The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/03/01

I refer the Tribunal to the well-known statement of the
officers of that same division, concerning the mass shooting
of hostages and murdering of prisoners of war.

A top secret directive of Himmler's was read into the record
before the Tribunal - showing that SS units were instructed
to annihilate thousands of inhabited localities, towns and
villages in the temporarily occupied regions of the Soviet
Union. In this directive Himmler wrote as follows:

  "The aim to be achieved is that when areas in the Ukraine
  are evacuated, not a human being, not a single head of
  cattle, not a hundredweight of grain and not a railway
  line remain behind; that not a house remain standing, not
  a mine is available which is not destroyed for years to
  come, that there is not a well which is not poisoned. The
  enemy must really find completely burnt and ravished
  land."

In carrying out the criminal orders of the SS Reichsfuehrer
(Himmler's order of 10th July, 1943), the Waffen SS deported
into slavery in Germany the populations of entire regions,
driving the Ukrainian and Russian children into special
concentration camps.

The so-called Waffen SS were the specially selected SS
units, composed in the main of volunteers, as well as of
members of the General SS, called upon to carry out the
criminal plans of Hitler and his clique.

The attempts of the defence counsel and of the defendants
themselves to describe them as the "German Guard," remote
from all police functions, who had never stained their hands
with innocent blood, are in contradiction to the ruthless
and irrefutable facts of reality. Nevertheless, we do not
deny that among the soldiers of the Waffen SS were some who
had been compelled to serve. The question of the degree of
responsibility of any particular person is a question of
competence for the National Tribunals. However, the SS
troops as a whole are an essential part of the system, and
the SS organization is, therefore, undoubtedly criminal.

(A recess was taken.)

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I am prepared to make a report on
the attitude of the prosecution concerning the application
of the defendant Seyss-Inquart to submit an affidavit. We
are all in agreement in opposing the affidavit of Seyss-
Inquart. It is really argumentative as we read it. We have
had it translated, and it does not raise anything new, and
it does express the defendant's attitude

                                                  [Page 354]

toward a number of documents that were in evidence, some as
early as last January, and there are various comments in it
about evidence and so on. But it seems improper to us that
at this stage of the trial the defendant should make such an
offer. His counsel made his argument, and indeed, he will
have another opportunity himself to address the Tribunal.
None of these matters in our opinion, are proper, nor should
they be admitted by the Tribunal at this time. Now there is
one matter raised in this affidavit, the matter of two
documents 3640-PS and 3645-PS, of which the defendant Seyss-
Inquart says they were not introduced in evidence. Although
they were referred to by the French Prosecutor M. Dubost,
and that is so. And of course, M. Dubost and M. de Ribes and
those other gentlemen of the French prosecution with us
agree that it was inadvertent, and that they should not have
been there. And we have no objection to so stating to the
Court, we wanted to state - we want the Court to understand
that these two documents are not - were not actually
admitted in evidence; and of course, we should not have
referred to them in our argument. But other than that one
matter which is raised, we see nothing that would be helpful
to the Tribunal.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it in German?

MR. DODD: Yes, yes, your Honour, it is in German. Our
translation is not complete. It was done by one of our
people hurriedly and is in outline form and for my own
information. I can go through it paragraph by paragraph if
Tribunal would like me to.

THE PRESIDENT: Very long?

MR. DODD: It is ... no, it is not. My outline is one page
and a little more than a half. The affidavit itself is six
pages. Our analysis of it is a page and a half.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, if the only objection to the
affidavit is that it is argumentative, is that really a very
serious objection when there are so many documents?

MR. DODD: Well, no, sir, I expect it is not. Our objection
is just what I have stated, and no more than that. I do not
want to press it too much. If  the Tribunal feels it would
be better to have it in and have it translated, there is
nothing on the affidavit that we need make any reply to. I
feel perfectly sure of that, and I do not think it is worth
pressing, really.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal thinks that in the
circumstances, it will be better to allow the affidavit to
be offered in evidence. And the Tribunal notes that 3640-PS
and 3645-PS have not been offered in evidence. therefore we
should ...

MR. DODD: Yes, Mr. President, 3640-PS and 3645-PS were not
offered in evidence.

THE PRESIDENT: And we shall therefore disregard any
reference to them.

