The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Now I should like to read a few more
sentences from the document of the Czech prosecution, USSR
60, to be found on Page 59 of the English text:

  "Immediately after the occupation, representatives of the
  'Sokol' (Falcon) athletic association, which had one
  million members, joined a movement for the liberation of
  the country; this included the underground movement at
  home and the movement abroad. The idea of the 'Sokol'
  united the army members abroad and gave strength and
  enthusiasm even in the hardest times. This was true at
  home to an even larger extent. The Gestapo was aware of
  this danger, and therefore proceeded with the utmost
  severity. In the beginning, their measures were moderate,
  but when they realised the firm resolve of the 'Sokols,'
  they began to use force. The first arrests took place on
  the day of the occupation of Czechoslovakia, and a
  further large number of arrests on 1st September, 1939.
  Then, extensive arrests of single individuals and groups
  followed."

BY DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN:

Q. Will you please comment on this.

A. The "Sokol" was the most dangerous organization hostile
to the State in the Protectorate. The extent of its activity
can be seen especially from the sentences of the Czech
Indictment which have just been read. It was taken for
granted that machinations of this kind could not be
tolerated, especially in war, and the report itself
characterises the first police measures as "still moderate."
I am convinced that in no other country would such
underground movements have been treated any differently. In
such cases of undoubted high treason or cases of sabotage, I
could not possibly intervene for the people responsible, and
moreover, the Czech Government quite understood this.

Q. The Czech report further mentions shootings under martial
law. Did such shootings occur during your period of office?

A. No, apart from the case of the nine students which has
already been mentioned, I know of no shootings under martial
law during my time in office.

Q. Did Frank, apart from his unwholesome activity as Higher
Police and SS Fuehrer, try as your State Secretary to use
his influence on the policy and

                                                  [Page 146]

administration of the Protectorate, and did you work closely
with him in that respect?

A. Frank represented one-sided, radical German interests.
That was the old Sudeten-German hatred of the Czechs. I
repeatedly curbed these tendencies, but as my representative
he, in practice, took part in the general policy and in the
administration.

Q. What was your personal relationship with Frank?

A. From the beginning, it was bad because of the fact that
he was so radical, and beyond that, I quite soon realised
that very frequently he did not tell me the truth.

Q. What was your personal and official relationship to
President Hacha and to the Czech Government?

A. In general, good. The Czech Government at that time was
quite convinced of the fact that my intentions for the fair
and just treatment of the Czech population were quite
sincere, and that I did everything within my power to carry
them out. On the other hand, I fully understood and
recognized in every respect the efforts of the Czech
Government to represent primarily the interests of the
people. As to my personal relationship with President Hacha,
I might go so far as to say it was very good. I always did
my best to make easier his most difficult task, for I knew
that he, too, through his assumption of the post of
president and through his remaining in office, was making a
great personal sacrifice. He and the members of the
government were always invited to all functions which did
not have a purely German character, and were treated with
distinction in accordance with their rank.

Q. What was the manner of work of your office in Prague?
Were you quite independent in your work or were you bound by
directives from Berlin?

A. My answer in this respect must be a rather tedious one.
The fundamentals of policy and the administration of the
department were determined in Berlin as far as they applied
to the Protectorate, that is, by Hitler himself or by
department ministers. My field was the supervision of the
carrying out and the application of these principles, always
considering the special circumstances which arose from the
ethical, cultural and economic structure of the country. It
can be taken for granted that above all in war, the
Protectorate, which was situated in the centre of the Reich,
could not be treated as an independent unit but had to be
incorporated into the general pattern. As I have already
stated, the various branches of my authority had been
established by the central office in Berlin. The officials
of these branches, therefore, from the beginning, had a
certain practical connection with their home ministries,
even though they were later subordinate to me. The
individual heads of the branches received their directives
in regard to specific problems direct from their department
ministries in Berlin. Then those directives were submitted
to Under State Secretary von Burgsdorff, who was the head of
the administration, or if they were very fundamental matters
he also reported them to me. The carrying out of these
measures in the Protectorate was in that way discussed, and
agreed on after discussion, with the Czech minister. Thus
were established the decrees and basic directives which were
signed by me or by my deputy. Frequently these dealt with
the introduction of legal or administrative measures which
already existed in the Reich, or which were newly issued in
the Reich. Apart from that, a series of directives applying
to the Protectorate were issued directly by the competent
Berlin ministries. The Reich Minister of the Interior had
been designated as the so-called central agency for the
issue of these.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, in this connection I
should like to refer to the following documents to be found
in my Document Book 5: Documents 145, a decree from the
Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor dealing with the Protectorate
of Bohemia and Moravia, supplementing the decree of 22nd
March, 1939; 146, extracts from basic regulations applying
to the Protectorate dealing with commercial transactions
with the Protectorate, dated

