The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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A second advantage was the elimination of groups considered
especially difficult to assimilate. I should like to quote
in this connection - this will be Exhibit RF 749 - what
Gauleiter Wagner stated in a speech given at Saverne,
according to the Dernieres Nouvelles de Strasbourg, of 15
December 1941.

   "Today we must make up our mind. In the moment of our
   nation's supreme struggle - a struggle in which you,
   too, must participate - I can only say to anyone who
   says: 'I am a Frenchman.' 'Get the hell out of here! In
   Germany there is only room for Germans'."

From the very beginning the Germans proceeded, firstly, to
the expulsion of individuals or small groups, especially
Jews and members of the teaching profession. Moreover, as is
shown by a document which I have already cited this morning
as Exhibit RF 701, and which was the first general protest
made by the French delegation, under date of 3 September
1940, the Germans authorised the people of Alsace-Lorraine
to return to their homes only if they acknowledged
themselves to be of German origin. Now, the Tribunal will
understand that these restrictions upon the return of
refugees were in themselves equivalent to expulsion. Mass
expulsions began in September 1940. I now submit in this
connection Exhibit RF 750; it is again a note from the
French armistice delegation taken from the files of the
Court of Justice. I am now reading this document, paragraph
2.

   "Since then it has been brought to the knowledge of the
   French Government that the German authorities are
   proceeding to mass expulsions of families in the three
   Eastern departments. Every day French citizens, forced
   to abandon all of their belongings on the spot, are
   driven into unoccupied France in groups of 800 to 1,000
   persons."

It is only the 19th of September. On the 3rd of November the
Germans undertook the systematic expulsion of the
populations of the Moselle region. This operation was
accomplished with extreme perfidy. The Germans, as a matter
of fact, gave the Lorrainers of certain localities the
choice of either going to Eastern Germany or to France. They
gave them only a few hours to make up their minds. Moreover,
they sought to promote the belief that such

                                                  [Page 371]

a choice was imposed upon the Lorrainers as a result of an
agreement reached with the French authorities.

From the physical point of view, the transport of these
people was effected under very difficult conditions. The
Lorrainers were allowed to take away only a very small part
of their personal belongings and a sum of 2,000 francs, plus
1,000 francs for the children. On 18th November, four trains
filled with Lorrainers who had been torn away from their
homes were headed for Lyons. The arrival in unoccupied
France of these people who had been so sorely tried was for
them nevertheless, an opportunity for nobly manifesting
their patriotic sentiments. With regard to the facts which I
have presented I submit to the Tribunal Exhibit RF 751,
which is a note of protest on the part of the French
delegation signed by General Doyen, dated 18th November
1940. I shall read excerpts of this Document RF 751,
beginning with paragraph 3 of Page 1.

   "France is faced with an act of force which is in formal
   contradiction to the armistice convention as well as the
   assurances, recently given, of a desire for
   collaboration between the two countries. On the
   contrary, in Article 16, which the German commission had
   frequently invoked, with specific regard to the
   departments of the East, the armistice convention
   stipulates the reinstallation of refugees in the regions
   in which they were domiciled. The creation of new
   refugees constitutes, therefore, a violation of the
   armistice convention. France is faced with an unjust act
   affecting peaceful populations against whom the Reich
   has no grievance, and who, settled for centuries on
   these territories, have made of them a particularly
   prosperous region.
   
   The unexpected decision of the German authorities is
   likewise an inhuman act. In the very middle of winter,
   without warning, families have to leave their homes,
   taking with them only a strict minimum of personal
   property and a sum of money absolutely insufficient to
   enable them to live for even a few weeks. Thousands of
   Frenchmen were thus suddenly hurled into misery without
   their country, already so heavily tried, and surprised
   by the suddenness and amplitude of the measures adopted
   without its knowledge, being in a position to assure
   them, from one day to the next, a normal livelihood.
   This exodus and the conditions under which it is taking
   place causes most painful and sorrowful impressions
   throughout the French nation. The French people are
   particularly disturbed by the explanations given to the
   Lorrainers, according to which the French Government was
   reputed to be the source of their misfortune.
   
   It is that impression in fact, which the poster in
   certain villages, where the populations had to choose
   between leaving for eastern Germany or for unoccupied
   France, was intended to convey.
   
   The poster is appended hereto, but we are not in
   possession of it's text.
   
