists, technicians, and artists had been killed by the Germans, their bodies being subsequently burned by the Gestapo. Fearing to be held responsible for these acts, the Fascist jackals painstakingly tried to conceal the facts about the extermination of the Lvov intelligentsia.
The Gestapo also took part in the torture and killing of prisoners of war. During the court proceedings a directive of Department IV of the Reich Security Main Office, dated 17 June 1941, was read. It concerned the activity of detachments of the Security Police and SD in the prisoner-of-war camps. Your Honors also know the directive of Mueller, dated 9 November 1941 and sent to all departments of the Gestapo, concerning the disposal of the bodies of prisoners who had died on their way to the place of execution.
The written testimony of Kurt Lindorf, a former employee of the Gestapo, is at the disposal of the Tribunal. This document concerns the execution of Soviet political commissars and conscripted Jews. Known too is the order of the Chief of the Security Police and SD which was transmitted to the local offices of the Gestapo and concerned the sending of certain categories of escaped officers from
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prisoner-of-war camps to Mauthausen concentration camp for the carrying out of the "Kugel" action.
The Tribunal is acquainted with the order of the commander of the 6th Military District, dated 17 July 1944, stating that recaptured escaped prisoners of war lose their rights and are to be turned over to the Gestapo, as well as with Keitel's order to the Armed Forces, dated 4 August 1942, which stated that the taking of action against individual paratroopers and groups of paratroopers belongs to the jurisdiction of the SD and the Gestapo.
The Gestapo actively co-oporated in the deportation for German slave labor of thousands of peaceful citizens from the territories temporarily occupied by Germany and inflicted cruel repressive measures upon these persons on their arrival in Germany. In a like manner, Mueller, the Chief of the Gestapo, in his telegram of 16 December 1942, stated that the Gestapo could arrest some 45,000 Jews to serve as workers in the concentration camps.
In the directive of 17 December 1942, Mueller writes of this in connection with 35,000 Jews. In the secret order of 18 June 1941 Mueller gave instructions to the Gestapo concerning the indispensable measures to be taken in order to prevent agitation among foreign workers.
The criminal activity of the Gestapo is especially horrible in connection with the extermination of Jews. The affidavit of Wilhelm Hoettl, dated 7 November 1945, establishes the fact that the Gestapo exterminated some 6 million Jews.
In the reports of the Extraordinary State Commission set up for the investigation of German Fascist atrocities in the territory of the U.S.S.R., and in other documents as well, are brought forward innumerable proofs of torture, of various outrages, and of mass murder of Jews by the Gestapo men.
The court proceedings have fully confirmed the charge submitted against the criminal activity of the Gestapo. As an organization of bloodthirsty mass terror the Gestapo must be recognized as a criminal organization.
The Security Service or "Sicherheitsdienst" was usually referred to in the official police documents under the abbreviation of "SD." It was a secret espionage SS organization of the Party. The SD, as well as the SS, was organized by Himmler.
The SD was that secret organization within the SS system which, after the seizure of power by the Hitlerites, had speedily merged with the police agencies and had promptly been installed in the leading secret police positions and the cadres of both the SA and the SS. It had played a leading role in the German scheme of political intelligence and "preventive examination" of the undesirable elements both before and after the formation of the RSHA.
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The SD stood particularly close to the central headquarters of the criminal Nazi conspirators, that is to say, the Party Leadership, and that is why the SD participated most actively in planning those police activities which invariably accompanied all Hitlerite plans of aggression.
As will be shown below, it was the SD which created the first "Einsatzgruppen," supplied these predatory organizations of German Fascism with executive personnel, and prepared the atrocities which were later committed in the occupied territories of Poland, Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union, and other countries.
Attempting to exempt this criminal organization from the responsibilities with which it is charged, the Defense started an
argument about the meaning of the very term "SD." The reasons for the Defense starting this terminological discussion are quite clear. The Defense endeavored to support Kaltenbrunner's version of the SD as an organization whose functions were strictly limited to the Reich domestic information services, which remained entirely apart from all police functions.
The Defense began this argument so that only the most apparent part of the criminal activity of the SD would be revealed, while the rest could hide behind such terms as "general information services of trends and tendencies among the different circles of German society." All the political and police functions of the SD as a leading organization of the SS police machinery would stand unrevealed.
In reality, however, the SD was a widely-spread espionage organization of German Fascism, which actively contributed to the realization of the criminal plans of aggression and operated both inside and outside Germany, in the occupied regions and abroad. Together with the Gestapo, it was the SD cadres who formed the backbone of the Einsatzgruppen, where it was always the SD personnel that occupied leading posts.
The functions of the SD can be divided as follows:
(1) The general information service which covered, As shown by the SD official documents, the "Lebensgebiete" or spheres vital to the German Reich, all Government offices, and all the best social circles of Fascist Germany.
(2) The special tasks, with which was connected the, compilation of card files and lists of persons, primarily with reference to countries which were to be invaded. The card files and lists contained names of people who were to be subjected to the "special treatment," that is to say, either destroyed or confined in concentration camps.
