The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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THE PRESIDENT: What is the document?

M. DUBOST: This is a French official telegram. You have the
original before you, Mr. President. "Official Paris. State
Telegram 101, State, Paris," typed on the text of the
telegram itself.

THE PRESIDENT: Can we receive a telegram from anybody
addressed to the Tribunal?

M. DUBOST: Mr. President, it is not addressed to the
Tribunal; it is addressed to the French Delegation. It is an
official telegram from the French Government in Paris, and
it was transmitted as an official telegram to the French
Delegation.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the Delegation Francais, IMT, Paris?

M. DUBOST: This is the Delegation in Paris of the
International Military Tribunal in the French Ministry of
Justice. It is one of the sections of the French Ministry of
Justice, Place Vendome. The telegram begins, "By General
Giraud." This is a statement of testimony by telegram. The
letters "OFF " at the beginning of the telegram mean
"Official."

Forgive me for not insisting that the three letters "OFF "
at the beginning of the telegram means "Official" or
"Government Telegram." No French Telegraph Office could
transmit an official telegram which did not come from an
official authority. This official authority is the French
Delegation of the IMT in Paris, which received the statement
made by General Giraud and transmitted it to us, "By General
Giraud, care of the French Delegation at the IMT."

                                                  [Page 318]

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will receive the
document under Article 21 of the Charter.

M. DUBOST: I am grateful to the Tribunal.

On Page 2 of the document - that is Page 150 of your own
document book, in the middle of the page, we read:

   "On the other hand the death of Madame Granger on 24
   September 1943 is undoubtedly due to lack of care and
   medicine, in spite of her reiterated requests for both.
   After an autopsy of her body, which took place in the
   presence of French doctors who had been specially
   summoned from Paris after her death, authorisation was
   given to Dr. Claque to bring the three children back to
   France and then to Spain, where they would be turned
   over to their father. This was refused by the Gestapo in
   Paris, and the children were sent back to Germany as
   hostages, where their grandmother found them only six
   months later."

In the last four lines is stated:

   "The health of Madame Giraud, her daughter, Marie
   Theresa, and two of her grandchildren has been gravely
   impaired by the physical, and particularly by the moral
   hardships of their deportation."

Seventeen persons, all of them innocent of the escape of
General Giraud, were therefore arrested as punishment
therefore.

I have frequently shown that, in their determination to
impose their reign of terror, the Germans resorted to means
which revolt the human conscience. Of these one of the most
repugnant is inducement to become informers.

Document F-278, Page 152, which we place before you as
Exhibit RF 408, is a reproduction of an ordinance of 20
September 1941, which is so obviously contrary to
International Law that the Foreign Ministry of the Reich
itself took cognisance of it. On Page 152, paragraph 2, the
ordinance of 27 December 1941 prescribes as follows:
   
   "Whosoever may have knowledge that arms are in the
   possession of an unauthorised person or persons is
   obliged to declare this at the nearest police
   headquarters."

On Page 153, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, on
29 June 1942, objected to the draft of the reply to the
French note, which we have not here, but which must have
been a protest against this ordinance of 27 December 1941.
The Tribunal knows that in the military operations which
accompanied the liberation of our land, many archives
disappeared, and therefore we cannot give the Tribunal
knowledge of the protest of the de facto government to which
the note of 29 June of the German Foreign Ministry relates.

Paragraph 2 summarises the arguments of the French protest.

The French evidently had replied as follows: "Assuming that
German territory were occupied by the French, we surely
would consider as a man without honour any German who
denounced -to the occupying power an infraction of the
laws."

This was taken up and adopted by the German Foreign
Ministry.

The note continues:

   "On consideration of this matter, the Foreign Office
   considers it subject to question whether a punishment,
   applicable without any instructions whatever, should be
   prescribed for anyone who fails to denounce a person
   possessing or known to possess arms. Such a prescription
   of penalty under a general form is, in the opinion of
   the Foreign Office, the more impracticable in that it
   would offer the French the possibility of calling
   attention to the fact that the German Army is demanding
   of them acts which it would consider criminal if
   committed by German citizens."

This German note, I repeat, comes from the Reich Ministry of
Foreign

                                                  [Page 319]

Affairs and is signed "Strack." There is no more severe
condemnation of the German Army than that by the Reich
Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself. The reply of the German
Army will be found by the Tribunal on Page 155:

   "Berlin. 8 December 1942. High Command of the
   Wehrmacht."

The High Command of the Wehrmacht concludes in the fourth
paragraph:

   "Since it does not seem desirable to undertake any
   discussion with the French Government on the questions
   of law evoked by them, we also consider it appropriate
   not to reply to the French note."

