The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-02/tgmwc-02-12.08


Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-02/tgmwc-02-12.08
Last-Modified: 1999/09/11


Germany kept up the pretence of friendliness and, on the
10th January, 1941, well after the Plan Barbarossa for the
invasion of Russia had been decided upon, Germany signed the
Russo-German Frontier Treaty. Less than a month later, on
the 3rd February, 1941, Hitler held a conference, attended
by the defendants Keitel and Jodl, at which it was provided
that the whole operation against Russia was to be
camouflaged as if it were part of the preparation for the
plan "Seeloewe," as the plan for the invasion of England was
described.

By March Of 1941 plans were sufficiently advanced to include
provision for dividing the Russian territory into nine
separate States to be administered under Reich Commissars,
under the general control of the defendant Rosenberg; and at
the same time detailed plans for the economic exploitation
of the country were made under the supervision of the
defendant Goering, to whom the responsibility in this matter
- and it is a serious one - had been delegated by Hitler.

You will hear something of the details of these plans. I
remind you of one document which has already been referred
to in this connection.

It is significant that on the 2nd May, 1941, a conference of
State Secretaries took place in regard to the Plan
Barbarossa, and in the course of that it was noted:

     "1. The war can only be continued if all Armed Forces
     are fed out of Russia in the third year of the war.
     
     2. There is no doubt that, as a result, many millions
     of people will be starved to death if we take out of
     the country the things necessary for us."

But that apparently caused no concern. The plan Oldenberg,
as the scheme for economic organisation was called, went on.
By the 1st May, 1941, the D-day of the operation had been
fixed. By the 1st June preparations were virtually complete
and an elaborate timetable was issued. It was estimated,
that although there would be heavy frontier battles, lasting
perhaps four weeks, after that no, serious opposition was to
be expected.

On the 22nd June, at 3.30 in the morning, the German armies
marched again. As Hitler said in his proclamation to them:

   "I have decided to give the fate of the German people
   and of the Reich and of Europe again into the hands of
   our soldiers."

The usual false pretexts were, of course, given. Ribbentrop
stated, on the 28th June, that the step was taken because of
the threatening of the German frontiers by the Red Army. It
was a lie, and the defendant Ribbentrop knew it was a lie.

On the 7th June, 11941, Ribbentrop's own ambassador in
Moscow was reporting to him, and I quote, that "All
observations show that Stalin and Molotov, who are alone
responsible for Russian foreign policy, are doing everything
to avoid a conflict with Germany." The staff records which

                                                   [Page 85]

you will see make it clear that the Russians were making no
military preparations and that they were continuing their
deliveries under the trade Agreement to the very last day.
The truth is, of course, that the elimination of Russia as a
political opponent, and the incorporation of the Soviet
territory in the German Lebensraum had been one of the
cardinal features of Nazi policy for a very long time,
subordinated latterly for what the defendant Jodl called
diplomatic reasons.

And so, on the 22nd June, the Nazi armies were flung against
the Power with which Hitler had so recently sworn
friendship, and Germany embarked upon that last act of
aggression in Europe, which, after long and bitter fighting,
was eventually to result in Germany's own collapse.

That, then, is the case against these defendants, as amongst
the rulers of Germany, under Count 2 of this Indictment.

It may be said that many of the documents which have been
referred to were in Hitler's name, and that the orders were
Hitler's orders, and that these men were mere instruments of
Hitler's will. But they were the instruments without which
Hitler's will could not be carried out; and they were more
than that. These men were no mere willing tools, although
they would be guilty enough if that had been their role.
They are the men whose support had built Hitler up into the
position of power he occupied; they are the men whose
initiative and planning often conceived and certainly made
possible the acts of aggression done in Hitler's name; and
they are the men who enabled Hitler to build up the Army,
the Navy, the Air Force, the war economy, the political
philosophy, by which these treacherous attacks were carried
out, and by which he was able to lead his fanatical
followers into peaceful countries to murder, to loot and to
destroy. They are the men whose co-operation and support
made the Nazi Government of Germany possible.

