The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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In the so-called "Eastern territories" these victims were
apprehended for extermination in concentration camps without
any charges having been made against them. In the Eastern
occupied territories charges seemed to have been made
against some of the victims. Some of the charges which the
Nazi conspirators considered sufficient basis for
confinement in the concentration camps are shown by
reference to Document L-215, which becomes Exhibit USA 243.
This document is the summary of the file, the dossier, of 25
persons arrested in Luxembourg for commitment to various
concentration camps and sets forth the charges made against
each person. Beginning with the paragraph after the name
"Henricy", at the bottom of the first page, and quoting:-

   "The name: Henricy. Charge: For associating with members
   of illegal resistance movements and making money for
   them, violating legal foreign exchange rates, for
   harming the interests of the Reich and being expected in
   the future to disobey official administrative
   regulations and act as an enemy of the Reich. Place of
   confinement: Natzweiler."

Next comes the name of "Krier" and the charge:-

   "For being responsible for advanced sabotage of labour
   and causing fear because of his political and criminal
   past. Freedom would only further his anti-social urge.
   Place of confinement: Buchenwald."

Passing to the middle of Page 2, after the name "Monti":-

   "Charge: For being strongly suspected of aiding
   desertion. Place of confinement: Sachsenhausen."

                                                  [Page 367]

Next, after the name "Junker":-

   "Charge: Because as a relative of a deserter he is
   expected to endanger the interests of the German Reich
   if allowed to go free. Place of confinement:
   Sachsenhausen."

"Jaeger" is the next name and the charge against Jaeger,
quoting:-
   
   "Because as a relative of a deserter he is expected to
   take advantage of every occasion to harm the German
   Reich. Place of confinement: Sachsenhausen."

And down to the name "Ludwig" and the charge against Ludwig:-

   "For being strongly suspected of aiding desertion. Place
   of confinement: Dachau."

Not only civilians of the occupied countries but also
prisoners of war were subjected to the horrors and the
brutality of the concentration camps; and we refer to
Document 1165-PS, Exhibit USA 244. This document is a
memorandum to all officers of the State Police signed by
Muller, the Chief of the Gestapo, dated 9th November, 1941.
The memorandum has the revealing title of, and I quote,
"Transportation of Russian Prisoners of War, Destined for
Execution, into the Concentration Camps."

I wish to quote also from the body of this memorandum which
is found on Page 2 of the English translation and I quote
directly:-

   "The commandants of the concentration camps are
   complaining that 5 to 10 per cent. of the Soviet
   Russians destined for execution are arriving in the
   camps dead or half dead. Therefore the impression has
   arisen that the Stalags are getting rid of such
   prisoners in this way.
   
   It was particularly noted that, when marching, for
   example, from the railroad station to the camp, a rather
   large number of prisoners of war collapsed on the way
   from exhaustion, either dead or half dead, and had to be
   picked up by a truck following the convoy.
   
   It cannot be prevented that the German people take
   notice of these occurrences.
   
   Even if the transportation to the camps is generally
   taken care of by the Wehrmacht, the population will
   attribute this situation to the S.S.
   
   In order to prevent, if possible, similar occurrences in
   the future, I therefore order that, effective from today
   on, Soviet Russians, declared definitely suspect and
   obviously marked for death (for example with typhus) and
   therefore not able to withstand the exertions of even a
   short march on foot, shall in the future, as a matter of
   basic principle, be excluded from the transport into the
   concentration camps for execution."

More evidence of the confinement of Russian prisoners of war
in concentration camps is found in an official report of the
investigation of the Flossenburg concentration camp by the
Headquarters of the United States Third Army, the Judge
Advocate Section, and particularly the War Crimes Branch,
under the date of 21st June, 1945. It is our Document 2309-
PS, and is Exhibit USA 245. At the bottom of Page 2 of the
English text the last two sentences of that last paragraph
say, and I quote:-

   "In 1941 an additional stockade was added at the
   Flossenburg Camp to hold 2,000 Russian prisoners. Of
   these 2,000 prisoners only 102 survived."

Soviet prisoners of war found their allies in the
concentration camps too and at Page 4 of this same Document
2309-PS it will show, particularly Paragraph 5, on Page 4,
and I quote it:-

                                                  [Page 368]

   "The victims of Flossenburg included among them Russian
   civilians and prisoners of war, German nationals,
   Italians, Belgians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians, British
   and American prisoners of war. No practical means was
   available to complete a list of victims of this camp;
   however, since the foundation of the Camp in 1938 until
   the day of liberation it is estimated that more than
   29,000 inmates died."

Escaped prisoners of war were sent to concentration camps by
the conspirators, and these camps were specially set up as
extermination centres ; and we refer to Document 1650-PS,
being Exhibit USA 246. This document is a communication from
the Secret State Police of Cologne and it is dated the 4th
March, 1944. At the very top of the English text it says "To
be transmitted in secret - to be handled as a secret
Government matter."

