The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05


                                                  [Page 132]

M. DUBOST: "The population of these communities must expect
that reprisals will be taken against private property, and
that houses or whole blocks will be destroyed."

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, are you reading from C-46?

M. DUBOST: I have only submitted it.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you reading from some other document?

M. DUBOST: I quote now from another document, the warning of
Seyss-Inquart to Holland.

THE PRESIDENT: What number is that?

M. DUBOST : Exhibit RF 152, in your document book concerning
German justice, which will be submitted for the hearing
tomorrow.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, are you now proposing to read from
some document which is not in our document book?

M. DUBOST: I shall postpone it until tomorrow, Mr.
President.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, you will read it tomorrow.

M. DUBOST: For Norway and Denmark we have several documents
which establish that the same policy of execution of
hostages was followed. We have, notably, Document C-48, from
which I read a short time ago.

All those special orders for each of the occupied regions of
the West are the result of the general order of Keitel,
which my American colleagues have already read, and on which
I merely commented this morning. The responsibility of
Keitel in the development of the policy of execution of
hostages is total. He was given warning: German generals
even told him that this policy went beyond the aim pursued
and might become dangerous.

On 16 September 1942, General Falkenhausen addressed a
letter to him, from which I extract the following passage:
it is Document 1594-PS, which I submit as Exhibit RF 281:

I quote:

   "In the Appendix is forwarded a table of the shootings
   of hostages which have taken place until now in my area,
   and the occurrences on account of which these shootings
   took place.
   
   In a great number of cases, particularly the most
   serious, the perpetrators were apprehended and
   sentenced.
   
   This result is doubtless unsatisfactory to a great
   degree. It acts not so much as a deterrent, as an
   instrument for inciting the feelings of the population
   under communist influence with the rest of the
   population. All circles become joined with a common
   feeling of hatred toward the occupying forces, and
   effective inciting material is given to enemy
   propaganda. Thereby military dangers and general
   political reactions of an entirely unwanted nature
   follow. Signed: Falkenhausen."

Further there is Document 1587-PS, a further letter from the
same German General, and he seems to make himself quite
clear-third paragraph of the fourth sheet.

   "In several cases the authors of aggression or acts of
   sabotage were discovered when the hostages had already
   been shot, shortly after the criminal acts had been
   committed according to instructions. Moreover, the real
   culprits often did not belong to the same circles as the
   hostages. There is no doubt that in such cases the
   execution of hostages does not inspire terror in the
   population, but indifference to repressive measures, and
   even resentment on the part of some sections of the
   population, who until then had displayed a passive
   attitude. The result for the occupying power is
   therefore negative, as planned and intended by the
   English agents, who were often the instigators of these
   acts. It will therefore be necessary to prolong the
   delays in cases where there is hope that we may arrest
   the culprits. I therefore request that you leave to me
   
                                                  [Page 133]
   
   the responsibility for fixing such delays, in order that
   the greatest possible success in the fight against
   terrorist acts may be obtained."

THE PRESIDENT: Is the date of that document known?

M. DUBOST: It is after 16 September 1941. We do not know the
exact date. The document is appended to another, the date of
which is illegible, but it is after Keitel's order, since it
accounts for the executions of hostages, carried out in
compliance with that order. It points out that after the
execution of the hostages the culprits were found, and that
the effect was deplorable and aroused the resentment of some
of the population.

You will find also in this Document 1587-PS, on Page 2 - but
this time it is an extract from the monthly report of the
Commander of the Wehrmacht in the Netherlands, the report
for the month of August, 1942,- a new warning to Keitel:

   "B. Special events and the political situation:
   
   On the occasion of an attempt against a leave train, due
   to arrive in Rotterdam, a Dutch rail guard was seriously
   wounded by touching a wire connected with an explosive
   charge, thus causing an explosion. The following
   repressive measures were announced in the Dutch Press:
   
   The expiration of the time appointed for the arrest of
   the perpetrators, with the help of the population, is
   fixed at 14 August, midnight. A reward of 100,000
   florins is offered for a denunciation, which will remain
   confidential. If the culprits are not arrested within
   the time appointed, arrests of hostages are threatened;
   railway lines will be guarded by Dutchmen.
   
