The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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[SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE, Continued]

"It was a matter of course that the German offices in
Hungary did everything possible after 19th March to
eliminate the Jewish element as rapidly and as completely as
was at all possible. In view of the proximity of the Russian
front, they commenced with the cleaning up of the
northeastern area, where the Jewish element was the
strongest numerically. Then the Jews were collected in the
remaining Hungarian provinces and transported to Germany or
German-controlled territories ... 100,000 Jews remained in
the hands of the Hungarians to be employed in labour
battalions. By the appointed day, the 9th July, the
Hungarian provinces were without any Jews. Here remarkable
consistency and severity were used in the shortest possible
time."

                                                  [Page 254]

We do not know who received copies of that paper but we do
know that Donitz contributed and that Gauleiter Kaufmann
"might have received it." Moreover, it appears from what has
been written on the copy we possess that that copy found its
way to the NSDAP in the village of Hochen near Aachen.
Donitz must have known what it contained; so must every
other high-ranking Nazi official. Did Kaufmann and all his
fellow Gauleiter know nothing of this hideous policy that
their Nazi Government were pursuing? They say so, but they
lie. Will you look at Document 49 of the document book which
has been submitted in defence of the Corps of Political
Leaders. It is a confidential information bulletin issued by
the Nazi Party from the Party Chancellery on 9th October,
1942. It deals with the preparatory measures for the final
solution of the Jewish question in Europe, and rumours
concerning the conditions of the Jews in the East. It is a
document which bears in the margin the remark "Open only for
G and K," which may mean for Gau and Kreis. But it shows
beyond all question that knowledge of these things went far
below Kreis. Listen to what it says:

  "While the final solution of the Jewish question is being
  worked out, discussions are going on among the population
  of various parts of the Reich territory concerning 'very
  severe measures' against the Jews, particularly those in
  the Eastern territories. Investigations have shown that
  such statements - mostly in distorted or exaggerated form
  - were passed on by men on leave from various units
  employed in the East who personally had the opportunity to
  observe such measures."

You may think after what you have heard that it was not
possible to exaggerate the "very severe measures" which the
soldiers on leave from the East were discussing - and must
have been discussing ever since September, 1941, in every
village and homestead throughout Germany. But even if they
were exaggerated, they are not denied. The article, which is
appended as a footnote [LINK-BORMANN] makes five main
points:

                                                  [Page 255]

  (a) The measures carried out up to that date, namely,
  elimination of Jews from the various walks of life of the
  German people, and expelling the Jews completely from
  Reich territory were no longer possible by emigration.
  
  (b) The next generation will no longer consider this
  question as so vital. Therefore the problem must be served
  by this generation.
  
  (c) The complete segregation and elimination of the
  millions of Jews residing in the European economic sphere
  remains a compelling necessity of the German peoples'
  struggle for existence.
  
  (d) Starting with the Reich territory and then going over
  to the other European countries included in the final
  solution the Jews will, according to a steady plan, be
  shipped to the East into large camps ... from where they
  will be either used for labour or sent still further to
  the East.
  
  (e) These very difficult problems will only be solved with
  ruthless severity.

If they still deny knowledge of the real fate that awaited
these Jews, not one of these defendants, not one of the
witnesses who have given evidence before you or before your
Commissioners, not one of the members of these organizations
can deny knowledge of their deportation. And what could they
have thought of the meaning of the phrase:

  "Their complete elimination is no longer possible by
  emigration"?

On the mildest interpretation, this treatment of Jews in
occupied territory is a war crime. The Leadership Corps is
being mobilised to ensure that public opinion will not only
condone, but support and encourage this war crime. If there
were nothing else, this would stamp it as criminal.

