The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1996/12/28

Hess himself made pertinent comment on his right of
participation on behalf of the party, in a letter dated 9
October 1934, on the stationery of the NSDAP, addressed to
the Reich Minister for Enlightenment of the People and
Propaganda (D-139:

     "By a decree of the Fuehrer dated 27 July 1934, I have
     been granted the right to participate in the
     legislation of the Reich as regards both formal laws
     and legal ordinances. This right must not be rendered
     illusory by the fact that I am sent the drafts of laws
     and decrees so late and am then given a limited time,
     so that it becomes impossible for me to deal with the
     material concerned during the given time. I must point
     out that my participation means the taking into account
     of the opinion of the NSDAP as such, and that in the
     case of the majority of drafts of laws and decrees,
     consult with the appropriate departments of the Party
     before making my comment. Only by proceeding in this
     manner can I do justice to the wish of the Fuehrer as
     expressed in the decree of the Fuehrer of 27 July 1934.

     "I must therefore ask the Reich Ministers to arrange
     that drafts of laws and decrees reach me in sufficient
     time. Failing this, I would be obliged in future to
     refuse my agreement to such drafts from the beginning
     and without giving the matter detailed attention, in
     all cases where I am not given a sufficiently long
     period for dealing with them.
                               "[signed] R. Hess." (D-139).

                                                  [Page 112]

A handwritten note attached to the letter reads:

     "1. The identical letter seems to have been addressed
     to all Reich Ministers. In our special field the decree
     of 27 July 1934 has hardly become applicable so far. A
     reply does not seem called for.
     "2. File in file 7B (?)
                                      "[signed] "R" (D-139).

The participating powers of Hess were later broadened,
according to a letter dated 12 April 1938 from Doctor
Lammers to the Reich Ministers (D-140):

     "*** The Deputy of the Fuehrer will also have
     participation where the Reich Ministers give their
     agreement to the State Laws and legislative ordinances
     of States under paragraph 3 of the first decree
     concerning reconstruction of the Reich of 2 February
     1934 (Reich Law Gazette I 81). Where the Reich
     Ministers have already, at an earlier date been engaged
     in the preparation of such laws or legislative
     ordinances, or have participated in such preparation,
     the Deputy of the Fuehrer likewise becomes
     participating Reich Minister. Laws and legislative
     decrees of the Austrian State are equally affected

                             "[signed] Dr. LAMMERS" (D-140).

After Hess' flight to England, Bormann, as Leader of the
Party Chancellery, took over the same functions. He was
given the authority of a Reich Minister and made a member of
the cabinet. (2099-PS)

The Nazi constitutional lawyer, Ernst Rudolf Huber, has this
to say about the unity of party and Cabinet (1774-PS):

     "Unity of party and Reich-Cabinet (Reichsregierung) is
     furthermore secured by the numerous personal unions
     i.e. association of Central State Offices with
     corresponding party offices. Such personal unions exist
     in the cases of Food Minister and the Propaganda
     Minister, the Chief of the German Police and the Reich
     Labor Leader, the Chief of the Organization in foreign
     countries, and the Reich Youth Fuehrer. Furthermore,
     the majority of the Reich Ministries is occupied by
     leading old party members. Finally, all Reich Ministers
     have been accepted by the party on 30 January 1937 and
     have been decorated with golden party insignia." (1774-

In 1943, out of 16 Reich Leaders (Reichsleiters) of the
NSDAP, eight were members of the Cabinet: Martin Bormann;
Walter Darre, Otto Dietrich; Wilhelm Frick; Paul Josef
Goebbels; Constantin Hierl; Heinrich Himmler; Alfred
Rosenberg (2473-PS). Through its domination of the Cabinet
the Nazi Party strove to secure the fulfilment of its
program under a facade of legality.

(a) Decrees of the Ordinary Cabinet. To the Nazi Cabinet,
the Nazi Party program of 25 points (1708-PS) was more than
a mere political platform; it was a mandate for action. And
the Cabinet acted.

Point 1 of this program declared:

     "We demand the inclusion of all Germans in a greater
     Germany on the grounds of the right of self-
     determination.". (1708-PS)

In implication of this demand the Nazi Cabinet enacted,
among others, the following laws: the law of 3 February 1938
concerning the obligation of German citizens in foreign
countries to register (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page
113); the law of 13 March 1938 for the reunion of Austria
with Germany ( 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 237)
(2307-PS); the law of November 1938 for the reintegration of
the German Sudetenland with Germany (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, page 1641); the law of 23 March 1939 for the
reintegration of Memel in Germany (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, page 559).

Point 2 of the Party platform stated in part:

     "We demand *** the cancellation of the treaties of
     Versailles and St. Germain." (1708-PS)

The following acts of the Cabinet supported this part of the
program: The proclamation of 14 October 1933 to the German
people concerning Germany's withdrawal from the League of
Nations and the Disarmament Conference (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 730); the proclamation and
law of 16 March 1935, for the establishment of the Wehrmacht
and compulsory military service (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, pages 369, 375) (1654-PS); and the defense law of 21
May 1935 implementing the last-named law (1935
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I; page 609).

