4000bce - 399
400 - 1399
1400 - 1499
1500 - 1599
1600 - 1699
1700 - 1799
1800 - 1899
1900 - 1999
All the defendants, with divers other persons, during a period of years preceding 8 May 1945, participated as leaders, organizers, instigators, or accomplices in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit, or which involved the commission of, Crimes against Peace, War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, as defined in the Charter of this Tribunal, and, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter, are individually responsible for their own acts and for all acts committed by any persons in the execution of such plan or conspiracy. The common plan or conspiracy embraced the commission of Crimes against Peace, in that the defendants planned, prepared, initiated, and waged wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances. In the development and course of the common plan or conspiracy it came to embrace the commission of War Crimes, in that it contemplated, and the defendants determined upon and carried out, ruthless wars against countries and populations, in violation of the rules and customs of war, including as typical and systematic means by which the wars were prosecuted, murder, ill-treatment, deportation for slave labor and for other purposes of civilian populations of occupied territories, murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war and of persons on the high seas, the taking and killing of hostages, the plunder of public and private property, the indiscriminate destruction of cities, towns, and villages, and devastation not justified by military necessity. The common plan or conspiracy contemplated and came to embrace as typical and systematic means, and the defendants determined upon and committed, Crimes against Humanity, both within Germany and within occupied territories, including murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against civilian populations before and during the war, and persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, in execution of the plan for preparing and prosecuting aggressive or illegal wars, many of such acts and persecutions being violations of the domestic laws of the countries where perpetrated.
In 1921 Adolf Hitler became the supreme leader or Fuehrer of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers Party), also 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. Each defendant became a member of the Nazi Party and of the conspiracy, with knowledge of their aims and purposes, or, with such knowledge, became an accessory to their aims and purposes at some stage of the development of the conspiracy.
The aims and purposes of the Nazi Party and of the defendants and divers other persons from time to time associated as leaders, members, supporters, or adherents of the Nazi Party (hereinafter called collectively the "Nazi conspirators") were, or came to be, to accomplish the following by any means deemed opportune, including unlawful means, and contemplating ultimate resort to threat of force, force, and aggressive war: (i) to abrogate and overthrow the Treaty of Versailles and its restrictions upon the military armament and activity of Germany; (ii) to acquire the territories lost by Germany as the result of the World War of 1914-18 and other territories in Europe asserted by the Nazi conspirators to be occupied principally by so-called "racial Germans"; (iii) to acquire still further territories in continental Europe and elsewhere claimed by the Nazi conspirators to be required by the "racial Germans" as "Lebensraum," or living space, all at the expense of neighboring and other countries. The aims and purposes of the Nazi conspirators were not fixed or static but-evolved and expanded as they acquired progressively greater power and became able to make more effective application of threats of force and threats of aggressive war. When their expanding aims and purposes became finally so great as to provoke such strength of resistance as could be overthrown only by armed force and aggressive war, and not simply by the opportunistic methods theretofore used, such as fraud, deceit, threats, intimidation, fifth column activities, and propaganda, the Nazi conspirators deliberately planned, determined upon, and launched their aggressive wars and wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, and assurances by the phases and steps hereinafter more particularly described.
To incite others to join in the common plan or conspiracy, and as a means of securing for the Nazi conspirators the highest degree of control over the German community, they put forth, disseminated, and exploited certain doctrines, among others, as follows:
1. That persons of so-called "German blood" (as specified by the Nazi conspirators) were a "master race" and were accordingly entitled to subjugate, dominate, or exterminate other "races" and peoples;
2. That the German people should be ruled under the Fuehrerprinzip (Leadership Principle) according to which power was to reside in a Fuehrer from whom sub-leaders were to derive authority in a hierarchical order, each sub-leader to owe unconditional obedience to his immediate superior but to be absolute in his own sphere of jurisdiction; and the power of the leadership was to be unlimited, extending to all phases of public and private life;
3. That war was a noble and necessary activity of Germans;
4. That the leadership of the Nazi Party, as the sole bearer of the foregoing and other doctrines of the Nazi Party, was entitled to shape the structure, policies, and practices of the German State and all related institutions, to direct and supervise the activities of all individuals within the State, and to destroy all opponents.
