The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Kaltenbrunner, as chief of the RSHA, must be guilty. The
reports of the Einsatz Commandos were sent to him monthly.
You will remember the words of Gisevius, a witness for the
defence:

  "We asked ourselves whether it was possible that an even
  worse man could possibly be found after such a monster as
  Heydrich .... Kaltenbrunner came ... and things got worse
  every day .... He had the experience that perhaps the
  impulsive actions of a murderer like Heydrich were not as
  bad as the cold legal logic of a lawyer who was handling
  such a dangerous instrument as the Gestapo."

You will remember his description of those horrible luncheon
parties at which Kaltenbrunner discussed every detail of the
gas chambers and of the technique of mass murder.

                                                  [Page 463]

Rosenberg's guilt as the philosopher and theorist who made
the ground fertile for the seeds of Nazi policy is not in
doubt, and it is beyond belief that he, as Reich Minister
for Eastern Occupied Territories, did not know of and
support the destruction of the ghettoes and the operations
of the Einsatz Commandos. In October, 1941, when the
operations of those Commandos were at their height, one of
Rosenberg's ministerial department chiefs was writing to the
Reich Commissioner for the East in Riga informing him that
the Reich Security Main Office had complained that he had
forbidden the executions of the Jews in Libau and asking for
a report upon the matter. On 15th November, the report comes
back addressed to the Reich Minister for Occupied Eastern
Territories:

  "I have forbidden the wild executions of Jews in Libau
  because they were not justifiable in the manner in which
  they were carried out. I should like to be informed
  whether your inquiry of 31st October is to be regarded as
  a directive to liquidate all Jews in the East? Shall this
  take place without regard to age and sex and economic
  interests? ... Of course, the cleansing of the East of
  Jews is a necessary task; its solution, however, must be
  harmonised with the necessities of war production."

Frank - if it is not sufficient to convict him that he was
responsible for the administration of the Government General
and for one of the bloodiest and most brutal chapters in
Nazi history - has himself stated:

  "One cannot kill all lice and all Jews in one year."

It is no coincidence that that was exactly Hitler's
language.

And again:

  "As far as the Jews are concerned, I want to tell you
  quite frankly that they must be done away with in one way
  or another .... Gentlemen, I must ask you to rid
  yourselves of all feeling of pity. We must annihilate the
  Jews wherever we find them and whenever it is possible in
  order to maintain the structure of the Reich as a whole
  .... We cannot shoot or poison 3,500,000 Jews, but we
  shall nevertheless be able to take measures which will
  lead to their annihilation."

Can Frick, as Minister of the Interior, have been unaware of
the policy to exterminate the Jews? In 1941 one of his
subordinates, Heydrich, was writing to another - the
Minister of Justice:

  "It may safely be assumed that in the future there will
  be no more Jews in the annexed Eastern territories."

Can he, as Reich Protector for Bohemia and Moravia, deny
responsibility for the deportations of thousands of Jews
from his territory to the gas chambers of Auschwitz, only a
few miles across the frontier?

Of Streicher, one need say nothing. Here is a man more
responsible, perhaps, than any, for the most frightful crime
the world has ever known. For twenty-five years the
extermination of the Jews had been his terrible ambition.
For twenty-five years he had educated the German people in
the philosophy of hate, of brutality, of murder. He had
incited and prepared them to support the Nazi policy, to
accept and participate in the brutal persecution and
slaughter of millions of his fellow-men. Without him these
things could not have been. It is long since he forfeited
all right to live.

The fact that the defendants Schacht and Funk dealt chiefly
with economics ought not to blind the Tribunal to their
important part in the general plan. Schacht says that he had
clean hands in this matter. It is for you to say. Schacht
played his part in bringing Hitler to power. He says he
thought that Hitler was "a man with whom one could co-
operate", and assured Hitler that he could always count on
him "as your reliable assistant". He helped to consolidate
the Nazi position and he was the main figure in collecting
election funds from the industrialists.

It then became his task to provide the economic plan and
machinery necessary to launch and maintain aggression. He
knew the policy about the Jews, he knew the methods Hitler
was using to build up his power, he knew the ultimate aim
was

                                                  [Page 464]

aggression. But he continued to play his part. Messersmith
has summed up his work:

  "Yet by Schacht's resourcefulness, his complete financial
  ruthlessness and his absolute cynicism, Schacht was able
  to maintain and to establish the situation for the Nazis.
  Unquestionably, without this complete lending of his
  capacities to the Nazi Government, and all of its
  ambitions, it would have been impossible for Hitler and
  the Nazis to develop an armed force sufficient to permit
  Germany to launch an aggressive war."

