The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc//tgmwc-05/tgmwc-05-42.07

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-05/tgmwc-05-42.07
Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

The police and the army were involved in all of these
arrests. A telegram in cipher shows that the Minister of
Foreign Affairs himself was concerned in the matter.
Document 723-PS, which becomes Exhibit RF 295, will be read
in this session. It is the third document of the document
book. It is addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and
is dated Paris, 5 June, 1943:

   "In the course of a conference which took place
   yesterday with the representatives of the High Command
   of the Western Front and the SD, the following agreement
   was made concerning measures to be taken: The aim of
   these measures must be to make impossible, through
   preventive action, the escape from France of any more
   well-known soldiers and at the same time to prevent
   these personages from organising a resistance movement
   in France itself, in the event of an attempted landing
   by the Anglo-Saxon powers.
   The circle of officers here concerned comprises all who
   by their rank and experience, or by their names, would
   considerably strengthen the military command or the
   political credit of the resisters should they decide to
   join them. In the event of military operations in
   France, we must consider them as being of the same

Page 2, fourth paragraph:

   "The list has been compiled in agreement with the High
   Command of the West, the Chief of the Security Police,
   and the General of the Air Force in Paris."

I will not read the names of the additional high-ranking
French officers who were to be arrested, but I will ask you
to turn on to Page 4, where the Tribunal will see, in the
second paragraph, that the German authorities contemplated
causing officers already arrested by the French Government,
and under the supervision of the French authorities, to
suffer the same fate as, for example, de Lattre de Tassigny,
Laure, and Fornel de la Laurencie.

These generals were destined to be literally torn away from
the French authorities for deportation.

Paragraph 3:

   "Considering the general situation at present and the
   security measures which are envisaged, all officers
   present consider it inopportune to keep these generals
   in French custody, for they might, either through
   negligence or with the voluntary aid of the guard
   personnel, escape and recover their freedom."

Page 7, under Roman Numeral IX, concerning  reprisals
against their families:

   "General Warlimont had asked the Commander in Chief of
   the Western Front to raise the question of reprisal
   measures to be taken against the families of persons who
   had become resisters, and to make certain proposals
   concerning their eventual fate."
   President Laval declared himself ready, not long ago, to
   take measures of this kind on behalf of the French
   Government, but would limit himself to the families of
   several outstanding personalities.
   I refer to the penultimate paragraph of the telegram No.
   3,486 of 29 May 1943: 'We must wait and see whether
   Laval is really willing to apply reprisal measures in a
   practical way.'
   "All those present at the meetings were in agreement
   that such measures should be taken in any event, as
   rapidly as possible, against families of well-known
   personages who had become resisters, for example,
                                                  [Page 147]
   of the families of Generals Giraud, Juin, Georges, the
   former Minister of the Interior, Pucheu, and of the
   Inspectors of Finance Couvre de Murville, le Roy-
   Beaulieu and others.
   The measures may also be carried out by the German
   authorities, since the persons who have become resisters
   may be considered as foreigners belonging to an enemy
   power, and the members of their families are also to be
   considered as such.
   In the opinion of those present, the members of these
   families should be interned; the practical carrying out
   of this measure and its technical possibilities must be
   carefully examined."

I omit one paragraph:

   "We might also study the question of whether these
   families should be interned in regions particularly
   exposed to air attacks, for instance, in the region of
   dams or in industrial regions which are often bombed.
   A list of families who are to be interned is to be drawn
   up in collaboration with the Embassy."

In this premeditation of criminal arrests we find involved
the defendant Ribbentrop, the defendant Goering and the
defendant Keitel; for it is their departments which made
these proposals, and we know that these proposals were
agreed to.

Document 720-PS, submitted as Exhibit RF 296, is the second
in your document book -

In conclusion we must point out the participation of the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs through the intermediary of the
OKW. It is a fact that these arrests were carried out.
Members of the family of General Giraud were deported.
General Frere was deported and died in a concentration camp.
Thus the orders were carried out. They were approved before
being carried out, and the approval incriminates the
defendants whose names I have mentioned. The arrests
affected not only high-ranking officers, but were much more
extensive, and a great number of Frenchmen were arrested. We
have no exact statistics.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, did you produce any evidence for
your last statement?

M. DUBOST: I shall bring you the proof of the arrest of
General Frere, and his death in a concentration camp, when I
deal with concentration camps; with regard to the arrest and
death of several French generals in the concentration camp
in Dachau, the Tribunal must still remember the testimony of
Blaha; so far as the family of General Giraud is concerned,
I shall endeavour to bring proofs, but I did not think it
was necessary, as it is a well-known fact that the daughter
of General Giraud was deported.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not sure that we can take judicial
notice of all facts which may be public knowledge in France?

