The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 196]
                                                            
                 VI. CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
                              
All the defendants prepared, organised, and perpetrated
indescribable and blasphemous crimes, such as have never
before been committed in history, against humanity and
against the principles of human ethics and of International
Law.

In the statement of the offense in Count 4 of the
Indictment, it is rightly pointed out that the very Plan or
Conspiracy was organised also for committing Crimes against
Humanity.

The Fascist conspirators started committing Crimes against
Humanity from the moment of the formation of the Hitler
Party. These crimes attained vast proportions after the
coming into power of the Hitlerites.

The concentration camp of Buchenwald, set up in 1933, and
the camp at Dachau, established in 1934, turned out to be
only the anaemic prototypes of Maidanek, Auschwitz, Slavuta
and numerous death camps, set up by the Hitlerites in the
territories of Latcia. Byelorussia, and the Ukraine.

The very coming into power of the Hitlerites was marked by
many provocations which served as an excuse for committing
grave Crimes against Humanity.

Inflicting vengeful punishments without due process of law
by the Hitlerites upon all who did not share the "ideology"
of the Fascist clique became widespread.

     "We deny the protection of law to the enemies of the
     people. We National Socialists knowingly take a stand
     against false soft-heartedness and false humaneness. We
     do not recognize the sophistry of tricky lawyers and
     cunning juridical subtleties,"
     
wrote Goering, as early as 1934, in an article published
overseas in the Hearst press. (Hermann Goering, "Reden und
Aufsaetze," Zentralverlag der N.S.D.A.P., Muenchen, 1940,
Page 159.)

In one of the articles, dated 1933, Goering regarded it as
his special merit that he had reorganised the entire
management of the Gestapo, having placed the Secret Police
under his immediate control and organised concentration
camps to be used in fighting political opponents.
     
     "Thus," spoke Goering, "arose the concentration camps
     in which we soon had to stick thousands of people
     belonging to the Communist and Social-Democratic Party
     machines."

At the disposal of the Soviet prosecution are the notes of
Martin Bormann, found in the archives of the German Foreign
Office and captured by the Soviet troops in Berlin, on the
conference held by Hitler on 2nd October, 1940. This
document refers to occupied Poland. It will be submitted to
the Tribunal. At the moment I shall only quote from it a few
points of the Hitlerite leadership programme. The conference
started with the statement by Frank that his activities as
Governor General could be considered very successful: The
Jews in Warsaw and other cities were locked up in ghettos.

     "Very soon Krakow would be entirely cleared of Jews.
     There must be no Polish landlords," the document went
     on to state, "wherever they may be, they must be
     exterminated, no matter how brutal this may sound.
     
                                                  [Page 197]
                                                            
     All representatives of the Polish intelligentsia must
     be exterminated. This sounds brutal, but such is the
     law of life. Priests will be paid by us and, as a
     result, they will preach what we want. If we find a
     priest acting otherwise short work is to be made of
     him. The task of the priest consists in keeping the
     Poles quiet, stupid, and dull-witted. This is entirely
     in our interests. The lowest German workman and the
     lowest German peasant must always stand above any Pole
     economically."
     
A special place among the unheard of crimes of the
Hitlerites is occupied by the bloody butchery of the Slavic
and Jewish peoples. Hitler said to Rauschning:

     "After all these centuries of whining about the
     protection of the poor and the lowly, it is about time
     we decided to protect the strong against the inferior.
     It will be one of the chief tasks of German
     statesmanship for all times to prevent, by every means
     in our power, the further increase of the Slav races.
     Natural instincts bid all living beings not merely to
     conquer their enemies but to destroy them. In former
     days it was the victor's prerogative to destroy entire
     tribes, entire peoples." (H. Rauschning, "The Voice of
     Destruction," New York, 1940, Page 138.)
     
If your Honours please, you have already heard the testimony
of the witness, Eric Von dem Bach-Zelewski, about Himmler's
aims, as given by him in his speech at the beginning of
1941.

In answer to a question by a representative of the Soviet
prosecution, the witness declared: "In Himmler's speech it
was mentioned that it was necessary to cut down the number
of Slavs by 30,000,000."

You see by this what monstrous proportions the criminal
ideas of the Hitlerite fanatics attained.

The Hitlerites vented their ferocity particularly on the
Soviet intelligentsia.

