The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/18

Q. Was there a concentration camp in your own Gau?

A. No.

Q. In connection with this entire group of questions on the
treatment of the Jews, I turn to orders allegedly issued, in
your presence, to the Camp Commandant

                                                  [Page 374]

of Mauthausen, in March, 1945. It is Document 3870-PS,
submitted by the prosecution. According to this document,
Himmler, in March 1945, is supposed to have issued a
directive to the effect that the Jews from the Vienna
East-Wall, were to be sent on foot to Mauthausen. Did you
have anything at all to do with this?

A. I can tell you exactly what Himmler said at that time.

Himmler came to Vienna, towards the middle or the end of
March, to talk to the Commander of Army Group "South." On
this occasion he had ordered all the Reichsstatthalter of
the Ostmark up to Vienna, and granted them full authority to
enforce martial law in the future, since Vienna and some of
the other Ostmark Gaue had, by that time, almost become
front-line zones. Regarding this discussion, Himmler told
his adjutant to call Ziehreiss in, while the papers
authorising martial law were being typed in the next room.
That is how I came to meet Ziehreiss for the second time in
my life.

And now Himmler did not, as Marsalek said, tell Ziehreiss
that the Jews were to be marched on foot from the South-East
Wall to Mauthausen, although he did say something else which
surprised me enormously. He said: "I want the Jews now
employed in industry to be taken by boat, or by bus, if
possible, under the most favourable conditions, and with the
best medical care, to Linz or Mauthausen." I do not quite
remember whether he said they should be taken to Mauthausen,
but he also said, in the presence of Ziehreiss: "Please take
every care of these Jews and treat them well; they are my
soundest capital investment."

From this declaration I assumed, in the first moment - it
was my first fleeting impression - that Himmler wished to
deceive me in some way or another, and then it became clear
to me that he was carrying our certain foreign political
plans in the last moments of the war with these
instructions, by emphasizing excellent treatment of the

What Marsalek therefore said about making them go on foot is
not correct. As I have mentioned, Himmler, above all else
wanted the best possible treatment to be given to the Jews.
I gained the impression - and later on, it was confirmed by
other things we heard - that he wished, at the last minute,
to somehow redeem himself with this good treatment of the

Q. That was the end of March, 1945?

A. That was the end of March, 1945, on the occasion when
authority to apply martial law was granted to the Governors
of the Ostmark.

Q. Therefore, immediately before the collapse?

A. Yes.

Q. In connection with your activities in Vienna, there is
also an accusation, witness, brought against you by the
prosecution, to the effect that you participated in the
persecution of the Church. This accusation is supported
exclusively as far as I can see by Document R-146. I repeat,
R-146, which has already been submitted by the prosecution.

This is a letter addressed by the witness, Dr. Lammers, who
has been heard before the Tribunal, to the Reich Minister
for the Interior, dated 14th March, 1941. In connection with
this matter, there is also a letter from Bormann, addressed
to all the Gauleiters, dated 20th March, 1941.

I should like to hear your comments on both of these
letters, especially since Dr. Lammers' letter speaks of
anti-national and enemy property, whereas in Bormann's
letter of the 20th March, 1941, mention is made of the
confiscation of Church property (monastic property), etc. Do
you know what led to these letters, and what part did you
yourself play in the matter?

A. The document written by Dr. Lammers is correct. Bormann's
covering letter referred to Church property; I referred to
"anti-national and enemy property," for that was a technical
term at the time. I should like to mention, in this
connection, that when I came to Vienna in 1940, the
confiscation of such property was already in full swing; an
argument had arisen on the subject between the Gauleiter and
the Reich Minister. The Reich Minister for Finance wanted

                                                  [Page 375]

confiscated property taken over by the Reich, while I
considered that fundamentally this property should remain
the possession of the Gaue.

So far as I can remember, my active participation in this
question was due to the following confiscation: Prince
Schwarzenberg possessed property, the greater part of which
lay in the region of the Upper Danube; the rest was in the
famous Vienna "Palace." Now this Prince Schwarzenberg had
refused, in the presence of some German consul-general or
consul abroad, to return to Germany and serve in the Army.
Thereupon his property was confiscated. In the interest of
the Reich, I wished to hold this property for the Vienna
Reich Gau, and to prevent it from passing over to the Reich.
I have no files before me, so I cannot from memory give you
any information about other similar actions.

I am not responsible for confiscations in the other Austrian
regions. But I must say one thing quite definitely, namely -
that I put an end to all confiscations throughout the entire
Reich. When, through an intermediary, women from an Austrian
convent appealed to me for help, I went behind Bormann's
back and asked my father-in-law to explain to Hitler the
disastrous effects which these confiscations would have, and
to beg him to issue a direct order for their suppression.
This was achieved, and when the order was put through,
Bormann turned against my father-in-law as well. Since then,
I never had any further opportunity to bring this question
to the Fuehrer's notice.

