The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I submit in the document book, as Exhibit RF 1306, a letter
of the French Secretary for Finance of 18th December, 1941,
containing one of these protests. So as not to waste the
time of the Tribunal I shall not quote the document, but
shall merely put it in evidence.

No dividing line was drawn between the activities or powers
of civil authorities and those of military authorities.
There were conflicts and rivalries, but as from March, 1941,
"Stab Rosenberg" occupied the foreground; and it is possible
to say that from 1940 to 1944 it enjoyed a monopoly in the
confiscation of works of art in Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland
and France.

                                                  [Page 103]
"Stab Rosenberg" originated in the Bureau of Foreign Policy
of the Party. Hence the first function, in theory, of "Stab
Rosenberg" consisted in gathering political material which
could and might be exploited in the struggle against Jewry
and Free Masonry by the "Hohe Schule." This is the High
College, whose purpose Hitler defined in his order of 29th
January, 1940, to be found in the American documentation
under No. 136-PS, a copy of which I submit in evidence as
Exhibit  RF 1308. The document is very brief and I shall
read it to the Tribunal:

     "The `Hohe Schule' is some day to become the center for
     doctrinal research and education. It will be
     established after the war. However, in order to
     expedite the preparatory work already initiated, I
     order that Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg continue this
     preparatory work, especially in the field of research
     and the establishment of a library. The offices of the
     Party and the State organisations are required to
     support his work in every way.
                                 "Berlin 29th January, 1940.
                                     (signed) Adolf Hitler."

Entrusted with the discovery and seizure of Jewish
collections which had been left "ownerless" in the occupied
territories, "Stab Rosenberg" did not content itself with
looting private houses; its activities also applied to the
seizure of many trust funds, especially of those deposited
in strong boxes in banks. This is evident from the passage
of the document that I submit as Exhibit RF 1307 from which,
the Tribunal permitting, I will read a passage. This is on
Page 2 of the translation and is also to be found in the

     "On 26th September, 1941, Braumueller, acting on
     Rosenberg's behalf, removed two cases filled with art
     treasures, which are listed and deposited with the
     agency of the `Societe Generale' at Arcachon under the
     name of the depositor, M. Philippe de Rothschild, who
     has not yet regained his French nationality."

As a matter of fact, the field of activity of "Stab
Rosenberg" was not confined to the pillage of Jewish or
Masonic property. It rapidly absorbed all it could of the
artistic heritage of the occupied countries, a heritage
which "Stab Rosenberg" appropriated by invariably illegal
means without distinguishing between private property and
public property.

This action of "Stab Rosenberg" was inspired by the orders
of the defendant Goering himself. It is thus that I submit
as Exhibit  RF 1309 a document discovered by the Army of the
United States and filed under No. 141-PS, which consists of
an order of the defendant Goering, Paris, dated 5th
November, 1940, and which extends the activities of "Stab
Rosenberg." Here is the order:

     "To carry out the present measures for safeguarding
     Jewish property taken over by the Chief of the Military
     Administration in Paris and by `Einsatzstab Rosenberg,'
     the following procedure will be observed in connection
     with the art treasures deposited at the Louvre:
     (1) Those art objects regarding which the Fuehrer has
     reserved to himself the right of further disposal.
     (2) Those which serve to complete the collection of the
     Reich Marshal.
     (3) Art treasures and libraries which appear suitable
     for equipping the `Hohe Schule' within Reichsleiter
     Rosenberg's sphere of duty."
THE PRESIDENT: I think this document has already been read,
M. Gerthoffer. I think this document was read by Colonel

M. GERTHOFFER: I shall omit the quotation, Mr. President.

                                                  [Page 104]
I now come to an order, issued by the defendant Keitel, of
17th December, 1940, a copy of which I submit as Exhibit  RF
1310, filed in the American documents as 138-PS. Here are
the principal passages:

