The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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I shall speak first of the persecution of persons qualified
as Jews by the German code. The Tribunal already knows from
other evidence the Nazi

                                                   [Page 81]
doctrine on the subject of Jews. The historians of the
future will perhaps be able to determine how much of this
doctrine was the result of sincere fanaticism and how much
was the result of premeditated intent to deceive and mislead
public opinion.

It is certain that the Nazis found the theories which led
them to undertake the extermination of the Jews extremely

In the first place, anti-Semitism was an ever-accessible
means of averting public criticism and anger. Moreover, it
was a method of psychological seduction that was very
cleverly calculated to appeal to simple minds. It made it
possible to give a certain amount of satisfaction to the
most needy and destitute person by convincing him that he
was nevertheless of a superior quality and that he could
despise and bully a whole category of his fellow-men.
Finally, the Nazis were able by this means to whip up the
fanaticism of their members, by awakening and encouraging in
them the criminal instincts which are always latent to a
certain extent in the soul of man.

Indeed, it is a German scientist -- Feuerbach -- who
developed the theory that disposition to crime does not
necessarily proceed from long preparation. The latent
criminal instinct may spring to life in an instant. The
Nazis gave to the elite of their servants the possibility of
giving free rein to any inclination they might possess for
murder or looting. In this way they fully assured themselves
of their obedience and of their zeal.

In order to avoid repetition, I shall not speak in detail of
the great sufferings endured by the persons qualified as
Jews, in France and in the other countries of Western
Europe. I should like merely to indicate here that it also
caused great suffering to all the other inhabitants of these
countries to witness the abominable treatment inflicted upon
the Jews. Every Frenchman felt a deep affliction at seeing
the persecution of other Frenchmen, many of whom had earned
the gratitude of the Fatherland. There is no one in Paris
who did not feel deeply ashamed to learn that the dying
Bergson had to be carried to the police commissariat to
satisfy the census requirements.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, you will forgive my interrupting
you, but the Tribunal feels that what you are now presenting
to us, however interesting -- and it is interesting -- is
really an argument and is not producing evidence to us. And
as we have already heard an opening on behalf of the United
States, an opening on behalf of Great Britain and an opening
on behalf of France, we think that you really ought to
address yourself, if possible, to the evidence which you are
presenting, rather than to an argument.

I feel sure that, with your readiness to meet the wishes of
the Tribunal in expressing your presentation, you will
perhaps be able to do that.

M. FAURE: I understand perfectly the feeling of the
Tribunal. I simply intended to say a few words referring to
the feeling shown by Frenchmen in regard to these
persecutions. But these words have now been spoken, and I
have just arrived at the object of the demonstration which I
am to present to the Tribunal with the documents. To show
the Tribunal that the spirit of my presentation is in
accordance with the requirements of the Tribunal, I would
like to indicate that I am not presenting in this brief any
document which constitutes an individual story or even a
collective story, nor any document which comes from victims
themselves, or even from impartial persons.

I have tried to select only a certain number of German
documents, in order to furnish evidence of the execution of
a criminal enterprise consisting in the extermination of
Jews in France and the Western countries.

I should like to observe first of all that the Nazi
persecution of the Jews included two sets of actions. This
is important from the point of view of the direct
responsibility of the defendants.

The first category of actions is that resulting from the
actual texts of laws and regulations, and the second
category is that resulting from the way in which these were

                                                   [Page 82]
As regards the texts of laws and regulations, it is evident
that these texts, which were issued by the German
authorities -- either military authorities or commissars of
the Reich -- constituted particularly flagrant violations of
the sovereignty of the occupied countries.

I do not think that it is necessary for me to present these
laws and regulations in detail, for their main features are
common knowledge. In order to avoid reading, I have had two
tables drawn up, and these are before the Tribunal in the
document book, although they are not documents, properly
speaking. These documents are to be found in an appendix. I
should like to explain what the two tables in this appendix
show. The first table, in the left-hand column, is arranged
in chronological order; the other columns indicate the names
of the different countries. The Tribunal will find arranged
in chronological order the measures taken against the Jews
in different countries.