MR. DODD: Yes, sir, I would also like to inform the Tribunal
concerning our attitude about the letter of Dr. Laternser's.
We have no objection to this letter at all. We are all in
agreement about it.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Mr. Dodd said they had
objection to the letter. It will be -

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, there is a small paragraph in
this letter that I should like very much to read into the
record, two sentences of it.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if the letter is in evidence, it is not
necessary to take up time by reading it into the record. The
prosecution have agreed that the letter may be treated as
part of the evidence of the record.

                                                  [Page 355]

DR. LATERNSER: But since the witness Schreiber has given his
testimony, I nevertheless consider it important that one
very brief paragraph consisting of two sentences should be
read into the record if possible.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, wait a minute. No, Dr. Laternser, the
letter will be admitted as part of the evidence of the
record. We do not desire that further time should be taken
up on the matter.

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, with reference to this subject
I today received another exhibit - during the recess - but,
of course, I do not know if the Tribunal is willing to
accept it in evidence, and in order to complete this subject
of the evidence, may I beg the Tribunal to allow me to
present it? It is a question of a document in which it can
be seen that in the case of one of the Allied nations also
bacterial warfare as a defensive and offensive weapon had
been developed, and that four thousand people were occupied
with it. I should merely like to present it for that one
reason so as to be able to submit a fact to the Tribunal
which would be of importance for the proper judgment of this
particular subject.

THE PRESIDENT: No, that falls within the principle which we
have decided over and over again that such evidence is not
admissible.

DR. LATERNSER: But since we are here concerned with a new
subject, Mr. President -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser. The Tribunal is perfectly well
aware of the argument which you have presented to us that
any investigations which were taken in bacterial warfare
were made solely for defensive purposes. That argument is
perfectly clear, and any other argument based upon
allegations as to what the Allied Nations may have done is
irrelevant.

GENERAL RUDENKO: On 4th October, 1943, in a speech
addressed to the SS Gruppenfuehrer in Poznan, Himmler
stated:

  "We want a complete unity with the Party and all its
  organizations. It is very fortunate that we are
  completely united with the SA. The new Chief of Staff,
  Schepmann, considers his most essential task that of
  creating peace and accord among the old Party groups."
 
Thus, the creator of those SS who, in 1934, liquidated the
leaders of the SA Putsch, in 1943 confirmed the full unity
of the SS with the SA and emphasized the importance of this
Hitlerite criminal organization for the general conspiracy.

During the entire process of the development of the
Hitlerite Party and of the Hitlerite State, the SA was the
criminal organization to which the ringleaders of German
Fascism attached special importance, considering it one of
the main weapons for terrorizing and fooling their own
people and for preparing aggression against other nations.

There is no point in arguing with the defence counsel of the
SA about the part played by this criminal organization in
the common plan of the Fascist conspiracy.

Essentially, the pleading of the counsel for the defence
Boehm was, generally speaking, devoid of any legal
argumentation that would render it worthy of attention. This
was a statement made from the viewpoint of the convinced
Nazi, repeating, in a number of cases, the worst instances
of Hitlerite propaganda, which the counsel for the defence
had carefully extracted from the Press of the SA.

The "Sturmabteilungen" or SA were the first striking force
in the hands of the conspirators, the first mass and
military organization founded by them.

They were organized by Hitler in 1921, with the full support
of the Reichswehr, which was hoping for revenge.

The nucleus of the SA was composed of men like Streicher and
Roehm, "rabid" anti-Semites, chauvinists, supporters of the
idea of the conquest of "Lebensraum," Army officers who had
been left idle and soldiers of the defeated Kaiser's army.

The shock units consisted of the more reactionary elements
in search of revenge. To the SA also came adventurers, lured
by the decorative side of this criminal

                                                  [Page 356]

organization and seeing in it a possibility of participating
in pogroms and plunder.

>From the very beginning, the SA was a strictly voluntary
organization. This principle stayed in force during the
entire process of development of the shock units.

>From the Munich Putsch in 1923 until the seizure of power by
the Hitlerites in 1933, the SA remained a lethal weapon in
the hands of the Hitlerite Fascist clique, securing for it
the "mastery of the streets" and the elimination of
political opponents.

With the SS, the shock units were an integral part of the
Hitlerite Party. This fact was officially declared in the
decree of March, 1935 (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1935, Part I, Page
502) and the same was to be found in the organizational
charter of the Hitlerite Party (Page 352).

