The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: Do you think this would be a convenient time
to break off until 2 o'clock ?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will adjourn, then.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours)

MR. ALDERMAN: May it please the Tribunal, I had just
referred again to the report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich
Commissar Burckel in July 1939, which outlines

                                                  [Page 229]

the further history of the Party and the leadership-problem,
following the retirement of Reinthaler.

In referring to the situation in 1935, he mentioned some of
the contacts with the Reich Government, that is, the German
Government, in the following terms. I quote from page 4 of
the English text of that report, and I believe from page 4
of the German text: "In August some further arrests took
place.."

THE PRESIDENT: Which document are you on?

MR. ALDERMAN: The Rainer Report, which is 812-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: 812?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, exhibit USA 61.

   "In August some further arrests took place, the victims
   of which were, apart from the Gauleiters (Gau leaders),
   also Globotschnik and Rainer. Schattenfroh then claimed,
   because of an instruction received from the imprisoned
   Leopold, to have been made Deputy Country Leader. A
   group led by engineer Raffelsberger had at this time
   also established connection with departments of the Alt-
   Reich. Ministry of Propaganda, German Racial Agency,
   etc.) and made an attempt to formulate a political motto
   in the form of a programme for the fighting movement of
   Austria."

And, again, the Rainer report sets forth the situation a
little later in 1936. I quote from page 6 of the English
text, and I think page 5 of the German text:

   "The principles of the construction of the organisation
   were: The organisation is the bearer of the illegal
   fight and the trustee of the idea to create a secret
   organisation, in a simple manner and without compromise,
   according to the principle of organising an elite to be
   available to the illegal land-party council upon any
   emergency. Besides this, all political opportunities
   should be taken, and all legal people and legal chances
   should be used without revealing any ties with the
   illegal organisation. Therefore, co-operation. between
   the illegal party organisation and the legal political
   aides was anchored at the top of the party leadership.
   All connections with the party in Germany were kept
   secret in accordance with the orders of the Fuehrer.
   These said that the German State should officially be
   omitted from the creation of an Austrian N.S.D.A.P.; and
   that auxiliary centres for propaganda, Press, refugees,
   welfare, etc., should be established in the foreign
   countries bordering Austria.
   
   Hinterleitner already contacted the lawyer Seyss-
   Inquart, who had connection with Dr. Wachter which
   originated from Seyss-Inquart's support of the July
   uprising. On the other side, Seyss-Inquart had a good
   position in the legal field and especially well-
   established relations with Christian-Social politicians.
   Dr. Seyss-Inquart came from the ranks of the 'Styrian
   Heimatschutz' (home defence) and became a party member
   when the entire 'Styrian Heimatschutz' was incorporated
   into the N.S.D.A.P. Another personality who had a good
   position in the legal field was Col. Glaise-Horstenau
   who had contacts with both sides. The agreement of 11th
   July, 1936. was strongly influenced by the activities of
   these two persons."

The Rainer report thus discloses the dual tactics of the
Austrian Nazis during this period of keeping quiet and
awaiting developments. They were maintaining their secret
contacts with Reich officials, and using foreign
personalities such as Glaise-Horstenau and Seyss-Inquart.
The Nazis made good use of such figures, who were more
discreet in their activities and could be referred to as
nationalists. They presented, supported, and obtained
consideration of demands which could not be negotiated by
other Nazis like Captain Leopold.

Seyss-Inquart did not hold any public office until January
1937, when he  was made Counsellor of State. But Rainer,
describing him as a trustworthy member of the Party through
the ranks, of this "Styrian Heimatschutz," points him out as
one who strongly influenced the agreement of 11th July,
1936. The strategic importance of that agreement will be
considered a little later. Rainer's report, as I have said
before, was hardly likely to over-emphasise the significance
of Seyss-Inquart's contribution'

                                                  [Page 230]

