The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I offer in evidence a letter from the Chief of the Command Office of
the Waffen S.S., our Document 1972-PS, as Exhibit USA 471. It is a
letter from the Chief of the Command Office of the "Waffen S.S." to
the Reichsfuehrer S.S., dated 14th October, 1941, subject:
Intermediate report on civilian state of emergency. I shall read that
letter. I quote:

     "I deliver the following report regarding the commitment of the
     [Page 175]
     Waffen S.S. in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia during the
     civil state of emergency:
     All battalions of the Waffen S.S. in the Protectorate Bohemia and
     Moravia will in rotation be employed on shootings and the
     supervision of hangings respectively.
     Up until now there occurred:
     In Prague--
          99 shootings.
          21 hangings.
     In Bruenn
          54 shootings.
          17 hangings.
     Total -- 191 executions (including 16 Jews).
     A complete report regarding other measures and on the conduct of
     the officers, N.C.O.'s and men will be made following the
     termination of the civil state of emergency."

It is not surprising that units of the "Waffen S.S." and the branch
which had thus been employed in extermination actions and the
executions of civilians are also to be found violating the laws of
warfare when carrying on ordinary combat operations. I offer in
evidence a supplementary report of the Supreme Headquarters Allied
Expeditionary Force Court of Inquiry re shooting of allied prisoners-
of-war by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division in Normandy, France, between
7th and 21St June, 1944. It is our Document 2997-PS, Exhibit USA 472.
Extracts from that report consist of the formal record of the
proceedings of the Court of Inquiry and the statement of its findings
are included in the Document Book under that document number. They
have been translated into German. Under Article 21 of the Charter,
this Tribunal is directed to take judicial notice of the documents of
committees set up in various Allied countries for the investigation of
War Crimes, and also of the records and findings of military or other
Tribunals of any of the United Nations. This report falls squarely
within that provision. Therefore, without reading portions of the
document, I shall summarise the findings of the Court of Inquiry which
are set out on Pages 8 to 10 of the document. The Court concluded that
there occurred between the 7th and 17th June, 1944, in Normandy, seven
cases of violations of the laws of war.


MAJOR FARR: I am not quoting, I am summarising what appears on Pages 8
to 10 of the translation.

---there occurred seven cases of violations of the laws of war,
involving the shooting of 64 unarmed Allied prisoners-of-war in
uniform, many of whom had been previously wounded and none of whom had
resisted or attempted to escape ; that the perpetrators were members
of the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, the so-called Hitler Jugend Division
; that enlisted men of the 15th Company of the 25th Panzer Grenadier
Regiment of that Division were given secret orders to the effect that
S.S. troops shall take no prisoners and that prisoners are to be
executed after having been interrogated; that similar orders were
given to men of the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Panzer Grenadier
Regiment of the Division and of the 12th S.S. Engineering and
Reconnaissance Battalions ; and that the conclusion was irresistible
that it was understood throughout the Division that a policy of
denying quarter or executing prisoners after interrogation was openly

[Page 176]

the S.S. I refer to the execution of Allied flying personnel, of
commandos and paratroopers, and of escaped prisoners-of-war who were
turned over to the S.D. to be destroyed. Evidence of these actions
will be presented in the case against the Gestapo.

Combatants who were taken prisoner encountered the S.S. in another
form. In the case against the Gestapo, evidence will be presented of
commando groups stationed in prisoner-of-war camps to select prisoners
for what the Nazis euphemistically called "special treatment."
Finally, the entire control of prisoners-of-war was turned over to the
Reichsfuehrer S.S.

I have read in evidence this morning, our Document 058-PS, which
provided for the direction of all prisoner-of-war camps by Himmler.

The final, but vital, phase of the conspiracy in which the S.S. played
a leading role must be mentioned. The permanent colonisation of
conquered territories, the destruction of their national existence,
and the permanent extension of the German frontier were fundamental
objects of the conspirators' plans.

The Tribunal received evidence, a day or so ago, of the manner in
which these objectives were attained through the forcible evacuation
and resettlement of inhabitants of conquered territories, confiscation
of their properties, denationalisation and re-education of persons of
German blood, and the colonisation of conquered territories by

The S.S. was the logical agency to formulate and carry out the
programme. I have read into the record already the numerous statements
made by Himmler as to the training of the S.S., which played the role
of the aristocracy of the New Europe. He put those theories into
practice when he was appointed, on 7th October, 1939, as Reich
Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom. The decree by
which he was appointed to that office  -- our Document 686-PS -- has
already been introduced into evidence as Exhibit USA 305. I shall not,
therefore, read it.

To make and carry out plans for the programme of evacuation and
resettlement, a new department of the S.S. Supreme Command was
created; Staff Headquarters of the Reich Commissioner for the
Consolidation of German Nationality. That is indicated on the chart by
the fourth box from the top, on the extreme right-hand side.