   That also encouraged the belief that these populations
   had themselves requested permission to leave, following
   the appeal broadcast by the Bordeaux radio. Even if we
   admit that such appeals had been made by radio it should
   be noted that the Bordeaux radio station is under German
   control. The good faith of the Lorrainers has been
   deceived as was shown by their reaction on arrival in
   the free zone."

In spite of these protests, the expulsions continued. They
reached a total of about 70,000 people, augmented by the
deportation of Alsatians and Lorrainers to Eastern Germany
and to Poland. These deportations were meant to create
terror; and they particularly affected the families of men
who had rightfully decided to refuse the German demand for
forced labour and military service. I am presenting,
regarding the whole question, a French protest dated 3
September 1942; it is Exhibit RF 752.

Since I do not wish to read to the Tribunal texts dealing
with an identical

                                                  [Page 372]

subject I submit this document solely to show that this
protest was made, and I believe that I can refrain from
reading its content.

I shall refer, desiring to give only a short citation, to a
document belonging to the American prosecution. This
document bears the number R-114. It is a memorandum of the
minutes of a meeting which took place between several
officials of the SS concerning general directions in regard
to the treatment of deported Alsatians.

It will be observed that this document has already been
submitted by my American colleagues as Exhibit USA 314, the
French Exhibit No. is RF 753. I merely wish to read one
paragraph of that document, which may be interpreted as a
supplement to this problem of deportation. I must say that
these sentences have not been formally read in Court. The
passage that I cite is on Page 2 of the document. At the end
of that page there is a paragraph which begins with the
letter "D":

   "The following persons, members of patois-speaking
   communities, are to be listed for future deportation -
   The Gauleiter wishes to keep in these zones only the
   people who adhere to Germanism in their customs, their
   language and their general attitude, according to the
   cases provided for in paragraphs A to D above,
   mentioned. It should be noted that we shall first
   examine the problem of race and that we shall do so in
   such a manner that people of racial value will be
   deported to Germany proper, and people of inferior
   racial value will be deported to France."

Finally, I should like to read to the Tribunal a few
sentences from a newspaper article, which appeared in
"Dernieres Nouvelles de Strasbourg," August 31 1942 - We are
here dealing with a citation and not a document.

   "On the 28th of August the families designated
   hereafter, of the Arrondissements of Mulhouse and
   Guebwiller, were deported to the Reich in order that
   they might recover a trustworthy German ' outlook in
   National Socialist surroundings. In several cases the
   persons involved did not conceal their hostility, in
   that they stirred up sentiments of opposition, spoke
   French in public in a provocative manner, did not obey
   the ordinances concerning the education of youth, or, in
   other ways showed a lack of loyalty."

I would now like to indicate to the Tribunal that
deportation or transportation entails also the spoliation of
property. This is not merely a fact; for the Germans it is a
law. Indeed, there is an ordinance, of 28 January, 1943,
which appeared in the Official Bulletin for 1943, Page 40,
bearing the title, "Ordinance concerning the Safeguarding of
Property in Lorraine as a Result of Transplantation
Measures." I have placed this ordinance before you as
Exhibit RF 754. I would like to read Article One and the
first paragraph of Article Two. I believe that the title
itself is a sufficient indication of the contents.

   "Article One. The safeguarding of property of people
   transplanted from Lorraine to the Greater German Reich
   or to territory placed under the sovereign power of
   Germany has been entrusted to the Transfer Services for
   Lorraine under the
   Chief of the Administration.
   
   Article Two. These services are authorised to put in
   effective safekeeping the property of the Lothringians
   who have been transplanted, in order that such property
   may be administered, and - in so far as orders may have
   been given for this - exploited."

This ordinance, therefore, still manifests some scruples of
form. The intention is to "safeguard," but we now know what
the word " safeguard" means in Nazi terminology. We have
already seen what safeguarding meant in the case of works of
art and Jewish property. Even here, we have been

                                                  [Page 373]

specifically warned that the term "safeguard" carries with
it the right of disposal or exploitation.

Other texts are even more specific or clear.

Here is Exhibit RF 755. This is the ordinance of 6 November
1940, pertaining to the declaration of property in Lorraine
belonging to the enemies of the people and of the Reich. And
on the same subject I shall also submit to you Exhibit RF
756, which is the regulation of 13 July 1940, applying to
property in Alsace belonging to the enemies of the people
and of the Reich. These two texts, one of which applies to
Alsace and the other to Lorraine, permit the seizure and
confiscation of properties designated as "enemy property."
Now, to realise the extent of the property covered by this
term, I will read this exhibit: -

  "Any objects and rights of any nature whatsoever, without
  regard to conditions of title, which are used for, or
  intended for use in, activities hostile to the people of
  Germany or the Reich will be considered as property
  belonging to the German people and to the Reich.
  
