The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/02/21

[DR. KUBUSCHOK, Continued]

Juettner's testimony, as well as the affidavits of
Hoerauf and Freund, point to the fact that the Supreme
Leadership of the SA maintained close relations with
British and French circles for the purpose of forming a
Western Pact up to the moment when it was eliminated
from politics. I have proved that the SA received
financial assistance from abroad in connection with
these negotiations; furthermore, I have shown that in
1932 the leadership of the SA was actually engaged in
negotiations with German Government circles for a
coalition against Hitler. I have proved that from a
political point of view there existed three deliberate
trends as regards foreign policy, just as I also
indicated that the Eastern and the Western trends were
mutually opposed. In this connection, may I refer to
the following extract from the speech of a member of
the British prosecution of the 31st of July, 1946. I

  "If the German side could show that the British
  government had given economic assistance to the SA
  in order to bring it into power, subject to the
  condition that Roehm was placed in control, the
  defence would, indeed, have considerably advanced
  its own case. Because it is obvious that that
  Government of 1946 could not join in the trial
  against the SA if it had supported the SA in 1934."

The affidavit submitted by Hoerauf, however, shows
clearly and unequivocally that the negotiations carried
on between Anglo-French political elements and the SA
leadership in those days were, indeed, perfectly
obvious. I have furthermore shown that the contacts
with British and French representatives are a clue to
the events of 1934.

                                             [Page 219]

The Indictment charges that the SA was at all times a
willing tool in the hands of the conspirators. The best
proof to the contrary is offered by the events of the
30th June, 1934. In connection with these events, the
erroneous opinion is heard again and again that it had
been possible in those days to crush an SA Putsch or a
Putsch of a small clique intent upon seizing power.
There can be nothing more mistaken than this train of
thought. For the fact is that the SA led a life of its
own within the Party as shown by Freund's affidavit
(General SA-83). It is clear beyond a doubt that in the
time of Chief of Staff Roehm the majority of the SA had
little or no contact with the Party. The situation in
1934 was such that every free expression of opinion,
above all in the Party itself, had already been
suppressed and rigorous regimentation had been
established. Everything was under the influence of the
tendency toward political co-ordination
(Gleichschaltung), coercion was triumphant and
dominated public life completely. The Reich Cabinet had
already been practically eliminated at that time. The
Reichstag was nothing but a dummy and had no positive
value whatsoever.

There was a time when the SA had enthusiastically
advocated a leadership staff, but it now realized that
Hitler, as Chief of Staff Roehm expressed it,
surrounded himself with demagogues and non-politicians
and, instead of becoming a national leader, had become
a dictator. The Supreme Leadership of the SA viewed
this development with growing distrust because it
involved the great danger that the nation, which had
given unlimited powers to the Fuehrer, was completely
eliminated from the future development of the Reich and
its policy. This danger and the conditions created by
coercion brought about an untenable situation. Thus,
there arose, at first strictly concealed, the
opposition of the Supreme SA Leadership led by Chief of
Staff Roehm.

Their intention was to remove the existing system and
to replace it with a real popular government having the
active co-operation of the people themselves. All the
preparations, which have also been mentioned by the
witness Juettner in the meeting of the Commission, were
made along these lines. It was shown that Roehm
intended to gather information at the Kulmbach
convention about the situation of the workers which had
come about from the dissolution of the labour unions by
Ley. Here it should be expressly emphasized that Roehm
authorized the participation of members of the SA in
the liquidation of the unions only because the
organization of the Left had weapons stored in the
labour union headquarters, and it was to be a expected
at any moment that civil war might spread from these
labour union headquarters to the nation at large.

Roehm intended to dissolve the SS. This is proved by
the affidavit of former SA Brigadefuehrer Freund.
Roehm's endeavour to achieve the consolidation of the
Central European area by way of negotiations with the
Western powers is connected with this new State which
was to be created. It has been shown that these
negotiations had been under way for a number of years
(Juettner's testimony, Freund's affidavit).

One of the last negotiators was SA Obergruppenfuehrer
von Detten, as revealed in the affidavit of
Brigadefuehrer Freund. All the documents dealing with
the military-political aspects of the SA submitted by
the prosecution are related to this unsuccessful
attempt made by Chief of Staff Roehm. As the witness
Juettner clearly testified, Roehm believed in the
creation of a popular militia according to the Swiss
model and based upon the framework of the SA, as part
of the great plan for the creation of a Western Pact.
It is regrettable that it was impossible to produce
some witnesses who might have given further information
on this matter to the Tribunal. Roehm's attempt failed.
In addition, differences with the Reichswehr also
contributed to his downfall. The 30th June, 1934, was
the result of this development. The first attempt to
eliminate Hitler's dictatorship definitely failed. More
than 200 SA leaders were shot. From that time Heinrich
Himmler was uncrowned king in Germany.

                                             [Page 220]

The true background of the 30th June, 1934, was not
supposed to become known in Germany and abroad, as this
would have seriously shaken Hitler's prestige and that
of his Government. That was the reason why the huge
smoke-screening machinery of the Press was wound up and
set in motion to divert the attention of the masses,
and that was also why such a comparatively large number
of persons were shot to prevent them talking. Among
Party members it was forbidden to talk about the 30th
June, 1934.

