The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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In addition to the Reichsleiter the Party Directorate
included about 11 Hauptaemter, or main offices, and about
four Aemter, or offices. As set forth in the exhibit, the
Hauptaemter of the Party included such main organisations as
those for personnel, training, technology (headed by the
defendant Speer), folkdom (headed by Himmler), civil
servants, communal policy, and the like. The Aemter or
offices, of the Party within the Reichsleitung included the
Office for Foreign Policy under the defendant Rosenberg
which, the evidence will show, actively participated in
plans for the launching of the war of aggression against
Norway, the Office for Colonial Policy, the Office for
Genealogy, and the Office of Racial Policy.

As will be shown by the chart of the Leadership Corps in the
folder which your Honour has, certain of the main offices
and offices within the Reichsleitung would appear again
within the Gauleitung, or Gau Party Directorate, and the
Kreisleitung, or Party County Directorate. It is thus shown
that the Reichsleiter and the main office and office holders
within the Reichsleitung exercised through functional
channels, through the subordinate offices on lower regional
levels, a total control over the various sectors of the
national life of Germany.

I shall next take up the Gauleiter. As will be seen from
this organisational chart of the Nazi Party now before the
Tribunal as Exhibit USA 2, for Party purposes Germany was
divided into major administrative regions, Gaue, which in
turn were sub-divided into Kreise (counties), Ortsgruppen
(local chapters), Zellen (cells), and in Blocks (blocks). A
Gauleiter who was the political leader of the Gau or
district was in charge of each Gau. Each Gauleiter was
appointed by and was directly responsible to Hitler. I quote
from Page 18 of this same Document 1893-PS, the Organisation
Book of the N.S.D.A.P.:--

     "The Gau represents the concentration of a number of
     Party counties or Kreise. The Gauleiter is directly
     subordinate to the Fuehrer.
     The Gauleiter bears overall responsibility to the
     Fuehrer for the sector of sovereignty entrusted to him.
     The rights, duties, and jurisdiction of the Gauleiter
     result primarily from the mission assigned by the
     Fuehrer, and apart from that, from detailed

The responsibility and function of the Gauleiter and his
staff officers or office holders were essentially a
political one, namely, to insure the authority of the Nazi
Party within his area, to co-ordinate the activities of the
Party and all its affiliated and supervised organisations,
and to enlarge the influence of the Party over the people
and life in his Gau generally. Following the outbreak of the
war, when it became imperative to co-ordinate the various
phases of the German war effort, the Gauleiter were given
additional important responsibilities. The Ministerial
Council for the Defence of the Reich, which was a sort of
general staff for civilian defence, and the mobilisation of
the German war economy, by a decree of 1st September, 1939
(1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1565), appointed about
16 Gauleiter as Reich Defence Commissars, concerning which I
ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice. Later, under the
impact of mounting military reverses, and an increasingly
strained war economy, more and more important administrative
functions were put on a Gau basis. The Party Gaue became the
basic defence areas of the Reich, and each Gauleiter became
a Reich Defence

                                                   [Page 20]
Commissar by a decree of the Ministerial Council for the
Defence of the Reich of 16th November, 1942 (1942
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 649), of which I ask the
Tribunal to take judicial notice. In the course of the war
additional functions were entrusted to the Gauleiter, so
that at the end, with the exception of certain special
matters, such as police affairs, almost all phases of the
German war economy were co-ordinated and supervised by them.
For instance, regional authority over price control was put
under the Gauleiter as Reich Defence Commissars and housing
administration was placed under the Gauleiter as Gau Housing
Commissars. Toward the end of the war the Gauleiter were
charged even with the military and quasi-military tasks.
They were made commanders of the Volkssturm in their areas,
and were entrusted with such important functions as the
evacuation of civilian population in the path of the
advancing Allied armies as well as measures for the
destruction of vital installations.

The structure and organisation of the Party Gaue were
substantially repeated in the lower levels of the Reich
Party organisation such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, Zellen,
and Blocks. Each of these was headed by a political leader
who, subject to the Fuehrer principle, and the orders of
superior political leaders, was a sovereign within his
sphere. The Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party was in effect
a "hierarchy of descending Caesars." Each of the subordinate
Party levels, such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and so on,
was organised into offices, or Aemter, dealing with the
various specialised functions of the Party. But the number
of such departments and offices diminished as the Party unit
dropped in the hierarchy, so that, while the Kreis office
contained all, or almost all of the offices in the Gau (such
as the deputy, the staff office leader, an organisation
leader, school-leader, propaganda leader, Press office
leader, treasurer, judge of the Party Court, inspector, and
the like), the Ortsgruppe had less, and the Zellen and
Blocks still less.

The Kreisleiter (or county leader):

The Kreisleiter was appointed and dismissed by Hitler upon
the nomination of the Gauleiter and directly subordinate to
the Gauleiter in the Party hierarchy. The Kreis usually
consisted of a single county. The Kreisleiter within the
Kreis, had in general the same position, powers, and
prerogatives granted the Gauleiter in the Gau. In cities
they constituted the very core of Party power and
organisation. I quote again from Page 17 of Document 1893-
PS, Page 17 the English translation:--

     "The Kreisleiter carries overall responsibility towards
     the Gauleiter within his zone of sovereignty for the
     political and ideological training and organisation of
     the Political Leaders, the Party members, as well as
     the population".

