The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I shall now quote excerpts from the report of the
Extraordinary State Commission on the crimes committed by
the German invaders in the Latvian Soviet Socialist
Republic. (For the information of the interpreters: this
quotation is on Page 68, second paragraph):-

   "The Germans plundered the depots of tractors and
   agricultural machinery throughout Latvia and, according
   to figures which are far from complete, they sent to
   Germany 700 tractors, 180 motor vehicles, 4,057 ploughs,
   2,815 cultivators, 3,532 harrows ..." and so forth.

Second quotation:-

   "In consequence of the despoliation of Latvian
   agriculture by the German invaders, the livestock in
   Latvia was decreased by 443,700 head of cattle, 318,200
   pigs and 593,800 sheep."

Further, I shall read a short excerpt from the report of the
State Commission on the crimes committed in the Esthonian

   "The German invaders plundered the rural population of
   Esthonia without restraint. This plunder took the form
   of forcing the peasants to hand over various kinds of
   farm produce.
   The quantities of farm produce to be delivered as
   ordered by the Germans were very high."

I omit part of the quotation and I read the second paragraph
to the next page:-

   "The Germans confiscated and drove away to Germany
   107,000 horses, 31,000 cows, 214,000 pigs, 790,000 head
   of poultry. They plundered about 50,000 beehives."

I omit one more excerpt and I read the last quotation from
this report:-

   "The Hitlerites took away 1,000 threshing machines, 500
   threshing machine motors, 700 motors for driving belts,
   350 tractors and 24,781 other agricultural machines
   which were the personal property of individual

Your Honours, a similar policy of plundering private, public
and national property was also carried out by the German
fascist invaders in the occupied territories of Bielorussia,
Moldavia, the Karelo-Finnish S.S.R. and the Russian Soviet
Federated Socialist Republic.

Various military units and organisations, in different
districts of the USSR employed the same methods of plunder
at all stages of the war in accordance with the same
criminal plan and in pursuit of the same criminal aims. This
plan was worked out, these aims were determined, these
crimes were organised by the major war criminals who are now
in the dock.

The USSR prosecution has at its disposal tens of thousands
of documents on this subject. The presentation of all these
numerous documents to the Tribunal would require such a long
time that it would only complicate the trial.

                                                  [Page 164]

For this reason, with the Tribunal's permission, I will not
quote any further documents or reports of the Extraordinary
State Commission on separate regions and republics, but I
shall read into the record the statistical report of the
Extraordinary State Commission relative to the "material
damage done by the German fascists to State enterprises and
establishments, collective farms, public organisations and
individual citizens of the USSR".

This document is being presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit
USSR 35.

I shall read into the record only those extracts from the
report which have a direct bearing on the subject of my
presentation. They are stated as follows (Page 71 of the

   "The German fascist aggressors looted 98,000 collective
   farms, 1,876 State farms and 2,890 machine and tractor
   stations. Seven million horses, 17 million head of
   cattle, 20 million pigs were slaughtered and shipped to
   Germany, as well as 27 million sheep and goats, and 110
   million head of poultry."

The Extraordinary State Commission calculates the damage
done to the national economy of the Soviet Union and to
individual villagers and townspeople at 679 milliard [sic]
roubles reckoned at the official prices current in 1941.

The figures are made up as follows


   1. State concerns and institutions . . . . . .287
   2. Collective farms . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
   3. Villagers and townspeople . . . . . . . . .192
   4. Co-operatives, trade union, and other public
   organisations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19"

I omit the following sections of this report, which describe
how this damage is divided among separate Soviet Republics,
and I pass on to the fourth paragraph, which describes the
destruction of collective farms, State farms, and machine
tractor stations. In order to save time, I shall confine
myself to a few excerpts:-

   "Whilst burning the villages and hamlets, the German
   fascists plundered completely their inhabitants. Those
   of the peasants who offered resistance were brutally

Further, some concrete data are given on the plundering in
the Kernenetz-Podolsk Kursk regions, of the collective farm
"For Peace and Work", in the region of Krasnodar, the
collective farms "Zatempa" in the Stalino region, as well as
collective farms in Mogilev and Zhitomir districts and
others. The German fascist invaders inflicted great damage
on the State farms of the USSR. They removed out of
collective farms all stocks of agricultural products and
destroyed farm and other buildings belonging to the State

Another excerpt:-

   "No. 62 horse farm in the Poltava district lost its
   stock of Russo-American trotting brood mares through the
   German occupation. Up to the war, this stud farm had 670
   brood mares. The Germans acted in the same way in regard
   to other breeding farms".

