The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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[DR. BOEHM, Continued]

Justice demands that the Mounted SA be exonerated of
the charges brought against it, since both of the other
sports organizations of the Party, the National
Socialist Motor Corps and the National Socialist Flying
Corps, were justly not indicted, because of their
sporting aims. Thanks to the political influence of
their leaders, the NS Motor Corps and the NS Flying
Corps succeeded in achieving complete independence from
the SA. During the whole period of its existence the
Mounted SA likewise made efforts to secure this
complete independence, but obtained it only in part. In
its leadership it remained subordinate to the SA. The
Mounted SA was probably not given any complete
independence for the reason that the Party leadership
did not consider it politically reliable. Under these
circumstances a conviction of the Mounted SA would be
felt to be a grave injustice, quite apart from the fact
that the reproach of preparing for a modern war should
rather apply to those who were trained in motor
vehicles and aeroplanes than to those who devoted
themselves to equestrian sports and horse breeding.

Still another group within the SA which had even less
to do with political aims than the Mounted SA is
represented by the so-called medical units.

In the formation of the latter the pressure of legal
coercion made itself strongly felt. Legal coercion
means that decrees, enactments, or statutes exist by
virtue of a law which make service in an organization,
for instance in the SA, compulsory. This applied to the
greater portion of the so-called SA doctors. This is
shown by the affidavit of Dr. Carrie (General SA
Affidavit No. 74). In his affidavit it is stated that
if doctors refused service in these units they were
dismissed from municipal service.

Moreover, who can find anything criminal in their
activity? Their task consisted in training persons for
first aid in case of accidents, in installing medical
aid stations, and in medical service in case of natural
disasters, as well as in being in attendance at sports
events.

The rank of a doctor in the SA depended on his
capability. It was generally that of a
Sturmbannfuehrer, or at least that of Obertruppfuehrer.
The doctors in the SA, as high up as the Groups, were
active in all the offices of the SA in an honorary
capacity. As time went on a medical company
(Sanitatssturm) was formed in every SA Standarte, which
on the average comprised 100 members.

Trained SA medical men were, in general, constantly
being detailed from the ranks of the medical companies
to the individual SA companies. In practice it was
arranged for each company to have about four to five SA
medical men. The training of the SA medical men was
conducted by physicians in keeping with the Geneva
Convention. Some of the medical men were even trained
directly by the Red Cross. The duties of the SA medical
personnel corresponded to a large extent to the duties
of the Red Cross.

The affidavit of Dr. Menge, Hanover, states that a
large number of water-sport clubs were taken over by
order of the SA as SA naval companies (Marine SA.
Sturme). These SA naval companies differed from other
SA units in that there was hardly one "old fighter" to
be found in their ranks. The whole organization was set
up after 1933. Their duties consisted exclusively in
water-sport activities. Compulsory enrolment in the SA
was also the case with the frontier defence units, as
must be seen from the collective summarization of
affidavits. From them it can be seen that this
concerned a part of the SA which belonged to the latter
only formally and for other than the usual reasons. I
might stress that this concerned enrolment in the
Frontier Defence units organized in the autumn of 1931
under Bruening and Severing, which were forcibly
incorporated in the SA in the autumn of 1933. I might
also point out that the duties of the so-called Reich
Board of Guardians for the Education of the Young
(Reichskuratorium fur Jugenderziehung), which was
founded in 1932, was transferred

                                             [Page 237]

to the sphere of the SA. In this Reich Board of
Guardians for the Education of the Young there was a
Chief of Educational Matters, who was also in the SA.
The so-called SA duties, the so-called frontier defence
tasks, fell within his jurisdiction. These SA tasks are
mentioned in a document of the prosecution. Unequivocal
proof is thereby furnished of the incorporation of the
frontier defence units into the SA in 1933.

In my document book, in Document SA 218, I have
submitted an order of the Supreme SA Leadership of 7th
October, 1933. It shows that the Reich Minister of the
Interior decreed in Br. I. A. 5400/26.9, of 30th
October, 1933, that the auxiliary engineer service of
the Technical Emergency Service was to be transferred
to the SA.

The transferred auxiliary engineer units supplied by
far the greater part of the personnel for the SA
engineer companies. It is, therefore, natural if these
units were used in current catastrophes, since they
came from the Technical Emergency Service.