The Ortsgruppenleiter was the local chapter leader. The area
of the Ortsgruppenleiter was comprised of one or more
communes, or, in a town, a certain district. The Ortsgruppe
was composed of a combination of blocks and cells according
to local circumstances, and contained up to 1,500
households. The Ortsgruppenleiter also had a staff of office
leaders to assist him in the various functional activities
of the Party. All other political leaders in his area of
responsibility were subordinate to and under the direction
of the Ortsgruppenleiter. For example, the leaders of the
various affiliated organisations of the Party, within his
area, such as the German Labor Front and the Nazi
organisations for lawyers, students, and civil servants,
were all subordinate to the Ortsgruppenleiter. In accordance
with the

                                                   [Page 21]
Fuehrerprinzip, the Ortsgruppenleiter, or Local Chapter
Leaders, were appointed by the Gauleiter, and were directly
under and subordinate to the Kreisleiter.

The Party manual provides as follows with reference to the
Ortsgruppenleiter, and I quote from Pages 16 and 17 of
Document 1893-PS:--

     "As Hoheitstraeger (Bearer of Sovereignty) he is
     responsible for all expressions of the Party will; he
     is responsible for the political and ideological
     leadership and organisation within his zone of
     The Ortsgruppenleiter carries the overall
     responsibility for the political results of all
     measures initiated by the offices, organisations, and
     affiliated association of the Party.
     The Ortsgruppenleiter has the right to protest to the
     Kreisleiter against any measures contrary to the
     interests of the Party with regard to a united
     political appearance in public."
The Zellenleiter:

The Zellenleiter was responsible for from four to eight
blocks. He was the immediate superior of, and had control
and supervision over, the Blockleiter. His mission and
duties, according to the Party manual, corresponded to the
missions of the Blockleiter. I quote from the last paragraph
of Page 15, just one line of that same document: "The
missions of the cell-leader correspond to the missions of
the block-leader."

The Blockleiter:

The Blockleiter was the one Party official who was
peculiarly in a position to have continuous contact with the
German people. The block was the lowest unit in the Party
pyramidal organisation. The block of the Party comprised 40
to 60 households and was regarded by the Party as the focal
point upon which to press the weight of its propaganda. I
quote from Pages 13 and 14 of this same document:--

     "The household is the basic community upon which the
     block and cell system is built. The household is the
     organisational focal point of all Germans living in an
     apartment, and includes boarders, domestic help, etc.
     The Blockleiter has jurisdiction over all matters
     within his zone relating to the Movement, and is fully
     responsible to the Zellenleiter."

The Blockleiter, as in the case of other political leaders,
was charged with planning, disseminating, and developing a
receptivity to the policies of the Nazi Party among the
population in his area of responsibility. It was also the
expressed duty of the Blockleiter to spy on the population.
I quote from Pages 14 and 15 of this same document:--

     "It is the duty of the Blockleiter to find people
     disseminating damaging rumours and to report them to
     the Ortsgruppe, so that they may be reported to the
     respective State authorities.
     The Blockleiter must not only be a preacher and
     defender of the National Socialist ideology towards the
     member of the Nation and Party entrusted to his
     political care, but he must also strive to achieve
     practical collaboration of the Party members within his
     block zone.
     The Blockleiter shall continuously remind the Party
     members of their particular duties towards the people
     and the state. The Blockleiter keeps a list (card file)
     about the households. In principle, the Blockleiter
     will settle his official business verbally, and he will
     receive messages verbally, and pass them on in the same
     way. Correspondence will only
                                                   [Page 22]
     be used in cases of absolute necessity. The Blockleiter
     conducts National Socialist propaganda from mouth to
     mouth. He will eventually awaken the understanding of
     the eternally dissatisfied as regards the frequently
     misunderstood or wrongly interpreted measures and laws
     of the National Socialist Government. It is not
     necessary for him to fall in with complaints and gripes
     about possibly obvious shortcomings of any kind in
     order to demonstrate solidarity. A condition to gain
     the confidence of all people is to maintain absolute
     secrecy in all matters."

It will be shown that there were in Germany nearly half a
million Blockleiter. Large though this figure may appear,
there can be no doubt that these officials were in and of
the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party. Though they stood at
the broad base of the Party Pyramid rather than at its
summit, where rested the Reichsleiter, by virtue of this
fact, they were stationed at close intervals throughout the
German civil population.

THE PRESIDENT: I think, Colonel Storey, it would be an
assistance to the Tribunal if you could tell us, that is, at
some time convenient to yourself, approximately how many
there were of each of these ranks in the corps.

COLONEL STOREY: If Your Honour please, that is the next


COLONEL STOREY: It may be doubted that the average German
ever looked upon the face of Heinrich Himmler. But the man
in the street in Nazi Germany could not have avoided an
uneasy acquaintance with the Blockleiter in his own
neighborhood. As it is the "cop on the beat" rather than the
Chief Magistrate of the nation who symbolises law
enforcement to the average man and woman, so it was the
Blockleiter who represented to the people of Germany the
Police State of Hitler's Germany. In fact, as may be
inferred from the evidence, the Blockleiter were "Little
Fuehrers" with real and literal power over the civilians in
their domains. As proof of the authority of the Blockleiter
to exercise coercion and the threat of force upon the civil
population, I quote from Document 2833-PS, which is an
excerpt from Page 7 of the magazine entitled `The Face of
the Party,' Document 2833-PS. It is just a line of

     "Advice and sometimes also the harsher form of
     education is employed if the faulty conduct of an
     individual harms this individual himself, and thus also
     the community."

Before I get to the numbers, I wanted to deal with the

THE PRESIDENT: Do not you think it is time to break off?


THE PRESIDENT: Until 2 o'clock.

           (A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

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