The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/18

Q. The prosecution further accuses you of having founded the
so-called Adolf Hitler Schools, where the training of young
leaders for the National Socialist State, and for the Party,
was carried out. What have you to say to this accusation?

A. There is a lot that I could say about that accusation,
but I shall limit myself to essential remarks only.

The Adolf Hitler Schools were founded at scholastic units
within the HJ. They were founded with the means which Dr.
Ley placed at my disposal when I told him of my plans for
the training I had envisaged. These schools were not
intended to train leaders for the Party exclusively, but
served to prepare the youth of the country for all the
professions. I myself often talked to these boys on their
graduation, and I always told them: "You can choose any
profession you like. Your training in this school carries no
obligation, either moral or otherwise, to become a political
leader." Comparatively few political leaders emerged from
the Adolf Hitler Schools, although very many of the boys
became doctors, officials, et alia. I cannot quote any
figures from memory, but the communications I have received
from the young people, including statements from teachers in
the Adolf Hitler Schools, have evinced their attitude
towards this point of the Indictment. And I should like to
ask that at least fifty to sixty of these numerous
affidavits, which confirm all that I have said, be submitted
in support of my declarations.

Q. Witness, one more question on a different topic. Did you
ever receive any so-called endowment funds, or anything of
that kind from Hitler, or from other sources?

A. No, I never received any endowment funds.

Q. Did you ever receive gifts in kind, such as valuable
paintings or other costly gifts?

A. The only thing Hitler ever gave me was his photograph on
the occasion of my thirtieth birthday.

Q. His photograph - presumably with a few words of

A. Yes.

Q. Now I have a few final, very brief questions to ask you -
they refer to the last days of your activities in Vienna.
You have already mentioned in connection with Himmler's
visit to Vienna at the end of March, 1945, that you had, at
that time, received from Himmler the so-called authority for
the proclamation of martial law. If I have understood you
correctly, you, as Reich Defence Commissar, were authorized
to proclaim martial law?

A. Yes, and that made me Lord of Life and Death.

Q. As far as I know, this court was only supposed to pass
death sentences?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever convene this court in Vienna, and did you
appoint the members?

A. I appointed the members of the court. A leading lawyer
was the President. I never convened the court, and I never
once imposed the death sentence. If I remember rightly, the
military court of the local military commandant passed four

                                                  [Page 379]

death sentences on four military traitors. My court never
met and never passed a death sentence.

Q. Had you any connection with the military courts?

A. No. The Vienna Commandant was, of course, President of
that particular court, and I was the head of court

Q. You said you had a distinguished lawyer as your

A. Yes.

Q. What was his profession?

A. I think he was Court President (Landgerichts-Direktor) or
something of the kind. I cannot quite remember.

Q. So he was a Viennese official judge?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you give the order, in Vienna, to have certain
vitally important factories either blown up or destroyed, as
so often happened in other Gaue, as, for instance, here in

A. No. It has escaped my knowledge - that much I must admit
- how far crippling and destructive measures were executed
in the military and armament sectors, pursuant to
instructions from the Central Reich Government. For
instance, the dynamiting of bridges was a military
precaution. The order could never have emanated from me.
Hitler himself issued the orders for blowing up the bridges
over the Danube. The Chief of Army Group South, prior to
giving the order for blowing up these bridges, had to
consult the Fuehrer's Headquarters by telephone.

Q. When did you yourself leave Vienna?

A. I left Gau Vienna after the withdrawal of the last troops
from the city, and after the combat area of the 2nd Corps of
the 6th SS Motorized Army had been moved to the region of
the lower Danube.

Q. When was that?

A. That was - sorry, I cannot remember the date offhand. It
was towards the end of the battle for Vienna.

Q. And now I have one last question to ask you. You know
that the order went out from the Party Leadership and from
circles of the Reich Chancellery to stage a "Werewolf"
Movement for fighting the advancing troops. What was your
attitude towards this movement?

A. I prohibited any Werewolf Organization in my Gau, but, to
avoid misunderstandings, I must tell you that there was a
Youth Battalion, a Volksturm Battalion, which bore the name
of "Werewolf," but there was no Werewolf Unit. I invariably
refused, both for the young people and the adults,
permission to participate in any form of combat contrary to
International Law.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other member of the defendants'
counsel want to ask any questions?

BY DR. THOMA (counsel for defendant Rosenberg):

Q. Witness, what was the attitude of Rosenberg, as Fuehrer's
Plenipotentiary for the Ideological Education of the Party,
towards the Reich Youth Leadership?