(3) The supplying of personnel to those criminal organizations which were directly concerned with the carrying out of the Hitlerite plans for the annihilation of the politically undesirable elements
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and of intellectuals in the occupied territories, as well as with committing bestial acts of terrorism and execution. The entire staff of the SD consisted of SS men. This is understandable considering that the SD was an offspring of the SS and up to the very last moment was referred to as the "SD of the Reichsfuehrer SS." The many-branched SD system included the following:
Department III of the RSHA (Amt III), which consisted of the domestic and occupied regions political intelligence service; Department VI of the RSHA (Amt VI, consisting of the foreign intelligence service, headed by one of the closest associates of Himmler, Walter Schellenberg, whose testimony is well known to the Tribunal; and Department VII (Amt VII), sometimes called the department for ideological warfare. The latter also included a number of very important auxiliary branches which formed the analytical apparatus for the espionage activities of the SD at home and abroad. In order to refute the statements of the Defense I should like' to refer to one of the documents showing the actual position of the SD in the police and SS scheme of Hitlerite Germany.
I am speaking now of the document entitled "Utilization of the SD in case of emergency in Czechoslovakia." The document is marked "Secret" and is dated June 1938, that is, more than nine months before the actual seizure of Czechoslovakia. It was found by the Red Army among the Berlin files of the SD and has been submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution.
The contents of the document leave no doubts, first, as to the facts of the active SD participation in the preparation and realization of the criminal plans of aggression, and secondly, of the fact that it was specifically the SD that both initiated and organized the Einsatzgruppen.
I have some excerpts from this document, but I will skip them. The whole territory of Czechoslovakia was, in conformity with the SD regional organization in Germany, divided beforehand into important (Oberabschnitt) and small (Unterabschnitt) territorial units, and for each of these units special Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos were prepared and staffed. In the text of the document we can see that a system of Oberabschnitte for Prague, Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Waagtal, and others, was prepared and planned. The staffing of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos was entirely a task of the SD. In the document we read in this connection that "the staffing of the SD agencies should be effected with respect to the following considerations: (1) the requirements of the SD itself; (2) the requirements of economy."
An entire program was prepared for training members of the Einsatzgruppen to be recruited from collaborators and Sudeten-Germans. The utilization of "suitable persons" of German origin
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living in Czechoslovakia was equally foreseen, and special mention was made of the point that:
"...it must, however, be considered that in spite of all precautionary measures we shall not have many such people at our disposal, since under certain conditions a considerable number will be arrested, deported, or killed."
The Einsatzgruppen, organized and trained on German territory, were to be concentrated near the German-Czechoslovakian border in order to move into Czechoslovakian territory at the same time as the invading armies. In this connection the document says--I draw the attention of the Tribunal to Page 55:
"In compiling the records the official has already to make remarks like arrest, dissolution, dismissal, shadowing, confiscation, surveillance by the Police, cancellation of passport,
The compilation of the records and reference lists in which the names of people were entered who were to be killed in the territories temporarily occupied by the Germans was one of the immediate functions of the SD. The killings were then carried out by the Gestapo or special SS units by Sonderkommandos or the SD.
In preparation of the attack on Soviet Russia the SD officials compiled a whole series of reference lists in which the names of members of the Soviet intelligentsia and political leaders were entered whose elimination was, intended in conformity with the cruel directives of the Hitlerite criminals.
Appendix Number 2 to Operational Order Number 8 of the Chief of the Security Police of the SD, dated 17 July 1941, said that long before the beginning of the war against the Soviet Union the Security Service had compiled the "German research book," lists of addresses, and a "special research book for the U.S.S.R." where all the names of "Soviet Russians considered as dangerous" were entered. We know from the same order of Heydrich's what the intentions of the Hitlerite criminals were with regard to those "dangerous Russians."
All of them, without any' judicial sentence whatsoever, were to be exterminated by the Sonderkommandos in conformity with Orders Number 8 and Number 14 of the Reich Security Main Office, dated 17 July and 29 October 1941.
The same criminal task was accomplished by the SD before the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Soviet Prosecution presented to the Tribunal a "research book" prepared by the so-called German Balkan Institute, "Sildostdeutsches Institut," which was connected with the SD. This book contained the names of over 4,000 Yugoslav citizens who were to be arrested immediately after the invasion
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of Yugoslavia. The completed book was transmitted to the executive police, that is to say, the Gestapo, which itself was to undertake these arrests.
This book was found among the records of the Gestapo at Maribor and bore the following note made by a member of the SD: "The persons mentioned herein are to be arrested and the RSHA is to be informed immediately that the action has been carried out."
This SD institute carried on a special undermining activity by preparing the Fifth Column in Yugoslavia. In connection with this a member of the SD, the Dean of the Graz University, Hermann Ibler, issued a special pamphlet which was entitled Des Reiches Sildgrenze and was marked "strictly secret." It contained a list of the Fifth Column agents in Yugoslavia.
It was the SD especially who carried out political provocation abroad. The former Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner, had to confess to that when interrogated by the representative of the Soviet Prosecution. He himself could not deny his signature on the letter to Ribbentrop concerning the allocation by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of one million tomans, for bribing the voters in Iran.
The SD members understood perfectly the part they were to play in the occupied territories in the execution of the inhuman plans of the Hitlerites concerning the extermination of the enslaved nations. From this point of view a German document captured by the units of the Polish Army in the building of the SD at Mogilno (Poland) and presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution is characteristic.