  Such stipulation shall apply to the entire patrimony:-
  
  (a) of all political parties, as well as of secondary or
  complementary organisations depending thereon;
  
  (b) of lodges and similar associations
  
  (c) of Jews;
  
  (d) of Frenchmen who have acquired property in Alsace
  since 11 November 1918;
  
  The Chief of the Administration Department and the Police
  will decide what patrimony in addition to the property
  mentioned above is likewise to be considered as property
  belonging to the enemies of the German people and of the
  Reich. He will likewise decide on doubtful cases."

We see, therefore, that in spite of the title, we are not
dealing here with the measures of sequestration of enemy
property taken in all countries within the scope of the laws
of war. First of all, these are measures of definite
confiscation, and in addition, they are applied to the
property of numerous individuals who are in no wise subjects
of enemy countries. We also see at this point the absolutely
arbitrary power placed in the hands of the administration.

These texts are accompanied by many regulations; although
the spoliations are particularly important in Alsace and in
Lorraine, I shall not speak of them here in more detail, as
the prosecution has already dealt with the subject. I shall
merely limit myself to the mentioning of two institutions
special to Alsace and to Lorraine, - that is, agricultural
colonisation, and industrial colonisation.

In the first place, agricultural colonisation is not a term
that has been invented by the prosecution; it is an
expression which the Germans used. I submit in this
connection, Exhibit RF 757, which is the ordinance of 7
December 1940, "pertaining to the new regime of settlement
or colonisation in Lorraine." I shall read the beginning of
this Document No. 757.

   "Real estate which has been vacated in Lorraine as a
   result of deportations will serve principally for the
   reconstitution of a German peasant class and for the
   requirements of internal colonisation. In this
   connection, and specifically in order to set up the
   required programmes, I order, by virtue of the powers
   which have been conferred upon me by the Fuehrer the
   following:
   
   Article One. Real estate property of individuals
   deported from Lorraine shall be seized and confiscated
   for the benefit of the Chief of the Civil
   Administration."

I will not cite the second paragraph of Article One, but I
will cite Article Two:

   "Agricultural properties or forest properties which are
   seized in con-
   
                                                  [Page 374]
   
   sequence of the ordinance concerning enemy property of
   the people and the Reich in Lorraine are confiscated. In
   so far as they are needed, they are included in the
   methodical organisation of the region."

Article Three:

   "In addition to the cases provided for in Articles One
   and Two, and according to the needs, other real estate
   property may be included in the programmes for
   methodical reorganisation if appropriate compensation is
   provided for.
   
   The Chief of the Civilian Administration and the
   Services designated by him will decide upon the amount
   and nature of the compensation. Any recourse to the law
   on the part of the person involved is forbidden."

Thus the Tribunal can see in a striking manner the processes
and the methods pursued by the German authorities.

The first ordinance, cited earlier, spoke only of
safeguarding the property of people who had been deported or
displaced. A second ordinance now speaks of confiscations.
It still refers only to the notion of enemies of the people
and of the Reich.

The third ordinance is more complete, since it comprises
confiscation prescriptions which are quite formal in their
character, and which are no longer qualified as
"safeguarding property which has become vacant as the result
of deportations.

This agricultural colonisation of which I have spoken
assumed a special importance in Lorraine. On the other hand,
it is in Alsace that we find the greatest number of measures
involving a veritable industrial colonisation. These
measures consisted in stripping the French industrial
enterprises for the benefit of German firms. On this subject
there are protests of the French delegation to the Armistice
Commission.

I submit three of these protests as Exhibits RF 758, 759 and
760, which are notes under date of - respectively - 27 April
1941, 9 May 1941 and 8 April 1943. I believe that it is
preferable for me not to read these to the Tribunal and that
I merely ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of them,
as proof of the existence of these protests, because I fear
that such a reading would be a mere repetition to the
Tribunal, to whom the matter of economic spoliation has
already been explained in sufficient detail.

I shall say, finally, that the Germans carried their
audacity to the point of demanding the seizure in unoccupied
France and the transportation to Alsace of assets belonging
to French companies which were by this means stripped of
their property and actually "colonised." I am speaking of
assets belonging to companies in the other zone of France,
under the control of the regular shareholders of such
companies.

