The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The Tribunal is familiar with Goering's complicity in the
aggression against Austria. However, some additional
documents have just come to our notice which show that he
not only participated actively, but may even have been in
direct charge of the German plan to bring about the Austrian
Anschluss. I will offer the first of these documents,
Document 3473-PS, as Exhibit USA 581. I shall not read from
that exhibit, if your Honours please, but I would like to
call the attention of the Tribunal to a letter addressed to
Goering from Keppler, who was one of his agents. It is dated
the 6th January, 1938. From its context it would seem that a
valid inference can be drawn that Goering was already active
in the Austrian matter in 1937. Our prior evidence brought
him into the picture much later. The prosecution believes it
to be of great significance, as it shows that the defendant
Seyss-Inquart actually had Goering's mandate to carry out
the orders of the Nazi conspirators in Vienna. The document
itself will be read and discussed in the presentation of the
case showing the individual responsibility of the defendant
Seyss-Inquart; and I shall not take the time of the Tribunal
at present.

The second document I wish to introduce is Exhibit USA 582,
our Document 3472-PS. This exhibit would seem to show that
the conspirators attempted to create the impression that the
Anschluss, when it took place, was achieved by "legal"
means. The command apparently was given to the members of
the N.S.D.A.P. in Austria to keep "hands off" in order to
permit the devilry to be worked out by the official Reich
agencies, i.e., through the defendant Goering and,
presumably, the defendant von Papen, by direct contact with
the Austrian officials.

I read from that document:

  "Yesterday information reached me to the effect that
  Landesleiter Leopold" - and may I interrupt for a moment
  to point out that the word "Landesleiter" is the title of
  the Leader of the Nazi community in Austria - "also on
  his part has started negotiations with Chancellor
  Schuschnigg. Thereupon I have asked the Foreign Office to
  investigate the truth of this information and, in case it
  is true, to take care that such negotiations be not held
  because they would merely disturb the proceedings of the
  other negotiations.
  
  Just now I got word from the Foreign Office that they had
  received a report from the embassy in Vienna confirming
  the facts. I therefore would like to know whether it
  would not be more appropriate to forbid Landesleiter
  Leopold and the other members of the country's leadership
  to negotiate with Chancellor Schuschnigg or with any
  Austrian Government authorities, as to the execution of
  the pact of the 11th July, 1936

                                                   [Page 69]

  unless it is done after contacting and in agreement with
  the authorities in charge in the Reich."

Now below, if I may call the attention of the Tribunal to
the note that appears in this letter. It is typewritten in
blue, and, while the translator has not indicated the
initial below that note, it is a large "G"; and I have no
doubt that this note was written by the defendant Goering.
It reads:

  "Agreed, Minister Hess or Herr Bormann can give this
  order best! Keppler ought to ask therefore by telephone!"

If I may direct your attention to the upper right corner,
there is another note in pencil, "Transmitted to Herr
Keppler on the 11th February, 1938, by Miss Cest," and it is
signed with initial "G," which, in this case, however, we
are quite sure is the initial of Miss Grundmann, one of
Goering's secretaries.

The third document I offer as Exhibit USA 583 - our Document
3471-PS. The first letter of this exhibit is written by the
same Keppler to the same Bodenschatz mentioned a short while
ago, but who is now a General. I shall not read from this
exhibit, with the permission of the Tribunal, but I shall
briefly summarise it. This letter and the annexes show that
Leopold, the Nazi Landesleiter in Austria, was apparently
not completely amenable to the orders given by Berlin, and
that he pursued his own methods for accomplishing an
Anschluss. The second annex to this letter, addressed to
Keppler, who appears from it to have been an S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer, shows that prominent Nazis had declared
themselves in favour of a Major Klaussner to succeed Leopold
as Landesleiter; and I would like to call the Tribunal's
attention to the fact that in the left margin of the
covering letter appear some red crayon marks in the
characteristic colour employed on several occasions, to our
knowledge, by Goering; and they would seem to show that
Goering personally had seen those documents and that General
Bodenschatz had brought them to his attention. In any event
these letters again demonstrate that Goering was one of the
principal conspirators in the Austrian affair.

When the time finally came, on 11th March, 1938, to
consummate the Anschluss, Goering was in complete command.
Throughout the afternoon and evening of that day he directed
by telephone the activities of the defendant Seyss-Inquart
and of the other Nazi conspirators in Vienna. The pertinent
portions of these telephone conversations, it will be
remembered, were read into the record.

It will be recalled that early on the same evening, the 11th
March, he dictated to the defendant Seyss-Inquart the
telegram which the latter was to send to Berlin, requesting
the Nazi Government to send German troops to "prevent
bloodshed." Two days later he was able to telephone the
defendant Ribbentrop in London and gleefully relate to him
his success and that "this story that we had given an
ultimatum is just foolish gossip."

If I may interrupt for a moment, that passage I just alluded
to was read into the record (Page 260, Part 1).