The functions of this office are described in the Organisation Book of
the N.S.D.A.P. for 1943, our Document 2640-PS, which has already been
introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 323. I shall read the
description of the functions of that department appearing on Page 3 of
the translation, the last paragraph, and Page 421 of the original.

I quote:

     "The main office of the staff of the Reich Commissioner for the
     Consolidation of German Nationality is entrusted with the whole
     settlement and constructive planning, and with its execution
     within the Reich and all those territories under the authority of
     the Reich, including all administrative and economic questions in
     connection with the settlement, especially the deployment of
     manpower for this purpose."

The colonisation programme had two principal objectives: First, the
destruction of the conquered peoples by exterminating them, deporting
them, and confiscating their property ; second, the settlement of
racial Germans on the newly acquired land.

[Page 177]

The extermination actions conducted by the S.S., as to which I have
just  introduced evidence, contributed in part to clearing the
conquered territories of persons who were deemed dangerous to the Nazi
Plan. But not every undesirable could be liquidated. Mass deportations
accomplished the twin purpose of providing labour and of freeing the
land for German colonists.

I have already introduced evidence as to the participation of S.S.
agencies in deporting persons to concentration camps.

The evacuation and resettlement programme required the use of further
deporting agencies. I quote from our Document z163-PS, the National
Socialist Year Book for 1941, Exhibit USA 444. The passage in question
appears at Page 3 of the translation, paragraph 5, and at Page 195 of
the original. I quote:

     "For some time now, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. has had at his
     disposal an office under the management of S.S.-
     Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz, the National German Central Office
     (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle -- VM). This office has the task to
     deal with national German questions and to gather the necessary

     In addition to the VM, Immigration Centre Offices, with the Chief
     of the Security Police and the Security Service of the S.S.,
     under the management of S.S.-Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Sandberger,
     and the Settlement Staff with the Reich Commissioner were
     created, which, in co-operation with the National Socialist
     Welfare Organisation and the Reich Railroad Agency, took charge
     of the re-emigration of national Germans."

I also offer in evidence the affidavit of Otto Hoffmann, S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen S.S. and Police, our
Document L-49. I offer it as Exhibit USA 473. Hoffmann was Chief of
the Main Office for Race and Settlement in the S.S. Supreme Command,
until 1943. This affidavit was taken on the 4th of August, 1945, at
Freising, Germany. I shall read paragraph 2 of that affidavit:

     "2. The executive power, in other words the carrying out of al
     [sic] so-called resettlement actions, that is to say, the sending
     away of Polish and Jewish settlers and those of non-German blood
     from a territory in Poland destined for Germanisation, was in the
     hands of the Chief of the R.S.H.A. Heydrich, and later of
     Kaltenbrunner, since the end of 1942. The Chief of the R.S.H.A.
     also supervised and issued orders to the so-called immigration
     centre, which classified the Germans living abroad who returned
     to Germany and directed them to the individual farms, already
     freed. The latter was done in agreement with the chief office of
     the Reichsfuehrer S.S."

Other S.S. agencies were involved in the programme for deportation.
The Tribunal has already received in evidence our Document 1352-PS, as
Exhibit USA 176. It is a report relating to the confiscation of Polish
agricultural enterprises, dated the 22nd of May, 1940, and signed
"Kusche." Portions of that document dealing with the confiscation of
Polish agricultural enterprises and the deportation of Polish owners
of the land to Germany were read into the record. I shall read only
one further paragraph, showing S.S. personnel involved in this action.
It appears on Page 2 of the translation, the first full paragraph; and
on Page 10 of the original, paragraph 2.

[Page 178]

Referring to the deportation of Polish farmers the report says and I

     "Means of transportation to the railroad can be provided:
     By the enterprises of the East German Corporation of Agricultural
     2. By the S.S . N.C.O. School in Lublinitz and the concentration
     camp of Auschwitz.
     These two latter places will also detail the necessary S.S. men
     for the day of the confiscation, and so forth."

The extent to which almost all departments of the Supreme Command of
the S.S. were concerned with the evacuation programme is shown by the
minutes of a meeting on the 4th of August, 1942, dealing with the
deportation of Alsatians. It is our Document R-114, and was received
in evidence as Exhibit USA 314. I shall read only the list of persons
and offices represented at that conference, since the body of the
report has been read, in part, into the record.

