The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/11/25

THE PRESIDENT: But the books are not books of any legal
authority. You can only cite, surely, to a Court of
International Law, books that are authorities on
international law. You can, of course, collect ideas from
other books which you can incorporate in your argument. You
cannot cite them as authorities.

DR. THOMA: Gentlemen, by submitting quotations from the
works of well-known philosophers who presented ideas similar
to Rosenberg's I propose to prove that this ideology is to
be taken quite seriously. In the second place I want to
prove that those features of Rosenberg's ideology which have
been branded as immoral and harmful are extravagances and
abuses of this ideology, and in my opinion it is most
important for the Tribunal to know from a consideration of
the history of philosophy, that even the best ideas - such
as the French Revolution - can degenerate. I should like to
point out the historical parallels to National Socialism and
to Rosenberg's ideology.

I also need these books to prove that Rosenberg was
concerned only with the spiritual combating of alien
ideologies and that he was not in a position to protest any
more energetically against the brutal application of his
ideology in National Socialism but that as a matter of
principle he allowed scientific discussions of his works to
proceed freely and never called in the Gestapo against his
theological opponents.

He assumed that his ethnic ideas were not to be carried
through by force, but that every people should preserve its
own racial character and that intermingling was only
permissible in the case of kindred races. He believed that
this ideology was for the good of the German people and in
the interest of humanity generally.

For these reasons I believe that the Tribunal, in order to
have a vivid picture of the background of the development of
National Socialism, should inform itself of the spiritual
conditions of that time.

                                                  [Page 141]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the argument you
have addressed to it.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: With regard to the document No. 7,
that is, excerpts from certain books, the first five are
from Rosenberg's own works, and the last is a book by
another author on Hitler.

Again I submit that if Dr. Thoma wants to support the thesis
contained in the first half of his note - that "the
defendant Rosenberg does not see individual and race,
individual and community at contrast but represents the new
romantical conception that the personality finds its
perfection and its inner freedom by having the community of
the racial spirit developed and represented within itself" -
if Dr. Thoma will give any of the extracts from Rosenberg's
works on which he bases that argument, then he can present
them at whatever part of his case is convenient, and
similarly, with regard to the specific points set out in the
second part of his note, there again, if he will give the
relevant extracts, they can be considered and their
relevancy for the purpose of this Tribunal dealt with when
he introduces them in his presentation. But again I take
general objection to the fact that either the Tribunal or
the prosecution should read all these works and treat them
as evidence. I developed that in the case of the previous

DR. THOMA: Gentlemen, if I quote Rosenberg's actual words
and ask the Tribunal to take official notice of them, I
shall be in the fortunate position of being able to show
that Rosenberg's philosophy and ideology differ basically
from the extravagances and abuses which were attributed to
him and to which he took exception.

I am in a position to show that it is clear from his works
that Rosenberg intended the leadership principle to be
restricted by a special council exercising an authoritative,
advisory function. I shall also be able to show that the
Myth of the Twentieth Century was a purely personal work of
Rosenberg's which Hitler did not by any means accept without
reserve. More especially, I am in a position to prove that
Rosenberg, as his works will show, would have nothing to do
with the physical destruction of the Jews and that, as far
as his writings show, he took no part in the psychological
preparations for war and that, as far as his writings show,
he worked for a peaceful international settlement,
especially between the four great European powers of the
period. Therefore I beg the Tribunal to allow me to submit
the real, genuine quotations from his writings as material

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, the Tribunal will consider the
whole question of the production of and the citation from
these books.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: No. 8, my Lord, falls into a rather
different field. The first eleven documents seem to be books
and writings containing Jewish views of an anti-national
character. The prosecution reminds the Tribunal that the
questions at issue are: Did the defendants as co-
conspirators embark on a policy of persecution of the Jews:
secondly, did the defendants participate in the later
manifestations of that policy, the deliberate extermination
of the Jews? Within the submission of the prosecution, it is
remote and irrelevant to these important and terrible
accusations that certain Jewish writings, spread over a
period of years, contained matters which were not very
palatable to Christians.

DR. THOMA: Gentlemen, I should like to reply to this point
as follows: I
am not interested in showing that the Nazi measures against
the Jews were justified, I am interested only in making
clear the psychological reasons for anti-Semitism in
Germany; and I think I am justified in asking you to listen
to some quotations of this kind taken from newspapers, since
they must by their very nature offend the patriotic and
Christian susceptibilities of very many people.

