The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. As I understand your testimony, with the possible
exception of the part referring to that of which we have
been talking, you have been very benign and humane towards
the people under your jurisdiction in the occupied Eastern
Territories. You wanted to be very kind to them.

A. Yes. As far as sentimental terms are concerned, I do not
put any special claims on them for myself. However, in the
midst of this terrible war in the East, which brought with
it the continual murder of German employees and agricultural
officials, I only tried to carry on an intelligent policy
and to induce the people to give voluntary co-operation.

Q. Yes. Now I ask that you be shown Document 1058-PS, which
is Exhibit USA 147.

(The document was submitted to the witness.)

Q. (Continuing) You now have it before you. It is an extract
from a speech which you made with your closest
collaborators, and it has been referred to before. It is a
speech that you made on 20 June, 1941, the day before the
attack was launched against Soviet Russia. I want to refer
to the very first paragraph, and the only one on the paper.
It says:

"The job of feeding the German people stands, this year
without a doubt" -

A. What page is that?

Q. It is the first page; there is only one page. Oh, you
have the whole document. You referred to it yesterday; I
think you will be able to find it. It is at Page 8, line 54.
You may recall it; you talked about it yesterday. As a
matter of fact, you said it was an impromptu speech. Do you
find it on Page 8?

A. Yes, I have found it.

Q. In that paragraph you say, among other things - and I
want to call it to your attention for a specific purpose -
you say that the job of feeding the German people is first
on the list, and that the Southern regions and the Northern
Caucasus will have to serve as a source for that purpose.
And you go on to say that you see no reason why there is any
obligation to feed the Russian people with the surplus
products of the territory. Then you say:

   "We know that this is a harsh necessity, devoid of any

                                                   [Page 54]

You then go on to say:

  "A very extensive evacuation will undoubtedly be
  necessary and the future will hold very hard years in
  store for the Russians."

Now, you read us some parts of that speech yesterday that
you seemed to think were quite to your credit. Were all
parts of the speech impromptu or are you suggesting that
only the parts that seem damaging to you now were impromptu?

A. I just used a few key words and gave the speech that way.
This paragraph has been read by the prosecution three or
four times. Yesterday when we discussed this speech I myself
expressly referred to this paragraph. Beyond that, I
admitted that I was told by people connected with the Four-
Year Plan that it was not certain whether the industry of
the Moscow industrial region could be fully maintained after
its conquest. Restriction might be necessary to some key
industries, and through that a difficult problem as to
supplies for this area would arise. My remarks pointed out
that, of necessity, those unemployed would probably have to
be evacuated. I expressly referred to this document, namely,
the first document of the Minister for the Eastern
Territories on this question, in which, of the seven most
pressing points for the civilian administration, point 3
concerns the feeding of the civilian population. Later in
the document it says that famines were to be avoided in any
event, and that in such a case the population was to receive
special rations. I believe in these hard times, speaking
from the standpoint of laws and decrees, it was impossible
to do more than that. My entire political and spiritual
position is to be judged from what I said yesterday about
the demand for liberty and culture in the Ukraine, about the
sovereignty of the Caucasians, and also about the Russian
State and its big ...

Q. All right. I don't want you to go into all that. I
understand you thoroughly, and I think everyone else does. I
merely wanted to point out to you that on that early date
you did say there would be harsh necessities and that there
would be very many hard years for the Russians. That is all.
And if you don't want to acknowledge that you were serious
in saying that, as you were in saying the other things, then
I won't press you on it.

I want to turn to document

A. Mr. Prosecutor, I believe that not much more could have
been done about this problem than planning beforehand rather
than afterwards how to master the difficulties. Other
occupation forces have had the same experience.

Q. All right.

I ask that you be shown Document 045-PS, Exhibit USA 822.

(The document was submitted to the witness.)

A. Perhaps I might say something more about the translation
of this passage.

It was translated to me that these measures were to be
carried through without, any feeling. In the original it
says "beyond feeling," or "above feeling."

Q. All right, I accept your interpretation, we won't have
any trouble about that. Now, will you please look at this
document? This is a memorandum found in your files, for your

A. Yes.

Q. You set out there, in the second paragraph, what you call
the aims of German politics, notably in the Ukraine, as
having been laid down by the Fuehrer. They are, you say,
exploitation and mobilisation of raw materials, a German
settlement in certain regions, no education of the
population towards intellectualism, but the preservation of
their labour strength; apart from that, a complete unconcern
as to interior affairs.

