The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I now offer Document 1556-PS, Exhibit USA 716. This is an
official report dated December, 1941, of the Czechoslovak
War Crimes Commission entitled "Detailed Statement of the
Murdering of Ill and Aged People in Germany." I should like
to quote very brief excerpts from this report. Paragraphs 1,
2 and 3 read as follows:

   "(1) The murdering can be traced back to a secret law
   which was issued some time in the summer of 1940.
   
   (2) Besides the Chief Physician of the Reich, Dr. L.
   Conti, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler, and the
   Reichsminister of the Interior Dr. Frick, as well as
   other men, the following participated in the
   introduction of this secret law ..." (other names
   listed).
   
   "(3) As I have already stated, there were-after careful
   calculation at least 200,000 mainly mentally deficient,
   imbeciles, besides neurological cases and medically
   unfit people - these were not only incurable cases - and
   at least 75,000 aged people."

The most striking example of the continued killings in these
institutions, which were under Frick's jurisdiction and
operated under the order of which Frick was a co-author, is
the famous Hadamar case.

Your Honour, may I ask you whether I can have ten more
minutes to end this presentation, because the Chief
Prosecutors agreed, as I understood, to start to-morrow
morning the case of the French, and I have just ten more
minutes.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, very well.

DR. KEMPNER: Thank you, your Lordship.

I refer to the Hadamar case. I now offer in evidence
Document 615-PS, Exhibit USA 717.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): What is this last report that you
spoke about. Whose is it?

DR. KEMPNER: The Czechoslovak War Crimes Commission report.
After I have shown the general scheme, of which Frick was a
co-author, I would like to show that Frick's ministry was
acquainted with the things that were going on under his
organisational authorship, and therefore I am quoting now a
letter showing that he was acquainted with these killings,
and that these killings had even become public knowledge.
For this reason I offer in evidence Document 615-PS, Exhibit
USA 717. This document is a letter from the Bishop of
Limburg, of 13th August, 1941, to the Reichsminister of
Justice. Copies were sent to the Reichsminister of the
Interior - this means Frick - and to the Reichsminister for
Church Affairs. I quote:

   "About 8 kilometres from Limburg, in the little town of
   Hadamar, on a hill overlooking the town, there is an
   institution which had formerly served various purposes
   and of late had been used as a nursing home
   
                                                  [Page 335]
   
   this institution was renovated and furnished as a place
   in which, by consensus of opinion, the above-mentioned
   euthanasia has been systematically practised for months
   - approximately since February, 1941. The fact has
   become known beyond the administrative district of
   Wiesbaden, because death certificates from a Registry
   Hadamar-Monchberg are sent to the home communities."

And I quote further:

   "Several times a week buses arrive in Hadamar with a
   considerable number of such victims. School children of
   the vicinity know this vehicle and say: 'There comes the
   murder-box again.' After the arrival of the vehicle, the
   citizens of Hadamar watch the smoke rise out of the
   chimney and are tortured with the ever-present thought
   of the miserable victims, especially when repulsive
   odours annoy them, depending on the direction of the
   wind.
   
   The effect of the principles at work here are: Children
   call each other names and say, 'You're crazy; you'll be
   sent to the baking oven in Hadamar.' Those who do not
   want to marry or find no opportunity say, 'Marry, never!
   Bring children into the world so they can be put into
   the bottling machine!" You hear old folks say, 'Do not
   send me to a State hospital! After the feeble-minded
   have been finished off, the next useless eaters whose
   turn will come are the old people.'
   
   ... The population cannot grasp that systematic actions
   are carried out which, in accordance with paragraph 211
   of the German criminal code, are punishable with
   death....
   
   Officials of the Secret State Police, it is said, are
   trying to suppress discussion of the Hadamar occurrences
   by means of severe threats. In the interest of public
   peace this may be well intended. But the knowledge and
   the conviction and the indignation of the population
   cannot be changed by it; the conviction will be
   increased with the bitter realisation that discussion is
   prohibited with threats, but that the actions themselves
   are not prosecuted under penal law."

I quote the last paragraph of the letter, the postscript:

   "I am submitting copies of this letter to the Reich
   Minister of the Interior and the Reich Minister for
   Church Affairs." - Initialled by above.

Nevertheless, the killings carried out in these institutions
under the secret law created by defendant Frick, Himmler and
others continued year after year.

THE PRESIDENT: Was any answer made to that letter?

DR. KEMPNER: No answer has been found. I have other letters
which I am not able to quote here to-day which bear the
words: "Please do not answer."

THE PRESIDENT: "Please do not answer?"

DR. KEMPNER: So that it should be unanswered.