A predominant part of the SA members who joined the SA
after 1933, for example, members of the upper classes,
of the secondary schools, students, candidates for
government positions, as well as members of industrial
plants and skilled trades, went into the SA not of
their own free will but by virtue of decrees,
enactments and statutes. Not even the prosecution's
ingenious but irrelevant interpretation of the
Indictment can change that. The students, for example,
served with the SA University Office (Hochschulamt)
after they had become members of the local SA
companies. None of these people could vote before 1933.
The election of March, 1933, determined their
evolution. They cannot in any way be held responsible
for this. They were born into this period, they are the
victims of this period. They believed they were serving
a State which was recognized by all nations. The
greater part of these young men were at the front. Many
sacrificed their health and their lives for the Third
Reich, which demanded everything of them. They marched
out believing it to be their duty, believing that they
were performing their mission. Some of them came home
from the World War deceived and disappointed. And now
they are to be stamped as criminals by the Indictment
against the organizations. In my collection of
documents I have submitted a large number of enactments
and decrees which represent the fundamental reason for
the entry of these young people into the organizations.
I need not mention them separately; they are known to
the Tribunal. Are these people now to be punished
because they fulfilled the duties which were imposed
upon them by law and statute? From these young men who
were enrolled in the organizations came the active
fighters against the National Socialist State.

Let me give one example:

The case of Scholl, who rebelled against the coercion
of this State.

These young men were born at a time when the First
World War was inflicting its wounds upon the European
countries. These young men suffered most from the
consequences of the unfortunate development which
shortsighted men created in Versailles. These young men
suffered from this problem, which the bulk of the
German people, as well as the Supreme SA Leadership,
always wanted to solve by peaceful means. The witness
Gisevius has also recognized this clearly. He stated
that in the years before 1938 the mood among the
majority of the SA must have been exactly the same as
the mood among the majority of the German people. And
this mood was beyond a doubt that the very thought of
war was sheer madness. He also declared and proved that
the assumption that the SA participated in war crimes
must likewise be denied.

This treaty of Versailles and the chief post-war
events, the blockade of the Republic and its struggle
against Communism, the currency inflation, the ruin of
the middle classes, unemployment, civil warfare, party
armies, Parliamentary chaos, laid the foundation for
the young generation and for its evolution.

                                             [Page 238]

All of this should not be forgotten when passing
judgment on the fate of the young generation within the
organizations who did not vote for Hitler in 1933.

It is regrettable that this group-structure of the SA
after 30th January, 1933, cannot be explained to the
High Tribunal with statistics. These statistics are
lacking because of the absence of the witness
Wallenhofer. However, I can submit a rather accurate
outline., which the Tribunal ought to have in order to
get a clear picture of the SA. This outline is
contained in the summarization of the collective
affidavits.

As previously mentioned, on 30th January, 1933, the
traditional SA had 300,000 members

The Stahlhelm was incorporated in the SA by order, as
follows:

  In the first contingent there were 550,000
  
  In the second contingent there were 450,000

The following were transferred by order: -

  The rural riding associations with about 200,000
  
  The water-sport clubs with 50,000
  
  The frontier defence units with 100,000
  
  The auxiliary engineers' units of the Technical
  Emergency Service, with 50,000
  
  In addition, Samaritan Leagues and other Red Cross
  Associations were transferred by order.
  
  By virtue of official decree physicians were
  transferred to the SA medical associations, with
  60,000
  
  Also by order the Kyffhauser Society with 1,500,000
  
  By virtue of legal enactment university students and
  students of technical high schools were enrolled
  numbering 100,000
  
  Students of technical and secondary schools - by
  virtue of the decree of 9th September, 1933 - and
  religious youth societies by virtue of order joined
  the SA with 150,000
  
  The Erhard Brigade was enrolled by order with
  150,000
  
  The Oberland Aviation Sports Society and the
  Frontbann with 200,000
  
  Civil servants, above all, the, younger civil
  servants, were enrolled by virtue of government
  decree, numbering 200,000
  
  The Honorary Leaders and Z.V. Leaders (leaders for
  emergency class) of SA 20,000
  
  Other additions to SA amounted to 420,000
  
  Of the 420,000 men 200,000 came from the camp of the
  leftist organizations, such as, for example, Red
  Front and Reichsbanner.
  
