The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

You will find this testimony under letter "A" in Document
402 RF, which has already been submitted as Exhibit RF 287?
at the bottom of Page 1 you will read:

   "There were 70 of us, including Professors Jacques
   Solomon, Decourtemanche and Georges Politzer, Dr. Boer
   and MM. Engros, Dudach, Cadras, Dalidet, Golue, Pican,
   who were shot in the month of May, 1942, and an
   approximately equal number of women.
   
   Some of us were transferred to the German quarter of the
   Sante (a prison in Paris), but the majority of us were
   taken to the military prison of Cherche-Midi (in Paris).
   We were questioned in turn by a Gestapo officer, in the
   offices of the Rue des Saussaies. Certain of us, in
   particular Politzer and Solomon, were tortured to the
   point of having their limbs broken, according to the
   testimony of their wives.
   
   Moreover, while questioning me, the Gestapo officer
   confirmed this to me:

I repeat his words:

   'Rabate, here you will have to speak. Professor
   Langevin's son-in-law came in here arrogant. He went out
   crawling.'
   
   After a short stay of five months in the prison of
   Cherche-Midi, in the course of which we learned of the
   execution, as hostages of the 10 prisoners already
   mentioned, we were transferred, on the 24 August 1942,
   to the Fort of Romainville.
   
   It is to be noted that from the day of our arrest we
   were forbidden to write or to receive mail, or to inform
   our families where we were. On the doors of our cells
   was written: 'Alles verboten' (Everything is forbidden).
   We received only the strict prison ration, namely, three-
   fourths of a litre of vegetable soup and two hundred
   grams of black bread per day. The biscuits sent to the
   prison for political prisoners by the Red Cross or by
   the Quakers' Association were not given to us because of
   this prohibition.
   
   In the fort of Romainville we were interned as 'isolated
   prisoners,' an expression corresponding to the 'NN'
   (Nacht und Nebel), of which we have heard in Germany."

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, the Tribunal thinks that, unless
there is anything very special that you wish to read in any
of these documents, they have already heard the number of
the hostages who were put to death and they think that they
really do not add to it - the actual details of these
documents.

M. DUBOST: I thought, Mr. President, that I had not spoken
to you of the regime to which men were subjected when they
were prisoners of the German Army. I thought that it was my
duty to enlighten the Tribunal on the condition of these men
in the German prisons.

I thought that it was also my duty to enlighten the Tribunal
on the ill-treatment inflicted by the Gestapo, who left the
son-in-law of Professor Langevin with his limbs broken.

                                                  [Page 142]

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, if there are matters of that sort
which you think it right to go into, you must do so, but the
actual details of individual shooting of hostages we think
you might, at any rate, summarise. But if there are
particular atrocities to which you wish to draw our
attention, by all means do so.

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, I have only given you two examples
of executions out of the multiple executions which caused
29,660 deaths in my country.

THE PRESIDENT: Go on.

M. DUBOST: In the region of the North of France, which was
administratively attached to Belgium and subjected to the
authority of General Falkenhausen, the same policy of
execution was practised. You will find in Document 123 RF,
submitted as Exhibit RF 288, the reproduction of a great
number of placards announcing either arrests, executions or
deportations. Certain of these placards include, moreover,
an appeal to denunciation; and they are analogous to those
which I read to you in connection with France. Perhaps it
would be well, nevertheless, to point out the one that you
will find on Page 3 concerning the execution of 20
Frenchmen, ordered as the result of a theft; that on Page 4
which concerns the execution of 15 Frenchmen prescribed as a
result of an attack against a railroad installation; and
finally, particularly this last, the one that you will find
on Pages 8 and 9, which announces that executions will be
carried out, and invites the civilian population to hand
over the guilty ones, if they know them, to the German Army.

