The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 1999/09/20

                                                               [Page 36]

The defendant Rudolf Hess occupied a leading position among the
conspirators from the very beginnings of the Fascist State.

It was Hess who had been the leader of the Fascist organization of the
University of Munich. It was he who had participated in the Munich
Putsch. It was he who, together with Hitler, had worked at the Fascist
Bible Mein Kampf, carrying out the duties of Hitler's private secretary.
It was he who had been president of the Central Political Commission of
the Fascist Party, and it was he who had carried into effect the bestial
policy of the Fascist cut-throats as "Deputy-Fuehrer" after the seizure
of power.

It was precisely Hess to whom, according to Hitler's decree of the 21st
April, 1933, "full rights were granted to take decisions on Hitler's
behalf in all questions concerning the leadership of the Party."

Later on Hess continued to seize one new post after the other in
Hitler's Government. As from the 1st December, 1933, he was Reich
Minister without portfolio "to ensure close collaboration between the
Party and shock troops with the civil authorities"; on the 4th February,
1938, he was appointed. member of the Secret Council; on the 30th
August, 1939, member of the Cabinet for the Defence of the Reich, and on
1st September, 1939, Hitler declared Hess his successor after Goering.
Hess was also appointed Obergruppenfuehrer SS and SA.

By a decree of the 27th July, 1934, Hitler compelled the leaders of all
the departments and ministries in Germany to present drafts of laws to
Hess for preliminary sanction.

Hess had to select and allocate the leading staff of the Fascist cadres.
This is testified by Hitler's decree of the 24th September, 1935, and by
other documents submitted to the Tribunal by the prosecution.

Special note should be taken of the active part played by Hess in
planning and carrying out aggressive wars. All the aggressive actions of
Hitler's Germany had been planned and prepared with the, direct
assistance of Hess and the Party machinery of the Nazis was subordinated
to him.

On the 12th October, 1936, in his speeches in Bavaria, Hess appealed to
the Germans "to use a little less fat, a little less pork, fewer
eggs..." "We know," said Hess, "that the foreign currency that is saved
in this way goes for armaments. And the slogan of the day is 'Cannons
instead of butter.'"

Hess spoke about this on the eve of his flight to England on the ist
May, 1941, speaking at the Messerschmitt factory where he made an appeal
for the continuation of the aggressive war.

Together with Hitler, Goering and other leaders of the Nazi conspiracy,
Hess signed the decrees concerning the annexation of other territories
seized by the Germans.

The man-hating Nuremberg laws, for the publishing of which the defendant
is also responsible, contain a special proviso authorizing Frick and
Hess to issue the necessary decrees-for carrying these laws into effect.
Hess signed the law on the " protection of race and honour," the decree
of 14th September, 1935, depriving the Jews of their right to vote, and
of their right to employment in Government offices, and also the decree
Of 20th May, 1938, extending the Nuremberg laws to Austria. The question
of the part played by Hess in organizing a network for espionage and
terroristic units abroad, in creating the SD (Security Service) and in
the recruitment of SS units has been sufficiently elucidated at this
The very position occupied by Hess in the Fascist Party and Hitler's
Government shows the active and leading participation of the defendant
in the preparation and realization of the common criminal plan of the
Fascist conspirators, and consequently the enormous share of his guilt
and responsibility for the Crimes against Peace, for the War Crimes and
the Crimes against Humanity.

Your Honours, in order to evaluate more correctly the importance of the
criminal activity of the defendant Hess as one of the more notorious
leaders of the Nazi

                                                               [Page 38]
Party and Hitler's Government, I shall remind you of the article in the
newspaper Nationale Zeitung, of 24th April, 1941, dedicated to Hess.

