The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The Ministry of Education was created on 1st May, 1934. Its
function was to educate youth in the spirit of militarism
and racial hatred, and in conceptions of reality as
distorted by the delirium of Fascism.

Similar tasks were allotted to the Reich Youth Leader and to
the organizations which were subordinate to him.

The principles of personal inviolability, of the freedom of
the Press and of speech were abolished.

Also abolished were the free trade unions. Their property
was confiscated, and the majority of their leaders jailed.

In order to suppress by terror every kind of resistance, the
Government founded the Gestapo and the concentration camps.
Hundreds of thousands were arrested and murdered without any
trial or concrete evidence, merely on the suspicion of
having anti-Fascist tendencies.

The defence has attempted to prove that members of the
Government did not participate in the promulgation of the
shameful Nuremberg Laws nor in the racial discrimination
against the Jews. Meanwhile the Nuremberg Laws included
special instructions to two members of the Government of the
Reich - namely, Hess and Frick - to elaborate and promulgate
additional decrees implementing these laws. And such decrees
were elaborated and promulgated by Hess and Frick.

This same Frick, together with Funk, and acting on Goering's
instructions, issued on 3rd December, 1938, a decree
concerning "the liquidation of Jewish property" as well as a
series of other decrees.

In any other State the Government is usually fully
responsible for all the laws promulgated during the period
when this particular government is in power.

The Tribunal had the opportunity of analyzing in detail all
the activities of the Hitlerite Government in connection
with the preparation and the initiation of aggression. It is
not necessary for me to mention once again the invasion of
Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939, the attacks on
Poland, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Numerous documents
submitted to the Tribunal confirm the fact that the
Hitlerite Government did everything possible to retain the
invaded territories of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
Yugoslavia, Norway, Holland, Belgium and other countries, as
well as parts of the territories of the USSR. It was only
the powerful blows administered by the Red Army and the
armies of the Allies that prevented the Fascist conspirators
from realizing their predatory plans.

The activities of the Hitlerite Government resulted in the
war which cost millions of human lives and caused
inestimable losses and immeasurable suffering to many other
nations.

The Hitlerite Government is also responsible for all the War
Crimes and the Crimes Against Humanity committed by the
German troops and the German authorities during the war. The
great mass of evidence submitted to the Tribunal clearly
proved that Hitlerite Germany had prepared itself for
conducting a war by ruthless measures and in complete
contempt of the laws and customs of war.

The War Crimes and the Crimes Against Humanity were
committed not only against the armed forces of the peace-
loving nations united against the Fascist aggressor, but
also against the completely innocent civilian population.
Long before the treacherous aggression against the Soviet
Union had taken place, the Government of Hitlerite Germany
carefully laid plans for the monstrous extermination of the
most educated sections of the Soviet people.

The reports published by the Extraordinary Commission on the
German Fascist atrocities in Novgorod, Stavropol, Orel,
Stalino, Smolensk, Kiev and other towns has proved the
existence of a carefully planned and intentional programme
of mass extermination conducted by the German invaders
against Soviet prisoners of war and Soviet civilians.

                                                  [Page 376]

The defendants, members of the Hitlerite Government, have
all hypocritically alleged that never, until the present
Trial, had they heard of the monstrous atrocities of the
Hitlerites in the concentration camps, of the savage club-
law of the SS, or of the lawless behaviour of the German
authorities in the temporarily occupied territories. Those
claims are thoroughly false.

Every German to a certain extent knew something of these
facts. The radio stations of the whole world had broadcast
them.

The revolting atrocities committed by the German authorities
against Soviet prisoners of war and peaceful Soviet citizens
were brought to the attention of the whole world in the
official Notes of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs
of the USSR, V. M. Molotov, 25th November, 1941, and 27th
April, 1942, respectively, and in spite of the fact that the
violation of the most elementary principles of International
Law and of human morality, committed by the German Army and
the German authorities, were made known to the Government of
the Reich by the above-mentioned documents, this criminal
violation of the laws and customs of war persisted also from
1943 to 1945. It is therefore clear that all these crimes
were committed with the full knowledge and on the direct
instructions of the Hitlerite Government.

Did Rosenberg not receive an official note from Lammers,
mentioning that the convention of Geneva was not valid for
Soviet prisoners of war?

Was not a circular of the Party Chancellery, signed by the
defendant Bormann and including instructions for the cruel
treatment and insults to be reserved for the Soviet
prisoners of war, distributed to the ministers?

