The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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In this connection it would not be out of place to remind
the Tribunal of a brief excerpt from an article published in
the journal of the Storm Troopers, Der SA Mann, of the 6th
January, 1934:

  " ... the SA man, following the will of the Fuehrer,
  stands as guarantor of the National Socialist revolution
  before the gates of power, and will remain standing there
  for all time. For gigantic missions still await
  fulfillment which would be unthinkable without the
  presence and the active co-operation of the SA.
  
  What has been accomplished up till now, the taking over
  of the power in the State and the ejection of those
  elements which are responsible for the pernicious
  developments of the post-war years as bearers of Marxism,
  Liberalism and Capitalism are only the preliminaries, the
  springboard for the real aims of National Socialism."

And during the entire subsequent development of Hitlerism,
the SA men were a loyal weapon in the hands of the criminal
Hitlerite clique.

During the war, by a special directive, the members of the
SA were charged with the guarding of prisoners of war and of
the "workers from the East," and they permitted no weakening
of the savage regime for the extermination of human

                                                  [Page 358]

beings established for them. Members of the SA acted as
guards in several labour camps.

The SA was one of the most criminal mass organizations of
the Hitlerite Party.

The criminal activities of its members, with the exception
of the "Union of Veterans" and persons involved in the
sports societies of the SA, is fully proved by the court
proceedings.

The shock units of the German Fascist Party, whose
activities form the greater part of the crimes of the Hitler
regime, should undoubtedly be recognized by the Tribunal as
a criminal organization.

GESTAPO

The Gestapo was founded by defendant Goering on 26th April,
1933, at the time when he was Prime Minister of Prussia.
During the early period of its existence it was directed by
him in person.

Gradually, however, Reichsfuehrer of the SS Heinrich Himmler
centred all direction of the political police of the Federal
territories in his own hands. The law of 10th February,
1936, declared the Gestapo a "special police" organization
for the entire Reich. By his decree of 17th July, 1936,
Hitler appointed Himmler as Chief of the German Police, thus
legitimizing the "personal union" which had already largely
been achieved by the SS and the police.

In harmony with this principle of "personal union" Himmler,
by his very first decree on the structure of the German
Police, dated 25th June, 1936, appointed Reinhardt Heydrich
as Chief of the Sipo (Security Police) which already
included within the same system both the Gestapo and the
Criminal Police. Heydrich's' successor, after his death, was
the defendant Kaltenbrunner.

A rearrangement of the central security organizations took
place in 1939, in consequence of the consolidation of the
leading role of the SD in the general security plan of the
Nazi State, and for further unification of the police under
a single leadership. This resulted in the fusion of the
"Chief SS Security Administration" with "Chief
Administration of the Security Police" in one single SS semi-
government, semi-party organization - the "Reich Security
Head Office," i.e., the RSHA.

Thus the Secret State Police, then briefly known as the
"Gestapo," and up to then existing as part of the "Chief
Administration of the Sipo," became Section IV of the RSHA.

(a) TASKS OF THE GESTAPO

The tasks of the Gestapo, in the general system of the
security organizations of the Third Reich, were clearly
outlined by the same Heydrich in an article published in the
German periodical The German Police. While defining the role
of the SD as that of political intelligence within both the
Nazi Party and the Nazi State,  whose task included the
study and analysis of the political atmosphere and of the
political trends and tendencies both inside and outside the
bounds of the Reich, for the purpose of informing the Nazi
leadership, he considered that the task of the Secret State
Police lay in the definite revealing and rendering harmless
of such political elements within the Nazi regime as were
both hostile and unreliable.

The entire Gestapo, with its system of central, regional,
penal and other special branches and formations, was geared
to the accomplishment of this cardinal point of its
programme.

The fulfillment of this task demanded the most careful
individual selection of Gestapo personnel. These were
selected from among the most experienced cadres of the
general police and of the administration, who were already
proved to be the fanatical adherents of the Hitlerite
regime, and also from among the staff employees of the SD.
The latter were usually given supervisory positions in the
Gestapo.

                                                  [Page 359]

The affidavit submitted by the former chief of Section IV of
the RSHA, Walter Schellenberg, declares that 75 per cent of
Gestapo officials were also members of the SS. They had
either been members of the SS prior to entering the Gestapo
or else they became members as they began their service in
this punitive and terroristic organization.

The number of Gestapo employees in the period 1943 to 1945
amounted to forty to fifty thousand. Such a staff, to quote
Fouche, allowed the Gestapo "to have eyes to see everywhere
and hands to seize anyone."

The criminal activities of the Gestapo did not confine
themselves exclusively to the territory of the Reich.

