The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/28

In his report on this conference, set forth in Document L-
221, Bormann included numerous proposals of his own for the
execution of these plans.

Later the defendant Bormann took a prominent part in
implementing the conspiratorial programme. The attention of
the Tribunal is invited to Document 072-PS, previously put
in as Exhibit USA 357. The Tribunal will recall that this is
a letter from the defendant Bormann to the defendant
Rosenberg, dated 19th April, 1941, dealing with the
confiscation of cultural property in the East. I quote
merely the last two paragraphs of the English translation of
Document 072-PS, which reads as follows:
  "The Fuehrer emphasised that in the Balkans the use of
  your experts" - I parenthetically insert that that is the
  experts of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg organisation, the
  plundering organisation - "the use of your experts would
  not be necessary, since there were no objets-d'art to be
  confiscated. In Belgrade, only the collection of Prince
  Paul existed, which would be returned to him completely.
  The remaining material of the lodges, etc., would be
  seized by the men of S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich.
  The libraries and objets d'art of the monasteries,
  confiscated in the Reich, were to remain for the time
  being in these monasteries, in so far as the Gauleiters
  had not determined otherwise. After the war, a careful
  examination of the stock could be undertaken. Under no
                                                  [Page 308]
  however, should a centralisation of all the libraries be
  undertaken. Signed Bormann."

I now offer in evidence Document 061-PS, Exhibit USA 692.
This is a secret letter from Bormann, dated 11th January,
1944, in which Bormann discloses - and we stress this, very
important as it seems to us, - the existence of large-scale
operations to drain off commodities from German-occupied
Europe for delivery to the bombed-out population in Germany.
The Tribunal knows that the Hague Regulations and the laws
of war permit the requisitioning of goods and services only
for the use of the Army of Occupation and for the needs of
the administration of the area. This proposal and this
action represents the requisitioning of materials in
occupied areas for the use of the folk at home, of the Home

I now quote the first two paragraphs of the English
translation of Bormann's letter of 11th January, 1944, set
forth in the English translation of our Document 061-PS,
which reads as follows:

  "Since the supply of textiles and household goods for the
  bombed populations is becoming increasingly difficult,
  the proposition was repeatedly made to effect purchases
  in the occupied territories in greater proportions.
  Various district leaders (Gauleiter) proposed to let
  these purchases be handled by suitable private merchants
  who know these districts and have corresponding
  I have brought these proposals to the attention of the
  Reich Minister of Economics, and am quoting his reply of
  16th December, 1943, on account of its fundamental
  importance: 'I consider it a specially important task to
  make use of the economic power of the occupied
  territories for the Reich. You are aware of the fact
  that, since the occupation of the Western territories,
  purchases in these countries have been affected in very
  large proportions. Raw materials, semi-finished products
  and stocks in finished goods have been rolling into
  Germany for months; valuable machines were sent to our
  armaments industry. Everything was done at that time to
  increase our armament potentialities. Later on the
  shipments of these important economic goods were replaced
  by the so-called distribution of orders from industry to

I shall end the quotation there. The rest is not material to
the matter.

In the course of the war - and this is of utmost importance,
in the view of the prosecution -

THE PRESIDENT: Is it clear that that was confiscation?

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: It was not suggested, Sir, that it was
confiscation. Our point was that The Hague Regulations allow
requisitions in return for payment only for the needs of the
Army of Occupation and for the needs of administration of
the occupied area. This represents, as it seems to us, a
requisitioning programme for the needs of the Home Front. It
is on that point that we offer it.

We come now to what the prosecution considers a most
important point against the defendant Bormann. In the course
of the war Bormann issued a series of orders establishing
Party jurisdiction over the treatment of prisoners of war,
especially when employed as forced labour.

The Tribunal knows that, under the Geneva Convention of 1929
relating to prisoners of war, prisoners of war are the
captives, not of the troops who take them, or even of the
army which captures them, but of the capturing power; and it
is the capturing power which has jurisdiction over and
responsibility for them.

By the series of decrees now to be put in, Bormann asserts
and establishes Nazi Party jurisdiction over Allied
prisoners of war. In the exercise of that Party jurisdiction
he called for excessively harsh and brutal treatment of such

                                                  [Page 309]

I now offer in evidence Document 232-PS as Exhibit USA, 643,
This is a decree of the defendant Bormann, dated 13th
September, 1944, addressed, will the Tribunal please note,
to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, and Kreisleiter, and leaders
of, the Nazi affiliated organisations-numerous levels, that
is, of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party-a decree
establishing Nazi Party jurisdiction over the use of
prisoners of war for forced labour.

I quote the first three paragraphs of Bormann's order set
forth on Page 1 of the English translation of Document 232-
PS, which reads as- follows:

  "The regulations, valid until now, on the treatment of
  prisoners of war, and the tasks of the guard units, are
  no longer justified in view of the demands of the total
  war effort."

The prosecution would intrude to ask the question: Since
when do the exigencies of the war effort repeal or modify
the provisions of International Law?