The fact that that was in Schacht's mind was shown at a very
early date most clearly in a secret report issued by his
Ministry of Economics on 30th September, 1934. I have
already referred to his deputy's report showing the amazing
detail in which plans and preparations for the management of
German economy in time of war had been worked out before
Schacht resigned in 1937.

It is not surprising that on Schacht's 60th birthday the
then German Minister of War, von Blomberg, said to him:

  "Without your help, my dear Schacht, none of this
  armament could have taken place."

In the witness box Schacht says that as early as .the second
half of 1934 and the first half of 1935 he found he was
"wrong in thinking" that Hitler would bring the
"revolutionary forces" of Nazism into the regular
atmosphere, and he discovered that Hitler did nothing to
stop the excesses of individual Party Members or Party
Groups. He was pursuing a "policy of terror".

That accords very closely with Schacht's statement to the
American Ambassador in September, 1934:

  " ... the Hitler Party is absolutely committed to war and
  the people too are ready and willing. Only a few
  Government officials are aware of the danger and are
  opposed."

Schacht's further suggestions that his purpose in the
Government was to be critical and was to act as a brake are,
as we submit, impossible to reconcile with his own actions.
He need not have become Minister of Economics according to
his own account, but he did so none the less. In May, 1935,
the month in which he undertook his task as General
Plenipotentiary for War Economy, "to put all economic forces
in the service of carrying on the war and to secure the life
of the German people economically", he wrote to Hitler:

  "All expenditures which are not urgently needed in other
  matters must stop and the entire, in itself small,
  financial power of Germany must be concentrated toward
  the one goal - to arm."

In May, 1936, he told a secret meeting of Nazi Ministers
that his programme of financing armaments had meant "the
commitment of the last reserve from the beginning". He said
he would continue to work since he stood "with unswerving
loyalty to the Fuehrer  because he fully recognises the
basic idea of National Socialism".

In 1937, when Hitler bestowed the Golden Party Badge upon
him, Schacht appealed to all his colleagues:

  "Further to devote with all their hearts their entire
  strength to the Fuehrer and the Reich. The German future
  lies in the hands of our Fuehrer."

The mercy killings; the persecution of the Jews. These
things must have been known at that time. Were his hands so
clean?

In the light of these quotations it is not unexpected to
find Ambassador Dodd, whom Schacht counted among his
friends, recalling in his diary on 21st December, 1937:

  "Much as he dislikes Hitler's dictatorship he (Schacht)
  as most other eminent Germans wishes annexation, without
  war if possible, with war if the United States will keep
  hands off."

These quotations, in our submission, make it clear that
Schacht knew well that Hitler's aim was war very much
earlier than he himself admits. He does admit,

                                                  [Page 465]

however, that he knew that the plot to discredit General von
Fritsch meant war. Despite that knowledge, on 9th August,
1938, he accepted the appointment, as Reichsbank President
for an additional four years. He joyously took part in the
acquisition of the former Austrian National Bank on 21st
March, 1938, and on 7th June, 1939, wrote to Hitler:

  "From the beginning the Reichsbank has been aware of the
  fact that a successful foreign policy could be attained
  only by the reconstruction of the German armed forces. It
  therefore assumed to a very great extent the
  responsibility to finance the rearmament in spite of the
  inherent dangers to the currency. The justification
  thereof was the necessity - which pushed all other
  considerations into the background - to carry through the
  armament at once, out of nothing and furthermore under
  camouflage which made a respect-commanding foreign policy
  possible."

These words, and others like them, are merely putting into
fine phrases Schacht's knowledge that, if the proposed
victims resisted, Hitler was prepared and would be able to
plunge into war conditions to achieve his aims. Schacht's
intellect and international position only increased the
cynical immorality of his crimes.

Moreover, Schacht must face these facts. The Tribunal has
seen the evidence of the film which showed his sycophantic
trotting beside Hitler and smarming over him in 1940. Long
before 1943 he must have known of the treatment of the Jews
and the reign of terror in occupied countries. Yet until
1943 Schacht remained a minister without portfolio and at
all events lent his name and weight to this regime of
horror. Should anyone be left to boast that he did this with
impunity?

Funk carried on Schacht's work. He had already rendered
invaluable service to the conspirators by his organization
of the Ministry of Propaganda. From 1938 on he was Minister
of Economics, President of the Reichsbank and Chief
Plenipotentiary for Economics, mobilising economy for
aggressive war well knowing the Nazi plans for aggression.
We find him in every field; attending Goering's conference
on 12th November, 1938, the meeting of the Reich Defence
Council in June, 1939, advising on decrees to be issued
against the Jews at the former and the employment of
concentration camp and slave labour at the latter. The final
proof of the welcome with which he viewed aggression is
found in his letter to Hitler on the 25th August, 1939 the
day before the invasion of Poland had been said to begin; he
said:

  "How happy and how grateful we must be to you to be
  favoured to experience these colossal and world-moving
  times, and that we can contribute to the tremendous
  events of these days. General Field-Marshal Goering
  informed me last night that you - my Fuehrer -have
  approved in principle the measures prepared by me for
  financing the war, for settling up the wage and price
  system and for carrying out the plan for an emergency
  contribution.
  