In order to accomplish their aims and purposes, the Nazi conspirators prepared to seize totalitarian control over Germany to assure that no effective resistance against them could arise within Germany itself. After the failure of the Munich Putsch of 1923 aimed at the overthrow of the Weimar Republic by direct action, the Nazi conspirators set out through the Nazi Party to undermine and overthrow the German Government by "legal" forms supported by terrorism. They created and utilized, as a Party formation, Die Sturmabteilungen (SA), a semi-military, voluntary organization of young men trained for and committed to the use of violence; whose mission was to make the Party the master of the streets
1. On 30 January 1933 Hitler became Chancellor of the German Republic. After the Reichstag fire of 28 February 1933, clauses of the Weimar constitution guaranteeing personal liberty, freedom of speech, of the press, of association and assembly were suspended. The Nazi conspirators secured the passage by the Reichstag of a "Law for the Protection of the People and the Reich" giving Hitler and the members of his then cabinet plenary powers of legislation. The Nazi conspirators retained such powers after having changed the members of the cabinet. The conspirators caused all political parties except the Nazi Party to be prohibited. They caused the Nazi Party to be established as a paragovernmental organization with extensive and extraordinary privileges.
Thus possessed of the machinery of the German State, the Nazi conspirators set about the consolidation of their position of power within Germany, the extermination of potential internal resistance, and the placing of the German Nation on a military footing.
(a) The Nazi conspirators reduced the Reichstag to a body of their own nominees and curtailed the freedom of popular elections throughout the country. They transformed the several states, provinces, and municipalities, which had formerly exercised semi-autonomous powers, into hardly more than administrative organs of the central Government. They united the offices of the President and the Chancellor in the person of Hitler; instituted a widespread purge of civil servants; and severely restricted the independence of the judiciary and rendered it subservient to Nazi ends. The conspirators greatly enlarged existing State and Party organizations; established a network of new State and Party organizations; and "co-ordinated" State agencies with the Nazi Party and its branches and affiliates, with the result that German life was dominated by Nazi doctrine and practice and progressively mobilized for the accomplishment of their aims.
(b) In order to make their rule secure from attack and to instill fear in the hearts of the German people, the Nazi conspirators established and extended a system of terror against opponents and supposed or suspected opponents of the regime. They imprisoned such persons without judicial process, holding them in "protective custody" and concentration camps, and subjected them to persecution, degradation, despoilment, enslavement, torture, and murder. These concentration camps were established early in 1933 under the direction of the Defendant Goering and expanded as a fixed part of the terroristic policy and method of the conspirators and used by them for the commission of the Crimes against Humanity hereinafter alleged. Among the principal agencies utilized in the perpetration of these crimes were the SS and the GESTAPO, which, together with other favored branches or agencies of the State and Party, were permitted to operate without restraint of law.
(c) The Nazi conspirators conceived that, in addition to the suppression of distinctively political opposition, it was necessary to suppress or exterminate certain other movements or groups which they regarded as obstacles to their retention of total control in Germany and to the aggressive aims of the conspiracy abroad. Accordingly:
(1) The Nazi conspirators destroyed the free trade unions in Germany by confiscating their funds and properties, persecuting their leaders, prohibiting their activities, and supplanting them by an affiliated Party organization. The Leadership Principle was introduced into industrial relations, the entrepreneur becoming the leader and the workers becoming his followers. Thus any potential resistance of the workers was frustrated and the productive labor capacity of the German Nation was brought under the effective control of the conspirators.