     "Implementing the order of the Fuehrer transmitted to
     Reichsleiter Rosenberg and made known to you at the
     time, to the effect that the premises of Masonic
     Lodges, together with libraries and archives in the
     occupied countries, must be searched for material of
     value to Germany, and that this material must be
     safeguarded by the Gestapo, the Fuehrer has made the
     following decision:
     Reichsleiter Rosenberg, or his representative
     Reichshauptstellenleiter Ebert, has received from the
     Fuehrer personally unequivocal instructions concerning
     the right of confiscation. He is authorized to
     transport to Germany such objects which appear to him
     of value and to place them here in safe custody. You
     are requested to inform the competent military
     commanders or offices."
The activities of "Stab Rosenberg" were manifold. Thus, for
instance, on 18th December, 1941, Rosenberg suggested to
Hitler the seizure of Jewish furniture in the occupied
territories of the West, to serve for the establishments of
Party organisations in the regions of the East.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Gerthoffer, it would help us, I think, if
you told us, when you are passing on in your expose, that
you are passing on to such-and-such a page.

Will you do that?

M. GERTHOFFER: This is Page 14 of the brief, Mr. President.

Here is a copy of the document which was discovered by the
Army of the United States, which bears the number 001-PS, a
copy of which I include in the document book as Exhibit RF

     "Everywhere in the East the administration found
     terrible housing conditions, and the possibilities of
     getting supplies are so limited that it is practically
     impossible to obtain anything. That is why I request
     the Fuehrer to authorise that the furniture belonging
     to Jews who have fled, or those who are leaving Paris,
     or any of the occupied territories of the West, be
     confiscated in order to supplement, as far as possible,
     the furniture for the establishments of the Eastern
I have reached the bottom of Page 15.

Moreover, the Germans concealed their intentions. This is
evident from the letter, dated 28th February, 1942,
addressed to the German Armistice Commission by the German
Military Commander in France, of which I offer a photograph
as Exhibit RF 1312; Page 16. Here are a few extracts from
this letter:

     "Taking into consideration the special mission
     entrusted to `Stab Rosenberg' which consisted in the
     seizure of art treasures of Jewish ownership, protests
     by the French Government against the activities of
     `Stab Rosenberg' have always been forwarded by us to
     the O.K.W., while we replied to the French Government
     that the protest has been forwarded to the office in
     charge in Berlin for investigation and decision."
Further on, in the same letter, we read:

     "The mission of `Stab Rosenberg' must -- as in the past
     -- be kept secret from the French authorities."

A letter addressed to the Section Chief of the Military
Administration in Paris of 7th April, 1942, which I offer in
evidence as Exhibit RF 1313, contains the same directives --
here is the relative passage:

                                                  [Page 105]
     "Furniture belonging to Jews of English or American
     nationality will not be confiscated for the time being
     but only the furniture of Jews who are nationals of the
     Reich or of a country partially or totally occupied by
     the Reich or of Jews who are `Stateless.' The
     confiscated objects become the property of the Reich.
     No receipt will be given. The right of third parties,
     especially those of lessors or of owners of store
     houses, is to be considered as having become void."
Further on in the same instructions, Page 17 of the brief,
sub-paragraph 6:

     "The operations must be carried out as discreetly as
     possible. As to general questions by the local French
     authorities concerning the operations, they must be
     answered verbally, to the effect that this is a
     punitive measure ordered by a higher authority. All
     additional explanations are superfluous."
And further on:

     "Explanations in the Press concerning the utilisation
     of vacant Jewish premises are undesirable for the time
I turn to Page 19 in the brief to quote a very short passage
of a letter dated 18th June, 1942, signed by Rosenberg and
addressed to the defendant Goering. I offer in evidence a
copy of this letter as Exhibit RF 1314. Here is the passage
which I shall read to the Tribunal. Page 20 of the brief;
Page 2 of the document book:

     "Some time ago I explicitly approved the instructions
     given by the Chief of my "Einsatzstab", Stabsfuehrer
     Party member Utikal, that Party member Dr. Lohse of the
     `Plastic Arts' Office be put at your disposal for any
     purpose you may desire."
On Page 22 of my written report is the following:

     "Since the first confiscations were made by the
     military authorities, the `Devisenschutzkommando,' the
     German Embassy and  `Stab Rosenberg' did not appear on
     the scene until the time when seizures of great
     collections had already been completed.
     The greater part of the Rothschild, Kahn, Weil-Picard
     and Wildenstein collections had been confiscated and
     they represented three-quarters of the total booty of
     `Stab Rosenberg'."

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