The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 191]
           (d) Destruction of Towns and Villages,
           Plunder of Public and Private Property
In carrying out their plans of aggression and plunder, the
Hitlerites systematically destroyed towns and villages,
destroyed the treasures created by the work of many
generations and plundered the peaceful population.

Together with their accomplices -- the criminal Governments
of Finland and Roumania -- the Hitlerites developed their
plans for the destruction of the largest cities of the
Soviet Union.

A document, emanating from the Naval War Staff, dated 29th
September, 1941, and entitled "The Future of the City of
Petersburg," contains the following statement:

     "The Fuehrer has decided to wipe the city of Petersburg
     from the face of the earth. Finland has also declared
     clearly that she is not interested in the further
     existence of the city in the immediate vicinity of her
     new boundary."
On 5th October, 1941, Hitler addressed a letter to
Antonescu, the special object of which was to co-ordinate
their plans for seizing and destroying the city of Odessa.

An order of the German Commander-in-Chief, dated 7th
October, 1941 and signed by the defendant Jodl, prescribed
that Leningrad and Moscow should be wiped from the face of
the earth.

     "In the case of all other towns, too," states the
     order, "the rule should hold that, prior to their
     occupation, they should be reduced to ruins by
     artillery fire and by air raids. It is inadmissible
     that a German soldier's life should be risked in order
     that Russian towns be saved from fire."
The directives of central German authorities were widely
applied by military commanders of all ranks. Thus an order
to the 512th German Infantry Regiment, signed by Colonel
Schietnog, prescribes that the regions and districts seized
by the Hitlerites be turned into a desert area. In order
that this crime should lead to the most destructive results,
the order gives a detailed plan for the annihilation of
inhabited localities.

     "Preparations for the destruction of inhabited
     localities," the order states, "should be made in such
     a manner that: (a) no suspicion be aroused among the
     civilian population, prior to announcement; (b) it
     should be possible to start the destructions at once,
     by one blow, at an appointed time.... On the day
     designated, particularly strict watch should be kept on
     inhabited localities so as not to allow any civilians
     to leave them, especially from the moment the
     announcement regarding the destruction is made."
An order by the commander of the 98th German Infantry
Division, dated 24th December, 1941, is even entitled,
"Program of Destructions." This order gives concrete
directions regarding the destruction of a number of
inhabited localities and suggests that:

                                                  [Page 192]

     "Available stocks of hay, straw, food supplies, et
     cetera, are to be burnt. All stoves in homes should be
     put out of action by hand grenades so that their
     further use be made impossible. On no account is this
     order to fall into the hands of the enemy."

Special squads of fire raisers -- torch bearers -- were
formed, which set fire to the treasures created by the
labour of generations.

Your Honours, I wish to draw your attention to the document
known as "Directives for the Control of Economy in the Newly
Occupied Eastern Territories" ("Green File"). Goering is the
author of these directives. This secret document is dated --
"Berlin,  June, 1941." I will quote only a few excerpts from
it. The first quotation is:

     "Pursuant to the Fuehrer's orders, it is necessary to
     take all measures for the immediate and full
     exploitation of the occupied territories for Germany's
     benefit. To obtain for Germany the largest possible
     amount of food supplies and crude oil, such is the main
     economic objective of the campaign. At the same time,
     German industry must also be supplied with other kinds
     of raw materials from the occupied territories. The
     first task is to supply the German armies with the
     utmost speed entirely from the resources of the
     occupied territories."

Second quotation:

     "The opinion that the occupied territories should be
     restored to order as soon as possible, and their
     economy re-established, is quite out of place. The
     restoration of order must take place only in those
     areas from which we can obtain considerable supplies of
     agricultural products and crude oils; in others,
     economic activity must be limited to the exploitation
     of such stocks as are discovered."