In his pamphlet The SA, SA Sturmfuehrer Bauer wrote:

  "The public would never have learned of the stirring
  speeches and propaganda of our small faction in the
  Reichstag, or of the aspirations aims of the Party, if it
  had not heard the steps of the marching SA units their
  battle songs."

But the "steps of the marching SA and their battle songs "
were not the only things heard by the German public. Rather,
it perceived the blows of rubber truncheons, the shots fired
at political opponents and the pogroms in the workmen's
quarters. For the chief Fascist conspirators, the basic
value of the SA was precisely their function as a weapon for
pogroms and terror.

During the period of struggle for power, and after, the
shock units were first of all a weapon of rough violence, a
means for eliminating and exterminating their political
opponents.

This situation was very frankly described by Goebbels in a
speech delivered in 1935. He stated on that occasion:

  "The internal political opponents did not disappear by
  means of some unknown secret reason. No, they disappeared
  because our movement had at its disposal the strongest
  weapon in the country, and this strongest weapon was the
  SA units."

The Tribunal will remember the evidence given by the witness
Gisevius of the terror applied by the shock units in the
streets of German towns, of the pogrom-makers in SA uniforms
who beat, killed, scoffed at all human dignity and
transformed the headquarters of the SA into torture houses.

It is true that when the Hitlerites came to power yet
another terroristic organization was formed which became the
principal executor of their plan, and together with the SA
formed the reserve of that immense police machinery which
was created by German Fascism. This was the SS. The
Brownshirts surrounding Hitler had to stand somewhat aside
and give place to the head of Hitlerite Party organization -
the "Schwarze Korps" of the SS.

Goering's official biographer speaks of the wide use of the
SS as a reserve of the political police. He notes that when
forming the Gestapo, Goering included in the personnel of
this organization - one of the most dangerous criminal
organizations of German Fascism - many members of the SA,
"they being the most reliable, from a political point of
view."

Evidence has already been presented to the Tribunal showing
that together with the SS, members of the SA, after the
Fascists' rise to power, formed detachments for guarding
concentration camps.

Describing the concentration camp of Oranienburg, the SA
Sturmbannfuehrer Schaefer states:

  "The most tested and daring members of the SA were chosen
  for work in the camp, that is, they were the constant
  guards of the camp. In this way we formed a staff of
  experienced guards, who were always ready for action."

                                                  [Page 357]

It seems unnecessary for me to dwell on the treatment of the
prisoners in these camps or on the line of conduct adopted
by the men of the shock units, in their role of
executioners.

The men of the shock units directly carried out the first
anti-Semitic pogroms. This is proved, among other documents,
by the original reports of the commanders of units and
detachments of the SA, submitted by the prosecution.
Together with the SS, the SA were formed in the same spirit
of bestial anti-Semitism, which ended by the establishment
of the camps in Treblinka and Chelmno.

However, when analyzing the criminal character of the SA
organization, we must not omit another of its important
functions in the general plan of development of the
Hitlerite conspiracy.

The SA was that organization under cover of which the mass
training of the military personnel for the Wehrmacht was
carried out. This personnel was later on called upon to put
into practice the Hitlerite plans of aggression.

These criminal activities were carried out with a maximum of
secrecy against the outer world.

  "In addition to my instructions ... dated 11th July,
  1933, I find cause to ask all SA authorities to exercise
  the greatest caution with regard to any publicity given
  to the SA service, not only in the Press but also in the
  information and news sheets of the individual SA units.
  Only during the last few days, the Reich Ministry of the
  Interior, at the request of the Ministry for Foreign
  Affairs, has given strict instructions to all Reich
  authorities, according to which the most severe control
  is to be exercised on all publications which might give
  other countries an opening to construe German
  infringements of the terms of the Versailles Treaty."

This secret order of the Chief of Staff of the SA fully
refutes the assertion of the defence relative to the
"peaceful character" of the shock units and the "purely
sporting" character of their activities.

The actual organizational structure of the Storm Troops,
with their brigades and regiments, was of a purely military
nature. From the time of their creation - under the guidance
of the most reactionary officers of the Reichswehr, who had
joined the Hitlerites - the SA units began the preparation
of cadres for a future war.

Later, after the seizure of power by the Hitlerites, the SA
became a weapon of mass military training, and officers of
the Wehrmacht, in SA uniforms, carried out in these units a
purely military training of the Storm Troopers.

The leaders of the SA well understood the position occupied
by them in the realization of the Hitlerite plans of
aggression after the seizure of power.


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