The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/10/05

M. FAURE: Mr. President: Before resuming my brief, I should
like to ask the Tribunal if they could agree to hear, during
the afternoon session, a witness M. Reuter, President of the
Chamber of Luxembourg.

THE PRESIDENT: Certainly, M. Faure, if that is convenient to
you, the Tribunal is quite willing to hear the witness you

M. FAURE: I propose then to have him heard at the beginning
of the second part of the afternoon session.

Further I should like to point out in connection with
Exhibit RF 602, that where a part of the text was missing in
the document book, this is due to the fact that the page was
affixed elsewhere, that is to say before the first page - I
beg your pardon, but I must say the text was complete.
However, it was not in its proper order. I shall
subsequently put it in the dossier in its proper place.

I pointed out a moment ago that the different methods of
disguised annexation can correspond to the term
"vassalisation." From a German author I will borrow a
formula which is eloquent. It is Dr. Sperl, in an article in
the "Krakauer Zeitung," who used this expression: "A
differentiation in methods of German domination." In using,
thus, indirect and differentiated methods of domination, the
Germans acted in political matters, as we have seen before,
in the same way as they acted in economic matters. I had the
opportunity to point out to the Tribunal, in my first brief,
that the Germans immediately seized the keys of economic
life. If you will permit me to use this Latin expression, I
shall say as far as sovereignty in the occupied countries is
concerned they insured for themselves the power of the keys,
"potestas clavium"; they seized the keys of sovereignty in
each country. In that fashion, without being obliged to
abolish officially national sovereignty as in the case of
annexation, they were able to control and direct the
exercise of this sovereignty.

Beginning with these principle ideas, the plan of my brief
was conceived as follows:

In the first chapter I shall examine the regime in annexed
territories where national sovereignty was abolished. In a
second chapter I shall examine the mechanism of the seizure
of sovereignty for the benefit of the occupying power in the
regions which were not annexed. Then it will be suitable to
scrutinise the results of these usurpations of sovereignty
and the violation of the rights of the population which
resulted from them. I thought it necessary that I

                                                  [Page 348]

should group these results by dealing only with the
principal ones in a third and fourth chapter.

The third chapter will be devoted to spiritual
Germanisation, that is to the propaganda in the very
extensive sense that the German concept gives to this term.

Chapter four and the last, will bear the heading, "The
Administrative Organisation of Criminal Action."

I would now like to point out, as far as the documentation
of my brief is concerned, I have forced myself to limit the
number of texts which will be presented to the Tribunal and
I shall attempt to make my quotations as short as possible.
For the fourth chapter, for example, I might point out that
the French Delegation examined more than two thousand
documents, counting only the original German documents, and
of these I have kept only about fifty.

I should like also to point out to the Tribunal how the
documents will be presented in the document books which you
have before you. The documents are numbered at the top of
the page to the right; they are numbered in pencil and
correspond to the order in which I will quote them. Each
dossier has the pages numbered from one hundred onwards.

I would ask the Tribunal to now take up the document book
entitled: "The Annexed Territories of Eupen, Malmedy and

In carrying out, without any attempt or cloak of legality,
the annexation of occupied territories, Germany did
something much more serious than violating the rules of war.
It is the negation of the very idea of International Law.
The lawyer, Bustamante Y Sirven, in his treaties on
International Law expresses himself in the following terms
regarding this subject:

   "It can be observed that never have we alluded at any
   moment to the hypothesis that an occupation terminates
   because the occupying power takes possession of the
   occupied territory through his military forces and
   without any convention. The motive for this omission is
   very simple and very clear. Since conquest cannot be
   considered as a legitimate mode of acquisition, these
   results are uniquely the result of force and cannot be
   either determined or measured by the rules of law."

On the other hand, I have said just now that Germanisation
did not necessarily imply annexation. Inversely, we might
conceive that annexation did not necessarily mean
Germanisation. We shall prove to the Tribunal that
annexation was only a means, the most brutal one of
Germanisation, that is to say, Nazification.

The annexation of the Belgian Cantons of Eupen, Malmedy and
Moresnet, was made possible by a German law of 18 May 1940,
and was the subject of an executive decree of 23 May 1940.
These are public regulations which were published in the
Reichsgesetzblatt, Pages 777 and 804. I should like to ask
the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this.

As a result of this decree the three Belgian districts were
attached to the province of the Rhineland district of

A decree dated 24 September 1940 installed local German
government and German municipal laws. A decree of 28 July
1940 introduced the German judicial system in these
territories. Local courts were established in Malmedy, in
Eupen and St. Vith and district courts at Aachen which could
promulgate statutes for the local courts.