The government of a totalitarian country may be carried on
without representatives of the people, but it cannot be
carried on without any assistance at all. It is no use
having a leader unless there are also people willing and
ready to serve their personal greed and ambition by helping
and following him. The dictator who is set up in control of
the destinies of his country does not depend upon himself
alone either in acquiring power or in maintaining it. He
depends upon the support and backing which lesser men,
themselves lusting to share in dictatorial power, anxious to
bask in the adulation of their leader, are prepared to give.

In the criminal courts of our countries, when men are put
upon their trial for breaches of the municipal laws, it not
infrequently happens that of a gang indicted together in the
dock, one has the master mind, the leading personality. But
it is no excuse for the common thief to say, "I stole
because I was told to steal," for the murderer to plead, "I
killed because I was asked to kill." And these men are in no
different position, for all that it was nations they sought
to rob, and whole peoples which they tried to kill. "The
warrant of no man excuseth the doing of an illegal act."
Political loyalty, military obedience, are excellent things,
but they neither require nor do they justify the commission
of patently wicked acts. There comes a point where a man
must refuse to answer to his leader if he is also to answer
to his conscience. Even the common soldier, serving in the
ranks of his army, is not called upon to obey illegal
orders. But these men were no common soldiers: they were the
men whose skill and cunning, whose labour and activity, made
it

                                                   [Page 86]

possible for the German Reich to tear up existing treaties,
to enter into new ones and to flout them, to reduce
international negotiations and diplomacy to a hollow
mockery, to destroy all respect for and effect in
International Law and, finally, to march against the peoples
of the world to secure that domination in which, as arrogant
members of their self-styled master race, they professed
their belief.

If these crimes were in one sense the crimes of Nazi
Germany, they also are guilty as the individuals who aided,
abetted, counselled, procured and made possible the
commission of what was done.

The total sum of the crime these men have committed - so
awful in its comprehension - has many aspects. Their lust
and sadism, their deliberate slaughter and degradation of so
many millions of their fellow creatures that the imagination
reels, are but one side of this matter. Now that an end has
been put to this nightmare, and we come to consider how the
future is to be lived, perhaps their guilt as murderers and
robbers is of less importance and of less effect to future
generations of mankind than their crime of fraud - the fraud
by which they placed themselves in a position to do their
murder and their robbery. That is the other aspect of their
guilt. The story of their "diplomacy", founded upon cunning,
hypocrisy and bad faith, is a story less gruesome but no
less evil and deliberate. And should it be taken as a
precedent of behaviour in the conduct of international
relations, its consequences to mankind will no less
certainly lead to the end of civilised society. Without
trust and confidence between nations, without the faith that
what is said is meant and what is undertaken will be
observed, all hope of peace and security is dead. The
Governments of the United Kingdom and the British
Commonwealth, of the United States of America, of the Union
of Soviet Socialist Republics and of France, backed by and
on behalf of every other peace-loving nation of the world,
have therefore joined to bring the inventors and
perpetrators of this Nazi conception of international
relations before the bar of this Tribunal. They do so, that
these defendants may be punished for their crimes. They do
so also, that their conduct may be exposed in all its naked
wickedness, and they do so in the hope that the conscience
and good sense of all the world will see the consequences of
such conduct and the end to which inevitably it must always
lead. Let us once again restore sanity and with it also the
sanctity of our obligations towards each other.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Attorney, would it be convenient to the
prosecutors from Great Britain to continue?

SIR HARTLEY SHAWCROSS: The proposal was that my friend, Mr.
Sidney Alderman, should continue with the presentation of
the case with regard to the final acts of aggression against
Czechoslovakia and that, that being done, my British
colleagues would continue. As the Tribunal will appreciate,
Counts One and Two are in many respects complementary, and

                                                   [Page 87]

the United States and ourselves are working in closest co-
operation in presenting the evidence affecting those counts.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, would it be convenient for you
to go on until five o'clock?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes. May it please the Tribunal, it is quite
convenient for me to proceed. I can but feel that it will be
quite an anti-climax after the address to which you have
just listened.