  With the proposals worked out by me regarding a ruthless
  choking of any unessential consumption and any public
  expenditure and project not necessary for war, we will be
  able to meet all financial and economic demands without
  any serious repercussions."

His part during the war needs no further mention than
reference to the minutes of the Central Planning Board and
to his arrangement with Himmler for the exploitation of the
SS loot which, as he knew, came in truck-loads from
Auschwitz and the other concentration camps to the vaults of
the Reichsbank. The Tribunal will also remember the document
which shows that his Ministry of Economics received enormous
quantities of civilian clothing from these unhappy victims.

Was Donitz ignorant, when he addressed to a navy of some
600,000 men a speech on the "spreading poison of Jewry"?
Donitz, who thought fit to circulate to the Naval War Staff
Hitler's directive for dealing with the general strike at
Copenhagen - "terror should be met by terror" - and asked
for 12,000

                                                  [Page 466]

concentration camp workers for the shipyards, recommending
collective reprisals for Scandinavian workers in view of the
efficacy of similar methods in France.

Are Raeder's hands unstained with the blood of murder? As
early as 1933, to use his own words:

  "Hitler had made a clear political request to build up by
  the 1st April, 1938, armed forces which he could put in
  the balance as an instrument of political power."

When, therefore, he received successive orders to fight if
war resulted from Hitler's foreign policy, he knew very well
that war was a certain risk if that policy went awry. Again
and again he had this warning, first when Germany left the
Disarmament Conference, again at the time of the
negotiations for the Naval Agreement in 1935, at the time of
the Rhineland, and later when he attended the famous
Hoszbach Conference. He has tried to persuade this Tribunal
that he regarded Hitler's speeches at these meetings as mere
talk, yet we know that they gave Neurath a heart attack. His
old service comrades, von Blomberg and von Fritsch, who were
unwise enough to object at the conference which sealed the
fate of Austria and Czechoslovakia, were dealt with in a
manner which, in his own words, shook his confidence not
only in Goering but in Hitler as well.

Can Raeder have been ignorant of the murder of thousands of
Jews at Libau in the Baltic? You will remember the evidence
that many of them were killed in the naval port and the
facts reported by his naval officers at the local
headquarters to Kiel. We now know from the report of the
Commando which dealt with the Jews of Libau that at the end
of January, 1942, they had accounted for 11,860 in that
district alone. Raeder who, on Heroes' Day, 1939, spoke of
the clear and inspiring summons to fight international
Jewry. Do you really believe, when he was always helping
individual Jews, he had never heard of the horrors of
concentration camps or the murder of millions? Yet he still
went on.

Von Schirach. What need one say of him? That it were better
that a millstone had been placed round his neck...? It was
this wretched man who perverted millions of innocent German
children so that they might grow up and become what they did
become - the blind instruments of that policy of murder and
domination which these men carried out.

The infamous "Heu Aktion" by which between forty and fifty
thousand Soviet children were kidnapped into slavery was a
product of his work. You will remember the weekly SS reports
on the extermination of the Jews found in his office.

What is the crime of Sauckel whose Gau contained the
infamous camp of Buchenwald? Sauckel may now seek to put a
gloss on his order to shanghai Frenchmen, to deny that he
advocated the hanging of a prefect or a mayor to crush
opposition, to say that references to ruthless action
referred to interdepartmental disputes and that reformatory
labour camps were purely educational institutions. You who
have seen the documents which attest the horrors perpetrated
in what we are now told was the product of an emergency -
the urgent need for workers to feed the Nazi war machine,
you who have heard and read of the conditions in which seven
million men, women and children torn from their homes were
dragged into slavery at his orders can need no further proof
of his guilt.

Papen and, if mercy can survive his record in
Czechoslovakia, Neurath are in like case with Raeder. Like
him they professed old family and professional integrity,
factors which carry with them a great responsibility from
which men like Ribbentrop and Kaltenbrunner are free.

Within eighteen months of putting Hitler in power Papen knew
that Hitler's Government meant oppression of opponents, ill-
treatment of the Jews and persecution of the Churches
including his own. His recent political friends had been
sent to concentration camps or killed, including men like
von Schleicher and von Bredow. He had himself been arrested,
two members of his staff killed and another

                                                  [Page 467]

compelled to witness killing. None of these things were
hidden from von Neurath, yet he remained in office.


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