     "Many years ago -- it was before the beginning of the war -- Rudolf
     Hess was called the Conscience of the Party. It is not difficult to
     answer the question why this honourable name was given to the
     Fuehrer's Deputy. There is not an event in our public life that is
     not connected with the name of the Deputy Fuehrer. He is so
     versatile and original in his work and in his sphere of activity,
     that they cannot be described in a few words ... many measures
     carried out by the Government, especially in the field of war
     economy and in the Party, were realized entirely by the Deputy

Hess refused to offer explanations to the Tribunal. His counsel, Seidl,
declared with false pathos that Hess considered the present Tribunal
incompetent to judge the German war criminals ... and immediately
afterwards, without a pause, he presented proofs in his defence. Hess
even tried to declare himself insane to avoid the punishment he
deserved. But when he was convinced that such a manoeuvre would not help
him, he was forced to tell the Tribunal that he had simulated loss of
memory, that it had been a trick on his part, and he had to admit that
he bore full responsibility for all that he had done and signed,
together with the others.

Thus, this clumsy attempt of Hess to avoid responsibility was fully
exposed at the trial and he should suffer the full extent of his
punishment for his participation in the common plan or conspiracy for
committing Crimes against Peace, War Crimes and the most grievous Crimes
against Humanity, crimes perpetrated by him together with the other


The name of Martin Bormann is closely connected with the creation of
Hitler's regime. He was one of those who committed the most outrageous
crimes, directed at the annihilation of many hundreds of thousands.

Together with.the defendant Rosenberg, Bormann carried on with cruel per
severance a propaganda of racial theories together with the persecution
of the Jews.

He issued numerous instructions aiming at discrimination against the
Jews in Hitler's Germany, which discrimination later on had such fatal
effects and resulted in the annihilation of the Jews. By this activity,
he won Hitler's confidence. He was " authorized to represent the Party
in the sphere of Government activities" (Regulations and Orders of the
Party Chancellery, Vol. II, Page 228) and represent it he did. Thus, as
Chief of the Party Chancellery, he directly participated in the
annihilation of Jews, gipsies, Russians, Ukrainians, Poles and

Under his leadership the NSDAP became a police organization, closely co-
operating with the German Secret Police and the SS.

Bormann not only knew of all the aggressive plans of Hitler's
Government, but he also took an active part in their realization.

He made full use of the entire Party machinery of the NSDAP to realize
the agkressive plans of Hitler's Government, and he appointed the Party
Gauleiter as Plenipotentiaries for the Defence of the Reich in the
regions where they operated.

The NSDAP Party machinery, and Bormann personally, participated actively
in all measures taken by the German military and civil authorities for
the inhuman exploitation of prisoners of war.

This is proved by the numerous instructions and directives issued by

The materials of the prosecution and the legal proceedings have now
established the extent of mass annihilation resulting from the savage
ill-treatment of the prisoners of war.

The Party machinery and the defendant Bormann personally participated
directly in the measures adopted by Hitler's Government in connection
with the deportation of the peoples of the occupied territories for
slave labour.

The secret deportation of Ukrainian girls to Germany for enforced
Germanization was carried out with Bormarm's approval.

                                                               [Page 39]

By Hitler's order of 18th October, 1944, Bormann and Himmler were
entrusted with the leadership of the "Volkssturm," consisting of all men
from 16 to 6o years of age capable of carrying arms.

On the eve of the collapse of Hitler's Germany, Bormann headed the "Were-
wolf " underground organization for divertionist and subversive
activities behind the Allied lines.

Bormann participated directly in the plunder of historical and cultural
treasures and works of art in the occupied territories. In 1943 he made
suggestions for the intensification of the economic plunder in the
occupied territories.

Such are the crimes of the defendant Bormann, Hitler's closest
collaborator, sharing the full responsibility for the numerous crimes of
Hitler's Government and the Nazi Party.


Joachim von Ribbentrop was not only one of the principal instigators and
leaders of the foreign policy of Hitlerite Germany, but he was also one
of the most active participants in the criminal conspiracy.

Having officially entered the Nazi Party in 1932, the defendant,
however, contributed to the seizure of power by the Nazis long before
this actually occurred, and he rapidly became the official adviser of
the Party, inasmuch as he was the "collaborator of the Fuehrer on
matters of foreign policy."

Ribbentrop's promotion is indissolubly connected with the development of
the activities of the Nazi conspirators, activities directed against the
interests of peace.

