The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05


M. FAURE: Your Honours, I was speaking this morning of the
incident which occurred at the Strasbourg faculty in
Clermont-Ferrand, on 25 November 1943. I pointed out to the
Tribunal that I would produce to this a relevant document.
This document has not been classified in the document book,
and I shall ask the Tribunal to accept it as an annex number
or as the last document of this book, if that is agreeable.

This is a report of M. Hoeppfher, Dean of the Faculty of
Letters, established on the 8 January 1946, and transmitted
from Lorraine to the French prosecution. I should like to
read to the Tribunal, in order not to take up too much of
its time, only the two passages which constitute the texts
which were submitted to it as an appendix.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you the original document here?

M. FAURE: Yes.

   "It is the 25 of November 1943, a Thursday. The 1000
   o'clock class is drawing to an end. As I come out of the
   room, a student posted at a window in the hall makes a
   signal to me to approach and shows me in the inner court
   in front of the Department of Physics, a Wehrmacht
   soldier with helmet, boots, a submachine gun in his arm,
   mounting guard. 'Let us try to flee!' - Too late. At the
   same moment, wild cries arise from all directions - the
   corridors, the stairways are filled with the sound of
   heavy boots, the clanking of weapons, fierce cries, a
   frantic shuffling. A soldier rushes down the hall
   shouting 'Everybody to courtyard - tell the others.'
   Naturally, everyone understood."

Second passage:

  "One of our people, Paul Collomp, was cold-bloodedly
  murdered with a shot in the chest, and an eye-witness
  confirms the fact. Alas, it is only too true. Asked to
  leave the Secretariat where he was alone, he was, no
  
                                                  [Page 357]
  
 doubt, obeying too slowly to suit the policeman, for the
 latter gave him a violent blow on the back ;
 instinctively, our colleague turned around, and the other
 then fired a shot directly into his chest. Death was
 almost immediate, but the body was left there alone for
 some time. Another sound reached us. We did not know from
 where. A colleague in Protestant Theology, M. Eppel, was
 apparently also shot down, in his own house, where they
 had gone to look for him. He received, as was later
 learned, several bullet shots in the abdomen, but
 miraculously recovered and even survived the horrors of
 Buchenwald Camp."

As I indicated to the Tribunal this morning, I wish to say
that the prosecution has no proof that such crimes were due
to a German governmental order, but I believe that it is
nevertheless interesting to advise the Tribunal of this last
episode in the German undertakings against the University of
Strasbourg, for the episode constitutes the sequel, and in a
sense, the climax of the preceding incidents. We have seen,
in fact, that German procedure began at first regularly, and
that after these regular procedures, it reached the stage of
recourse to the police. Brutality and violation accompanied
this recourse.

I wish to advise you that this document which I have just
read will be Exhibit RF 712b.

(b) A body of measures destined to impose German standards
in all domains of life of the population.

The leaders of the Reich began by organising specifically
German administration. I already indicated a while ago the
appointment of Gauleiter as Heads of the civil
administration. I continue on this point by submitting as
Exhibit RF 713 the Ordinance of 28 August, 1940, German
Official Journal 1940, Page 22. The Ordinance is entitled:
"Concerning the Introduction of the German Regime in
Alsace." I shall not read this Ordinance. I simply indicate
that its object is put into effect, from 1st October 1940
on, the German municipal regime of 30 January 1935.

The text and the organisation show that the territories
annexed were reorganised on the basis of German
administrative concepts. At the head of each district
(arrondisement) we no longer have a French sub-prefect but a
Landkommissar, who has under his orders the. different
offices of Finance, Labour, School Inspection, Commerce, and
Health. The large towns, the chief towns of arrondissements
and even of cantons, were endowed with a Stadtkommissar
instead of, and replacing, the mayors and elected
counsellors, who had been got rid of.

The judiciary offices were attached to the court of appeals
in Karlsruhe. The economic departments, and in particular
the chambers of commerce, were run by the representatives of
chambers of commerce of Karlsruhe for Alsace and of
Saarbrucken for Moselle.

After having Germanised the forms of administrative
activity, the Germans undertook to Germanise the staffs.
They nominated numerous German officials to posts of
authority. They attempted, moreover, on a number of
occasions, to make the officials who had remained in office
sign declarations of loyalty to the Germans. These attempts,
however, met with a refusal from the officials. They were
therefore renewed on a number of occasions in different
forms. We have recovered from the archives of the Gauleiter
of Strasbourg eight or ten different formulas for these
declarations of loyalty. I shall produce one of these for
the Tribunal, by way of example.

