The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/02

                                                  [Page 133]
I now go on to the defendant Seyss-Inquart, whose case
concerns most particularly our friends in the Netherlands on
behalf of whom France is acting as counsel.

Consequently, Mr. President and Gentlemen, as regards the
defendant Seyss-Inquart, the French prosecution is going to
outline as briefly as possible, both in the name of the
Netherlands Government and in its own name, the separate
charges against the defendant Seyss-Inquart. The part played
by the defendant Seyss-Inquart, his participation in the
annexation of Austria, were carefully studied during the
course of this Trial. But it is his operations in Holland
which deserve to be thrown into special relief to-day.

On 13th May, 1940, the Netherlands Government left Holland
for a friendly Allied country. Its presence there was
indicative of its firm determination not to yield up in any
way its sovereign rights in any way.

On 29th May, 1940, the defendant Seyss-Inquart, who had the
rank of Reich Minister without Portfolio, was appointed
Reich Commissar for the occupied Netherlands. The defendant
Seyss-Inquart has therefore been considered responsible, by
virtue of his functions, for all the acts committed by the
so-called German Civil Government from that date up to the
capitulation of the German Army. The speeches which he made
afford evidence that he was invested not only with purely
administrative functions, but also with political authority.

It is, therefore, useless for him to try, as he did when he
was interrogated Mr. Dodd, to maintain that in Holland he
was nothing more than an official empowered to put his seal
on orders, in the same way that in Austria earlier he was
practically nothing but a telegraph operator. This
interrogation is dated 18th September, 1945, Pages 20 to 22.
I shall not dwell longer on this, as I did not wish to put
forward these interrogations, in order to avoid wasting the
time of the Court with the numerous interrogations which
would have had to be cited in cross-examination, and these
documents will really remain for the edification of the

THE PRESIDENT: M. Mounier, has the interrogation been put in?

M. MOUNIER: No, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, as a matter o technical procedure ---

M. MOUNIER: I know in advance that you cannot accept this as
proof already constituted in your eyes, considering the rule...

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it can be given if the rule is complied with.

M. MOUNIER: My intention, Mr. President, is the following --
to state ...

THE PRESIDENT: M. Mounier, I think you are misunderstanding
me. Under the Article the prosecutors have got the right to
interrogate any of the defendants, and this was an
interrogation of one of the defendants.


                                                  [Page 134]
THE PRESIDENT: If the prosecution choose to do so, they can
offer their interrogation in evidence. If they do not choose
to do so -- they need not do so. Under such circumstances
the interrogation is not in evidence, and need not be
furnished to the defendant until it is.

M. MOUNIER: Yes, Mr. President, I have not alluded to these
statements made by the defendant Goering during his
interrogation. I simply wish to point out that when the
defendant of whom I am now speaking is cross-examined, we
shall be able to confront him with the statements he made,
or at least, I hope so.

With the permission of the Court I shall first take up the
subject of the defendant Seyss-Inquart's terrorist
activities. These are shown by the following measures:

Initially, a whole system of collective fines. In March,
1941, he established a system of collective fines which were
imposed upon the Dutch cities, where he thought that
elements of the resistance movement existed. Thus the city
of Amsterdam had to pay a fine of 2,5000,000 guilders.

The defendant Seyss-Inquart also established a system of
hostages. On 18th May, 1942, he published a proclamation
announcing the arrest of 450 persons in important official
positions, who were only suspected of being in relation with
the resistance movement.

In fact, the defendant has admitted before Mr. Dodd. No, I
stop, Mr. President, I did not submit these interrogations.
I will pass over this passage and only point it out in a
general way, and I beg the Court not to consider this fact
as an infringement of the Charter. I am simply pointing out
to the Court that in this case, too, the defendant Seyss-
Inquart tried to hide behind the shadow of the Reich
Chancellor, the shadow of the Fuehrer, Hitler.

By the decree of 7th July, 1942, the defendant ordered that
the German Tribunals, the judges of which he himself
appointed, were to try not only the German citizens in
Holland, but also citizens suspected of activities hostile
to the Reich, the Nazi Party, or the German people.