  "Therefore, the Supreme Command (O.K.W.) of the Armed
  Forces, on my suggestion, issued the regulation, a copy
  of which is enclosed. The following observations are made
  on its contents:
  (1) The understanding exists between the Chief of the
  Supreme Command of the Armed Forces (O.K.W.) and myself,
  that the co-operation of the Party in the commitment of
  prisoners of war is inevitable. Therefore, the officers
  assigned to the prisoner of war system have been
  instructed to co-operate most closely with the bearers of
  sovereignty (Hoheitstrager). The commandants of the
  prisoner-of-war camps have to detail, immediately,
  liaison officers to the Kreisleiter.
  Thus the opportunity will be afforded the Hoheitstrager
  to alleviate existing difficulties locally, to exercise
  influence on the behaviour of guards units - and this is
  the point we underline - and to better assimilate the
  commitment of prisoners of war to the political and
  economic demands."

Will the Tribunal permit me to observe that on the face of
this order, addressed to Reichsleiter, Gauleiter and
Kreisleiter, and to the officials of the Leadership Corps,
in the terms of the order itself, Hoheitstrager are referred
to as co-operating media in this scheme.

The Tribunal has graciously given me an opportunity to
observe that this decree is addressed to Reichsleiter,
Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, and to the leaders of the affiliated
and controlled Nazi organisations. As the Tribunal knows,
within the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party, the
Kreisleiter is a pretty low level. He is a county leader. On
the face of the decree itself the co-operation of the
Hoheitstrager is directed, and the Tribunal knows, under the
evidence presented against the Leadership Corps, that
Hoheitstrager range all the way from the Reichsleiter on the
top, down to and including the 500,000 or so Blockleiter

I next offer in evidence Document D-163-PS, as Exhibit USA
694. This is a letter of the defendant Bormann, dated 5th
November, 1941, and addressed, the Tribunal will please
note, to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter and Kreisleiter (the
last just mere county leaders), transmitting to these
officials of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party the
instructions of the Reich Minister of the Interior,
prohibiting decent burials with religious ceremonies for
Russian prisoners of war. I quote the pertinent portions of
these instructions, beginning with the next to the last
sentence of Page 1 of the English translation of D-163,
which reads as follows:

  "To save costs, Service Departments of the Army will
  generally be contacted regarding transport of corpses
  (furnishing of vehicles) whenever possible. No coffins
  will be indented for the transfer and burial. The body
  will be completely enveloped with strong paper (if
  possible, oil, tar, asphalt paper) or other suitable
  material. Transfer and burial is to be carried out
  unobtrusively. If a number of corpses have to be
                                                  [Page 310]
  disposed of, the burial will be carried out in a communal
  grave. In this case, the bodies will be buried side by
  side (but not on top of each other) and in accordance
  with the local custom regarding depth of graves. Where a
  graveyard is the place of burial a distant part will be
  chosen. No" - we repeat - "No burial ceremony or
  decoration of graves will be allowed."

I now offer in evidence Document 228-PS, Exhibit USA 695.
This is a Bormann circular, dated 25th November, 1943,
issued from the Headquarters of the Fuehrer demanding
harsher treatment of prisoners of war and the increased
exploitation of their manpower. I now quote the Bormann
circular which is set forth on Page 1 of the English
translation of Document 228-PS, which reads as follows:

  "Individual Gau-administrations often refer in reports to
  a too indulgent treatment of P.W.'s on the part of the
  guard personnel. In many places, according to these
  reports, the guarding authorities have even developed
  into protectors and caretakers of the P.W.'s.
  I informed the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces of
  these reports, with the comment that the productive
  German working population absolutely cannot understand
  it, if, in a time in which the German people is fighting
  for existence or non-existence, P.W.'s - hence our
  enemies - are leading a better life than the German
  working man, and that it is an urgent duty of every
  German who has to do with P.W.'s, to bring about a
  complete utilisation of their manpower.
  The Chief of P.W. affairs in the Supreme Command of the
  Armed Forces has now given the unequivocal order,
  attached hereto in copy form, to the commanders of P.W.'s
  in the military districts. I request that this order be
  brought orally to the attention of all party office
  holders in the appropriate manner.
  In case complaints about unsuitable treatment of P.W.'s
  still come to light, they are to be immediately
  communicated to the commanders of the P.W.'s with a
  reference to the attached order."

The Tribunal will note, of course, that, on the face of the
decree, Bormann instructs that these orders be communicated
orally to all Party officials, and that surely must include
the members of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.

THE PRESIDENT: Speaking for myself, I do not see anything
particularly wrong in that communication.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: On that point, Sir, we submit that if
you take a document which says: "We wish to utilise all the
possible labour power of P.W.'s under our control, and to
get this result by suitable means" probably it tends to
appear unexceptional. But viewing this document in relation
to the other evidence already in and to be presented, which
show a concerted and settled policy by Bormann and his co-
conspirators to -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, it is not necessary to argue it.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir.