POLITICAL LEADERS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

In the occupied territories the Corps of Political Leaders
were as responsible as any others for the crimes committed
against the local population. Frick, on 16th December, 1941,
in giving Rainer his instructions on his appointment as
Gauleiter of Carinthia, urged him in the strongest terms to
Germanize the Slovenes in the incorporated territory and
eradicate the Slovenic language. {LINK-SLOVENE} We strongly
contest the suggestion of Dr. Servatius that it was
admissible to Germanize former German nations. The claim to
Germanize any Slav who was held in the old Empire has only
to be stated for its preposterous character to be seen.

Gauleiter by themselves could not execute such orders. Their
subordinates had to play their part. You will remember the
instructions of 30th April, 1942, issued by the Kreisleiter
in Pettau to all Ortsgruppenleiter, for the removal of all
Slovenian inscriptions from all religious and other sites.
{LINK-SLOVENE2}

We know that the business discussed at the Gauleiter's Staff
Conferences at Marburg included the transfer to Serbia of
two thousand persons, the placing of hundreds in
concentration camps, and retaliatory shootings. In June of
1942, when the subject was the evacuation of the prison of
Cilli, it is stated that the

                                                  [Page 256]

prisoners were to be transferred or shot to create the
necessary space for a large-scale operation. On 13th July
half of the four hundred arrested are to be rendered
harmless through delivery to a concentration camp or
shooting. A similar incident, including this time the
shooting of a priest, is told in the minutes for March.{LINK-
MINUTES}

In Poland, too, the Political Leaders are co-operating in
the appalling treatment of the local people. A letter from
the Reich Security H.Q. in November, 1942, to the directors
of the SD sections informs them of the iniquitous agreement
between Himmler and Thierack by which a trial is to be
denied to Poles, Eastern nationals, Jews and gipsies. It is
based on the impudent theory that they are inferior people
living in the German Reich territory. What is interesting in
this argument is that there is to be no hesitation in
informing the Gauleiter. What possible need could there be
to inform the latter unless it was that his assistance and
co-operation might be required? {LINK-AGREEMENT}


SLAVE LABOUR

I pass to consider the evidence in connection with slave
labour which shows perhaps more clearly than the evidence we
have in respect of any other particular crime, how deeply
every branch of the Corps of Political Leaders was involved.
Every witness that has been called by the defence has denied
all knowledge of or participation in the maltreatment of
foreign labourers, but what is such evidence worth when you
consider the documents which have been presented? The
treatment of Polish agricultural workers, for whose care the
Bauernfuehrer on staffs of the Gau-, Kreis- and
Ortsgruppenleiter were particularly responsible, can be seen
from the instructions issued to the Kreisbauernschaften in
Karlsruhe in March, 1941. They were instructions which were
issued as a result of negotiations between the State Peasant
Association of Baden and the Higher SS and Police Officer in
Stuttgart, and they were received with "great satisfaction."
The Polish labourer was no longer to have any right to
complain. He was prohibited transport, entertainment and
religious worship; he was forbidden to change his
employment; there were to be no time limits to his working
hours:

  "Every employer has the right to award corporal punishment
  to farm workers of Polish nationality .... The employer
  may not be held accountable in any such case by an
  official agency. Farm workers of Polish nationality
  should, if possible, be removed from the community of the
  home and they can be quartered in stables, etc. No remorse
  whatever should restrict such action."

                                                  [Page 257]

Can it really be possible that instructions of that nature
were issued in Karlsruhe and nowhere else? Is it possible
that while the Poles in Baden were being treated like
animals, in the next-door Gau they were being accepted as
members of the family? This is the evidence of the witness
Mohr called on behalf of the Bauernfuehrer before the
Commission:

  "In practically all cases, I think with very few
  exceptions, the foreign labourer was accepted in the
  farmer's family unit. He ate with the family and moved
  around in the circle of the farmer's family."

In the industrial areas the responsibility for the care of
foreign workers was in the hands of the DAF Political
Leaders. Sauckel had decreed m March, 1942:

  "The food supply for the industrial workers in transit
  within the Reich is the duty of the DAF .... The care for
  the foreign workers employed in the Reich will be carried
  out ... by the DAF in the case of non-farm labourers ....
  All camps with foreign non-agrarian workers, regardless of
  who furnishes or maintains the camps, will be cared for by
  the DAF .... In the German Gaue, the Gauleiter will have
  the rights of inspection and control of the execution of
  these orders."