I think it is worth while considering just one example of
such procedure, contained in a very short document, which I
submit to you as Exhibit RF 761. This document appears in
the Archives of the French Agencies of the Armistice
Commission, to which it had been sent by the director of the
company mentioned in the document. It is a paper which is
partly written in German and partly translated into French -
in the same document - and it is signed by the German
Commissioner for a French enterprise called the Societe
Alsacienne et Lorraine d'Electricite. In Alsace this
enterprise had been placed illegally under the
administration of this Commissioner; and the Commissioner -
as the document will show - had come to Paris to seize the
remainder of the Company's assets. He drafted this document,
which he signed, and which he also made the President of the
French company sign. This document is of interest as
revealing the insolence of German procedure and also the
German's odd conception of law. I quote now:

   "Today the undersigned has instructed me that in future
   I am strictly

                                                  [Page 375]

   forbidden to take legal action with regard to the
   property of the former Societe Alsacienne et Lorraine
   d'Electricite. If I should transgress this order in any
   way, I know that I shall be punished.
   
   Paris, 10 March 1941.
   Signed: Kucka.
   
   F. B. Kommissar.
   Signed: Garnier."

Now, this German economic colonisation in the areas annexed
was to serve as an experiment for the application of similar
methods on a broader scale.

There will be submitted to the Tribunal, in this connection,
a document concerning a colonisation attempt in the French
Department Ardennes. On this procedure of annexation by the
Germans of Alsace and of Lorraine, many other items could be
cited, and I could submit many more documents - even if I
were to deal only with the circumstances and the documents
which are useful from the point of view of our own
Prosecution.

I want to limit myself in order to save the time of the
Tribunal and to comply with the necessities of this trial
where so many items have to be discussed. Therefore I have
limited myself to the submission of documents, or to
examples, which are particularly characteristic. I believe
that this documentation will enable the Tribunal to appraise
the criminality of the German undertakings which I have
brought to its attention - criminality which is particularly
characteristic in the matter of military conscription, which
is a criminal offence, since it entails death. At the same
time I believe the Tribunal can evaluate the grave
sufferings that were imposed for five years on the populace
of these French provinces, already so sorely tried in the
course of history.

I have submitted a few details which may have seemed
ridiculous, or facetious, but I did so because I thought it
desirable that one should visualise the oppression exercised
by the German Administration in all circumstances of life,
even in private life, that general oppression characterised
by its attempt to destroy and annihilate, and extended in a
most complete manner over the departments and regions which
were annexed.

I believe that the Tribunal will possibly prefer me to leave
until tomorrow my comments with respect to the Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg.

I would like, moreover, to have the Tribunal's assent
concerning a question of testimony.

I should like to put a witness on the stand, but it is only
a little while ago that I gave the Tribunal a letter
concerning this request. May I ask to be excused for not
having done so earlier because there has been some
uncertainty on this point.

If the Tribunal finds it convenient, I should like to have
this witness here at tomorrow, Saturday morning's, session.
I state that this witness would be M. Koos Vorink, who is of
Dutch nationality. I also wish to say for the benefit of the
defence, that the question I would like to submit to the
witness will deal with certain items concerning
Germanisation in the Netherlands.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to call him tomorrow?

M. FAURE: If that is convenient to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, certainly, call him tomorrow.

M. FAURE: If it pleases the Tribunal, his testimony could be
taken after the recess tomorrow morning.

DR. STEINBAUER (Counsel for defendant Seyss-Inquart): Mr.
President, I do not wish to prolong the proceedings, but I
believe it will be to the interest of justice if I ask that
the Dutch witness be heard, not tomorrow, but Monday, on the
assumption that Seyss-Inquart who is now ill may be expected
back on that date.

                                                  [Page 376]

THE PRESIDENT: Monsieur Faure, would it be equally
convenient to you to call him on Monday?

M. FAURE: Mr. President, I do not desire to vex the defence,
but the witness might like to leave Nuremberg fairly
promptly. Perhaps I might suggest that he be heard tomorrow
and that after he has been heard, if counsel for the
defendant Seyss-Inquart expresses his desire to cross-
examine him, the witness could remain until Monday's
session.

If, on the other hand, after having heard the questions
involved the counsel considers that there is no need for any
cross-examination, then Seyss-Inquart's absence would not
matter. But I will naturally accept the decision of the
Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: That seems a very reasonable suggestion.

DR. STEINBAUER: I am agreeable to the suggestion of the
French prosecutor.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 1000 hours on 2nd February,
1946.)


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