This note begins by asserting that amelioration of the given
orders would be considered a sign of weakness in France and
in Belgium. (These are the last two lines of paragraph 1.)

These are not the signs of weakness that the German Army
gave in our occupied countries of the West. The weakness
manifested itself in terror, it brought terror to reign
throughout our countries so as to permit the development of
the policy of extermination of the vanquished nations,
which, in the minds of all German leaders, has remained the
principal purpose, if not the single purpose, of this war.

This terrorist policy, of which the Tribunal has just seen
examples in the repression of attacks of our French Forces
of the Interior, developed without any military necessity in
all of the countries of the West. The devastations committed
by the enemy are extremely numerous. We shall limit our
presentation to the destruction of Rotterdam at a time when
the city had already capitulated, and when only the question
of the form of capitulation was to be settled; and secondly,
to a description of the inundations which the German Army
caused, without any military necessity of any sort, in 1945,
on the eve of its destruction, when that Army already knew
that the game was lost.

We have chosen the example of Rotterdam because it is the
first act of terrorism of the German Army in the West. We
have taken the inundations because, without her dykes,
without fresh water, Holland ceases to be. When her dykes
are destroyed Holland disappears.

One sees here the fulfilment of the enemy's project of
destruction formulated long ago by Germany, as already shown
by the citation from Hitler with which I opened my
presentation, and which was carried on to the very last
minute of Nazi Germany's existence, as proved by the
inundation of Holland.

We place before the Tribunal Document F-719 as Exhibit RF
409, which will be found on Page 38 of the second document
book, which comprises a Dutch report on the bombing of
Rotterdam and the capitulation of the Dutch Army.

On Pages 38 and 39 are copies of the translations of
documents exchanged between the commander of the German
troops before Rotterdam and the colonel who was in command
of the Dutch troops defending the city.

On Page 40 Engineer Captain Backer relates the incidents of
that evening which ended with the bombing: At 1030 hours a
German representative appeared with an ultimatum, unsigned
and without any indication of the sender, demanding that the
Dutch capitulate before 1230 hours. This document was
returned by the Dutch colonel, who asked to be told the name
and the military rank of the officer who had called upon him
to surrender.

At 1215 Captain Backer appeared before the German lines and
was received by a German officer. At 1235 hours he had a
conversation with the German officers in a creamery. A
German general wrote his terms for capitulation on the
letter of reply, which the representative of the Dutch
General Staff had just brought to him.

At 1320 hours Captain Backer left the place where the
negotiations had taken place with the new terms, to which a
reply was to be given. Two

                                                  [Page 320]

German officers escorted him. These escorting officers were
protected by the flight of German aircraft, and red rockets
were fired by the Germans, at 1322 and 1325 hours.

At 1330 hours the first bomb fell upon Rotterdam, which was
completely set on fire.

On Page 41 - the entry of the German troops was to take
place at 1850 hours, but it was put forward to 1820 hours.

Paragraph 4 - later the Germans said to Captain Backer that
the purpose of the red rockets was to avoid being bombed.
However, there had been excellent wireless communication
from the ground to the aircraft. Captain Backer expressed
his surprise that this should have been done by means of
fuses.

The inundation of the polder "Wieringermeer" took place on 9
and 10 April 1945. The Tribunal will find the document on
Page 7 of the document book.

   "Today German soldiers appeared on the polder, gave
   orders, and set up a guard for the dyke."

Paragraph 2 of Page 7:

   "On 17 April 1945, at 1215, the dyke was dynamited so
   that two parts of it were destroyed up to a height
   somewhat above the surface of the water of the
   Ijesselmeer."

Paragraph 2, the last paragraph of Page 7:

   "As for the population, they had an alert during the
   night of 16 to 17 April; that is, at the time when the
   water was about to flood the polder.
   
   In Wieringerwerf the news received at the City Hall was
   transmitted from house to house that at noon the dyke
   would be destroyed. In general, for the great polder,
   with an area of 20,000 hectares, not more than 8 1/2-9
   hours were granted for its evacuation. Telephone
   communications had been completely interrupted, and it
   was impossible to use automobiles, which meant that some
   individuals did not receive any warning until eight
   o'clock in the morning."

Page 8, paragraph 2:

   "The time given to the population was, therefore, too
   short to permit them to evacuate the polder."

The next to the last paragraph:

   "The looting in the flooded polder has already been
   mentioned. During the morning of 17 April, on the day of
   the disaster, groups of German soldiers began to loot.
   These soldiers came from Wieringen. Moreover, they broke
   everything that they did not want to take."

