The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Tribunal, it is my duty to present the evidence upon Counts
One and Two of the Indictment against the defendant Hess.

My Lord, the trial brief, which I believe the Tribunal has
before them, has been made out in the form of a fairly full
note of the evidence to which I intend to refer, and it may
be of convenience to the Tribunal to have it before them
during this sitting.

May I first prove the positions which Hess held and which
are set out in Appendix A of the Indictment, and say a word
about his early life.

The defendant was born in 1894. He is now 52 years old. He
served in the German Army during the last war and in 1919 he
went to Munich University. There he became the leader of the
Nazi organisation in that university and in 1920 he became a
member of the Nazi Party itself. He was among the first of
the S.A., and he became the leader of the students' corps of
police. In 1923 he took part in the Munich Putsch, and as a
result of that he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Half
of that period he served in jail with Hitler himself. I
stress that, because it was during those seven and one-half
months in prison with Hitler that Hitler dictated "Mein

THE PRESIDENT: Have you got...

LT. COL. GRIFFITH-JONES: I think I know what the difficulty
is. This case was originally scheduled to be presented by
the American Delegation and they did have a brief of their
own. It may be that that is the brief which Mr. Biddle has
before him. I will hand you up a spare copy.

Now, dealing with his actual appointments: From 1925 until
1932 he was private secretary and aide-de-camp to Hitler. In
1932 he became the Chairman of the Central Political
Committee of the Party, in succession to Gregor Strasser. In
March, 1933, after the Nazi Party came into power, he became
a member of the Reichstag, and in April of that year he was
appointed Deputy to the Fuehrer, a position which he held
until he flew to England in May of 1941.

That evidence, so far, is all contained in two documents,
one a book called "Dates of the History of the Nazi Party,"
by Volz, which is already in evidence as Document 3132-PS,
and was put in evidence as Exhibit USA 592, and the other
the "Deutsches Fuehrerlexikon," 3191-PS, Exhibit USA 593.

On 1st December, 1933, he became Reich Minister without
Portfolio, another position which he held throughout the
remainder of his time in Germany. That appears in the
Reichsgesetzblatt. It is Document 3178-PS, and it goes in
now as Exhibit GB 248. On 4th February, 1938, he became a
member of the Secret Cabinet Council. My Lord, that is 3189-
PS, and becomes Exhibit GB 249.

On 30th August, 1939 he became a member of the Council of
Ministers for Defense of the Reich, 2018-PS, which becomes
Exhibit GB 250. On 1st September, 1939, he was appointed
successor designate to the Fuehrer, after Goering. Goering,
it will be remembered, was successor No. 1, and during that
time Hess held the positions of Obergruppenfuehrer in the
S.S. and in the S.A.

That completes the formal proof of the positions charged
against him in the Indictment. I would say a word upon the
authority he exercised under and holding these positions.
The Tribunal will remember that in appointing Hess as his
Deputy the Fuehrer decreed, in the decree by which he made
the appointment, as follows: "I hereby appoint Hess as my
Deputy and give him full power to make decisions in my name
on all questions of Party leadership." The extent of his
office as Deputy Fuehrer can be seen from the Party Year
Book of 1941, to which I would briefly refer the Tribunal,
as it appears on Page 104 of the Tribunal's document book.
It is 3163-PS and has already been put in as Exhibit USA
255. I quote from that Year Book:

     "By decree of the Fuehrer of 21st April, 1933, the
     Deputy of the Fuehrer received full power to decide in
     the name of the Fuehrer on all matters concerning Party
     leadership. Thus, the Deputy of the Fuehrer is the
     representative of the Fuehrer, with full power over the
     entire leadership of the
                                                  [Page 149]
     National Socialist German Workers Party. The office of
     the Deputy of the Fuehrer is therefore an office of the
     Fuehrer. In essence, it is the duty of the Deputy of
     the Fuehrer to direct the basic policies of Party work,
     to give directives, and take care that all Party work
     be done in agreement with National Socialist
     principles. All the threads of the Party work are
     gathered together by the Deputy of the Fuehrer. He
     gives the final Party word on all intra-Party plans and
     all questions vital for the existence of the German
     people. The Deputy of the Fuehrer gives the directives
     required for all the Party work, in order to maintain
     the unity, determination and striking power of the
     National Socialist German Workers Party as the bearer
     of the National Socialist philosophy. In addition to
     the duties of Party leadership, the Deputy of the
     Fuehrer has far reaching powers in the field of the
     State. These are:
     One, participation in national and State legislation,
     including the preparation of Fuehrer orders. The Deputy
     of the Fuehrer in this way validates the conception of
     the Party as the guardian of National Socialist
     Two, approval of the Deputy of the Fuehrer of proposed
     appointments for officials and labour service leaders.
     Three, securing the influence of the Party over the
     self-government of the municipal units."
I would refer the Tribunal to Page 119 of the document book,
which is a chart which shows the organisation of the Deputy
of the Fuehrer's office. It is 3201-PS, which becomes
Exhibit GB 251. I would particularly refer the Tribunal to
the square in the centre, showing the liaison officer of the
Wehrmacht, and showing his close association with the Army;
and in the right-hand column at the top: "Chief of the
Foreign Organisation," of which I shall tell the Tribunal in
a moment; "Commissar for Foreign policy," showing his
concern with the foreign policy of the German State;
"Commissar for All Technological Matters and Organisation";
"Commissar for All University Matters"; "Commissar of
University Policy," showing his concern with the education
of Germany; and further down, "Office for Racial Policy,"
showing his concern with the anti-Jew policy of the Nazi
Government that followed; and at the bottom again,
"Specialist on Education."

