Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-04-08 Last-Modified: 1997/09/02 The close relationship between the SA and the Wehrmacht is [Page 164] shown throughout the issues of "Der SA-Mann", which contain a number of articles on military training written by Wehrmacht Officers. The same relationship is shown in many photographs. For example, in the issue of 1 May 1937, at page 4, there is a picture of a Wehrmacht formation drawn up in front of an SA building with SA officers and men in the background. The picture is entitled -- "Day after day the closed formations of the Wehrmacht march in Wurzburg to the subscription places of the SA for thanksgiving to the nation in order to announce its close relation with the SA, and to express thanks to the Fuehrer for making the Reich capable of defense." Page 2 of the issue of 27 January 1939, contains a photograph of the SA Chief of Staff, Lutze, addressing a group of SA men. The photograph bears the caption, "We will be the bridge between the Party and the Wehrmacht." Page 3 of the issue of 3 February 1939, reproduces a photograph of General von Brauchitsch and Chief of Staff Lutze reviewing an SA unit. The close cooperation between the Wehrmacht and the SA, and the significance of the SA military training program is shown by the fact that service in the SA was considered as military service under the Conscription Law of 1935. The Organization Book of the Party declared that -- "Equally significant is a suitable education and training which the SA has accomplished within the yearly classes, and which have satisfied their arms obligation." (3220-PS) And an article in "Das Archiv" declared -- "It was announced that conscripted SA men and Hitler Youths can fulfill their military conscription in the SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle whose Commander is General Field Marshall SA Obergruppenfuehrer Goering. The Regiment for the first time was employed as Regiment of the Luftwaffe in the occupation of the Sudetenland under its Fuehrer and Regimental Commander SA Gruppenfuehrer Reimann." (3214-PS) There was never any misunderstanding among SA men as to the reasons which lay behind their military training program. They were preparing for war and knew it. The purpose of the so-called "Sports Program" was announced time after time in articles in "Der SA-Mann." For example, the introduction to an article entitled, "The War of Tomorrow," which appeared in the issue of 6 July 1937, at page 12, declared: [Page 165] "By decree of the Fuehrer of 18 March 1937, the SA Sport Badge was declared as a means for the aggressive training of the body, for the fostering of a military spirit, for the retaining of military efficiency and thereby as a basis for German military-power.*** "*** In the following article an attempt is made to occupy every SA Fuehrer, who does not have the opportunity due to their profession or many-sided SA services, with questions concerning military policy and modern war direction, to give him an overall view of facts, teachings, opinions and beliefs which today are not without decisive influence upon the military policy, upon the character of the coming war and upon the modern national defense." D. Participation of the SA in Warfare. It would be natural in view of the above quotation, to expect the SA to have been used as a striking force in the first steps of he aggressive warfare launched by Germany, and as a basis for so-called Commando Groups. Such was the case. SA units were among the first of the Nazi military machine to invade Austria in the spring of 1938. This fact was proudly announced in an article appearing in "Der SA- Mann" for 19 March 1938, at p. 10 entitled, "We were the First!" Similarly, the SA participated in the occupation of the Sudetenland (3214-PS). It was announced that conscripted SA men and Hitler Youths could fulfill their military conscription duty in the SA Regiment Feldherrnhalle, commanded by General Field Marshall SA Obergruppenfuehrer Goering. The regiment was employed for the first time as Regiment of the Luftwaffe in the occupation of the Sudetenland, under its Fuehrer and Regimental commander SA Gruppenfuehrer Reimann. SA participation in the occupation of the Sudetenland is also shown by an affidavit of Gottlob Berger, a former officer in the SS who was assigned to the Sudeten-German Free Corps (3036-PS). Berger declares -- *** 1 In the fall of 1938 I held the rank and title of Oberfuehrer in the SS. In mid-September I was assigned as SS Liaison Officer with Konrad Henlein's Sudeten German Free Corps at their headquarters in the castle at Dondorf outside Bayreuth. In this position I was responsible for all liaison between the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and Henlein and, in particular, I was delegated to select from the Sudeten Germans those who appeared to be eli- [Page 166] gible for membership in the SS or VT ( Verfuegungs Truppe). In addition to myself, Liaison Officers stationed with Henlein included an Obergruppenfuehrer from the NSKK, whose name I have forgotten, and Obergruppenfuehrer