The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/03/02

[DEFENDANT KALTENBRUNNER, Continued]

The chart shown here of the different groups and the chain
of command leading from them is wrong and misleading.
Himmler, who understood in a masterly way how the SS, which
for a long time no longer formed an organizational and
ideological unit, could be split up into very small groups
and brought under his immediate influence, so far as it
served his purpose, committed crimes together with Muller,
the Chief of the Gestapo, which we know about today.
Contrary to public opinion, I emphatically and vehemently
state that I learned about only a very small fraction of the
activities of these offices, which were actually under
Himmler and his accomplices, and only in so far as it
concerned my own special work.

In the Jewish question, I was just as much deceived as other
high officials. I never approved or tolerated the biological
extermination of Jewry. The anti-Semitism found in Party and
State laws was still to be considered in time of war as an
emergency defence measure. The anti-Semitism of Hitler, as
we understand it today, was barbarism. I did not participate
in either of these and I maintain, as I shall show, that the
discontinuance of the extermination of the Jews is to be
traced to my influence on Hitler.

                                                  [Page 389]

After the presentation of oral evidence, several photographs
were submitted which allegedly showed my knowledge of crimes
in concentration camps, such as in Mauthausen, and my
knowledge of the criminal tools used there. I never set foot
in Camp Mauthausen, or rather only in that part of the camp
where the stone quarry was located, where hardened criminals
were employed according to law, but not Jews or political
prisoners. The pictures show an administration building and
nothing else. Affidavit USA 909, pictures 894 to 897 F, are
therefore factually impossible and wrong. The picture with
Hitler shows the visit to a building site in Linz, 35
kilometres away from Camp Mauthausen.

The statement of the witness Dr. Morgen seems essentially
true, but it needs to be supplemented as far as my person
and my reactions to this are concerned. In the emergency of
his own arrest and defence, the witness is too much
concerned with himself and does not say that he was
transferred by the chief of the main office of the SS Court
to Amt V of the RSHA upon my request, so that as a juridical
official he could supplement the special commission which
was established there by the chief of the criminal police
and myself for the investigation of the concentration camps.
He cannot testify about my knowledge of the subsequent
events; as to what I - dumbfounded by his report, in
contrast to Muller who raged like one who had just been
unmasked - did after reading it. On the same day a written
report was sent to Hitler at headquarters. Days later I was
ordered to appear, and I flew there. After my long report,
Hitler agreed to an investigation of Himmler and Pohl. He
ordered the establishment of a special Court competent for
all subsequent investigations and necessary measures. Pohl
was to be dismissed from his office at once. In front of me,
Hitler gave orders to Fegelein, who was liaison director for
Himmler, that Himmler was to be called to him, and he
promised me that he would take all possible measures that
very day against any further misdeeds.

He refused my request to be released and sent to the front,
pointing out that I was indispensable in the intelligence
service. Eichmann was to be arrested and detained; the
decree by Himmler in October of 1944, which confirms and
puts in final form that which I have just testified, is in
its wording one of Himmler's last devilish actions.

Does not the prosecution even now see any discrepancy in the
fact that Amt V of the RSHA exposed crimes of Amt IV of the
RSHA and its secret criminal clique? In this I see proof of
the fact that I never knew what was really going on, and, at
the moment when I realized what was taking place, protested
in my own office.

Should I have shirked responsibility at that time by
feigning illness, or was it my duty to fight with all my
powers to have this unparalleled barbarity brought to a
halt? That is the only thing to be decided here as my guilt.

The other defamations raised by the prosecution against me
do not alter that, either. The letter written to the Mayor
of Vienna, which seems to be so highly incriminating here,
and which I do not remember having signed, has been
explained for me today.

All of the 12,000 people who at that time, together with
tens of thousands of German men and women, were used to
fortify the region east of Vienna, and an additional 2,000
persons in Gunskirchen in Upper Austria, were cared for by
the International Red Cross through my mediation and led to
freedom. Owing to the speed and excitement of the cross-
examination, I did not recall that, at the time when the
commission of Amt V had long been active in the camps, I
could no longer believe that there was no danger to Jewish
life. My credibility has been doubted ever since then but it
would have been restored immediately if thorough inquiry had
been made by the prosecution at the International Red Cross
Headquarters, Geneva.

If, however, I am asked: "Why did you remain even after you
knew that your Superiors were committing crimes?" I can
answer only that I could not set myself

                                                  [Page 390]

up as their judge, and that, indeed, not even this Tribunal
here will be in a position to ask for expiation of these
crimes.