1 start at the beginning of the document, Page 1 of R-114

     "Memo on meeting of 4/8/42.
     Subject General directions for the treatment of deported
     S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Stier; S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer Petri;
     R.R. Hoffman ; Dr. Scherler; S.S. Untersturmuehrer Foerster."
     There is a notation next to their names of "Staff Headquarters."
     Then: "S.S. Obersturinfuehrer Dr. Hinrichs, Chief of Estate
     Office and Settlement Staff, Strasbourg.
     S.S. Sturmbannfuehrer Brueckner, National German Central Office
     (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle).
     S.S. Hauptsturmuehrer Hummisch, Reich Security Main Office
     S.S. Untersturmfuhrer Dr. Sieder, Main Office for Race and
     Settlement (R.U.S.-Hauptamt).
     Dr. Labes, D.U.T."

The S.S. not only destroyed and deported conquered peoples and con
fiscated their property, but also repopulated the conquered regions
with so-called racial Germans. Not all Germans were deemed reliable
colonists, however. Those who were not were returned to Germany for
re-Germanisation and re-education along Nazi lines.

A typical instance of the fate of such Germans is told in our Document
R-112, which has already been introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA
309. It is a decree of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of
German Folkdorn. That decree, as the Tribunal will recall, dealt with
the treatment to be accorded so-called "Polonised " Germans. By the
terms of that decree these organisations were charged with the
responsibility for the re-Germanisation programme, the Higher S.S. and
Police Leaders, and the Gestapo.

I think it is unnecessary for me to quote from that report, since
portions have already been read into evidence. I will refer the Court
specifically to Section III of the decree, which appears on Page 7 of
the translation, and to Section IV of the decree, which appears on the
same Page, both of which indicate that the Higher S.S. and Police
Leaders and the Gestapo were responsible for the re-Germanisation

[Page 179]

In the final state of the process, the resettlement of the conquered
lands by racially and politically desirable Germans, still other S.S.
agencies participated. I quote again from our Document 2163-PS, the
Nat~onal Socialist Year Book for 1941, Exhibit USA 444. The passage
appears on Page 3 of the translation, paragraph 7, and on Page 195 of
the original. I quote:

     "Numerous S.S. leaders and S.S. men helped with untiring effort
     in bringing about this systematic migration of peoples, which has
     no parallel in history.
     There were many authoritative and administrative difficulties
     which, however, were immediately overcome, due to the
     unbureaucratic working procedure. This was especially guaranteed,
     above all, by the employment of the S.S.
     The procedure called ' Durchschleusung' takes three to four hours
     as a rule. The re-settler is passed through eight to nine
     offices, following each other in a definite order ; registration
     office, card-index office, certificate and photo office, property
     office, and biological, hereditary, and sanitary test offices.
     The latter was entrusted to doctors and medical personnel of the
     S.S. and of the Armed Forces. The S.S. Corps Areas Alpenland,
     North-West, Baltic Sea, Fulda-Werra, South and South East, the
     S.S. Main Office, the N.P.E.A. -- National Political Education
     Institution -- Vienna, and the S.S. Cavalry School in Hamburg,
     provided most of the S.S.-Officers and S.S.-Non-Coms who worked
     at this job of resettlement."

I omit the next three paragraphs and continue with the Year Book's
conclusion as to the S.S. participation in the colonisation scheme:

     "The settlement, establishment and care of the newly-won
     peasantry in the liberated Eastern territory will be one of the
     most cherished tasks of the S.S. in the whole future."

THE PRESIDENT: This might be a good time to break off until 2 o'clock.

MAJOR FARR: Yes, sir.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

MAJOR FARR: In the course of its development from a group of strong,
armed body guards, some 200 in number, to a complex organisation
participating in every field of Nazi endeavour, the S.S. found room
for its members in high places -- and persons in high places found
themselves a position in the S.S.

Of the defendants charged in this Indictment, seven were high ranking
officers in the S.S. They are the defendants Ribbentrop, Hess,
Kaltenbrunner, Bormann, Sauckel, Neurath and Seyss-Inquart. The vital
part that the defendant Kaltenbrunner played in the S.S., the S.D. and
the entire Security Police system, will be shown by evidence to be
presented at the conclusion of the case on the Gestapo. With respect
to the other six defendants whom I have named, I desire to call the
Tribunal's attention to the fact of their membership in the S.S. This
fact is a matter rather of judicial notice than of proof. Evidence of
the fact is to be found in two official publications which I now offer
the court. The first is this black book -- the membership list of the
S.S. as of ist December, 1936. This book contains a list of the
members of the S.S. arranged according to rank. I

                                                          [Page 180]

offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 474. Turning to Page 8 of this
publication we find at line 2 the name "Hess, Rudolf" followed by the
notation "By authority of the Fuehrer the right to wear the uniform of
an S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer". I now offer the 1937 edition of the same
membership list as Exhibit USA 475. Turning to Page 10, line So, we
find the name "Bormann, Martin " -- and in line with his name on the
opposite page under the column headed "Gruppenfuehrer", the following
date, 30/1/37.