Then, moving down a little bit - because I don't think it is
necessary to read all of it, much of it has been referred to
in another document - we come down to the 12th line from the
bottom of that paragraph:

  "After continuous observation of the state of affairs in
  the occupied
                                                   [Page 55]
  territories of the East, I am of the opinion that German
  politicians may regard with contempt the qualities of the
  conquered peoples, but that it is not the mission of
  German political representatives to proclaim measures and
  opinions which could eventually reduce the conquered
  peoples to dull despair, instead of promoting the desired
  utilisation of manpower to

Then, in the next paragraph, you say:-

  "At home we had to announce our aims to the whole nation
  openly and aggressively. In contrast, the political
  leaders in the East must remain silent where German
  policy calls for necessary harshness. They must remain
  silent as to any derogatory opinions which they may form
  of the conquered peoples. Yes, a clever German policy may
  in certain circumstances do more in the German interest
  through alleviations which do not effect policy and by
  certain human concessions, than through open, deliberate

Were you honestly expressing your views when you wrote that
memorandum on 16 March, 1942?

A. This document is correct. It was also submitted to me in
the preliminary interrogation. It shows that, although I
knew that the Fuehrer had not accepted my more radical
proposals, I continued to fight for these. And it shows,
further, that I consulted the Fuehrer personally, to stop a
few crazy middle-class people in the East making derogatory
remarks about other nations whose standard of living may
have been poor at the time - at least, as regard externals.
From the many thousands who came in, I could not expect
either sympathy or antipathy, but I could demand one thing
of them if their attitude was contemptuous, and that was to
keep it to themselves and to act decently.

In conclusion I would like to add something which is
extraordinarily decisive, namely in the last paragraph, "I
ask that the Fuehrer rule on this record and the dismissal
draft. " This instruction is unfortunately not attached to
the document; I believe that much would have been proved
from it.

Q. All right. Now let's turn to Document Rosenberg-36,
Exhibit USA 699.

(The document was submitted to the witness.)

Q. (Continuing) You have seen this document before, haven't

A. Yes, I have seen it.

Q. Now, this is a memorandum submitted to you by one of your
subordinates, Dr. Markull, and directly submitted to you by
Leibbrandt, also one of your subordinates, one of your top
men, on 19 August, 1942. I want you to follow me while I
read you certain passages from it.

The first few lines are dated 5 September, 1942, and it

  "The Minister, on the aforesaid ...."

It states that there is enclosed a memorandum containing the
opinion of Dr. Markull on the matter of the Bormann letter
of 23 July.

Before we go into this, just for a minute, if you will just
pay attention to this, you told us yesterday that you were
in disagreement with Bormann about some matters. Is that so?

A. I said . . .

Q. Just answer the question. Did you tell us that yesterday?

A. On decisive points I did not agree with Bormann. I
testified that in the course of years I was assailed in such
a way that, on occasion, I had to give him an appeasing
answer. My whole policy was to ...

Q. All right. Let's look at this document, which is, as I
say, a memorandum about a Bormann letter to you, dated 23
July, I assume 1942.

  "On 23 July, 1942, (Reichsleiter) Bormann sent the
  minister a letter which enumerates, in eight paragraphs,
  the principles which the minister is to follow in
  administering the occupied areas in the East."

                                                   [Page 56]

It goes on to say that you, in a message to the Fuehrer,
dated 11 August, 1942, explained in detail to what extent
these principles are already being put into practice or used
as a basis of policy.

The next paragraph says that:-

  "Any person reading this correspondence is struck, first
  of all, by the complete agreement of concepts. The
  minister" - that is you - "apparently was particularly
  concerned about two points: The first relates to the
  protection of German rule against the pressure of the
  Slav race; the second to the absolute necessity of
  simplifying the administration. These are indeed decisive
  problems, on which more will have to be said."

Then there is this statement:-

  "For the rest, the minister" - referring to you - "not
  only raises no objections against Bormann's principles or
  even his phraseology; but, on the contrary, he uses them
  as a basis for his reply and endeavours to show that they
  are already being put into practice. When, however,
  Bormann's letter was read out by Captain Zimmermann in a
  conference of the department chiefs, grave concern was
  shown at once, both on account of the phraseology of the
  letter and the future conduct of our Eastern policy."

Then it goes on to say:-

  "In order to find out whether this concern is justified,
  it is best to start from a supposition."

Then under the number 1, Markull writes:-

  "Let us suppose Bormann's letter was issued to the Reich
  Commissioners as a ministerial decree. This supposition
  is by no means unrealistic since the minister" - and that
  again refers to you - "appears to hold identical views.
  Since the Ostland presents a special case, and moreover
  the Ukraine is, or will become, probably, the most
  important region politically, the following discussion
  will be based on that region."

Then, continuing:-

  "The consequences of a decree of this kind will best be
  judged by its effect on those men whose duty it is to put
  it into practice."

Lower down, he says:-

  "Imagine the formulas of Bormann's letter translated into
  the language of a member of the German civil
  administration, and you will get, roughly, the following
  The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we don't need
  them, they may die. Therefore, compulsory vaccination and
  German health services are superfluous. The fertility of
  the Slavs is undesirable. They may use contraceptives or
  practice abortion, the more the better. Education is
  dangerous. It is enough if they can count up to 100. At
  best an education which produces useful stooges for us is
  admissible. Every educated person is a future enemy.
  Religion we leave to them as a means of diversion. As for
  food, they won't get any more than is necessary. We are
  the masters; we come first."