During the period of preparation for aggression it was the
Gestapo that received the task, jointly with the SD of
organizing one of the first operational groups, the
"Einsatzgruppen," intended to function in the territory of
the Czechoslovak Republic.

With the opening of hostilities and in conformity with a
plan already prepared and approved, the Gestapo placed at
the disposal of the armed forces a certain percentage of its
experienced workers to organize the so-called "Secret Field
Police," the GFP. The GFP units in the Army combined the
functions of both the Gestapo and the Sipo in the Reich, and
were also endowed with far-reaching police and punitive
rights, directed against the civilian population and the
guerrilla fighters in theatres of military operations.

>From the very beginning of its existence the Gestapo had
wide powers in connection with extra-legal measures of
reprisal directed against elements "threatening" the Nazi
State or the Nazi Party.

One of the main types of reprisal used against such elements
was the utilization of the right of "preventive arrest" and
"preventive custody" which the Gestapo used widely both in
the territory of the Reich and in the areas later annexed or
occupied by Germany.

The places of preventive arrest were the widely-known and
notoriously gloomy German concentration camps. Confinement
in a concentration camp could take place on the strength of
a simple written directive from the Chief of the Security
Police and the SD, Heydrich, whose place was later taken by
Kaltenbrunner, or by order of the Chief of Section IV of the
RSHA, Muller. In many cases the order for confinement in a
concentration camp was issued personally by the
Reichsfuehrer of the SS, who was simultaneously Chief of the
German Police - Heinrich Himmler.

Never did the victim of preventive arrest know for just how
long he would be condemned to torture and suffering - the
length of confinement depended entirely on the arbitrary
decision of the Gestapo. Even when the Gestapo knew the
length of time during which it planned to keep the man in
prison, it was still strictly forbidden to disclose this
either to the prisoner or to his kin.

These concentration camps were the prototype of the
extermination camps which materialized in the subsequent
period of aggressive operations, and which generations to
come are bound to remember with horror, namely, the camps of
Maidanek, Auschwitz, Treblinka and many others.

As the punitive executive organization of the Nazi State,
the Gestapo was in close connection with the Nazi Party.

In the appendix to the decree of the Reich and Prussian
Cabinet Minister, dated 20th September, 1936, it is stated
without any ambiguity that "the special functions of the
Security Police demand the closest and fullest mutual
understanding and collaboration ... also with the Gauleiter
of the NSDAP..." In studying the decree of 14th December,
1938, concerning the collaboration of the Party
organizations with the Gestapo, it is easy to see that there
existed the closest contact among the various organizations
of the Fascist conspirators, more particularly between the
Gestapo and the Party Leadership. Defendants Hess and

                                                  [Page 360]

Bormann were always careful to maintain close contact
between the Party and the Gestapo.

(b) PARTICIPATION OF THE GESTAPO IN PLANS FOR AGGRESSION

As I have already stated, together with other criminal
Fascist organizations, the Gestapo actively participated in
preparing plans for the seizure of territory belonging to
other States.

The list of 4,000 Yugoslav citizens, compiled in 1938 and
seized in May, 1945, in the Gestapo quarters at Maribor,
testifies beyond doubt to the participation of the Gestapo,
on its own lines, for the preparation of the invasion of
Yugoslavia. We also see from the testimony of the Yugoslav
Quisling, Dragomir Jovanovich, a former chief of the Serbian
Police during the German occupation, that leading circles of
the Fascist conspirators had planned the Gestapo
organizations for Yugoslavia beforehand. In accordance with
a preconceived plan the police posts were distributed among
the German residents in Yugoslavia.

Prior to the seizure of Czechoslovakia by the Fascists, the
chief security branches of the Reich planned the development
of the functions of the SD and the Gestapo in the territory
of this country.

The report of the Czechoslovak Government establishes yet
another form of participation of the Gestapo organizations
in the preparation for aggression. The Reich Security Main
Office also landed in Czechoslovakia their agents for
assassination or for kidnapping and carrying off to Germany
of anti-Fascists.

The facts of the participation in and elaboration of
aggressive plans by the Gestapo are also confirmed by a
series of documents which show that long before the
treacherous attack on the USSR, the Hitlerite assassins
compiled lists, and investigation files, and had collected
information regarding leaders of government organizations
and social workers, who according to their plans were doomed
to annihilation. For instance, together with the SD and the
Criminal Police, the Gestapo prepared for these criminal
purposes the "Special Intelligence Guide for the USSR," "The
German Intelligence Guide," "Lists of Persons whose
Residence must be Determined," and other similar
intelligence investigation files and lists of persons.