It is an interesting parallel that an SA leader was
likewise involved on 20th July, 1944, SA
Obergruppenfuehrer Count Helldorf. He was hanged.

After 30th June, 1934, the SA sank into complete
insignificance. After 30th June, 1934, the SA was
regarded as a disagreeable appendage. The SA was
considered politically unreliable. Therefore, as was
repeatedly established by the testimony of witnesses
before the Commission, it was not given any further
duties. The SA's destiny from that day on was nothing
but the search for a task. Officially the SA was
supposed to handle military-political education and
athletics. In reality, however, the Party entrusted the
SA with totally inferior tasks. The attitude of the
Party towards the SA became particularly evident in
1939. As the witness Juettner has clearly stated, it
was Bormann who sabotaged the decree of 30th January,
1939, and who did not permit the pre-military training
duties of the SA to be carried out. The witness Bock
has informed us of the preparation and beginning of the
pre-military and post-military training programme. But
he also stated that this task of the SA was terminated.
Only the events of the war brought about the so-called
war-time SA military units (Wehrmannschaften).

Thus the SA was never able, as the prosecution says, to
"participate feverishly in the preparations for war."
It is absolutely impossible that, as the prosecution
claims, 25,000 officers were trained in SA schools.
This claim was unequivocally refuted by the testimony
of the witnesses Juettner and Bock. How unreliable the
SA became in Bormann's eyes is shown by the fact that
the Volkssturm was not built up from the SA. We learn
from one of the affidavits submitted that the reason
for this was the unreliability of the SA (General SA
No. 67). The elimination of the SA is demonstrated by
purely external evidence if we recall that Roehm was
Chief of Staff, Reich Leader and Reich Minister, Lutze
Chief of Staff and Reich Leader, and Schepmann only
Chief of Staff.

During the meetings of the Commission there was much
discussion about the "Wehrsport" work of the SA.
Nothing has been more completely misunderstood than
this. The SA is described by the prosecution as a semi-
military organization of volunteers, although the
duties of the Wehrmacht and the SA were clearly
separate from each other. Misunderstandings resulted
primarily from the fact that there is no correct
English translation of the word "Wehr." Nevertheless,
this concept ought to be clarified, for the prosecution
itself submitted Document 2471-PS. In this document it

  "The SA, the exponent of the desire for military
  preparedness (Wehrwille). The SA claims to be the
  exponent of the desire for military preparedness
  (Wehrwille) and of the defensive force (Wehrkraft)
  of the German people. The emphasis on these
  qualities may have led to misunderstandings abroad,
  partly because foreign languages are unable to
  translate correctly the terms 'Wehrwille' and
  'Wehrkraft' but substitute for them the terms
  'Kriegswille' or 'Kriegskraft,' while correctly
  'Verteidigungswille' or 'Verteidigungskraft' (force)
  should be used. Because 'Sich wehren' is a
  linguistic derivation from 'Abwehr' (defence),
  therefore, 'der sich wehrende' (the one who is
  defending himself) in every case is the one who is
  attacked; and, therefore, the imputations of
  aggressive military intentions are plainly absurd."

Ultimately, the Wehrmacht is the concentrated trained
and directed force of all men able to defend themselves
(Wehrfahig). At no time did the SA have anything to do
with that technical military training which is given in
the Wehrmacht.

                                             [Page 221]

Therefore, the SA athletic badge has been misjudged by
the prosecution. It is admitted that it was the purpose
of the SA athletic badge to train citizens fit for
military service (Wehrhaften). Indeed, it is also
stated in the first document of 15th February, 1935:

  "The new State demands a tough and hardy breed."

In the regulations concerning the implementation of the
document of 18th March, 1937, it states the following:

  "The training of the body in competitive sports is
  not a purpose in itself, but a means to strengthen
  German men spiritually and physically, to increase
  their efficiency, and to make them ready and able to
  serve for the maintenance of the nation even up to
  an advanced age."

It is also admitted that parallels exist between the
work of the Wehrmacht and the SA. The idea was that the
SA would train the German man to be a National
Socialist and political fighter, while the Wehrmacht
would give him the character and technical training of
the man-at-arms; it would train him for the defence of
the country. However, it would be going too far to call
the SA a military unit. At no time did the SA possess
any military value. The SA was nothing but an
association whose members amounted to millions. From
time to time field games were played, but it was
forbidden to base them on military exercises. The SA
man listened to an occasional lecture and practised
with small-calibre rifles, once every fortnight, just
as is done in rifle clubs. Therefore, the SA is far
from being a military unit, even if every company
(Sturm) should have had a maximum of five small-calibre
rifles, which, however, was not universally true. The
SA never possessed heavy arms, much less practised with

