The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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We will ask you to convict the Nazis on their own evidence,
Martin Bormann in June 1941 issued a secret decree on the
relation of Christianity and National Socialism. The decree

   "For the first time in German history the Fuehrer
   consciously and completely has the leadership of the
   people in his own hand. With the Party, its components,
   and attached units, the Fuehrer has created for himself,
   and thereby for the German Reich leadership, an
   instrument which makes him independent of the church.
   All influences which might impair or damage the
   leadership of the people exercised by the Fuehrer with
   the help of the N.S.D.A.P. must be eliminated. More and
   more the people must be separated from the churches and
   their organs, the pastors. Of course, the churches must
   and will, seen from their viewpoint, defend themselves
   against this loss of power. But never again must an
   influence on leadership of the people be yielded to the
   churches. This influence must be broken completely and
   finally. Only the Reich government, and by its direction
   the Party, its components, and attached units, have a
   right to leadership of the people. Just as the
   deleterious influence of astrologers, seers, and other
   fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so
   must the possibility of church influence also be
   totally removed. Not until this has happened does the
   State leadership have influence on the individual
   citizens. Not until then are the people and Reich secure
   in their existence for all the future" (D-75).

And how the Party had been securing the Reich from Christian
influence will be proved by such items as this teletype from
the Gestapo, Berlin, to the Gestapo

                                                   [Page 61]

Nuremburg, on 24th July, 1938. Let us hear from their own
account of events in Rottenburg:-

  "The Party, on 23rd July, 1939, from 2100 carried out the
  third demonstration against Bishop Sproll. Participants,
  about 2,500-3,000, were brought in from outside by bus,
  etc. The Rottenburg populace again did not participate in
  the demonstration. This town took rather a hostile
  attitude to the demonstrations. The action got completely
  out of hand of the Party Member responsible for it. The
  demonstrators stormed the palace, beat in the gates and
  doors. About 150 to 200 people forced their way into the
  palace, searched the rooms, threw files out of the
  windows, and rummaged through the beds in the rooms of
  the palace. One bed was ignited. Before the fire got to
  the other objects or equipment in the rooms and the
  palace, the flaming bed was throw from the window and the
  fire extinguished. The Bishop was with Archbishop Groeber
  of Freiburg, and the ladies and gentlemen of his menage
  in the chapel at prayer. About 25 to 30 pressed into this
  chapel and molested those present. Bishop Groeber was
  taken for Bishop Sproll. He was grabbed by the robe and
  dragged back and forth, Finally the intruders realised
  that Bishop Groeber was not the one they were seeking.
  They could then be persuaded to leave the building. After
  the evacuation of the palace by the demonstrators I had
  an interview with Archbishop Groeber, who left Rottenburg
  in the night. Groeber wants to turn to the Fuehrer and
  Reich Minister of the Interior Dr. Frick anew. On the
  course of the action, the damage done, as well as the
  homage of the Rottenburg populace beginning today for the
  Bishop, I shall immediately hand in a full report, after
  I begin suppressing counter mass meetings." "In case the
  Fuehrer has instructions to give in this matter, I
  request that these be transmitted most quickly" (848-PS).

Later, defendant Rosenberg wrote to Bormann reviewing the
proposal of Herrl as Church minister to place the Protestant
Church under State tutelage and proclaim Hitler its supreme
head. Rosenberg was opposed, hinting that Naziism was to
suppress the Christian Church completely after the war.