In the final days, the prosecution accused me of
participating in the murder of a French general. I heard
about the murder of a German General Bredowski and the order
given by Hitler to investigate the question of reprisals. I
heard about the murder for the first time a few days ago.
Panzinger was Chief of the War Investigation Division in the
Reich Criminal Police Office and was subordinate to no one
except Himmler, in his capacity as Chief of the Prisoner-of-
War Systems and of the Replacement Training Army. He was
not, as the prosecution maintains, an official of the Secret
State Police.

Concerning the teletype message of the 30th of December,
1944, signed with my name, in which the method of carrying
out the plan was reported by Berlin to Himmler at the
latter's headquarters, I should like to say that from the
23rd of December until the 3rd of January I was in Austria
with my family and could not have seen and signed this
teletype.

In November, 1944, I was merely ordered to check the report
of Reich Press Chief Dietrich on the murder of a German
general in France. The results were sent to headquarters by
the offices there.

I regretted the fact that Hitler, in a situation such as I
found when I assumed office in 1943, did not have a better
relation with the Churches, which in every State are a
factory for order which cannot be ignored. My remonstrances
had no effect. I made an honest effort, as the presentation
of evidence has shown, but even from this the prosecution
has not drawn any favourable conclusions.

I know only that in my belief in Adolf Hitler I put all my
strength at the disposal of my people. As a German soldier,
I could only put myself at the service of the defence
against those destructive forces which had once before
brought Germany close to the abyss, and which today, after
the collapse of the Reich, are still threatening the world.

If I have made mistakes in my work through a false
conception of obedience, if I carried out orders all of
which, in-so-far as they are alleged to be cardinal orders
were issued before my time of office, then they are part of
a fate which is stronger than myself and which is carrying
me along with it.

I am accused here because substitutes are needed for the
missing Himmler and other elements which were completely
contrary to me. Whether my point of view and explanation are
accepted or rejected, I ask you not to connect the fate and
honour of hundreds of thousands of the living and dead of
the General SS, of the Waffen SS, and of the officials who,
believing in their ideal, bravely defended their Reich to
the last, with your just cause against Himmler. Like myself,
they believed that they were acting according to law.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will adjourn.

THE PRESIDENT: I call on the defendant Alfred Rosenberg.

DEFENDANT ALFRED ROSENBERG: Besides repeating the old
accusations, the prosecution has raised new ones of the
strongest kind; thus they claim that we all attended secret
conferences in order to plan a war of aggression. Besides
that, we are supposed to have ordered the alleged murder of
12,000,000 people. All these accusations have been
collectively described as "genocide" - the murder of
peoples. In this connection I wish to summarize as follows.

I know my conscience to be completely free from any such
guilt, from any complicity in the murder of peoples. Instead
of working for the dissolution of the culture and national
sentiment of the Eastern European nations, I attempted to
improve the physical and spiritual conditions of their
existence; instead of destroying their personal security and
human dignity, I opposed with all my might, as has been
proved, every policy of violent measures, rigorously
demanded correct behaviour on the part of the German
officials and a humane treatment of the

                                                  [Page 391]

Eastern workers. Instead of practising "child slavery," as
it is called, I saw to it that young people from territories
endangered by the fighting were granted protection and
special care. Instead of exterminating religion, I
reinstated the Freedom of the Churches in the Eastern
territories by a decree of tolerance.

In Germany, in pursuance of my ideological convictions, I
demanded freedom of conscience, granted it to every
opponent, and never instituted a persecution of religion.

The thought of a physical annihilation of Slavs and Jews,
that is to say, the actual murder of entire peoples, has
never entered my mind and I most certainly did not advocate
it in any way. I was of the opinion that the existing Jewish
question would have to be solved by the creation of a
minority right, emigration, or by settling the Jews in a
national territory over a ten-year period of time. The White
Paper of the British Government of 24th July, 1946, shows
how historical developments can bring about measures which
were never previously planned.

The practice of the German State Leadership in the war, as
proved here during the Trial, differed completely from my
ideas. To an ever-increasing degree Adolf Hitler drew
persons to himself who were not my comrades, but my
opponents. With reference to their pernicious deeds, I must
state that they were not practising the National Socialism
for which millions of believing men and women had fought,
but rather shamefully misusing it. It was a degeneration
which I very strongly condemned.

I frankly welcome the idea that a crime of genocide is to be
outlawed by international agreement and placed under the
severest penalties, with the natural provision that neither
now nor in the future shall genocide be permitted in any way
against the German people, either.

