The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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The Tribunal will recall that it asked certain very material
questions with respect to whether the prosecution's evidence
involved the rank and file of the Leadership Corps. In the
last paragraph of this decree Bormann instructs the
Ortsgruppenleiter - now that is way down in the Leadership
Corps hierarchy under Kreisleiter and Gauleiter - to report
to the Gestapo, persons who criticise Nazi Party
institutions. Now, an important point with respect to the
link between Bormann and the S.S. The Tribunal has already
received the evidence establishing the criminality of the
S.S. In this connection, I respectfully request the Tribunal
to notice judicially the July, 1940, issue of "Das Archiv,"
our Document 3234-PS. On Page 399 of that publication, under
date 21st July, 1940, it is stated that the Fuehrer promoted
defendant Bormann from Major-General to Lieutenant-General
in the S.S. Accordingly, we respectfully submit that Bormann
is chargeable and jointly responsible for the criminal
activities of the S.S.

After the flight of the defendant Hess to Scotland, in May,
1941, the defendant Bormann succeeded him as Head of the
Nazi Party under Hitler, with the title Chief of the Party
Chancery. I request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of
a decree of 24th January, 1942, 1942 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part
1, Page 35. In our conception this is an extremely important
decree, because by virtue of it the participation of the
Party in all legislation and in government appointments and
promotions had to be undertaken exclusively by Bormann. He
was to take part in the preparation - and we emphasise that
- as well as the enactment and promulgation of all Reich
laws and enactments; and further, he had to give his assent
to all enactments of the Reich Laender, that is, the States,
as well as all decrees of the Reich Governors. All
communications between State and Party officials had to pass
through his hands. And, as a result of this law, we
respectfully submit, Bormann is chargeable for every
enactment, issued in Germany after 24th January, 1942, which
facilitates and furthers the conspiracy.

It will be helpful, I believe, to point out and to request
the Court to take judicial notice of a decree of 29th May,
1941, 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, Page 295. In this
decree Hitler ordered that Bormann should take over all
powers and all offices formerly held by the defendant Hess.
I request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of another
very important decree, that of the Ministerial Council for
the Defence of the Reich, 16th November 1942.

THE PRESIDENT: Are these documents set out in the document


THE PRESIDENT: You have not given us the reference.

                                                  [Page 299]

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: That is true, Sir. I recall from memory,
although I have not got it in my manuscript, that document,
that important decree of 24th January, 1942, is, I believe,
our Document 2001-PS.

I now request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the
important decree of the Ministerial Council for the Defence
of the Reich, dated 16th November, 1942, 1942
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part, 1, Page 649. Under this decree, all
Gauleiter who were under Bormann by virtue of his position
as Chief of the Party Chancery, were appointed Reich Defence
Commissars and charged with the co-ordination, supervision,
and management of the aggressive Nazi war effort.

From then on the Party, under Bormann, became the decisive
force in planning and conducting the aggressive Nazi war

On 12th April, 1943, as is shown in the publication "The
Greater German Reichstag," 1943 Edition, Page 167, our
Document 2981-PS, Bormann was appointed Secretary of the
Fuehrer, and we submit that this fact testifies to the
intimacy and influence of the defendant Bormann with the
Fuehrer and enlarges his role in, and responsibility for,
the conspiracy.

We now come to the important point of Bormann's executive
responsibility for the acts of the "Volkssturm." I request
the Tribunal to notice judicially a Fuehrer Order of 18th
October, 1944, which was published in the official "
Volkischer Beobachter," 20th October, 1944 edition, in which
Hitler appointed Bormann political and organisational leader
of the "Volkssturm." This is set forth in our Document 3018-
PS. In this decree Himmler is made the military Leader of
the "Volkssturm," but the organisational and political
leadership is entrusted to Bormann. The Tribunal will know
that the "Volkssturm " was an organisation consisting of all
German males between 16 and 60. By virtue of his leadership
of the "Volkssturm" Bormann was instrumental in needlessly
prolonging the war, with a consequential destruction of the
German and the European economy, and a loss of life and
destruction of property.

We come now to deal with the responsibility of the defendant
Bormann with respect to the persecution of the Church. The
defendant Bormann authorised, directed and participated in
measures involving the persecution of the Christian Church.
The Tribunal, of course, has heard much in this proceeding
concerning the acts of the conspiracy involving the
persecution of the Church. We have no desire now to rehash
that evidence. We are interested in one thing alone, and
that is nailing on the defendant Bormann his responsibility,
his personal, individual responsibility, for that

I shall now present the proofs showing the responsibility of
Bormann with respect to such persecution of the Christian

Bormann was among the most relentless enemies of the
Christian Church and Christian Clergy in Germany and in
German-occupied Europe. I refer the Tribunal, without
quoting therefrom, to Document D-75, previously introduced
in evidence as Exhibit USA 348, which contains a copy of the
secret Bormann decree of 6th June, 1941, entitled "The
Relationship of National Socialism to Christianity." In this
decree, as the Tribunal will well recall, Bormann bluntly
declared that National Socialism and Christianity were
incompatible, and he indicated that the ultimate aim of the
conspirators was to assure the elimination of Christianity