In this letter, addressed to the agents of the SD, the chief of the Blockstelle, some Hauptsturmfuehrer of the SS, informs them of Himmler's speech of 15 March 1940 in which the latter instructed the commanders of the concentration camps situated in Poland first to make use of the Polish skilled workers for military industry in the concentration camps, and later to exterminate all those Poles. This Hauptsturmfuehrer of the SS from Mogilno requested therefore all his trusted agents of the SD to prepare the lists of the Poles they considered as dangerous in order to exterminate them later on.
The SD was one of the most important links in the inhuman police machinery of the SS and German Fascism. It was a detective and information organization spread over the whole territory of the "old Reich," as well as throughout all the temporarily occupied territories and states. At a certain time it was the members of the SD who initiated the most cruel police measures of the Hitlerites.
For this reason, the Soviet Prosecution, supported by irrefutable evidence, considers that the whole system of the SD should be declared criminal.
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In the course of the present Trial, there have been many attempts on the part of several of the defendants, the Defense, and those witnesses for the Defense who were generals in Hitlerite Germany, to represent both the High Command of the Armed Forces and the General Staff as organizations whose activities were guided by the sole principle of "fulfilling their soldierly duty."
The higher echelons of the German war machine, according to this concept, were far removed from the criminal politics of the Hitler Government, took no part in political decisions and confined themselves entirely to the fulfilment of orders emanating from their commander-in-chief and dealing with purely military matters. Opinion was expressed to the effect that the German General Staff, in view of the nature of the military structure then existing in Hitlerite Germany, was no more and no less than an auxiliary organization dealing with purely technical matters. Finally, attempts were made more than once, which is also quite understandable, to represent the High Command of the Army as something quite distinct and not having anything in common with the activity of the German police organization and of the SS.
Almost every student of European politics since the first World War knows that the generals and officers of the Kaiser's army were only too ready to play again the game they had once lost. For the German military defeat they blamed everything and everybody-- except themselves. Meanwhile they worked on creating undercover military organizations, dreamed of revenge, and appeared prepared to offer their honor and their, swards to any political adventurer who would not stop until another world war had been started. Surrounded by this type of new "tradition" there grew up in Germany the present generation of officers. And it was not by accident that the future leader of this generation, Adolf Hitler, entered the political arena out of the void with the moral and financial support of the Reichswehr. With few exceptions, it was the military caste that gave. Hitler support, and when he seized power, rearmament began almost immediately. The haughty Prussian generals bowed to Hitler the corporal, because they knew that Hitler meant war.
Field Marshals Brauchitsch, Milch, Manstein, and others arrived here under Allied guard to give false testimony about themselves to the International Military Tribunal. And so we saw the peculiar spectacle of wolves turning into sheep!
I do not know just what kind of naive people they expected to find here, Brauchitsch particularly, when he presented himself here as a confirmed pacifist. If we allow ourselves to believe him, we would then also have to believe that he, the Commander-in-Chief of the German Army, knew nothing whatever of Germany's
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aggressive plans, nothing of the coming invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia, but was persistently and continuously persuading Hitler not to fight. Such a clumsy defense leads merely to self-betrayal. I beg to dwell briefly on evidence to refute the tricks and maneuvers of the Defense whose main aim has been to mask and diminish the extent of the criminal activity of the German High Command.
Evidence submitted to the Tribunal proves beyond doubt that both the General Staff and the OKW were fully informed of the criminal intentions of aggression on the part of the Hitlerite Government, that they shared these plans and participated actively in both their preparation and their realization. As soon as Hitler's Mein Kampf appeared, the aggressive anti-social plans of the Hitler conspirators became known to every German. They were widely propagated and made public from day to day and month to month. These plans received immediate recognition from the German military leaders, who subsequently put both their experience and their knowledge at the service of the Hitlerite State.
I do not plan, however, to delve deeply into the history of the Hitlerite State and its military machine to prove just when. and how the subsequent criminal activity of the leading German military organs began. I want to mention only that evidence which refers to the beginning of the war.
Already on 23 May 1939, at a staff meeting held in the new Reich Chancellery, Hitler said to his chief military leaders,:
"Danzig is not the crux of the matter. For us it is a question of the expansion of our 'Lebensrauni' in the East. Thus the question of whether Poland is to be spared disappears and there remains only the decision to attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity."
While expounding his military and political plans to his senior officers and generals at a staff meeting on 22 August 1939, at Obersalzberg, Hitler stated:
"First of all comes the annihilation of Poland. Even if war breaks out in the West, the destruction of Poland still takes first place. For propaganda purposes I shall give out some excuse for beginning the war; whether it is true or not is unimportant."
At a conference of the commanders-in-chief, which took place on 23 November 1939, Hitler said the following in talking to his closest military advisers:
"In principle I did not organize the Wehrmacht in order not to strike. The decision to strike was always with me. Earlier
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or later I wanted to solve the problem. Through force of circumstances it was decided that for the moment the East was to be the object of attack."
Is this not evidence that Hitler made no secret of his criminal plans, so far as his chief military officers were concerned?
Even more convincing in this respect are the operational papers of the German High Command, which quite cynically describe the criminal aims of aggression on the part of the Hitler Government. In Hitler's directive of 30 May 1938, dealing with the execution of the plan "Gruen" for the invasion of Czechoslovakia, it is stated:
"It is my unalterable decision to destroy Czechoslovakia by military action in the near future.