Among other matters, the Soviet Prosecutor stated that the
entire "so-called ideological activity" had been a
"preparation for crime." In that connection I should like to
state the following: National Socialism represented the idea
of overcoming the class struggle which was disintegrating
the people, and uniting all classes in a large national
community. Through the Labour Service, for instance, it
restored the dignity of manual labour on mother earth, and
directed the eyes of all Germans to the necessity of a
strong peasantry. By the work of the Winter Aid Association,
it created a comradely feeling among the entire nation for
all fellow-citizens in need, irrespective of their former
party membership. It built homes for mothers, youth hostels,
and community clubs in factories, and acquainted millions
with the yet unknown treasures of art.

For all that, I too worked.

But along with my love for a free and strong Reich I never
forgot my duty towards venerable Europe. In Rome, as early
as 1932, I appealed for its preservation and peaceful
development, and I fought as long as I could for the idea of
internal gains for the peoples of Eastern Europe when I
became Eastern Minister in 1941. Therefore, in the hour of
need, I cannot renounce the ideal of my life, the ideal of a
socially peaceful Germany and a Europe conscious of its
values, and I will remain true to it.

Honest service for this ideology, considering all human
shortcomings, was not a conspiracy, and my actions were
never criminal. I understood my struggle, just as it was
understood by many thousands of my comrades, to be one
conducted for the noblest idea, an idea which had been
fought for under flying banners for over a hundred years.

I ask you to recognize this as the truth, in which case no
persecution of beliefs could arise from this Trial; then, in
my conviction, a first step would be taken for a new, mutual
understanding among nations, without prejudice, without ill-
feeling, and without hatred.

THE PRESIDENT: I call upon the defendant Hans Frank.

                                                  [Page 392]

DEFENDANT HANS FRANK: Your Honours.

Adolf Hitler, the chief defendant, left no final statement
to the German people and the world. Amid the deepest
distress of his people he found no comforting word. He
became dumb and did not discharge his office as a Fuehrer,
but went down into  darkness, a suicide. Was it
stubbornness, despair, or spite against God and men? Perhaps
he thought: "If I must perish, then let the German people
fall into the abyss also." Who will ever know?

We - and if I now use the term "we," then I mean myself and
those Nation Socialists who will agree with me in this
confession, and not those fellow-defendants on whose behalf
I am not entitled to speak - we do not wish to abandon the
German nation to its fate in the same way without a word; we
do not wish to say simply: Now you will just have to see how
you can get along with this collapse which we have left
you." Even now, perhaps as never before, we still bear a
tremendous spiritual responsibility.

At the beginning of our course, we did not suspect that our
turning away from God could have such disastrous, deadly
consequences and that we would necessarily become more and
more deeply involved in guilt. At that time we could not
realize that so much loyalty and willingness to sacrifice on
the part of the German people would be so badly directed by
us.

Thus, by turning away from God, we were overthrown and had
to perish. It was not because of technical deficiencies and
unfortunate circumstances alone that we lost the war, nor
was it misfortune and treason. Before all, God pronounced
and executed judgment on Hitler and the system which we
served with minds far from God. Therefore, may our people,
too, be called back from the road on which Hitler - and we
with him - have led them.

I beg our people not to continue in this direction, not even
a single step; because Hitler's road was the way without
God, the way of turning from Christ, and, in the last
analysis, the way of political foolishness, the way of
disaster, and the way of death. His path became more and
more that of a frightful adventurer without conscience or
honesty, as I know today at the end of this Trial.

We call upon the German people, whose rulers we were, to
return from this road which, according to the law and
justice of God, had to lead us and our system into disaster
and which will lead everyone into disaster who tries to walk
on it, or continue on it, anywhere in the whole world.

Over the graves of the millions of dead of this frightful
Second World War rose this international Trial, this
epilogue of the war, lasting for many months, and the
spirits of the dead have passed accusingly through this
courtroom.

I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to prepare a
defence and justification against the accusations raised
against me.

In this connection I am thinking of all the victims of the
violence and horror of the dreadful events of war. Millions
had to perish unquestioned and unheard. I surrendered my war
diary, containing my statements and activities, in the hour
when I lost my liberty. If I was ever really severe, then it
was above all toward myself, at this moment when my actions
in the war were made public.

I do not wish to leave behind me in this world any hidden
guilt which I have not accounted for. I assumed
responsibility on the witness-stand for all those things for
which I must answer. I have also acknowledged that degree of
guilt which attaches to me as a champion of Adolf Hitler,
his movement, and his Reich.

I have nothing to add to the words of my defence counsel.

However, there is still one statement of mine which I have
to rectify.


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