This will be Exhibit RF 714. It is the formula for the new
declaration which the officials are obliged to sign if they
wish to retain their position:

   "Name and first name, grade and service, residence.
   I have been employed from      .....      1940 to this
   date in the public service of the German administration
   in Alsace. During
   
                                                  [Page 358]
   
   this period I have had, from my own observation as well
   as from the Party and the authorities, verbally and in
   writing, occasion to learn the obligations of a German
   official and the requirements which are exacted of him
   from a political and ideological point of view. I
   approve these obligations and these requirements without
   reservation and am resolved to be ruled by them in my
   personal and professional life. I affirm my adherence to
   the German people and to the National Socialist ideals
   of Adolf Hitler."

Together with the administration proper, the Nazis set up in
Alsace the parallel administration of the National Socialist
Party, as well as that of the Arbeitsfront, which was the
sole labour organisation.

German currency legislation was introduced in Alsace on 19
October and in Lorraine on 25 October 1940. The Reichsmark
became thenceforth the legal means of payment in the annexed
territory. The German judiciary organisation was introduced
by a series of successive measures leading up to the decree
of 30 September 1941 concerning the simplification of the
judiciary organisation in Alsace. I produce this ordinance
as Exhibit RF 715, without reading it.

In regard to the teaching system, the German authorities
established a series of regulations and ordinances which
were aimed at assuring the unification of the Alsatian
school system with the German teaching system. I shall
merely mention the dates of the principal texts, which we
produce as documents, and which are of a public nature,
since they were all published in the Official Journal in
Germany.

Here are the main texts:

Exhibit RF 717, regulation of 2 October, 1940.

Exhibit RF 718, ordinance of 24 March, 1941 on elementary
teaching in Alsace.

Exhibit RF 719, ordinance of 21 April, 1941, concerning the
allocation of subsidies in Alsace.

Exhibit RF 720, ordinance of 11 June, 1941, on obligatory
education in Alsace.

I now quote a series of measures regarding the introduction
in Alsace and Lorraine of German civil law, German criminal
law, and even, procedure. I shall quote as the most
important, as Exhibit RF 721, the ordinance of 19 June 1941
concerning the application of the provisions of German
legislation to Alsatians. I should like to read the first
paragraph of Article I because it contains an interesting
item

  "Para. 1.
  
  The law in force in pre-1938 Germany shall be deemed to
  be the domiciliary law (Heimatrecht) governing the legal
  relationships of persons who acquired French citizenship
  under the Appendix to Articles 51-79 of the Versailles
  Dictate (or those who derive their nationality from such
  person), in particular in the domain of personal and
  family law, and in so far as the law of pre-1938 Germany
  declares the statutes of the country of domicile
  (Heimatstaat) to be applicable."

A similar ordinance was drawn up for Lorraine - Exhibit RF
722, ordinance of 15 September, 1941 concerning the
application of German legislation to personal and family
status in Lorraine. German Official Bulletin, Page 817.

I should like to quote, indicating the titles and the
references, the principal measures which have been
introduced in penal matters.

Exhibit RF 723, notice of 14 February 1941, relative to the
penal dispositions declared applicable in Lorraine by virtue
of Section I of the second ordinance concerning certain
transitory measures in the domain of justice.

Exhibit RF 724, ordinance of 29 October 1941 relative to the
introduction

                                                  [Page 359]

into Alsace of the German legislation of penal procedure and
of other penal laws.

Exhibit RF 725, ordinance of 30 January 1942 relative to the
introduction into Alsace of the German penal code and other
penal laws.

I do not wish to read the long text, but I should like to
draw the attention of the Tribunal to two features which
show that the Germans introduced into Alsace the most
extraordinary provisions of their penal law, conceived from
the point of view of the National Socialist regime. The
Tribunal will thus see in this Exhibit RF 725, Page 1 under
No. 6 of the enumeration, that the law of 20 December 1934,
repressing perfidious attacks directed against the State and
the Party and protecting Party uniforms and insignia, was
introduced into Alsace, as well as the ordinance of 25
November 1939-under No. 11 of the enumeration - completing,
the penal provisions relating to the protection of the
military power of the German people.

As concerns public freedom, the Germans eliminated from the
beginning the right of association, and they dissolved all
existing associations. They intended to leave free room for
the Nazi system, which was to be the only and obligatory
association.

I shall quote in the same way a number of documents, with
the titles of these public texts. I give them their exhibit
numbers:

Exhibit RF 726, regulation of 16 August 1940, dissolving the
youth organisations in
Alsace.

Exhibit RF 727, regulation of 22 August 1940, setting up a
supervising commissariat for associations in Lorraine.

Exhibit RF 728, regulation of 3 September 1940, providing
for the dissolution of teachers' unions. I point out in
regard to this document 728, that the last article provides
an exception in favour of the organisation called "Union of
National Socialist Teachers."

Exhibit RF 729, regulation of 3 September 1940, providing
for the dissolution of gymnastic societies and of sports
associations in Alsace.