"From a military as well as a political standpoint the most favorable course is lightning-swift action on the grounds of an incident by which Germany is provoked in an unbearable way and which at least part of world opinion will consider as the moral justification for military action."
Or there is also the directive of 27 March 1941 regarding the invasion of Yugoslavia, which provides that:
"Without waiting for. any declaration of Yugoslavia's loyalty to us, we must make all preparations to destroy Yugoslavia militarily and as a state."
This cynical frankness reaches a climax in the German operational material dealing with plans for attacking the Soviet Union. In the directive of the OKW of 13 March 1941 with regard to "special regions," long before the attack on the Soviet Union, it was stated:
"The Russian territory occupied in the course of operations shall, as soon as the conclusion of military action permits it, be divided up into individual states with governments of their own, according to special orders."
In the instructions for propaganda in the "Barbarossa" region published by the OKW in June 1941, it was foreseen that "for the time being no propaganda should be conducted for the dismemberment of the Soviet Union."
Finally, Document Number 21, dated 18 December 1940, known under the code name of "Plan Barbarossa," stated: "The final aim of the operation is to form a screen against Asiatic Russia along the general Archangel-Volga line."
The former Field Marshal of the German Army, Friedrich Paulus, gave the Tribunal an exhaustive explanation of this "final aim" pursued by Hitlerite Germany in its war against the Soviet Union, which was known to the entire High Command of the Armed Forces.
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No less convincing evidence on this matter was given to the Tribunal by my American colleague, who presented an order of Field Marshal Von Manstein, former commander-in-chief of the 11th German Army. In this order, Von Manstein, giving an account of the political aims of the war against the Soviet Union in accordance with Hitler's instructions, informs his subordinates in an unequivocal manner that the aim of the attack on the Soviet Union is the destruction of the political system of its government.
It is strange therefore to hear now the statement of the Hitlerite General Von Manstein that he was only a soldier who was not informed of the policy of Hitler's Government. This order not only shows that the generals were acquainted with the political aims of the war, but also that they approved them. And it could not be otherwise. What could Hitler and his clique have done if the military specialists, the generals of the German Army, did not approve of his plans?
There existed a specific structure in the military apparatus in Hitlerite Germany. The OKW functioned simultaneously with the General Staff of the Army, as well as the staffs of the Air Forces and the Navy. The staffs of individual services worked out such parts of the general aggressive plans of Hitlerite Germany as were in the sphere of their competency, and the OKW co-ordinated and combined this work. Inasmuch as the decisive part of the realization of the aggressive plan lay with the Army with its numerous and powerful armored forces, the outstanding position in the preparation of the aggressive measures of the Hitlerite Government was naturally held by the German General Staff.
Therefore, the existing structure of the military apparatus of Germany by no means excluded, but on the contrary foresaw, in the elaboration, preparation, and execution of the criminal aggressive plans of the Hitlerite Government, a most active role for the General Staff. In order to characterize the practical role of the German General Staff in the elaboration and preparation of the aggressive plans of Germany, I shall refer to some facts; I shall quote again the statement of Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, which he confirmed in this Tribunal. Paulus stated:
"When on 3 September 1940 I took office in the OKH, among other plans I found there a still uncompleted preliminary plan for the attack on the Soviet Union, known under the code name of 'Barbarossa.'
"The working-out of the preliminary 'Barbarossa' plan began in August 1940 and ended by the holding of two military maneuvers (Kriegsspiele) under my command at the Headquarters of the OKH at Zossen."
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Is it not clear now to anyone that the German General Staff, as well as the OKW, were the creators of the criminal "Barbarossa" plan?
Equally active was the part of the German General Staff in the preparation of other aggressive plans of Hitlerite Germany.
There can be no doubt that in the elaboration of the criminal aggressive plans, the German General Staff, as well as the OKW, played a decisive part.
The German Armed Forces and their military leaders perpetrated, independently or in co-operation with the German police agencies, innumerable crimes in the occupied territories.
A simple enumeration of documentary evidence disclosing crimes perpetrated by the German Fascist usurpers in the occupied territories would take too much time. Therefore I shall refer only to separate evidence which proves that the military crimes and crimes against humanity were systematically perpetrated by the German Armed Forces on a mass scale, and were organized beforehand, involving all ranks of the German war machine--from Field Marshal to private.
It would be sufficient to recall the regulation of the Defendant Keitel of 13 May 1941 concerning "the application of martial law in the 'Barbarossa' region and the special measures for the troops," in which mention is made of applying "the most drastic measures," for the purpose of which the German officers had the right to execute without trial, and impunity was given for crimes committed by German military personnel against the peaceful population; or the regulation of the same Defendant Keitel of 16 September 1941, by which he ordered the German troops "to bear in mind that in the countries concerned human life has absolutely no value, and that intimidating action is only effective through the use of unusual cruelty."
The orders of the OKW may also be recalled concerning the extermination of Soviet commissars taken as prisoners of war, the branding of Soviet prisoners of war, as well as the orders of the Defendant Goering regarding the extermination of captured Allied pilots, the plundering of occupied territories and the deportation of the peaceful population to slavery in Germany; the order of the Defendant Doenitz forbidding, the rescue of men from sinking vessels, the order of the former Field Marshal Reichenau on the conduct of troops in the East, and many others.