That the Nazis, but not the Austrian Government, did well to
trust Seyss-Inquart is indicated by the next document. I
propose to offer in evidence document 2219-PS, which will be
exhibit USA 62. This is a letter dated 14th July, 1939,
addressed to Field-Marshal Goering.  The document is a typed
carbon of the letter. It ends with the "Heil Hitler"
termination, and it is not signed, but we think it was
undoubtedly written by the defendant Seyss-Inquart. It was
the carbon copy found among Seyss-Inquart's personal files,
and such carbon copies kept by authors of letters usually
are not signed. On the first page of the letter there
appears a note in English, not indicated in the partial
English translation, reading, "Air Mail, 15th July, 1515
hours, Berlin, brought to Goering's office." The main text
of the letter consists of a plea for intercession on behalf
of one Muhlmann, whose name we shall meet later, and who,
unfortunately, got into Buckel's bad graces. I shall quote
the extracted part of the document which has been translated
into English, and which starts, I believe, on page 7 of the
German text: -

   "To the General Field Marshal,
   At present in Vienna,
   14th July, 1939.
   
   Sir,
   
   If I may add something about myself, it is the
   following: I know that I am not of an active fighting
   nature, unless final decisions are at stake. At this
   time of pronounced activity (Aktivismus in the German)
   this will certainly be regarded as a fault in my
   personality. Yet I know that I cling with unconquerable
   tenacity to the goal in which I believe. That is Greater
   Germany (Gross Deutschland) and the Fuehrer. And if some
   people are already tired out from the struggle and some
   have been killed in the fight, I am still around
   somewhere and ready to go into action. This, after all,
   was also the development until the year 1938. Until July
   1934, I conducted myself as a regular member of the
   party. And if I had quietly, in whatever form, paid my
   membership dues (the first one, according to a receipt,
   I paid in December 1931), I probably would have been an
   undisputed, comparatively old fighter and party member
   of Austria, but I would not have done any more for the
   union. I told myself in July 1934 that we must fight
   this clerical regime on its own ground in order to give
   the Fuehrer a chance to use whatever method he desired.
   I told myself that this Austria was worth a mass. I have
   stuck to this attitude with an iron determination
   because I and my friends had to fight against the whole
   political church, the Freemasonry, the Jewry, in short,
   against everything in Austria. The slightest weakness
   which we might have displayed would undoubtedly have led
   to our political annihilation; it would have deprived
   the Fuehrer of the means and tools to carry out his
   ingenious political solution for Austria, as became
   evident in the days of March 1938. I have been fully
   conscious of the fact that I am following a path which
   is not comprehensible to the masses and also not to my
   party comrades. I followed it calmly, and would without
   hesitation follow it again, because I am satisfied that
   at one point I could serve the Fuehrer as a tool in his
   work, even though my former attitude even now gives
   occasion to very worthy and honourable party comrades to
   doubt my trustworthiness. I have never paid attention to
   such things because I am satisfied with the opinion
   which the Fuehrer and the men close to him have of me."

Now, that letter was written to one of the men close to him
- to Field Marshal Goering. I think that is enough to
demonstrate Seyss-Inquart as one whose loyalty to Hitler, a
foreign dictator, and to the aims of the Nazi conspiracy,
led him to fight for the Anschluss with all the means at his
disposal.

It is appropriate at this time to offer in evidence a
document from the defendant von Papen, and to see how he
thought the doctrines of National Socialism could be used to
effect the aim of the Anschluss. I offer document 2248-PS as
exhibit

                                                  [Page 231]

USA 63. This document is a letter from von Papen to Hitler,
dated 27th July, 1935. It consists of a report entitled
"Review and outlook one year after the death of Chancellor
Dollfuss." After reviewing the success that the Austrian
Government had had in establishing Dollfuss as a martyr, and
his principles as the patriotic principles of Austria, von
Papen stated, and I quote the last paragraph of the letter,
beginning on page 1-146 of the German text :-