Max Juettner, from the SA. In addition, Admiral Canaris, who was head of the OKW Abwehr, appeared at Dondorf nearly every two days and conferred with Henlein. "2. In the course of my official duties at Henlein's Headquarters I became familiar with the composition and activities of the Free Corps. Three groups were being formed under Henlein's direction: One in the Eisenstein area, Bavaria, one in the Bayreuth area; one in the Dresden area, and possibly a fourth group in Silesia. These groups were supposedly composed of refugees from the Sudetenland who had crossed the border into Germany, but they actually contained Germans with previous service in the SA and NSKK [Nazi Motor Corps] as well. These Germans formed the skeleton of the Free Corps. On paper the Free Corps had a strength of 40,000 men. Part of the equipment furnished to Henlein, mostly haversacks, cooking utensils and blankets, were supplied by the SA." (3036-PS) The adaptability of the SA to whatever purpose was required of it is demonstrated by its activities subsequent to the outbreak of the war. During the war the SA continued to carry out its military training program, but it also engaged in various other functions: "The General of the SA, Wilhelm Schepmann, gave further orders to increase the employment of the SA in the homeland war territories because of the requirements of total war employment. This was done in numerous business conferences with Fuehrers of the SA-Divisions. "As a result of these conferences, as well as of measures al ready carried out earlier for the totalization of the war employment, the SA now has placed 86 per cent of its main professional Fuehrer Corps at disposal at the Front even though the war missions of the SA have increased in the fields of pre- military training, the SA penetration into new territorial parts of the Reich, the air war employment, the State and national guard etc., during war time. "The SA as a whole has given at present an even 70 of its nearly million members to the Wehrmacht." (3219-PS) The SA even extended its activities into Poland: "By command of the General of the SA, the 'SA-Unit General Government' was established, the command of which [Page 167] was taken over by Governor-General SA Obergruppenfuehrer Dr. Frank." (3216-PS) An affidavit of Walter Schellenberg, bureau chief in the RSHA, reads as follows: *** From the beginning of 1944 on the SA also participated in many of the functions which had previously been entrusted only to the SS, SIPO and Army, for instance the guarding of concentration camps, the guarding of prisoner of war camps, the supervision over forced laborers in Germany and occupied areas. This cooperation of the SA was planned and arranged for by high officials in Berlin as early as the middle of 1943 ***." (3232PS) E. Special Responsibility of Goering for the SA Program. Hermann Goering participated in the conspiracy in his capacity as an SA member and leader. In 1923, Goering became Commander of the entire SA. A few months later Goering participated in the so-called Munich Putsch. SA troops participated with him in this action. Goering's intention to employ the SA as a terroristic force to destroy political opponents is shown by a speech made by him on 3 March 1933, at a Nazi demonstration in Frankfurt Am Main (1856-PS). Goering spoke as follows: "Certainly, I shall use the power of the State and the police to the utmost, my dear Communists ! So you won't draw any false conclusions by the struggle to the death in which my fist will grasp your necks, I shall lead with those down there. Those are the Brown Shirts." The importance of the SA under Goering in the early stages of the Nazi movement is shown by a letter written to Goering by Hitler (3259-PS): "My dear Goering: "When in November 1923 the Party tried for the first time to conquer the power of the State, you as Commander of the SA created within an extraordinarily short time that instrument with which could bear that struggle. Highest necessity had forced us to act, but a wise providence at that time denied the success. After receiving a grave wound you again entered the ranks as soon as circumstances permitted as my most loyal comrade in the battle for power. You contributed essentially to creating the basis for the 30th of January. Therefore, at the end of a year of the National Socialist Revolution. I desire to thank you wholeheartedly, [Page 168] my dear Party Comrade Goering, for the great values which you have for the National Socialist Revolution and consequently for the German people. "In cordial friendship and grateful appreciation. Yours, "(s) Adolf Hitler!" (3259-PS) Although Goering did not retain command of the SA, he at all times maintained a close affiliation with the organization. This is shown by the photographs of Goering participating in SA activities which have been mentioned previously. In 1937, Goering became Commander of the Feldherrnhalle Regiment of the SA This was the Regiment which was employed in the occupation of the Sudetenland. (3214-PS)
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