The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1997/10/11

Evidence will be submitted to the Tribunal as follows:--

(1) With regard to the deliberate encouragement by the major
war criminals of the lowest instincts of German officers,
men and officials detailed to the Eastern areas, where they
were incited to murder the civilian population and to
indulge in every form of violence against it; where they
created that atmosphere of impunity which surrounded the
murderers, and legalized the regime of terror.

(2) With regard to the special training and selection of
units seconded to put into effect both the mass murders and
the regime of terror inflicted on the civilian population.

(3) With regard to the extent of the crime, the ubiquity and
the immense degree of the German fascist atrocities.

(4) With regard to the gradual development and perfection of
methods for the execution of the monstrous crimes, from the
first shootings to the creation of the special
"extermination camps".

(5) With regard to attempts to conceal all traces of the
crimes and the special measures taken for that purpose by
order of the higher authorities.

I will now submit documents to prove the first two of the
points just mentioned.

The Tribunal has already received evidence that the actual
orders, circulars, and the so-called "laws", promulgated by
the Hitlerite criminals for the legalisation of terror
directed against the peaceful population, and for the
justification of rape and murder, are directly
connected with the inhuman theories of fascism. The Chief

                                                   [Page 28]
Prosecutor for the USSR has twice quoted from a book by the
former President of the Danzig Senate, at one time a very
close friend of Hitler's, Hermann Rauschning, published in
1940 in New York under the title of "The Voice of
Destruction". This book was published in various other
countries under different titles, such as, "What Hitler Told
Me", or "Conversations with Hitler", and so on (Exhibit USSR

Two quotations were made from Rauschning's book, which I
have submitted to the Tribunal, in the speech of the Chief
Prosecutor of the USSR. The first is on Page 225 of the
original. Your Honours will find it in the last paragraph of
Page 14. The contents of this quotation can be summarised as
follows: Hitler told Rauschning that he was freeing mankind
from the humiliating restrictions imposed by the "chimera of
conscience and morality". The second quotation is also
extremely important. I will try to verify, by a series of
concrete facts, the apparently abstract contents of this
quotation. You will find it on Pages 137-138. It concerns a
conversation between Hitler and Rauschning on the subject of
"a special technique of depopulation, essential for the
physical extermination of entire nations, and about the
right of the victor to exterminate entire populations".

And indeed, in order to murder millions of innocent and
defenceless people, it was necessary not only to develop the
technical formula of "Cyclone `A'," to construct gas
chambers and the crematorium ovens, or to devise an
elaborate procedure for mass shootings.

It was also essential to educate many thousands who would
carry out these policies "not in the letter, but in the
spirit" (as stated by Himmler in one of his speeches). It
was necessary to train persons without heart or conscience,
perverted creatures who had deliberately cut themselves off
from the basic conceptions of morality and law. It was
necessary to legalize and "theoretically establish" the
conformity to law of the substitution of the concept of
"guilt" by the concept of "preventive purge of undesirable
elements for political purposes", of the concept of
"justice" by the concept of "the right of the master" and of
the concept of "law" by an apologia of arbitrary
administration and police terror.

It was necessary, by orders, regulations and decrees, to
instill in the minds of hundreds of thousands of human
beings, trained as the bloodhound is trained, to carry out
the premeditated atrocities of the major criminals, that
they were in no-wise responsible for the crimes committed.
That is why Hitler freed them from the "chimera called
conscience." But the theoretical foundations laid down for
the purpose still did not constitute official instructions,
nor did they introduce definite retaliatory measures against
those who were unduly mild and those who did not fully
recognize the "joys of cruelty".

This is why, even before the beginning of the war with the
Soviet Union, the German fascist criminals issued a number
of so-called "hand-books", "sermons", and similar documents
to the Germans who were being sent East. I submit one of
these documents to the Tribunal. Of all the documents in my
possession I have deliberately selected this small one, and
I dwell on it because it is not intended for the S.S. or
police. It is intended for the so-called "agricultural
leaders". This document is entitled, "The Twelve
Commandments for the Behavior of Germans in the East and for
Their Treatment of the Russians."