The criminal activities of the Gestapo in the preparation
and realization of plans far aggression both within the
Reich itself and in the Western States have already been
dealt with by my respected colleagues. For that reason I
shall proceed to the subject of the Gestapo crimes in the
territories of the USSR, Yugoslavia, Poland and
Czechoslovakia, temporarily occupied by the Hitlerites.

(C) CRIMES OF THE GESTAPO IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, YUGOSLAVIA AND
POLAND

The crimes which the Hitlerites had committed with the help
of the executive police organizations in the temporarily
occupied territories of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and
Poland have many features in common.

The various Gestapo organizations represented the executive
machinery which served to realize the majority of these
crimes.

The very first mass "action" for the annihilating of the
Polish intelligentsia, the so-called "Operation AB," was
conceived by Frank, approved by Hitler, and directly
perpetrated by the Gestapo. It was the agents of the Gestapo
who, with the aid of several SS units and under the
direction of the SS and Police Chief for Poland,
Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger, as well as Brigadefuehrer
Strechenbach, exterminated several thousand Polish
intellectuals in the execution of this savage mass
operation.

In accordance with Frank's decree of 9th October, 1943,
"Standgerichte" (Summary Courts) of evil fame, created "to
suppress attacks on German construction in the Government
General," also included agents of the Secret Police, i.e.,
the Gestapo.

                                                  [Page 361]

Again it was the Gestapo in Poland which put into effect as
far back as January, 1941, the terrible reprisal against the
clergy which resulted in the murder of some 700 and the
imprisonment of 3,000.

As is thoroughly proved by the documents submitted by the
Soviet prosecution, the Gestapo established on Polish
territory special mass extermination centres for the Jewish
population.

In contrast to extermination camps such as Maidanek and
Auschwitz, which were under the jurisdiction of the
Administrative and Supply Command of the SS, the secret
extermination camp in Chelmno, where over 340,000 Jews were
done away with in the death vans, was both founded by and
directly subordinate to the Gestapo and was known as
"Sonderkommando Kulmhof."

This Gestapo Sonderkommando was under the supervision of
Braunfisch, Gestapo Chief of the city of Lodz.

It was also the Gestapo which founded Treblinka, prototype
of all subsequent extermination camps.

Eichmann's "Essay" for the extermination of the Jews in
Europe by special extermination camps created for the
purpose by Section "D" of the SS originated in the Gestapo
where Eichmann worked as a direct subordinate of the Gestapo
Chief Muller.

It was the Gestapo that was responsible for the annihilation
of 3,200,000 Jews in Poland, 112,000 in Czechoslovakia and
65,000 in Yugoslavia.

It was the Gestapo that introduced and practised, in the
occupied territories of Eastern Europe, the criminal system
of hostages and the principle of collective responsibility,
thus arbitrarily and constantly widening the circle of
persons liable to reprisals. For instance, it was the
Gestapo that, together with defendant Frank, issued the
notorious decree of mass reprisals with regard to the
"families of saboteurs," the decree which stated that "not
only should the saboteurs seized be executed on the spot but
also that all male relatives of the offenders should be shot
immediately and all female relatives over 16 years of age be
confined in concentration camps."

What went on in Poland does not typify the Gestapo behaviour
in Poland alone, but applies in the same degree to
Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

200,000 persons passed through the Gestapo prison in Brno,
Czechoslovakia, during the period of occupation alone. Only
50,000 of these were freed, and the others were killed or
sent to a lingering death in the concentration camp.

The order of 9th March, 1942, gave the Gestapo the right to
apply both "preventive confinement" and "protective
custody."

Thousands of Czech patriots, particularly doctors, teachers,
lawyers and clergy et alia, were arrested even prior to the
war. In addition, lists were compiled in each region of
persons liable to be arrested as hostages at the first sign
"of disturbance of the social order or security." Karl Hans
Frank, addressing "leaders of the movement for national
unity," announced in 1940 that 2,000 Czech hostages - then
in concentration camps - would be shot unless the Czech
leaders signed a declaration of fealty.

After the attempt on Heydrich's life many of these hostages
were executed.

In 1939 the Gestapo called together factory directors and
warehouse supervisors of the various Czech industrial
concerns. They were made to sign the following statement: "I
am cognizant of the fact that I shall be shot immediately if
the plant stops work without a justifiable cause."

Schoolteachers in Czechoslovakia similarly had to sign
declarations rendering themselves responsible for the
loyalty of their pupils.

It was the Gestapo which was responsible for that crime
unparalleled in its cruelty - of the annihilation of the
village of Lidice and of its population.

The Gestapo terror in Yugoslavia assumed a particularly
vicious character.

                                                  [Page 362]


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