A. I believe that the Chief of the Department for
Ideological Education (Schulungsamt) in the Reich Youth
Leadership had to attend, on an average, two, perhaps three
meetings per annum, also attended by educational leaders
from other organizations. These meetings took place under
the chairmanship of Reichsleiter Rosenberg. On these
occasions, so I have been told, Rosenberg was wont to lay
down general instructions and directives and ask for reports
on the educational work of the individual organizations.

Q. Did Rosenberg select definite theses, to be lectured on
at these meetings?

A. That I do not know for certain. At these meetings of the
Youth Leadership representatives, at which Rosenberg spoke
once a year, he usually selected educational themes, themes
dealing with character training. He would, for instance,

                                                  [Page 380]

speak about solitude and comradeship, and, as far as I can
remember, about personality, honour et alia.

Q. Did Rosenberg at these meetings mention the Jewish
problem and the question of the Confessional.

A. During these Youth Leadership Sessions, he never made any
speeches against the Jews, nor did he, as far as I can
remember, ever touch on the subject of the Confessional. At
least, not in my presence. I usually heard him speak on
subjects such as I have just enumerated.

Q. Witness, did you read Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth
Century? And if so, when?

A. No, I began to read it, but I did not read the whole of
the book.

Q. Did this Rosenberg's Myth make any impression on the
young people or did other leaders have experiences similar
to your own?

A. The Youth Leaders certainly did not read the Myth of the
Twentieth Century.

DR. THOMA: I have no more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: Does any other defendants' counsel want to
ask questions? Or perhaps we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)



BY DR. SERVATIUS (counsel for the defendant Sauckel):

Q. Witness, you have already stated in connection with
Sauckel's directive regarding employment of labour that you
were flooded with such directives. Were these carried out?

A. As far as my own information goes, I can confirm that. I
had the impression that the functionaries of the Labour
Employment Administration felt that they had to keep
strictly to Sauckel's orders, and in those industrial plants
which I visited, I was able to ascertain that the
requirements stated in the directives were in fact

Q. Did Sauckel himself take steps to ensure that these
things were carried out?

A. Yes. I remember that Sauckel once came to Vienna - I
think in 1943 or 1944 - it must have been 1943 - and that on
that occasion he addressed all his labour employment
functionaries and repeated orally everything which he had
stated in his directives. He spoke of the foreign workers in
particular, demanded just treatment for them, and I remember
that on this occasion he even spoke of putting them on the
same footing as German workers.

Q. I have a few more questions about the political leaders.
How were political leaders on the Gauleiter level informed?
Did the Gauleiter have individual interviews with the
Fuehrer especially in connection with the Gau assemblies?

A. No. After the Gauleiter assemblies, the Fuehrer always
addressed a comparatively large circle just as he did in his
speeches. Interviews in the real sense of the word did not
exist. He always made speeches. Fixed dates on which
Gauleiter could have interviews with Hitler almost ceased to
be made once the war had begun.

Q. Could not a Gauleiter approach Hitler personally and ask
for an interview?

A. He could ask for an interview, but he didn't get it; he
received as answer from Bormann, usually in the form of a
telegram. That happened to me very frequently, because I
made such requests; one was asked to submit in writing the
points one wanted to discuss, after which, one either
received an answer or did not receive one.

                                                  [Page 381]

Q. Witness, a letter has been submitted here as Document
728, signed or initialled by Gauleiter Sprenger. You were
here when it was submitted, and you know the document. I
have two questions concerning it.

Do you know anything about a list which was to be compiled
containing the names of those suffering from heart and lung
diseases who were to be removed from the population?

A. No, I know nothing about that.

Q. Or that you were to make suggestions for this to the

A. No.

Q. It would appear that that document contains an error
which has already been mentioned here, namely, the word
"Herr" as a form of address. This letter was addressed to
the "Herren Ortsgruppenleiter," and repeated mention is made
of the "Herren Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenfuehrer" in the
text. I ask you now if the expression "Herr" was customary
in Party language?

A. No, I have never known a Party document with the
exception of this one, which I consider a fraud, in which
the term "Herr" was used.

Q. You are, therefore, of the opinion that that wording
proves in itself that the document is false?

A. Yes.

DR. SERVATIUS: I have no further questions.

