The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1998/05/01

                                                             [Page 93]
I now present to the Tribunal further details under the same heading,
including a certain number of documents which have been collected in
order to show, in accordance with our general line of presentation,
the perpetual interference of the German administrative services.

As I am a little behind my time-table, I shall give only the numbers
of these documents which I should like to offer in evidence, and which
I have no time to describe. They will become Exhibits RF 1238 to 1249.

I would like to read to the Tribunal only the document which bears the
exhibit number 1243, and which is interesting as showing the organic
character and the juridical pretensions of the German organisations. I
shall quote a few sentences from this document:

     "In the report made by the Chief of the Administrative General
     Staff on experience during the reprisal operation from 7th to
     14th December, 1941, it was proposed to avoid the execution of
     hostages in future and to replace them by death sentences to be
     pronounced by courts martial."
                                                             [Page 94]

I shall omit some lines and continue:

     "The reprisal will be carried out by pronouncing and inflicting
     capital punishment on prisoners who would normally be sentenced
     only to imprisonment, or else be acquitted altogether. This
     method of influencing the judge's determination of the sentence
     to be pronounced for murder and sabotage takes account of the
     French love of juridical form."

I should like now, in the last paragraph of my presentation, to submit
documentary evidence in connection with criminal actions of which the
Tribunal has not yet been informed and which involve the personal
responsibility of certain of the defendants present here. I must
remind you that the criminal actions of the Nazis took extremely
varied forms, which have already been put before the Tribunal at some
length. A particularly new and unusual manifestation of this consisted
in causing crimes to be committed by organised bands of murderers who
were ordinary criminals, under conditions which made it appear as if
these crimes were committed by ordinary bandits or even by Resistance
organisations, which they tried in this way to dishonour.

Such crimes were committed in all the occupied countries, but the
precautions taken -- with good reason -- to camouflage them sometimes
make it difficult to trace back the responsibility for these crimes to
the ringleaders -- the leaders of the Nazi State. We were, however,
able to find this evidence in the records of proceedings instituted in
Denmark. All the elements are contained in Danish reports of which we
were able to get possession only a short time ago.

I can indicate the position very briefly. It concerns a series of
murders known as "compensatory" or "clearing" murders. Counsel for the
defence tells me that there is an error in translation in the last
document which I read. He says that "acquittal" is not the correct
translation of "Begnadigung." As I do not know German, it is quite
possible that this error exists and that the word means "reprieve."

THE PRESIDENT: Which part of the document?

M. FAURE: This error really exists. I hope the Tribunal will excuse
me, because there is a considerable amount of translation work. I
shall read line 14 of document 1243:

     "Prisoners who would normally be sentenced only to imprisonment
     or else be acquitted altogether."
According to counsel for the defence that should be:

     "Prisoners who would normally be sentenced to imprisonment only
     or else be reprieved."
The construction of the sentence seems less good when this word is
used, which explains the error in translation, if there was one. In
any case, I think it is sufficient to note the instructions given: the
imposition of "capital punishment" in cases where a sentence of
imprisonment only would normally have been justified.

To come back to the subject I was discussing, I should like to make
the situation clear by reading the definition given in the Danish
report. It is found on Page 19 of the supplementary memorandum of the
Danish Government. This document was submitted last Saturday as
Exhibit RF 901. As it is very bulky, I see that it is not included in
the document book, but that the passages which I cite can be found in
my brief.

The page numbers start again at the end of this brief, and I am now on
Page 3 in the last series of numbers.

I quote Page 19 of the Danish report:

     "From New Year, 1944, onwards, a large number of persons -- most
     of them well known -- were murdered at intervals which grew
     steadily shorter. The door-bell would ring, for instance, and one
     or two men would ask to speak to them. The moment they appeared
     at the door..."
                                                             [Page 95]
THE PRESIDENT: I have not got it. Is it in this dossier of the
administrative and juridical organisation of the criminal actions?
Under which document?

M. FAURE: It is not in the document book. It is in the dossier of the

THE PRESIDENT: In the dossier? Which part of the dossier?

M. FAURE: It is the last part of the dossier. The numbering of the
pages starts again after Page 76. If the Tribunal will turn to Page
76, the page numbers begin again after that -- with Page 1.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I have it.

M. FAURE: I read from Page 19 of the report, the extract reproduced on
Page 3:

     "From New Year, 1944, onwards, a large number of persons -- most
     of them well known -- were murdered at intervals which grew
     steadily shorter. The doorbell would ring, for instance, and one
     or two men would ask to speak to them. The moment they appeared
     at the door they were shot by these unknown persons. Or someone
     would pretend to be ill and go to a doctor during the latter's
     consulting hour. When the doctor entered the room, the unknown
     shot him. At other times, unknown men would force their way into
     a house and kill the owner in front of his wife and his children.
     Or a man would be ambushed in the street by civilians and shot."
I do not need to read the following paragraph. I go on reading at the
last paragraph on Page 19:

     "As the number of victims increased it became clear to the Danes,
     to their amazement, that there was a certain political motive
     behind all these murders; for they realised that in one way or
     another the Germans were the instigators.
     After the capitulation of the German forces in Denmark,
     investigations by the Danish police established the fact that all
     these murders, running into hundreds, were in reality committed
     on the direct orders of the supreme authorities and with the
     active collaboration of Germans who occupied the highest
     positions in Denmark."
I end my quotation here, and I shall summarise what follows: The
Danish authorities were able to clear up these crimes -- 267 in number
-- and they are analysed in the official Danish report and the
documents attached to it.

These acts consisted not only in actual crimes but also in other
criminal activities, notably explosions. It was established that all
these acts were committed by bands consisting of Germans and some
Danes, who constituted real groups of bandits, but who acted, as I am
going to prove to you, on orders from the highest quarters.

The Danish report contains in particular the detailed story of the
investigation made into the first of these crimes, of which the victim
was Kaj Munk, the well-known Danish poet and pastor of a parish. The
crime was confessed by the men who carried it out.

I summarise the document in order not to take too much time.

     "The pastor was taken from his home, forced into a vehicle and
     killed on the highway. His body was found next day with a sign
     pinned on it with the words, "Swine, you worked for Germany just
     the same."
The Tribunal sees how many similar crimes were committed in the vilest
possible way. Now, one of the first things discovered was that the
members of the gangs of bandits who committed these different crimes
had all received a personal letter of congratulation from Himmler. The
text of this letter, which was found on one of the murderers,
constitutes Appendix 14 of the Danish report, and in addition we have
here photostatic copies with Himmler's signature.

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