   "National Socialism must and will overpower the new
   Austrian ideology. If to-day it is contended in Austria
   that the N.S.D.A.P. is only a centralised Reich German
   party, and therefore unable to transfer the spirit of
   thought of National Socialism to groups of a different
   political make-up, the answer must rightly be that the
   national revolution in Germany could not have been
   brought about in a different way. But when the creation
   of the people's community in the Reich is completed,
   National Socialism could, in a much wider sense than
   this is possible through the present party organisation
   - at least apparently - certainly become the rallying
   point for all racially German units beyond the borders.
   Spiritual progress in regard to Austria cannot be
   achieved to-day with any centralised tendency. If this
   recognition would once and for all be stated clearly
   from within the Reich, then it would easily become
   possible to effect a break-through into the front of the
   New Austria. A Nuremberg Party Day designated as 'The
   German Day' as in old times, and the proclamation of a
   National Socialist peoples' front, would be a stirring
   event for all beyond the borders of the Reich. Such
   attacks would win us also the particularistic Austrian
   circles, whose spokesman, the legitimistic Count Dubskv,
   wrote in his pamphlet about the 'Anschluss': The Third
   Reich will be with Austria or it will not be at all.
   National Socialism must win it or it will perish, if it
   is unable to solve this task."

We have other reports from Papen to Hitler, which I shall
offer in evidence presently, showing that he maintained
covert contact with the National Socialist groups in
Austria. It is certainly interesting that from the very
start of his mission, defendant von Papen was thinking of
ways and means of using the principle of National Socialism
for national Germans outside the border of Germany. Papen
was working for the Anschluss, although he preferred to use
the principles of National Socialism rather than rely on the
party organisation as a necessary means of establishing
those principles in the German Reich.

Next we have some assurance and reassurance to Austria. The
German Government did not do more than keep up a pretence of
non-interference with Austrian groups. It employed the
psychological inducement of providing assurances that it had
no designs on Austrian independence. If Austria could find
hope for the execution of those assurances, she could find
her way clear to the granting of concessions and obtain
relief from the economic and internal pressure.

I offer document 2247-PS in evidence as exhibit USA 64. It
is a letter from von Papen while in Berlin to Hitler, dated
17th May, 1935.

Von Papen's letter indicated to Hitler that a forthright,
credible statement by Germany, reassuring Austria, would be
most useful for German diplomatic purposes and for the
improvement of relationships between Austria and German
groups in Austria.

He had a scheme for pitting von Schuschnigg and his Social-
Christian forces against Starhemberg, the Vice-Chancellor of
Austria, who was backed by Mussolini. Von Papen hoped to
persuade von Schuschnigg to ally his forces with the
N.S.D.A.P. in order to emerge victorious over Starhemberg.
Von Papen indicates that he obtained this idea from Captain
Leopold, leader of the illegal National Socialists in
Austria.

I quote from his letter, starting at the second paragraph of
the second page.

This is von Papen writing to "Mein Fuehrer", Hitler:

   "I suggest that we take an active part in this game. The
   fundamental idea should be to pit von Schuschnigg and
   his Christian Social forces, who are opposed to a home-
   front dictatorship, against Starhemberg. The possibility
   of thwarting
   
                                                  [Page 232]
   
