The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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This report is too long, if the Tribunal please, to quote
from at too great length, but if the Tribunal will turn over
to Page 7, I would like to read in some extracts of what
occurred while the defendant was in Lublin. From the report
it appears that the defendant Seyss-Inquart, after meeting
the various local German administrative officers, "then
expounded the principles" - and I am now quoting from the
top of Page 7 - "in accordance with which the administration
in the 'Government' must be conducted."

Then, omitting a sentence:

  "The resources and inhabitants of this country would have
  to be made of service to the Reich, and only within these
  limits could they prosper. Independent political thought
  should no longer be allowed to develop. The Vistula area
  might perhaps be still more important to German destiny
  than the Rhine. The Minister than gave as a guiding theme
  to the District Leaders: 'We will further everything
  which is of service to the Reich and will put an end to
  everything which may harm the Reich.' Dr. Seyss-Inquart
  then added that the Governor-General wished that those
  men who were fulfilling a task for the Reich here should
  receive a post with material benefits in keeping with
  their responsibility and achievements."

Then, if the Tribunal will turn over two more pages, the
reporter is describing a sightseeing tour which was made to
the village of Wlodawa, Cycow - and I quote:

  "Cycow is a German village ..." - passing down a couple
  of sentences - Reich Minister Dr. Seyss-Inquart made a
  speech in which he pointed out that the fidelity of these
  Germans to their nationality now found its justification
  and reward through the strength of Adolf Hitler."

And then the next sentence, apparently thrown in by the

  "This district with its very marshy character could,
  according to District Chief Schmidt's deliberations,
  serve as a reservation for the Jews, a measure which
  might possibly lead to heavy mortality among the Jews."

THE PRESIDENT: We might break off here for ten minutes.

(A recess was taken.)

LIEUTENANT ATHERTON: If the Tribunal please, at the time the
Tribunal rose, I was in the process of considering the
functions of the defendant Seyss-Inquart, his place as
Deputy Governor-General of Poland, between 1939 and 1940.

Now the Tribunal has already heard evidence of the
atrocities which were perpetrated by the administration
which Seyss-Inquart thus helped to create. The Prosecutors
for the Soviet Union will present to the Tribunal more
evidence of such atrocities. For our present purposes, to
show the importance of the work which this man did to
further the Nazi plan for the Government General of Poland,
it is enough to quote a few words from the diary of the
defendant Frank.

On the occasion of what was apparently a farewell lunch to
Seyss-Inquart, when he became Reich Commissar of the
Netherlands, Frank said - and I now quote from Document 3465-
PS, Pages 5 10 and 511 of Volume 2, the 1940 volume of the
diary, which is Exhibit USA 614:

                                                  [Page 323]

  "I am extremely glad, Mr. Reich Commissar and Reich
  Minister, to assure you, in this hour of your departure,
  that the months of our collaboration with you belong to
  the most precious memories of my life, and that your work
  in the Government General will be remembered forever in
  the building of the coming World Empire of the German

Passing down a little, if the Tribunal please, Frank went on
to say:

  "In the construction of the Government General your name
  will forever take a place of honour as an originator of
  this organisation and this State system. I express our
  thanks, Mr. Reich Minister, for your collaboration and
  for your creative energy."

Then reading the last two or three sentences:

  "During the hard times common work united us here in the
  East, but it is at the same time the starting point for a
  gigantic power development of the German Reich. Its
  perfection will show the development of the greatest
  energy unit which has ever been in the history of the
  world. In this work you were placed by the Fuehrer very
  effectively, in the most important position."

And to these remarks the defendant Seyss-Inquart replied -
and I now quote from the second page of the translation:

  "I learned here a lot, many things which I did not
  understand before at all, and mainly on account of the
  initiative and firm leadership as I found them in my
  friend Dr. Frank."

Then, omitting a sentence:

  "I will now go to the West, and I want to be quite open
  with you. With my whole heart I am present, because my
  whole attitude is one directed toward the East. In the
  East we have a National-Socialist mission; over there, in
  the West, we have a function; that may be the

I submit, if the Tribunal please, that the sentences which I
have just read show clearly enough the conscious
participation of the defendant Seyss-Inquart in the Polish
phase of the conspiracy.

Thus equipped with experience gained in Poland and under the
defendant Frank, Seyss-Inquart was ready to undertake his
last and most ambitious task, the enslavement of the
Netherlands. The ruthless manner in which he performed it
marks his position in the Nazi Common Plan or Conspiracy.

I ask the Tribunal first to take judicial notice of a decree
of Hitler of 18th May, 1940, which is found in 1940
Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, Page 778. The translation will be
found in the book as Document 1376-PS. By Section I of this
decree it is provided that:

  "The Reich Commissar is protector of the interests of the
  Reich and will represent the supreme power of the
  Government within the civil sphere. He will be directly
  subordinated to me and will receive directives and orders
  from me."