I submit this document to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 89,
and Your Honours will find it on Page 17 of the document
book. From these "Twelve Commandments" I shall quote just
one, the sixth, which has a direct bearing on my present

DR. NELTE (Counsel for defendant Keitel): Mr. President, the
words: "Twelve Commandments for the Behavior of the Germans
in the East and

                                                   [Page 29]
for Their Treatment" have been written on Document USSR 89.
That is all that is in my copy. This document has no heading
and no signature. As the question of responsibility is
involved, it would surely be desirable for the Prosecution
to name the author of these "Twelve Commandments". So I
respectfully ask the Tribunal to decide whether this
document is admissible as evidence in its present form.

THE PRESIDENT: Can you inform us what the source of the
document is?

COLONEL SMIRNOV: This document is included in the
documentation of the Extraordinary State Commission of the
Soviet Union for the Investigation and Determination of
German fascist atrocities. It was received from the
following sources -- Counsel for the defence has pointed out
that this document bears no signature. If Your Honour will
turn to the original of this document, which I have
submitted to you, you will find the signature of a certain
Backe. Unfortunately I cannot say who this Backe was, but I
discovered this signature on a whole series of German, or
rather of German fascist, documents which, in rather
peculiar juxtaposition, usually discussed two subjects --
cattle breeding and the Russian soul. Evidently the author
of this document was considered equally competent to deal
with both questions. But what his official position was I
really cannot say.

I repeat, this document was captured by field units of our
army, in the region of Rossospy, handed to the Extraordinary
State Commission and the original of this document is now
being submitted to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: I have the original before me now. It is
dated Berlin, 1 June, 1941, and has a signature which looks
like B-a-c-k-e. Perhaps Counsel for the Defence would like
to see the original document. It is, as I understand from
the prosecuting counsel, made a part of the Soviet
Government report; and if so, we must take notice of it.

COLONEL SMIRNOV: That is so. I have information concerning
Backe's official position. He was Minister of Food and Food
Supplies. I did not know that before, because in practice I
did not have the occasion to come across this branch of
German fascist life.

DR. NELTE: Mr. President, I believe I can identify the
signature as "Backe". Backe was in the Ministry of, was
indeed State Secretary at the time.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps this would be a convenient time to

                    (A recess was taken.)
COLONEL SMIRNOV: I now quote the Sixth Commandment of the
twelve which have just been submitted to the Tribunal. This
Sixth Commandment which is on Page 17 of the document book
of the Tribunal, reads as follows:--

     "6. The areas just opened up must be permanently
     acquired for Germany and Europe; everything will
     depend upon your behavior. You must realize that
     you are the representatives of Greater Germany and
     the standard-bearers of the National Socialist
     Revolution and of the New Europe for centuries to
     come. You must, therefore, carry out with dignity
     even the hardest and most ruthless measures
     required by the necessities of the state. Weakness
     on the part of an individual will, on principle,
     be considered as just cause for his recall. Anyone
     who has been recalled for this reason will no
     longer be eligible for a responsible position in
     the Reich."
For what "hardest and most ruthless" measures the criminal
Hitlerite Government was preparing those whom it named "The
Standard-Bearers of the National Socialist Revolution" and
what crimes were committed by them, we will show later on.

                                                   [Page 30]
In this manner the theoretical discussions were followed up
by official orders quite definite and allowing of no

Execution squads were trained in special educational
institutions, into which all but the lowest ranks were

I will submit to the Tribunal the indictment drawn up for
the Prosecutor of the USSR by the examining magistrate of
most important affairs on the subject of German fascist
atrocities in the city and region of Kharkov. This document
has already been fully confirmed by the judgment of the
court martial, which has also been submitted to the
Tribunal. The Tribunal will find this verdict on Page 30 of
your document book.

The indictment and judgment are submitted to the Tribunal as
Exhibit USSR 32.

There is on the first page of the indictment an extract from
the testimony of the Defendant Retzlav. It is on Page 24 of
your document book, last paragraph:--

     "The accused senior corporal of the German Army,
     Reinhard Retzlav, who received his training in the
     special battalion `Altenburg', testified in the
     course of his interrogation:--
     The course of training even included several
     lectures by leading officials of the G.F.P. --
     "Secret Field Police" -- who definitely declared
     that the peoples of the Soviet Union, especially
     those of Russian nationality, were sub-human and
     should be destroyed for the greater part, although
     an appreciable number were to be employed by the
     German landowners as slaves. These directives were
     the result of the policy of the German Government
     toward the peoples of the occupied territories
     and, it must be confessed, were put into practice
     by every member of the Armed Forces, myself
Such were the courses dedicated to the training and
education of junior police officers.

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