On Page 10, Paragraph 1:

   "The polder by itself covers half of all the flooded
   lands in Northern Holland. It was flooded on 17 April,
   when defeat was already a fact as far as the German Army
   was concerned."

The Dutch people are seeking to recover the land which they
have lost. Their courage, industry and energy arouse our
admiration, but it is an immense loss which the German Army
imposed upon those people on 17 April.

Terrorism and extermination are intimately interwoven in all
countries in the West.

Document C-45, 10 February 1944, which we submit as Exhibit
RF 410 and is the first in the Tribunal's document book, in
paragraph 1, shows that repression, in the minds of the
leaders of the German Army, is to be carried out without
consideration of any kind.

   "One must immediately shoot back. If, as a result,
   innocents are struck, this is to be regretted, but it is
   entirely the fault of the terrorists."

                                                  [Page 321]

These lines were written over the signature of an officer of
the General Staff of the German Military Command in Belgium
and Northern France. This officer was never condemned by his
superiors.

Document F-665 is submitted as Exhibit RF-411. Page 2 of
your document book, the last paragraph:

   "The search of suspected villages requires experience.
   SD or GFP (Secret Field Police) personnel should be
   called upon. The real accomplices of the guerrillas must
   be unmasked, and apprehended with all severity.
   Collective measures against the inhabitants of entire
   villages (this includes the burning of villages) are to
   be taken only in exceptional cases and may be ordered
   exclusively by divisional commanders or by chiefs of the
   SS and Police."

This document is dated 6 May 1944. It comes from the High
Command of the Wehrmacht, and it, or at least the covering
letter, is signed by Jodl.

This document involves not only the Army General Staff, but
the Labour Service, that is to say, Sauckel, and the Todt
Organisation, that is to say,  defendant Speer.

In the next to the last paragraph we can read:

   "The directive is applicable to all branches of the
   Wehrmacht and to all organisations which exercise their
   activities in occupied territories (the Reich Labour
   Service, the Todt Organisation, etc.)."

These orders, which in their spirit tend to the
extermination of civilian populations, will be carried out
vigorously, but at the price of constant collusion of the
German Army, the SS, the SD and Sipo, which the people of
all countries of the West mass together in the same horror
and in the same reprobation.

We submitted to the Tribunal the war diary of General
Brodowski as Exhibit RF-405, an excerpt of which is to be
found on Pages 3, 4 and 5 of the document book. It states -
Page 3, the penultimate paragraph-(Page nine ,of the German
text), second paragraph starting from the top,-that
repressive operations were carried out.

   "An action was undertaken in the South-western area of
   the department of Dordogne near Lalinde, in which a
   company of Georgians, a detachment of Field Police, and
   members of the SD took part ..."

On Page 4 - Page 10 of the German text - 14 June 1944, is a
statement of the destruction of Oradour Sur Glane. I shall
come back to the destruction ,of this village. "Six hundred
persons were killed," writes General Brodowski. It is
underscored in the text.

   "The whole male population of Oradour has been shot.
   Women and children took refuge in the church. The church
   caught fire. Explosives had been placed in the church.
   All the women and children perished as well."

We shall let you know the results of the French inquiry on
the destruction of Oradour. The Tribunal will see to what
degree General Brodowski lied when he described the
annihilation of Oradour in these terms.

Page 5, paragraph 2:

   "Tulle, 11 July 1944: The barracks occupied by the 13th
   Company 95th Security Regiment was attacked by
   terrorists. The struggle was terminated by the arrival
   of the Panzer Division, " Das Reich ". One hundred and
   twenty male inhabitants of Tulle were shot, and 1,000
   turned over to the SD of Limoges for inquiries."

In reality, those 120 patriots were not shot, but hanged, as
we shall show presently.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, could we see the original of this
document?

                                                  [Page 322]

M. DUBOST: I showed it to you this morning, Mr. President. I
placed it before you this morning. It is rather a large
document, if you will remember, Sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. We would like to see it.

DR. SERVATUS (Counsel for defendant Sauckel): I should like
briefly to rectify an error now, before it is carried any
further.

The French prosecutor pointed out that certain people were
put at the disposal of the Arbeitsdienst. I should like to
point out that Arbeitsdienst is not to be confused with
Arbeitseinsatz. The Arbeitsiensatz was ultimately directed
Sauckel, whereas the Arbeitsdienst had nothing whatsoever to
do with Sauckel. I should like to ask the Tribunal to take
judicial notice of that distinction. That is what I wished
to state.

THE PRESIDENT: It is not coming through correctly to the
Russian members. The Tribunal will adjourn for five minutes.

(A recess was taken)

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