The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Second excerpt:-

   "At this moment Germany commands the richest granaries
   that ever existed in the European area, stretching from
   the Atlantic to the Volga and the Caucasus, lands more
   highly developed and fertile than ever before, even if a
   few of them cannot be described as granaries. I need
   only remind you of the fabulous fertility of the
   Netherlands, the unique paradise that is France. Belgium
   too is extraordinarily fertile, and so is the province
   of Posen. Then, above all, the Government, General is,
   to a great extent, the rye and wheat granary of Europe,
   and along with it are the amazingly fertile districts of
   Lemberg, Galicia, etc., where the harvest is
   exceptionally good. Then there comes Russia, the black
   earth of the Ukraine on both shores of the Dnieper, the
   Don region, with its remarkably fertile districts, which
   have scarcely been touched. Our troops have now
   occupied, or are in process of occupying the excessively
   fertile districts between the Don and the Caucasus."

Goering then goes on to say:

                                                  [Page 168]

   "God knows, you are not sent out there to work for the
   welfare of the people in your charge, but to squeeze the
   utmost out of them, so that the German people may live.
   That is what I expect of your exertions. This
   everlasting concern about foreign peoples must cease
   now, once and for all.
   I have here before me reports on what you expect to be
   able to deliver. It is nothing at all when I consider
   your territories. It makes no difference to me if you
   say that your people are starving.
   One thing I shall certainly do: I will make you deliver
   the quantities asked of you; and if you cannot do so, I
   will set forces to work that will force you to do so
   whether you want to or not".

Third excerpt:

   "The wealth of Holland lies close to the Ruhr. She could
   send a much greater quantity of vegetables into this
   stricken area now than she has done so far. What do I
   care what the Dutchmen think of it.
   The only people in whom I am interested are those who
   work to provide armaments and food supplies. They must
   receive just enough to enable them to continue working.
   It is all one to me whether Dutchmen are Germanic or
   not. They are only all the greater blockheads if they
   are, and more important persons than they have been
   shown in the past how Germanic numskulls sometimes have
   to be treated. Even if you get abuses from every
   quarter, you will have acted rightly, for it is the
   Reich alone that counts".

And now I come to the next excerpt:-

   "I am still discussing the Western territories. Belgium
   has taken care of herself extraordinarily well. That was
   very sensible of Belgium. But there, too, gentlemen,
   rage incarnate could seize me. If every plot of ground
   in Belgium is planted with vegetables, then they must
   surely have had vegetable seed. When we wanted to start
   a big campaign last year for utilising uncultivated
   land, we did not have nearly as much seed as we needed.
   Neither Holland nor Belgium nor France would deliver it,
   although I myself was able to count 170 sacks of
   vegetable seed on a single street in Paris. It is all
   very well for the French to plant vegetables for
   themselves; they are accustomed to doing this.
   But gentlemen, these people are all our enemies and you
   will not win over any of them by humane measures. The
   people are polite to us now because they have to be
   polite. But let the English once force their way in and
   then you will see the real face of the Frenchman. The
   same Frenchman who dines with you and in turn invites
   you to dine with him will at once make it plain to you
   that the Frenchman is a Germanphobe. That is the
   situation and we do not want to see it any other way
   than it is. It is a matter of indifference to me how
   many courses are served every day at the table of the
   Belgian king. The king is a prisoner of war and if he is
   not treated as such, I will see to it that he is taken
   to some other place where this can be made clear to him.
   I am really fed up with the business.... I have
   forgotten one country because nothing is to be had there
   except fish; that is Norway.
   With regard to France, I say that it is still not
   cultivated to the greatest possible extent. France can
   be cultivated in a very different way if the peasants
   there are forced to work in a different manner.
   Secondly, inside France itself the population is gorging
   itself to a scandalous degree ..
   Besides, Heaven help a German car parked outside a
   French tavern in Paris; it is reported. But a whole row
   of French petrol-driven vehicles parked there does not
   bother anyone.
   I would say nothing at all, on the contrary, I would not
   think much of you if we did not have a marvellous
   restaurant in Paris where we could get the best food
   obtainable. But I do not want the French to be able to
   saunter into it. Maxim must have the best food for us."

                                                  [Page 169]

Mr. President, I see one of the German defence counsel
wishes to take the floor. I will, therefore, give him an
opportunity to do so.

DR. THOMA (Counsel for defendant Rosenberg): I have only a
short question.

The prosecutor has not told us where this document can be
found, in which document book and what number it has. He
only mentioned the page on which the Tribunal can find that

L. R. SHENIN: This document was presented to the Tribunal as
Exhibit USSR 170. The photostatic copy was turned over to
defence counsel.