(2) The Nazi conspirators, by promoting beliefs and practices incompatible with Christian teaching, sought to subvert the influence of the churches over the people and in particular over the youth of Germany. They avowed their aim to eliminate the Christian churches in Germany and sought to substitute therefor Nazi institutions and Nazi beliefs, and pursued a program of persecution of priests, clergy, and members of monastic orders whom they deemed opposed to their purposes, and confiscated church property.
(3) The persecution by the Nazi conspirators of pacifist groups, including religious movements dedicated to pacifism, was particularly relentless and cruel.
(d) Implementing their "master race" policy, the conspirators joined in a program of relentless persecution of the Jews, designed to exterminate them. Annihilation of the Jews became an official State policy, carried out both by official action and by incitements to mob and individual violence. The conspirators openly avowed their purpose. For example, the Defendant Rosenberg stated: "Anti-Semitism is the unifying element of the reconstruction of Germany." On another occasion he also stated: "Germany will regard the Jewish question as solved only after the very last Jew has left the greater German living space ... Europe will have its Jewish question solved only after the very last Jew has left the Continent." The Defendant LEY declared: "We swear we are not going to abandon the struggle until the last Jew in Europe has been exterminated and is actually dead. It is not enough to isolate the Jewish enemy of mankind-the Jew has got to be exterminated." On another occasion he also declared: "The second German secret weapon is anti-Semitism because if it is consistently pursued by Germany, it will become a universal problem which all nations will be forced to consider." The Defendant Streicher declared: "The sun will not shine on the nations of the earth until the last Jew is dead." These avowals and incitements were typical of the declarations of the Nazi conspirators throughout the course of their conspiracy. The program of action against the Jews included disfranchisement, stigmatization, denial of civil rights, subjecting their persons and property to violence, deportation, enslavement, enforced labor, starvation, murder, and mass extermination. The extent to which the conspirators succeeded in their purpose can only be estimated, but the annihilation was substantially complete in many localities of Europe. Of the 9,600,000 Jews who lived in the parts of Europe under Nazi domination, it is conservatively estimated that 5,700,000 have disappeared, most of them deliberately put to death by the Nazi conspirators. Only remnants of the Jewish population of Europe remain.
(e) In order to make the German people amenable to their will, and to prepare them psychologically for war, the Nazi conspirators reshaped the educational system and particularly the education and training of the German youth. The Leadership Principle was introduced into the schools and the Party and affiliated organizations were given wide supervisory powers over education. The Nazi conspirators imposed a supervision of all cultural activities, controlled the dissemination of information and the expression of opinion within Germany as well as the movement of intelligence of all kinds from and into Germany, and created vast propaganda machines.
(f) The Nazi conspirators placed a considerable number of their dominated organizations on a progressively militarized footing with a view to the rapid transformation and use of such organizations whenever necessary as instruments of war.
Having gained political power the conspirators organized Germany's economy to give effect to their political aims.
1. In order to eliminate the possibility of resistance in the economic sphere, they deprived labor of its rights of free industrial and political association as particularized in paragraph (D) 3 (c) (1) herein.
2. They used organizations of German business as instruments of economic mobilization for war.
3. They directed Germany's economy towards preparation and equipment of the military machine. To this end they directed finance, capital investment, and foreign trade.
4. The Nazi conspirators, and in particular the industrialists among them, embarked upon a huge re-armament program and set out to produce and develop huge quantities of materials of war and to create a powerful military potential.
5. With the object of carrying through the preparation for war the Nazi conspirators set up a series of administrative agencies and authorities. For example, in 1936 they established for this purpose the office of the Four Year Plan with the Defendant Goering as Plenipotentiary, vesting it with overriding control over Germany's economy. Furthermore, on 28 August 1939, immediately before launching their aggression against Poland, they appointed the Defendant FUNK Plenipotentiary for Economics; and on 30 August 1939, they set up the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich to act as a War Cabinet.
By the middle of the year 1933 the Nazi conspirators, having acquired governmental control over Germany, were in a position to enter upon further and more detailed planning with particular relationship to foreign policy. Their plan was to re-arm and to re-occupy and fortify the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and other treaties, in order to acquire military strength and political bargaining power to be used against other nations.