In the third paragraph, quoting:-

   "Concerns: Measures to be taken against captured escaped
   prisoners of war who are officers or non-working non-
   commissioned officers, except British and American
   prisoners of war. The Supreme Command of the Army has
   ordered as follows:
   
      1. Every captured escaped prisoner of war who is an
      officer or a non-working non-commissioned officer,
      except British and American prisoners of war, is to
      be turned over to the Chief of the Security Police
      and of the Security Service under the classification
      'Step III', regardless of whether the escape occurred
      during a transport, whether it was a mass escape or
      an individual one.
      
      2. Since the transfer of the prisoners of war to the
      Security Police and Security Service must not become
      officially known to the outside under any
      circumstances, other prisoners of war must by no
      means be informed of the capture. The captured
      prisoners are to be reported to the Army Information
      Bureau as 'escaped and not captured'. Their mail is
      to be handled accordingly. Inquiries of
      representatives of the Protective Power of the
      International Red Cross and of other aid societies
      will be given the same answer."

The same communication carried a copy of an order of S.S.
General Muller, acting for the Chief of the Security Police
and S.D., directing the Gestapo to transport escaped
prisoners directly to Mauthausen; and I quote the first two
paragraphs of Muller's order, which begins on the bottom of
Page 1 and runs over to Page 2 of the English text. Quoting:-

   "The State Police Directorates will accept the captured
   escaped officer prisoners of war from the prisoner of
   war camp commandants and will transport them to the
   concentration camp Mauthausen following the procedure
   previously used, unless the circumstances render a
   special transport imperative. The prisoners of war are
   to be put in irons on the transport - not on the station
   if it is subject to view by the public. The camp
   commandant at Mauthausen is to be notified that the
   transfer occurs within the scope of the action 'Kugel'.
   The State Police Directorates will submit semi-yearly
   reports on these transfers giving merely the figures,
   the first report being due on 5th July, 1944."

Passing the next three sentences, we come to this line:-

   "For the sake of secrecy the Supreme Command of the
   Armed Forces
   
                                                  [Page 369]
   
   
   has been requested to inform the prisoner of war camps
   to turn the captured prisoners over to the local State
   Police Office and not to send them directly to
   Mauthausen."

It is no coincidence that the literal translation for the
German word 'Kugel' is the English word 'bullet', since
Mauthausen, where the escaped prisoners were sent, was an
extermination centre.

Nazi conquest was marked by the establishment of
concentration camps over all Europe. In this connection we
refer to Document R-129. It is a report on the location of
concentration camps, signed by Pohl, who was an S.S. General
in charge of concentration camp labour policies. Document R-
129 is Exhibit USA 217.

I wish to refer particularly to Section 1, Paragraphs 1 and
2 of this document, which are found on Page 1 of the English
translation. It is addressed to the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and
bears the stamp "Secret":-

   "Reichsfuehrer: Today I report about the present
   situation of the concentration camps and about measures
   I have taken in order to carry out your order of the 3rd
   March, 1942:
   
   1. At the outbreak of war there existed the following
   concentration camps:
   
   (a) Dachau-1939, 4,000 prisoners; today, 8,000.
   
   (b) Sachsenhausen-1939, 6,500 prisoners; today, 10,000.
   
   (c) Buchenwald-1939, 5,300 prisoners; today, 9,000.
   
   (d) Mauthausen-1939, 1,500 prisoners; today, 5,500.
   
   (e) Flossenburg-1939, 1,600 prisoners; today, 4,700.
   
   (f) Ravensbriiek-1939, 2,500 prisoners; today, 7,500."

And then it goes on to say in Paragraph 2, quoting:

   "In the years 1940 to 1942 nine further camps were
   erected:
   (a) Auschwitz.
   (b) Neuengamme.
   (c) Guson.
   (d) Natzweiter.
   (e) Gross-Rosen.
   (f) Lublin.
   (g) Niederhagen.
   (h) Stutthof.
   (i) Arbeitsdorf."

In addition to the camps in the occupied territory mentioned
in this Document R-129, from which I have just read these
names and figures, there were many, many others. I refer to
the official report by the United States Third Army
Headquarters, to which we have already made reference,
Document 2309-PS, on Page 2 in the English text, Section IV,
Paragraph 4, quoting:_

   "Concentration Camp Flossenburg was founded in 1938 as a
   camp for political prisoners. Construction was commenced
   on the camp in 1938 and it was not until April, 1940,
   that the first transport of prisoners was received. From
   this time on prisoners began to flow steadily into the
   camp. (Exhibit B-1.) Flossenburg was the mother camp and
   under its direct control and jurisdiction were 47
   satellite camps or outer-commandos for male prisoners
   and 27 camps for female workers. To these outer-
   commandos were supplied the necessary prisoners for the
   various work projects undertaken.

                                                  [Page 370]

   Of all these outer-commandos Hersbruck and Leitmeritz
   (in Czechoslovakia), Oberstaubling, Mulsen and Sall,
   located on the Danube, were considered to be the worst."

