Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-05-12 Last-Modified: 1996/12/28 (5) Functions and Activities with respect to Jewish Persecution. Through its activities with respect to concentration camps the SS performed part of its mission to safeguard the security of the Nazi regime. But another specialized aspect of that mission must not be forgotten. Himmler had defined that task as the prevention of a "Jewish Bolshevist revolution of subhumans." In plain words this meant participation in the Nazi program of Jewish persecution and extermination. That program involved every branch and component of the SS. The racial philosophy of the SS made that organization a natural agency for the execution of all types of antisemitic measures. The SS position on the Jewish question was publicly stated in the SS newspaper "Das Schwarze Korps," in the issue of 8 August 1940, by its editor, Gunter d'Alquen (2668-PS). "Das Schwarze Korps" was the official propaganda agency of the SS which every SS man was required to read and to induce others to read. This was the SS position on the Jews: "Just as the Jewish question will be solved for Germany only when the last Jew has been deported, so the rest of Europe should realize that the German peace which awaits it must be a peace without Jews." (2668-PS) The attempted "solution" of the Jewish question through pogroms and "spontaneous" demonstrations occurred following the murder of von Rath in November 1938. In these demonstrations all branches of the SS were called on to play a part. The teletype message from SS Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, Chief of the Secur- [Page 221] ity Police and SD, issued on 10 November 1938 concerning "Measures against Jews tonight," provided: "*** The direction of the measures of the Security Police concerning the demonstrations against Jews is vested with the organs of the State Police -- inasmuch as the inspectors of the Security Police are not issuing their own orders. In order to carry out the measures of the Security Police, officials of the Criminal Police, as well as members of the SD, of the Verfuegungstruppe and the Allgemeine SS may be used." (3051-PS) With the outbreak of the war and the march of Nazi armies over the Continent, the SS participated in "solving" the Jewish question in all the countries of Europe. The solution was nothing short of extermination. To a large degree these wholesale murders were disguised under the name of "antipartisan" or "antiguerilla" actions, and as such included as victims not merely Jews but Soviets, Poles, and other Eastern peoples. One example an action confined essentially to Jews was the mass annihilation of Jews in gas vans (501-PS). Those vans were operated by the Security Police and SD under the direction of RSHA. Another example is found in the report entitled "Solution of the Jewish Question in Galicia," prepared by SS Gruppenfuehrer and Lt. General of the Police Katzman and rendered to SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Krueger (18). The "solution," which consisted in evacuation and extermination of all the Jews in Galicia and confiscation of their property, was carried out under the energetic direction of the SS and Police Leaders, with assistance of SS police units, as the report proudly boasts. These additional items in that report dealing specifically with the should be noted. The first is the text under a photograph in original report: "Great was the joy of the SS men when the Reichsfuehrer SS in person in 1942 visited some camps along the Rollbahn." (L-18) The second is a balance sheet, showing the income from forced Jewish labor and expenditures therefrom. Item 3 on the balance sheet reads as follows: "3. Amount paid over to the SS cashier: a. Camps 6,876,251,00 Zl. b. W&R Factories 6,556,513,69 Zl. ----------------- 13,432,764,69 Zl. Further payments to the SS-cashier are effected every month." (L-18) [Page 222] The third is the last two paragraphs of the report: "Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single SS Police Officer during these actions, mood and spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy to the last day. "Only thanks to the sense of duty of every single leader and man have we succeeded to get rid of this PLAGUE in so short a time." One final example of SS participation in Jewish extermination is the report by SS Brigadefuehrer and Major General of the Police, Stroop, of the destruction of the Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw during April and May 1943 (1061-PS). Two sections of that report dealing with the constitution of the participating forces should be noted. A table of the units used indicates the average number of officers and men from each unit employed per day. It will be observed that among the units involved were the staff of the SS and Police Leader, two battalions of the Waffen SS, two battalions at the 22d SS Police Regiment and members of the Security Police. The part played by the Waffen SS particularly came in for high praise from the writer of the report. Tribute is paid to the toughness of the men of the Waffen SS, Police, and Wehrmacht. In the next paragraph the writer says: "Considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen SS had been trained for only three or four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given for the pluck, courage and devotion to duty which they showed." (1061-PS) The