Even before the attack on the U.S.S.R., directives were
prepared regarding the merciless annihilation of Soviet
people for political and racial reasons.

In Appendix 2 to Operational Order No. 8 of the Chief of the
Security Police and S.D., dated 17th June, 1941, it was
stated:

     "It is above all essential to ascertain the identity of
     all prominent Government and Party officials,
     particularly professional revolutionaries, persons
     working for the Comintern, all influential members of
     the Communist Party of the U.S.S.R. and the affiliated
     organisations in the Central Committee and the district
     and regional committees, all people's commissars and
     their deputies, all former political commissars in the
     Red Army, leading personalities of the State
     institutions of the central and middle administrative
     levels, leading personalities in economic life, the
     Soviet Russian intelligentsia and all Jews."
     
In a directive of 17th June, 1941, for Security Police and
S.D. detachments, it is pointed out that it is necessary to
take such measures, not only against the Russian people, but
also against the Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Azerbaidjanians,
Armenians, Georgians, Turks and other nationalities.

The Soviet prosecution will present to the Tribunal actual
documents and facts in this connection. The Fascist
conspirators planned the extermination to the last man of
the Jewish population of the world, and carried out this
extermination throughout the whole of their conspiratorial
activity from 1933 onwards.

My American colleague has already quoted Hitler's statement
of 24th February, 1942, that "the Jews will be annihilated."
In a speech by the defendant Frank, published in the Krakow
Gazette on 18th August, 1942, it is stated:

                                                  [Page 198]
                                                            
     "Anyone who passes through Crakow, Lvov, Warsaw, Radom
     or Lublin to-day must in all fairness admit that the
     efforts of the German administration have been crowned
     with real success, as one now sees hardly any Jews."
     
The bestial annihilation of the Jewish population took place
in the Ukraine, in Byelorussia, and in the Baltic States.

Some 80,000 Jews lived in the town of Riga before the German
occupation.

At the moment of the liberation of Riga by the Red Army
there were 140 Jews left there.

It is impossible to enumerate in an opening statement the
crimes committed by the defendants against humanity.

The Soviet prosecution has at its disposal considerable
documentary material which will be presented to the
Tribunal.

If your Honours please, I appear here as the representative
of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, which bore
the main brunt of the blows of the Fascist invaders and
which vastly contributed to the smashing of Hitlerite
Germany and its satellites.

On behalf of the Soviet Union, I charge the defendants on
all the counts enumerated in Article 6 of the Charter of the
International Military Tribunal.

Together with the Chief prosecutors of the United States of
America, Great Britain, and France, I charge the defendants
with having prepared and carried out a perfidious attack on
the peoples of my country and on all freedom-loving nations.

I accuse them of the fact that, having initiated a world
war, they, in violation of the fundamental rules of
International Law and of the treaties to which they were
signatories, turned war into an instrument of extermination
of peaceful citizens an instrument of plunder, violence and
pillage.

I accuse the defendants of the fact that, having proclaimed
themselves to be the representatives of the "Master Race," a
thing which they have invented, they set up, wherever their
domination spread, an arbitrary regime of tyranny; a regime
founded on the disregard for the elementary principles of
humanity.

Now, when as a result of the heroic struggle of the Red Army
and of the Allied forces, Hitlerite Germany is broken and
overwhelmed, we have no right to forget the victims who have
suffered. We have no right to leave unpunished those who
organised and were guilty of monstrous crimes.

In the name of the sacred memory of millions of innocent
victims of the Fascist terror, for the sake of the
consolidation of peace throughout the world, for the sake of
the future security of nations, we are presenting the
defendants with a just and complete account which must be
settled. This is an account on behalf of all mankind, an
account backed by the will and the conscience of all freedom
loving nations.

May justice be done!

THE PRESIDENT: We shall now adjourn. General Rudenko your
delegation will be prepared to go on after the adjournment,
will it not?

GENERAL RUDENKO: Yes. I would also prefer that there should
now be an adjournment now.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you mean an adjournment altogether for the
day or what the Tribunal proposed; to adjourn now for 10 or
15 minutes, then continue until 5 o'clock. Would that not be
convenient to you?

GENERAL RUDENKO: All right: Yes, sir.

                    (A recess was taken.)


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