The persecution of all pacifist and dissenting sects, such
as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Pentecostal Association, was
peculiarly relentless and cruel. The policy toward the
Evangelical Churches, however, was to use their influence
for the Nazi's own purposes. In September, 1933, Muller was
appointed the Fuehrer's representative with power to deal
with the "affairs of the Evangelical Church" in its
relations to the State. Eventually, steps were taken to
create a Reich Bishop vested with power to control this
Church. A long conflict followed, Pastor Niemoller was sent
to a concentration camp, and extended interference with the
internal discipline and administration of the Churches

A most intense drive was directed against the Roman Catholic
Church. After a strategic Concordat with the Holy See,
signed in July, 1933, in Rome, which never was observed by
the Nazi Party, a long and persistent persecution of the
Catholic Church, its priesthood and its members, was carried
out. Church Schools and educational institutions were
suppressed or subjected to requirements of Nazi teaching
inconsistent with the Christian faith. The property of the
Church was confiscated and inspired vandalism directed
against the Church property was left unpunished. Religious
instruction was impeded and the exercise of religion made
difficult. Priests and bishops were laid upon, riots were
stimulated to harass them, and many were sent to
concentration camps.

After occupation of foreign soil, these persecutions went on
with greater vigour than ever. We will present to you from
the files of the Vatican the earnest protests made by the
Vatican to Ribbentrop summarising the persecutions to which
the priesthood and the Church had been subjected in this
Twentieth Century under the Nazi regime. Ribbentrop never
answered them. He could not deny. He dared not justify.

I now come to "Crimes against the Jews."

THE PRESIDENT: We shall now take our noon recess.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

                                                   [Page 62]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn for fifteen minutes
at half past three and then continue until half past four.

MR. JUSTICE JACKSON: I was about to take up the "Crimes
Committed Against the Jews."


The most savage and numerous crimes committed by the Nazis
were those against the Jews. Those in Germany, in 1933,
numbered about 500,000. In the aggregate, they had made for
themselves positions which excited envy, and had accumulated
properties which excited the avarice of the Nazis. They were
few enough to be helpless and numerous enough to be held up
as a menace.

Let there be no misunderstanding about the charge of
persecuting Jews. What we charge against these defendants is
not those arrogances and pretensions which frequently
accompany the intermingling of different peoples and which
are likely, despite the honest efforts of Government, to
produce regrettable crimes and convulsions. It is my purpose
to show a plan and design to which all Nazis were
fanatically committed to annihilate all Jewish people. These
crimes were organised and promoted by the Party Leadership,
executed and protected by the Nazi officials, as we shall
convince you by written orders of the Secret State Police

The persecution of the Jews was a continuous and deliberate
policy. It was a policy directed against other nations as
well as against the Jews themselves. Anti-Semitism was
promoted to divide and embitter the democratic peoples and
to soften their resistance to the Nazi aggression. As Robert
Ley declared in Der Angriff on 14 May, 1944, "the second
German secret weapon is Anti-Semitism because, if it is
constantly pursued by Germany, it will become a universal
problem which all nations will be forced to consider."

Anti-Semitism also has been aptly credited with being a
"spearhead of terror." The ghetto was the laboratory for
testing repressive measures. Jewish property was the first
to be expropriated, but the custom grew and included similar
measures against Anti-Nazi Germans, Poles, Czechs,
Frenchmen, and Belgians. Extermination of the Jews enabled
the Nazis to bring a practised hand to similar measures
against Poles, Serbs, and Greeks. The plight of the Jew was
a constant threat to opposition or discontent among other
elements of Europe's population - Pacifists, Conservatives,
Communists, Catholics, Protestants, Socialists. It was in
fact, a threat to every dissenting opinion and to every non-
Nazi's life.

The persecution policy against the Jews commenced with non-
violent measures, such as disfranchisement and
discriminations against their religion, and the placing of
impediments in the way of success in economic life. It moved
rapidly to organised mass violence against them, physical
isolation in ghettos, deportation, forced labour, mass
starvation, and extermination. The Government, the Party
formations indicted before you as criminal organisations,
the Secret State Police, the Army, private and semi-public
associations, and "spontaneous" mobs that were carefully
inspired from official sources, were all agencies that were
concerned in this persecution. Nor was it directed against
individual Jews for personal bad citizenship or
unpopularity. The avowed purpose was the destruction of the
Jewish people as a whole, as an end in itself, as a measure
of preparation for war, and as a discipline for conquered

