The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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[SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE, Continued]

You have the evidence of Kurt Schmidt, Minister of Economics
and member of the Reich Cabinet until January, 1935:

                                                  [Page 274]

  "I have to say that the SA gained a more and more
  disastrous influence as a destructive element in economic
  and Jewish matters."

You have the evidence of their own witness, Freiherr von
Waldenfels, who was asked:

"Did the SA take an active part in the persecution of the
Jews after 1934?" and answered:

   "As far as I have been told stories - yes. I myself saw
   the looting of shops in Munich, but whether that was done
   by order or whether it originated with individuals, I
   cannot say."

He tried to minimize the significance of the SA after 1934,
but his evidence was quite clear.

  "Q. In their less important role, did they continue the
  policy and practice that they had been carrying out
  before, the persecution of the Jews?
  
  A. There is no doubt."

Goebbels, speaking to the SA in October, 1935, reminded them
that they were the "strongest strong arm of the movement"
and that the Nazi Government was an "anti-Jewish go
vernment."

If the active persecution of the Jews was not a continuing
role of the SA after 1934, why should Lutze, Chief of Staff
of the SA, speaking to the Diplomatic Corps and deputies of
the foreign Press in January, 1936, have had to explain away
the title with which the foreign Press so often branded the
SA - "The bearer of a barbaric and uncivilized race
struggle"? {INSERT LINK HERE-SAMAN} Why should all those
articles have been appearing in the SA Mann almost monthly
during the years 1935-1939 in wording so similar to that
favoured by Der Sturmer? {INSERT LINK HERE-STURMER} The
titles are sufficient to indicate their nature:

  "Finish up with the Jew."
  
  "The Jewish world danger."
  
  " Jews are not wanted here."
  
  "God save the Jew."
  
  " Jews, Blacks and Reactionaries."
  
  "The Camouflaged Benjamin - Jewish Cultural Bolshevism in
  German music."
  
  "The Jewish Assassination."
  
  "Murder - the Jewish slogan."
  
  "Gravediggers of world culture."
  
  "Jewry is a birth error."
  
  "Why still German Jews?"
  
  "The poor Jew - Well! Well!"
  
  "Jewish world revolution-out of the USA."
  
  "Friends of world Jewry - Roosevelt and Ickes."

                                                  [Page 275]

If the members of the SA were not in fact continuously and
actively persecuting the Jews after 1934, how is it possible
to account for the part they played in the demonstrations of
November, 1938? You will remember the instructions received
by the SA 50th Brigade at Darmstadt in the early morning of
10th November:

  "On the order of the Gruppenfuehrer all the Jewish
  synagogues within the 50th Brigade are to be blown up or
  set on fire immediately .... The action is to be carried
  out in civilian clothes."

You will remember also the reports of the different SA
Fuehrers to the SA Group HQ of the electoral Palatinate - in
the area of the 50th Brigade; 35 synagogues blown up,
destroyed by fire or wrecked; in Mannheim, 21 synagogues,
churches or meeting houses; in the area of Standarte 174 of
151st Brigade, all the synagogues destroyed and Jews taken
into protective custody; in the area of Standarte 250, 11
synagogues destroyed, all shop windows of Jewish stores
broken, the Rabbi and several prominent Jews taken into
protective custody by the Gestapo "for their own safety";
the "infamous Rabbi Neuburger" who was known because of his
foreign connections, taken into protective custody "by the
instigation of the SA," together with all male Jews from
various villages; in the area of Standarte 17, 2 synagogues
completely burnt down and several Jewish stores demolished;
and the report from the 51st Brigade - "Completion of the
matter of the synagogues. Everything has been carried out up
to Roelsheim."

Those events in the Mannheim district cannot have been, as
the defence would have you believe, an exception to the
policy of the SA leadership and to the general behaviour of
SA members in the rest of Germany. Altogether 267 synagogues
were destroyed that night. We can properly ask: Why should
the 50th, 51st and 151st Brigades alone have received
instructions to destroy all synagogues? Why should Juettner
himself have issued to all SA units the orders from Hess
that all offices of the Party and its branches which had
safeguarded valuable property were to hand it over to the
nearest office of the Gestapo?

We ask you to say that that evidence is in itself
conclusive. Nevertheless, you have in addition the report of
the proceedings of the Supreme Party Court in connection
with the murders of Jews which took place during those
demonstrations. Fifteen SA men committed murder. They did so
all over Germany: in East Prussia, in Dessau, in Hanover, in
Bremen, in Saxony, and in Munich. Were they too, all
isolated incidents?