Similarly, Goering played an important role in the attack on
Czechoslovakia. In March, 1938, at the time of the
"Anschluss," he had given a solemn assurance to the
Czechoslovakian Minister in Berlin that the developments in
Austria would in no way have a detrimental influence on the
relations between Germany and Czechoslovakia, and he had
emphasised the continued earnest attempts on the part of
Germany to improve these relations. In this connection he
had used the expression: "Ich gebe Ihnen mein Ehrenwort" (I
give you my word of honour).

That expression was read previously into the record (Page
123, Part 2).

On the other hand, in his address to German aeroplane
manufacturers on the 8th July, 1938, which I have already
mentioned, he made his private views on this subject, which
were hardly consistent with his solemn official statements,
abundantly clear.

                                                   [Page 70]

On the 14th October, 1938, shortly after the Munich
Agreement, at a conference in the Air Ministry, Goering
stated that the Sudetenland had to be exploited with all
means and that he counted upon a complete industrial
assimilation of Czechoslovakia. Meanwhile, as proof before
the Tribunal shows, he was deceiving the representatives of
the puppet Slovakian government to the same end.

In the following year, with the rape of Czechoslovakia
complete, Goering frankly stated what Germany's purpose had
been throughout the whole affair. He explained that the
incorporation of Bohemia and Moravia into the German economy
had taken place, among other reasons, in order to increase
the German war potential by exploitation of the industry
there.

Goering was also a moving force in the later Crimes against
Peace. As the successor designate to Hitler, Chief of the
Air Forces and Economic Czar of Greater Germany, he was a
party to all the planning for military operations of the
Nazi forces in the East and in the West.

In the Polish affair, for example, it was Goering who on the
31st January, 1935, gave assurances to the Polish Government
through Count Czembek, as revealed in the Polish White Book,
of which I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice, that
"there should be not the slightest fear in Poland that on
the German side it" - meaning the German-Polish alliance -
"would not be continued in the future." Yet, four years
later, Goering helped to formulate plans for the ruthless
invasion of Polish territory.

In respect to the attack upon the Soviet Union, the
documents already introduced prove that plans for the
ruthless exploitation of Soviet territory were made months
in advance of the opening of hostilities. Goering was placed
in charge of this army of spoliation, whose mission was that
of "seizing raw materials and taking over all important
concerns."

But these specific instances cited are merely illustrative
of Goering's activities in the field of aggressive war. On
Pages 20, 21 and 22 of our brief, there appears a list of
documents - by no means exhaustive - previously offered by
the prosecution, which demonstrate Goering's knowledge of
and continued participation in the Nazi war programme.

We turn now to his responsibility for planning and his
participation in the procurement of forced labour, the
deportation and enslavement of residents of occupied
territories, the employment of prisoners of war in war
industry, the looting of works of art, and the Germanisation
and spoliation of countries overrun by the Nazis.

Evidence previously introduced has detailed the slave labour
programme of the Nazi conspirators and has shown its two
purposes, both of them criminal. The first was to satisfy
the labour requirements of the Nazi war machine by forcing
residents of occupied countries to work in Germany. The
second purpose was to destroy or weaken the peoples of the
occupied territories. It has been shown that millions of
foreign workers were taken to Germany, for the most part
under pressure and generally by physical force, that these
workers were forced to work under conditions of
indescribable brutality and degradation, and that often they
were used in factories and industries devoted exclusively to
the production of munitions of war.

Goering was at all times implicated in the slave labour
programme. Recruitment and allocation of man-power and
determination of working conditions were included in his
jurisdiction as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, and
from its beginning a part of the Four Year Plan Office was
devoted to such work. I ask the Tribunal in this connection
to take judicial notice of our Document 1862-PS, Ordinance
for the Execution of the Four Year Plan, dated l8th October,
1936, which appears in 1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, p.
887, and, with the permission of the Tribunal, I shall not
read it.

                                                   [Page 71]

Soon after the fall of Poland Goering began the enslavement
of large numbers of Poles. On 25th January, 1940, the
defendant Frank, the Governor General of Poland, reported to
Goering on his directive for:

  "Supply and transportation of at least 1,000,000 male and
  female agricultural and industrial workers to the Reich-
  among them at least 750,000 agricultural workers of whom
  at least 50 per cent. must be women, in order to
  guarantee agricultural production in the Reich and as a
  replacement for industrial workers lacking in the Reich
  ..."

which is taken from our Exhibit USA 172, Document 1375.

That orders for this enormous number of workers originated
with the defendant Goering is clear from statements in the
defendant Frank's diary for 10th May, 1940, already
introduced in evidence.

For the harsh treatment given those workers when they
reached Germany the defendant Goering is also responsible.
On 8th March, 1940, as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan
and as Chairman of the Cabinet Council for the Defence of
the Reich, he issued a directive entitled: "Treatment of
Male and Female Civilian Workers of Polish Nationality in
the Reich." I refer to our Document R-148 as proof of that
fact. I shall not introduce it at this time into evidence,
with the permission of the Tribunal, as it will be
introduced by the Soviet prosecution at a later date.