(a) They led Germany to enter upon a course of secret rearmament from 1933 to March 1935, including the training of military personnel and the production of munitions of war, and the building of an air force.
(b) On 14 October 1933, they led Germany to leave the International Disarmament Conference and the League of Nations.
(c) On 10 March 1935, the Defendant Goering announced that Germany was building a military air force.
(d) On 16 March 1935, the Nazi conspirators promulgated a law for universal military service, in which they stated the peace-time strength of the German Army would be fixed at 500,000 men.
(e) On 21 May 1935, they falsely announced to the world, with intent to deceive and allay fears of aggressive intentions, that they would respect the territorial limitations of the Versailles Treaty and comply with the Locarno Pacts.
(f) On 7 March 1936, they reoccupied and fortified the Rhineland, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and the Rhine Pact of Locarno of 16 October 1925, and falsely announced to the world that "we have no territorial demands to make on Europe.
(a) The 1936-1938 phase of the plan: planning for the assault on Austria and Czechoslovakia.
The Nazi conspirators next entered upon the specific planning for the acquisition of Austria and Czechoslovakia, realizing it would be necessary, for military reasons, first to seize Austria before assaulting Czechoslovakia. On 21 May 1935, in a speech to the Reichstag, Hitler stated that: "Germany neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal affairs of Austria, to annex Austria, or to conclude an Anschluss." On 1 May 1936, within two months after the reoccupation of the Rhineland, Hitler stated: "The lie goes forth again that Germany tomorrow or the day after will fall upon Austria or Czechoslovakia." Thereafter, the Nazi conspirators caused a treaty to be entered into between Austria and Germany on 11 July 1936, Article 1 of which stated that "The German Government recognizes the full sovereignty of the Federated State of Austria in the spirit of the pronouncements of the German Fuehrer and Chancellor of 21 May 1935." Meanwhile, plans for aggression in violation of that treaty were being made. By the autumn of 1937, all noteworthy opposition within the Reich had been crushed. Military preparation for the Austrian action was virtually concluded. An influential group of the Nazi conspirators met with Hitler on 5 November 1937, to review the situation. It was reaffirmed that Nazi Germany must have "Lebensraum" in central Europe. It was recognized that such conquest would probably meet resistance which would have to be crushed by force and that their decision might lead to a general war, but this prospect was discounted as a risk worth taking. There emerged from this meeting three possible plans for the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia. Which of the three was to be used was to depend upon the developments in the political and military situation in Europe. It was contemplated that the conquest of Austria and Czechoslovakia would, through compulsory emigration of 2,000,000 persons from Czechoslovakia and 1,000,000 persons from Austria, provide additional food to the Reich for 5,000,000 to 6,000,000 people, strengthen it militarily by providing shorter and better frontiers, and make possible the constituting of new armies up to about twelve divisions. Thus, the aim of the plan against Austria and Czechoslovakia was conceived of not as an end in itself but as a preparatory measure toward the next aggressive steps in the Nazi conspiracy.
(b) The execution of the plan to invade Austria: November 1937 to March 1938.
Hitler, on 8 February 1938, called Chancellor Schuschnigg to a conference at Berchtesgaden. At the meeting of 12 February 1938, under threat of invasion, Schuschnigg yielded a promise of amnesty to imprisoned Nazis and appointment of Nazis to ministerial posts. He agreed to remain silent until Hitler's 20 February speech in which Austria's independence was to be reaffirmed, but Hitler in his speech, instead of affirming Austrian independence, declared himself protector of all Germans. Meanwhile, underground activities of Nazis in Austria increased. Schuschnigg, on 9 March 1938, announced a plebiscite on the question of Austrian independence. On 11 March Hitler sent an ultimatum, demanding that the plebiscite be called off or that Germany would invade Austria. Later the same day a second ultimatum threatened invasion unless Schuschnigg should resign in three hours. Schuschnigg resigned. The Defendant Seyss-Inquart, who was appointed Chancellor, immediately invited Hitler to send German troops into Austria to "preserve order". The invasion began on 12 March 1938. On 13 March, Hitler by proclamation assumed office as Chief of State of Austria and took command of its armed forces. By a law of the same date Austria was annexed to Germany.