Were the Ministry of the Interior, the Reich Security Main
Office, the Gestapo, the prisons and the concentration
camps, not organizations of the German Government?

The Government must bear in full the responsibility for the
atrocities committed by these Fascist Government
organizations.

The members of Hitler's Government tried, by every possible
device, to separate themselves from the men of the SS, but,
once exposed, they each time invented a new version - more
mendacious than the previous one.

Rosenberg, Neurath, Frick, Ribbentrop and other ministers
were generals of the SS, and that this was no mere formality
can be seen from the letter of the defendant Ribbentrop to
Himmler, dated 22nd July, 1940, which has been presented to
the Tribunal by the Soviet prosecution.

Minister Rosenberg tried to make the Tribunal believe that
he did not know anything about the savage orders of Minister
Himmler.

Actually it was Himmler who, on 7th September, 1943,
enjoined the Fuehrer of the SS and SD to carry out, jointly
with the military command, the complete' destruction of the
areas in the Ukraine, and he proposed that:
    
  "Not a human being, not a single head of cattle, not a
  hundredweight of grain and not a railway line remain
  behind; that not a house remain standing, not a mine is
  available which is not destroyed for years to come, that
  there is not a well which is not poisoned,"

and recommended that special care be taken to inform the
Reich Minister of the Occupied Territories in the East,
Rosenberg, of this order.

On 8th March, 1940, Minister Goering sent to the "highest
authorities of the Reich" a criminal directive concerning
"the treatment of civilian workers of Polish nationality in
the Reich."

Minister Frank, as he repeatedly mentioned in his diary,
received instructions from Goering to send hundreds of
thousands of Poles for slavery to Germany, and to use all
possible means in the process.

Ministers Speer, Rosenberg, Keitel, Funk, Seyss-Inquart and
others have been exposed during the trial as having issued
directives and prepared measures for utilizing the forced
labour of prisoners of war and peaceful inhabitants of the
territories seized by the Germans.

                                                  [Page 377]

It was no other than Minister Rosenberg who approved the
measure of Army Group Centre for the seizure on Soviet
territory of 40,000 to 50,000 children between the ages of
10 and 14, and their transfer to Germany.

Do these examples not testify to the crimes committed by
Hitler's Government?

It is established by documentary evidence that the carefully
organized plunder of the territories seized by the Germans
was carried out in conformity with official directives and
instructions of the Hitlerite Government and of its
individual members. The directive of Minister Goering
concerning the organized plunder of the occupied Soviet
territories (the so-called "Goering Green File"), the
activities of the looting "Einsatzstab" and "special purpose
units," the activities of Ministers Rosenberg and Ribbentrop
concerning the plunder of cultural treasures and monuments,
as well as the activities of Ministers Funk and Speer, is
all this not sufficient to conclude the participation of
Hitler's Government in the plunder of the territories
occupied by the Germans?

The Government of the German Reich is responsible,
therefore, for the plunder of the State, public and private
property, and for the destruction and looting of cultural
treasures in the temporarily occupied territories. In the
USSR alone the material damage caused by the occupational
forces amount to 679 billion roubles.
   
The members of the Reich Government are responsible for the
compulsory Germanisation of areas seized by the Germans. It
was the Reich Ministers Goering, Frick, Hess and Lammers who
signed the directive incorporating the four Western
provinces of Poland into the body of Germany.

It was none other than Minister Frick who, in his
instruction to Gauleiter Rainer, stated:
      
  " ... Your principal task will be to incorporate into the
  German Reich the entire new areas of Corinthia and
  Carniola .... Because without the setting up of a 'German
  wall' any administrative construction, good as it may be,
  will sooner or later collapse .... Your task, comrade
  Rainer, is to make this district entirely German .... "

In order to gain a correct impression of this government of
bandits it is sufficient to recall the agreement between
Ministers Ribbentrop and Himmler concerning the organization
of intelligence services abroad; the Himmler-Bormann
agreement with the Minister of Justice, von Schirach, of
18th September, 1942, which put into practice special large-
scale police measures for the extermination of Jews,
gipsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and Czechs on the
pretext that they constituted anti-social elements; the
letter of Minister Lammers of 4th June, 1944, addressed to
Minister von Schirach regarding the non-prosecution of the
murderers of Allied airmen who had been shot down; the
letter of Minister Keitel to the Minister for Foreign
Affairs concerning the treatment to be meted out to Allied
airmen.