                                                  [Page 147]

28th March, 1939; 147, a directive as to the carrying
through of criminal justice in the Protectorate, dated 14th
April, 1939; 148, a directive dealing with law in the
Protectorate under date of 7th June, 1939; and I should like
to refer again to the document which has already been
submitted, 147, a regulation dealing with the development of
the administration and of the German Security Police. In
this connection I should like to remark that all these
directives were signed not by the Reich protector but rather
by the competent Reich department minister and sometimes
also by Reichsmarschall Goering as the Chairman of the Reich
Defence Council. The legal basis for the authority of the
Protector is the decree from the Fuehrer and Reich
Chancellor in regard to the Protectorate of Bohemia and
Moravia, dated 16th March, 1939, signed by Hitler, Frick -

THE PRESIDENT: Will you ask the defendant to clear up what
his concern was with these decrees of the Reichsfuehrer and
of the defendant Goering?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: No, Mr. President, I wanted to show
that he had nothing to do with these matters, but that he
was obliged to carry out the measures. According to the
decree which put him in office, it was his duty to supervise
any measures which were issued by agencies in the Reich.
That was what I wanted to prove, that all these directives
did not originate with him himself but rather with the
Reichsfuehrer.

THE PRESIDENT: Is that right, defendant?

THE WITNESS: Yes. I should like to remark that I was chiefly
concerned with the fact that these decrees were published in
the Protectorate and then that my agencies supervised the
carrying through of these measures.

BY DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN:

Q. How far did the autonomy of the Protectorate extend in
all these decisions?

A. The extent of autonomy was not clearly defined. Basically
the Protectorate was autonomous and it was administered by
its own Czech authorities and Czech officials. But in the
course of time considerable restrictions were placed on this
autonomy as was provided for in the decree which you have
just read. The introduction of these restrictions was
regarded as practical by the Reich Government and resulted,
in part, from general tendencies towards centralisation in
Berlin, but it was also necessitated to a large extent by
the general political development, because of the war and of
the so-called totalization of the war effort. I constantly
objected to these restrictions if in my opinion they could
not be brought into line with the vital needs of the
Protectorate and of its people.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, in this connection I
should like to refer to Article 3 of the order which has
already been quoted, a decree issued by the Fuehrer and
Reich Chancellor, dealing with the Protectorate of Bohemia
and Moravia, No. 144 of my Document Book 5. This reads:

  "The Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia is autonomous
  and administers itself. Its sovereign rights as a
  protectorate are exercised on the basis of the political,
  military and economic interests of the Reich. These
  sovereign rights are exercised by its own organizations,
  its own authorities, and with its own officials."

BY DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN:

Q. How about the Wehrmacht offices in the Protectorate? Were
you connected with them?

A. No, they were subordinate to a special plenipotentiary of
the Wehrmacht who was to keep me advised about the basic
military questions.

Q. Now, I should like to turn to specific points which are
mentioned in the Czech report, USSR 60, and of which you are
accused.

To what extent were you competent for administering criminal
justice in the Protectorate? Specifically, did you have to
confirm death sentences against the Czechs?

                                                  [Page 148]

courts was under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice in
Berlin. The Czech courts were not under my jurisdiction at
all. I was concerned only with decisions in cases of appeals
for remission of sentences of German courts in the
Protectorate, which were submitted to me by the president of
the provincial court of appeal (Oberlandesgericht).

These, in special cases, might also apply to Czechs.
However, they did not concern political crimes. Political
proceedings against Czechs were, as far as I recall, handled
by the People's Court (Volksgerichtshof) in Berlin, in so
far as they dealt with high treason. As far as I know, in
these proceedings against Czechs the same basic principles
were applied as against Germans.

Q. Did you have the right to grant pardon when the People's
Court passed sentences on Czechs?

A. No, I had no possibility of influence, and I did not have
the right to pardon.

Q. In your time did you know anything about the activity of
special courts in the Protectorate?

A. No, I cannot recall that special courts were active
during the time I was there. In my opinion, this could apply
only to German courts for the prosecution of specific
offences, for example, violations of radio regulations; such
courts were established at the beginning of the war in the
Reich. However, they were not under my jurisdiction, but
directly subordinate to the Reich Minister of Justice. He
appointed the judges, gave them their directives, and the
judges reported directly to him. I had no opportunity of
using influence in any way.