In the same edition on Page 12, line 56, appears the name "von
Neurath, Konstantin", and on the opposite page under the column headed
"Gruppenfuehrer " the date "18/9/37". The other publication to which I
refer is "Der Grossdeutsche Reichstag" for the fourth voting period,
edited by E. Kienast, Ministerial Director of the German Reichstag.
This is an official handbook containing biographical data as to
membership of the Reichstag. It is Document 2381-PS, and I offer it in
evidence as Exhibit USA 476. On Page 349 the following appears: "von
Ribbentrop, Joachim, Reichsminister des AuswArtigen, S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer". On Page 36o the following appears: "Sauckel,
Fritz, Gauleiter und Reichsstatthalter in Thueringen, S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer ". On Page 389 the following appears:
"Seyss-Inquart, Artur, Dr. jur., Reichsminister, S.S.
Obergruppenfuehrer ".

THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of that book ?

MAJOR FARR: This book covers the fourth voting period beginning on
ioth April, 1938, covering the period up to 13th January, 1947 -- that
is, the voting period covers that course of years. The edition, I
think, was in 1943. 1 might point out that the rank of the defendants
mentioned in the 1936 and 1937 editions of the membership list of the
S.S. may not be the final rank they held. They were "Gruppenfuehrer"
at that time, but they were members of the S.S., as shown by the book.

It is our contention that the S.S., as defined in Appendix B, Page 36
of the Indictment, was an unlawful organisation. As an organisation
founded on the principle that persons of "German blood" were a "master
race", it exemplified a basic Nazi doctrine. It served as one of the
means through which the conspirators acquired control of the German
Government. The operations of the S.D., and of the "S.S. Totenkopf
Verbaende" in concentration camps, were means used by the conspirators
to secure their regime and terrorise their opponents, as alleged in
Count 1. All branches of the S.S. were involved from the very
beginning, in the Nazi programme of Jewish extermination. Through the
Allgemeine S.S. as a para-military organisation, and the "S.S.
Verfuegungstruppe" and "S.S. Totenkopf Verbaende", as professional
combat forces, and the "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle" as a Fifth Column
agency, the S.S. participated in the military preparations for
aggressive war, and through its militarised units in the waging of
aggressive war in the West and in the East as set forth in Counts One
and Two of the Indictment. In the course of such war all components of
the S.S. participated in the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity,
set forth in Counts Three and Four of the Indictment -- the murder and
ill-treatment of civilian populations in occupied territory, the
murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war, and the Germanisation of
occupied territories.

The evidence has shown that the S.S. was a single enterprise -- a
unified organisation. Some of its functions were, of course, performed
by one branch or department or office, some by another. No single
branch or department

                                                       [Page 181]

participated in every phase of its activity, but every branch and
department and office was necessary to the functioning of the whole.
The situation is much the same as in the case of the individual
defendants at the bar. Not all participated in every act of the
conspiracy -- but all, we contend, performed a contributing part in
the whole criminal scheme.

The evidence has shown that though the S.S. was an organisation of
volunteers, applicants had to meet the strictest standards of
selection. It was not easy to become an S.S. member. That was true of
all branches of the S.S. We clearly recognise, of course, that during
the course of the war, as the demands for man-power increased and the
losses of the “Waffen S.S." grew heavier and heavier, there were
occasions when men drafted for compulsory military service were
assigned to units of the “Waffen S.S." rather than to the "
Wehrmacht." Those instances were relatively few. Evidence of
recruiting standards of the “Waffen S.S." in 1943, which I quoted
yesterday, has shown that membership in that branch was as essentially
voluntary and highly selective as in other branches. Doubtless some of
the members of the S.S., or of other of the organisations alleged to
be unlawful, might desire to show that their participation in the
organisation was a small or innocuous one, that compelling reasons
drove them to apply for membership, that they were not fully conscious
of its aims or that they were mentally irresponsible when they became
members. Such facts might or might not be relevant if such persons
were on trial. But, in any event, this is not the forum to try out
such matters.

The question before this Tribunal is simply this, whether the S.S. was
or was not an unlawful organisation. The evidence has finally shown
what the aims and activities of the S.S. were. Some of those aims were
stated in publications which I have quoted to the Court. The
activities were so widespread and so notorious, covering so many
fields of unlawful endeavour, that the illegality of the organisation
could not have been concealed. It was a notorious fact, and Himmler,
himself, in 1936, in a quotation which I read to the Tribunal
yesterday, admitted that, when he said, "I know that there are people
in Germany now who become sick when they see these black coats.

We know the reason and we do not expect to be loved by too many."

It was, we submit, at all times the exclusive function and purpose of
the S.S. to carry out the common objectives of the defendant
conspirators. Its activities in carrying out those objectives involved
the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter. By
reason of its aims and the means used for the accomplishment thereof,
the S.S. should be declared a criminal organisation in accordance with
Article 9 of the Charter.

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