   Since, despite this summons, the perpetrator did not
   report and was not otherwise discovered, the following
   persons, among whom some had already been in custody for
   several weeks as hostages, were shot on the order of the
   Higher SS and Police Fuehrer ... "

I will pass over the enumeration of the names. I omit the
next paragraph.

"Public opinion was particularly impressed - "

THE PRESIDENT: Could you read the names and the titles?

M. DUBOST: "Ruys, Willem, Director General, Rotterdam; Count
E.O. G. van Limburg-Stirum, Arnheim; Baelde, Robert, Doctor
of Law, Rotterdam Bennekers, Christoffel, former Inspector
General of the Police at Rotterdam Baron Alexander
Schimmelpennink van der Oye-Noordgouwe, Zeeland."

One paragraph further on:

   "Public opinion was particularly impressed by the
   execution of these hostages. The enclosed reports
   express the opinion that, from the beginning of the
   occupation, no stroke inflicted by the Germans was more
   deeply felt. Many anonymous letters, and even some
   signed letters, were sent to the Commander of the
   Wehrmacht, who was considered as responsible for this
   'unheard-of event,' an opinion which certainly prevailed
   among the mass of the Dutch people. From the bitterest
   insults to pious petitions and prayers - not to resort
   to the extreme, no nuance was lacking which did not, in
   one way or another, indicate, to say the least, complete
   disapproval and misunderstanding, both of the threat,
   and of the actual execution of the hostages. Reproaches
   of the most severe infractions of law (which were based
   on a serious argument and must have been carefully
   considered) and also expressions of disappointment on
   the part of idealists, who, in spite of all that had
   occurred in the political sphere, still believed in an
   understanding between Germans and Dutch - all this was
   found in the correspondence. In addition, the reproach
   was voiced that such methods were only doing the work of
   the communists

                                                  [Page 134]

   
   who must have been jubilant at their achievement as the
   real instigators and saboteurs, in adding to the success
   of their sabotage the pleasure of seeing 'such hostages'
   disposed of.
   
   In short: such disapproval even in the ranks of the very
   few really pro-German Dutch had never been seen, so much
   hatred at one time had never been felt.
   
   Signed : Schneider, Captain."

Despite these warnings proffered by conscientious
subordinates, neither the General Staff nor Keitel ever gave
any order to the contrary. The order of 16 September 1941,
always remained in force. When I have shown you examples of
executions of hostages in France you will see that a number
of facts which I shall refer to are dated 1942, 1943 and
even 1944.

(A recess was taken)

COURT OFFICER May it please your Honour, the defendants
Kaltenbrunner and Streicher will continue to be absent
during this afternoon's session.

M. DUBOST: This morning I had finished presenting the
general rules which prevailed during the five years of
occupation, in the matter of the execution of numerous
hostages in the occupied countries of the West. I bring the
evidence before you by reading a series of official German
documents, proving that the highest authorities of the Army,
of the Party and of the Nazi Government, had deliberately
chosen to practise a terroristic policy through the seizure
of hostages.

Before passing to the examination of a few particular cases,
it seems to me to be necessary to say exactly whereof this
policy consisted, in the light of the texts which I have
quoted.

According to the circumstances, people belonging by choice
or ethnically to the vanquished nations were apprehended,
and held as a guarantee for the maintenance of order in a
given sector, or after a given incident of which the enemy
army had been the victim. They were apprehended and held
with a view to forcing the vanquished population to carry
out acts determined by the occupying authority, such as:
denunciation, payment of collective fines, the handing over
of perpetrators of assaults committed against the German
Army, and the handing over of political adversaries. The
persons thus arrested were very often massacred subsequently
by way of reprisal.

From such methods the following appears: Any human being is
subject, at the will of the enemy, to seizure as a hostage,
and so becomes a private guarantor for the conduct of his
fellows.

How contrary is this to the rights of individual liberty, of
human dignity?

All the members of the German Government are jointly
responsible for this iniquitous concept and for its
application in our vanquished countries. No member of the
German Government can throw this responsibility on to
subordinates by claiming that they merely executed clearly
determined orders with an excess of zeal.

I have shown you that upon many occasions, on the contrary,
the persons who carried out the orders reported to the
Chiefs the moral consequences resulting from the application
of the terroristic policy of hostages. And we know that in
no case were contrary orders given. We know that the
original orders were always maintained.