I omit the remaining excerpt of this section, and I pass on
to paragraph 6, which deals with the mass looting of Soviet
citizens' property by the Germans-:

   "In all the republics of the Soviet Union which were
   occupied, the fascist German invaders looted the
   property of the rural and urban population stealing
   valuables, property, clothing and household articles and
   imposing fines, taxes and contributions on the peaceful

                                                  [Page 165]

The same section contains a whole series of concrete facts
of the plunder of Soviet citizens in the Smolensk, Orel and
Leningrad Provinces; the Dniepropetrovsk and Sumsky
Provinces, etc. With the Tribunal's permission, I omit two
pages of my presentation and I read the following paragraph
at the bottom of Page 76.

   "The plundering of the Soviet population was being
   carried out by the German aggressors throughout the
   whole of the occupied Soviet territory. The
   Extraordinary State Commission has undertaken the task
   of estimating the damage done to the Soviet citizens by
   the occupation authorities, and has established that the
   German fascist invaders burned down and destroyed
   approximately 4,000,000 dwelling houses which were the
   personal property of collective farmers, workers and
   employees, confiscated one-and-a-half million horses,
   nine million head of cattle, twelve million pigs,
   thirteen million sheep and goats, and took away an
   enormous quantity of household goods and chattels of all

The above documents and reports of the Extraordinary State
Commission depict the crimes committed by the Hitlerites in
the occupied territories of the USSR. These crimes had been
organised by the defendants.

The fact that Goering, in his capacity as Reich Marshal and
Trustee for the Four Year Plan of the Hitlerite Government,
was directly in charge of all the operations of the German
military and civil authorities for the preparation and
execution of despoliation of the occupied territories, is
clearly shown by the documents which I have already
presented. Nevertheless, I beg the indulgence of the
Tribunal to read the final document on this matter, that is,
the decree issued by Hitler on 29th June, 1941.

A copy of this decree was kindly put at our disposal by the
American Prosecution, and it has not yet been presented. I,
therefore, present it to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 287.
This decree reads as follows:

   "Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, as Trustee for the Four
   Year Plan, will employ, within the scope of the power
   granted him for the purpose, all means necessary for
   exploiting to the fullest extent supplies and economic
   resources found in the newly-occupied Eastern
   territories and for developing all their economic
   possibilities for the benefit of the German war economy.
   For this purpose he is also empowered to give direct
   orders to military authorities in the newly occupied
   Eastern territories." The third paragraph states that
   'the decree will become effective as from to-day. It
   must first be made public by special order'."

However, your Honours, the granting of extraordinary powers
to Goring does not in any way mean that the other defendants
took only a passive interest in organising the looting of
the occupied territories. All of them, jointly and
individually, worked feverishly in this direction. Frank
robbed the Poles; Rosenberg managed affairs in the Ukraine
and in the other occupied territories of the USSR; Sauckel
and Seyss-Inquart were busy here and there; Speer and Funk
made schemes for and carried out predatory measures within
the sphere of the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of
Armament, whilst Keitel acted in the field of the Armed

In this connection I should like to submit to the Tribunal
two more documents relating to "Keitel's economic
activities". These documents, your Honours, are presented to
the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 175. On 29 August, 1942,
Keitel, in his capacity as Chief of the High Command of the
Armed Forces, issued the following order under No. 002865/42-
cc "regarding securing of supplies for the

                                                  [Page 166]

Armed Forces". I shall read only two short excerpts from
this order. Your Honours will find them on Page 181 of the
document book.

   "The food situation of the German people is such that it
   is necessary for the Armed Forces to contribute as far
   as possible towards alleviating ft. All the necessary
   means of doing so exist in the combat zones and in the
   occupied territories both in the East and in the West.
   It is essential, above all, that much greater quantities
   of supplies and forage should be secured in the occupied
   territories of the East than has been the case up to

The second excerpt:-

   "All establishments should consider it their pride as
   well as their duty to attain this goal at all costs so
   that in this field, too, they may play a decisive part
   in achieving victory."