As particularly concerns those countries of the West other
than France, we have a very great number of cases. You will
find in your document book, as No. 680, a copy of a placard
by the Military Commander-in-Chief for Belgium and the North
of France, which announces the arrest in Tournai, on 18
September 1941, of 25 inhabitants as hostages, on which it
specifies the condition on which certain of them will be
shot if the guilty are not discovered. But you will find, as
Document 680, a document particularly remarkable since it
comes from the German authorities themselves; it is the
secret report of the German Chief of Police in Belgium dated
13 September 1944, that is to say, when Belgium was totally
liberated, and this German official wished to summarise for
his Chiefs his service during the occupation of Belgium.

This document will be submitted as Exhibit RF 290: on the
first page you will find
the following passage.

   "The growing incitement of the population by the radio
   and the Press of the enemy which urge them to acts of
   terrorism and sabotage" - this is applied to Belgium -
   "the passive attitude of the population, in particular
   of the Belgian administration, the complete failure of
   the public prosecutors, the examining judges and of the
   judicial police, in disclosing and preventing terrorist
   acts, have at last led to preventive and repressive
   measures of the most rigorous kind, that is to say, to
   the execution of persons closely related to the group of
   the culprits themselves.
   
   As early as 19 October 1941, on the occasion of the
   murder of two police officials in Tournai, the Military
   Commander-in-Chief declared, by an announcement
   appearing in the Press, that all the political prisoners
   in Belgium would be considered as hostages, with
   immediate effect. In the provinces of the North of
   France, subject to the jurisdiction of the same Military
   Commander-in-Chief, this ordinance was already in force
   as from 26 August 1941. Through repeated notices
   appearing in the Press the civilian population has been
   informed that political prisoners taken as hostages will
   be executed if the murders continue to be committed.
   
   As a result of the assassination of Teughels, Rexist
   Mayor of Charleroi, and other attempts at assassination
   against public officials, the Military
   
                                                  [Page 143]
   
   Commander-in-Chief has been obliged to order, for the
   first time in Belgium, the execution of 8 terrorists.
   The date of the execution is 27 November 1942."

On the following page of this same document, 680 (B), you
will find another order dated 22 April 1944, marked
"Secret," also issued by the Military Commander in Belgium
and the North of France, concerning measures of expiation
for the murder of two Walloon SS, who had fought at
Tcherkassy; 5 hostages were shot on that day.

On the following page 9 hostages are added to these 5, and
still a 10th on the following page. Then 5 others on the
following page.

You will find, finally, on the penultimate page of the
document, a projected list of persons to be shot in
expiation of the murder of the SS men. Compare the dates,
and judge of the ferocity with which the assassination of
these two Walloon traitors, SS volunteers, was revenged.

Finally, under No. 7, you will see the names of the 20
Belgian patriots who were thus murdered.

THE PRESIDENT: Which page did you say?

M. DUBOST: The last page, Mr. President, Page 6, the last
document reproduced on the last page. I have not read  it in
order not to lengthen the case, but I will read it, if you
wish.

    "Brusseler Zeitung-25 April 1944.
    
    Measures of expiation for the murder of men who fought
    at Tcherkassy. The German authority announces: the
    perpetrators of the assassination on 6 April of the
    members of the SS Sturmbrigade Wallonie, Hubert Stassen
    and Francois Musch, who fought at Tcherkassy, have so
    far not been apprehended. Therefore, in accordance with
    the communication dated 10 April 1944, the 20
    terrorists whose names follow have been executed :
    
    Renatus Diericks of Louvain; Francois Boets of Louvain;
    Antoine Smets of Louvain; Jacques Van Tilt of Holsbeek;
    Emiliens Van Tilt of Holsbeek; Franciskus Aerts of
    Herent; Jean Van der Elst of Herent; Gustave Morren of
    Louvain; Eugene Hupin of Chapelle-lez-Herlaimont;
    Pierre Leroy of Boussois; Leon Hermann of Montigny-sur-
    Sambre; Felix Trousson of Chaudfontaine; Joseph Grab of
    Tirlemont; Octave Wintgens of Baelen-Hontem; Stanislaw
    Mrozowski of Grace- Berleur; Marcel Boeur of Athus;
    Marcel Dehon of Ghlin; Andre Croquelois of Pont des
    Briques, near Boulogne; Gustave Hos of Mons; and the
    Stateless Jew, Walter Kriss of Herent."

