The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Is it true that, for instance, even during the last
years before the war, I think even in the winter of
1937-1938, and again 1938-1939, you received large
delegations of English youth in skiing camps of the
Hitler Youth, and that also during those years
considerable delegations of Hitler Youth leaders and
Hitler Youth members were sent to England so that these
people could get to know and understand each other?

A. Yes, that is correct. There were innumerable
encampments of foreign youth in Germany, and very many
camps of German youth abroad, and I myself often
visited such camps or received delegations from them.

Here is something else I want to say. As late as 1942,
1 made an attempt to co-operate with the youth of
France. At that time the difficulty lay in Mussolini's
attitude. I went to Rome, and through Count Ciano's
intervention had a long conversation with Mussolini and
succeeded in having him withdraw his objections to our
youth inviting all French groups to come to Germany.

Unfortunately, when I reported this result to our
Foreign Minister, Hitler turned it down. At any rate,
that is what Herr von Ribbentrop said.

Q. From an article in the paper Das Archiv of 1938 I
gather, for instance, that during that year you
invited, among others, 1,000 children of French
servicemen to come into the Hitler Youth camps in
Germany and into the German-French youth skiing camps.
Is that correct?

A. Yes, I have already told you that.

Q. Another article shows me that, for instance, I
believe in 1939, you had a special memorial erected, I
think in the Black Forest, when some members of an
English youth delegation were accidentally killed
during the sports there.

A. Yes.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, the defendant had mentioned
earlier that near Berlin he erected a special house for
these purposes under the name, "The Foreign House of
the Hitler Youth." May I present to the Tribunal, in
the original, a picture of this "Foreign House" as
Document No. 120, and may I ask the Tribunal to look at
this picture, because in that picture it is -

THE PRESIDENT: We are quite prepared to take it from
you without looking at the house. The particular style
of architecture will not affect us.

DR. SAUTER: Yes, but if you will look at the picture,
then you will know how the house was furnished, and you
will see that in the house, for instance, there was not
a single swastika, not a single picture of Hitler, or
any such things. That, again, shows consideration for
the views of the foreign guests.

In this connection, Mr. President, may I also ask you
to take judicial notice of a number of documents, all
of which refer to the efforts of the defendant von
Schirach to bring about an understanding between German
youth and the youth of other nations. These are the
documents in Schirach's Document Book which have the
numbers 99 up to and including 107, then Documents 108
to 113, and also Documents 114 up to and including
116-A, and then Documents 117, 119 and 120. All these
documents refer to the same subject.

                                             [Page 341]

Q. Witness, when you invited such delegations from
foreign youth organizations to Germany, was anything
concerning German institutions and organizations,
particularly with reference to the Hitler Youth, ever
kept secret from these delegations?

A. No, as a matter of principle, foreign youth leaders
who wished to get to know our institutions were shown
everything without any reservations whatever. There
was, in fact, no institution of German youth in the
past which was not shown to our foreign guests. Also
the so-called pre-military education was demonstrated
to them in every detail.

Q. And then in 1939 the second World War broke out.
During the last months before that happened, did you
seriously expect a war?

A. I was firmly convinced that Hitler would not allow a
war to break out. It was my opinion that he was in no
way deceived about the fact that the Western Powers
were determined in their attitude. Until the day when
war broke out, I firmly believed that the war could be

Q. Did you discuss with military leaders or political
personalities at that time the danger of war and the
possibilities of maintaining the peace?

A. No; in fact, I want to say something here and now
about my discussions with military personalities.

I have already stated that over a period of 12 years -
that is from 1933 to 1944 or 1945 - I had perhaps one
or possibly two half-hour conversations with
Field-Marshal Keitel. I remember that one of them dealt
entirely with a personal matter.

During the same period I had, I think, only one single
discussion with Admiral Raeder, and Admiral Donitz I
only met here in Nuremberg.

