The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-02/tgmwc-02-16.03

Archive/File: imt/tgmwc/tgmwc-02/tgmwc-02-16.03
Last-Modified: 1999/09/17

Hamann, who signed the report, is listed among those attending as
a Captain and apparently the junior officer present, so presumably
it fell naturally enough to Hamann to prepare the notes on the

The authority and mission of this organisation which Thomas was,
organising at the direction of Goering was clearly recognised by
Keitel in his operational order of 13th March, 1941. This order is
Number 447-PS, and I have already offered it in evidence earlier
as Exhibit USA 135. At that time I quoted the paragraph in the
order in which it was stated that the Fuehrer had entrusted the
uniform direction of the administration of economy in the areas of
operation and political administration to the Reich Marshal who,
in turn, had delegated his authority to the Chief of the Wi. Rue

                                                        [Page 245]

The organisational work called for by General Thomas at the
meeting on 28th February apparently proceeded apace, and on 29th
April, 1941, a conference was held with various branches of the
Armed Forces to explain the organisational set-up of the Economic
Staff "Oldenburg". "Oldenburg" was the code name given to this
economic counterpart of plan "Barbarossa". A report of this
conference is captured Document 1157-PS, and I now offer it in
evidence as Exhibit USA 141. Section 1 of this memorandum deals
with the general organisation of Economic Staff Oldenburg as it
had developed by this time, and I should like to read most of that
section into the record. The report begins:-

   "Conference with the Branches of the Armed Forces at 10.00
   hours on 29th April, 1941.
   Purpose of meeting: Introduction to the organisational
   structure of the economic section of this action. "Barbarossa"
   - "Oldenburg".
   As already known, the Fuehrer, contrary to previous procedure,
   has ordered for this drive the uniform concentration in one
   hand of all economic operations and has entrusted the Reich
   Marshal with the overall direction of the economic
   administration in the area of operations and in the areas
   under political administration.
   The Reich Marshal has delegated this function to an Economic
   General Staff working under the director of the Industrial
   Armament Office (Chief Wi. Rue Amt).
   Under the Reich Marshal and the Economic General Staff, the
   supreme central authority in the area of the drive itself is
   the" - and then a heading - "Economic Staff 'Oldenburg' for
   special duties under the command of Major General Schubert.
   His subordinate authorities, geographically subdivided, are:-
   5 economic inspectorates
   23 economic commands and
   12 sub-offices, which are distributed among important places
   within the area of the economic command.
   These offices are used in the military rear area. The idea is
   that in the territory of each army group an economic
   inspectorate is to be established at the seat of the commander
   of the military rear area, and that this inspectorate will
   supervise the economic exploitation of the territory.
   A distinction must be made between the military rear area on
   the one hand, and the battle area proper, and the rear area of
   the army on the other hand. In the last, economic matters are
   dealt with by the IV Econ (IV Wi) of the Army Headquarters
   Command, that is the liaison officer of the Industrial
   Armament Office within the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces
   at the Army Headquarters Command. For the battle area, he has
   attached to him technical battalions, reconnaissance and
   recovery troops for raw materials, mineral oil, agricultural
   machinery, in particular tractors and means of production.
   In the territory between the battle and the military rear
   area, the rear area of the army, Group IV Econs at the various
   field commands,

                                                        [Page 246]

   are placed at the disposal of the liaison officer of the
   Industrial Armaments Office in order to support the army
   headquarters commands' specialists, responsible for supplying
   the troops from the country's resources, and preparing the
   subsequent general economic exploitation.
   While these units move with the troops, economic
   inspectorates, economic commands and their sub-offices remain
   established in the locality.
   The new feature inherent in the organisation under the command
   of the Economic Staff 'Oldenburg' is that it does not only
   deal with military industry, but comprises the entire economic
   field. Consequently, all offices are no longer to be
   designated as offices of the military industries or armaments,
   but quite generally as economic inspectorates, economic
   commands, etc.
   This also corresponds with the internal organisation of the
   individual offices which, from the Economic Staff 'Oldenburg'
   down to the economic commands, requires a standard subdivision
   into three large groups, i.e.
      Group M, dealing with troop requirements, armaments,
      industrial transport organisation
      Group L, which concerns itself with all questions of
      feeding and agriculture, and
      Group W, which is in charge of the entire field of trade
      and industry, including raw materials and supplies;
      further, questions of forestry, finance and banking, enemy
      property, commerce and exchange of commodities, and
      manpower allocation.
   Secretary of State Backe is appointed Commissioner for Food
   and Agriculture in the General Staff; the problems falling
   within the field of activities of Group W are dealt with by
   General von Hanneken."

The remainder of the document deals with local subdivisions,
personnel and planning problems, and similar details, which I
think it unnecessary to put into the record.