All these orders have now acquired a common meaning. These criminal orders did not, as some of the witnesses, such as Von Brauchitsch and Von Manstein, tried to establish here, remain only on paper. They were enforced with German thoroughness.
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The Tribunal has listened to the testimony of the witness, the former Major General of the Medical Service of the German Army, Walter Schreiber. Schreiber, who is a bacteriological specialist, told us of the plans of the Hitlerite conspirators to use the death-dealing plague bacillus as a weapon in the war. He informed us how this crime, inspired by the German High Command, the General Staff, and the Defendants Hermann Goering and Wilhelm Keitel, was conceived and realized. Only the advance of the Red Army troops towards the frontiers of Germany stopped this criminal plan of the Hitlerite clique, the realization of which would have threatened the whole of Europe with new and dire calamities and devastation.
And it was not without purpose that special attention was given to the establishment of a connection between the military apparatus of Hitlerite Germany and other German State organizations. The OKW was represented in many German ministries by so-called liaison officers, and at the same time many ministries had their representatives in the OKW. Such a connection existed especially in the activities of the German military and civil authorities in the occupied territories. When confronted with the proofs, the Hitlerite military leaders are obliged to acknowledge their connection, for instance, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, but they flatly refuse to admit their connection with the German State Police and the SS. This is easy to conceive. The fact alone of such a connection would disclose their participation in numerous crimes in the occupied territories.
Therefore I consider myself obliged to prove the existence of a connection between the German military command and the German Secret State Police and other police agencies. This connection arose long before the attack on the Soviet Union by Hitlerite Germany.
In the instruction on "special regions" issued by the OKW on 13 March 1941 and signed by the Defendant Keitel, the necessity was foreseen of co-ordinating the activities of the Reichsfuehrer SS and the OKW in the occupied territories. The witnesses Walter Schellenberg and Otto Ohlendorf, former section chiefs with the Reich Security Main Office, stated in their evidence at this Trial that already in May 1941, in execution of instructions from the OKW, an agreement was concluded between Quartermaster-General Wagner, representative of the OKH, and Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and the SD, concerning the organization and work regulations for special Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD. During his cross-examination the witness Von Brauchitsch confirmed that he knew of such talks between Wagner and Heydrich.
The presence and character of the activity of the Security Police Einsatzgruppen and of the SD in the German Armed Forces is confirmed by evidence from several documents.
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In a report of 15 October 1941 from Einsatzgruppe "A" of the Security Police and the SD it is stated:
"Our task now is to establish with all speed personal contact with the commanders and the commander-in-chief of the armies of the rear area. It must be stressed from the beginning that co-operation with the Armed Forces was generally good; in some cases, for instance with Panzer-Group 4 under Generaloberst Hoeppner, it was very close, almost cordial."
"At the start of the Eastern campaign it became obvious with regard to the Security Police that its special work had to be done not only in the rear areas, but also in the areas of the front."
From a letter of November 1941 by the Commissioner General for Bielorussia, the hangman Kube, in which even he expresses indignation at the criminal activities of the police in the town of Sluzk, it is apparent that the 2d Police Battalion, which shot masses of Jews in the town, was directly subordinated to the military command.
A trail of blood leads from the orders of Goering, Doenitz, Jodl, Keitel, from the criminal agreements of Wagner and Heydrich, from the orders of Reichenau and Manstein, to the innumerable crimes of the German troops and the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police in the occupied territories. The blood of millions of innocent victims stains the hands not only of the German soldier Knittel and Obergefreiter Kurt, but also those of the Field Marshals of the German Army.
The Hitlerite war machine, headed by the High Command of the Wehrmacht and the German General Staff, was the decisive force with whose aid all the criminal aggressive plans of the Hitlerite Government, all the war crimes against humanity, were plotted and carried out. The German High Command and the German General Staff were therefore one of the most important organizations for the execution of the criminal conspiracy of the Hitlerite clique, and the higher military authorities of the German Armed Forces were active participants in this conspiracy.
As a result of the present proceedings I consider that the criminal character of this military organization is fully proved.
I pass on to the last of the organizations indicted as criminal to the Reich Cabinet, which occupied a particularly prominent position in the system of Fascist dictatorship.
Appendix "C" to the Indictment includes a detailed enumeration of the personalities who made up the Government and who, for this
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reason, are held responsible for the perpetration of the Hitlerite crimes as specified in Counts One, Two, Three, and Four of the Indictment.
In the course of 9 months the Tribunal has examined the evidence upon the monstrous crimes of the Nazis. We have heard here of the crimes of the Police and of the Wehrmacht, of the SS and of the Gestapo, of the Reich Protectors and of the Reich Commissioners in the occupied territories, of various Fuehrer and Leiter. And we can most categorically declare that the homogeneity and the systematic organization of the crimes, the uniformity of the means and measures used to commit them, testify to the fact that these crimes were directed by and carried out through one single center. These innumerable and varied crimes can be traced back to the gang of Fascist conspirators and to the criminal Hitlerite Government.