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes. (A
recess was taken)

M. DUBOST: As far as the other Western Countries, Holland
and Norway are concerned, we have received documents which
we submit as Document 224 RF, Exhibit RF 291. Page 2 of
Document 224 RF.

In the French text you will find a long list of civilians
who were executed. Also on Pages 4 and 5 you will find a
report of the Chief of the Criminal Police, Munt, in
connection with these executions, and you will observe that
Munt tries to prove his own innocence, in my opinion without
success.

On Page 6 you will find the account of an investigation
concerning mass executions which the Germans carried out in
Holland. I do not think it is necessary to read this
investigation. It brings no new factual element and simply
illustrates the thesis that I have been presenting since
this morning: that in all the Western countries the German
military authorities systematically carried out executions
of hostages, as reprisals.

On Page 8, second paragraph, you will see that on 7 March
1945 an order

                                                  [Page 144]

was given to shoot 80 prisoners, and the authority who gave
this order said : "I do not care where you get the
prisoners" - execution without any designation of age or
profession or origin.

On Page 9 the Tribunal will see that there was a total of
2080 executions - that is on lines 6 and 7. In paragraph
one, on Page 9, the Tribunal will note that as a reprisal
for a murder committed against an SS soldier, a house was
destroyed and 10 Dutchmen were executed and, in addition,
two other houses were destroyed - under No. 1, in the middle
of the page. Under No. 2, 10 Dutchmen were executed, and
under No.  3, 14. Altogether, 3,000 Dutchmen were thus
executed according to the testimony of this document, which
was established by the War Crimes Commission, and signed by
the Chief of the Dutch Delegation to the International
Military Tribunal, Colonel Baron Van Tuyll van Serooskerken.

Pages 33 and 34 of this document give the approximate number
of victims, region by region. The Tribunal will excuse me if
I do not read these pages: it seems unnecessary, and they
are before you.

I do not wish to conclude the statement about hostages,
concerning Holland without drawing the attention of the
Tribunal to section (B) of Document 224, which gives a long
list of hostages, prisoners or deceased, arrested by the
Germans in Holland. The Tribunal will observe that most of
these hostages were intellectuals or very highly placed
personages in Holland. We note therein, the names of members
of parliament, lawyers, senators, Protestant clergymen, and
judges, and amongst them we find a former Minister of
Justice. The arrests were made systematically from amongst
the intellectual elite of the country.

As far as Norway is concerned, the Tribunal will find in
Document 240, submitted as Exhibit RF 292, a short report of
the executions which the Germans carried out in that
country.

On 26 April, 1942, two German policemen who tried to arrest
two Norwegian patriots were killed on an island on the West
coast of Norway. In order to avenge them, four days later 18
young men were shot without trial. All these 18 Norwegians
had been in prison since 22 February of the same year, and
therefore had nothing to do with this affair.

In the first paragraph of the French translation in the
French document book, which is Page 22 of the Norwegian
original, it states that:

   "On 6 October, 1942, 10 Norwegian citizens were executed
   in reprisal for attempts at sabotage.
   
   On 20 July, 1944, an unspecified number of Norwegians
   were shot without trial. They had all been taken from a
   concentration camp. The reason for this arrest and
   execution is unknown."

Finally after the German capitulation the bodies of 44
Norwegian citizens were found in graves. All had been shot
and we do not know the reason for their execution; it has
never been published, and we do not believe they were tried.
The executions were effected by a shot through the back of
the neck or a revolver bullet through the ear, the hands of
the victims being tied behind their backs. This information
is given by the Norwegian Government for this Tribunal.