Section 3 provides that:

  "The Reich Commissar may use German Police forces to
  carry out his orders. The German Police forces are at the
  disposal of the German military commander in so far as
  military necessities require this and if the missions of
  the Reich Commissar permit it."

Then by Paragraph or Section 5 of the law it is provided
that the Reich Commissar may promulgate laws by decree, such
orders to be published in the "Verordnungsblatt" for the
Occupied Territory of the Netherlands, a publication which I
shall hereafter refer to merely as the "Verordnungsblatt."

On 29th May, 1940, acting within these powers, the defendant
promulgated an order covering the exercise of governmental
authority in the Netherlands, and this appears as 3588-PS in
the document book. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial
notice of its contents.

                                                  [Page 324]

That will contain two decrees. I am now referring to the
first one.

By Section 1 of this decree the defendant modestly purports
to assume, to the extent required for the fulfilment of his
duties, "all powers, privileges and rights heretofore vested
in the king and the Government, in accordance with the
Constitution and the laws of the Netherlands." That is a
direct quotation.

And then Section 5 of the order entrusts the maintenance of
public peace, safety and order to the Netherlands Police
Force, unless the Reich Commissar calls on German S.S. or
Police Forces for the enforcement of his orders. It further
provides that the investigation and combating of all
activities hostile to the Reich and Germanism shall be the
concern of the German Police Force.

On 3rd June, 1940, a further decree was promulgated,
concerning the organisation and establishment of the Office
of the Reich Commissar. This decree is found in the
"Verordnungsblatt" for 1940, Number 1, at Page 11, and is
the second decree under Document 3588-PS. This decree
provided for general commissioners on the staff of the Reich
Commissar to head four enumerated sections, one of which,
the Superior S.S. and Police Chief, was to head the section
for Public Safety. It was provided by Section 5 of this
decree that this official should command the units of the
military S.S. and German Police Forces transferred to the
occupied Netherlands territories, supervise the Netherlands
central and municipal Police Forces, and issue to them
necessary orders.

Section 11 provided that the Reich Commissar alone -

THE PRESIDENT: Lieutenant Atherton, do not you think that we
can assume that the defendant Seyss-Inquart, who had been
appointed to administer the occupied territory of the
Netherlands, had all these powers and that you can turn your
attention to what he did under those powers?

LIEUTENANT ATHERTON: Yes, Sir, I will do that, but I wanted
to make plain to the Tribunal, because of the peculiar set-
up of this German Police Force, the fact that he was granted
the power to give orders to them, and not only that, but
that he customarily did. If that point is made clear, as I
believe it is, in these two decrees, I will pass on to the
next matter.

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Tribunal has no doubt that an
officer under the Reich who had got the powers of the
administrator of an occupied territory could make use of the
Police Forces.


THE PRESIDENT: It is really a matter that we should be
prepared to assume until it is proved to the contrary.


THE PRESIDENT: We would wish you to turn your attention to
show what he did, under those powers, which constitute

LIEUTENANT ATHERTON: Yes, Sir. It is not our intention at
this time to go into the crimes against persons and
property, which the defendant Seyss-Inquart is responsible
for in the Netherlands, in any detail, because evidence of
Nazi barbarity in this country is to be presented by our
associates, the Prosecutors for the French Republic. It is
our purpose only to show a few illustrations, and to give
some idea of the scope of this defendant's activities and
his responsibilities, as evidence of his part in the
execution of the Nazi's Common Plan or Conspiracy, which it
is our part to prove.

Now, in the first place, there will be much evidence to show
that the defendant was responsible for widespread spoliation
of property. Merely as an illustration of the way in which
he was implicated in the smallest parts of this, I offer in
evidence Document 176-PS, as Exhibit USA 707.

This document is a report on the activities of the "Work-
Group Netherlands," a part of the Einsatzstab-Rosenberg, on
which the Tribunal has already heard, evidence. Quoting from
the first page of this report, the first sentence:

                                                  [Page 325]

  "The Work-Group Netherlands of the Einsatzstab
  Reichsleiter Rosenberg began its work in agreement with
  the competent representative of the Reich Commissar,
  during the first days of September, 1940."

The report then proceeds to detail the property taken from
Masonic Lodges and similar institutions. Reading from page -
I believe it is Page 3 - of this report, the very bottom:

  "An extremely precious library, containing invaluable
  works on Sanscrit, was confiscated and packed into 96
  cases, when the 'Theosophische' Society in Amsterdam was
  dissolved. A number of smaller libraries belonging to the
  Spiritists, the Esperanto movement, the Bellamy movement,
  the International Bible Students and various other minor
  international organisations, were packed into seven
  cases; texts belonging to various minor Jewish
  organisations were packed into four cases; and a library
  of the 'Anthroposophic Society' in Amsterdam into three.
  It is safe to say that the stocks of books confiscated,
  packed and so far sent to Germany by the Work-Group, are
  of extraordinary scientific value, and will contribute an
  integral part of the library of the 'Hohe Schule.'"

