The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. This resulted, of course, in Bormann's influence in the
various ministries?

A. Yes, he had that influence, for all departmental matters
which I could not settle by reporting them to the Fuehrer
directly or by asking for his decision had to be made in
writing and had to go through Bormann. I would then receive
word from Bormann saying this or that is the Fuehrer's
decision. The possibility of a personal report, which would
have enabled me to speak on behalf of the minister for whom
I was reporting, was lacking. They were not matters which
concerned me directly; they were always complaints or
protests or differences of opinion among the members of the
Cabinet which I could then no longer take to the Fuehrer

Q. Thank you, that is enough.

And what you say about Bormann, does that not apply to some
extent to the Gauleiter too, who also interfered in the

A. Gauleiter, as such, had, of course, to go through the
Party Chancellery; that was the prescribed channel for them.
Since the Gauleiter as a rule, however, were at the same
time heads of Prussian provinces or governors of Reich
provinces (Laender) these two positions were, of course,
somewhat confused. And a number of matters, instead of going
through the prescribed channels from the minister concerned
and through me, went directly from the Gauleiter to
Reichsleiter Bormann. There are, in fact, cases where this
channel was chosen deliberately.

Q. Thank you.

Regarding the position of Himmler in the same respect, that
of the appointment of a third person with authority, you
made statements yesterday in connection with the cases of
Frank and Frick. Can't your statement be extended in fact to
all leading ministries, with reference to the increased
power given to Himmler and the S.S. and his police?

A. I did not quite understand the question.

Q. You did not hear the question?

A. I did not understand the question completely.

Q. Well, under the heading "Interference with other
Departments" you have talked about Bormann and you have
talked about Gauleiter; yesterday you talked about Himmler,
his police and his S.S. with reference to the cases of Frick

                                                  [Page 153]

Frank. I am now asking you whether this increasing power of
Himmler and the S.S. did not similarly affect the other

A. To a considerable extent in the various sectors.

Q. That exhausts that question.

I am now coming back to Schacht. We have talked about the
applications for resignation. Now we come to the actual
dismissal. Ministers who were dismissed were usually given a
letter of dismissal by Hitler?

A. Yes.

Q. And this letter of dismissal, I assume, was drafted by
you and discussed with Hitler?

A. Yes.

Q. Was considerable attention paid by Hitler to the wording
of this letter of thanks on the occasion of a dismissal?

A. Hitler usually looked at it carefully and he frequently
made his own improvements, a sharper or a milder wording.

DR. DIX: The two letters of dismissal, your Honours, which
concern Schacht's dismissal from his office as President of
the Reichsbank and as Minister without Portfolio are
included in my document book as evidence. Therefore I do not
propose to put them to the witness to any extent. There are
only two sentences I propose to quote in the letter of
dismissal from Hitler to Schacht on the occasion of his
dismissal from his position as President of the Reichsbank:

  "Your name particularly will always be connected with the
  first period of national rearmament."

Schacht considered that this sentence was written
deliberately and that it contained a slight reprimand, a
limitation of the praise be was getting. What is your view,
as the one who drafted that letter of dismissal, on this

A. As far as I can recollect I drafted the letter in such a
way that a general expression of thanks was made to Schacht.
This additional sentence is due to a personal insertion by
the Fuehrer, as far as I can recollect, because it was not
like me to make such a subtle difference.

Q. In a later letter of dismissal of 22nd January, 1943, it
says, this is not signed by Hitler, but by you by order of
the Fuehrer:

  "The Fuehrer, with regard to your general attitude in
  this present fateful struggle of the German people, has
  decided to relieve you temporarily of your office as
  Reich Minister."

Herr Schacht's feeling regarding his personal safety could
not have been exactly pleasant when he read that sentence.

May I ask you, since you drafted this letter on Hitler's
orders, was Schacht's anxiety unjustified?