(c) The execution of the plan to invade Czechoslovakia: April 1938 to March 1939.
1. Simultaneously with their annexation of Austria the Nazi conspirators gave false assurances to the Czechoslovak Government that they would not attack that country. But within a month they met to plan specific ways and means of attacking Czechoslovakia, and to revise, in the light of the acquisition of Austria, the previous plans for aggression against Czechoslovakia.
2. On 21 April 1938, the Nazi conspirators met and prepared to launch an attack on Czechoslovakia not later than 1 October 1938. They planned specifically to create an "incident" to "justify" the attack. They decided to launch a military attack only after a period of diplomatic squabbling which, growing more serious, would lead to the excuse for war, or, in the alternative, to unleash a lightning attack as a result of an "incident" of their own creation. Consideration was given to assassinating the German Ambassador at Prague to create the requisite incident. From and after 21 April 1938, the Nazi conspirators caused to be prepared detailed and precise military plans designed to carry out such an attack at any opportune moment and calculated to overcome all Czechoslovak resistance within four days, thus presenting the world with a fait accompli, and so forestalling outside resistance. Throughout the months of May, June, July, August, and September, these plans were made more specific and detailed, and by 3 September 1938, it was decided that all troops were to be ready for action on 28 September 1938.
3. Throughout this same period, the Nazi conspirators were agitating the minorities question in Czechoslovakia, and particularly in the Sudetenland, leading to a diplomatic crisis in August and September 1938. After the Nazi conspirators threatened war, the United Kingdom and France concluded a pact with Germany and Italy at Munich on 29 September 1938, involving the cession of the Sudetenland by Czechoslovakia to Germany. Czechoslovakia was required to acquiesce. On 1 October 1938, German troops occupied the Sudetenland.
4 On 15 March 1939, contrary to the provisions of the Munich Pact itself, the Nazi conspirators caused the completion of their plan by seizing and occupying the major part of Czechoslovakia not ceded to Germany by the Munich Pact.
(a) With these aggressions successfully consummated, the conspirators had obtained much desired resources and bases and were ready to undertake further aggressions by means of war. Following assurances to the world of peaceful intentions, an influential group of the conspirators met on 23 May 1939, to consider the further implementation of their plan. The situation was reviewed and it was observed that "the past six years have been put to good use and all measures have been taken in correct sequence and in accordance with our aims"; that the national-political unity of the Germans had been substantially achieved; and that further successes could not be achieved without war and bloodshed. It was decided nevertheless next to attack Poland at the first suitable opportunity. It was admitted that the questions concerning Danzig which they had agitated with Poland were not true questions, but rather that the question was one of aggressive expansion for food and "Lebensraum". It was recognized that Poland would fight if attacked and that a repetition of the Nazi success against Czechoslovakia without war could not be expected. Accordingly, it was determined that the problem was to isolate Poland and, if possible, prevent a simultaneous conflict with the Western Powers. Nevertheless, it was agreed that England was an enemy to their aspirations, and that war with England and her ally France must eventually result, and therefore that in that war every attempt must be made to overwhelm England with a "Blitzkrieg". It was thereupon determined immediately to prepare detailed plans for an attack on Poland at the first suitable opportunity and thereafter for an attack on England and France, together with plans for the simultaneous occupation by armed force of air bases in the Netherlands and Belgium.
(b) Accordingly, after having denounced the German-Polish Pact of 1934 on false grounds, the Nazi conspirators proceeded to stir up the Danzig issue, to prepare frontier "incidents" to "justify" the attack, and to make demands for the cession of Polish territory. Upon refusal by Poland to yield, they caused German armed forces to invade Poland on 1 September 1939, thus precipitating war also with the United Kingdom and France.
