The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. Well, now, that is the defendant Hess. Now just look at Himmler's
order of 10th August, 1943.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, your Lordship will find it on Page 89
and it is 116 or 117 of your document book.

Q. That is sent on 10th August, 1943. It is sent at Himmler's request by
one Brandt, an SS Obersturmbannfuehrer, and you will see that again --
look at the orders for distribution:

     "At the request of the Reichsfuehrer SS I am sending you the
     enclosed order, with the request that the Chief of the Regular
     Police and of the Security Police be informed; they are to make
     this instruction known to their sub-ordinate offices verbally. In
     addition, the Reichsfuehrer SS requests that the Gauleiter
     concerned be informed verbally of this order. It is not the task of
     the police to interfere in clashes between Germans and English and
     American terror flyers who have bailed out."

Why, again -- why were Gauleiter to be informed verbally if it was not
that they were to connive at the murder of the airmen?

A. The intention by this order in its details is not clear to me. I too
received the order through the Higher SS and Police Chief and I issued
directions both to the Party, that is to say, to the Kreisleiter, with
the request to have them transmitted to their subordinates, and to the
head of the police, that, under all circumstances, the flyers should not
be maltreated, but only seized and handed over.

Q. But that was not what the order said, you know, if you passed it on.
The order said that the police were not to interfere in clashes between
Germans and the flyers. In other words, they were to stand aside and let
the flyers be lynched. If you passed that on, that meant that the
leadership corps were going to assist and encourage no interference with
lynching of Allied airmen. That is what it comes to, is it not? Well,
now, I just want to remind you, that was not the end.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, if your Lordship turns to Pages 39 and
40 -- that is 41, witness, in your document book. That is on 30th May,

THE PRESIDENT: Did not the witness say then that, according to his
understanding, these terror flyers were to be seized and turned over?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord. That is quite different from the

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but to whom were they to be turned over?


Q. Witness, to whom did you understand Were the terror flyers to be
handed over according to your orders?

A. The political leaders, if they participated in the arrest, were to
turn the captured flyers over to the police, and the police were to turn
them over to the Luftwaffe authorities concerned.

Q. Your orders were that the political leaders who participated were to
hand them over to the police. Was that the Ordnungspolizei or the

A. To the Ordnungspolizei.

Q. Well, now the next order is one of Bormann's on 30th May, 1944, and
you will find it on Page 41.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: It is Page 39 of your Lordship's.

                                                               [Page 96]

Q. You will see the first paragraph says:

     "In the last few weeks low-flying English and American airmen
     repeatedly from a low altitude machine-gunned children playing in
     squares, women and children at work in the fields, peasants
     ploughing, vehicles on the highways, trains, etc., and have thus
     murdered defenceless civilians -- particularly women and children -
     - in the vilest manner. Several instances have occurred where
     members of the crews of such aircraft who have bailed out or have
     made forced landings were lynched on the spot immediately after
     capture by the populace, who were incensed to the highest degree.
     No police measures or criminal proceedings were invoked against the
     German civilians who participated in these incidents."

And you will see that that goes to Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, and
Kreisleiter, and you will see that on the next page:

     "The leader of the Party Chancellery " -- that is Bormann -- "
     requests that the local group leaders (Ortsgruppenleiter) be
     instructed concerning the content of this circular letter orally

A. That order of Bormann is well known to me. I had it stopped by the
Gau Staff Chief, and beyond that, for safety reasons and in view of this
letter, I repeated the order which, as I have already mentioned here, I
issued to the Party and to the police or rather to the Chief of Police,
although in Hamburg too casualties had been caused in the ways listed in
this document.

Q. But you do not dispute, do you, witness, that the purpose of that
order was to clicourage everyone down to Ortsgruppenleiter not to
interfere with the lynching of airmen?

A. No, that is quite evident from the wording --

Q. I am not going to argue about a written document.

I prefer to show you how it was interpreted in another Gau. Would you
turn to Page 27 --

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: if your Lordship will be good enough to turn to
Page 25 you will find the Document L-154, Exhibit USA 335.


Q. That is the Gauleiter Service, 25th February, 1945, for Southern
Westphalia: The Gauleiter and National Defence Commissioner of the Gau
Westfalen-South signed by one Hoffinann, and there is a distribution to
County Councillors, Kreisleiter, and Staff Chiefs of the Volkssturm. It

     "Fighter-bomber pilots who are shot down are on principle not to be
     protected against the indignation of the people. I expect from all
     police offices that they will refuse to lend their protection to
     these gangster types. Authorities acting in contradiction to the
     popular sentiment will be taken to account by me. All police and
     gendarmerie officials are to be informed immediately of this my
     attitude." Signed, Albert HolTmann.

