The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/02/21

DR. BOEHM: Mr. President, your Honours, I just spoke of
the points which were presented to refute the
genuineness of Document 1721-PS. I continue.

This alone would not be conclusive if I did not have
the affidavit of the Gruppenfuehrer of the Kurpfalz
Group, Fust, and a member of the Group Staff,
Zimmermann, who was present at the time, who testify
that such an order as the one alleged by the
prosecution was never given. If such an order was never
given, then there can be no report on the completion of
the mission. But it was also proved by virtue of the
affidavits of the collective summarization that no
order of the kind charged by the prosecution was issued
to the Standarten of Brigade 50.

This we learn from Standarten 115, 221, 176, 168 and
145. All these Standarten were part of Brigade 50. None
of these Standarten received any such ominous order as
the prosecution has alleged. Furthermore, it was proved
by the testimony of former Obergruppenfuehrer Mappes
that Lutze countermanded Dr. Goebbels's order of the
9th November, 1938. Therefore, it was proved that the
Supreme SA Leadership forbade participation in
Goebbels's operation. It has been proved that this
counter-order definitely reached the following Groups:
East Prussia, Central, Highland, Hesse, Lower Saxony
(General SA Affidavit No. 90). Lutze's reaction, when
he learned of the events of 9th November, 1938, has
likewise been proved by an affidavit (General SA No.
71). As shown by the testimony of Siebel, Lutze
ordered, as a consequence of the happenings of 9th
November, 1938, that in future orders of the political
leadership were not to be carried out. He issued that
order because he realized that various SA companies
(Sturme), or SA members, had been misused on the
occasion of 9th November, 1938 (SA Affidavit No. 80).

If excesses occurred in which members of the SA
participated, this still does not provide the
prosecution with grounds for condemning the SA as
criminal. Since it has been proved that Lutze issued a
counter-order, those events lie outside the organic
body of the SA.

From the sworn evidence of Edgar Stolzner (General SS
Affidavit No. 89), we see how individual SA leaders
repudiated these occurrences. In this way many SA units
kept their records clean. There are whole districts in
which nothing occurred.

In the statistical collective summarization of the
affidavits, I have shown that the following synagogues
were protected from destruction by members of the SA:
Bebra, Hochstedt, Waldburg, Saubern, Grossumstadt,
Buckeburg. Furthermore, attempts to save synagogues
were made in Marburg and Giessen by SA members.
Moreover, the majority of the rural districts had no
synagogues or Jews whatsoever. Absolutely no
persecutions of Jews took place in these districts. The
rural SA is thereby immediately excluded from this
point of the Indictment. It appears superfluous to me
to point out that these excesses were repudiated by the
overwhelming majority of SA members.

                                             [Page 228]

How the SA leadership regarded the Jewish question may
be learned from the differences, already discussed,
which the SA leadership had with the editors and the
Eher Publishing House because of those articles in the
SA Mann which it repudiated, although it lacked the
power to make its views prevail. Its position with
regard to the Jewish question is made completely clear
by the fact that in various Groups Der Sturmer was
expressly banned by the SA Leadership. This was the
case, for instance, in the Nordmark Group (testimony of
Klaehn and Juettner).

The position adopted by the Supreme SA Leadership in
regard to the Church question is quite unequivocal. The
testimony of the Vicar General Dr. David, Pastor
Burgstaller, and Consistorial Councillor Dr. Ratlike
shows that the prosecution charged the SA with
religious intolerance without justification. The
overwhelming majority of all SA members still belong to
one of the Christian Churches today.

Protestant clergymen served within the ranks of the SA;
for instance, Bishop Sasse, of Thuringia, from which it
appears that the SA Leadership did not exert any
pressure to force people to leave the Church. This fact
is clearly proved in many affidavits. I may recall that
Cardinal Count Galen was accompanied by SA members on
his tours through the diocese, and that in many
districts an order had been issued against holding SA
services during church times and in the neighbourhood
of churches. It is also a known fact that the SA held
divine services in the field. In 1933 the SA furnished
the guard of honour when the holy robe was exhibited in
Trier (testimony of Dr. David). In the cross-
examination of the witness Dr. David, the defence has
proved that in the famous case in Freising when action
was taken against Cardinal Faulhaber because of one of
his sermons, the SA Leadership initiated proceedings to
punish those who were guilty of these excesses of
authority.

In regard to the activity of the SA in connection with
the guarding of concentration camps and the employment
of police and auxiliary police troops, the prosecution
mentions only a few cases. The SA is thereby excluded,
even according to the Indictment, from the charges
concerning the large concentration camps of Auschwitz,
Maidanek, Belsen, Dachau and Buchenwald. In the Vogel
case the guilty persons were punished. The
misunderstanding created by the Schellenberg affidavit
was cleared up by the affidavit of Gontermann (General
SA Affidavit No. 16). Schellenberg in London confused
the concentration camp and police service with service
in the town and country guards.

It is true that after 30th January, 1933, a number of
policemen and auxiliary policemen were employed for
various purposes in certain provinces. They were taken
in part from the ranks of the SA:

  (a) Because it was desirable to have some proof of
  political reliability;
  
  (b) Because among the many unemployed in the SA,
  there were recruits for police or auxiliary police
  work.