May I continue, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: It comes from the archives of the defendant
Goering, does it not? You have so stated.

L. R. SHENIN: Yes.

   "For German officers and men three or four first class
   restaurants - excellent, but not for the French....
   Furthermore, you should be like bloodhounds on the track
   of anything the German people can use; that stuff should
   be brought out of the warehouses like lightning.
   Whenever I issued a decree, I stated repeatedly that
   soldiers are entitled to buy as much as they want and
   whatever they want, as much as they can carry ...."

Next excerpt:-

   "Now you will say - Laval's foreign policy. Herr Laval
   calms down Herr Abetz and as far as I am concerned, goes
   to Maxims', although it is out of bounds. But the French
   will soon have to learn. You have no idea of the
   impudence they have.
   When our friends hear that a German is interested they
   charge fantastic prices. They charge three times the
   normal price and if they hear that the Reich Marshal is
   in the market, they charge five times the normal price.
   I wanted to buy a tapestry. Two million francs were
   asked. The woman was told that the buyer wanted to see
   the tapestry. She said she did not wish to let it out of
   her sight. Well, then she would have to go with it. She
   was told that she was going to see the Reich Marshal.
   When she arrived the tapestry was priced at three
   million francs. I reported it. Do you think anything was
   done? I submitted the case to the French court and they
   taught milady that it is inadvisable to profiteer when
   dealing with me....
   All that interests me is what we can squeeze out of the
   territory now under our control with the utmost
   application and by straining every nerve; and how much
   of that can be diverted to Germany. I do not give a damn
   about import and export statistics of former years.
   Now, regarding shipments to the Reich. Last year France
   shipped 550,000 tons of grain, and now I demand
   1,200,000 tons. Two weeks from now a plan will be
   submitted  for handling it. There will be no more
   discussion about it. What happens to the Frenchmen is of
   no importance. One million two hundred thousand tons
   will be delivered. Fodder: last year 500,000 tons; now
   1,000,000. Meat: last year 135,000 tons; now 350,000.
   Fats: last year 23,000, this year 60,000", and so on.

The next excerpt from this address concerns the quotas to be
fixed for deliveries from countries such as Netherlands,
Belgium, Norway and the Government General. In reply to
Goering's question's and instructions definite figures were
quoted by those attending the meeting. I omit one page and

   Goering: How about fats?
   Neuhausen: I have supplied the Wehrmacht up to now. It
   has received 250,000 kilograms in the past year. I also
   supply Greece, and I have also to supply the German
   troops in Croatia.
                                                  [Page 170]
   Goering: What can you give the German people, in spite
   of that? Fifteen thousand?
   Neuhausen: I shall manage that. As far as oil is
   concerned, I again give 25,000 to 30,000 tons to the
   Goering: So much for the West. A special order will be
   issued concerning purchasers who buy up all the clothes,
   shoes, etc., that are to be had.
   Now comes the East. I have settled this point with the
   Wehrmacht. The Wehrmacht waives the demands it made on
   the home country. How much hay was required?
   Backe: 1,500,000 tons. 1,000,000 tons of straw and
   1,500,000 tons of oats. We can't manage that.
   Goering: Now, gentlemen, there is only one thing more
   regarding Wehrmacht supplies. I want to hear nothing
   more about you until further notice. No more requests.
   The country - with its sour milk, apples and white bread
   - will feed us abundantly. The Don valley will take care
   of the rest."

Passing to the next quotation:-

   "Berger: The Wehrmacht in France will, of course, be
   supplied with food by France. That is a matter of
   course, and I did not even mention it before.
   Now about Russia: There is no doubt of her fertility.
   The position there is almost incredibly good".

The next quotation. Goering is still speaking:-

   "I was glad to hear that the Reich Commissioner in the
   East (Ostland) is doing just as well, and the people are
   just as fat and chubby, and puff a little when they
   work. Nevertheless, I shall see to it, no matter how
   carefully certain groups are treated, that some
   contribution is made from the inexhaustible fertility of
   this area".

After this Lohse, Reichskommissar for Bielorussia, addressed
the meeting:-

   "May I state my opinion in a few words? I would like to
   give more, but certain conditions have to be observed.
   The harvest is certainly excellent but in more than half
   of the area of Bielorussia, which is well cultivated, it
   is scarcely possible to get in the crops, unless we can
   put a stop to the disturbances caused by guerrillas and
   partisans. I have already been crying out for help for
   four months".