It is quite clear that in some Gaue it was interpreted as a direct order
to hold off and not interfere in any way if these airmen were being

However, you say that in the Gau Hamburg you gave orders that they were
to be handed over to the police.

A. The document shows that the order was interpreted in that way in
several Gaue -- and I have to admit that in view of the experiences of
the last months. But I am convinced that in some Gaue the order was
handled in the same manner as in mine.

Q. Witness, there is one point there I would like you'to explain to the
Tribunal, though it is not strictly on the leadership corps. Why would
an SA Obersturmbannfuehrer initial that document in 25th February, 1945;
why would he be initialing it?

A. I did not understand the question.

                                                               [Page 97]

Q. If you look at your Page 27, you will see that it is initialed by
Buckemueller, SA Obersturmbannfuehrer and County Staff Chief of the
Volkssturm; why would he be initialing it?

A. That I do not know.

Q. I will not trouble you. Now, I want to the the next subject and
again, I hope, deal very shortly with what Dr. Servatius mentioned --
the Churches. Do you agree that it was the general policy of the Nazi
Party to do everything in its power to weaken the influence of the
Christian Churches?

A. No.

Q. Well, now, would you look at Page 1 of that last book? It is Page 7of
your book and Page 1 of the English book. That is dated 12th December,
1941, and it deals with a secret decree of the Reichsleiter Bormann
regarding the relationship of National Socialism to Christendom. If you
would look at the first paragraph, that deals with the finding of this
decree, a copy of a letter on the "relationship," in the papers of a
Protestant priest called "Eichholz at Aix-la-Chapelle, which is supposed
to originate from Reichsleiter Bormann and then the second paragraph

     "As far as this document is concerned it does, in fact, as I have
     ascertained, represent a secret decree of the Party Chancellery
     signed by Reichsleiter Bormann, in which Reichsleiter Bormann
     clearly points out that National Socialism and Christendom are
     incompatible and that the influence of the Churches in Germany,
     including the Protestant Church, must be eliminated. The decree was
     addressed to Gauleiter Dr. Aleyer at Munster on the 6th of June,

And then it gives the reference.

     "I have ascertained that on 7th June, 1941, the decree was also
     sent to the remaining Gauleiter. . . . "

and it says that since this first paragraph of the circular decree
addressed to all Gauleiter is missing from the document in possession of
Priest Eichholz; it appears it was known to the Church.

Now, do you remember getting the decree of Bormann about the 7th of
June, 1941? If you cannot remember the decree, you will find it in the
next two pages and I just remind you of one or two of the worst pieces
in it. At the end of the second paragraph it says:

     "Our National Socialist ideology is far loftier than the concepts
     of Christianity, which in their essential points have been taken
     over from Jewry. For this reason also we do not need Christianity."

And it says that if youth does not learn about it, Christianity will
disappear and then there are some very odd utterances and -- it talks
about a vital force; and if you will look towards the end of Bormann's
document, it says in the third from last paragraph:

     "For the first time in German history the Fuehrer consciously and
     completely has the leadership of the people in his own hand. With
     the Party, its components and attached units the Fuehrer has
     created for himself and thereby the German Reich leadership an
     instrument which makes him independent of the Church."

And it goes on to develop that and if you will look at the penultimate
paragraph, in the second sentence, it says:

     "just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other
     fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the State, so must the
     possibility of Church influence also be totally removed."

Now that it is recalled to your memory, I should not think that you
should have forgotten a decree couched in such, shall we say,
extraordinary language as that; do you remember it?

A. Yes.

                                                               [Page 97]

Q. Do you still say that the National Socialist Party leadership was not
doing everything in its power to attack Christianity?

A. Yes. This is a statement by Bormann which, to my knowledge, was
withdrawn a few days later upon orders of the Fuehrer, as being merely a
personal opinion of Bormann.

Q. That cannot be so, because, if you notice, the decree was issued on
7th June, and this decree after all is going to the RSHA, to Mueller, on
12th December, which is six months after the decree was opened and there
is nothing in that decree about its being withdrawn. Surely, if it had
been withdrawn on 14th June, the security service and intelligence
office of the Reich would have enough intelligence and information to
know that a decree had been withdrawn six months before.

A. I am speaking here under oath and I say that this decree of May was
not only withdrawn, but had actually to be sent back.