M. DUBOST: I shall submit to the Tribunal the supplementary
proof concerning the generals who died on deportation when I
deal with the question of the camps. General Frere died in
Struthof Camp, and we shall explain the circumstances under
which he was assassinated. In addition, there exists in your
document book a document numbered 417-F, Exhibit RF 297,
which was captured from the archives of the German Armistice
Commission, which establishes that the German authorities
refused to free French generals who were prisoners of war
and whose state of health and age made it imperative that
they should be released. Paragraph 2:

   "So far as this question is concerned, the Fuehrer has
   always taken a negative line, not only towards their
   release, but also towards their hospitalisation in
   neutral countries."

THE PRESIDENT: Are you reading 720 now?

M. DUBOST: That is 417-F, the fourth in your document book.

                                                  [Page 148]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have it.

M. DUBOST: "Today there is less question of release and
hospitalisation than ever, since the Fuehrer has only
recently ordered the transfer to Germany of all French
generals living in France."

It is signed by Warlimont, and in the manuscript it is
noted, "no reply to be given to the French."

Please bear in mind this last sentence -since the Fuehrer
has only recently ordered a transfer to Germany of all
French generals living in France." But, as I explained,
these arrests went far beyond the comparatively small number
of generals or the families of well-known persons as
envisaged by the document which I have just read to the
Tribunal. Many Frenchmen were arrested. We have no
statistics, but we have an idea of the number, which is
considerable, according to the figures given of Frenchmen
who died in French prisons alone, prisons which had been
placed under German command and were supervised by German
personnel during the occupation.

We know that forty thousand Frenchmen died in French prisons
alone in France. This is shown in a document which will be
submitted in the case about atrocities, to be dealt with at
the end of my statement, a document which originates from
the Ministry of Prisoners of War and Deportees. These are
the official figures produced by this Ministry. In the
prison registry is written "Protective Custody." My American
colleagues have explained to the Tribunal what this
protective custody meant, when they read Document 1723-PS,
submitted as Exhibit USA 266. It is useless to return to
this document. It is sufficient to remind the Tribunal, that
imprisonment and protective custody were considered by the
German authorities as the strongest measure calculated to
educate in a forceful manner any foreigners who would
deliberately neglect their duty towards the German
community, or compromise the security of the German State;
they must act in accordance with the general interests and
submit to the discipline of the State.

This protective custody was, as the Tribunal will remember,
a purely arbitrary detention. Those who were interned in
protective custody enjoyed no rights and could not defend
themselves. There were no tribunals before which they could
plead their cause.

Now, we know through official documents which were submitted
to us, notably by Luxembourg, that protective custody was
carried out on a very large scale. The Tribunal will read in
Document 229-F, already submitted as Exhibit USA 243, No.
215, a list of twenty-five persons arrested and placed in
different concentration camps under protective custody.

The Tribunal will recall that our colleagues drew its
attention to the case of the arrest of Ludwig (bottom of the
page), because he was strongly suspected of having aided

A testimony of the application of protective custody in
France is given in Document 278-F, submitted as Exhibit RF
300, which is the next in your document book:

  "Copy of VAA 7236 - Secret - Ministry for Foreign
  Affairs, Berlin, 18 September 1941." There is a typing
  error here. The date is not clear, but we know it is
  "Subject: Report of 30 August, 1941.
  The explanations of the Military Commander in France of 1
  August 1941 are considered in general to be satisfactory
  as a reply to the French note.
  Here, also, we consider there is every reason to avoid
  any further discussion with the French concerning
  preventive arrest, for this would only lead to a
  limitation of its application by the occupying power,

                                                  [Page 149]
  would not be desirable or in the interests of the freedom
  of action of the military authorities. By order
  The signature cannot be read; and below: "the
  representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the
  German Armistice Commission at Wiesbaden. - The Ministry
  for Foreign Affairs - VAA P 7236, SECRET, dated
  Wiesbaden, 23 September 1941, copy:
  "The representative of the Ministry requests to be
  informed, when convenient, of the reply made to the
  French note."

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs was still involved in this
question of protective custody.

The justification for this custody was as the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs admits, and according to the testimony of
this document, very weak; nevertheless, the Ministry for
Foreign Affairs does not forbid it.

The arrests were carried out under manifold pretexts, but
all these pretexts may be summarised under two general
conceptions. Arrests were carried out either for political
or for racial reasons. The arrests were individual or
collective, in both cases.