But a glance at that chart will show that he was really
involved in every aspect and every branch of Nazi life and
the organisation and administration of the State. As Reich
Minister without Portfolio, in the Law to Secure the Unity
of Party and State of 1st December, 1933, it was stated that
his task was to guarantee the close working co-operation of
the Party and the S.A. with Public authority. Put in as
Document 1395-PS, it becomes Exhibit GB 252.

He acquired wide legislative powers, as it has already been
seen from the extract which I have read from the Nazi Year
Book of 1941. I would particularly draw the attention of the
Tribunal to a decree of Hitler's dated 27th July. The
extract which I wish to quote is set out in the trial brief.
It has already been read and therefore I will do nothing now
other than to draw the attention of the Tribunal to it. The
document is 138-D and has been put in as Exhibit USA 403. By
the Law for the Protection of People in November, 1933, it
will be remembered that Hitler and his Cabinet obtained for
themselves full powers of legislation, independently of the
Reichstag, and this defendant, being a member of the
Cabinet, of course shared in these powers.

His approval of that procedure can be seen from a speech he
made on 16th January, 1937, and a short extract is again set
out in the trial brief that the Tribunal has before them:

     "National Socialism has seen to it that vital
     necessities of our nation can to-day no longer be
     talked to pieces by a Reichstag and made the object of
     the haggling of Parties. You have seen that in the new
                                                  [Page 150]
     decisions of historic importance are made by the
     Fuehrer and his Cabinet --- decisions which in other
     countries must be preceded by parliamentary debates
     lasting days and weeks."
That last extract is taken from Document 2426-PS, which
becomes Exhibit GB 253. That these powers and offices were
no sinecure is clear from Hess' own order which he issued in
October, 1934. I will not read it now because it has already
been read. It is 139-D and was put in as Exhibit USA 404,
and the Tribunal will remember that he is there issuing a
decree, saying he has been given the right to participate in
legislation by the Fuehrer, and any office that is promoting
legislation, in which he therefore ought to take part, must
let him have the draft in time to take effective action on
it if he disapproves of it.

I think that again the extract I have read from the Year
Book sufficiently describes the powers that he had, without
my referring to more than two other documents upon this
matter. On Page 5 of the trial brief it will be seen that he
acquired powers and took part in the organisation and
production under the Four Year Plan. I quote from a lecture
given by the defendant Frick on the 7th March, 1940, which
is Document 2608-PS and has already been put in as Exhibit
USA 714. But the short passage that I quote now was not
actually read. In that lecture Frick said:

     "In order to guarantee the co-ordination of the various
     economic agencies of the Four Year Plan, those agencies
     were formed into a general council, under the
     chairmanship of Goering. Its members are the State
     Secretaries of the agencies working in the field of war
     economy, the Chief of the Military Office for Economy,
     and a representative of the Deputy of the Fuehrer."
And lastly, a quotation from the "National Zeitung" of the
27th April, 1941, which is 102-M and becomes Exhibit GB 254.
My Lord, it appears on Page 4 of the trial brief. I quote
from these passages, set out simply to save the Tribunal's
time in referring to the document book. It does appear on
Page 12 of the document book if the Tribunal desires to
refer to the full extract:

     "A long while ago" -- it was still before the outbreak
     of the war -- Rudolf Hess was once called the
     'Conscience of the Party.' If we ask why the Fuehrer's
     Deputy was given this undoubtedly honourable title, the
     reason for this is plain to see. There is no aspect of
     our public life which is not the concern of the
     Fuehrer's Deputy. So enormously many-sided and diverse
     is his work and sphere of duty that it cannot be
     outlined in a few words; and it lies in the nature of
     the obligation laid on the Fuehrer's Deputy that the
     public at large hears little of the work of Rudolf
     Hess. Few know that many government measures taken,
     especially in the sphere of war economy and the Party,
     which meet with such hearty approbation when they are
     notified publicly, can be traced back to the direct
     initiation of the Fuehrer's Deputy.
Perhaps I ought to remind the Tribunal that in the decree
appointing a Secret Cabinet Council, that council was
appointed by Hitler to advise him in the conduct of foreign
policy. The Tribunal will find attached to that document
book a few photos. They are of little importance. They were
really to emphasise or remind the Tribunal of the film that
was shown earlier in the course of these proceedings, when,
it will be remembered, the defendant Hess appeared in
practically every scene of that film "The Rise to Power of
the Nazi Party." These photographs are not actually
photographs from that film; they are somewhat similar and I
produce an affidavit with them to state they were taken by
Hitler's own private photographer. That affidavit becomes
Exhibit GB 255.

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