To the extent that the SA members concerned selected a
new occupation, for instance, that of policeman, these
were only men who actually worked at this vocation. To
the extent that they were temporarily employed as
auxiliary policemen, which was frequently done for a
probation period before being definitely employed as
regular policemen, they were not any longer subordinate
to the SA, but to the competent police authority. Then
occasionally they still wore the SA uniform for a
while, but only because there was a shortage of
uniforms, and in such cases they wore an arm band
marked "Auxiliary Police." They received an appropriate
identification card issued by the police, the Landrat,
or other authorities. The SA placed them on leave
status for the duration of service of this kind, so
that outwardly, too, they were separated from the SA
and the latter was deprived of any opportunity to
influence them. In such cases, therefore, the
individual concerned never acted as an SA man. The
uniform, which he often still kept for a while with the
arm band, was his sole, exclusively outward connection

                                             [Page 229]

with the SA, and cannot alone decide the issue. This
adoption of the uniform of an organization for a
purpose and service alien to itself occurred frequently
in the SA and other organizations; for example, as
Wehrmacht attendants or Volkssturm members. According
to recognized principles of International Law, the arm
band gave the uniform, or even a civilian suit, the
sole stamp of the new service, which deviated from the
original meaning of the SA.

The individual charges raised against the SA in
connection with concentration camp, police, and
auxiliary police service can deal with such purely
superficial matters, which are unjustly charged against
the SA, only on the basis of the uniform. For the
commanding agency was not the SA Leadership, but the
State.

The prosecution tried to refute this argument in the
cross-examination of Juettner by introducing documents
which were supposed to prove that the SA had
participated in the atrocities in the occupied
territories, and in the concentration camps and forced
labour camps.

It did not succeed in this.

It was clearly established that the Supreme SA
Leadership was forbidden to set up SA units in the so-
called Reichskommissariat Ostland, that is Lithuania,
Latvia and Esthonia. Here the prosecution is confusing
the SA Gruppe Ostland, which was set up in East
Prussia, with the later Reichskommissariat Ostland.
Moreover, the prosecution has already charged another
organization with the Schaulen, Kovno, and Vilna cases.
District Commissioners, Provincial Commissioners, and
officials of the Reichskommissariat Ostland were no
more under the Supreme SA Leadership than the SA
Obergruppenfuehrer Killinger and Kasche, who were
engaged as ministers. The defendant Ribbentrop has
explained this clearly. The affidavit of the defendant
Frank has solved the Ilkenau case in favour of the SA.

A special role in the cross-examination of Juettner was
played by the question of the so-called abuse of
justice, which Sir David emphasized. It has nothing to
do with the SA, but rather with the competent
ministers.

Moreover, the case of Hohenstein concentration camp
came to the fore. In re-examination it was possible to
prove that this concentration camp was not a
concentration camp for political opponents alone. Old
guard Nazis were interned there. Moreover, the business
of Hohenstein concentration camp became the subject of
prosecution by the officials of the Ministry of Justice
because of information supplied by SA
Obergruppenfuehrer Killinger, when he was still in
charge of the SA Gruppe Sachsen. It is something new to
charge the SA with cases which they themselves reported
for punishment. In this connection it is an interesting
fact that the prosecution submitted an incomplete
document which does not contain the letters of Lutze
and Hess, from which the SA defence, according to the
information which it had received, might have been able
to derive only favourable material.

In order to be able to prove the criminal character of
the SA, the prosecution obtained affidavits from former
political opponents of the NSDAP. Among them are the
affidavits of Minister President Dr. Wilhelm Hoegner
and Advocate General Dr. Staff, of Brunswick. They were
given on orders of the Military Government, as appears
from the affidavit of Dr. Staff. The two latter ones
were submitted by the defence. It has already been
established before the Tribunal that Dr. Hoegner was
frequently mistaken. His description of the march on
Coburg is completely wrong.

In reality, things happened in the following way, as
testified by witness Juettner and the affidavit of
Zoeberlein (Affidavit General SA No. 21):

 A German association, the "Schutz- and Trutzbund" was
compelled by the municipal government of that time to
hold a closed session. The NSDAP stressed the right of
freedom of assembly which was guaranteed to all by the
constitution. Therefore, a protection squad went to
Coburg. Upon leaving the railroad station, it was
attacked in the street by members of the leftist
organization who were armed with lead pipes, spiked
wooden boards, etc. Above all, it was also proved that
the

                                             [Page 230]

observations of Dr. Hoegner that in Bavaria the SA was
trained by the Reichswehr cannot be correct. It was the
Munich Reichswehr General von Lossow who caused the
collapse of the Hitler Putsch. As the witness Juettner
has testified, the arsenals which had been opened by
permission of the Inter-allied Commission were
available to all organizations except the SA. It is
equally wrong to allege that Ludendorff was selected to
unleash a national war against France at a time when
Communist revolts were raging in Saxony, and when
Ludendorff had already made efforts in 1921 to reach an
understanding with France, which at the end of 1923 led
to the so-called Foch Plan. When we consider that there
were arsenals belonging to leftist organizations in the
Munich Trade Union House, then the occupation of the
Trade Union House takes on a totally different aspect.
Dr. Hoegner asserts that the SA had a share in the
persecution of the Jews, whereas the prosecution
witness Diels emphasized that the SA was not anti-
Semitic. Dr. Hoegner also puts himself in contradiction
to Pastor Burgstaller who had particularly emphasized
the indifference of the SA in racial matters. It can
definitely be admitted that excesses did occur when the
Munich post office was occupied. But such things occur
during any revolution; we need only recall some of the
things that happened between 1918 and 1920.