When the Tribunal rose yesterday afternoon, I had just
completed an outline of the plans laid by the Nazi
conspirators in the weeks immediately following the Munich
Agreement. These plans called for what the German officials
called "the liquidation of the remainder of Czechoslovakia".
You will recall that three weeks after Munich, on 21st
October, the same day on which the administration of the
Sudetenland was handed over to the civilian authorities,
Hitler and Keitel had issued an order to the Armed Forces.
This Document is C-136, Exhibit USA 104.

In this order, Hitler and Keitel ordered the beginning of
preparations by the Armed Forces for the conquest of the
remainder of Czechoslovakia. You will also recall that two
months later, on 17th December, the defendant Keitel issued
an appendix to the original order directing the continuation
of these preparations. This Document is C-138, Exhibit USA
105, and both these documents have already been introduced.

Proceeding on the assumption that no resistance worth
mentioning was to be expected, this order emphasised that
the attack on Czechoslovakia was to be well camouflaged so
that it would not appear to be a warlike action, "To the
outside world" it said - and I quote - "it must appear
obvious that it is merely an action of pacification and not
a warlike undertaking."

Thus, in the beginning of 1939, the basic plan for military
action against the mutilated Czechoslovak Republic had
already been carried out by the German High Command.

I turn now to the underhand and criminal method used by the
Nazi conspirators to ensure that no resistance worth
mentioning would, in fact, be met by the German Army. As in
the case of Austria and the Sudetenland, the Nazi
conspirators did not intend to rely on the Wehrmacht alone
to accomplish their calculated objective of liquidating
Czechoslovakia. With the German minority separated from
Czechoslovakia, they could no longer use the cry, "Home to
the Reich." One sizeable minority, the Slovaks, still
remained within the Czechoslovak State.

I should mention at this point that the Czechoslovak
Government had made every effort to conciliate Slovak
extremists in the months after the cession of the
Sudetenland. Autonomy had been granted to Slovakia, with an
autonomous Cabinet and Parliament at Bratislava.
Nevertheless, despite these concessions, it was in Slovakia
that the Nazi conspirators found fertile ground for their
tactics. The picture which I shall now draw of Nazi
operations in Slovakia is based on the Czechoslovakian
official Government Report, Document 998-PS, already
admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA 91, of which the Court
has already taken judicial
notice.

Nazi propaganda and research groups had long been interested
in maintaining close connection with the Slovak Autonomist
Opposition. When Bela Tuka, who later became Prime Minister
of the puppet State of Slovakia, was tried for espionage and
treason in 1929, the evidence established that

                                                   [Page 88]


he had already established connections with Nazi groups
within Germany. Prior to 1938 Nazi aides were in close
contact with the Slovak traitors living in exile and were
attempting to establish more profitable contacts in the semi-
fascist Catholic Peoples Party of Monsignor Andrew Hlinka.
In February and July, 1938, the leaders of the Henlein
Movement conferred with top men of Father Hlinka's party and
agreed to furnish one another with mutual assistance in
pressing their respective claims to autonomy. This
understanding proved useful in the September agitation when
at the proper moment the Foreign Office in Berlin wired the
Henlein leader, Kundt, in Prague, to tell the Slovaks to
start their demands for autonomy.

This telegram, our Document 2858-PS, Exhibit USA 97, has
already been introduced in evidence and read.

By this time - mid-summer, 1938 - the Nazis were in direct
contact with figures in the Slovak Autonomist Movement and
had paid agents among the higher staff of Father Hlinka's
party. These agents undertook to render impossible any
understanding between the Slovak Autonomists and the Slovak
parties in the Government of Prague.

Hans Karmasin, later to become Volksgruppenfuehrer, had been
appointed Nazi leader in Slovakia and professed to be
serving the cause of Slovak autonomy, while actually on the
Nazi pay-roll. On 22nd November, the Nazis indiscreetly
wired Karmasin to collect his money at the German Legation
in Prague, and I offer in evidence Document 2859-PS as
Exhibit USA 107, captured from the German Foreign Office
files. I read this telegram which was sent from the German
Legation at Prague to Pressburg:

     "Delegate Kundt asks to notify State Secretary Karmasin
     he would appreciate it if he could personally draw the
     sum which is being kept for him at the treasury of the
     Embassy. /signed/ Hencke."