It is unnecessary to remind you of the appalling conditions
in which the workers of Essen barely existed. Once again I
ask: is it possible that the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter,
Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellen- and Blockleiter and the Political
Leaders of the DAF in Essen were unaware of these
conditions, when the hutments in which the workers lived and
the punishment cells in which they were confined and
tortured are situated, as the photographs show, in the very
grounds of the Krupp foundries and workshops; with the works
railway running within a few feet of their doors; and with
the Krupp cranes stretching almost above their roofs?

It is said that if indeed any such conditions did exist in
Essen, they were exceptional, and due only to the chaos
caused by Allied bombing. But it is not so. Before the
bombing of Essen had started, the Office Chief of Krupps
Locomotive Construction Works was complaining that:

  "the people came in the morning without bread and tools.
  During both breaks the prisoners of war crept up to the
  German workers and begged for bread, pitifully pointing
  out their hunger."

He went to the kitchens to try to find them food:

  "Since a few Russians had collapsed already, I telephoned
  Fraulein Block and asked for an increase in the food as
  the special ration had ceased from the second day onwards.
  As my telephone conversation was unsuccessful, I again
  visited Fraulein Block personally. Fraulein Block refused
  in a very abrupt manner to give any further special
  ration."

Fraulein Block did not let the matter rest there. She
reported it to the DAF who requested the Krupps Office Chief
to go and see them.

The DAF representative:

  "accused me, gesticulating in a very insulting manner,
  saying that I had taken the part of the Bolsheviks in too
  apparent a way. He referred to the law paragraphs of the
  Reich Government which spoke against it .... I then tried
  to make it clear with special emphasis that the Russian
  prisoners of war were assigned to us as workers and not as
  Bolsheviks. The people were starved and were not in a
  position to perform the heavy work in boiler making which
  they were supposed to do. Sick people are a liability to
  us and not a help to production. To this remark Herr Prior
  stated that if one was worth nothing, then another was,
  that the Bolsheviks were soulless people and if 100,000 of
  them died another 100,000 would replace them."

Nor can it be true that these conditions and this treatment
were confined only to Essen. In March, 1943, Goebbels found
it necessary to hold a conference on the question of
increasing production. The minutes of that conference
report:

  "The hitherto prevailing treatment of the Eastern workers
  has led not only to diminished production but has most
  disadvantageously influenced the

                                                  [Page 258]

  political orientation of the people in conquered Eastern
  territories, and has resulted in the well-known
  difficulties for our troops .... The treatment of
  foreigners which, until now, was markedly different for
  subjects of Western and Eastern countries, will be put on
  a uniform basis as much as possible, in particular the
  living standards of the Eastern workers will be raised."

We see from those minutes the attitude of the Party
Chancellery - the Party Chancellery from which the Corps of
Political Leaders received their orders. Its representative
"pointed out the controversies which are already appearing
and which would result for the German population if more
freedom were granted for the foreigners."

But the need for increased war production was all important,
and - notwithstanding the fears his representative had
expressed at the meeting in March - on the 5th May, 1943,
Bormann issued from the Party Chancellery a memorandum to
all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, Verbandefuehrer, Kreisleiter
and Ortsgruppenleiter. They were instructed that the
treatment of foreign labourers should become more humane
although at the same time it was "demanded by members of the
German race that they observe the difference between
themselves and foreign nationals as a patriotic duty ....
Injustices, insults, trickery, maltreatment, etc., must be
discontinued. Punishment by beating is forbidden."