Point 4 of the Party platform read as follows:

     "Only those who are members of the 'Volk' can be
     citizens. Only those who are of German blood, without
     regard to religion, can be members of the 'Volk'. No
     Jew, therefore, can be a member of the 'Volk'."

Among the cabinet laws which implemented this point were
these: the law of 14 July 1933 for the recall of
naturalization and the deprivation of citizenship (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 480); the law of 7 April
1933 permitting persons of non-Aryan descent to be refused
permission to practice law (1933 Reichs-

                                                  [Page 114]
gesetzblatt, Part I, page 188) (1401-PS); the law of 25
April 1933 restricting the number of non-Aryans in schools
and higher institutions (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I,
page 225) (2022-PS); the law of 29 September 1933 excluding
persons of Jewish blood from the peasantry (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 685) (1402-PS); the law of
26 June 1936, forbidding people of Jewish blood to hold
positions of authority in the army (1936 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, page 518) (1398-PS); the law of 19 March 1937
excluding Jews from the Reich Labor Service (1937
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 325); the law of 28 March
1938 on the legal status of Jewish religious communities
1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 338); and the law of 6
July 1938 prohibiting Jews from participating in six
different types of business (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I,
page 823).

Point 23 of the platform proclaimed:

     "We demand legislative action against conscious
     political lies and their broadcasting through the
     press." (1708-PS)

To carry out this point numerous Cabinet laws were passed,
of which the following are merely examples: the law of 22
September 1933 for the establishment of the Reich Culture
Chamber (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 661) (2082-
PS); the law of 4 October 1933 regarding editors (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 713) (2083-PS); and the law
of 15 May 1934 regarding the theater (1934
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 411).

All the laws referred to above and hereafter were enacted
specifically in the name of the Cabinet (Reichsregierung). A
typical introductory paragraph reads:

     "The Reich Cabinet (de Reichsregierung) has enacted the
     following law which is hereby promulgated. ***" [Law of
     1 August 1934, 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page
     747]. (200-PS)

In furtherance of the Nazi plans to acquire totalitarian
control of Germany (cf. Section 1-2 of Chapter VII), the
Cabinet passed the following laws: Law of 26 May 1933,
providing for the confiscation of Communist property (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 293) (1396-PS); Law of 14
July 1933 against the new establishment of parties 1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 479); Law of 14 July 1933
providing for the confiscation of property of Social
Democrats and others (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page
479) (1388-PS); and Law of 1 December 1933 securing the
unity of party and state (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I,
page 016. (1395-PS)

In the course of consolidating Nazi control of Germany, (cf.-

                                                  [Page 115]
Section 3 of Chapter VII) the following laws were enacted by
the Cabinet: Decree of the Cabinet, 21 March 1933, creating
special courts (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 136)
(2076-PS); Law of 31 March 1933 for the integration of
States into the Reich (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt Part I, page
153) (2004-PS); Law of 7 April 1933 for the reestablishment
of the Professional Civil Service 1933 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, page 175) (1397-PS); law of 7 April 1933 for the
integration of states into the Reich (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 173) (2005-PS); Law of 30
June 1933 eliminating non-Aryan civil servants or civil
servants married to non-Aryans (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part
I, page 433) (1400-PS ); Law of 20 July 1933 providing for
the discharge of Communist officials (1933
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 518) (198-PS); Law of 24
April 1934 creating the People's Court (1934
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 341) (2014-PS); Law of
August 1934 uniting the office of President and Chancellor
(1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 747) (2003-PS); Law of
30 January 1935, Reich Governors Law, further reducing the
independence of the states (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I,
page 65); Law of 30 January 1935 providing for the abolition
of representatives or deliberative bodies in the
municipalities (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 49)
(2008-PS); Law of 26 January 1937, the comprehensive civil
service law (1937 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 39); and
Law of 18 March 1938 providing for the submission of one
list of candidates to the electorate for the entire Reich
(1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 258).

Nazi extermination of political internal resistance in
Germany, through the purge of political opponents and
through acts of error, (cf. Section 4 of Chapter VII), was
facilitated and legalized by the following Cabinet laws: Law
of 14 July 1933 against the new establishment of parties
(containing a penal clause) (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I,
page 479 (188-PS); Law of 3 July 1934 concerning measures
for emergency defense of the State (legalizing the Roehm
purge) (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 529 (2057-PS);
Law of 20 December 1934 on treacherous t against state and
party and for the protection of party uniforms (1934
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1269) (1393-PS); Law of 24
April 1934 making the creation of new or continuance of
existing parties an act of treason (1934 Reichsgesetzblatt,
Part I, page 341) (2014-PS); Law of 28 June 1935 changing
the Penal code permitting punishment under analogous law
(1935 Reichsgesetzblatt Part I, page 839) (1962-PS); Law of
16 September

                                                  [Page 116]
1939 permitting second prosecution of a acquitted person
before a special court, the members of which were named by
Hitler (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1841). (2550-PS)

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