I should like to read Article 4 of 729:

  "My commissar of Physical Culture will take, in regard to
  other gymnastic societies and sports associations in
  Alsace, all necessary provisions in view of their
  integration into the Reich's National Socialist Union for
  Physical Culture."

Following up these measures of Germanisation, we now
encounter two texts which are very characteristic, and which
I produce as Exhibits RF 730 and 731. Of 730 I read only the
title, which is significant:

 "Ordinance of 7 February 1942 relative to the creation of
 an Office of Genealogical Research of the Upper Rhine."

I shall likewise read the title of Exhibit RF 731:
"Regulation of 17 February 1942 concerning the creation of
the Department of the Reichskommissar for the Strengthening
of Germanism."

I indicated a moment ago to the Tribunal that the Party had
been established in Alsace and in Lorraine in a way that was
parallel with the administration in Germany. I shall produce
in this connection Exhibit RF 732, which is a confidential
note of the National Socialist Workers Party of the province
of Baden, dated Strasbourg, 5 March 1942. This document
belongs likewise to the series found in the files of the
Gauleiter of Strasbourg. It bears as a heading,
"Gaudirektion - Auxiliary Bureau of Strasbourg."

If it pleases the Tribunal, I shall read the beginning of
it:

   "Evaluation of possible adherence to the Party, to its
   subdivisions and related groups in Alsace.
   
   In the framework of the drive of '19 June,' organised
   for the recruiting of Party members, the Kreisleiter, in
   collaboration with the Ortsgruppen-
   
                                                  [Page 360]
   
   
   leiter, is to establish which Alsatians over the age of
   18, even if their membership has not yet been effected
   within the framework of the drive, are to be considered
   as future members of the Party, its subdivisions, and
   affiliated groups; and also the men between the ages of
   17 and 48 who may be actively employed in the Party or
   in its subdivisions. These evaluations are equally to
   include, in order that we may soon obtain a numerical
   estimate, persons already enrolled in the Party, in the
   Opferring - this is the collecting organisation for the
   Party - its subdivisions and affiliated groups.
   
   The Kreisleiter may call upon the collaboration of the
   Kreisorganisationsleiter" - these are the organising
   directors of the sections- "and of the
   Kreispersonalamtsleiter" - the personnel information
   offices of the sections - "The '19th June' drive,
   organised with a view to recruiting members, must not
   because of this become a secondary matter, but must be
   carried on, by all possible means, toward the purpose
   indicated by the Director of the Gau, and must be
   concluded at the date specified.
   
   The results of the investigation of the population are
   to be compiled in five lists, namely:
   
   List 1a
   
   List 1b
   
   List 2a
   
   List 2b
   
   Control list."

I shall omit the following paragraphs, which are a bit long
and purely administrative, and I shall continue on Page 2 of
the document, paragraph 9:

   "The objective of the National Socialist movement being
   that of putting all Germans into a National Socialist
   organisation in order to be able to influence and to
   lead them according to the design of the movement, it
   will be necessary to feature on List I (a) and (b) 2 (a)
   and (b), ninety per cent of the population, and on the
   control list solely those who shall have been considered
   unworthy of belonging to an organisation led or
   supported by the Party; namely, persons of inferior race
   or Germanophobes."

I shall now enter upon two most serious questions which are
directly interconnected, questions which, on the one hand,
concern nationality, and, on the other hand, military
recruiting.

The German policy in the matter of nationality reveals a
certain hesitation, which is related to the German policy in
regard to military recruiting. Indeed the German leaders
seem to have been swayed by two contradictory trends. One of
these trends was that of bestowing the German nationality on
a large number of people, in order to impose the
corresponding obligation for military service. The other
trend was that of conferring nationality only with
discrimination. According to this viewpoint, it was
considered, first of all, that the possession of nationality
was an honour and should to some extent constitute a reward
when conferred on those who had not previously possessed it.
On the other hand, nationality confers on its possessor a
certain special quality. In spite of the abolition of all
democracy, it gives that person a certain influence in the
German community. It should, therefore, be granted only to
persons who give guarantees in certain regards: notably that
of loyalty (and we know that from the German point of view,
loyalty is not only a matter of mental attitude and choice,
but that it also applies to certain well-known physical
elements, such as those of blood, race and origin).

These are the two opposed trends in the German policy of
conferring nationality. This is how they develop:

At first - and up to the month of August 1942 - the Reich,
not yet requiring

                                                  [Page 361]

soldiers as urgently as it did later, deferred the
introduction of compulsory recruiting. Along with this, they
also deferred any action to impose German nationality on the
population generally. During this earlier period, the Nazis
did not resort to compulsory recruiting, but relied simply
on voluntary recruiting, which, however, they tried to
render more effective by offering all kinds of inducements
and exercising pressure in various ways.


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