This was the limit of any relationship of the SA to the
Wehrmacht. At no time was it recognized by the
Wehrmacht. Service rank in the SA - no matter how high
it may have been - had not the slightest influence on
rank in the Wehrmacht. On the contrary, it often had
the effect of delaying promotion. Special training
certificates of the SA, such as riding certificates,
medical certificates, radio certificates, received no
recognition in the Wehrmacht. It is actually comic to
read in affidavits that SA men from engineer units were
used in Signal Corps regiments, and SA men from Signal
Corps units in army engineering units. It may be stated
in detail:

  1. The SA uniform was the most unsuitable uniform
  imaginable for military purposes. In this connection
  I refer to the testimony of the witness Bock.
  2. Apart from the small-calibre rifles already
  mentioned, only dagger and pistol were permitted.
  Moreover, the dagger was not introduced until after
  the year 1933. Only the Sturmfuehrers had pistols
  and only part of the Sturmfuehrers at that, namely,
  only those carried pistols who met the customary
  conditions in Germany for the firearms permit.
  3. There were no means of transportation in the SA.
  4. The SA had no depots for heavy weapons and no
  arsenals for small arms. Therefore, no training in
  the use of them could take place.
  5. The SA units did not correspond to the military
  units. Their composition and organization were not
  planned from the point of view of possible military
  service. With the exception of the "Feldherrnhalle"
  Standarte, the SA were not quartered in permanent
  barracks. The military jurisdiction (draft board and
  recruiting district headquarters) did not correspond
  with the SA classification. A "Standarte" in the
  country, for instance, was territorially split up
  into many small "Sturme" and "Truppen," which were
  not fixed in number and not comparable with a
  military regiment.
  6. Commands could not be passed on quickly.
  7. Exercises in military formation did not take
  8. The SA special units did not have any military
  tasks. They had no military equipment, just as they
  had no military value and no military mission. The
  SA riding companies served for equestrian sports.
  The engineer companies were for

                                             [Page 222]

  emergency service in case of natural disasters. The
  signal companies had the task of reading signals
  with primitive, old-fashioned methods, without the
  use of radio, which was forbidden, as can be seen
  from an affidavit. The medical companies of the SA
  served in accident cases in the field of public
  health service. Their training was in keeping with
  the Geneva Convention (testimony of Bock, Affidavit
  General SA 90).
  9. The so-called "Feldherrnhalle" army units were
  not subordinate to the Supreme SA Leadership as
  evidenced by the affidavit of the former Major-
  General Pape (General SA 18).
  10. The SA leaders were not chosen according to
  military consideration or ability (Bock's
  testimony.) The examination of the defendant von
  Schirach showed that the SA was incapable of
  providing military training. During the war the
  draft of an agreement was submitted to the SA for
  over a year, according to which the SA, like the SS
  and the police, was to furnish persons to the Hitler
  Youth for the purpose of training young men in
  military training camps. Documentary evidence in
  Exhibit USA 867 establishes that the SA leadership
  did not grant this request. As reason for this the
  defendant von Schirach states that the SA was not
  capable of doing it.

The concepts of "Wehrmannschaften" and "SA
Wehrmannschaften" were confused by the prosecution. In
the occupied territories the Wehrmannschaften
constituted a consolidation of local civilian offices
which were generally only concerned with
administration, but if the rear areas should become
endangered they were to be organized for their defence.
Furthermore, the term "Wehrmannschaften" in the
occupied territories also included local residents such
as Lithuanians, Latvians, Esthonians or White
Ruthenians, who likewise, had to defend themselves
against partisans.

However, the term SA Wehrmannschaften signifies
formations from the Reich itself which primarily were
supposed to organize the SA men dismissed from military
service in the Wehrmacht for the purpose of preserving
their military efficiency. They were to be a kind of
substitute for the former veterans' organizations.

The British prosecution has been good enough to submit
among its documents an article from the SA Mann, which
reveals what is really to be understood by military
training. Probably for purposes of comparison, to
determine whether the SA gave military training, it
quotes these articles which deal with the training of
British, French, Russian, and Italian youth, as well as
that of British Dominion youth and French youth. They
make it quite clear that the Supreme SA Leadership did
not give any such training.

The connecting link between the military training of
the SA and aggressive warfare was supposed to be a
series of articles on the so-called "Lebensraum"
question, which, indeed, the British prosecution has
meanwhile withdrawn, since this series of articles does
not indicate what the prosecution wished to maintain.
The articles quoted by the British prosecution on the
colonial problem mention only a peaceful recovery of
the colonies. As the proceedings before the Commission
have shown, these articles showed no signs of any war-
mongering spirit. 

Therefore, the leap which the
prosecution makes in order to prove the furthering of a
war of aggression by the SA is a leap in the dark. On
the contrary, I have shown that the Supreme SA
Leadership did everything possible to contribute to
understanding among nations. This was clearly shown by
the statements of the witness Oberlindober. I have also
shown that only individual ideological political
training was given at the Fuehrer schools of the SA,
and no military training. We see from affidavits that
songs which might perhaps have indicated an aggressive
tendency were forbidden by the Supreme SA Leadership. I
have shown that individual SA men who tried to preach a
war of revenge were expelled from the SA.

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