In his testimony Ribbentrop declared: "He (Hitler) knew that I was his
loyal collaborator." That is why on the 4th February, 1938, Hitler
appointed the convinced and faithful Nazi, Ribbentrop, as official
leader of foreign policy, a post which was one of the most important
forces in the realization of the entire Nazi conspiracy.

Ribbentrop, however, did not limit his activities to the scope of
foreign policy. As member of the Hitlerite Government, the Reich Defence
Council and the Secret Council, he participated in the solution of all
the innumerable problems connected with the preparation of aggressive
wars. That is why he, Ribbentrop, although he was Minister for Foreign
Affairs, participated in the solution and realization of problems only
faintly relevant to foreign policy, such as the exploitation of manpower
in war time, the organization of the concentration camps, and so forth.
In this connection it should be noted that Ribbentrop signed a special,
large-scale agreement with Hirmnler on the organization of joint
intelligence service.

Ribbentrop became Reich Foreign Minister exactly at the beginning of the
realization of the plans of aggression, which reckoned on the submission
of Europe to Germany. This coincidence is no accident. Ribbentrop was
considered, not without reason, as the most adequate person for the
realization of this criminal conspiracy. He was preferred even to such
an expert in foreign provocation as Rosenberg, upon which the latter
then made an official complaint, not without reason. And Hitler was not
mistaken in his choice, for Ribbentrop fully justified his confidence.

As early as 12th February, 1938, a week after his appointment,
Ribbentrop, together with Hitler and the defendant Papen, who for a long
time before this date had been directing the diversionist activities of
the Nazi agency in Austria, participated in a conference at the

At this meeting he addressed an ultimatum, punctuated by threats, to the
Austrian Chancellor Schuschnigg and the latter's Foreign Minister,
Schmidt, demanding their agreement to the sacrifice of Austria's
independence, and this object was attained.

As Minister, Ribbentrop was present at the conference of 28th May, 1938,
during which a decision was made for the execution of plan "Gruen" --
the plan for aggression against Czechoslovakia.

                                                               [Page 40]

In conformity with the Nazi tactics of weakening their future victim
from inside, Ribbentrop constantly kept a close contact with and gave
material assistance first to the German Sudeten Party, and then to the
Slovak nationalists, with the object of attaining an internal split and
fratricidal war in Czechoslovakia.

Having seized Czechoslovakia, the Nazi conspirators, and Ribbentrop
amongst them, began to prepare for and to realize the next aggressive
act, which had already been outlined by them in their criminal plan
against peace-the attack on Poland.

Being forced by reason of the recently realized annexation of Austria
and Czechoslovakia to temporarily conceal Germany's further intentions,
Ribbentrop personally and through the agency of his diplomats
endeavoured to allay the vigilance of the European States by
hypocritical declarations to the effect that Germany had no further
territorial demands.

On 26th January, 1939, in Warsaw, the Foreign Minister of Fascist
Germany, Ribbentrop, declared:

     " . . . that the consolidation of friendly relations between
     Germany and Poland on the basis of existing agreements constituted
     the most important factor of Germany's foreign policy."

A very short time elapsed, and Poland experienced the full value of
these assurances of Ribbentrop.

I will not dwell here on the perfidious part played by the defendant
Ribbentrop in the German aggression against Denmark, Norway, Belgium,
Holland and Luxembourg, for my colleagues have already dealt with this
matter convincingly enough....

The defendant Ribbentrop personally participated in carrying out the
aggression against Yugoslavia and Greece.

Reverting to his favourite method of giving false guarantees in order to
conceal future aggressions, defendant Ribbentrop assured Yugoslavia, on
20th April, 1938, that after the Anschluss, Germany's frontiers with
Yugoslavia were considered both final and unalterable.

At that time, manifold preparations for aggression were carried out with
the assistance of the defendant Ribbentrop. On the 12th and 13th of
August, 1939, at the conference held by Hitler and Ribbentrop with Clano
at Salzburg, an agreement was reached concerning the liquidation of the
neutrals one by one.