I must go rather more deeply into this question, too, in
order to show the reason for the existence of the so-called
Jewish problem in history and religion and the reason for
the tragic opposition between Jewry and other races. I
should like to quote both Jewish and theological literature
on the point.

                                                  [Page 142]

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the question.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I think the Tribunal can
take the remaining documents, 9 to 14, together. They seem
to deal with specific and, if I may say so without the least
intention of offence, more practical matters, in that they
deal with the government of the Eastern territories, for
which this defendant was responsible; and the prosecution
has no objection to my friend using these documents in such
a way as it seems fit to him.

DR. THOMA: I should like to mention the following points in
connection with the documents:

I have had four additional documents allowed in part by the
Tribunal. I have not been able to submit them because they
have not yet been handed over to me; but I would like to
tell the Tribunal what they are: First, a letter written by
Rosenberg to Hitler in 1924, containing a request by
Rosenberg not to be accepted as a candidate for the

Secondly, a letter written by Rosenberg to Hitler in 1931
regarding his dismissal from the post of editor-in-chief of
the Volkischer Beobachter, the reason being that Rosenberg's
Myth of the Twentieth Century created a tremendous stir
among the German people. Rosenberg asked at the time that
his work be considered a purely personal work, something
which it actually was, and that if his writing was in any
way detrimental to the Party, he would ask to be released
from his position as editor of the Volkischer Beobachter.

Thirdly, I should like to include a directive from Hitler to
Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories Rosenberg
dated June 1943, in which Hitler instructed Rosenberg to
limit himself to matters of principle.

Fourthly, an eight-page letter from Hitler to Rosenberg,
written by hand and dated in the year 1925.

THE PRESIDENT: And the fourth one? Will you state the fourth
one, the fourth document?

DR. THOMA: I am dealing with that.

The fourth document is a letter written by Hitler to
Rosenberg in 1925, in which Hitler stated his reasons for
refusing on principle to take part in the Reichstag
elections. Rosenberg's view at that time was that the Party
should enter the Reichstag and co-operate practically with
the other Parties. I have just learned that this letter is
dated 1923.

Gentlemen, this is something of decisive importance. From
the very beginning, Rosenberg wanted the NSDAP to co-operate
with the other Parties. That could constitute the exact
opposite of a conspiracy from the start. May I present to
the Tribunal a copy of my four applications?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, these seem to be individual
documents whose relevancy can be finally dealt with when Dr.
Thoma shows their purpose in his exposition. I do not stress
that the Tribunal need not make any final decision on them
at the present time.

DR. THOMA : I should like to refer to the fact that I have
already asked the General Secretary to admit these

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Thoma, have you the documents in your

DR. THOMA: Yes, my Lord. The only documents that are lacking
are the four I have just mentioned. They are still in the
hands of the prosecution.

THE PRESIDENT: They are in the hands of the prosecution, are


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I had not appreciated that. If Dr.
Thoma wants the documents we will do our best to find them.
The first time I heard of them, of course, was when Dr.
Thoma started speaking a few minutes ago. If the prosecution
has them or can find them, they will let Dr. Thoma have them
or have copies of them.

                                                  [Page 143]

THE PRESIDENT: May I ask you, Dr. Thoma, why it is that you
have not put in a written application for these four ?

DR. THOMA: I have made such a request, my Lord, several days
or a week ago. I made the first request in November.

THE PRESIDENT: For these four documents?

DR. THOMA: It's like this: The first two documents were
granted me already in November or December 1945, but I have
not as yet received them.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, we will consider that.

Well, that finishes your documents, does it not?


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, with regard to the
witnesses, it might be convenient if I indicated the view of
the prosecution on the, say, first six. The prosecution has
no objection to the first witness, Riecke, the State
Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, or to Dr. Lammers,
who is being summoned for a number of the defendants, or to
Ministerialrat Beil, who is the Deputy Chief of the main
Department of Labour and Social Policy in the Eastern

With regard to the next one, No. 4, Dr. Stellbrecht, the
prosecution suggests that that is a very general matter
which does not seem very relevant and they say that Dr.
Stellbrecht should be cut out or at the most that that point
be dealt with by a short interrogatory.