Karmasin proved to be extremely useful for the Nazi cause.
Although it is out of its chronological place in my
discussion, I should like now to offer in evidence Document
2794-PS, a captured memorandum of the German Foreign Office
which I offer as Exhibit USA 108, dated Berlin, 29th
November, 1939.

This document, dated eight months after the conquest of
Czechoslovakia, throws a revealing light both on Karmasin
and on the German Foreign Office, and I now read
from this memorandum:

     "On the question of payments to Karmasin.
     
     Karmasin receives 30,000 marks from the V.D.A. (Peoples
     League for Germans Abroad) until 1st April, 1940; from
     then on 15,000 marks monthly.
     
     Furthermore, the Central Office for Racial Germans
     (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle) had deposited 300,000
     marks for Karmasin with the German mission in
     Bratislava (Pressburg) on which he could fall back in
     an emergency.
     
     Furthermore, Karmasin has received money from
     Reichsminister Seyss-Inquart; for the present it has
     been impossible to determine what amounts have been
     involved, and whether the payments still continue.
     
     Therefore, it appears that Karmasin has been provided
     with sufficient money; thus one could await whether he
     would put up new demands himself.
     
     Herewith presented to the Reich Foreign Minister.
     /signed/ Wormann."

                                                   [Page 89]


This document shows the complicity of the German Foreign
Office in the subsidisation of illegal organisations abroad.
More important, it shows that the Germans still considered
it necessary to supply their under-cover representatives in
Pressburg with substantial funds, even after the declaration
of the so-called Independent State of Slovakia.

Sometime in the winter of 1938-1939, the defendant Goering
conferred with Durcansky and Mach, two leaders in the Slovak
extremist groups, who were accompanied by Karmasin. The
Slovaks told Goering of their desire for what they called
independence, with strong political, economic and military
ties to Germany. They promised that the Jewish problem would
be solved as it had been solved in Germany; that the
Communist Party would be prohibited. The notes of the
meeting report that Goering considered that the Slovak
efforts towards independence were to be supported, but as
the document will show, his motives were scarcely
altruistic.

I now offer Document 2801-PS as Exhibit USA 109, undated
minutes of a conversation between Goering and Durcansky.
This document was captured among the files of the German
Foreign Office.

I now read these minutes, which are jotted down in somewhat
telegraphic style:

     "To begin with Durcansky (Deputy Prime Minister) reads
     out declaration. Contents: 'Friendship for the Fuehrer;
     gratitude, that through the Fuehrer, autonomy  has
     become possible for the Slovaks'. The Slovaks never
     want to belong to Hungary. The Slovaks want full
     independence with strongest political, economic and
     military ties to Germany. Bratislava to be the capital.
     The execution of the plan only possible if the army and
     police are Slovak.
     
     An independent Slovakia to be proclaimed at the meeting
     of the first Slovak Diet. In the case of a plebiscite
     the majority would favour a separation from Prague.
     Jews will vote for Hungary. The area of the plebiscite
     to be up to the March, where a large Slovak population
     lives.
     
     The Jewish problem will be solved similarly to that in
     Germany. The Communist Party to be prohibited.
     
     The Germans in Slovakia do not want to belong to
     Hungary but wish to stay in Slovakia.
     
     The German influence with the Slovak Government
     considerable; the appointment of a German Minister
     (member of the Cabinet) has been promised.
     
     At present negotiations with Hungary are being
     conducted by the Slovaks. The Czechs
     are more yielding towards the Hungarians than the
     Slovaks.
     
     The Fieldmarshal" - that is Fieldmarshal Goering -
     "considers that the Slovak negotiations towards
     independence are to be supported in a suitable manner.
     Czechoslovakia without Slovakia is still more at our
     mercy.
     
     Air bases in Slovakia are of great importance for the
     German Air Force for use against the East."