At the same time the defendant Seyss-Inquart introduced the
death penalty for those who had not properly performed the
security duties assigned them by the Wehrmacht or the
Security Police, or who had failed to inform the German
Command Posts of all criminal projects directed against the
Occupation Forces which came to their knowledge.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Mounier, you were citing then a
proclamation dated 18th May, 1942. You did not give us any

M. MOUNIER: Mr. President, I ought to say that I am
referring in a general way to the official report of the
Netherlands Government, our Exhibit RF 1429. The Government
submitted a report...

THE PRESIDENT: You stated that that also applied to the
document of 7th July, 1942, of which you have just spoken?

M. MOUNIER: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Did that also apply to the document of 7th
July, 1942 that you just spoke of?

M. MOUNIER: Yes, Mr. President.

The defendant Seyss-Inquart also appointed the S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer Raucher, General Commissar for Security.
The latter is responsible for the murder of thousands of
Dutchmen, executed with the passive consent of Seyss-
Inquart, inasmuch as Raucher's appointment was always
maintained and was never terminated.

On the other hand, the Netherlands Government charges the
defendant Seyss-Inquart with the creation of a whole series
of emergency courts. In May, 1943, he established summary
police jurisdiction, and, in fact, through an decree issued
by Hitler, Dutch prisoners of war who had been freed shortly
after the cessation of hostilities were once more interned.
A tough resistance showed itself in the Dutch factories, and
the newly established summary jurisdiction sentenced several
Dutch citizens, who were executed. Moreover, Seyss-Inquart
did not fail to boast of all these terrorist measures at a
meeting of Dutch collaborators and claimed responsibility
for them.

                                                  [Page 135]
The defendant Seyss-Inquart was Hitler's supreme
representative in Holland. He should be considered as
responsible, along with the defendant Sauckel, for the mass
deportation of workers from Holland to the Reich between
1940 and 1945. If the German military authorities played any
part themselves in the mobilisation of labor, Sauckel's
officials in Holland were normally placed under the
authority of the Reich Commissar Seyss-Inquart, and he must
be considered as responsible for their actions. It was the
defendant Seyss-Inquart who signed the decree of the Reich
Commissar, No. 26, of 1942, which is found in the official
Dutch report, in an official publication ordering the
compulsory transport of Dutch labor to Germany. Those who
would not work for Germany got nothing to eat; the
occupation authorities even went so far as to make huge
roundups in the streets of Rotterdam and the Hague in order
to procure labor for the fortifications of the Wehrmacht.

As regards economic pillage during the defendant Seyss-
Inquart's period of office as Commissar, the Dutch economic
system was plundered like that of the other occupied
countries. In the winter of 1941-42 woollen goods were
requisitioned by order of Seyss-Inquart for the German Army
on the Eastern front. In 1943 textiles and everyday
household articles were requisitioned for the benefit of the
bombed-out German population. Under what the occupation
authorities called the "Action Boehm," people of the
Netherlands were compelled to sell wines, and various
objects destined to form gifts for the German population,
for the celebration of Christmas, 1943.

The same thing happened with regard to the organisation of
the black market, for, in order to carry out the Four Year
Plan, Seyss-Inquart gave the defendant Goering and the
defendant Speer competent assistance in the pillage of the
Dutch economic system. We can say in this way that a huge
black market was fostered and maintained.

The Four Year Plan utilised "snatchers" for these alleged
purchases but when Dutch prosecutors tried to intervene they
were prevented from doing so by the German police.

In 1940 the defendant Seyss-Inquart issued an ordinance
permitting the German authorities in Holland to confiscate
the property of all persons who could be accused of hostile
activities against the German Reich. The property of the
Royal Family was, on the defendant Seyss-Inquart's orders,
confiscated by the Commissar General for Security. The
occupation troops could help themselves to everything that
was of use to them.

This pillage was manifested in a particularly cruel manner
in the abuses which went on in connection with the
requisition of food products.