Goering's biographer wrote of the SA in 1937:

  "The present reorganization of the Security Police is
  hardly noticed by the public. Their ranks are strengthened
  by the SA, the most reliable instrument of the movement."

Hardly could any organization have received a more damning
testimony.

PREPARATION FOR WAR AND WAR-TIME ACTIVITIES

Immediately the Nazi Party came to power the SA became the
embryo army with which the Nazis commenced their preparation
for aggressive war. Geist tells you:

  "Particularly through the years 1933 and 1934 hordes of SA
  stormtroopers were much in evidence practising military
  exercises. They were being converted into a military
  organization. I frequently encountered the Stormtroopers
  deployed in fields and forests engaged in military
  technical exercises. This was all part of a general plan
  to prepare Germany's manpower for war."

Geist's assumption is confirmed by Lutze himself writing in
1939:

"But as early as 1920, by the founding of the SA, the
Fuehrer had established the extensive mission of this
organization. The SA shall be the bearer of the military
thought of a free people. In the same sense the Fuehrer said
in his book, Mein Kampf:

                                                  [Page 276]

     'Give the German nation six million bodies perfectly
     trained in sport, all fanatically inspired with the
     love of the Fatherland and trained to the highest
     intensive spirit, and a National Socialist State will,
     if necessary, have created an army out of them in less
     than two years.'
   
   The men never forget the mission of the Fuehrer to
   require the military training of the German man and to
   reconstruct the military spirit in the German people."

What use is it for SA witnesses to come now and tell this
Tribunal that:

  "The SA did not have any military character ... and did
  not desire to have it . . . . "
  
  "The SA always preserved the non-military character of its
  training programme."

There is abundant additional evidence of the military
character and purpose of the SA, and of its intensive
training and preparation for war.

Dr. Ernst Bayer, writing on the orders of the Supreme SA
H.Q. in 1938, yet again describes the aims of the SA:

  "The SA was commissioned to obtain an increase and
  preservation of a warlike power and a warlike spirit as
  the expression of an aggressive attitude." {LINK-SAHQ}

As early as May, 1933, von Reichenau suggested that the
Supreme Command of the SA should be represented on the Reich
Defence Council. A regular officer was appointed to the SA
to assist them in "military" training.

"For the purpose of camouflage he was to wear SA uniform."
We know from the training directives and other documents -
some issued by Lutze himself - the form which the training
took from 1933 until 1939: shooting, grenade throwing,
judging distance, map reading, and marching. We know also
that as early as July, 1933, the SA had formed specialized
units such as signal and motorized companies and separate
air wings. The SA Command was anxiously stressing the need
for secrecy in the case of any publications "which might
give other countries an opening to construe German
infringement of the terms of the Versailles Treaty."

The publication of pictures "enabling other countries to
prove the alleged formation of technical troop units" was
forbidden. It is hardly necessary again to quote Dr. Ernst
Bayer to see the purpose of these technical units: -

  "There originates in these technical units of the SA a
  trained crew whose capabilities and knowledge are not the
  last things of extraordinary value in the service for
  defence of the country."

Similarly he wrote of the Reiter Corps:

  "At present the SA each year is able to furnish many
  thousands of young, trained cavalrymen to our Wehrmacht."

Can we doubt that every member of the SA knew to what end
all this was leading when the Chief of Staff himself was
saying publicly that the training principle of the SA was
"always the spiritual, moral and physical culture of
militarisation of the whole German nation?"

In March, 1934, permanent liaison had been established
between the SA and the Reich Defence Ministry in connection
with all "A" tasks. Juettner had explained what these "A"
tasks were - "training and border protection." Did border,
protection mean preparations for the military seizure of the
Rhineland, Austria and Czechoslovakia?

                                                  [Page 277]

In that same month of 1934, the SA were in fact forming in
the Rhineland an armed staff with a heavy machine-gun
company.

Early in 1934 the SA were also making plans " ... for the
Austrian formations in Bavaria to march into Austria around
the 8th or 9th February. Then a military dictatorship would
be proclaimed."

The account of the part the SA played in the abortive
Dolfuss Putsch is before you. When the time eventually came
for the Anschluss, SA units were among the first to enter
Austria.

(A recess was taken until 14.00 hours.)