We also object to five and six, General Dankers and
Professor Astrowski. General Dankers is sought to say that
certain theatres and museums of art in Latvia remained
untouched and that hundreds of thousands of Latvians begged
to be able to come into the Reich.

There are papers about certain laws. The prosecution submits
that that evidence does not really touch the matters that
are alleged against the defendant Rosenberg and again they
make objection.

Professor Astrowski, who is alleged to be the Chief of the
White Ruthenian Central Council and whose whereabouts are
still unknown, who was last in Berlin, is to be called to
prove that the General Commissioner in Minsk exerted all
efforts in order to save White Ruthenian cultural life.
There again the prosecution says that that is a very general
and indefinite allegation and, if the defendant and certain
of his officials are called to give evidence as to his
policy and administration, it is suggested that the
witnesses five and six are really unnecessary.

I might also deal with No. 7, because the first seven
witnesses are the subject of a note by Dr. Thoma. No. 7 is
Dr. Haiding, who is the Chief of the Institute for German
Ethnology, and it is sought to call him in order to prove
that in the Baltic countries cultural institutions were
advanced and new ones founded by Rosenberg. That witness,
the prosecution submits, falls into the same category as
Dankers and Astrowski. But, with regard to him, if there is
any general point, they say that he could be dealt with by
interrogatories but certainly should not be called.

It is relevant for the Tribunal to read the note under No. 8
dealing with these witnesses. Dr. Thoma says:-

  "The witnesses can present evidence for the refutation of
  the Soviet accusation that Rosenberg participated in the
  planning of a world ideology for the extermination of the
  Slavs and for the persecution of all dissenters."

The Prosecution submits that the three witnesses that they
have suggested, coupled with the interrogatories, if
necessary in the case of Stellbrecht and Haiding, should
cover these points amply.

DR. THOMA: I agree with Sir David that as far as Dr. Haiding
and Dr. Stellbrecht are concerned an interrogatory will be
sufficient. Regarding witnesses Nos. 5 and 6, I was
interested in bringing in as witnesses people who actually
lived in these countries and who have their personal
impressions of Rosenberg's cultural activities; and I
request that these witnesses be granted.

                                                  [Page 144]

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, the Tribunal will consider that.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: The witness Scheidt comes into the
story of the defendant Rosenberg's connection with Quisling,
and this has been dealt with by interrogatories by the
defence and by certain cross-interrogatories by the
prosecution. This is obviously an important part of the
case, and I suggest that the Tribunal does not decide as to
the personal summoning of Scheidt until the answers to the
interrogatories are before the Tribunal.

No. 10 is Robert Scholtz, the Department Chief in the
Special Staff of "Creative Art," and roughly the evidence is
to show that the defendant did not take the works of art for
his personal benefit. The Tribunal ordered the calling of
this witness on 14th of January, but on 24th of January the
application for this witness was withdrawn, and it is now
renewed by Dr. Thoma. If the Tribunal will look at the way
in which it is put in Dr. Thoma's application, which is
limited and guided by certain specific acts on which Herr
Scholtz can speak - the prosecution suggests that the
Tribunal might think the most convenient way was again to
get a set of interrogatories on Herr Scholtz, and see how he
can deal with the many individual points put to him.

DR. THOMA: Gentlemen of the Tribunal, the case of the
witness Wilhelm Scheidt touches the question of Norway.
Scheidt is the decisive witness as to the reports made by
Quisling of his own volition without being invited to do so,
either through the Central Department of the Reich for
Foreign Policy or through the Reich Ministry for Foreign
Affairs. I believe that a personal hearing, a cross-
examination, of this witness Scheidt is extremely important,
because he can give a great deal of detailed information
which is decisive for the question of whether or not Hitler
conducted a war of aggression against Norway.

I have been granted an interrogatory for the witness,
Departmental Director Scheidt, and I have already taken
steps to confer with the prosecution in this connection.

The witness Wilhelm Scheidt has not made an affidavit; but I
must point out to the Tribunal that I should have to be
present when the affidavit is made and that I should be
allowed to question the witness myself, in common with the
prosecution. I should like to repeat my request to cross-
examine this Wilhelm Scheidt as a witness.

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