Q. Regarding the activity of these special courts, I should
like to quote one sentence from the Czech report, USSR 60.
This may be found on Page 106 of the German text and Page 92
of the English text. It deals with orders and decrees that
were to be applied by these special courts. I quote:

  "A large number of these orders and decrees violate
  principles that all civilised countries consider
  irrevocable."

Is that report correct?

A. Yes, in this case I agree entirely with the Czech
prosecution report. But I imagine that in the latest
developments these principles have been considerably
weakened even among civilised peoples.

Q. Now I should like to know something about the alleged
plans dealing with the Germanisation of the areas in the
Protectorate inhabited by Czechs. You said previously that,
when you assumed office, you knew nothing about such plans.
Who later revealed the pattern of these plans to you?

A. These plans in part originated with Sudeten German
circles, but in the greater part they were to be traced back
to the organizations of Himmler and also to the suggestions
on the part of the Gauleiter of the Lower Danube.

Q. In regard to this problem of alleged efforts at
Germanisation, I should like to read to you a report by the
Wehrmacht General Plenipotentiary in the Protectorate,
General Frederici, to the OKW, dated 15th October, 1940.
This is the document which has been submitted by the
prosecution under PS-862, Exhibit USA 313, and it is
concerned with statements about basic policy pursued in the
Protectorate which State Secretary Frank made in an official
discussion with your office. In this document Frank mentions
a memorandum in which, after careful investigation, the
Reich Protector defined his attitude towards the various
plans of numerous offices. He mentions three possibilities
of solution to the question of the possible Germanisation of
the Czech territory. You probably know this document, and I
do not believe that it is necessary for me to read it. What
do you know about this memorandum? Did you compose it
yourself? Tell us what you have to say about it.

A. The memorandum dates back to the proposals which I just
mentioned, on the part of various Party offices, for the
possible resettlement of the Czechs. I objected to this plan
from the very beginning as being quite absurd and incapable
of execution. Frank, who agreed with me in this point,
therefore drew up, at my direction, this memorandum which
you have just mentioned, in which the

                                                  [Page 149]

radical measures of the SS and of the Party were rejected
and in which the so-called gradual assimilation was
considered as the only possible solution of this problem. In
this way I wanted to postpone the matter and thwart the
plans of the SS. Since these plans for resettlement had
already been reported by Himmler to the Fuehrer, I had to
have a rather stringent directive from him in order to do
away with it. For this purpose, for tactical reasons, I
needed some sort of suggestion: hence the proposal of the
policy of assimilation - and with this suggestion, the
matter was really postponed. In order to eliminate the
counter-measures of the SS and of Himmler, I reported to the
Fuehrer personally about the matter and I asked him to issue
a stringent directive, which he did. Thus the matter was
buried, and it was not dug up again. The sentence found in
this memorandum to the effect that "... the Germanisation
would have to be carried out for a number of years by the
office of the Reich Protector ..." means specifically that
the SS could no longer interfere in this matter. The Reich
Protector alone was to be the competent authority, and the
Reich Protector did nothing. Moreover, the sentence of
General Frederici, who was also not inclined to radical
fantasy, to the effect that as far as the Wehrmacht was
concerned there would be no important results, since he had
always adhered to this concept, also applies. If after this
report Frank said that the elements which were working
contrary to the intended Germanisation would have to be
handled roughly and would have to be eliminated, they were
merely the words that he used and the type of language that
was used in speeches of that kind. Actually, as I have said,
nothing further was done to assimilate the people.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, I now ask your
permission to quote a few sentences from the affidavit that
we have mentioned, which was made by Baroness Ritter, No. 3
in my Document Book I. They are to be found on Page 18. It
says there:

  "With regard to the plans for the Germanisation, that is,
  the gradual assimilation of the Czechs, Neurath stated as
  follows in a letter:
  
     'Quite apart from the sensible point of view, the
     people who are simply - '"

THE PRESIDENT: Did you say Page 18?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Page 18, yes. It is the second
paragraph from the end.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have it.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN:

     "'Quite apart from the sensible point of view, the
     people who are simply to be resettled arouse pity in
     one's soul. However, I believe I have discovered a way
     now to prevent the disaster. Time is everything, and
     frequently to postpone a thing is to do away with it!'"

Mr. President, if it is permissible for me to make a
suggestion, I would ask that we stop now, since the problem
of Germanisation is now completed.

THE PRESIDENT: How long do you think you are going to be?
You have already been a day and a half.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, the Indictment
contained in the Czech report is not well substantiated and
not very concrete, so that I must mention each individual
point contained therein.

I have approximately twenty more questions.

THE PRESIDENT: How long do you think it will take?

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: One hour.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal will expect you to
conclude in an hour.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: I hope so, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 25th June, 1946, at 1000
hours.)

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