On 4th February, 1938, Hitler formed a Secret Cabinet
Council, indicating its purpose in the following words: "I
am establishing this Secret Council to help me in questions
of foreign policy."

Hitler appointed Neurath chairman of this Secret Council and
Ribbentrop, Goering, Hess, Goebbels, Lammers, Brauchitsch,
Raeder and Keitel as members.

On 21st May, 1935, Hitler created the Reich Defence Council.

On 30th August, 1939, Hitler reorganized the Reich Defence
Council into a Council of Ministers for the Defence of the
German Reich. He appointed Minister Goering chairman of this
Council, and Ministers Hess, Frick, Funk, Keitel and Lammers
as members.

At a meeting of 23rd June, 1939, the chairman of this
Council, Goering, emphasized that "the Reich Defence Council
is the deciding organization in the Reich on questions
connected with the preparation for war," and that "the Reich
Defence Council will convene for the adoption of all the
most important decisions."

                                                  [Page 378]

It was not the defence but the aggression, the preparation
for aggressive warfare, which constituted the tasks of this
Council.

Not only its members participated in the preparation for war
but all the other ministers as well.

Thus, at the meeting of the Council on 23rd June, 1939,
Ministers Schwerin von Krossigk, Dorpmuller and others were
present together with Goering, Funk, Frick, Himmler, Keitel
and Lammers.

On this occasion they planned not only the utilization in
the war industry of prisoners of war and of the population
of the occupied territories but the utilization of civil
internees, and they even discussed the number of internees
to be confined in war time.

It is stated in the minutes of this meeting that: "the
General Plenipotentiary for Economy (i.e., Funk) has to
define the task which is to be executed by the prisoners of
war as well as by the persons confined in prisons,
concentration camps, or condemned to hard labour. According
to information from the Reichsfuehrer SS, there will be a
great number of people in the concentration camps during the
war. According to preliminary data 20,000 prisoners will be
employed in the concentration camp workshops."

The subjects recorded at this meeting also included
directives of 3rd May, 1939, on the collaboration of the OKW
with the General Plenipotentiary for Economy during the
preparation of military enterprises for war. Plans for total
warfare were likewise discussed, and in conclusion special
reports were read from Colonel Gerke, Chief of Section V of
the General Staff, and from Minister of Transport.
Dorpmuller.

Were all the members of the Reich Government informed of
these decisions? Definitely yes, and this is evident if only
from the list of addresses to which the minutes of the
meeting of 23rd June, 1939, were sent. The minutes of the
meeting of the Reich Defence Council were sent to the Deputy
Fuehrer, to the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, to the
Chairman of the Secret Council of Ministers, to the
Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan, and to the Ministers
of Foreign Affairs Justice, the Interior, Education,
Economy, Church and Religion, Food and Agriculture, Labour,
Finance, Transport, Postal Services, etc., President of the
Reichsbank, etc.

The very fact that most of the members of the Reich
Government are defendants in the present Trial says much for
the nature of the organization in question.

I consider that the guilt of the German Hitlerite Government
for the very grievous crimes mentioned has been fully
proven, and that the Reich Cabinet, should therefore be
declared a criminal organization.

Your Honours, in order to carry out their preconceived
crimes, the ringleader of the Fascist conspiracy created
that system of criminal organizations to which my statement
has applied.

Today, those who had made world domination and genocide
their aim awaiting with trepidation the coming verdict of
the Tribunal.

This verdict should strike not only at the defendants in the
dock - the authority of the bloody Nazi "ideas," the chief
organizers of the crimes of Hitlerism - but should condemn
the entire criminal system of German Fascism, that
complicated and widespread network of Party, Government, SS,
and military organizations, which directly brought into
being the infamous designs of the chief conspirators.

Mankind has already pronounced its verdict on German Nazism
on the battlefield.

In the fire of the greatest battles known to the history of
mankind, battles fought by the heroic Red Army and the
valiant armies of the Allied forces, not only were the
hordes of the Hitlerites destroyed but the sublime and noble
principles of international co-operation, the morality of
mankind and the humane rules of social communal life were
confirmed at one and the same time.

                                                  [Page 379]

The prosecution has accomplished its duty towards the
Supreme Tribunal, towards the sacred memory of the innocent
victims, towards the conscience of the nations, as well as
towards its own.

May the judgment of the nations - just and severe - descend
upon all the Nazi henchmen.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn until 10.00 o'clock
tomorrow morning.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 31st August, 1946, at 10.00
hours.)


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