I never had any official discussions with General Jodl
at all, and I talked to the late Field-Marshal von
Blomberg, if I remember rightly, possibly twice for
half an hour. I had no official discussions at all with
the former Supreme Commander of the Army, von Fritsche.
I was his guest on only one occasion when he was
running skiing competitions for the Army - and kindly
invited me because he knew that I was interested in

With his successor, von Brauchitsch, I had a general
chat on questions of education when I talked before the
youth of Konigsberg in 1933. Later, I believe, I
visited him once on official business, and we discussed
a question which was of no particular importance for
the education of youth. It was some technical matter.

Those are the discussions with military personalities
which I have had.

In fact, altogether I must say that I did not have time
for conferences. I led an organization comprising eight
million members and my duties in that organization were
such that I could not possibly have time to participate
in conferences and discussions in Berlin regarding the
situation, even if I had been admitted to them, which
was not the case.

Q. Witness, since 1932 you have been a Reichsleiter.
That means that you belonged to the highest level of
leaders in the Party. Were you not, in that capacity as
Reichsleiter, informed by Hitler, his deputy or other
political personalities about the political situation?

A. I think that Hitler invited the Reichleiter and
Gauleiter, on an average, twice a year to a conference,
during which he retrospectively discussed political
events. Never at any time did Hitler discuss before
these men operations of the future, of either a
political or military nature.

Q. Then, if I understand your answer correctly, you
were always surprised by these foreign developments.

A. Yes.

Q. Does the same apply to the question of the Austrian

                                             [Page 342]

A. Yes. I heard of the Anschluss of Austria, which of
course I hailed enthusiastically, during, if I remember
rightly, a trip by car from my academy at Braunschweig
to Berlin, through the radio. I continued my journey to
Berlin, boarded a train at once, and arrived the
following morning in Vienna. There I greeted the youth
and the youth leaders, some of whom had been in prisons
or in a concentration camp at Wollersdorf for a long
time, and also many woman youth leaders, who had also
experienced great hardships.

Q. And what about the march into Czechoslovakia?

A. Like every other German citizen, I heard of that
through the radio, and did not learn any more than any
other citizen learned from the radio.

Q. Were you, in any capacity, a participant in the
negotiations regarding the Munich Pact with Chamberlain
and Daladier in 1938?

A. No.

Q. And what was your opinion?

A. I regarded that agreement as the basis for peace,
and it was my firm conviction that Hitler would keep
that agreement.

Q. Did you know anything about the negotiations with
Poland in 1939?

A. No, I did not hear about the negotiations which led
to the war, until I was here in this courtroom. I was
only acquainted with that version of those negotiations
which was officially announced through the radio or by
the Ministry of Propaganda, and I knew no more,
therefore, than what every other German citizen knew.
The version which Hitler announced before the Reichstag
was considered by me to be absolutely true; and I never
doubted it, or at least I did not doubt it until about
1943, and all I have heard here about it is new to me.

Q. Witness, the prosecution, among other things, have
made the accusation against you that in your book,
Hitler Youth, Idea and Form - which, Mr. President, is
No. L-360 - you used the expression "Lebensraum,"
living-space, and "Ostraum," Eastern space, and that by
doing so you welcomed or considered as a necessity
German conquests in the East, that is, at the expense
of Soviet Russia and Poland.

What do you have to say about that?

A. In this book of mine, Hitler Youth, Idea and Form,
the word "Lebensraum," living-space, is not used at all
to my knowledge. Only the word "Ostraum" (Eastern
space) is used, and I think it is in connection with a
Press service in the East. In a footnote, in connection
with a description of the tasks of the Colonial
Advisory Board in the Reich Youth Leadership, there is
a statement to the effect that, as a result of the
activities of this Colonial Advisory Board the
necessity of drawing the attention of youth to the
exploitation of the Eastern territories, and by that is
meant the thinly populated Eastern area of Germany,
should not be overlooked.