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: In Czechoslovakia the SA provided
the chief support for the Sudeten Free Corps. In October,
1938, a few weeks after the Munich crisis, the OKW Liaison
Officer with the Free Corps reported:

  "Supplies had been organized by the SA, arms supplied by
  the Austrian SA. With magnificent comraderie and
  unselfishness, the SA leadership had looked after the Free
  Corps materially. Equipping and feeding remained in the
  care of the NSDAP and the SA."

This support to the Free Corps was certainly included in
"border control," as Juettner himself admitted. {LINK-
JUETTNER}

The crimes of the SA did not end with the outbreak of war.
Again I quote from the witness Juettner:

  "At the beginning of the war with Poland the SA Group
  Sudeten carried out transports of prisoners of war into
  the camp. Other SA groups in the East may have been used
  for similar purposes. Later on the SA Leadership and the
  SA as an organization had nothing to do with this
  question."

When you consider the evidence you have heard of the
appalling conditions in which those prisoners from the East
were transported into their camps, are you satisfied that
that task of guarding transports was so innocent as it
appears? {LINK-SIPO}

Juettner has also left us a report dated June, 1941,
describing the activity of the SA in the war. In the
communicating zones its members gave assistance to the
Political Leaders in their tasks of education and
orientation. Twenty-one groups of SA men were being used for
guarding prisoners. The organization of the SA groups in
Danzig, Posen, Silesia and the Baltic Provinces is
described:

  "In these regions also as in the fight for power, the SA
  was the assault unit of the Party. In these regions also
  the SA service, practically speaking, is directed towards
  strengthening the defensive forces. It was therefore
  necessary to overcome the inferiority complexes of the
  racial Germans, the result of Polish suppression, and to
  bring their extraordinary appearance and bearing into
  keeping with SA standards."

How sinister these innocent words became in view of all the
evidence of what was taking place in these Eastern and
Baltic provinces!
                                                            

The administration of the ghetto of Vilna was in the hands
of the SA, and its inmates were guarded by SA guards.{LINK-
GOL} Some of these Jews were made to live chained in deep
pits, where the SA " ... fastened chains round both ankles
and round the waist; they weighed 2 kilos each and we could
only take small steps when wearing them. We wore them
permanently for six months. The SA said that if any man
removed the chains he would be hanged."

Their work consisted of digging up mass graves:

  "We dug up altogether 68,000 bodies .... Amongst those I
  dug up I found my own brother."

At Vilna, too, SA guards were forcing the Jews to extract
the gold from the teeth of their dead brothers with prongs,
washing it in benzine and packing it into 8 kg. boxes which
the SA officer in charge personally took away.

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, I believe that the statements just
made refer to Affidavit D-964, the submission of which by
the prosecution was rejected by the Tribunal. It is Exhibit
GB-597. The whole affidavit is reproduced in print here on
Page 64, and the content of the statements just made have
been taken from this affidavit, the submission of which is
not approved.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I respectfully disagree
with Dr. Boehm. I have the affidavit in front of me, D-964,
which has the exhibit number GB-597. Paragraph 7 reads:

  "Our work consisted in digging up mass graves and piling
  the bodies on the funeral pyres and burning them."

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. But, Sir David, what Dr. Boehm was
saying is that we rejected the affidavit.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, not this affidavit. I
distinctly remember reading it. It has an exhibit number.

I selected one affidavit dealing with each case, and this
one of Szloma Gol was the affidavit I selected with regard
to Vilna.

                                                  [Page 279]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Boehm, what ground do you have for saying
that it was rejected? If it was rejected, you must have some
reasons for thinking so?

Where is the transcript? Do you have the transcript with
you?

DR. BOEHM: I am of the opinion that this affidavit was among
those affidavits the submission of which the Tribunal
rejected. At the moment, I cannot look into this, but I
shall be glad to do so after the session, in order to make
sure that this is correct. I believe that this affidavit
belonged to the affidavits which were rejected on account of
the conclusion of the submission of evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: This was not one of the eleven affidavits
which were rejected?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No, my Lord. Your Lordship will
remember that I had about a half-dozen Jewish witnesses from
the Baltic provinces, and the Tribunal said that I could
call three, and that they were to be available for cross-
examination by Dr. Boehm.

The deponent of this affidavit, Szloma Gol, was one of the
three that I selected, and I put in this affidavit, which
received the exhibit number GB-597.

My Lord, that is the recollection of myself, of Colonel
Griffith-Jones and Major Barrington, who were helping me at
the time. And - the fact that it has an exhibit number is
prima facie evidence that the Tribunal accepted it.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you had better go on. If Dr. Boehm
can produce evidence that it was rejected, it will be
stricken from your speech and will be disregarded.


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