   the measures arranged between Mussolini and Starhemberg
   should be afforded to him in such a way that he would
   submit the offer to the government of a definitive
   German-Austrian compromise of interests. According to
   the convincing opinion of the Leader of the N.S.D.A.P.
   in Austria, Captain Leopold, the totalitarian principle
   of the N.S.D.A.P. in Austria must be replaced in the
   beginning by a combination of that part of the Christian
   elements which favours the Greater Germany idea and the
   N.S.D.A.P. If Germany recognises the national
   independence of Austria, and guarantees full freedom to
   the Austrian national opposition, then, as a result of
   such a compromise, the Austrian Government would be
   formed in the beginning by a coalition of these forces.
   A further consequence of this step would be the
   possibility of the participation of Germany in the
   Danube Pact, which would take the sting out of its
   acuteness due to the settlement of relations between
   Germany and Austria. Such a measure would have a most
   beneficial influence on the European situation, and
   especially on our relationship with England. One may
   object, that von Schuschnigg will hardly be determined
   to follow such a pattern, that he will rather in all
   probability immediately communicate our offer to our
   opponents. Of course, one should first of all explore
   the possibility of setting von Schuschnigg against
   Starhemberg through the use of 'go betweens'. The
   possibility exists. If von Schuschnigg finally says 'no'
   and makes our offer known in Rome, then the situation
   would not be any worse, but, on the contrary, the
   efforts of the Reich government to make peace with
   Austria would be revealed - without prejudice to other
   interests. Therefore, even in the case of refusal, this
   last attempt would be an asset. I consider it completely
   possible, that in view of the widespread dislike in the
   Alpine countries of the pro-Italian policy, and in view
   of the sharp tensions among the Federal Government (that
   is Bundesregierung), von Schuschnigg will grasp this
   last straw - always under the supposition that the offer
   could not be interpreted as a trap by the opponents, but
   that it bears all the marks of an actually honest
   compromise with Austria. Assuming the success of this
   step, we would again establish our active intervention
   in Central European politics, which, as opposed to the
   French, Czech and Russian political manoeuvres, would be
   a tremendous success, both morally and practically.
   Since there are only two weeks left to accomplish very
   much work in the way of explorations and conferences, an
   immediate decision is necessary. The Reich Army Minister
   (Reichswehrminister) shares the opinion presented above,
   and the Reich Foreign Minister (Reichsaussenminister)
   wanted to discuss it with you, my Fuehrer.
   
   Signed, Papen."

In other words, Papen wanted a strong assurance and a
credible assurance of the preservation of Austria's
independence. As he put it, Germany had nothing to lose,
with what she could always call a mere effort at peace, and
she might be able to persuade von Schuschnigg to establish
an Austrian coalition government, with the N.S.D.A.P. If she
did this, she would vastly strengthen her position in
Europe. Finally, Papen urged haste.

Exactly four days later, in a Reichstag address, Hitler
responded to von Papen's suggestion, and asserted Germany
neither intends nor wishes to interfere in the internal
affairs of Austria, to annex Austria or to conclude an
"Anschluss."

The British will present a document covering that speech. I
merely wanted to use one sentence at this point. It is a
sentence quite well known to history.

It is appropriate to take notice of this assurance at this
point, and to note that for a complexity of reasons, Papen
suggested, and Hitler announced, a policy completely at
variance with their intentions, which had been, and
continued to be, to interfere in Austria's internal affairs
and to conclude an "Anschluss."

There was then a temporary continuance of a quiet pressure
policy.

On 1st May, 1936, Hitler, in a public speech, blandly
branded as a lie any statement that "to-morrow or the day
after " Germany would fall upon Austria.

                                                  [Page 233]

I invite the Court's attention to the version of the speech
appearing in the "Volkischer Beobachter SD," that is South
Germany, 2nd to 3rd May, 1936, page 3, and translated in our
document 2367-PS.

Without offering the document, I ask the Court to take
Judicial notice of the statement in that well-known speech.

If Hitler meant what he said, it was only in the most
literal and misleading sense, that is, that he would not
actually fall upon Austria "to-morrow or the day after to-
morrow." For the conspirators well knew that the successful
execution of their purpose required for a little while
longer the quiet policy which they had been pursuing in
Austria.

I now offer in evidence our document L-150 - memorandum of
conversation between Ambassador Bullitt and the defendant
von Neurath, on 18th May, 1936 - as exhibit USA 65. This
document unfortunately again appears in your document books
in German, as, due to an error, it has not been mimeographed
in English. German Counsel have the German copies.

I shall read from it, and at the same time, hand to the
interpreter reading in German, a marked copy of a German
translation.

I might read one sentence from the first paragraph.

    "I called on von Neurath, Minister of Foreign Affairs,
    on 18th May, and had a long talk on the general
    European situation."

Then skipping a paragraph I will read straight on, if you
will pardon me.

    "Von Neurath said that it was the policy of the German
    Government to do nothing active in foreign affairs
    until the Rhineland had been digested. He explained
    that he meant that, until the German fortifications had
    been constructed on the French and Belgium frontiers,
    the German Government would do everything possible to
    prevent, rather than encourage, an outbreak by the
    Nazis in Austria and would pursue a quiet line with
    regard to Czechoslovakia.
    