I draw the attention of the Tribunal to the final document,
54-R, signed by Terboven, which concerns the execution of
eighteen Norwegians who were taken prisoner for having made
an illegal attempt to reach England.

It is by thousands and tens of thousands that in all the
Western countries citizens were executed without trial, in
reprisal for acts in which they never participated. It does
not seem necessary to me to multiply these examples. Each of
these examples involves individual responsibility which is
not within the competency of this Tribunal. The examples are
only of interest in so far

                                                  [Page 145]

as they show that the orders of the defendants were carried
out, and notably the orders of Keitel.

I believe that I have amply proved this. It is incontestable
that in every case the German Army was concerned with these
executions, which were not solely carried out by the police
or the SS.

Moreover, they did not achieve the results expected, Far
from reducing the number of attacks, it increased them. Each
attack was followed by an execution of hostages, and every
shooting of hostages occasioned more attempts on lives. In a
general way, new executions of hostages plunged the
countries into a stupour and forced every citizen to become
conscious of the fate of his country, despite the efforts of
the German propaganda. Faced with the failure of this
terroristic policy, one might have thought that the
defendants would modify their methods. Far from modifying
them, they intensified them. I shall endeavour to show what
was the activity of the police and the law from the time
when, the policy of hostages having failed, it was necessary
to appeal to the German police in order to keep the occupied
countries in servitude. The German authorities made
arbitrary arrests at all times, and from the very beginning
of the occupation; but with the failure of the policy of the
execution of hostages, which was, as you remember, commented
upon by General Falkenhausen in the case of Belgium,
arbitrary arrests increased to the point of becoming a
constant practice, substituted for that of arresting
hostages.

We submit to the Tribunal Document 715-PS, as Exhibit RF
294.

The document concerns the arrest of high-ranking officers,
who were to be transferred to Germany in honourable custody.

   "Subject: Measures to be taken against French Officers.
   
   In agreement with the German Embassy in Paris, and with
   the Chief of the Security Police and the SD, the Supreme
   Commander in the West has made the following proposals:
   
   First: The senior officers enumerated below will be
   arrested and transferred to Germany in honourable
   custody:
   
   The Generals of the Army, Frere - who died subsequently
   in Germany after his deportation - "Gerodias, Cartier,
   Revers, de Lattre de Tassigny, Fornel de la Laurencie,
   Robert de Saint-Vincent, Laure, Doyen, Pisquendar,
   Mittelhauser, Paquin; Generals of the Air Force,
   Bouscat, Carayon, de Greffrier, d'Harcourt, Mouchard,
   Mendigal, Rozoy; Colonels Loriot and Fonck."

I continue on Page 2:

    "It affects generals whose names have a propaganda
    value in France and in foreign countries, or whose
    attitude or abilities represent a danger."

I pass over paragraph two.

    "Moreover, we have chosen from the index of officers of
    the 'Arbeitsstab' in France, about 120 officers who
    have distinguished themselves by their anti-German
    attitude during the last two years. The SD has also
    made a list of about 130 officers who have previously
    been under suspicion. After the compilation of these
    two lists, the arrest of these officers is to be
    arranged at a later date, depending on the situation."

The sixth paragraph at the bottom of the page:

    "In the case of all officers of the French Army at the
    time of the Armistice, the Chief of the Security
    Police, in collaboration with the Supreme Commander of
    the West, will fix the same day for the whole
    territory, for a check by the police of their domiciles
    and of occupation."

Page 3, paragraphs 7 and 8:

    "As a measure of reprisal, families of suspected
    persons having already shown themselves recalcitrant,
    or who might become such in the future, will be
    transferred as internees to Germany or to the territory
    of Eastern
    
                                                  [Page 146]
    
    France. For these the question of billeting and
    supervision must first of all be solved. Afterwards we
    can contemplate, as a later measure, the withdrawal of
    their French nationality and the confiscation of
    property, already carried out in other cases by Laval."

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