In fact, the official report of the Dutch Government and the
document already submitted by the Economic Section of the
French prosecution as Exhibits 139-RF and 140-RF show that
from the very beginning of the occupation, food stocks were
systematically removed with the consent of Seyss-Inquart, as
was also the case with agricultural produce, which was
transported to Germany. When a railway strike broke out in
the north in September, 1944, soon after the liberation of
Southern Holland, Seyss-Inquart, in order to break the
strike, gave orders that no food stocks were to be moved
from the North-East to the West. As a result of this, it was
impossible to establish food stocks in the West.

Consequently, Seyss-Inquart must also be held responsible
for the famine which ensued during the winter of 1944-45,
causing the death of some 25,000 Dutchmen.

In regard works of art, the pillage was carried on in the
same way. The defendant Seyss-Inquart must be considered
responsible for organising the removal of works of art from
Holland, since he expressly called in his friend, Dr.
Muehlmann, who was a specialist in this branch.

                                                  [Page 136]

In this connection I refer to the document submitted by the
Economic Section of the French prosecution as Exhibits RF
1342, 1343, 1344. The defendant Seyss-Inquart issued a whole
series of measures contrary to International Law which did
considerable harm to the Netherlands.

In 1941 the Dutch authorities had established a currency
control system which allowed them to keep track of purchases
made with German money, either of goods or public funds,
with the aim of preventing abuses which would lead to the
plundering of Holland's wealth in the form of materials or
of currency.

On 31st March, 1941, the defendant Seyss-Inquart abolished
the "currency" frontier existing between the Reich and the
occupied Dutch territory. By so doing, he paved the way for
all the abuses committed in monetary matters by the
occupying power, in addition to the impossible sums demanded
by Germany to defray the expenses of occupation: 500,000,000
Reichsmark on 24th March, 1941.

The frontier control between Dutch occupied territory and
Germany was also abolished by order of Goering, in order to
expedite the pillage of the Netherlands' economic system.
When the war began to go badly for the Wehrmacht, especially
after September, 1944, the destruction became systematic.
The objectives aimed at by the Germans in the Netherlands
were the following:

First, to demolish or put out of action factories,
shipyards, basins and docks, port installations, mines,
bridges, railway equipment.

Second, to flood the western parts of Holland.

Third, to seize raw materials, semi-manufactured products,
manufactured goods and machines sometimes by requisitioning,
sometimes in return for payment in money, but in many cases
simply by armed theft.

Fourth, to break open safe-deposits containing securities,
diamonds, etc., and to take illegal possession of these.

The result of these measures responsibility for which
devolves wholly or to a great extent on the defendant Seyss-
Inquart, was to throw Holland into a state of unspeakable
and undeserved misery.

I have now concluded, Mr. President, the case of the
defendant Seyss-Inquart.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Mounier, how long a time do you anticipate
you will take this afternoon, because I understand that the
case against the defendant Hess will be presented
afterwards, and it is important that he should finish to-
day, so that the Chief Prosecutor may have a full day for
his opening statement.

M. MOUNIER: Mr. President, both yesterday and to-day I have
yielded most willingly to the wishes of the Tribunal. I
understand perfectly your anxiety to expedite the trial as
much as possible, and in view of this I shortened the
remarks which I was going to make to you this morning. For
this reason, too, I state in the name of the French
prosecution that I shall now forego the presentation of the
cases of the other defendants, which was on the schedule. I
merely ask the Tribunal to refer to the files which we have
submitted except in the case of Keitel and Jodl. If it
please the Court, my friend and colleague, M. Quatre, will
make a few remarks at the beginning of this afternoon's
session. He will try to make them as short as possible. In
that way the British Delegation will have the two hours
which it needs to present the case of Hess.

Consequently, may it please the Court, M. Quatre will take
the floor for an hour at 2 o'clock and then give way to the
British Delegation.

THE PRESIDENT: Another question, that I would like to ask
you, M. Mounier: As to the documents against the other
defendants, other than Keitel and Jodl, have they been
furnished to the defendants concerned in them?

M. MOUNIER: Yes, they have, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

                    (A recess was taken.)

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