The money value of these libraries can only be estimated,
but must surely amount to from 30,000,000 to 40,000,000
Reichsmark. Then, quoting from the very end of the report:

  "The Work-Group, in executing the aforementioned tasks is
  bound strictly to the pace set by the Reich Commissar for
  the handling of the Jewish questions and those of the
  international organisations."

As Reich Commissar, it was one of the functions of the
defendant Seyss-Inquart to supervise the execution of the
conspirators' programme for deportation of
Dutch citizens to Germany for slave labour. The Tribunal
will recall that Mr. Dodd read into evidence at Page 1372 a
portion of a transcript of an interrogation of the defendant
Sauckel, on 5th October, 1945, in which it appeared that the
quotas for the workers for Holland were agreed upon, and
then the numbers given to the Reich Commissar Seyss-Inquart
to fulfil; and after the quota was given to Seyss-Inquart,
it was his mission to fulfil it with the aid of Sauckel's
representative. And then the Tribunal will recall that Mr.
Dodd, having shown the defendant Seyss-Inquart's part in
recruitment for slave labour in this fashion, and his
responsibility for it, read into the record (Page 307, Part
2) some portions from Document 1726-PS, Exhibit USA 195,
which showed the numbers of Netherlands citizens deported to
the Reich at various times. Since that is all a matter of
record, I will not go into it again.

In the Netherlands, as in Austria and elsewhere, Seyss-
Inquart was relentless in his treatment of Jewish
Netherlanders. To illustrate his attitude, I offer in
evidence Document 3430-PS, which consists of extracts from
the defendant's book, "Four Years in the Netherlands.
Collected Speeches." It becomes Exhibit USA 708. In a speech
in Amsterdam on 13th March, 1941 - and I am now quoting from
Page 57 of the original book, the last extract on the
translation-Seyss-Inquart said:

  "The Jews, for us, are not Dutch. They are those enemies
  with whom we can come to neither an armistice nor to
  peace. This applies here, if you wish, for the duration
  of the occupation. Do not expect an order from me which
  stipulates this, except regulations concerning police
  matters. We will beat the Jews wherever we meet them, and
  those who join them must bear the consequences. The
  Fuehrer declared that the Jews have played their final,
  act in Europe, and therefore they have played their final

Now, as promised, the defendant Seyss-Inquart proceeded to
promulgate the long series of decrees which first threatened
to deprive the Jewish people

                                                  [Page 326]

in the Netherlands of their property, of their rights, and
degraded them to something lower than the lowest, and which
eventually resulted in their deportation to Poland. These
decrees, all signed by Seyss-Inquart, are collected in our
brief, Page 65. I ask the Court to take judicial notice of
them, By way of illustration, the first to which I wish to
refer appears in the document book as 3333-PS, and it is a
decree of 26th October, 1940, requiring the registration of
businesses belonging to Jews as defined in the decree,
including partnerships or corporations in which Jews owned a
substantial interest. You have seen that this type of law
was the inevitable prelude to mass confiscation of the
property of Jews under the Nazi administration. In a law
found in "Verordnungsblatt," Volume 6, Page 99, 14th
February, 1941, 3325-PS, Dutch universities and colleges
were limited in the registration of Jewish students. This of
itself does not seem important, but it is a part of the
programme to take away from these people their rights and
degrade them. Document 3328-PS is a decree published in
"Verordnungsblatt, " No. 44, at Page 841, of 23rd  October,
1941. This prevented Jews from exercising any profession or
trade without authorisation from administrative authorities,
and permitted such authorities to order the termination of
any employment contract concerning Jews.

As a final illustration I refer in passing to Document 3336-
PS, a decree published in the "Verordnungsblatt," No. 13,
Page 289, and dated 23rd May, 1942. This decree required all
Jews to make written declaration of claims of any kind,
under which they might be beneficiaries, at a banking firm
known as Lippmann-Rosenthal and Company, which was actually
an agency of the Reich at Amsterdam. The decree gave the
bank - this named bank - all rights to dispose of the claim,
and provided that payment to the bank should be released in
full. This type of Nazi decree was, of course, a forerunner
of ultimate deportation to the East, and allowed the Nazis
to snatch the insurance.

Evidence of the success of this defendant's efforts to
annihilate all Jews in the Netherlands has already been read
into the record. The Court will find that Major Walsh -
again reading from the report of the Netherlands Government,
Exhibit USA 195, at Page 1497 - showed that out of 140,000
Jewish Netherlanders, 117,000 were deported, over 115,000 of
them to Poland - over 80 per cent. The evidence has shown
what was the probable fate of most of these people, and I
shall not dwell on it further.

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