The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Your Honours, I will not take up your time, by reading the
whole text of the "Green File." I shall limit myself to
enumerating its remaining sections, which bear the following
titles (Page 77 in the document book):

   "Execution of individual economic tasks.
   Economic transport.
   Problems of military protection of economy.
   Procuring of supplies for the troops from the resources
   of the country.
   Utilisation of manpower, particularly of the local
   War booty, paid labour, captured material, prize courts.
   Economic objectives of war industries. Raw materials and
   utilisation of goods available.
   Finance and credit.
   Foreign trade and clearings.
   Price control."

Thus the plunder of all branches of the USSR's national
economy was foreseen.

To conclude, I will read into the record Keitel's order,
dated 16th June, 1941, six days before the attack on the
USSR, in which he instructed all military units of the
German Army to be ready to execute all the directives of the
"Green File".

I will now read this order (you will find it, your Honours,
on Page 89 of the document book):

   "By the Fuehrer's order, the Reichsmarschall has issued
   'Directives for the Economic Administration of the
   territories to be occupied'.
   These directives ("Green File") were intended for the
   guidance of the military command and economic
   authorities in the economic task within the Eastern
   territories to be occupied. They contain directives for
   meeting army requirements from the resources of the
   country and orders to army units to assist the economic
   Army units must comply with these directives and orders.
   The immediate and thorough exploitation of the occupied
   territories in the interest of Germany's war economy,
   especially in the fields of fuel and food supply, is of
   the highest importance for the further conduct of the

I omit the second part of this order, which contains
instructions as to how the directives of the "Green File"
should be executed, and I read only the last paragraph of
Keitel's order:

   "The exploitation of the country must be carried out on
   a wide scale, with the help of field and local
   headquarters, in the most important agricultural and oil
   producing districts.

                                                  [Page 155]
The concluding provision of this document, which says that
"the exploitation of the country must be carried out on a
wide scale", was strictly observed by units of the German
Army, and the occupied regions of the USSR from the very
first day of the war were subjected to the most merciless

In confirmation of this, I shall later present to the
Tribunal a series of original German documents, orders,
directives, instructions, decrees, and so forth, issued by
German military authorities.

Meanwhile, to finish with the "Green File", I may state in
conclusion that this striking document is definite evidence
of the remarkable qualifications for plunder and the vast
experience in brigandage of the Hitlerite conspirators.

   "The execution of the programme of pillage and

The programme for plundering the occupied territories of the
Soviet Union, conceived on a wide scale and elaborated in
detail by the conspirators, was put into practice by the
Hitlerite aggressors from the very first days of their
attack on the USSR.

Apart from the organised plunder carried out by the vast
machine specially formed for this
purpose, consisting of all kinds of "agricultural leaders",
"inspectors", "specialists in economics", "technical and
intelligence battalions and companies", "economic groups and
detachments", "military agronomists", and so forth, the so-
called "material interest" of the German soldiers and
officers, who had unlimited possibilities of robbing the
civilian population and sending their booty to Germany, was
widely encouraged by the Hitlerite Government and the
Supreme Command of the German Army.

The universal plundering of the population of the towns and
villages of the occupied territories of the USSR and the
mass removal to Germany of the personal property of Soviet
citizens, of the property taken from collective farms and co-
operative unions and of the property of the State itself,
was carried out according to a prearranged plan wherever the
German fascist aggressors appeared.

I turn, your Honours, to the presentation of individual
Soviet Government documents on this question.

Notes of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs: A few
months after Hitlerite Germany's treacherous attack on the
USSR, the Soviet Government had already received irrefutable
data about the war crimes committed by the Hitlerite armies
in the Soviet territories they occupied.

My colleagues have already presented to the Tribunal as
Exhibit USSR 51 a Note of the People's Commissar for Foreign
Affairs of the USSR, Molotov, dated 6 January, 1942.

In order to avoid repetition and to save time, I shall read
only a few excerpts from this Note, which have a direct
bearing on the subject of my presentation. You will find the
quoted extracts underlined on Page 99 of the document book:

   "Every step which the German fascist army and its allies
   took on the occupied Soviet territory of the Ukraine and
   Moldavia, Bielorussia and Lithuania, Latvia and
   Esthonia, the Karelo-Finnish territory and the Russian
   districts and regions, is marked by the ruin or
   destruction of countless objects or material and
   cultural value."