Seen in this light, the declarations of the Defense and of the defendants to the effect that under Hitler the Council of Ministers was a mere technical apparatus deprived of any real power, are completely unconvincing. Actually not only did the ministers decide themselves all questions coming within their jurisdiction, but they were at the same time the executors of Hitler's will. It is also true that it was Hitler who made the final decision at all official and unofficial discussions and meetings. At the same time, however, one cannot forget the fact that not a single minister in any other government enjoyed such independence in deciding questions coming within his jurisdiction as did the ministers of the Hitlerite Government. Every single one of them was a Fuehrer in his particular field, and by his advice, by the material presented, by drafts of laws and directives, wielded a most tangible influence over all decisions taken by Hitler in connection with questions concerning the sphere of activity of the different ministries. Then again, one cannot discount the fact that Hitler's will fully corresponded to the personal points of view and convictions of his ministers. They were necessary to Hitler just as much as he was necessary to them. Goering, Frick, Rosenberg, Neurath, Speer, Funk and others are inconceivable without Hitler, just as Hitler is inconceivable without them. Under Hitler's leadership they actively participated in the planning of the Fascist conspiracy, and every one of them, enacting the role allotted to him in the general criminal plan which defined the activity of literally all the departments, wittingly and actively carried out that plan.
As they were the leaders of all the corresponding central departments of Hitlerite Germany--of Finance, Economics, Justice, Communications, et cetera--they held in their hands, from 1933 to 1945, full legislative, executive, administrative, and political power. And they used this power in order to, put into effect the criminal plans
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for seizing foreign territories, for annihilating races and peoples, and for establishing a world domination. Moreover, in order to facilitate the execution of these criminal plans, they first of all seized the power over the German people and the German State, and supported this power by draconic measures.
The wave of Fascist terror swept over all of Germany even before Hitler's accession to power, and increased considerably after Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 and the Defendants Frick, Papen, and Von Neurath ministers in the Reich Government. Taking advantage of their presence in the Government, these Fascist ministers fully legalized the terror wrought by the SA of the Nazi Party and prepared the coming seizure of power, using, to achieve this aim, the burning-down of the Reichstag, which had been organized by the Defendant Goering.
Immediately after the seizure of power by the Fascists on 24 March 1933, a law was issued "concerning the Protection of the People and the State," giving legislative power to the Reich Government and by-passing the Reichstag.
On 26 May 1933 the Reich Government issued the decree for the confiscation of the property of the Communist organization, and starting from 14 July of the same year the property of the Social-Democrat organization was confiscated as well. On 1 December 1933 the criminal Reich Government published the law "To Ensure the Unity of the Party and the Government," which bore the signature of Hitler and of the Defendant Frick. Pursuing the liquidation of the democratic institutions, the Reich Government by virtue of the law "for the Reconstruction of the Reich" of 1934 cancelled all democratic elections for government and regional representative bodies. The Reichstag was changed by the Fascists into. an institution devoid of any real meaning.
By virtue of the law of 7 April 1933 and others, all civil servants, amongst them judges, who had been at any time noticed as having anti-Fascist inclinations or who belonged to Leftist organizations, as well as all Jews, were dismissed from their offices and replaced by Fascists. According to the "basic principles of the German Civil Servants' Law" of 26 January 1937, the inner bond between the civil servant and the Party is taken for granted on his appointment to a post: "...the official shall fulfill the will of the National Socialist Government led by the NSDAP."
By making the government machinery in Germany completely Fascist, the Hitlerite conspirators were able to utilize it at a later period as an obedient tool for the perpetration of their criminal plans.
The Hitlerite Government introduced a number of measures designed to implant Fascist ideology and to mislead the people of
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Germany. On 1 May 1934, the Ministry of Education was created. Its function was to educate youth in the spirit of militarism and racial hatred, and to give German youth a view of reality distorted by Fascist dreams. Similar tasks were allotted to the Reich Youth Leader and to those organizations which were subordinated to him. The principle of personal freedom and the freedom of the press and of speech were abolished. The free trade unions were abolished, their property confiscated, and the majority of their leaders thrown into prison. In order to supress by terror every kind of resistance, the Government founded the Gestapo and the concentration camps. Hundreds of thousands were arrested and destroyed without any trial or concrete evidence, merely on the suspicion of having anti-Fascist tendencies.
The Defense is attempting to prove that members of the Government did not participate in the issue of the shameful Nuremberg Laws and in racial discrimination against the Jews. Nevertheless there were special instructions in the Nuremberg Laws to two members of the Reichsregierung, namely, Hess and Frick, to elaborate and promulgate additional decrees implementing the laws. And such decrees were elaborated and promulgated by Hess and Frick.
The same Frick, together with Funk, and acting on Goering's instructions, on 3 December 1938 issued a decree concerning "the liquidation of Jewish property," as well as a series of others.
In any state the government is usually fully responsible for all the laws promulgated during the period when that particular government was in power.
The Tribunal had an opportunity to analyze in detail the whole activity of the Hitlerite Government directed towards the preparation and initiation of aggression. It is not necessary to mention again the invasion of Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939, the attacks on Poland, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union. Numerous documents submitted to the Tribunal confirm the fact that the Hitlerite Government did everything possible to retain the invaded territories of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Norway, Poland, Belgium, and other countries, as well as the territories of the U.S.S.R. It is only because of the powerful blows of the Red Army and the armies of the Allies that it was impossible for the Fascist conspirators to realize their predatory plans. The activities of the Hitlerite Government had brought on the war which cost millions of human lives and caused incalculable losses and immeasurable suffering to, other nations.