Q. Well, how do you account for the fact that the Security Police never
heard about its being withdrawn -- and we discuss it in detail -- let us
take it in that way. I do not know if you had heard or you may have read
that the defendant Fritzsche here said that "even Goebbels was afraid of
Bormann," so is it not correct that Bormann was a man who had great
influence, especially in the last years?

A. That is correct, but it is not correct that there was nobody who was
riot afraid of him.

Q. But there would be many who would be influenced if Bormann were to
give an anti-Christian lead to the National Socialist Party, would there

A. Only the younger of the Party leaders, possibly.

Q. Well, I will only take two examples and we will try to take thern
well spaced out. I suggest to you that yours is typical. Let me take one
-- in 1935.

My Lord, it is Document PS-1507 and it is a new document.

I cannot remember, witness, whether you are a Catholic or a Protestant.
I have no ulterior motive. I am going to deal with an incident in a
Catholic church.of which are you?

A. I was a Catholic.

Q. I feel quite sure you will follow it. You will know who the people
are and so forth. This is an incident on 27th March, 1935, when Cardinal
Faulhaber was preaching in the cathedral at Freysing, and the local
branch of the Party wanted to take a record of the sermon in case His
Eminence was saying anything which might offend the Party; and they did
so by breaking one of the windows of the church and inserting a cable
which would pick up the sound so that a record could be taken, and there
were various happenings and a lot of discussion with which I shall not
trouble the Tribunal, but one of the priests of the cathedral brought
the incident to the attention of the local Wehrmacht commander and it is
with regard to what he says in relation to the functioning of the
leadership corps that I want to draw your attention. You may take it
from me that that is the general incident which is described at great
length and which has accusations of exaggeration on both sides and,
therefore, I am only going to take you to the passage in which the local
commandant deals with the situation.

My Lord, it is at the bottom of Page four. My Lord, it says "Page 5,
continued at the top." Has your Lordship got that?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is in the bottom paragraph on Page
5. This is after the occurrence when the Welirmacht officer is making
his report; he says:

     "On Monday, 18th February, the Kreisleiterin leader of the district
     of the Nazi Party Women's Organization -- Dr. Kreis -- came to the
     house of paymaster official Grueber and asked his wife to come
     immediately with her to the Dom to listen to the sermon of Cardinal
     Faulhaber, implying that this was Frau Grueber's duty as a member
     of the Party and the Nazi Party Women's Organization. Frau
     Grueber's objection that she was a Protestant was
                                                               [Page 99]
     rejected as unimportant; and it was ordered that every member of
     the Nazi Women's Party Organization must attach herself to a Storm
     Trooper dressed as a civilian, so that they would be considered as
     members of the congregation and not as Party members sent out for a
     purpose. There is no doubt that this measure shows the intention of
     disturbing the service and of causing uproarious incidents."

And on that, the Wehrmacht officer, very wisely you may think, told her
to rely on the fact that Herr Grueber was a paymaster or something of
that sort and he need not be mixed up with the Party matters. But what I
want to ask you about is this: The Kreisleiterin leader of the district
women, she would be the women's leader on the Kreis staff of the Party,
would she not? If I am wrong, correct me. Was that her position?

A. Yes.

Q. And she wouldn't have taken that action of collecting the women of
Munich to come and, form a group, When Cardinal Faulhaber was preaching,
without the orders of the Kreisleiter, would she? She would not, would
she? It must have been on the Kreisleiter's orders; is that not so?

THE PRESIDENT: Answer the question, please.

THE WITNESS: The incident described here is completely unknown to me and
I really, cannot imagine that a serious man -- in this case a
Kreisleiter -- would order a measure which in its effects must turn
against the Party.


Q. What I am referring to, you see, is this: Here is a report of a
responsible officer in the Wehrmacht. I think he is regimental
commander, and it is counter-signed by his adjutant. He is saying that
the Kreisleiterin -- who is the women's leader -- came to this
paymaster's wife and got her to do it. What I am putting to you is:
Assuming that Grueber and this, regimental commander are correct -- it
must do for the moment -- assuming they are correct, the Kreisleiterin
would not have acted without orders from the Kreisleiter, would she?

A. That is probable. In my Gau, this Kreisleiter would have been

Q. But are you telling the Tribunal that---

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, I think this document speaks for itself.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases, I think so. My Lord, l
am only going to give one other example. I have to deal with just the
points raised by Dr. Servatius and limit the examples as much as I can.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

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