These documents portray vividly the coldly calculated method with
which those Nazis prepared months in advance to rob and loot their
intended victim. They show that the conspirators not only planned
to stage a wanton attack on a neighbour they had pledged to
security, but that they also intended to strip that neighbour of
his food, his factories, and all his means of livelihood.

As I shall point out more fully later, when I discuss the question
of motive, these men made their plans for plunder while fully
aware that to carry them out would necessarily involve ruin and
starvation for millions of the inhabitants of the Soviet Union.

THE PRESIDENT: This would be a good time to adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

MR. ALDERMAN: May the Tribunal please, I have been informed by the
interpreters that I have been speaking at a great speed this
morning, so I shall try to temper the speed.

Next, the politics of destruction, preparation for the political
phase of the aggression. As I have already indicated and as I
shall develop more fully later in this discussion, there were both
economic and political reasons

                                                        [Page 247]

motivating the action of the conspirators in invading the Soviet
Union. I have already discussed the extent of the planning and
preparations for the economic side of the aggression. Equally
elaborate planning and preparation was engaged in by the
conspirators to ensure the effective carrying out of the political
aims of their aggression. It is, I believe, sufficient at this
point to describe that political aim as the elimination of the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a powerful political factor
in Europe, and the acquisition of "Lebensraum.".

For the accomplishment of this purpose, the Nazi conspirators
selected as their agent the defendant Rosenberg. As early as 2nd
April, 1941, Rosenberg, or a member of his staff, prepared a
memorandum on the U.S.S.R. This memorandum speculates on the
possibility of a disagreement with the U.S.S.R., which would
result in a quick occupation of an important part of that country.
This memorandum then considers what the political goal of such
occupation should be, and suggests ways for reaching such a goal.

The memorandum is Number 1017-PS in our series, and I offer it in
evidence now as Exhibit USA 142.

Beginning with the second paragraph, it reads, under the subject,
"The U.S.S.R.":

   "A military conflict with the U.S.S.R. will result in an
   extraordinarily rapid occupation of an important and large
   section of their territory. It is very probable that military
   action on our part will very soon be followed by the military
   collapse of the Soviet Union. The occupation of these areas
   would then present not so many military as administrative and
   economic difficulties. Thus arises the first question:
   Is the occupation to be determined by purely military and/or
   economic needs, or is the laying of political foundations for
   a future organisation of the area also a factor in determining
   how far the occupation shall be extended? If so, it is a
   matter of urgency to fix the political goal which is to be
   attained, for it will, without doubt, also have an effect on
   military operations.
   If the political overthrow of the Eastern Empire, in the weak
   condition it would be at the time, is set as the goal of
   military operations, one may conclude that:
      (1) The occupation must comprise areas of vast proportions.
      (2) From the very beginning, the treatment of individual
      sections of territory should, as regards administration, as
      well as economics and ideology, be adapted to the political
      ends we are striving to attain.
      (3) Again, extraordinary questions concerning these vast
      areas, such as, in particular, the ensuring of essential
      supplies for the continuation of war against England, the
      maintenance of production which this necessitates and the
      great directives for the completely separate areas, should
      best be dealt with all together in one place.
   It should again be stressed here that, in addition, all the
   arguments which follow, of course, only hold good once the
   supplies from the area to be occupied, which are essential to
   Greater Germany for the continuance of the war, have been

                                                        [Page 248]
   Anyone who knows the East, sees in a map of Russia's
   population the following national or geographical units:
      (a) Greater Russia, with Moscow as its centre.
      (b) White Russia, with Minsk or Smolensk as its capital.
      (c) Esthonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
      (d) The Ukraine, and the Crimea, with Kiev as its centre.
      (e) The Don area, with Rostov as its capital.
      (f) The area of the Caucasus.
      (g) Russian Central Asia or Russian Turkestan."