A. As to the reasons which caused the Fuehrer to dismiss
Schacht, I know merely that a letter from Schacht to Reich
Marshal Goering caused the Fuehrer to dismiss Schacht from
his position. The Fuehrer did not inform me of the actual
reasons. He was very violent and wanted the letter to be
worded accordingly. He wanted it to be worded still more
sharply but I put it in the rather decent way in which you
find it. The Fuehrer did not tell me, of course, about what
further measures were intended against Schacht. But he had
expressly ordered me to use the word "temporarily."

Q. A last question. Originally I had intended to ask you in
detail, as the person best informed on these points, about
the slow development from the year 1933 until Hitler's
complete autocracy. The answers which you gave to my
colleagues yesterday have in the main answered these
questions. I don't want to repeat them. But two questions I
should like to have clarified. The Enabling Act of 1933 -
that is the law by which the Reichstag deprived itself of
its powers - did, this law empower Hitler or the Reich

                                                  [Page 154]

A. This Enabling Act gave legislative powers and the right
to alter the Constitution to the Reich Government, and the
Reich Government in turn used this power to alter the
Constitution, both expressly as well as by implication, by
creating public law based on usage which ...

Q. Yes, thank you. You explained that yesterday. You don't
need to go into that again. Yesterday you pointed out that
this Reich Government consisted not only of National
Socialists but that the majority of its members belonged to
other parties. You mentioned only members of the German
National Party, such as Hugenberg, Dr. Dorpmueller and
Guertner, and you mentioned the Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet),
the head of which was Seldte, but you forgot - and that is
why I am asking you - to mention the Centre Party. Is it
true that Herr von Papen came from the Centre Party?

A. Yes, I admit that is correct, but I don't know whether
Herr von Papen was a member of the Centre Party or not.

Q. In my opinion you talk in rather scholarly and
euphemistic terms about public law based on usage. I am
going to give it a different name, but let's not discuss
that. All I want you to tell me is whether during that
gradual development toward complete dictatorship by Hitler
there were some other laws which were important and of much

Don't you consider the law after Hindenburg's death which
unified the office of the Reich Chancellor and the Reich
President - resulting in the incumbent of this office
becoming the supreme military commander to whom the
Wehrmacht swore its oath - don't you consider that law a
further milestone in that development?

A. That law was one of the most important milestones in this
development, particularly because, in accordance with a
decree of the Reich Government, it was confirmed by a
plebiscite of nearly 100 per cent of voters.

Q. And no further laws were issued to support this

A. No, I don't know of any.

Q. Nor do I. And the other question is whether a combination
of terror and ruse can be called public law based on usage
and whether one should want to call it that - that is a
question I don't want to raise at the moment. I think we are
of different opinions in that connection.

DR. DIX: Your Lordship, I have now finished my questions to
the witness Lammers on behalf of my client. But my colleague
Dr. Kubuschok is away on duty. I don't think the aeroplane
took off yesterday; and therefore I don't think that he can
be back. He asked me to put questions to the witness on
behalf of Herr von Papen, and I wanted to ask the Tribunal
whether I may ask the witness the question now - there's
only one short question - or whether I should wait until
Papen's defence comes up at the proper time.

THE PRESIDENT: No, now, because this witness will not be
called again except for some very exceptional reason.

DR. DIX: No, I meant, did you want me to ask the question
later today, when von Papen's turn comes in the proper
sequence of defendants?

THE PRESIDENT: YOU may go on now. I think you had better ask
it now.


Q. Please call to mind the Roehm Putsch. Papen's experiences
during that revolt will be discussed later. But do you
remember that von Papen, who was Vice-Chancellor at the
time, demanded his dismissal from Hitler on 3rd July, 1934,
and received this dismissal?

A. Yes, I can't tell you whether the date is right, but it
happened about that time.

Q. Do you also remember whether a short time afterwards,
probably only a few days afterwards, between the 7th and the
10th July, you went to see Herr von Papen by order of Hitler
and asked him whether he was prepared to accept the position
of ambassador to the Vatican?

A. I can remember that I visited von Papen, and, acting on
the Fuehrer's order,

                                                  [Page 155]

was to give him the prospect of another position and that
this concerned a position at the Holy See. But whether I had
been ordered to make him a direct offer that I cannot
recollect now.

Q. Do you remember what Papen replied to that?

A. At that time he wasn't very much inclined to accept such
a position.

Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.