I next refer the Tribunal, without quotation, to Document
098-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 350. This is a
letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant
Rosenberg, dated 22nd February, 1940, in which Bormann
reaffirms the incompatibility of Christianity and National

Now, in furtherance of the conspirators' aim to undermine
the Christian Churches, Bormann took measures to eliminate
the influence of the Christian Church from within the Nazi
Party and its formations. I now offer in evidence Document
113-PS, as Exhibit USA 683. This is an order of the
defendant Bormann, dated 27th July, 1938, issued as Chief of
Staff to the Deputy of the

                                                  [Page 300]

Fuehrer, Hess, which prohibits clergymen, from holding Party
offices. I shall not take the time of the Tribunal to put
this quotation upon the, record. The point of it is, as
indicated, that Bormann issued an order-forbidding the
appointment of clergymen to Party positions.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a good time to break
off for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: May it please the Tribunal, we are
dealing with the efforts of the defendant Bormann to expel
and eliminate from the Party all Church and religious

I offer in evidence Document 838-PS, as Exhibit USA 684. I
shall not burden the record with extensive quotation from
this exhibit, but merely point out that this is a copy of a
Bormann decree dated 3rd June, 1939, which laid it down that
followers of Christian Science should be excluded from the

The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document
840-PS, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA
355. The Tribunal will recall that this, was a Bormann
decree of 14th July, 1939, referring with approval to an
earlier Bormann decree of 9th February, 1937, in which he
had ruled, that in the future all Party members who entered
the clergy or who undertook the study of theology were to be
expelled from the Party.

I next offer in evidence Document 107-PS, Exhibit USA 3M.
This is a circular directive of the defendant Bormann dated
17th June, 1938, addressed to all Reichsleiters and
Gauleiters, top leaders of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi
Party, transmitting a copy of directions relating. to the
non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious
celebrations. The Reich Labour Service, the Tribunal will
recall, compulsorily incorporated all Germans within its

DR. BERGOLD (Counsel for defendant Bormann): The member of
the prosecution has just submitted a number of documents, in
which he proves that, on the suggestion of Bormann, members
of the Christian religion were to be excluded from the
Party, or from certain organisations. I beg the High
Tribunal to allow the member of the prosecution to explain
to me how and why Bormann's activity, that is, the exclusion
of Christians from the Party, can be a War Crime. I cannot
gather this evidence from the trial brief. The Party is
described as a criminal conspiracy. Is it a crime to exclude
certain people from membership in a criminal conspiracy? Is
that considered a crime? How and why is the exclusion of
certain members from the Party a crime?

THE PRESIDENT: Counsel will answer you.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: If the Tribunal will willingly
accommodate argument at this stage, we find that the
question -

THE PRESIDENT: Only short argument.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Yes, Sir - admits of a short, and, as it
seems to us, easy answer.

The point we are now trying to prove - and evidence is
abounding on it - is that Bormann had a hatred and an enmity
and took oppositional measures towards the Christian Church.
The Party was the repository of political power in Germany.
To have power one had to be in the Party or subject to its
favour. By his efforts, concerted, continuing and
consistent, to exclude clergymen, theological students or
any persons sympathetic to the Christian, religion, Bormann
could not have chosen a clearer method of showing and
demonstrating his, hatred and his distrust of the Christian
religion and those who supported it.

THE PRESIDENT: Counsel for Bormann can present his argument
upon this subject at a later stage. The documents appear to
the Tribunal to be relevant.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: With the Tribunal's permission, I had
just put in Document 107-PS and pointed out that it
transmitted directions relating to the

                                                  [Page 301]

non-participation of the Reich Labour Service in religious
celebrations. I quote merely the fourth and fifth paragraphs
of Page 1 of the English translation of Document 107-PS,
which reads as follows:

   "Every religious discussion is forbidden in the Reich
   Labour Service because it disturbs the comrade-like
   harmony of all working men and women.
   For this reason also, every participation of the Reich
   Labour Service in Church, i.e., religious, arrangements
   and celebrations is not possible."

The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document
070-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 349. The Tribunal
will recall that this was a letter from Bormann's office to
the defendant Rosenberg, dated 25th April, 1941, in which
Bormann declared that he had achieved progressive success in
reducing and abolishing religious services in schools, and
in replacing Christian prayers with National Socialist
mottoes and rituals. In this letter, Bormann also proposed a
Nazified morning service in the schools, in place of the
existing confession and morning service.