On 29th January, 1942, the Division for the Employment of
Labour in the Four Year Plan Office issued a circular,
signed by Dr. Mansfeld, the general delegate for labour
employment in the Four Year Plan Office, addressed to
various civilian and military authorities in the occupied
territories, explaining that, and I quote, "any and all
methods must be adopted" to force workers to go to Germany.
I shall not read from our exhibit, if the Tribunal please,
but I would like to offer in evidence, as Exhibit USA 585,
Document 1183-PS. This is a circular letter of the
Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, dated the 29th January,
1942.

It has been shown previously that on 21st March, 1942,
Hitler promulgated a decree appointing the defendant Sauckel
Plenipotentiary General for Manpower, directing him to carry
out his tasks within the frame-work of the Four Year Plan,
and making him directly responsible to Goering as head of
the Four Year Plan.

On 27th March, 1942, Goering issued his important Enabling
Decree in pursuance of the decree of the Fuehrer of 21st
March, 1942. The Tribunal has already judicially noted this
decree, which is our Document 1666-PS.

Since the defendant Sauckel was an authority under the Four
Year Plan, the defendant Goering retains full responsibility
for the enormous War Crimes committed by Sauckel as
Plenipotentiary-General for Man-power. These crimes have
been the subject of our presentations on Slave Labour and on
the Illegal Use of Prisoners of War.

It was also proven during those presentations that the Nazi
conspirators ordered prisoners of war to work under
dangerous conditions and in the manufacturing and
transportation of arms and munitions of war, in violation of
the Laws of War and of Articles 31 and 32 of the Geneva
Convention of 27th July, 1929, on Prisoners of War. The
defendant Goering had a part in all these crimes.

At a conference on 7th November, 1941, the subject of which
was the employment of citizens of the Soviet Union,
including prisoners of war, it appears from a memorandum
signed by Kurner, who was State Secretary to Goering as
Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, that Goering gave
certain ruthless directives for the use of Soviet citizens,
both prisoners of war and free Soviet workers, as labourers.
I refer to our Document 1193-PS which, with the permission
of the Tribunal, I shall not offer in evidence at this time
and which will be offered by the Soviet prosecution.

                                                   [Page 72]

In a set of top secret notes of outlines laid down by
Goering in what was apparently the same conference of 7th
November, 1941, which are already in evidence, the following
facts appear:

  (1) That, of a total of 5,000,000 prisoners of war,
  2,000,000 were employed in war industries;
  
  (2) That it was better to employ P.W.'s than unsuitable
  foreign workers;
  
  (3) That Poles, Dutchmen, etc., should be seized, if
  necessary, as P.W.'s and employed as such, if work
  through free contract cannot be obtained.

These facts, if your Honours please, appear in our Document
1206-PS, which is submitted in evidence as Exhibit USA 215.

In a secret letter from the Reich Minister of Labour to the
Presidents of the Regional Labour Exchange Offices, already
in evidence, it is furthermore recorded that upon the
personal order of the Reich Marshal, the defendant Goering,
100,000 men were to be taken from among the French P.W.'s
not yet employed in the armament industry and assigned to
the aeroplane armament industry and that gaps in man-power
supply resulting therefrom were to be filled by Soviet
P.W.'s.

Evidence has also been introduced showing the organised,
systematic programme of the Nazi conspirators for the
cultural impoverishment of every country in Europe. The
continuous connection of the defendant Goering with these
activities has been substantiated.

In October, 1939, Goering requested Dr. Muhlmann to
undertake immediately the "securing" of all Polish art
treasures. In his affidavit, already offered, Dr. Muhlmann
states that he was the special deputy of the Governor
General of Poland, the defendant Frank, for the safeguarding
of art treasures in the Government General from October,
1939, to September, 1943, and that the defendant Goering, in
his capacity as chairman of the Reich Defence Council, had
commissioned him with this duty.

Muhlmann also confirms that it was the official policy of
the defendant Frank to take into custody all important art
treasures which belonged to Polish public institutions,
private collections and the Church, and that such art
treasures were actually confiscated.

It appears also from a report made by Dr. Muhlmann on 16th
July, 1943, on his operations, that at one time, 31 valuable
sketches by the artist Albrecht Durer were taken from a
Polish collection and personally handed to the defendant
Goering who took them to the Fuehrer's headquarters.

The part played by Goering in the looting of art by the
Einsatzstab Rosenberg has been shown. We refer to Exhibit
USA 368, Document 141-PS, which is an order dated 5th
November, 1940, already read in evidence, in which Goering
directs the Chief of the Military Administration in Paris
and the Einsatzstab Rosenberg to dispose of the works of art
brought to the Louvre in the following priority:

  "(1) Those works of art regarding which the Fuehrer has
  reserved for himself the decision as to their use.
  
  (2) Those works of art which serve to complete the Reich
  Marshal's collection.
  
  (3) Those works of art and library stocks, the use of
  which seems useful to the establishing of higher
  institutes of learning.
  
  (4) Those works of art that are suited for German
  museums."

In view of the high priority afforded by the foregoing order
to the completion of the defendant's own collection, it is
not surprising to find that Goering continued to aid the
operations of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. It has been
established that on 1st May, 1941, Goering issued an order
under his own signature

                                                   [Page 73]


to all Party, State and Wehrmacht Services requesting them
to give all possible support and assistance to the Chief of
Staff of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.


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