Nevertheless, the killings carried out in these institutions
under the secret law created by defendant Frick, Himmler and
others continued year after year. I offer in evidence
Document 3592-PS, Exhibit USA 718, which is a certified copy
of the charge, specifications, findings and sentence of the
U.S. Military Commission at Wiesbaden, against the
individuals who operated the Hadamar Sanatorium, where many
Russians and Poles were murdered. In this particular
proceeding seven defendants were charged with the murder in
1944 of400 persons of Polish and Russian nationality, and
three of the defendants were sentenced to be hanged; the
other four were sentenced to confinement with hard labour.

Now I come to the last page of my presentation, the final
case of Frick's responsibility, which arises under his
position as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia for the
period from 20th August, 1943, until the end of the war. I
think it is not necessary to say anything about the
functions of the Protector of Bohemia and Moravia; these
broad powers are known to the Court.

                                                  [Page 336]

THE PRESIDENT: Before you pass from 3592-PS, is it clear
that that trial related to the killing of Polish and Russian
nationals in nursing homes or institutions of that sort?

DR. KEMPNER: It is absolutely clear in this document, the
sentence of the Military Commission of Hadamar for
Wiesbaden.

THE PRESIDENT: Will you show me where that is?

DR. KEMPNER: Document 3592-PS. I quote:

"Specification: In that Alfons Klein, Adolf Wahlmann,
Heinrich Ruoff, Karl Willig, Adolf Merkle, Irmgard Huber,
and Phillip Blum, acting jointly and in pursuance of a
common intent and acting for and on behalf of the then
German Reich, did, from or about 1st July, 1944 until about
1st April, 1945, at Hadamar, Germany, wilfully,
deliberately, and wrongfully aid, abet and participate in
the killing of human beings of Polish and Russian
nationality; their exact names and number being unknown, but
totalling over 400, and who were then and there confined by
the German Reich as an exercise of belligerent control."

THE PRESIDENT: It does not show that it came within the
jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.

DR. KEMPNER: Sometime ago I referred to the Manual of the
German Administrative Officials. This manual points out very
clearly that nursing homes, sanitaria, and similar
establishments are under the supervision of the Ministry of
the Interior.

THE PRESIDENT: I follow that; but this document does not
refer to nursing homes. That is what I was asking you.

DR. KEMPNER: Yes, it says only Hadamar. It is, in fact, the
Hadamar nursing home. This portion was not given by the
Judge Advocate General, but I am willing to give later a
more extended document showing that Hadamar is a common name
for the so-called Hadamar killing mill, which is a nursing
home.

Now I come to the last paragraph of my presentation.

THE PRESIDENT: Wait a moment, Dr. Kempner. Counsel for the
defence wishes to speak. There is the gentlemen standing by
your side.

DR. PANNENBECKER (Counsel for defendant Frick): From
Document 3592-PS, which was just read, I cannot find that
the defendant Frick is connected with the document in any
way.

THE PRESIDENT: Surely it is not necessary for you to get up
and repeat what I have just said.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I would like to add something else.

THE PRESIDENT: I beg your pardon.

DR. PANNENBECKER: I would like to add that the defendant
Frick since August, 1943, was not Minister of the Interior,
and for that reason this document cannot be used against
him.

THE PRESIDENT: And it does not give the date of the death of
these people. At any rate, until Dr. Kempner produces
something to show that this was a nursing home and in a time
during which the defendant Frick was Minister of the
Interior, the Tribunal will not treat it as being evidence
which implicates Frick.

DR. KEMPNER: I quoted this killing in Hadamar for two
reasons: First, because the Ministry of the Interior has
become acquainted, as I said before, with the letter of the
Bishop of Limburg, in 1941, when Frick was Minister of the
Interior and knew about these facts; and I quoted the
military decision for this reasons that these killings were
still going on in 1944 and 1945 under a law of which the
defendant Frick was the co-author.

The final phase of Frick's responsibility arises under his
position as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia for the
period from 20th August, 1943, until the end of the war. I
have not to prove his function but I shall mention one
example, and I offer in evidence Document 3589-PS, Exhibit
USA 720, which

                                                  [Page 337]

is a supplement to an official Czechoslovak report on German
crimes against Czechoslovakia. I would like to quote only
the following brief passage from this report:

"During the tenure of office of defendant Wilhelm Frick as
Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia, from August, 1943,
until the liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945, many
thousands of Czechoslovak Jews were transported from the
Terezin ghetto in Czechoslovakia to the concentration camp
at Oswiecziem (Auschwitz) in Poland and were there killed in
the gas chambers."

Brought from the territory over which Frick was Protector to
the gas chamber.

Thus, we submit, it has been shown that the defendant Frick
was a key conspirator from 1923 until the Allied armies
crushed the resistance of the Nazi Armed Forces. Frick's
guilt rests on his own record, and on the record of his co-
defendants, with whom he is co-responsible under our
Charter.

I would like to express my appreciation for the assistance
rendered in connection with the preparation of this case by
my colleagues, Mr. Karl Lachmann, Lt. Frederick Felton, and
Captain Seymour Krieger.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 10.00 hours on 17th January,
1946.)

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