I shall not endeavour to enumerate fully all the cases of
executions of hostages for our country. In France alone,
there were 29,660 executions. This is proved in Document RF
420 dated Paris, 21 December 1945, the original of which
will be submitted as Exhibit RF 266.

It is at the beginning of the document book, the second
document. You see

                                                  [Page 135]

there in detail, region by region, the number of the
hostages who were executed.

For the region of:
   Lille           1143
   Laon             222
   Rouen            658
   Anger            863
   Orleans          501
   Reims            353
   Dijon           1691
   Poitiers          82
   Strasbourg       211
   Rennes           974
   Limoges         2863
   Clermont Ferrand 441
   Lyon            3674
   Marseille       1513
   Montpellier      785
   Toulouse         765
   Bordeaux         806
   Nancy            571
   Metz             220
   Paris          11000
   Nice             342
   
   Total         29,660

I shall limit my presentation to a few typical cases of
executions which unveil the political plan of the General
Staff which prescribed these executions - plans of terror,
plans that were intended to create and accentuate the
division between Frenchmen, or, more generally, between
citizens of the occupied countries.

You will find in your document book a brief quoted 133-F,
which I submit as Exhibit RF 288. This is called "Posters of
the Paris Region," Document 133-F. At the head of the page
you will read, "Pariser-Zeitung." This document reproduces a
few of the very numerous posters and bills, and some of the
numerous notices inserted in the Press from 1940 to 1945,
announcing the arrest of hostages in Paris, in the Region of
Paris and in France. I shall read only one of these
documents, which you will find on the second page. It is the
one entitled No. 6, 19 September 1941. You will see in it an
appeal to inform, an appeal to treason, you will see means
of corruption, means which systematically applied to all the
countries of the West for years, all tended to demoralize
them to an equal extent:

   "21 August. Appeal to the population of occupied
   territories. On 21 August a German soldier was shot in
   an attack by cowardly murderers. In consequence, I
   ordered, on 23 August, that hostages be taken, and
   threatened to have a certain number of them shot, in the
   case of such an assault being repeated. New crimes have
   obliged me to put this threat into effect.
   
   In spite of this, new assaults have taken place.
   
   I recognise that the great majority of the population is
   conscious of its duty, which is to help the authorities
   in their unremitting effort to maintain calm and order
   in the country, in the very interest of this
   population."

And here is the appeal to denunciation.

   "But among you there are agents paid by powers hostile
   to Germany, Communist criminal elements who have only
   one aim, which is to sow discord between the occupying
   power and the French population. These
   
                                                  [Page 136]
   
   elements are completely indifferent to the consequences
   for the entire population which result from their
   activity.
   
   I will no longer allow the lives of German soldiers to
   be threatened by these assassins. I shall stop at no
   measure in order to fulfil my duty, however stringent it
   may be.
   
   But it is likewise my duty to make the whole population
   responsible for the fact that, up to the present, it has
   not yet been possible to lay hands on the cowardly
   murderers, and to impose upon them the penalty which
   they deserve.
   
   That is why I have found it necessary - first of all for
   Paris - to take measures, which - unfortunately - will
   hinder the everyday life of the entire population.
   Frenchmen, it depends on you whether I am obliged to
   increase the severity of these measures, or whether they
   can again be suspended.
   
   I appeal to you all, to your administration and to your
   police, to cooperate, through your extreme vigilance and
   your active personal intervention, in the arrest of the
   guilty. It is necessary, by anticipating and denouncing
   the criminal activities, to avoid the creation of a
   critical situation which would plunge the country into
   misfortune.
   
   He who fires in ambush on German soldiers who are only
   doing their duty here, and who are safeguarding the
   maintenance of a normal life, is not a patriot, but a
   cowardly assassin and the enemy of all decent people.
   
   Frenchmen! I count on you to understand these measures
   which I am taking, which are only in your own interests.
   Signed von Stulpnagel."

Numerous notices follow which all have to do with
executions.

Under No. 8 on the following page you will find a list of
twelve names, among which
are three of the best known lawyers of the Paris Bar, who
are characterised as militant Communists : Pitard, Hajje and
Rolnikas.

In file 21, submitted by my colleague M. Gerthoffer, in the
course of his economic presentation, you will find a few
notices which are similar, published in the official German
newspaper "VOBIF."

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