The last paragraph of this quotation

   "In the villages occupied by German authorities, the
   peaceful peasant population is subjected to unrestrained
   depredation and robbery. The farmers are robbed of their
   property, acquired through whole decades of persistent
   toil, robbed of their houses, cattle, grain, clothing -
   of everything, down to their children's last little
   garments and the last handful of grain. In many cases,
   the Germans drive the rural population, including old
                                                  [Page 156]
   women and children, out of their dwellings as soon as
   the village is occupied, and they are compelled to seek
   shelter in mud huts, dugouts, forests, or even under the
   open sky. In broad daylight the invaders strip the
   clothing and footwear from anyone they meet on the road,
   including children, savagely ill-treating those who try
   to protest against or offer any kind of resistance to
   such highway robbery.
   In the villages liberated by the Red Army in the Rostov
   and Voroshilovgrad Regions in the Ukraine, the peasants
   were plundered again and again by the invaders. As
   successive German Army units passed through these areas
   each of them renewed their searches, lootings, and
   executions for failure to deliver up provisions. The
   same thing took place in the Moscow, Kalinin, Tula,
   Orel, Leningrad, and other regions, from which the
   remnants of the German troops are now being driven by
   the Red Army."

In order to save time I shall not read the next paragraphs
of this Note, but will give an account of them to the
Tribunal in my own words. They contain a whole series of
concrete facts of the looting of the peaceful population in
different regions of the Soviet Union, and the names of the
victims as well as the list of such things and belongings as
were taken from these peaceful citizens. Further on, this
Note reads as follows:

   "The marauding proclivities of the German officers and
   soldiers have spread to all the Soviet areas they have
   seized. The German authorities have legalised marauding
   in their armies and encouraged looting and violence. The
   German Government sees in this practice the realisation
   of their bandit principle that every German combatant
   must have 'a personal interest in the war'. Thus, in a
   confidential Order of 17th July, 1941, addressed to all
   commanders of propaganda squads in the German Army, and
   discovered by Red Army units when the 68th German
   Infantry Division was routed, explicit instructions are
   given to 'foster in every officer and soldier of the
   German Army the feeling that he has a material interest
   in the war'. Similar orders inciting the army to mass
   looting and murder of the civil population are issued to
   the armies of the countries fighting on the German side.
   ... On the German-Soviet front, and especially in the
   vicinity of Moscow, more and more fascist officers and
   soldiers can be met dressed in pilfered clothes, their
   pockets crammed with stolen goods and their tanks
   stuffed with women's and children's wearing apparel torn
   from their victims' bodies. The German Army is becoming
   more and more an army of ravenous thieves and marauders,
   who are looting and sacking flourishing towns and
   villages of the Soviet Union, ravaging and destroying
   the property and belongings of the working population of
   our villages and towns, the fruit of its honest toil.
   These are facts testifying to the extreme moral
   depravity and degeneracy of Hitlerite army, whose
   looting, thievery and marauding have earned it the
   contempt and the curses of the entire Soviet nation."

Several months later, on 27 April, 1942, in connection with
the information which continued to come in regarding the
crimes committed by the German fascist armies, Molotov,
People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R.,
published for the second time a Note on the monstrous
crimes, atrocities and acts of violence of the German
Fascist invaders in occupied Soviet territories and on the
responsibility of the German Government and the High Command
for these crimes.

This second Note is also submitted to the Tribunal....

THE PRESIDENT: General, what do you mean by "published" ?

L. R. SHENIN: What I mean is that this Note was first sent
to all the Governments with which the USSR Government
maintained diplomatic relations. The text of the Note was
also published in the Soviet official Press.

                                                  [Page 157]

This document has already been presented by the Soviet
prosecution as Exhibit USSR 51.

I shall read a few brief excerpts from this document which
have a direct bearing on the subject of my presentation.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now, and you
can read it after the adjournment.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Court: I desire to announce
that the defendant Streicher will be absent on account of

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

(A recess was taken owing to a breakdown in the sound-
recording system.)

THE PRESIDENT: Owing to the delay, the Tribunal will sit
until half past five tonight without further adjournment.

Yes, Colonel.

