The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/28
                                                   [Page 79]

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Court, I desire to announce
that the defendant Kaltenbrunner will be absent until
further notice, on account of illness.

M. FAURE: Mr. President, I shall now take up the last
chapter of my brief, which is devoted to the organisation of
criminal activities. I shall begin this last chapter by
quoting a few words spoken by Mgr. Piguet, Bishop of
Clermont-Ferrand, in the course of a pontifical mass on Whit-
Sunday, 20th May, 1945. Mgr. Piguet had just been liberated
from the concentration camp to which he had been sent by the
Nazis. He said:
                                                   [Page 80]
     "The criminal institutions of which we have been
     witness and victim bear within themselves all the
     scourges of barbarism and old-time servitude,
     systematised and applied by a new method, capable of
     increasing human misery by the whole range of modern
     scientific possibilities."
The evidence that I intend to present to the Tribunal with
regard to the occupied countries of the West bears upon this
aspect of the systematising of German criminal enterprises.
We have said that Germanisation did not consist in the
particular fact of the imposition of German nationality or
of German law, but in the general imposition of the
standards established by the Nazi regime, and, in a general
way, of its philosophy. This aspect of Germanisation implies
criminal activity at once as a means and as an end. As a
means, because the criminal means is very often highly
effective -- and we know that Nazism professes indifference
in regard to the immorality of the means. As an end, on the
other hand, since the final organisation of Nazi society
postulates the elimination of elements hostile to it or
which it regards as undesirable. Under these conditions the
criminal activities therefore do not appear as accidents or
regrettable incidents of war and of occupation. They must
not be ascribed to uncoordinated action on the part of
subordinates, due to over-zealousness or lack of discipline.

As the elimination of adversaries is recommended in
principle, it will be carried out in fact by the normal and
regular functioning of the administrative apparatus. If
Nazism has a philosophy of criminal action, it also has,
properly speaking, a bureaucracy of criminal activity.

The will which inspires this action is transmitted from one
to another chief and secondary centre of the State organism.
Each of the misdeeds or series of misdeeds of which we have
told you already, and shall do again, assumes the existence
of a whole series of transmissions:

Orders passed by superiors to inferiors, requests for orders
or reports passed by inferiors to superiors, and finally the
relations maintained between corresponding echelons of
different services. This administrative organisation of
criminal activity appears to us a very important datum for
the determination of responsibility and the proving of the
charges formulated in the Indictment against the higher
leaders and against the group organisations.

The responsibility of any one of these superior leaders in
regard to a determined criminal activity does not, indeed,
require that an exhibit or a document signed by the person
himself be produced or that it should involve him by name.
The existence or non-existence of such a document is a
matter of chance.

The responsibility of the higher leader is directly
established by the fact that a criminal activity has been
carried out administratively by a service at the head of
which we find this leader.

This is all the more true in the case of a criminal activity
pursued over a long period of time, affecting a considerable number 
of persons and the development of which has given rise to a series of
complications, of consultations and of solutions. There is
in every graded State service a continuous circuit of
authority which is at the same time a continuous circuit of
responsibility. Moreover, concerning charges made against
organisations described as criminal organisations, their
criminal nature springs from the very fact that their
activity produces criminal results without there being any
lack of knowledge or modification of the normal rules of
competence and of functioning of their different organisms.

The collaboration which develops with a view to such an end
between a series of agents belonging to the organisation
both vertically between the upper and lower grades and
horizontally between the different specialist departments,
implies no less forcibly the existence of a collective
criminal intent.

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