The Hitlerite Government is also responsible for all the war crimes and the crimes against humanity committed by the German troops and the German authorities during the war. The great amount of evidence submitted to the Tribunal proved clearly that
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Hitlerite Germany prepared itself for the conduct of the most ruthless war in complete contempt of the laws and customs of war.
The war crimes and the crimes against humanity were committed not only against the soldiers of the peace-loving nations united against the Fascist aggressors, but also against the innocent civilian populations. Long before the treacherous aggression against the Soviet Union took place, the Government of Hitlerite Germany carefully laid plans for the monstrous extermination of the most highly cultured elements of the Soviet peoples.
The report published by the Extraordinary State Commission concerning the German Fascist atrocities in Novgorod, Stavropol, Orel, Stalino, Smolensk, Kiev, and other towns, has proved the existence of a carefully worked-out plan for the intended mass extermination by the German invaders of Soviet prisoners of war and Soviet civilians.
The defendants, members of the Hitlerite Government, have all hypocritically claimed that until the present Trial they never heard of the monstrous atrocities of the Hitlerites in the concentration camps, or of the savage behavior of the SS men and of the German authorities in the temporarily occupied territories. These claims are thoroughly false. Every German knew something of these facts. The radio stations of the whole world had broadcast them.
The revolting atrocities committed by the German authorities against the Soviet prisoners of war and the peaceful Soviet citizens were brought to the attention of the whole world in the official notes of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., V.M. Molotov, on 25 November 1941 and 27 April 1942. But in spite of the fact that the violation of the most elementary principles of international law and of human morality committed by the German Army and the German authorities were made known to the Reich Government by the above-mentioned documents, this criminal violation of the laws and customs of war continued also in 1943 and 1945. It is clear therefore that all these crimes were committed with full knowledge and on the direct instructions of the Hitlerite Government. Did not Rosenberg receive an official note from Lammers mentioning that the Geneva Convention was not valid for Soviet prisoners of war? Was not a circular of the Party Chancellery, signed by the Defendant Bormann and including instructions on the cruel treatment and mockery to be reserved for the Soviet prisoners of war, distributed to the ministers? Were not the Ministry of the Interior, the Reich Security Office, the Gestapo, the prisons and the concentration camps, offices and organizations of the German Government?
The Government must fully bear the responsibility for the atrocities committed by those Fascist Government organizations
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The members of Hitler's Government tried by every possible device to separate themselves from the SS men, but on being exposed, every one presented new versions--one more false than the other.
Rosenberg, Neurath, Frick, Ribbentrop, and other ministers were generals of the SS, and that this was no mere formality can be seen from the letter of the Defendant Ribbentrop to Himmler dated 22 July 1940, which was submitted to the Tribunal by the Soviet Prosecution.
Minister Rosenberg tried to, make the Tribunal believe that he did not know anything about the bestial orders of Minister Himmler. Actually, on 7 September 1943 Himmler directed the Fuehrer of the SS and SD to carry out, jointly with the military commanders, the complete destruction of the areas in Ukraine, and ordered that, and I quote:
"Not a single human being, not a single head of cattle, not a hundredweight of grain, and not a railway line should remain; no house should remain standing, not a single mine should be available for years to come, no well which is not poisoned,"
and he recommended that special care be taken to inform the Reich Minister of the Eastern Occupied Territories, Rosenberg, of this order.
On 8 March 1940, Minister Goering sent to the highest authorities of the Reich a criminal directive concerning the treatment of civilian workers of Polish nationality in the Reich.
Minister Frank, as he repeatedly mentioned in his diary, received instructions from Goering to send hundreds of thousands of Poles for slavery into Germany.
The Ministers Speer, Sauckel, Rosenberg, Keitel, Funk, Seyss-Inquart, and others have been exposed during the Trial as having given directives and prepared measures for forced labor of prisoners of war and peaceful inhabitants of the territories seized by the Germans.
It was none other than Minister Rosenberg who approved the measure of Army Group "Center" concerning the seizure on Soviet territory of 40 to 50,000 children between the ages of 10 and 14 and their transfer to Germany. Do not these examples testify to the crimes committed by Hitler's Government?
It is established by documentary evidence that the carefully organized plunder of the territories seized by the Germans was carried out in conformity with official directives and instructions of the Hitlerite Government and of its individual members. The directive of Minister Goering concerning the planned plunder of the occupied Soviet territories (the so-called "Goering Green File"), the
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rapacious activities of the "Einsatzstab" and "special purpose units," the instructions of the Ministers Rosenberg and Ribbentrop concerning the plunder of cultural treasures and monuments of art, as well as the activities of the Ministers Funk and Speer, is not all this sufficient to conclude the participation of Hitler's Government in the plunder of the territories occupied by the Germans?
The Government of the German Reich is responsible, therefore, for the plunder of the public, private, and communal property, and for the destruction and looting of cultural treasures in the occupied territories. In the U.S.S.R. alone the material damages amount to 679,000,000,000 roubles.