How the situation actually was, seen objectively, is
shown by the affidavit of Dr. Staff, Brunswick, in
which he states:

  "The SA behaved in a manner which, regarded from the
  legal standpoint of a civilized nation, must be
  called illegal, but it did not result in any
  excesses, going beyond these measures which were
  illegal in themselves."

I also submitted an affidavit of Dr. Priese as General
SA No. 82. It shows that Dr. Priese as a member of the
Communist Party of Germany was active as an expert of
the denazification boards, and that he gave this
affidavit with the approval of the Minister for
Political Clearance. His judgment is to the effect that
the SA cannot be considered a criminal organization
within the meaning of Article 6 of the Charter.

Through the mass enrolment of members in the SA after
30th January, 1933, the so-called uniform whole of the
NSDAP broke apart even more than had been the case
before that date. Elements of the German population
entered the SA, whose aims and aspirations had nothing
to do with the goals of the SA.

The affidavit of Diels shows that in the Berlin SA
Communists were admitted in large numbers. The
collective summarization reveals that this was also the
case in other cities. In this connection I must also
refer to the incorporation of all the Protestant Youth
Associations into the Hitler Youth in 1933, which were
then transferred to the SA. Vicar-General Dr. David
declared that this was also the case among many of the
Catholic youth. The aims which the leading personages
had in their minds when this transfer was made become
clear from the quotation from the Akademische
Monatsblatter, of June, 1933 (Document SA 317), which
reads as follows:

  "Realizing this, it is up to us to take a hand with
  sincere conviction in common honest work with all
  the constructive forces of our nation, in order to
  create new and better things and to prevent the
  worst. For this reason we want to place all our
  Catholic wealth of Christian conservative ideas as
  well as Christian evolutionary forces into the new
  Germany, to help in the formation and deepening of
  its spirit from our spirit."

If the SA were to be convicted, this declaration of
criminality would also affect these men who were not
concerned with the spirit of the National Socialist
Party, and some of whom were to act as a brake against
the radical elements in the movement.

The largest number of men joined when the Stahlhelm was
transferred to the SA in 1933 and 1934. The original so-
called "Traditions SA" had had only 300,000 members, as
was stated some time ago. The Stahlhelm, on the other

                                             [Page 231]

hand, comprised more than one million members, most of
whom differed considerably from the SA men of the
period of struggle, both as regards their general
attitude and their outlook on life.

In the session of 28th February to 2nd March, 1946, the
prosecution moved to except, among others, the SA
Reserve from the declaration of criminality.

By an order of the Supreme SA Leadership (Hitler),
dated 6th November, 1933, the SA Reserve 1 was formed
from members of the Stahlhelm between 36 and 45 years
of age. The SA Reserve was subsequently placed under
the command of the SA Gruppenfuehrer in accordance with
a directive issued by the same authority on 25th
January, 1934, and was thereby transferred to the SA
under the designation SA Reserve No. 1 (Exhibits Nos.
13 and 17 of the Document Book Stahlhelm SA). A part of
the SA Reserve 1 remained in existence up to the end of
the war and has thus been excluded from the declaration
of criminality. A further part of this SA-Reserve No. 1
was attached as small reserve groups to active SA
companies (Sturme) in the course of the last few years.
The remainder was gradually incorporated in the active
SA after 1934. Such reorganizations were carried out in
accordance with lists, or by virtue of specially issued
orders. The reasons for these transfers were partly
technical considerations, such as local combinations,
especially during the war, when SA Sturme shrank
because of inductions into the armed forces. In many
cases these reorganizations were also made in order to
facilitate better control within the SA. It would thus
be unfair and incomprehensible to give this latter
group a different treatment to the former, to make
coincidence the judge over the fate of the members of
the Stahlhelm who remained in the SA up to the end of
the war.

Those members of the Stahlhelm transferred into the SA
by order of Hitler in 1933-1934 were transferred to the
SA as a body. For that reason alone, according to the
decision of the Tribunal of 13th March, 1946, under 6-a
2, and 6-b, they cannot be declared criminal. With
reference to this I draw your attention to the plea of
my honoured colleague, Attorney Klefisch, on 15th
August, 1946, to the effect that those persons who had
entered an organization involuntarily belong to the
class of innocent camp followers who may be assumed not
to have desired to support the aims and activities of
the organization. Therefore, an accusation of guilt
cannot apply to them, even if it had been possible for
them to resign immediately.


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