In his concerted efforts to undermine and subvert the
Christian churches, Bormann authorised, directed and
participated in measures leading to the closing, reduction
and suppression of theological schools, faculties and
institutions. The attention of the Tribunal is invited to
Document 116-PS, Exhibit USA 685, which I offer in evidence.
This is a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant
Rosenberg, dated 24th January, 1939, enclosing, for
Rosenberg's cognisance, a copy of Bormann's letter to the
Reich Minister for Science, Training and Public Education.
In the enclosed letter, Bormann informs the Minister as to
the Party's position in favour of restricting and
suppressing theological faculties. Bormann states that,
owing to war conditions, it had become necessary to
reorganise the German high schools, and in view of this
situation, he requested the Minister to restrict and
suppress certain theological faculties.

I now quote from the first paragraph on Page 3 of the
English translation of Document 116-PS, which reads as

   "I, therefore, would like to see you put the theological
   faculties under appreciable limitations in so far as,
   according to the above statements, they cannot be
   entirely eliminated. This will concern not only the
   theological faculties at universities, but also the
   various State institutions which, as seminaries having
   no affiliation with any university, still exist in many
   places. I request you not to give any express
   explanations to churches or other institutions and to
   avoid public announcement of these measures. Complaints
   and the like, if they are to be answered at all, must be
   countered with this explanation, that these measures are
   carried out in the course of planned economy, and that
   the same is being done to other, faculties. I would be
   glad, if the professorial chairs thus made vacant could
   then be turned over to the fields of research newly
   created in recent years, such as racial research and
   "Martin Bormann."

In our submission, what this document comes to is a request
from Bormann to this effect: "Please close down the
religious faculties and substitute in their place Nazi
faculties and university chairs, with the mission of
investigating racialism, cultism, Nazi archaeology." This
sort of thing was done in the Hohe Schule, as was so clearly
demonstrated in the prosecution's case against the
plundering activities of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg.

The attention of the Tribunal is next invited to Document
122-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 362. The Tribunal
will recall that 122-PS is a letter from the defendant
Bormann to the defendant Rosenberg, dated 17th April, 1939,
transmitting to Rosenberg a photostatic copy of the plan of
the Reich

                                                  [Page 302]

Minister of Science, Training and Public Education for the
combining and dissolving of certain specified theological
faculties. In his letter of transmittal, Bormann requested
Rosenberg "to take cognizance and prompt action" with
respect to the proposed suppression of religious

I next offer in evidence Document 123-PS, Exhibit USA 686.
This is a confidential letter from the defendant Bormann to
the Minister of Education, dated 23rd June, 1939, in which
Bormann sets forth the Party's decision to order the
suppression of numerous theological faculties and religious
institutions. The Tribunal will note that the letter lists
19 separate religious institutions with respect to which
Bormann ordered dissolution or restriction.

After directing the action to be taken by the Minister in
connection with the various theological faculties, Bormann
stated as follows, and I quote from the next to last
paragraph of Page 3 of the English translation of Document

   "In the above I have informed you of the Party's wishes,
   after thorough, investigation of the matter with all
   Party offices. I would be grateful if you would initiate
   the necessary measures as quickly as possible. With
   regard to the great political significance which every
   single case of such a combination will have for the Gau
   concerned, I ask you to take these measures, and
   particularly to fix dates for them always in agreement
   with me."

I next offer in evidence, without quotation, Document 131-
PS, as Exhibit USA 687. In summary, without quotation
therefrom, this is a letter from the defendant Bormann to
the defendant Rosenberg, dated 12th December, 1939, relating
to the suppression of seven professorships in the near-by
University of Munich.

Now, I deal briefly with the responsibility of Bormann for
the confiscation of religious property and cultural
property. Bormann used his paramount power and position to
cause the confiscation of religious property and to subject
the Christian churches and clergy to a discriminatory legal

I offer in evidence Document 099-PS, Exhibit USA 688. This
is a copy of a letter from Bormann to the Reich Minister for
Finance, dated 19th January, 1940, in which Bormann demanded
a great increase in the special war tax imposed on the
churches. I quote from the first two paragraphs of Page 2 of
the English translation of this document, which reads as

   "As it has been reported to me, the war contribution of
   the churches has been specified from 1st November, 1939
   on, at first, for a period of three months, at R.M.
   1,800,000 per month, of which R.M. 1,000,000 are to be
   paid by the Protestant church, and R.M. 800,000 by the
   Catholic church per month. The establishment of such a
   low amount has surprised me. I see from numerous reports
   that the political communities have to raise such a
   large war contribution, that the execution of their
   tasks, partially very important - for example, in the
   field of public welfare - is, endangered. In
   consideration of that, a larger quota from the churches
   appears to be absolutely appropriate."

The question may arise: Of what criminal effect is it to
demand larger taxes from church institutions? As to this
demand of Bormann's taken by itself, the prosecution would
not suggest that it had a criminal effect, but when viewed
within the larger frame of Bormann's demonstrated hostility
to the Christian Church, and his efforts, not merely to
circumscribe but to eliminate it, we suggest that this
document has probative value in showing Bormann's hostility
and his concrete measures to effectuate that hostility
against the Christian churches and clergy.

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