That was a time when we, in the youth organizations,
were particularly concerned with the problem of "flight
from the land," that is to say, the migration of the
second or third sons of farmers to the cities. I formed
a special movement of youth to counter that trend, the
Rural Service, which had the task of stopping this flow
of youth from the country to the towns, and also of
bringing home to youth in towns the challenge of the

Of course I never thought of an occupation of Russian
territory because, ever since I occupied myself with
history, it was always my point of view politically
that the policy regarding mutual security with Russia,
which broke off with Bismarck's dismissal, should be
resumed. The attack against the Soviet Union was
considered by me to be the suicide of the German

Q. Witness, did you, as the Youth Leader of the German
Reich, have the right to report to Hitler directly?

A. Yes, that is true; but this right to make reports
was more or less only on paper. To picture that
precisely, before the seizure of power I frequently
reported to Hitler in person. In 1932 he quite often
announced his intention to dine with me, but it is
clear that in the presence of my wife and other guests

                                             [Page 343]

political questions were not discussed, particularly
not the questions which came under my special sphere.
Only now and then, perhaps, could I touch upon a
subject which interested me in connection with

In 1933, as far as I can remember, I reported twice to
him personally, once regarding the financing of the
youth movement, and the second time in connection with
the Party rally of 1933. During the following years my
reports averaged one or two a year. Of the fifteen odd
points on which I proposed to report to him, I managed
to deal with three or four, and the others had to be
dropped because he interrupted me and very explicitly
elaborated on the things which interested him most.

I then tried to counter that by taking along models of
youth buildings, views of the big stadiums and of youth
hostels, which I had set up in a hall in the Reich
Chancellery, and when he looked at them I used the
opportunity to put two or three questions to him.

Here is something I must tell you because I think I owe
it to German youth. Hitler took very little interest in
educational questions. As far as education was
concerned, I received next to no suggestions from him.
The only time when he did produce a real suggestion as
far as athletic training was concerned was in 1935, I
believe, when he told me that I should see to it that
boxing should become more widespread among youth. I did
so, but he never attended a youth boxing match. My
friend von Tschammer und Osten, the Reich sports
leader, and I tried very often to make him go to other
sporting events, particularly to skiing contests and
ice hockey championships in Garmisch, but apart from
the Olympic games, it was impossible to get him to

Q. You have told us a little earlier about this
so-called military or pre-military education, stating
that, it played only a minor part in the training of
Hitler Youth.

May I ask you to tell us, briefly what were the chief
aims of your youth education programme. Be very brief.

A. Tent encampments.

Q. Tent encampments?

A. Journeys, construction of youth hostels and youth

Q. What do you mean by "journeys"?

A. Youth hikes, individually and in groups; also the
construction of more and more youth hostels. In one
year alone, more than 1,000 homes and youth hostels
were built by me in Germany. Then there was additional
professional training, and then what I called the
"Labour Olympics," namely the annual Reich trade
contests, voluntary competition between all youth of
both sexes who wanted to participate. In fact, millions
participated. Then our great Reich sports contests,
championships in every type of sport, our cultural
work, and the construction of our singing groups, our
acting groups, youth concert choirs, and the
development of our youth libraries, and then something
which I mentioned in connection with countering the
migration from the country, the Rural Service, with its
rural helper groups, those youths who, for idealistic
reasons, were working in the country, even town boys -
to show the country boys that the country was really
more beautiful than the city, that a city boy, too,
gives up his life in the city temporarily to devote
himself to the land and to tilling the soil. Then, as a
great communal accomplishment I must mention the dental
improvement and the regular medical examinations.

These, in a few words, were the main tasks which our
youth organizations had, but they are by no means all.

DR. SAUTER: Mr. President, these ideas, these thoughts,
and these aims of the defendant von Schirach are
contained in a number of documents which are found in
the Schirach Document Book, and which are extracts from
his works, speeches and orders. I am referring to
Schirach Document Book, Nos. 32 to 39, 44 to 50, 66 to
74-A, 76 to 79, and finally, 80 to 83.

                                             [Page 344]

All these documents deal with the tasks which the
defendant Schirach has just described to you, and I am
asking the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the
details in those documents.

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