The memorandum then proceeds to discuss each of the areas or
geographical units in some detail, and I shall not read those
pages. At the end of the paper, however, the writer sums up and
briefly outlines his plan. I should like to read that portion into
the record. It is at the bottom of Page 4 of the English
translation under the heading "Summary":-
   "The following systematic constructional plan is evolved from
   the points briefly outlined here:-
   (1) The creation of a Central Department for the Occupied
   Areas of the U.S.S.R., to be confined more or less to the
   war's duration.
   Working in agreement with the higher and supreme Reich
   authorities, it would be the task of this department :
      (a) To issue binding political instructions to the separate
      administration areas, having in mind the situation existing
      at the time and the goal which is to be achieved.
      (b) To secure for the Reich supplies essential to the war
      from all the occupied areas.
      (c) To make preparations for, and to supervise the carrying
      out, in outline, of the primarily important questions for
      all areas as, for instance, those of finance and funds,
      transport, and the production of oil, coal and food.
   (2) The carrying out of sharply defined decentralisation in
   the separate administration areas, grouped together by race or
   by reason of political economy, for the performance of the
   totally dissimilar tasks assigned to them.
   As against this, an administrative department, regulating
   matters in principle, and to be set up on a purely economic
   basis, as is at present envisaged, might very soon prove to be
   inadequate, and fail in its purpose. Such a central office
   would be compelled to carry out a common policy for all areas,
   dictated only by economic considerations, and this might
   impede the carrying out of the political task and, in view of
   its being run on purely bureaucratic lines, might possibly
   even prevent it.
   The question therefore arises, whether the opinions which have
   been set forth should not, purely for reasons of expediency,
   be taken into consideration from the very beginning, when
   organising the administration of the territory on a basis of
   war economy. In view of the vast spaces and the difficulties
   of administration which arise from that alone, and also in
   view of the living conditions created by Bolshevism, which are
   totally different from those of Western Europe, the whole
   question of the U.S.S.R. would require different treatment
   from that which has been applied in the individual countries
   of Western Europe."

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Is that signed?

                                                        [Page 249]

MR. ALDERMAN: It is not signed. No, Sir.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Is it in the defendant Rosenberg's

MR. ALDERMAN: It was in the Rosenberg file.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Is there anything to indicate that he
wrote it?

MR. ALDERMAN: No. I said it was evidently prepared by Rosenberg or
under his authority. We captured the whole set of Rosenberg files,
which constitutes really a large library.

It is evident that the "presently envisaged administration
operating on a purely economic basis" to which this memorandum
objects, was the Economic Staff "Oldenburg", which I have already
described as having been set up under Goering and General Thomas.

Rosenberg's statement, if this be his statement, of the political
purpose of the invasion and his analysis of the achieving of it,
apparently did not fall on deaf ears. By a Fuehrer order, dated
20th April, 1941, Rosenberg was named Commissioner for the Central
Control of Questions connected with the East European Region. This
order is part of the correspondence file regarding Rosenberg's
appointment, which has been given the Number 865-PS in our series.
I ask that this file, all relating to the same subject, and
consisting of four letters, all of which I shall read or refer to,
be admitted in evidence as Exhibit USA 143.

The order itself reads as follows; it is the first item on the
English translation of 865-

   "I name Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as my Commissioner for
   the Central Control of Questions connected with the East
   European Region.
   An office, which is to be established in accordance with his
   orders, is at the disposal of Reichsleiter Rosenberg for the
   carrying out of the duties thereby entrusted to him.
   The necessary money for this office is to be taken out of the
   Reich Chancellery Treasury in a lump sum.
   Fuehrer's Headquarters, 20th April, 1941. The Fuehrer
   (signed), ADOLF HITLER. Reich Minister and Head of Reich
   Chancellery (signed), DR. LAMMERS."

This particular copy of the Fuehrer's order was enclosed in a
letter which Dr. Lammers wrote to the defendant Keitel requesting
his co-operation for Rosenberg, and asking that Keitel appoint a
deputy to work with Rosenberg. This letter reads as follows: it is
on the stationery of the Reich Minister and the Head of the Reich
Chancellery, Berlin, 21st April, 1941. I omit the salutation:

   "Herewith I am sending you a copy of the Fuehrer's Decree by
   which the Fuehrer appointed Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as
   his Commissioner for the Central Control connected with the
   East European Region. In this capacity Reichsleiter Rosenberg
   is to make the necessary preparations for the probable
   emergency with all speed. The Fuehrer wishes that Rosenberg
   shall be authorised for this purpose to obtain the closest co-
   operation of the highest Reich authorities, receive
   information from them, and summon the representatives of the
   highest Reich authorities to conferences. In order to
   guarantee the necessary secrecy of the commission and the
   measures to be undertaken, for the time being only those of
   the highest Reich authorities should be informed on whose
                                                        [Page 250]
   co-operation Reichsleiter Rosenberg will primarily depend.
   They are: The Commissioner for the Four Year Plan" - that is
   Goering - "the Reich Minister of Economics and you yourself" -
   that is Keitel.
   "Therefore, may I ask you, in accordance with the Fuehrer's
   wishes, to place your co-operation at the disposal of
   Reichsleiter Rosenberg in the carrying out of the task imposed
   upon him.
   It is recommended, in the interests of secrecy, that you name
   a representative in your office with whom the office of the
   Reichsleiter can communicate and who in addition to your usual
   deputy should be the only one to whom you should communicate
   the contents of this letter.
   I should be obliged if you would acknowledge the receipt of
   this letter.
   Heil Hitler, Yours very sincerely (signed), DR. LAMMERS."

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.