The second table classifies them according to subject -- the
concept "Jew," economic measures, bullying and petty
irritations, and the yellow star, and you will find in this
table the appropriate texts, arranged according to subject.

I likewise present in the form of documents a certain number
of decrees which were issued in France concerning the Jews,
and as these decrees are public acts I shall simply ask the
Tribunal to take judicial notice of them.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you depositing these as Exhibit RF 1200?

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President.


M. FAURE: I must now make this observation: These texts,
taken as a whole, considerably lowered the status of the
Jews. Yet there are no texts in existence of German decrees
ordering the mass deportation or murder of Jews.

On the other hand, you must remember that this legislation
was developed by progressive stages up to 1942, after which
a pause ensued. It was during this pause that, as we shall
see, genuine administrative measures for the deportation and
consequently for the extermination of the Jews were

This leads us to consider the fact that we are not dealing
with two separate actions -- the legislative action, to be
ascribed to the military authorities, and the executive
action, to be ascribed to the police. The point of view
which regards the military authority only as the author of
the decrees and, therefore as bearing a lesser degree of
criminal responsibility, would be false. In reality we are
looking at the development of a continued action which
employs by turns different means. The first means, that is
to say, the legislative means, are the necessary preparatory
measures for putting into force the other, or directly
criminal, means.

In order to put into practice their plan of extermination,
the Nazis had first of all to single out the Jewish elements
in the population and to separate them from the rest of the
population of the country. They had to be able to find the
Jews easily, and to find them with decreased powers of self-
defence and lacking in the material, physical and
intellectual resources which would have enabled them easily
to avoid persecution.

They had to be able to destroy the whole of this doomed
element of the national community at a single blow, and for
this reason they had first to put an end to the constant
interweaving of interests and activities existing between
all the classes of the population.

The Germans wished to prepare public opinion as far as
possible; and they could succeed in this by accustoming the
public to no longer seeing the Jews, as the latter were
practically forbidden to leave their houses.

I shall now present to the Tribunal a few documents bearing
on this general extermination deliberately undertaken by the
Nazis. I shall first present a series of documents which
will be Exhibits RF 1201, 1202, 1203, 1204, 1205 and 1206. I
present these documents with reference to a particular
question, the emigration of the Jews who tried to leave the
occupied territories.

                                                   [Page 83]
Inasmuch as the Germans made it quite clear, in every way,
that they  desired to get rid of the Jews, it would seem
logical for them to have looked favorably on the solution
offered by emigration.

On the contrary, as we shall see, they forbade emigration,
and they did this by a permanent measure, of general
application. This is a proof of their determination to
exterminate the Jews and the ferocity of the measures
employed. Here, to begin with, is Exhibit RF 1201. All these
exhibits are submitted to the Tribunal in a series of
photostat copies for each member.

This is a letter of 22nd July, 1941, emanating from the
Bordeaux Service and requesting certain instructions from
Paris. I wish to read the beginning of this message:

     "It has just been established that about 150 Jews are
     still in the territory of the Kreiskommandantur St.
     Jean de Luz. At the time of our conversation with the
     Kreiskommandant, Major Henkel, the latter asked that
     these Jews should leave his district as quickly as
     possible. At the same time, he stressed that in his
     opinion it would be preferable to let these Jews
     emigrate rather than to transfer them to other
     departments or even to concentration camps."

Here is the reply to this telegram. It is Exhibit RF 1202,
dated 26th July, 1941. The second sentence:

     "We do not approve Major Henkel's point of view, as the
     R.S.H.A. has stipulated again, in a decree of general
     application, that the emigration of Jews residing in
     the occupied territories of the West, as well as in
     unoccupied France, is to be prevented."

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