He goes on to describe the activities of the partisans in
Bielorussia. In this connection Goering interrupts him and

   "My dear Lohse, we have known each other for a long
   time. I know well enough that you have a vivid

And Lohse answered:-

   "I will not stand for that; I never imagine anything."

In conclusion here are the last three quotations from
Goering's speech. He said:-

   "We must have buyers from the Minister of Economics,
   Funk, in the Ukraine and elsewhere.
   We must send them to Venice to buy odds and ends, those
   frightful alabaster things and cheap jewellery, etc. I
   don't think there is any other place except Italy where
   one gets quite such junk.
   Now let us see what Russia can deliver. I think, Riecke,
   we should be able to get two million pounds of cereals
   and fodder out of the whole of Russia.
   Riecke: That can be done.
   Goering: That means that we must get three million,
   apart from Wehrmacht supplies.
                                                  [Page 171]
   Riecke: No, the figures given are for the Wehrmacht
   Goering: Then we must have two million.
   Riecke: No.
   Goering: Well - a million and a half.
   Riecke: Yes.
   Goering: All right."

The discussion went on in the same way. Goering's speech
ends with the following sentence:-

   "Gentlemen, I would just like to say one thing more. I
   have a very great deal to do and a very great deal of
   responsibility. I have no time to read letters and
   memoranda informing me that you cannot supply my
   requirements. I have only time to ascertain from time to
   time through short reports from Backe, whether the
   commitments are being fulfilled. If not, the matter will
   have to be approached from another angle."
   As your Honours have heard, besides Goering this
   conference was attended by the defendants Rosenberg,
   Sauckel, Seyss-Inquart, Frank, Funk and others. As you
   have heard, Goering finished his speech with a direct
   threat against the participants in this conference, by
   saying that he "would have to approach the matter from
   another angle".

This threat came true. The matter has, in every sense of the
term, been "approached from another angle" - from the angle
of their responsibility for the crimes they have committed.

Thus the whole volume of evidence submitted establishes
beyond all doubt:-

1. That simultaneously with their well-laid plans for the
military invasion of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Yugoslavia and
the USSR, the criminal Hitlerite Government and the High
Command of the German Armed Forces worked out a plan for the
mass plunder and spoliation of private, public and State-
owned property in the territories belonging to these

2. That having worked out this criminal plan, the
conspirators carried out all the preliminary measures
necessary for its execution by training special bodies of
officers and officials for the despoliation of the
territories they meant to seize; by preparing and issuing
special instructions, reference books and orders for this
purpose; by creating a special and very complicated
organisation of all sorts of "economic inspectorates",
"detachments", "groups", "joint-stock companies",
"plenipotentiaries", etc., and by calling in a large number
of specialists in different branches, military experts on
agriculture, agricultural leaders, economic spies, etc.

3. That in accordance with this long prepared plan, they
subsequently plundered and despoiled private, public and
State property in the occupied territories and also robbed
the peaceful population of these territories, having
recourse to atrocities, violence and arbitrary practices of
the most appalling nature.

4. That in order to make the soldiers and the officers of
the German Army "economically interested" in the work, the
conspirators not only failed to prosecute cases of marauding
and robbery committed by German soldiers and officers, but
even encouraged these crimes, and incited their men to
commit wholesale looting.

5. That by the commission of all these crimes the
conspirators caused enormous economic damage to the people
of the occupied territories, exposing them to starvation and
suffering, and that they derived from their criminal
activities personal gain and enrichment of themselves and
their adherents.

6. That having thus planned, prepared and initiated wars of
aggression against the freedom-loving nations, the
conspirators aimed at the predatory despoliation of these
nations, and thereafter achieved these criminal ends by
means of equally criminal and predatory methods.

                                                  [Page 172]

On the strength of the above, the defendants have
consciously and deliberately violated the laws and customs
of war, the general principles of criminal law accepted by
the penal codes of all civilised nations, as well as the
national law of those countries in which these crimes were

Of these criminal acts, each and all of which are covered by
Article 6 (b) of the Charter of the International Military
Tribunal, all the defendants must be found guilty; all of
them without exception must be held responsible both
individually and as members of the conspiracy.

With this statement of the charges I will conclude my

May it please your Honours, the documents which I have
presented to the Tribunal and which I have read into the
record, bear silent witness to the crimes organised and
committed by the defendants.

But the conscience of the Judges will hear the testimony of
these silent witnesses, who relate truthfully the story of
the arbitrary practices and crimes of the Hitlerite brigands
and the boundless sufferings of their innumerable victims.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 21st February, 1946, at 1000

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