selection methods and ideological education of Waffen SS men furnished such good grounding that a few weeks of practice was all that was required to turn them into excellent exterminators. Himmler's proud boast of the part that the SS played in the extermination of the Jews occurs in his Posen Speech: "Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are Iying side by side, or 500 or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time -- apart from the exceptions caused by human weakness -- to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written ***" (1919-PS) (6) Functions and activities with respect to preparing for and waging aggressive war. From the very beginning the SS made prime contributions to the conspirators' aggressive aims. First, it served as one of the para-military organizations under which the [Page 223] conspirators disguised their building up of an Army in violation the Versailles Treaty. Second, through affiliated SS organizations in other countries and through some of the departments in its own Supreme Command, it fostered Fifth Column movements outside Germany and prepared the way for aggression. Third, through its militarized units, it participated in the aggressive actions which were eventually carried out. (a) The SS as a para-military organization. The para military character of the General SS is apparent from the military character of its structure, the military discipline required of its members, and the steps it took to enlist in its ranks young men of military age. In addition to this volunteer Army the SS created, as early as 1933, fully armed professional soldiers who complied with requirement for compulsory military service by performing duties in the SS. These were the SS Vorfuegungstruppe and the Death Head Units. (b) The SS as a fifth column agency. While building up the SS as a military force within Germany, the conspirators also utilized it in other countries to lay the groundwork for aggression. During the seizure of Austria, the SS Standarte 89 was directly involved in the murder of Chancellor Dolfuss, and a memorial plaque was erected in Vienna as a tribute to the SS men who participated in that murder (L- 273; 2968-PS). Subsequently, on the night of 11 March 1938, the SS with the SA marched into Vienna and occupied all government buildings and important posts in the city. (See report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissioner Buerckel (812-PS); and the record of the telephone conversations between Goering and Dambrowski (2949-PS)). The same pattern wag repeated in Czechoslovakia. Henlein's Corps played in that country the part of fifth column which the SS had played in Austria and was rewarded, in September 1938, by being placed under the jurisdiction of the Reichsfuehrer SS (388-PS, Items 37, 38). Moreover, a Most Secret OKW order of 28 September 1938, reveals that the SS had its own armed units, four battalions of Totenkopf Verbaende, actually operating in Czechoslovakian territory before the Munich Pact was signed (388-PS, Item 36). But SS preparations for aggression were not confined to military forces. One of the departments of the SS Supreme Command, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle, was a center for fifth column activity. At the secret meeting between Ribbentrop and Henlein in March 1938, at which the line to be followed by the Sudeten German Party was determined, the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle was represented by Professor Haushofer and SS Obergruppenfuehrer [Page 224] Lorenz (2788-PS). And when the Foreign Office in August 1938 awarded further subsidies to Henlein's Sudeten Party, the memorandum of that recommendation (3059-PS) contained the significant footnote: "Volksdeutsche Mittlestelle will be informed." (3059- PS) (c) SS participation in aggressive war. When at last the time came to strike, the SS was ready. In the words of the National Socialist Yearbook for 1940 (2164-PS): "When the march into the liberated provinces of the Sudetenland began on that memorable 1 October 1938, Verfuegungstruppe as well as the Death Head Units were along with those in the lead. ***" "15 March 1939 brought a similar utilization of the SS when it served to establish order in collapsing Czechoslovakia. This action ended with the founding of the protectorate Bohemia-Moravia. "Only a week later, on 29 March 1939, Memel also returned to the Reich upon basis of an agreement wit Lithuania. Again it was the SS, here above all the Eastern Prussian SS, which played a prominent part in the liberation of this province." (2164-PS) In the final act which set off the war, the attack on Poland in September 1939, the SS acted as stage manager. In hi affidavit (Affidavit A), Maj. Gen. Erwin Lahousen describes the simulated attack on the radio station Gleiwitz by Germans dressed in Polish uniforms, as one of the most mysterious actions which took place in the Abwehr office: "This was an incident which had been deliberately engineered and directed by the SD and it was executed by prisoners from Concentration Camps dressed up in Polish uniforms, and using Polish weapons and equipment. Those prisoners were later murdered by the SD in order to eliminate any possibility of their giving testimony of the incident." (Affidavit A) The war erupted and the Waffen SS again took its place in the van of the attacking forces.
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