The attention of the Tribunal is invited to Document 656-PS,
previously put in as Exhibit USA 339. The Tribunal will
recall that this is a secret Bormann circular transmitting
instructions of the Nazi High Command of 29th January, 1943,
providing for the enforcement of labour demands on Allied
prisoners of war through the use of weapons and corporal
punishment. I quote a brief excerpt from these instructions,
beginning with the third sentence of the third numbered
paragraph of Page 2 of the English translation of Document
656-PS, which reads as follows, and I quote:

  "Should the prisoner of war not fulfil his order, then
  he" - that is the guard unit, the guard personnel - "then
  he has, in the case of the most pressing need and danger,
  the right to force obedience with arms
                                                  [Page 311]
  if he has no other means. He can use arms as much as is
  necessary to attain his goal. If the assistant guard is
  not armed, then he is authorised to force obedience by
  other applicable means."

The Tribunal knows that under the Geneva Prisoners of War
Convention of 1929, when prisoners of war prove derelict and
refuse to carry out proper orders of the captive power or
its forces, such prisoners of war are subject to court
martial and military proceedings as if they were serving
under their own forces. Here is a decree which, on its face,
authorises or attempts to authorise guard personnel to use
the rifle or other suitable means of violence, and, of
course, your Lordship will understand it was this type of
document we had in mind when we suggested that the decree of
Bormann should be considered in the light of his other
orders relating to the treatment of prisoners of war.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: The Tribunal will recall that at the
close of the morning session I had been putting in a series
of decrees of the defendant Bormann in which he called for
increasingly harsh and severe treatment of Allied prisoners
of war. These instructions issued by the defendant Bormann
culminated in his decree of 30th September, 1944. The
attention of the Tribunal is invited to Document 058-PS,
previously put in as Exhibit USA 456. The Tribunal will
recall that this decree of the defendant Bormann removed
jurisdiction over all prisoners of war from the Nazi High
Command and transferred it to Himmler. The decree also
provided that all P.W. camp commanders should be under the
orders of the local S.S. commanders. By virtue of this
order, Hitler was enabled to proceed, with his programme of
inhuman treatment and even extermination of Allied prisoners
of war.

We now proceed to put in what the prosecution conceive to be
extremely important and extremely, incriminating evidence
against Bormann and the co-conspirators, that is, the
responsibility of the defendant Bormann for the organised
lynching of Allied airmen. I offer in evidence Document 062-
PS, Exhibit USA 696, and I very respectfully request the
Tribunal to turn to this document. On its face it is an
order dated 13th March, 1940, by the defendant Hess
addressed to Reichsleiters, Gauleiters and other Nazi
officials and organisations. In this order these Party
officials are instructed by the defendant Hess to direct the
German civil population to arrest or liquidate all baled-out
Allied fliers. I call the attention of the Tribunal to the
third paragraph on the first page of the English translation
of Document 062-PS. In the third paragraph Hess directs that
these instructions, which I shall soon read, are to be
passed out only orally to all - will the Tribunal please
mark that - to all District Leaders or Kreisleiters,
Ortsgruppenleiters, Zellenleiters and even the Block
Leaders; that is to say, this order must be passed out by
all the officials of the Leadership Corps to the
Hoheitstrager, ranging from Reichsleiter down to and
including the Blockleiter.

Now turn to Document 062-PS, and the Tribunal will find the
instructions which Hess demanded be disseminated by the
Leadership Corps orally: the lynching of Allied fliers.
These directions are headed: "About behaviour in case of
landings of enemy planes or parachutists." The first three
instructions I omit, as not material to the basic point now
being made. Instruction 4 reads, and I quote:

  "Likewise enemy parachutists are immediately to be
  arrested or liquidated."

                                                  [Page 312]

It speaks for itself and requires no further comment from
the prosecution.

Now in order to ensure the success of this scheme ordered by
the defendant Hess, Bormann issued a secret letter, dated
30th May, 1944, to the officials - if the Tribunal will
please mark - of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party,
prohibiting any police measures or criminal proceedings
against German civilians who had lynched or murdered Allied
airmen. This document, our 057-PS, has been previously put
in and received by the Tribunal in connection with the
prosecution's case against the alleged criminal
organisation, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.

Now, may it please the Tribunal, that such lynchings,
organised, authorised and consented to by defendant Bormann,
actually took place, has since been fully and indisputably
demonstrated by, trials by American Military Commissions,
which have resulted in the conviction of German civilians
for the murder of Allied fliers. I request the Tribunal to
take judicial notice of Military Commission Order No. 2,
Headquarters 15th U.S. Army, dated 23rd June, 1945. This
order is our Document 2559-PS. This order imposed the
sentence of death upon a German civilian for violation of
the laws and usages of war in murdering an American airman
who had baled out and landed without any means of defence.

The Tribunal will note, from that order of the American
Military Commission, the 15th August, 1944, as the date of
the crime; Bormann's order was dated May, 1944.

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