The conspiracy or common plan to exterminate the Jew was so
methodically and thoroughly pursued, that despite the German
defeat and Nazi prostration this Nazi aim largely has
succeeded. Only remnants of the European Jewish population
remain in Germany, in the countries which Germany occupied,
and in those which were her satellites or collaborators. Of
the 9,600,000Jews who lived in Nazi-dominated Europe, 6o per
cent. are authoritatively estimated to have perished-
5,700,000 Jews are missing from the countries in which they
formerly lived, and over 4,500,000 cannot be accounted for
by the normal death

                                                   [Page 63]

rate nor by immigration; nor are they included among
displaced persons. History does not record a crime ever
perpetrated against so many victims or one ever carried out
with such calculated cruelty.

You will have difficulty, as I have, to look into the faces
of these defendants and believe that in this Twentieth
Century human beings could inflict such sufferings as will
be proved here, on their own countrymen as well as upon
their so-called "inferior" enemies. Particular crimes, and
the responsibility  defendants for them, are to be dealt
with by the Soviet Government's Counsel, when committed in
the East, and by Counsel for the Republic of France
committed in the West. I advert to them only to show their
magnitude as evidence of a purpose and a knowledge common to
all defendants, of an official plan rather than of a
capricious policy of some individual commander, and to show
such a continuity of Jewish persecution, from the rise of
the Nazi conspiracy to its collapse, as forbids us to
believe that any person could be identified with any part of
Nazi action without approving this most conspicuous item in
their programme.

The Indictment itself recites many evidences of the anti-
Semitic persecutions. The defendant Streicher led the Nazis
in anti-Semitic bitterness and extremism. In an article
appearing in Der Sturmer on 19th March, he complained that
Christian teachings have stood in the way of "racial
solution of the Jewish question in Europe," and quoted
enthusiastically as the Twentieth Century solution the
Fuehrer's proclamation Of 24th February, 194z, that "the Jew
will be exterminated." And on 4th November, 1943, Streicher
declared in Der Sturmer that the Jews "have disappeared from
Europe and that the Jewish 'Reservoir of the East' from
which the Jewish plague has for centuries beset the people
of Europe, has ceased to exist." Streicher now has the
effrontery to tell us he is "only a Zionist"; he says he
only wants to return the Jews to Palestine. But on 7th May,
1942, his newspaper Der Sturmer had this to say:

   "It is also not only a European problem! The Jewish
   question is a world question! Not only is Germany not
   safe in the face of the Jews as long as one Jew lives in
   Europe, but also the Jewish question is hardly solved in
   Europe so long as Jews live in the rest of the world."

And the defendant Hans Frank, a lawyer by profession I say
with shame, summarised in his diary in 1944 the Nazi policy

  "The Jews are a race which has to be eliminated; whenever
  we catch one, it is his end." (Document No. 2233-PS, Vol.
  1944, p. 26.)

And earlier, speaking of his function as Governor-General of
Poland, he confided to his diary this sentiment:

  "Of course I cannot eliminate all lice and Jews in only a
  year's time." (2233-PS, Vol. IV, 1940, p. 1159)

I could multiply endlessly this kind of Nazi ranting, but I
will leave it to the evidence and turn to the fruit of this
perverted thinking.

The most serious of the actions against Jews were outside of
any law, but the law itself was employed to some extent.
There were the infamous Nuremberg decrees of 15th September,
1935. ("Reichsgesetzblatt," 1935, Part 1, p. 1146.) The Jews
were segregated into ghettos and put into forced labour;
they were expelled from their professions; their property
was expropriated; all cultural life, the Press, the theatre,
and schools were prohibited them; and the S.D. was made
responsible for them. (212-PS, 069-PS.) This was an ominous
guardianship as the following order for "The Handling of the
Jewish Question" shows:-