With the direct and immediate assistance of the defendant Ribbentrop,
the Nazi conspirators planned, prepared and executed the treacherous
attack on the USSR of the 22nd June, 1941.

The defendant Ribbentrop himself admitted in this courtroom that at the
end of August and the beginning of September, 1940, i.e., at the time
when the work on plan "Barbarossa" was being carried out (as is evident
from the depositions of General Warlimont, General Mueller and Field-
Marshal Paulus) the defendant Keitel was discussing with him the
question of attacking the USSR.

The activities of the defendant and the ministry directed by him played
a primary part in the organization of war against the USSR with the
participation of Finland, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria.

Already after the beginning of the aggression of Germany against the
Soviet Union, the defendant Ribbentrop continued to apply his efforts to
lure new accomplices to the side of Germany. Thus in a telegram to the
German Ambassador in Tokio on ioth July, 1941, he said:

     " I beg you to try all the means at your disposal to influence
     Matsuoka in order to force japan to enter into war with Russia as
     soon as possible. The sooner, the better. The final aim should be
     that Japan and ourselves shake hands on the Siberian railway before
     winter comes."

As has been established at the trial, Ribbentrop, together with the
other defendants, was preparing a policy of extermination and plunder,
planned by the Hitlerites, and then carried it out in the temporarily
occupied territories of the Soviet Union. The defendant Rosenberg, who
was elaborating the plans for the

                                                               [Page 41]

exploitation of the occupied territories in Eastern Europe, held a
conference on this question with OKW, the Ministry of Economics, the
Ministry of the Interior, and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In
his " Report about preparatory work on the Eastern European question "
he wrote:

     "As a result of negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
     the latter appointed Consul General Braeutigam as their
     representative to Roseriberg."

It is therefore indisputable that Ribbentrop not only knew about the
preparations for the military attack on the USSR, but that he, together
with the other conspirators, had planned beforehand the colonization of
the territory of the Soviet Union, the enslavement and extermination of
the Soviet citizens.

The defendant was compelled to admit that he had known of the notes
issued by the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs V. M. Molotov
concerning the atrocities of the Hitlerites in the temporarily occupied
territories of the Soviet Union. He, as well as the other conspirators,
had also known the other declarations of the Chiefs of the Allied
Governments concerning the responsibility imposed upon the Nazi
Government for the perpetration of the monstrous atrocities in the
occupied countries.

Ribbentrop, as the witness for the defence, Steingracht, former
Secretary of State at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, has confirmed,
had been one of the initial organizers and was to be appointed honorary
member of the International Anti-Jewish Congress which the Germans hoped
to convene in July, 1944, in Cracow.

Ribbentrop himself admitted at the Trial that he had negotiated with the
Governments of European countries about the banishment of the Jews.

According to the record of Ribbentrop's conversation with Horthy:

     "The Minister of Foreign Affairs declared to Horthy that the Jews
     should either be exterminated or sent to concentration camps. There
     can be no other decision."

This statement amply confirms the fact that Ribbentrop was aware of the
existence of the concentration camps although he tried hard to prove the
reverse here.

Ribbentrop lent his support to other Nazi leaders and above all to the
defendant Sauckel in deporting the population of the occupied countries
for forced labour in Germany.

Moreover, the defendant Ribbentrop, when carrying out the common plan of
conspiracy which included the destruction of the national culture of the
peoples of the occupied territories, took a most active part in
plundering cultural treasures which are the common property of all

To carry out this task, and on Ribbentrop's instructions, a "Special
Service Battalion" had been created at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
which during the entire war followed the advance units, and
requisitioned and deported to Germany all kinds of cultural treasures
from the occupied territories in the East, in accordance with
Ribbentrop's directions.

Thus the defendant Ribbentrop had participated in the seizure of power
by the Nazis, playing a leading role in planning, preparing and waging
aggressive and predatory wars; together with the other conspirators he
participated, in accordance with the Fascist plans, in the leadership,
committing grievous crimes against the nations whose territories had
been temporarily occupied by the Hitlerite invaders.

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