BY DR. STEINBAUER (counsel for the defendant Seyss-Inquart):

Q. Herr von Schirach, your predecessor a s Gauleiter was
Josef Burckel What sort of relations existed between Burckel
and Seyss-Inquart?

A. I can only repeat what was generally known in the Party
about relations between them. They were extremely bad, and
all of us had the impression that from the very beginning,
Burckel worked hard to push Seyss-Inquart out.

Q. Which one of the two really had the power in his hands?

A. Burckel undoubtedly.

Q. Who in your opinion, according to the actual information
you obtained from the files, is responsible for the
persecution of Jews in Vienna?

A. Hitler.

Q. All right. You say Hitler; but Hitler was not in Vienna.
Who carried out these orders in Vienna?

A. In my opinion, these orders were carried out - even
during Burckel's and Seyss-Inquart's time - by the same man
who has already been mentioned here once today, and who, in
the meantime, has been condemned to death in Vienna - Dr.

Q. Good. Are you aware that Seyss-Inquart repeatedly
protested to Burckel about excessively severe measures and
quarrelled with Burckel on account of that?

A. I cannot say anything about that. I do not know.

Q. My client has been accused in a document of presenting to
Adolf Hitler tapestries and Gobelins formerly in the
Emperor's possession. Do you know anything about that?

A. I know that: In the large collection of Gobelins in
Vienna, there were two sets of tapestries depicting
Alexander's victory. The inferior ones were loaned by the
Reich Governor Seyss-Inquart to the Reich Chancellery, where
they hung in the lobby.

Q. So it was a loan and not a definite gift, which would
have entailed a loss for Vienna?

A. In the catalogue of the Gobelin collection, this set was
marked as a loan.

Q. Are you aware that other Gobelins were put at the
disposal of the Reich - that is to say, at Adolf Hitler's
disposal - by Seyss-Inquart?

A. No, I was not aware of it.

Q. But maybe you know who did take away other Gobelins and

A. I assume that you allude to Burckel?

                                                  [Page 382]

Q. Yes.

A. I do not know for certain whether Burckel took Gobelins.
When I took up my appointment in Vienna, I found that
Burckel had taken from the Imperial Furniture Depot a number
of pieces of furniture, including, I believe, some carpets,
not for his personal use, but for a Viennese house, which he
intended to establish in Gau Saarpfalz as a sort of

I therefore approached the competent office in Berlin - I do
not know whether it was the Reich Finance Ministry, or the
Reich Ministry of Culture - and when I was not successful
there, I approached Hitler himself. In the end, I succeeded
in having Burckel ordered to return these objects to Vienna
at once. I cannot say with certainty whether these objects
were in fact returned. I know that he received injunctions
to return them, and I assume that these objects were
returned later.

Q. All right. You know from statements which I have made to
your defence counsel that we Austrians always hated Burckel
intensely for a number of very good reasons, and that in
fairness, it must be admitted that many things, including,
for instance, the city's food supplies, improved after you
took over. For this reason, it seems to me all the more
important to clear up completely the most serious charge
against you. You have been made responsible in your capacity
of Reich Defence Commissar for the destruction of the most
valuable monuments in Vienna. I ask you: On 2nd April, when
your deputy Scharitzer and Engineer Blanschke, the National
Socialist mayor, wanted to declare Vienna an open city as
the Red Army approached, did you oppose them, and give
orders that Vienna must be defended to the last? Or who gave
that order?

A. Neither Blaschke nor Scharitzer expressed the view that
Vienna should be declared an open city. There was -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Steinbauer, the Tribunal understands you
are appearing for the defendant Seyss-Inquart?

DR. STEINBAUER: Yes, because this is a war crime, and
according to the theory of conspiracy, he is responsible for
everything, and the main charge made against Herr von
Schirach must be clarified - i.e., we must find out who
actually gave this order which did so much harm.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, but you just said that you were not
asking the questions in defence of Seyss-Inquart, but in
defence of von Schirach. I do not think that the Tribunal
really ought to have the defence of von Schirach prolonged
by questions by other counsel. We have already had his
defence for a considerable time presented by Dr. Sauter.

DR. STEINBAUER: Then I shall not put this question.


Q. Do you also remember what attitude Seyss-Inquart adopted
on Church matters when dealing with Burckel?

A. I know only that Dr. Seyss-Inquart, generally speaking,
was considered a man with Church ties. That this brought him
into conflict with Burckel is quite obvious to me. I cannot
go into details.

THE PRESIDENT: Does the prosecution wish to cross-examine?

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