L. R. SHENIN: I am reading into the record excerpts from the
Note of the People's Commissar dated 27 April, 1942, and in
order to save time I shall, with your permission, quote only
a few of the most important excerpts from this Note. They
are very short. In this Note, attention was drawn to the
fact that the documents captured by the Soviet authorities
and put at the disposal of the People's Commissar for
Foreign Affairs are evidence of the premeditated nature of
the plunder carried out by the Hitlerites.

I read the following excerpts; last paragraph on Page 44 of
my statement, Russian text:

   "The appendix to Special Order No. 43761/41 of the
   Operative Department of the German Army, states:
   'It is urgently necessary that articles of clothing be
   acquired by means of compulsory levies on the population
   of the occupied regions, enforced by every possible
   means. It is necessary above all to confiscate woollen
   and leather gloves, coats, vests and scarves, padded
   vests and trousers, leather and felt boots, and
   In several places liberated in the districts of Kursk
   and Orel, the following orders have been found:
   'Property such as scales, sacks, grain, salt, kerosene,
   benzine, lamps, pots and pans, oilcloth, window blinds,
   curtains, rugs, phonographs and records must be turned
   into the Commandant's office. Any one violating this
   order will be shot'.
   In the town of Iftra, in the Moscow region, the invaders
   'confiscated' decorations for Christmas trees and toys.
   In the Shakhovskaya railway station they organised the
   'delivery' by the inhabitants of children's underwear,
   wall clocks and samovars. In the districts still under
   the rule of the invaders, these searches are still going
   on, and the population, already reduced to the utmost
   poverty by the thefts which have been perpetrated
   continually since the first appearance of the German
   troops, is still being robbed".

I omit the rest of the quotation from M. Molotov's Note and
conclude with the last paragraph:-

   "The general character of the campaign of robbery
   planned by the Hitler government, and on which the
   German Command tried to base its plans for supplying its
   army and the districts in its rear, is indicated by the
   following facts: In 25 districts of the Tula Region
   alone the invaders robbed Soviet citizens of 14,048
   cows, 11,860 hogs, 28,459 sheep, 213,678 chickens, geese
   and ducks, and destroyed 25,465 beehives".

                                                  [Page 158]

I omit the remainder of this quotation which gives an
inventory of all property, cattle and fowls confiscated by
the invaders from 25 districts of the Tula Province.

Your Honours, the Notes which I have read mention only a few
of the innumerable crimes and cases of plunder committed by
the Hitlerites on Soviet soil.

With the permission of the Tribunal I shall now present
several German documents from which you will see how the
German commanders and officials themselves described their
soldiers' behaviour.

Later I shall read candid statements by the German fascist
leaders saying that German soldiers and officers must not be
hindered in their marauding activities. It is natural that
under these conditions the moral disintegration of the
German fascist armies should reach its culminating point.
Things reached such a point that the Hitlerites began to
plunder each other, thereby proving the truth of the well-
known Russian proverb, "A thief stole a cudgel from a

May I now quote from the document which I present to the
Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 285.

This is an extract from a report of the German District
Commissar of Zhitomir to the Commissar-General of Zhitomir,
dated 30 November, 1943. You will find the document to which
I refer on Page 93 in the document book.

   "... Even before the German administration left
   Zhitomir, troops stationed there were seen to break into
   the apartments of Reich Germans and to appropriate
   everything that had any value. Even the personal luggage
   of Germans still working in their offices was stolen.
   When the town was reoccupied it was established that the
   houses where the Germans lived had hardly been touched
   by the local population, but that the troops just
   entering the town had already started to loot the houses
   and business premises..."

I read the second excerpt from the same document:

   "The soldiers are not satisfied with taking the articles
   they can use, but they destroyed some of the remaining
   items; valuable furniture was used for fires; although
   there was plenty of wood ..."

Now I shall read into the record an excerpt from a report of
the German District Commissar of the town of Korostyshev to
the Commissar-General of Zhitomir. The members of the
Tribunal will find this excerpt on Page 94 of the document

   " ...Unfortunately the German soldiers behaved badly.
   Unlike the Russians they broke into the storehouses even
   when the front line was still far away. Enormous
   quantities of grain were stolen, including large
   quantities of seed. That might have been tolerated in
   the case of combat units. . . .Upon the return of our
   troops to Popelnaya, the storehouses were again broken
   into immediately. The 'Gebiets-und Kreislandwirt' nailed
   up the doors again, but the soldiers broke in once

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