Then it goes on to say:-

  "These sentences are by no means overstatements. On the
  contrary they are covered, word by word, by the spirit
  and the text of Bormann's letter. Already at this point
  the question arises whether such a result is desirable in
  the interests of the Reich. It can hardly be doubted that
  these views would become known to the Ukrainian people.
  Similar opinions prevail even today."

Moving on, the next paragraph, number 2, says:-

  "But there is no real need to assume a fictitious decree
  as was done in paragraph 1. The above-mentioned concept
  of our role in the East already exists in practice. The
  Reich Commissioner for the Ukraine has expounded his
  views of the Ukrainian people in three successive

                                                   [Page 57]

And he goes on to quote those speeches, which have been
referred to before this Tribunal.

Then, in the next paragraph, he says that every visitor and
every member of the local civil administration can confirm
this from his own observations, and they show particularly
clearly how well the soil is prepared for the Bormann
letter. Then he goes on to quote statements that have been
made by saying, "We are here among Negroes," "The population
is just dirty and lazy," and so on.

And then, passing on, he says:-

  "I may add that Kreisleiter Knuth, whom the Gauleiter
  still retains in spite of the gravest accusations,
  declared, in conversations on the Kiev question, that
  Kiev ought to be depopulated through epidemics.
  Altogether it would be best if the superfluous part of
  the population starved to death."

Moving on further we come to the third paragraph down. It

  "Finally among the district commissioners 80 per cent.
  oppose the views described above. In many conferences
  with the general commissioners they emphasised that the
  population ought to be treated decently and with
  understanding, and that statements opposing such
  policies, as referred to above, will result in a

That is what that paragraph says.

And then Markull goes on to say:-

  "For the rest the only effect of the false concepts of
  the Master Race is to relax the discipline of our

I will not take the time to read all of it. I am sure you
are reading it. Then we move on and we come to this very
significant paragraph, number 5.

  "Perhaps one ought to inquire whether there is not in
  fact an agreement between the policy hitherto pursued and
  the Bormann letter, in the sense that the decrees quoted
  above and the other instructions of the ministry are to
  be understood merely as tactical moves, whereas in fact
  there is no divergence of opinion. The minister's reply"
  - I remind you each time that "the minister" refers to
  you - "of 11 August might be considered to point in this

Then he goes on to say:-

  "In answer to this it should be pointed out that the
  minister knows very well that it is not possible to re-
  arrange a continent of the size of Russia by means of
  political tactics and by wearing the mask of a liberator,
  but only by applying a statesmanlike conception
  appropriate to the political conditions."

And so on.

And finally he says:-

  "Another reason why - "

I want to be fair with you about this document. He indicates
that perhaps it should not be interpreted merely as a
tactical manoeuvre, because of the inconsistency which this
would imply. For in that case the word "liberation" ought
never to have been mentioned and no theatre should be
allowed to stay open, and no trade school nor university
should be allowed to function.

And finally I would like to read you - not finally - but I
would like to read you this significant paragraph. It states
- if you will allow me to summarise it - that this letter of
Bormann's, which originated from the field headquarters,
simply cannot be issued as a ministerial decree since it
would disavow the entire policy hitherto announced by the
minister - yourself.

And in this connection, a few sentences down, says Markull:-

  "It is necessary to point once more to the obvious
  similarity between the opinions professed by Koch and the
  instructions given in the Bormann letter."

Then, about halfway down the paragraph, he says that only
you can decide

                                                   [Page 58]

upon this question and he suggests certain considerations
which might be useful and points out some difficulties.

And finally you come, under XI to the second paragraph:-

  "Without wishing to criticise in any way the statements
  of Party Director Bormann, it is yet necessary to point
  out that the wording of his letter does not always bring
  out clearly the importance of the issue at stake. A
  phrase like 'brisk trade in contraceptives' had better
  not be brought into connection with the name of the
  Fuehrer. In the same way abrupt phrases like 'vaccination
  of the non-German population is out of the question,' and
  so on, would hardly seem to be entirely in keeping with
  the importance of the historical problems involved."

Finally, I want to read you this under III. Markull states:-

  "The statements set out above may appear very blunt. They
  are, however, dictated by concern and duty."

And finally - well, I don't think there is any necessity to
read the last paragraph. It merely talks about the
philosophy which is being propagated in a grandiose manner
by the Japanese ally in his new districts.

Now, you remember this memorandum that you received through
your assistant, Leibbrandt, from your subordinate, Markull?
You can answer that by yes or no, by the way; that is all I
want to know right now - whether or not you remember it.
Will you wait just a minute?

A. I received this report from Dr. Leibbrandt, and I would
like to make the following explanation.

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