Does not that document illustrate the utter lie that every
one of these witnesses for the defence has told? Does it not
show more clearly perhaps than any other document the savage
brutality with which the Political Leaders of the National
Socialist Party were encouraging the people of Germany? Is
it not almost beyond our comprehension that in these days of
enlightenment in a great and civilized country, orders
should have been necessary from the Government to its
Political Leaders to discontinue the maltreatment of men and
women that they had deported into slavery? Is it not
inconceivable that it should have been necessary to forbid
their Political Leaders and their employers to beat the men
and women working for them?

Lastly, upon this aspect of the case, you will remember the
instructions issued by the Gaustabsamtsleiter from
Strasbourg in the Gau Baden-Alsace. Foreign woman workers
induced to sexual intercourse by Germans were to be taken
temporarily into protective custody and then sent to another
place of work.

  "In other cases the foreign female worker will be sent to
  a concentration camp for women."

Their children, if they were racially satisfactory and
hereditarily healthy, were to be seized from them
immediately after birth to "go to homes for foreign children
to be looked after by the National Socialist Welfare
organization."

The provisions of that order do little more than add a
detail to the evidence we already have of the callous
brutality which was prescribed by the Party for the
treatment of foreign workers. But it is an important
document because it shows how many branches of the Political
Leaders were involved in this trafficking in slaves.
Kreisleiter and the Kreisobmann of the German Labour Front
were to report cases of pregnancy. In fact, as one might
expect, it was the Ortsgruppenleiter that made the necessary
enquiries. As well as the DAF and NSV, the order was
circulated to the Gau Propaganda Leiter, the Gau Press
Leiter, the Gauamtsleiter for Racial Policy, for National
Health, for Peasantry, for National Welfare, for Questions
of Race, the Gau Political Leader of the National Socialist
Women's Organization and to similar staff officers on the
Kreisleiter's staff. It is perhaps worth noting the action -
or as it might more accurately be described, the lack of
action - which the National Socialist Welfare Organization
took:

  "As far as I can find out up to now," reports the
  Kreisleiter of Villigen, "there have been about 21
  pregnancies, of these four abortions are said to have been
  carried out, during which two of the women died. Of the
  remaining 17 births, five were stillborn. Welfare work by
  the NSV has not take place anywhere."

                                                  [Page 259]

You see once again the Corps of Political Leaders working
hand in hand with the Security Police and the SD and the
Reich Commissar for the Consolidation of the German Race,
another institution over which Himmler reigned supreme.

On this subject it would almost be enough to say: It is
admitted by Dr. Servatius that the Political Leaders knew
that the majority of the workers were forced. It is
submitted that they supervised the condition of that labour.
Thereafter res ipsa loquitur.

EUTHANASIA

The Attorney-General has already addressed you upon the vast
scale on which the murder of sick and aged persons was
carried out. That "action" commenced some time in the summer
of 1940, but long before then, in pursuance of their racial
policy, the Nazi Government were taking steps to improve the
German race. One document we have, dated January, 1937, is
illuminating upon the part the Political Leaders were
expected to take. It is a letter from the Gauleiter of
Westfalen South setting out Hess's decree of 14th January,
1937:

  "The question whether the person is an imbecile cannot be
  ascertained solely by carrying out an intelligence test,
  but requires detailed evaluation of the whole personality
  of the human being. This review shall not only take into
  consideration the knowledge and intellectual abilities of
  the imbecile but also his ethical, moral and political
  attitude. A number of civil service doctors have, up to
  date, attached little importance to the reviewing of the
  personality as a whole. They have, up to now, hardly ever
  called for or used information regarding the political
  conduct of the supposed patient. Now that the Party, by
  virtue of the decree of the Reich and Prussian Minister of
  the Interior, is consulted in the proceedings on matters
  of hereditary diseases against Party members, it is the
  task of all Gauleiter to ascertain that the law regarding
  hereditary health will in fact be used in the sense in
  which it was designed .... He must investigate whether the
  person about to be sterilized has achieved very
  outstanding merits for the National Socialist movement. If
  the Gauleiter reaches this conviction and feels that he
  must use his influence to prevent the sterilization, he
  will report to this department."


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