  That gives a total membership of 4,500,000

Withdrawals in 1934, immediately after 30th June, 1934,
were as follows:

  Kyffhauser Society 1,500,000
  
  National Socialist Motor Corps (NSKK) 450,000
  
  SS 250,000
  
  Political Leaders 150,000

From 1934 until the time when membership had reached 1
1/2 millions there resigned:
  
  War casualties and physically disabled 350,000
  
  As a consequence of legal proceedings 40,000
  
  By transfer to other organizations 260,000
  
  Thus number of members reached
  1,500,000

                                             [Page 239]

In the course of the next few years there was a great
change in personnel. Part of the members left because
of death and illness. These were replaced by the rising
generation. They came mostly from the Reich Finance
Schools (14 schools) with about 50,000 members, as well
as from students and the younger civil servants, who
were legally compelled to serve in an organization,
from the Hitler Youth, whence they were transferred to
the SA. The conclusion of the testimony of 13th March,
1946, Paragraph 6A, Figure 2, emphasizes that it would
be of importance whether the membership of the SA was
in general voluntary or the result of legal decree. The
preceding outline clearly shows that in general there
can be no question of voluntary membership of the SA,
but that in the majority of cases membership was
secured by virtue of orders or legal compulsion.
Therefore, large numbers were incorporated in a body by
virtue of official enactments or decrees by Hitler,
which according to the law concerning the unity of
State and Party are legal decrees or have a legal
character. Accordingly, a condemnation of the SA as a
collective organization is not possible, because any
unified objective is lacking.

If we picture to ourselves the period after 1933, we
come to realize that the Third Reich was a national
police State. From the affidavits of many transferred
members of the Stahlhelm, it can be seen that as early
as 1933-1934 attempts to resign from the SA were
considered by the State authorities as the expression
of an attitude hostile to the State, unless they were
based on very weighty reasons, such as grave illness.
Other reasons than reasons of health were not
recognized. Significant in this connection is the
decree of 27th February, 1936, of the Reich and
Prussian Minister of the Interior, submitted under SA
222, in which it says:

  " ... Then in every case a thorough investigation is
  to be made as to the reasons why the government
  employee resigned from the Party. If he did this
  because he disapproved of the programme or the
  political tendency, he cannot remain a government
  employee. But even if this is not the case, the
  resignation of a government employee from the Party
  can, in view of the close relationship between Party
  and State, lead to the conclusion that the employee
  lacks the inward allegiance to the National
  Socialist State or the necessary spirit of
  sacrifice."

If we look at Document SA 221, we read the regulation
that the sworn obligation to the Fuehrer makes it
impossible for anybody to leave the SA in the same way
that they would resign from any other association, and
that only the development of a physical disability or
employment in some other capacity would enable one to
resign from the SA. Other reasons left only one
possibility: expulsion. The circular decree of the
Reich and Prussian Minister of the Interior
theoretically recognizes the possibility that, although
expulsion from the Party and its organizations is
designated as a severe punishment, the man in question,
with his wife and children, might even be deprived of
work and bread. That this regulation had already been
applied in practice before is evident from a judgment
of the Provincial Labour Tribunal of Bielefeld,
according to which in cases of expulsion from the SA
the employer could not be expected to provide further
employment (Document SA 220). It is not surprising that
in the National Socialist State regulations were
carried out before they became legally effective.

For in this official commentary by Pfundtner-Neubert
the following is said concerning the decree of 28th
February, 1939:

  "This sort of new order in the legal system is in
  keeping with the principles of National Socialist
  State leadership. It does not proceed in the same
  way as the constitutional State, that first issued
  high-sounding laws, which, however, it was unable to
  carry out because the necessary conditions for this
  were lacking, apart from the fact that the executive
  branches of the Government were also unable to do
  so, but the Government of the Third Reich first
  creates the actual conditions which are necessary
  for the execution of a government measure and then
  issues the corresponding law."


                                             [Page 240]

Moreover, I might refer to Affidavits 1, 2, 3, 4, of
the Stahlhelm, to the testimony of Hauffe and von
Waldenfels, as well as to SA affidavits 67 and 87,
which stress, the impossibility of resigning from the
SA.

An attempt to resign for other reasons than of health
would have resulted in expulsion. The consequences of
this expulsion were, in addition to an automatic
subjection to police supervision, the endangering or
loss of one's economic position or profession,
especially in the case of government officials and
employees, or economic boycott and the danger of arrest
because of political unreliability. The prerequisite
for every profession was the so-called stamp of
political reliability, which was obtainable only within
the organizations, and the administration was not
inclined to depart from it out of consideration for
alleged or actually existing professional
qualifications or family circumstances. Political
reliability was demanded by the Third Reich. Therefore,
it demanded service in the organizations by decrees. To
exclude oneself meant what is written in Affidavit No.
81:

  "It was widely known that a refusal to obey the
  decrees of State and Party led to the supervision of
  one's activity since it meant excluding oneself from
  service to the national community."


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