Q. Witness, you have not, so far, quite explained your
attitude towards Dr. Lammers's letter of the 14th March,
1941. To refresh your memory, I should like to read out the
first sentence of that letter. This letter of Lammers's,
dated 14th March, 1941, Document R-146, states, and I quote:

  "The Reichsstatthalter and Gauleiter von Schirach,
  together with Dr. Jury and Eigruber, have recently
  complained to the Fuehrer that the Reich Minister for
  Finance is still of the opinion that the seizure of
  property belonging to enemies of the State and people
  should be effected in favour of the Reich, and not in
  favour of the Reich Gau."

Thus runs the quotation.

And because of this incident, the prosecution has accused
you of participating in the persecution of the Church in
Vienna. I must request you to tell us what you really did do
in the matter.

A. Well, the Church in Vienna had actually been persecuted
under my predecessor, Burckel, and this can be proved. I
mentioned yesterday the demonstrations before the
Archbishop's palace. But from the day of my arrival in
Vienna, anti-Church demonstrations, in a political sense, no
longer took place. Immediately upon my arrival, I gathered
together all the political officials and all my other
colleagues, and demanded that they should never, either in
writing or byword of mouth, express anything likely to
offend the religious sentiments of other people. I believe
it is a fact that my action was gratefully noted by the
entire population of Vienna. From that day on, there were no
further actions against the Church. Just how much Church
property, though, was confiscated in compliance with the
laws governing the conduct of war, laws which likewise
applied to other property, I cannot tell you without
documentary evidence.

Q. Witness, we can see from this document that you must have
spoken on the subject to Hitler personally -

A. Yes.

Q. - because it states that the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter
von Schirach complained to Hitler on the subject. You have
not said anything to us about that so far.

A. Yes. I myself, during a visit by Hitler to Vienna, when
he came to sign the South-East Pact, told him I was of the
opinion that the property confiscated belonged to the Gaue
and not to the Reich. That was my point of view, and one
which I believed to be correct.

                                                  [Page 376]

Q. Witness, the Indictment further accuses you of having had
some kind of connection with the SS, and that you made use
of the SS. Were you yourself ever a member of the SS?

A. No.

Q. Did Himmler, Leader of the SS, have any influence over
the Youth Organizations and over the education of the young

A. No.

Q. Were the replacements in the SS, especially in the SS
Leadership Corps, recruited from the HJ, and if so, why?

A. The replacements in all the leadership corps in Germany
were recruited from the HJ. Our Youth Organization was a
State institution. You now are probably referring to an
agreement which I had with Himmler on the Patrol Services?

Q. Yes, that too plays a part in this connection.

A. Agreements of that sort -

Q. Just one more moment, Herr von Schirach. This agreement
is entered in the document of the Prosecution as No. 2396-PS
- I repeat, 2396-PS, in which a special statement occurs -
and I should appreciate your comments on the subject to the
effect that the SS received their replacements from the
Patrol Service of the HJ, allegedly by an agreement of
October, 1938. Please tell us all about it and explain to us
what this Patrol Service actually was.

A. The Patrol Service was one of the special units of the HJ
which I forgot to mention yesterday. The Patrol Service was
a youth service for keeping order. It consisted of
outstandingly decent lads who had no police duties - I now
refer to documentary reports which have been submitted to me
- but who had to supervise the general behaviour of the
young people, examine their uniforms, and control the visits
of the boys to the taverns, and it was their duty to inspect
the HJ hostels for cleanliness and neatness; to supervise
the hiking expeditions of the young people and the HJ
hostelries in the country. They acted as guards and
orderlies at mass meetings and demonstrations. They watched
over encampments and accompanied the convoys, they were
employed in the search for youths who were lost, they gave
advice to youths travelling, attended to station services,
were supposed to protect young people from criminal
elements, and above all, to protect national property, i.e.,
woods, fields, etc., and to prevent fires.

As Himmler might have made trouble for this section of the
Youth Organization, it was up to me to see that he - that is
the police - recognized my Patrol Service; for it was my
view that the Police should not be employed against the
State youth organization, but that the young people should
keep order amongst themselves. That this principle was a
sound one, can be judged from the immense decline in
youthful delinquency from 1933 up to the end of the war.

Q. Witness -

A. One moment, I have not yet finished; after this agreement

THE PRESIDENT: Surely, Dr. Sauter, we have heard enough
about this unit. The whole point of the prosecution was that
it was used as a recruiting unit for the SS, was it not?
That is the complaint of the prosecution.