The Court of Appeal of Cologne replaced the Belgian Court of
Cassation for cases where the latter would have been
competent. German law was introduced in these territories by
the decree of 23 May 1940, signed by Hitler, Goering, Frick
and Lammers, and was effective as from September 1940.

                                                  [Page 349]

A decree of 3 September 1940, regulates the details of the
transition of Belgian law into German law, in the domains of
private law, commercial law and law of procedure.

By the decree of annexation German nationality was conferred
upon the inhabitants of German racial origin in Belgian
territory. The details of this measure were specified and
stipulated by the decree of 23 September 1941. All persons
who had acquired Belgian nationality as a result of the
ceding of these territories could, according to the terms of
the decree, resume their German nationality, with the
exception, however, of Jews and Gypsies.

All other inhabitants, on condition that they were racially
German, could acquire German nationality, which might be
revoked after ten years.

I shall not take up, at great length, the situation which
resulted from the annexation of these Belgian territories,
for the developments of the situation are analogous to those
which we shall examine in the other countries. I simply
would like to point out a special detail of this subject: A
law of 4 February 1941, signed by Hitler, Goering, Frick and
Lammers, granted the citizens of Eupen, Malmedy and
Moresnet, representation in the Reichstag, that is to say,
the benefits of the German parliamentary regime, the
democratic character of which is known.

I shall ask the Tribunal now to take up the file entitled
"Alsace and Lorraine." There is a file "Expose" and a file

Contrary to what took place in the Belgian cantons the
Germans did not officially proclaim by law the annexation of
the three French departments which constitute Alsace and
Lorraine. The very fact of this annexation, however, is in
no way doubtful. I should like to remind the Tribunal here
of extracts from a document which has already been submitted
to it, which is Number 3 of the French documentation. It
concerns a deposition made before the French High Court of
Justice by the French Ambassador, Leon Noel, who was a
member of the Armistice Delegation. I did not put this
document in your book again because I will only cite one
sentence from it. The document has already been submitted to
the Tribunal, as I have just said.

Ambassador Noel, in this document, pointed out the
conversations which he had at the time of the signing of the
Armistice Convention with the German representatives,
notably with the accused Keitel and Jodl. The sentence which
I would like to remind the Tribunal of is as follows:

   " ... and likewise, in thinking of Alsace and Lorraine,
   I required them to say that the administrative and
   judicial authorities of the occupied territories would
   keep their positions and functions and would be able. to
   correspond freely with the government."

The affirmations are dated 22 June 1940.

I am now going to submit to the Tribunal a document of 3
September 1940, which is a note of protest of the French
Delegation, addressed to the Armistice Commission. I submit
this to the Tribunal in order that the Tribunal may see that
during the period which elapsed between these two dates, a
period which covers barely two months, the Nazis had already
applied a series of measures which created, in an
incontestable manner, a state of annexation.

This document which I submit bears the number 701 of the
French documentation. It is the first document of the
document book which the Tribunal has before it. All the
documents in this chapter will bear numbers beginning with
the number 7, that is to say, beginning with 701.

This document comes from the file of the French High Court
of Justice and the copy submitted to the Tribunal has been
certified by the clerk of this jurisdiction, I should like
to quote from this document, beginning with the fourth
paragraph on Page 1 of the Exhibit RF 701:

                                                  [Page 350]

   "1. Prefects, sub-prefects and mayors, as well as a
   number of local officials whose tendencies were
   considered suspicious, have been evicted from their
   respective offices.
   2. Monseigneur Heintz, Bishop appointed under the
   Concordat to Metz, was driven from his diocese. Several
   members of the clergy, secular as well as regular, were
   also expelled, under the pretext that they were French
   in tongue and mentality.
   3. Monsiegneur Ruch, the Bishop appointed under the
   Concordat to Strasbourg, was forbidden to enter his
   diocese and; consequently, to resume his ministry.
   4. M. Joseph Burckel was appointed on 7 August,
   Gauleiter of Alsace. The first of these provinces." -

I ask the Tribunal's pardon: " M. Joseph Burckel, Gauleiter
of Lorraine and M. Robert Wagner, Gauleiter of Alsace." I
omit a line.