Thus the aggressive war prepared for by the Nazi conspirators through their attacks on Austria and Czechoslovakia was actively launched by their attack on Poland. After the total defeat of Poland, in order to facilitate the carrying out of their military operations against France and the United Kingdom, the Nazi conspirators made active preparations for an extension of the war in Europe. In accordance with those plans, they caused the German armed forces to invade Denmark and Norway on 9 April 1940; Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May 1940; Yugoslavia and Greece on 6 April 1941. All these invasions had been specifically planned in advance, in violation of the terms of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928.
On 22 June 1941 the Nazi conspirators deceitfully denounced the Non-Aggression Pact between Germany and the U.S.S.R. and without any declaration of war invaded Soviet territory thereby beginning a War of Aggression against the U.S.S.R.
From the first day of launching their attack on Soviet territory the Nazi conspirators, in accordance with their detailed plans, began to carry out the destruction of cities, towns, and villages, the demolition of factories, collective farms, electric stations, and railroads, the robbery and barbaric devastation of the natural cultural institutions of the peoples of the U.S.S.R., the devastation of museums, schools, hospitals, churches, and historic monuments, the mass deportation of the Soviet citizens for slave labor to Germany, as well as the annihilation of adults, old people, women and children, especially Beilorussians and Ukrainians, and the extermination of Jews committed throughout the occupied territory of the Soviet Union.
The above mentioned criminal offenses were perpetrated by the German troops in accordance with the orders of the Nazi Government and the General Staff and High Command of the German armed forces.
After the initiation of the Nazi wars of aggression the Nazi conspirators brought about a German-Italian-Japanese 10-year military-economic alliance signed at Berlin on 27 September 1940. This agreement, representing a strengthening of the bonds among those three nations established by the earlier but more limited pact of 25 November 1936, stated: "The Governments of Germany, Italy, and Japan, considering it as a condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations of the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and co-operate with one another in regard to their efforts in Greater East Asia and regions of Europe respectively wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things calculated to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned." The Nazi conspirators conceived that Japanese aggression would weaken and handicap those nations with whom they were at war, and those with whom they contemplated war. Accordingly, the Nazi conspirators exhorted Japan to seek "a new order of things." Taking advantage of the wars of aggression then being waged by the Nazi conspirators, Japan commenced an attack on 7 December 1941, against the United States of America at Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, and against the British Commonwealth of Nations, French Indo-China, and the Netherlands in the southwest Pacific. Germany declared war against the United States on 11 December 1941.
1. Beginning with the initiation of the aggressive war on 1 September 1939, and throughout its extension into wars involving almost the entire world, the Nazi conspirators carried out their common plan or conspiracy to wage war in ruthless and complete disregard and violation of the laws and customs of war. In the course of executing the common plan or conspiracy there were committed the War Crimes detailed hereinafter in Count Three of this Indictment.
2. Beginning with 'the initiation of their plan to seize and retain total control of the German State, and thereafter throughout their utilization of that control for foreign aggression, the Nazi conspira1ors carried out their common plan or conspiracy in ruthless and complete disregard and violation of the laws of humanity. In the course of executing the common plan or conspiracy there were committed the Crimes against Humanity detailed hereinafter in Count Four of this Indictment.
3. By reason of all the foregoing, the defendants with divers other persons are guilty of a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of Crimes against Peace; of a conspiracy to commit Crimes against Humanity in the course of preparation for war and in the course of prosecution of war; and of a conspiracy to commit War Crimes not only against the armed forces of their enemies but also against non-belligerent civilian populations.
Reference is hereby made to Appendix A of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the individual defendants for the offense set forth in this Count One of the Indictment. Reference is hereby made to Appendix B of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the groups and organizations named herein as criminal groups and organizations for the offense set forth in this Count One of the Indictment.