On 12th February a Slovak Delegation journeyed to Berlin. It
consisted of
Tuka, one of the Slovaks with whom the Germans had been in
contact, and Karmasin, the paid representative of the Nazi
conspirators in Slovakia. They conferred with Hitler and the
defendant Ribbentrop in the Reich Chancellery in Berlin on
Sunday, 12th February, 1939.


                                                   [Page 90]

I now offer in evidence Document 2790-PS as Exhibit USA 110,
the captured German Foreign Office minutes of that meeting.

(reading)

    "After a brief welcome Tuka thanks the Fuehrer for
    granting this meeting. He addresses the Fuehrer with
    'My Fuehrer' and he voices the opinion that he, though
    only a modest man himself, might well claim to speak
    for the Slovak Nation. The Czech courts and prison give
    him the right to make such a statement. He states that
    the Fuehrer has not only opened the Slovak question but
    that he has been also the first one to acknowledge the
    dignity of the Slovak Nation. The Slovakian people will
    gladly fight under the leadership of the Fuehrer for
    the maintenance of European civilisation. Obviously
    future association with the Czechs has become an
    impossibility for the Slovaks from a moral as well as
    an economic point of view."

Then, skipping to the last sentence:

    "'I entrust the fate of my people to your care,'"
    addressing that to the Fuehrer.

During the meeting the Nazi conspirators apparently were
successful in planting the idea of insurrection with the
Slovak Delegation. I refer to the final sentence of the
document, which I have just read, the sentence spoken by
Tuka: "I entrust the fate of my people to your care."

It is apparent from these documents in mid-February, 1939,
that the Nazis had a well disciplined group of Slovaks at
their service, many of them drawn from the ranks of Father
Hlinka's party. Flattered by the personal attention of such
men as Hitler and the defendant Ribbentrop, and subsidised
by German representatives, these Slovaks proved willing
tools in the hands of the Nazi conspirators.

In addition to Slovaks, the conspirators made use of the
Germans still remaining within the mutilated Czechoslovak
Republic. Kundt, Henlein's deputy who had been appointed
leader of this German minority, created as many artificial
"focal points of German culture" as possible. Germans from
the districts handed over to Germany were ordered from
Berlin to continue their studies at the German University in
Prague and to make it a centre of aggressive Nazism. With
the assistance of German civil servants, a deliberate
campaign of Nazi infiltration into Czech public and private
institutions was carried out, and the Henlein Movement gave
full co-operation to Gestapo agents from the Reich who
appeared on Czech soil. The Nazi political activity was
designed to undermine and to weaken Czech resistance to the
commands from Germany.


In the face of continued threats and duress on both
diplomatic and propaganda levels, the Czech Government was
unable to take adequate measures against these trespassers
upon its sovereignty.

I am using as the basis of my remarks the Czechoslovak
official Government Report,
Document 998-PS.

In early March, with the date for the final march into
Czechoslovakia already close at hand, Fifth Column activity
moved into its final phase. In Bohemia and Moravia the F.S.,
Henlein's equivalent of the S.S., were in touch with the
Nazi conspirators in the Reich and laid the groundwork of
the events of 14th and 15th March.

                                                   [Page 91]

I now offer in evidence Document 2826-PS as Exhibit USA 111.
This is an article by S.S. Group Leader Karl Hermann Frank,
published in Bohmen und Mahren, the official periodical of
the Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, edition May,
1941, Page 179.

This is an article written by one of the Nazi leaders in
Czechoslovakia at the moment of Germany's greatest military
successes. It is a boastful article
and reveals with a frankness rarely found in the Nazi Press
both the functions
which the F.S. and the S.S. served, and the pride the Nazi
conspirators took in the activities of these organisations.
It is a long quotation.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you going on with this tomorrow, Mr.
Alderman?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you take the whole day?

MR. ALDERMAN: No, not more than an hour and a half.

THE PRESIDENT: And after that the British prosecutors will
go on?

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes.

(The Tribunal adjourned to 1000 hours on 5th December,
1945.)



Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.