   "the first of these provinces was attached to the Gau of
   Saar-Palatinate the second to the Gau of Baden.
   5. Alsace and Lorraine were incorporated in the civil
   administration of Germany. The frontier and custom
   police were then placed on the Western limits of these
   6. The railroads were incorporated in the German
   7. The post offices, telegraph and telephone
   administration was taken over by the German postal
   authorities, who gradually substituted for the Alsatian
   personnel their own personnel.
   8. The French language was eliminated, not only in
   administrative life, but also from public use.
   9. Names of localities were Germanised.
   10. The racial legislation of Germany was introduced
   into the country and, as a result of this measure, the
   Jews were expelled, as well as nationals which the
   German authorities considered to be intruders.
   11. Only those Alsatians and Lothringians, who agreed to
   consider themselves as being of German stock, were
   permitted to return to their homes.
   12. The property of associations of a political
   character and of Jews was confiscated, as well as
   property acquired after 11 November 1918, by French

Nothing illustrates better the spirit which animates these
measures, in themselves arbitrary, than the words pronounced
publicly July 16, at Strasbourg, by M. Robert Wagner.
Stressing the elimination which was taking place of all
elements of foreign stock or nationality, this high official
affirmed that the purpose of Germany was to settle once and
for all the Alsatian question.

   "Such a policy, which could not be the function of
   subordinate occupational authorities, was equivalent to
   disguised annexation, and is strictly contrary to
   agreements subscribed to by Germany at Rethondes."

Numerous protests were subsequently addressed or lodged by
the French delegation. We have attached to our file a list
of these protests; there are 62 of them. This list is found
in the book as Exhibit RF 702.

The development of the German policy may now be studied
through three series of measures which were carried out.

   (a) A group or body of measures destined to ensure the
   elimination of what can be called the French complex,
   that is to say, of everything which can bind an
   inhabitant of an annexed country to his way of life and
   to his national tradition.
   (b) A body of measures destined to impose German
   standards in all domains of life
   of the population.
                                                  [Page 351]
   (c) The measures of transplantation and of colonisation.
   We use here the German terminology.
   (a) Elimination of the French complex.

The elimination of French nationality and of French law
automatically resulted from the measures which we shall
study relative to the imposition of German standards.

I should like to point out particularly, that the Germans
tried to fight against all elements of French organisation
which might have survived the suppression of their national
juridical conditions.

At first they prescribed, in an extraordinarily brutal way,
the use of the French language. Several regulations were
formulated relative to this. I shall cite only the third
regulation, bearing the date of 16 August 1940, entitled,
"Concerning the Reintroduction of the Mother Tongue." This
document is published in the Journal of German Ordinances or
Decrees of 1940, (Verordnungsblatt) at Page 2. It will
become Exhibit RF 703. The Tribunal will find it in the
document book after 702, which is the list of French
protests. I should like to read a large part of this
document, which is interesting, and I shall begin at the

   "Following the measures undertaken to reintroduce the
   mother tongue of the Alsatian people, I decree as
   1. Official Language.
   All public services or departments in Alsace, including
   administration of communities, of corporations within
   the meaning of civil law, public establishments,
   churches, and foundations, as well as tribunals, will
   exclusively use the German language, orally and in
   writing. The Alsatian population will exclusively use
   its German mother tongue in both oral and written
   applications to the above establishments."
   2. Christian and Family Names.
   Christian names will be exclusively used in their German
   form orally and in writing, even when they have been
   inscribed in the French language on the birth register.
   As soon as this present decree comes into force, only
   German Christian names may be inscribed upon the birth
   register. Alsatians who bear French Christian names,
   which do not exist in German form, are asked to apply
   for a change of their Christian names in order to show
   their attachment to Germanism. The same holds good for
   French family names."

I omit the following page.

   "3. Social Reasons.
   The enterprises and establishments having their seat in
   Alsace, trading, under a name which is entirely or
   partly French, must replace this trade name by a
   corresponding German designation by 15 September 1940,
   at the latest."

I shall omit the following sentence and go to paragraph 4:

   "It is forbidden to draw up, in the French language,
   contracts and accounts under private seal, of whatever
   nature they may be. Anything printed on business paper
   and on forms must be drawn up in the German language.
   Books and 'accounts of all business firms,
   establishments and companies must be kept in the German
   5. Inscriptions in Cemeteries.
   In the future, inscriptions on crosses and on tombstones
   can only be written in the German language. This
   provision applies to new inscriptions as well as to the
   renewal of old ones."

These measures were accompanied by a Press campaign. Because
of the

                                                  [Page 352]

resistance of the population, this campaign was carried on
throughout the occupation.

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