In a memorandum by Section Chiefs (Referenten) Klare and Dr.
Bergmann, dated 19 November, 1942, "Most Secret. Subject:
Securing of Supplies for the Armed Forces." (I submit this
memorandum in the original to the Tribunal under the same
number, USSR 175), we find the following estimate of the
results of the above-mentioned order from Keitel. I now read
into the record only the first paragraph of this memorandum.
You will find, your Honours, the document on Page 186:-

   "By order of the Fuehrer, the Chief of the High Command
   of the Armed Forces has decreed in the attached order Of
   29 August, 1942, that the Armed Forces must, as far as
   possible, contribute towards the task of ensuring food
   supplies for the German people, and that they must
   themselves make every effort, not only to obtain
   sufficient food supplies locally to cover the needs of
   the armies, but also to ensure that the quantities
   required by the Reich are secured in addition.
   As the result of this order co-operation between the
   army and the economic authorities has fortunately become

Now, with your Honour's permission, I will read into the
record one more document, namely, a telegram sent by Keitel
on 8 September, 1944. This document was kindly put at our
disposal by the American Prosecution and registered as
Document 743-PS, It was not presented to the Tribunal
before, I therefore submit it now as Exhibit USSR 286, and I

   "1. To General Staff of the Army (attention Chief of
   Supply and Administration), Office of Chief of Staff.
   2. To General Staff of the Army (attention Chief of
   Supply and Administration), Army Administration Office.
   3. To General, Commanding Army Group North.
   4. To General, Commanding Army Group Centre.
   5. To Economic Staff 'East.'
   6. To Military District H.Q. I."

The text is as follows

   "1. The Fuehrer has entrusted Gauleiter Koch with the
   utilisation of local resources in the parts of
   Reichskommissariat 'Ostland' occupied by troops of Army
   Group Centre. Furthermore, the Fuehrer has ordered that
   all German and local administrative authorities be
   subordinate to Gauleiter Koch. In confiscating economic
   resources, Gauleiter Koch is to maintain contact with
   competent Supreme Reich Agencies.
   2. All authorities of the Armed Forces will give
   Gauleiter Koch every assistance in their power in
   executing this order."

Thus, your Honours, even at the end of 1944, when under the
blows of the Red Army and its Allies Hitlerite Germany was
precipitated towards its final

                                                  [Page 167]

defeat and only a few months before its final military and
political collapse, Hitler, Keitel, Koch, and many others
were still stretching out their already stiffening fingers
to grab the property and wealth of others.

This is the evidence I have to show regarding the looting
and marauding perpetrated by the Hitlerite hordes in the
occupied territories of the Soviet Union.

But they plundered not only the living, they also plundered
the dead. My colleague, Colonel Smirnov, has already
presented comprehensive evidence on this question. I do not
wish to quote it again, but I refer to it only to show how
closely interlocked and all-embracing was the circle of
their crimes.

As Rauschning testifies in his book which has already been
presented by the Soviet Prosecution to the Tribunal, Hitler
once said:

  "I need people with strong fists whose principles will
  not prevent them from taking human life if necessary; and
  if on occasion they swipe a watch or a jewel, I don't
  care a tinker's damn."

Hitler actually found these men in the persons of the
defendants and their numerous accomplices.

As the documents which I have just presented show, the
defendant Goering, on account of his position in Hitler's
government as Reich Marshal and Trustee for the Four Year
Plan, and as head of the whole criminal system for the
plundering of the occupied territories, was guilty of these

For this reason the stenographic record of a secret
conference of German administrative leaders
(Reichskommissars) for the occupied countries which took
place on 6 August, 1942, is of particular interest. Goering
presided over the meeting. This document, like many other
original documents which I had the honour of presenting to-
day to the Tribunal, was found by Soviet Military
authorities in September, 1945, in one of the municipal
buildings of the town of Jena, in Thuringia.

This extraordinary document contains a long speech by
Goering and the replies of the Hitlerite rulers of the
occupied countries, and, your Honours, many of the people
who are now sitting in the dock took part in this
conference. The contents of this document are such that any
comment on my part is unnecessary. Therefore, if it please
the Tribunal, I shall proceed to read from it :

   "Stenographic notes; Thursday, 6th August, 1942, 4 P.m.,
   in the Hermann Goering Hall in the Air Ministry.
   Reich Marshal Goering: The Gauleiters stated their views
   here yesterday. Although they may have differed in tone
   and manner, it was evident that they all feel that the
   German people have too little to eat. Gentlemen, the
   Fuehrer has given me general powers exceeding any
   hitherto granted within
   the Four Year Plan."

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