    As soon as our fortifications are constructed," he
    said, "and the countries of Central Europe realise that
    France cannot enter German territory, all these
    countries will begin to feel very differently about
    their foreign policies and a new constellation will
    develop."

I then skip two paragraphs.

    "Von Neurath then stated that no understanding had been
    reached between Germany and Italy, and admitted that
    the demonstrations of friendship between Germany and
    Italy were mere demonstrations without basis in
    reality. He went on to say that at the present time he
    could see no way to reconcile the conflicting interests
    of Germany and Italy in Austria. He said that there
    were three chief reasons why the German Government was
    urging the Austrian Nazis to remain quiet at the
    present time:
    
    The first was that Mussolini had, to-day, the greater
    part of his army mobilised on the Austrian border,
    ready to strike, and that he would certainly strike if
    he should have a good excuse.
    
    The second reason for urging Austrian Nazis to remain
    quiet for the present was that the Nazi movement was
    daily growing stronger in Austria. The youth of Austria
    was turning more and more towards the Nazis, and the
    dominance of the Nazi Party in Austria was inevitable
    and only a question of time.
    
    The third reason was that until the German
    fortifications had been constructed on the French
    border, an involvement of Germany in war with Italy
    might lead to a French attack on Germany."

But even if Germany was not yet ready for open conflict in
Austria, its diplomatic position was vastly improved over
1934, a fact which influenced Austria's willingness to make
concessions to Germany and to come to terms.

I quote again from the Messersmith affidavit, on page 11 of
the English text that is document 1760-PS.

"Developments in the fall of 1935 and the spring Of 1936
gave Germany an opportunity to take more positive steps in
the direction of the Nazification of

                                                  [Page 234]

Austria. Italy, which had given Austria assurance of support
of the most definite  character against external German
aggression, and on one occasion, by mobilising her forces,
had undoubtedly stopped German aggressive action, which had
been planned against Austria, embarked on her Abyssinian
adventure. This and the reoccupation of the Rhineland in
1936 completely upset the balance in Europe. It is quite
obvious that after Italy had launched her Abyssinian
adventure, she was no longer in any position to counter
German aggressive moves against Austria." This weakening of
Austria helped to leave the way for the Pact of 11th July,
1936. On 11th July, 1936, the Governments of Austria and
Germany concluded an accord. That will be offered in
evidence also by the British Delegation.

I merely ask a point that the Tribunal take judicial notice
of the fact that such an accord was entered into. The formal
part of the agreement on 11th July, 1938, will also be
proved by our British colleagues. For convenient reference,
it will be found in the document which the British will
offer, TC-22, and the substance of it is also contained on
pages 11 and 12 of Mr. Messersmith's affidavit, document
1760-PS.

Upon the basis of this fight alone, the agreement looked
like a great triumph for Austria. It contains a confusing
provision to the effect that Austria in her policy,
especially with regard to Germany, would regard herself as a
German State, but the other two provisions clearly state
that Germany recognises the full sovereignty of Austria and
that it regards the inner political order of Austria,
including the question of Austria and National Socialism, as
an internal concern of Austria upon which Germany will
exercise neither direct nor indirect influence. But there
was much more substance to to-day's events than appears in
the text of the accord. I refer to Mr. Messersmith's summary
as set forth on page 12 of his affidavit, document 1760-PS,
as follows :-

   "Even more important than the terms of the agreement
   published in the official communiqu‚, was the
   contemporaneous informal understanding, the most
   important provisions of which were that Austria would :
   (1) Appoint a number of individuals enjoying the
   Chancellor's confidence but friendly to Germany, to
   positions in the Cabinet;
   (2) with the devised give the National opposition a role
   in the political life of Austri4, within the framework
   of the Patriotic Front; and
   (3) grant an amnesty for all Nazis, save those convicted
   of the most serious offences."
   

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