  "The competency of the Chief of the Security Police and
  Security Service, who is charged with the mission of
  solving the European Jewish question, extends even to the
  occupied eastern provinces. . . .
  An eventual act by the civilian population against the
  Jews is not to be prevented as long as this is compatible
  with the maintenance of order and security in the rear of
  the fighting troops. . . .
  The first main goal of the German measures must be the
  strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the
  population. In the execution of this, first of all, is
                                                   [Page 64]
  seizing of the Jewish populace by the introduction of a
  registration order and similar appropriate measures..
  Then immediately, the wearing of the recognition sign,
  consisting of a yellow Jewish star, is to be brought
  about and all rights of freedom for Jews are to be
  withdrawn. They are to be placed in ghettos, and at the
  same time, are to be separated according to sex. The
  presence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements
  in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission
  easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make
  possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case
  labour needs are present. The entire Jewish property is
  to be seized and confiscated, with the exception of that
  which is necessary for a bare existence. As far as the
  economical situation permits, the power of disposal of
  their property is to be taken from the Jews as soon as
  possible through orders and other measures given by the
  commissariat, so that the moving of property will quickly
  "Any cultural activity will be completely forbidden to
  the Jew. This includes the outlawing of the Jewish Press,
  the Jewish theatres and schools.
  "The slaughtering of animals according to Jewish rites is
  also to be prohibited." (212-PS).

The anti-Jewish campaign became furious following the
assassination in Paris of the German Legation Councillor von
Rath. Heydrich, Gestapo head, sent a telegram to all Gestapo
and S.D. offices with directions for handling "spontaneous"
uprisings anticipated for the nights of 9th and 10th
November, 1938, so as to aid in destruction of Jewish-owned
property and protect that of Germans. No more cynical
document ever came into evidence. Then there is a report by
an S.S. Brigade Leader, Dr. Stahlecher to Himmler, which
recites that:-

  "Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to
  start pogroms against Jews after capture, though this
  inducement proved to be very difficult.
  Following out orders, the Security Police was determined
  to solve the Jewish question with all possible means and
  most decisively. But it was desirable that the Security
  Police should not put in an immediate appearance, at
  least at the beginning, since the extraordinarily harsh
  measures were apt to stir even German circles. It had to
  be shown to the world that the native population itself
  took the first action by way of natural reaction against
  the suppression by Jews during several decades and
  against the terror exercised by the Communists during the
  preceding period."
  .In view of the extension of the area of operations and
  the great number of duties which had to be performed by
  the Security Police, it was intended from the very
  beginning to obtain the co-operation of the reliable
  population for the fight against vermin - that is mainly
  the Jews and Communists. Beyond our directing of the
  first spontaneous actions of self-cleansing, which will
  be reported elsewhere, care had to be taken that reliable
  people should be put to the cleansing job, and that they
  were appointed auxiliary members of the Security Police."
  .Kowno. To our surprise it was not easy at first to set
  in motion an extensive pogrom against Jews. Klimatis, the
  leader of the partisan unit, mentioned above, who was
  used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a
  pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small
  advanced detachment acting in Kowno, and in such a way
  that no German order or German instigation was noticed
  from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night
  from 25 to 26.6 the Lithuanian partisans did away with
  more than 1,500 Jews, set fire to several Synagogues or
  destroyed them by other means and burned down a Jewish
  dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During
  the following nights about 2,300 Jews were made harmless
  in a similar way. In  other parts of Lithuania similar
  actions followed
                                                   [Page 65]
  the example of Kowno, though smaller and extending to the
  Communists who had been left behind.
  These self-cleansing actions went smoothly because the
  Army authorities who had been informed showed
  understanding for this procedure. From the beginning it
  was obvious that only the first days after the occupation
  would offer the opportunity for carrying out pogroms.
  After the disarmament of the partisans the self-cleansing
  actions ceased necessarily.
  It proved much more difficult to set in motion similar
  cleaning actions in Latvia."
  From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish
  problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone.
  In accordance with basic orders received, however, the
  cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at
  a complete annihilation of the Jews. . . .
  The sum total of Jews liquidated in Lithuania amounts to
  71,105. . . ." (L-180)

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