DR . SAUTER: Yes, the Patrol Service -

THE PRESIDENT: We have heard at a considerable length the
description of what they did, "the protection of the youth";
surely we have heard enough about that.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, the so-called special units were
specially mentioned by the prosecution as a means for
preparation for war; i.e., as a means for the military
training of the young people. In this connection, all these
special units were mentioned, and for that reason we
considered it both important and necessary that the
defendant inform you what this Patrol Service really was.
But I can, Mr. President, now leave this particular subject.

                                                  [Page 377]

THE PRESIDENT: We have heard what they were at some
considerable length.

DR. SAUTER: Very well.


Witness, from which formations did the SS mainly recruit its
leader replacements?

A. In order to assure its leader replacements, the SS
founded its own training schools which were entirely outside
my competence. They were the so-called National-Socialist
Training Institutes.

Q. In connection with the SS, the prosecution, witness,
mentioned a further agreement between you and Reichsfuehrer
SS Himmler, an agreement of December, 1938, submitted as No.
2567-PS, the so-called "Landdienst " (Service on the Land)
of the HJ. Why was this agreement concluded with the
Reichsfuehrer SS?

A. It is very hard to give a brief answer. The Reichsfuehrer
SS was a farmer with an agronomical degree. In his student
days, he had belonged to the "Artaman Movement," whose
programme was to prevent the flight from the land, and he
was particularly keen to collaborate, within the SS, with
the land-worker groups of the HJ Patrol Service who were
doing the same work as the "Artaman" Groups in the past. In
conclusion, I should like to say about the "Landdienst " and
the Patrol Service, that no coercion was ever brought to
bear on the young people to enter the SS. Any lad from the
Patrol Service was, of course, free to become a member of
the SA or of the NSKK - and frequently did so - or else
become a political leader, just like any other boy from the
land services or the Hitler youth.

Q. Witness, the Indictment states, inter alia, that a
directive was addressed to the political leaders demanding
that the Hitler Youth leaders, i.e., the leaders subordinate
to you - be employed on their staffs. What can you say to

A. I can only say in reply that this was one of many
attempts by the Party Chancellery to bring the Youth
Leadership into the political leadership. The only practical
result of the directive was that a number of Youth Leaders
were given insignificant duties as adjutants. They bitterly
complained to me and I withdrew them from these posts. It is
an historical fact that in Germany there was no real flow of
people from the Youth Organization into the political
leadership. I can personally name those Youth Leaders who
went to the political leadership, there were so few of them.

Q. Witness, the Soviet Prosecution has submitted a document,
Exhibit USSR 6, which is a report from the Lemberg
Commission. Herein the following fact is mentioned: A
Frenchwoman, Ida Vasseaux, the head of an asylum for old
people in Lemberg, testified in writing (I am only quoting
the gist of the affidavit) that ghetto children were handed
over as presents to the Hitler Youth, and that these
children were then used as living targets by the HJ for
their drill practice. In all the time that you were active
in the Reich Youth Organization, did you ever hear of such
misdemeanours or excesses?

A. No. We are dealing here with the first and, so far, the
only accusation of crimes committed by the HJ which has been
brought to my notice.

There were no HJ commandos, either in the East or in the
West, capable of committing such crimes.

I consider the statements in this affidavit as absolutely
untrue, and that is all I can say on the matter.

Q. Witness, in the course of his examination your
fellow-defendant, Dr. Schacht, mentioned that a suggestion
had been made in his time to Mr. Eden, to divest the SS, the
SA and the Hitler Youth of their military character if the
other Powers would consent to disarm. What do you know of
such proposals or negotiations?

A. I know of no such offer, as far as the HJ is concerned. I
consider it entirely out of the question that any such offer
could have been received by Mr. Eden regarding the HJ, for
Hitler himself did not consider the HJ as a military or even
a semi-military organization. The disarming of the Hitler
Youth Organization could factually never have taken place
since the only weapon carried by the Hitler

                                                  [Page 378]

Youth was the camping knife, the equivalent of a Boy Scout's
bowie knife of the Jung-Volk Pimpfen (boys 10-14 years of

Q. Witness, the prosecution further accuses you of having,
in 1933, concluded an agreement with the VDA - an
abbreviation for the "Verein fur das Deutschtum im Ausland"
(Union of Germanism Abroad). Is that true? And what was your
intention in concluding this agreement?

A. That is true. I do not wish to express an opinion on the
aims and objects of the VDA. I believe that defence counsel
for Herr Frick has already done so. I merely state that it
was my perfectly natural wish to incorporate in my Hitler
Youth Organization the numerically powerful group of lads
belonging to the VDA. The majority of these youths,
moreover, had graduated from the public schools, and it was
my second intention to place some of my collaborators on the
Board of the VDA so as to be currently informed about the
young people abroad.

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