Pretexts of a political nature

From 1941, the French observed that there was a certain
synchronism between the evolution of political events and
the rhythm of arrests. Exhibit RF 301, which is at the end
of your document book, will show this. Pages 3 to 6.

The Tribunal will be able to follow, Pages 3 to 6. On Page
3, a description is given by the Ministry of Prisoners of
war and Deportees of the conditons under which these arrests
took place, beginning in 1941; it was a critical period in
the German history of the war, since it was from 1941 that
Germany was at war with the Soviet Union.

Page 7 of the German translation:
   "The synchronism between the evolution of political
   events and the rhythm of arrests is evident. The
   suppression of the line of demarcation between the
   occupied and non-occupied zones, the establishment of
   resistance groups, the formation of the Maquis - which
   was the result of forced labour - the landings in North
   Africa and in Normandy, all had immediate repercussions
   on the figures for arrests, of which the maximum curve
   is reached for the period of May to August 1944,
   especially in the Southern zone and particularly in the
   region of Lyons.
   We repeat that these arrests were carried out by members
   of all the categories of the German repressive system:
   the Gestapo in uniform or in civilian clothes, the SD,
   the Gendarmerie, particularly at the demarcation line,
   the Wehrmacht and the SS."

Page 4, second paragraph :

   "The arrests took on the characteristics of collective
   operations. In Paris, as a result of an attempted
   assassination, the 18th Arrondissement was surrounded by
   the Feldgendarmerie. Its inhabitants, men, women, and
   children, could not return to their homes and spent the
   night where they could find shelter. A round-up was
   carried out in the Arrondissement."

I do not think that it is necessary to read the following
paragraph, which deals with the arrests at the University of
Clermont-Ferrand, which the Tribunal will certainly
remember, and also the arrests in Brittany in 1944, at the
time of the invasion. The last paragraph, at the bottom of
Page 11:

   "I cannot enumerate the cities and villages where, on
   the pretext of conspiracy or attempted assassinations,
   whole families were made to suffer. The Germans resorted
   to round-ups when compulsory labour recruitment no
   longer furnished them with sufficient workers.
                                                  [Page 150]
   Round-up in Grenoble, the 24th of December 1943,
   Christmas Eve
   Round-up in Cluny, Saone-et-Loire, in March 1944.
   Round-up in Figeac in May 1944.
   Most Frenchmen who were rounded up in this way were, in
   reality, not used for work in Germany, but were deported
   to be interned in concentration camps."

We might multiply the examples of these arbitrary arrests by
delving into official documents which have been submitted by
Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Holland, and Belgium. These
round-ups were never legally justified, they were never even
represented as an action taken in accordance with the pseudo-
law of hostages to which we have already referred. They were
always arbitrary and carried out without any apparent
reason, for no apparent reason, or at any rate, without its
being possible to motivate them even as a reprisal for the
act of any Frenchman, Other collective arrests were made for
racial reasons. They were of the same odious nature as those
made for political reasons.

On Page 5 of the official document of the Ministry of
Prisoners of War and Deportees, the Tribunal may read a few
odious details connected with these racial arrests; the
third line at the bottom of the page.

   "Certain German policemen were especially entrusted to
   seek out Jewish persons, according to their physiognomy.
   They called this group 'The Brigade of Physiognomists'.
   This verification sometimes took place in a public way
   as far as men were concerned. (At the railway-station at
   Nice, some were stripped with a revolver pointed at
   The Parisians remember these roundups in their quarters.
   The big police buses transported old men, women and
   children and brought them en masse to the Velodrome
   D'Hiver, under dreadful sanitary conditions, before
   taking them to Drancy, where they awaited deportation.
   The round-up of the month of August 1941, has become
   infamous for its sad associations. All the exits of the
   subway of the 11th Arrondissement were closed and all
   the Jews in that quarter were arrested and imprisoned.
   The round-up of December 1941 was particularly aimed at
   intellectual circles. Then there were the round-ups of
   July 1942.
   All the cities in the southern zone, particularly Lyons,
   Grenoble, Cannes, and Nice, where many Jews had taken
   refuge, experienced these round-ups after the total
   occupation of France."

Then there is a revolting detail:
   "The Germans sought out all Jewish children who had
   found refuge with private citizens or with institutions.
   In May, 1944, they proceeded to arrest the children of
   the Colony of Eyzieux, and to arrest children who had
   sought refuge in the Colonies of the U.G.I.F. in June
   and July 1944."

I do not believe that these children were enemies of the
German people, nor that they represented a danger of any
kind to the German army in France.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better break off now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 25th January 1946, at 1000

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.