The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/04/15

                                                  [Page 157]
I turn then to a fragment of evidence of the part he played
in the waging of aggressive war against Poland. On Page 16
of the document book there is a report of a speech that he
made on the 27th August, 1939, which shows at least that he
was taking part in the official propaganda that was being
thrown at the world in those days, two days before the war
was declared. I quote from the second paragraph:

     "Rudolf Hess, constantly interrupted with strong
     applause from the German citizens living abroad, as
     well as fellow countrymen from the District of Styria,
     stressed the unexampled forbearance shown by Germany
     towards Poland, in the magnanimous offer of the Fuehrer
     that had assured peace between Germany and Poland. An
     offer that Mr. Chamberlain seems to have forgotten, for
     he says he has heard nothing of Germany's having tried
     to solve certain acute present-day questions by
     peaceful discussion. What else was the German offer
     then, if it was not such an attempt?"
Then he goes on to accuse Poland of agitating for war,
Poland's lack of responsibility and so on. In view of the
time, I shall quote no more of that. The Document 107-M, is
in evidence and it becomes Exhibit GB 266.

                                                  [Page 158]
After the conquest of Poland, it was Hess that signed the
decree incorporating Danzig into the Reich, the decree of
1st September, 1939, a decree incorporating Polish
territories into the Reich on 8th October, 1939; and on 12th
October, 1939, a decree concerning Polish territory, in
which it was stated that regulations were to be made for the
planning of German Lebensraum and economic expansion. Those
are all decrees in the Reichsgesetzblatt. I regret that the
last two that I mentioned are not actually included in the
Tribunals document book, but the effect of them is set out
in the trial brief. That, in view of the evidence that has
been given as to his Fifth Column organisation, is all that
I propose to offer in respect to Poland. It must be clear
that my submission will be that he was deeply involved both
in the planning and in the preparation for aggressive war.

I turn to an example of his participation in War Crimes and
Crimes against Humanity, and would refer only to two
documents; one appears as set out on Page 18 of the trial
brief, 3245-PS, which becomes Exhibit GB 267. It was an
order issued by Hess through the Party Chancellery demanding
support from the Party for recruiting members for the Waffen
S.S.; and one paragraph, which is set out in the trial brief
I quote:

     "The units of the Waffen S.S., consisting of National
     Socialists, are more suitable than other armed units
     for the specific tasks to be solved in the occupied
     Eastern territories, due to their intensive National
     Socialist training in regard to questions of race and

But, in view of what was happening and what was going to
happen in the occupied Eastern territories because of the
Waffen S.S. (we have not, I know, forgotten the part they
played in the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto). I suggest
that the inference that can be drawn from that letter is

There is one further document. That document will be found
on Page 121 of the Tribunal's document book. The other
document that I would refer to in this respect is Document
96-R, which becomes Exhibit GB 268, and again that will be
found on Page 175 of the document book. It is a letter
written by the Reich Minister of Justice to the Chief of the
Reich Chancellery on 17th April, 1941, and it is discussing
proposed penal laws for Jews and Poles in the occupied
Eastern territories. It shows quite clearly that Hess has
been involved in discussions on this subject because it
refers to certain proposals that he himself has made. My
Lord, I would venture to draw the attention of the Tribunal
to one or two passages. I quote from the beginning of that
letter on Page 175:

     "It has been my opinion from the outset that special
     conditions prevailing in the annexed Eastern
     territories require special measures of penal law and
     penal procedure against Poles and Jews. "
And then I go on to the second paragraph, the first two

     "The aim to create a special law for Poles and Jews in
     the Eastern territories was pursued further according
     to plan, by the ordinance dated 6th June, 1940. By this
     ordinance German penal law, which had been used in the
     Eastern territories already, from the outset, was
     formally made applicable."
There I omit three lines.

     "The procedure for enforcing a prosecution has been
     abrogated, for it seems intolerable that Poles or Jews
     should be able to force the German public prosecutor to
     launch an accusation. Poles and Jews have also been
     deprived of the right to prosecute in their own names
     or join the public prosecutor in an action. In addition
     to this special law in the sphere of procedure, some
     special conditions have been included in Article 2 of
     the introductory ordinance. These provisions were
     established in agreement with the Reich Minister of the
     Interior on the basis of needs which had made
     themselves felt. From the beginning it was intended to
                                                  [Page 159]
     augment the special conditions in case of need. This
     need, which had become apparent in the meantime, was
     met by an executive and supplementary order which was
     added to the original ordinance and which was referred
     to in the letter from the Fuehrer's deputies. "
I turn to the next page, top of the page:

     "Later I was informed of the express wish of the
     Fuehrer. As a matter of principle, Poles, and I presume
     the Jews, are to be treated differently from the
     Germans within this sphere of penal law. After
     preliminary discussions, et cetera, I drew up the
     enclosed draft concerning criminal law and procedure
     against Poles and Jews. "
I pass over to the next paragraph:

     "The draft represents altogether special law, both in
     the sphere of penal law and penal procedure.
     The suggestions of the Deputy Fuehrer have been taken
     into consideration to a far-reaching extent. Number 1:
     Paragraph 3: contains a general crime formula on the
     basis of which any Pole or Jew in the Eastern territory
     can in future be prosecuted, and any kind of punishment
     can be inflicted on him for any attitude or action
     which is considered punishable and is directed against
Then I go on to the next paragraph:

     "In accordance with the opinion of the Deputy of the
     Fuehrer, I started from the supposition that the Pole
     is less susceptible to the infliction of ordinary
And a few lines further down:

     "Under these new kinds of punishment prisoners are to
     be lodged outside prisons in camps and are to be forced
     to do heaviest and hardest labour."
I go to the next page, second paragraph:

     "The introduction of corporal punishment, which the
     Deputy of the Fuehrer has brought up for discussion,
     has not been included in the draft. I cannot agree to
     this type of punishment because its infliction does
     not, in my opinion, correspond to the cultural level of
     the German people."
My Lord, as I said, the purpose of that document is to show
that the Deputy of the Fuehrer was well aware of what was
going on in the Eastern occupied territories and indeed was
advocating even stronger measures than the Reich Minister of
Justice was prepared to accept.

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