The members of the Reich Government bear the responsibility for the forced Germanization of areas seized by the Germans. It was the Reich Ministers Goering, Frick, Hess, and Lammers who signed the decree incorporating into Germany, the four western provinces of Poland.
It was none other than Frick who in his instruction to Gauleiter Rainer stated, and I quote:
"...Your principal task will be to include in the German Reich the entire new areas of Southeast Carinthia and Upper Carniola ... for without the creation of a "German wall" in this region every administrative structure, good as it may be, will sooner or later fall.... Your task, Party Member Rainer, is to make this district entirely German again...."
To get a picture of this bandit Government it is sufficient for us to recall the agreement between the Ministers Ribbentrop and Himmler concerning the organization of the intelligence services abroad; the Himmler-Bormann agreement with Minister of Justice Thierack on 18 September 1942 concerning the special police measures for the extermination of Jews, Gypsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, and Czechs who allegedly were anti-social elements; the letter of Minister Lammers of 4 June 1944 addressed to Minister Thierack regarding the impunity of those guilty of the murder of shot-down Allied airmen; the letter of Keitel to the Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning the treatment to be given to Allied airmen.
On 4 February 1938 Hitler formed a Secret Cabinet Council, indicating its purpose in these words: "I am establishing this Secret Cabinet Council to advise me on questions of foreign policy."
Hitler appointed Neurath as chairman of this Secret Cabinet Council, and Ribbentrop, Goering, Hess, Goebbels, Lammers, Brauchitsch. Raeder and Keitel as members. On 21 May 1938 Hitler created the Reich Defense Council. On 30 August 1939, Hitler reorganized the Reich Defense Council into the Council of Ministers for the Defense of the Reich. He appointed Goering chairman of this
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council and the Ministers Hess, Frick, Funk, Keitel, and Lammers as members.
At the meeting of 23 November 1939 the chairman of this council, Goering, emphasized that "the Reich Defense Council is the deciding factor on questions concerning the preparation of war," and that "the Reich Defense Council will convene to take all the more important decisions."
It was not defense but aggression, the preparation for aggressive wars, which were the tasks of this council. In preparation for the war not only the members of the Reich Defense Council participated, but all other ministers as well. At the meeting of this council on 23 November 1939 there were present, together with Goering, Funk, Frick, Himmler, Keitel, and Lammers, the Ministers Schwerin von Krosigk, Dorpmueller, and others. At this session not only the utilization in the war industry of prisoners of war and the population of the occupied territories was discussed and planned, but the utilization of internees and even the number of internees in wartime were discussed as well.
In the minutes of this meeting it is stated:
"The Plenipotentiary for Economy"--that is Funk--"will define the task which is to be executed by the prisoners of war as well as by the persons confined in prisons, concentration camps, et cetera.
"According to information from the Reichsfuehrer SS there will be a great number of people in the concentration camps during the war. According to preliminary data 20,000 prisoners will be employed in the concentration camp workshops."
Subjects discussed at the meeting also included directions on the collaboration of the OKW with the Plenipotentiary for Economy, of 3 May 1939, concerning plans for war economy and total warfare. There were also special reports from the Chief of Section V of the General Staff, Gehrke, and from the Minister of Transport, Dorpmueller.
Were all members of the Reich Government informed of these decisions? Certainly, and this is clear if only from the list of addresses to which the minutes of the meeting of 23 November 1939 were sent. The minutes of the meeting of the Reich Defense Council were sent to the Deputy of the Fuehrer, to the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, to the President of the Secret Cabinet Council, to the Delegate for the Four Year Plan, and to the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Interior, Education, Economics, Church and Religion, Food and Agriculture, Labor, Finance, Communications, Postal Services, the President of the Reichsbank, et cetera. The very fact that the majority of the members of the Reich Government
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are defendants in the present Trial shows a great deal about the nature of the organization here discussed.
I consider, therefore, that the responsibility of the German Hitlerite Government for the grave crimes here mentioned is fully proven, and that the Reich Cabinet should therefore be declared a criminal organization.
Your Honors! In order to carry out their plotted crimes, the heads of the Fascist conspiracy created a system of criminal organizations which have been the subject of my statement here. Those who had made it their aim to dominate the world and to exterminate whole nations, are now awaiting with trepidation the coming verdict of the Court. This verdict does not only affect the defendants in the dock, the initiators of these cruel Fascist "ideas," the main organizers of the crimes of Hitlerism. Your verdict has to condemn the whole criminal system of German Fascism, that complicated and widely ramified network of Party, Government, SS, and military organizations which was the means of realizing the atrocious intentions of the chief conspirators.
On the battlefields mankind has already pronounced its verdict on German Fascism. The fire of the greatest battles known to the history of mankind, fought by the heroic Red Army and the valiant armies of the Allied Forces, has not only destroyed the hordes of the Hitlerites but it has given a new value to the sublime and noble principles of international co-operation, human morality, and the humane rules of social community.
The Prosecution have fulfilled their duty towards this Tribunal, towards the sacred memory of the innocent victims, towards the conscience of the nations, as well as towards their own.
May the Judgment of the Nations--severe but just--fall upon these Fascist hangmen.
THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn until 10:00 o'clock tomorrow morning.
[The Tribunal adjourned until 31 August 1946 at 1000 hours.]