I do not wish to take the time of the Tribunal to discuss
each of the Nazi concentration camps which dotted the map of
Europe. We feel that the widespread use of these camps is
commonly known and notorious. We do, however, wish to invite
the Tribunal's attention to a chart which we have had
prepared. The solid black line marks the boundary of Germany
after the "Anschluss", and we invite the Tribunal's
attention to the fact that the majority of the camps shown
on the chart are located within the territorial limits of
Germany itself. They are the red spots, of course, on the
map. In the centre of Germany there is the Buchenwald camp
located near the city of Weimar, and at the extreme bottom
of the chart there is Dachau, several miles outside Munich.
At the top of the chart are Neuengamme and Bergen-Belsen,
located near Hamburg. To the left is the Niederhagen camp in
the Ruhr Valley. In the upper right there are a number of
camps near Berlin, one named Sachsenhausen (formerly
Oranienburg, which was one of the first camps established
after the Nazis came into power). Near to that is the camp
of Ravensbruck, which was used exclusively for women. Some
of the most notorious camps were indeed located outside
Germany. Mauthausen was in Austria. In Poland was the
infamous Auschwitz; and to the left of the chart is a camp
called Hertogenbosch which was located in Holland, as the
chart shows; and below it is Natzweiler, located in France.

The camps were established in networks, and it may be
observed that surrounding each of the major camps-the larger
red dots - is a group of satellite camps, and the names of
the principal camps, the most notorious camps, at least, are
above the map and below it on the chart; and those names,
for most people, symbolise the Nazi system of concentration
camps as they have become known to the world since May or a
little later in 1945.

I should like to direct your attention briefly to the
treatment which was meted out in these camps. The motion
picture to which I have made reference a short time ago and
which was shown to the members of this High Tribunal, has
disclosed the terrible and savage treatment which was
inflicted upon these Allied nationals, prisoners of war and
other victims of Nazi terror. Because the moving picture has
so well shown the situation, as of the time of its taking at
least, I shall confine myself to a very brief discussion of
the subject.

The conditions which existed inside these camps were, of
course, we say, directly related to the objectives which
these Nazi conspirators sought to achieve outside the camps
through their employment of terror.

It is truly remarkable, it seems to us, how easily the words
"concentration camps" rolled off the lips of these men. How
simple all problems became when they could turn to the
terror institution of these camps. I refer to Document R-
124, which is already before the Tribunal as Exhibit USA
179. It is again that document covering the minutes of the
Central Planning Committee on which the defendant Speer sat,
and where the high strategy of the high Nazi armament
production was formulated. I do not intend to read from the
document again, because I read from it this morning, to
illustrate another point, but the Tribunal will recall that
it was at this meeting that the defendant Speer and others
were discussing the so-called slackers,

                                                  [Page 371]

and the conversation had to do with haying drastic steps
taken against these workers, who were not putting out
sufficient work to please their masters. Speer suggested
that "there is nothing to be said against the S.S. and
Police taking steps and putting those known as slackers into
concentration camps," and he used the words "concentration
camps ". And he said "Let it happen several times and the
news will soon get around."

Words spoken in this fashion, we say, sealed the fate of
many victims. As for getting the news around, as suggested
by the defendant Speer, this was not left to chance, as we
shall presently show.

The deterrent effect of the concentration camps upon the
public was a carefully planned thing. To heighten the
atmosphere of terror, these camps were shrouded in secrecy.
What went on in the barbed wire enclosures was a matter of
fearful conjecture in Germany and countries under Nazi
control; and this was the policy from the very beginning,
when the Nazis first came into power and set up this system
of concentration camps. We refer now to Document 778-PS,
Exhibit USA 247. This document is an order issued on theist
October, 1933, by the camp commander of Dachau. The document
prescribed a programme of floggings, solitary confinement
and executions for the inmates for infractions of the rules.

Among the rules were those prescribing a rigid censorship
concerning conditions within the camp ; and I refer to the
first page of the English text, paragraph numbered Article
11, and quoting:-

   "By virtue of the law on revolutionaries, the following
   offenders, considered as agitators, will be hanged:
   anyone who, for the purpose of agitating, does the
   following in the camp, at work, in the quarters, in the
   kitchens and workshops, toilets and places of rest:
   talks politics, holds inciting speeches and meetings,
   forms cliques, loiters around with others; who, for the
   purpose of supplying the propaganda of the opposition
   with atrocity stories, collects true or false
   information about the concentration camp and its
   institution, receives such information, buries it, talks
   about it to others, smuggles it out of the camp into the
   hands of foreign visitors or others by means of
   clandestine or other methods, passes it on in writing or
   orally to released prisoners or prisoners who are placed
   above them, conceals it in clothing or other articles,
   throws stones and other objects over the camp wall
   containing such information, or produces secret
   documents; who, for the purpose of agitating, climbs on
   barracks roofs and trees, seeks contact with the outside
   by giving light or other signals, or induces others to
   escape or commit a crime, gives them advice to that
   effect or supports such undertakings in any way
   whatsoever."


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