Third quotation:

     "All raw materials, semi-manufactured, and finished
     goods must be withdrawn from the markets by means of
     orders, requisitions, and confiscations. Platinum,
     magnesium and rubber should be collected immediately
     and removed to Germany. Foodstuffs, as well as articles
     of domestic and personal use, and clothing discovered
     in the combat zone and in the rear areas, are to be
     placed, in the first instance, at the disposal of the
     economic detachments to satisfy the needs of the
     armies. What is rejected by them will be passed on to
     the next highest war-economy agency."

As I have already said at the beginning, the main objective
of the German aggression against the Soviet Union was to
plunder the Soviet country in order to obtain the economic
resources necessary for Hitlerite Germany, without which she
could not carry out her imperialistic plans of aggression.

Goering's "Green File" represented the extensive program,
developed beforehand by the Fascist conspirators, for the
organised plunder of the Soviet Union.

This program laid down in advance concrete plans for
plunder: The forcible confiscation of valuables, the
organisation of slave labour in our cities and villages, the
abolition of ages in industrial establishments, the
uncontrolled issue of completely insecure currency, etc. To
materialise this program of plunder, the creation of special
machinery was provided, with its own economic command,
economic staffs, its own intelligence, inspectorates, Army
units, detachments for collecting means of production,
detachments for collecting raw materials, military
agronomists, agricultural officers, etc.

Together with the advancing German armies there also moved
detachments of the economic departments of the Army, whose
task was to determine the available supplies of grain,
cattle, fuel and other property. These detachments were
subordinated to a special economic inspectorate which had
its seat in the rear areas.

                                                  [Page 193]
Soon after the attack on the U.S.S.R., Hitler's decree of
29th June, 1941, placed the entire control of the loot of
occupied territories in the hands of the defendant Goering.
By this decree Goering was given the right to take "all
measures necessary for the maximum utilisation of all stocks
discovered and of the country's economic capacity in the
interests of German war economy." The defendant Goering
directed the predatory activities of the German military and
economic detachments with the greatest zeal.

At a conference held on 6th August, 1942, with the Reich
Commissars and representatives of the military command,
Goering demanded that the plunder of occupied territories be
intensified: "You are sent there," Goering pointed out, "not
to work for the benefit of the peoples entrusted to you, but
in order to pump out of them all that is possible."

And further on: "I intend to plunder and to plunder

As established by the Extraordinary State Commission, these
directives of Goering were carried out by the Reich
Ministers and representatives of German firms, under whose
control were various kinds of economic groups, technical
battalions, economic staffs and economic inspectorates.
Particularly active in the plunder of property of the Soviet
Union were the German firms Friedrich Krupp & Co., Hermann
Goering, Siemens Schuckert, the Mining and Metallurgical
Company Ost, the Corporation Nord, Heinrich Lanz,
Landmaschinenbauindustrie, I. G. Farbenindustrie and many

While they plundered and pillaged State and private
property, the Hitlerite invaders doomed to starvation and
death the population of the districts thus plundered. Field
Marshal Reichenau's order of 10th October, 1941, which was
distributed as a model among all German units together with
a note saying that Hitler considered it an excellent order,
contained the following incitement to plunder and
exterminate the population, "To supply local inhabitants and
prisoners of war with food is an act of unnecessary

The "Notes" on the conference held in Rovno, from  (from
26th to 28th August, 1942), which were discovered in
defendant Rosenberg's files, state:

     "The object of our work is to make the Ukrainians work
     for Germany; -- we are not here to make these people
     happy. The Ukraine can give us what is lacking in
     Germany. This object must be achieved irrespective of
Following the directives of the defendant Goering, the local
authorities mercilessly and completely plundered the
population of the occupied territories. An order discovered
at a number of places in the Kursk and Orel districts by
units of the Red Army contains a list of property to be
handed over to the military authorities. Things like scales,
sacks, salt, lamps, saucepans, oilcloth, blinds, and
gramophones with records, are mentioned in the order. "All
this property," the order states, "must be delivered to the
Commander. Those guilty of infringing this order will be

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