DR. SERVATIUS (counsel for defendant Sauckel and the
organisation of the Leadership Corps):


Q. Witness, on 21St March, 1942, Sauckel was appointed
Central Plenipotentiary for Labour Employment. What were the
reasons for Sauckel being chosen for this position?

A. The Fuehrer was of the opinion that Labour Employment had
not been pushed by the Minister of Labour with the necessary
intensity and that this task would, therefore, have to be
transferred to a particularly energetic person.

Q. Did the Fuehrer demand the use of foreign labourers with
particular emphasis?

A. He demanded that all labourers should be used who could
possibly be found.

Q. Particularly with reference to foreign labourers?

A. Yes, foreign countries were also mentioned in that
connection, because at home we had exhausted all

Q. Did you receive the task of informing the highest offices
in the occupied territories of the demand that they do their
best to support Sauckel's task?

A. That happened very much later. First the appointment of
the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Employment took place
and was announced to all important offices. I don't think I
added any particular demand to that. But, at the beginning
of 1944, a conference took place at the Fuehrer's
Headquarters dealing with the programme of labour employment
for the year of 1944. At the end of that conference, during
which Sauckel had been given a number of orders expressed in
definite figures, I had the task of writing to all offices
concerned and telling them that they should support the task
Sauckel had just been given with all the strength at their

Q. You are talking about a meeting at the beginning of
January, 1944. An extensive report on that is available
which you prepared. According to this report, Sauckel said
during that meeting that, with regard to the number of
foreign labourers, he would find it difficult or perhaps
even impossible to fulfil the demands made by the programme.
What was the reason he gave for that?

A. The statement is correct, and the reason he gave was that
the executive power necessary for the carrying out of that
task was lacking in the various sectors. He said that if he
was to fulfil his task, then he should, above all, not be
referred to a foreign executive power, as, for instance, was
the case in France, but that there would have to be a German
executive power which supported his actions.

Q. Didn't he talk about the fact that fulfilment of the
demand was impossible because of the danger of the

A. He pointed out this difficulty repeatedly, namely, the
partisan danger; and it was regarded as self-evident that no
recruitment of labour could be carried out by him in
territories where the partisans were still fighting.

Q. Did he demand the pacification of these agitated partisan
territories and demand executive powers in that connection?

A. Yes, that's correct.

Q. Did he wish to have the protection of the authorities
against these resistance movements?

A. Yes, he wanted the local office to take action so that he
would have a free hand to work.

Q. I am quoting one sentence from the report, and I want you
to explain to me how that is to be understood. There it

                                                  [Page 156]

  "The Reich Leader of the S.S. explained that the
  executive power at his disposal was extremely small, but
  that he would try by increasing it and using it more
  intensively to win success for Sauckel's actions."

How is that to be understood?

A. That referred mostly to the Russian territories, in which
there were partisans, and Herr Sauckel thought that he
couldn't be active there unless these territories were
cleared up. Himmler, who was present, agreed that he would
do his best, but he had misgivings as to whether enough
police battalions or other forces would be at his disposal.

Q. Then it is right to say that it was a question of
safeguarding the authorities, of safeguarding the
territories, and not a question of the transfer of power to
the S.S.?

A. A transfer of this power to the S.S. as such was not
provided. The German executive power demanded by Sauckel
referred in every case to whatever executive power was
available. In France, for instance, it was not the S.S. but
the field command who had to look after that, and in Russia
it was necessary, in part, for the police battalions to
pacify the partisan regions.

Q. Now, I have a question regarding the leadership corps. A
document has been presented here under No. D-720. It bears
the signature of Gauleiter Sprenger and has no date, but it
appears to date from the spring or the beginning of 1945. In
this letter there is mention of a new Reich Health Law, and
it is supposed to contain a ruling on people suffering from
heart and lung diseases, who are to be eliminated. It says
that this law is to be kept a secret for the time being. On
the strength of that law these families could no longer
remain among the public and could not produce any offspring.
Did you know anything about that law?

A. I did not understand the word. Did you say insane or what
sort of sick people?

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