The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2001/03/01

An entire programme for training agents of the
Einsatzgruppen recruited from collaborators in foreign
countries and Germans from the Sudetenland was prepared. The
utilization of "suitable persons" of German origin living in
Czechoslovakia was equally envisaged, and special mention
was made of the point that: "one must bear in mind that in
spite of all precautionary measures we shall not have many
such people at our disposal since, under certain conditions,
a considerable number will be arrested, deported or killed."

The Einsatzgruppen, organized and prepared in German
territory, were to concentrated near the German-Czechoslovak
border in order to move info Czechoslovak territory jointly
with the invading armies. In this connection document says:
  "2. As soon as any district is free from the enemy, i.e.,
  when occupied, the allocated groups are immediately sent
  to the district administration centre, following the
  leading troops. With them at the same time, definite
  groups appointed for the next regions to be freed from
  the enemy, in order to gain a hold there."

For refuting the statement of the defence concerning the
relations between the SD and the Gestapo, the fifth part of
the document is of considerable interest, this passage being
specially dedicated to the delimitation of the activities of
the SD and the Gestapo. It says there: "Measures in the
Reich are carried out under the direction of the Gestapo.
The SD assist them. Measures in the occupied regions are
under the leadership of a senior SD leader. The Gestapo
officials are appointed to certain special purpose staffs."

There is therefore no possible doubt that it was precisely
the members of the SD who played the leading role in the
activities of the Einsatzkommandos in Czechoslovakia. They
were to stand at the head of the Einsatzkommandos, executing
directly the tasks assigned to them by the Reichsfuehrer SS,
for the extermination of the Czech patriots, the
annihilation of the intellectuals and the suppression of any
kind of national movement of liberation in the occupied

We have to pay special attention to the fact that members of
the SD specially detailed to the Einsatzgruppen had to
establish, as we can see from Paragraph 7 of the document, a
liaison with the units of the armed SS forces, or with the
SS units of special task units called the "Totenkopf." The
Einsatzkommando, specially formed by the SD before the
invasion of the Czechoslovak territory, had to accomplish,
in Germany, a preparatory criminal task. This consisted in

                                                  [Page 367]

the creation of the so-called "M Index Card." These index
cards were prepared in duplicate for each district. The
names of persons who for one reason or another were to be
eliminated were entered on these "M Index Cards." Questions
of life and death were decided by a simple note entered on
the index cards by an agent of the SD.

In the document quoted by me it is said in this respect:
  "(c) The card index, when filled in, must bear the
  references: arrest, dismissal, removal from office,
  observation, confiscation, police surveillance, deprival
  of passport, etc."

The compiling from the card index of all kinds of reference
books in which were entered the names of these people
captured in the temporarily occupied territories, who were
to be physically eliminated, was in general one of the
inalienable tasks of the SD. The direct physical elimination
was realized later by the Gestapo or by the special SS
units, by the Sonderkommandos, and the regular police.

In preparing the aggression against the Soviet Union, the
members of the SD carefully compiled a whole series of
reference books and investigation lists, in which were
entered the names of the representatives of the Soviet
intellectuals and political leaders who were to be
exterminated in accordance with the inhuman directives of
the Hitlerite criminals.

Appendix No. 2 to Operational Order No. 8 of the Chief of
Security Police of the SD, dated 17th July, 1941, said that
long before the beginning of the war against the Soviet
Union, the Security Service had compiled the "German
Research Book," "Lists of the Addresses," and a "Special
Research Book for the USSR," in which are entered all the
names of "Soviet Russians considered as dangerous."

We know from these instructions of Heydrich what the
intentions of the Hitlerite criminals in respect to those
"dangerous Russians" were.

All of them, without any judicial sentence whatsoever, were
to be exterminated by the Sonderkommandos in conformity with
instructions No. 8 and No. 14 of the RSHA, dated 17th July
and 29th October, 1941, respectively.

The same criminal task was carried out by the SD prior to
the invasion of Yugoslavia. The Soviet prosecution presented
to the Tribunal a "Research Book" prepared by the German
Balkan Institute; the so-called "Sud-Ost Deutches Institut,"
pertaining to the SD. This book contained the names of over
4,000 Yugoslav citizens who were to be arrested immediately
after the invasion of Yugoslavia. The book, previously
prepared by the SD, was transmitted to the executive police,
i.e., the Gestapo, which was to operate these arrests

The book was found in the registry office of the Gestapo at
Maribor and bore the following stamp made by an SD member:
"The persons mentioned in the text are to be arrested and
the RSHA to be informed immediately about the completion of
the task."

This institute of the SD carried on a special and
undermining activity by preparing Fifth Column agents in
Yugoslavia. A fellow worker in the SD, a lecturer in Graz
University, Hermann Ibler, prepared on this occasion a
special work entitled Des Reiches Sudgrenze, which bears the
stamp "top secret" and includes a list of Fifth Column
agents in Yugoslavia.

It was the SD who staged political provocation abroad. The
former Chief of the Security Police and SD, Kaltenbrunner,
had to confess to this, when interrogated by the
representative of the Soviet prosecution. He could not even
deny his signature on the letter to Ribbentrop, concerning
the allocation by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of one
million tomans for bribing voters in Iran.

The workers in the SD fully understood the part assigned to
them in the occupied territories for the realization of the
inhuman Hitlerite plans for the extermination of the
enslaved nation.

                                                  [Page 368]

>From this point of view a German document captured by the
units of the Polish Army in the Blockstelle of the SD at
Mogilno (Poland) and presented to the Tribunal by the Soviet
prosecution is most characteristic.

In this letter addressed to the intelligence agents of the
SD, a certain chief of a Blockstelle, a Hauptsturmfuehrer
SS, informs them of Himmler's speech of 15th March, 1940, in
which the latter requested the commanders of the
concentration camps scattered over Poland first to utilize
the qualified Polish workers in the system of the military
industries of the concentration camps, and later to
exterminate all these Poles. In his turn this
Hauptsturmfuehrer SS from Mogilno, therefore, requested all
his "trusted intelligence agents" of the SD to prepare lists
of Poles whom they considered as dangerous in order to
exterminate them at a later date.

The SD was one of the most important links in the inhuman SS
police machinery of German Fascism. It was an espionage and
intelligence organization spread over the entire territory
both of the "Old Reich," as well as throughout all the
temporarily occupied regions and countries. In certain
instances it was the agents of the SD who initiated the most
cruel police measures of the Hitlerites.

For this reason the Soviet prosecution, supported by
irrefutable evidence, considers that the entire system of
the SD is to be declared criminal.


In the course of the present Trial there have been repeated
attempts on the part of several of the defendants, the
defence and those witnesses for the defence from among the
generals of Hitlerite Germany, to represent both the German
High Command and the General Staff as organizations whose
activities were guided by the sole and fundamental principle
of "fulfillment of their soldierly duty."

The higher echelons of the German war machine were allegedly
far removed from the criminal politics of the Hitlerite
Government, did not participate in the solution of political
problems, and confined their activities exclusively to the
fulfillment of orders emanating from the Commander-in-Chief
in the spheres of purely military matters.

An opinion was expressed to the effect that the German
General Staff, in view of the nature of the military
structure then existing in Hitlerite Germany, was  neither
more nor less than a subsidiary technical organization.

In conclusion, attempts were repeatedly made, and this is
quite understandable, to separate, by all possible means,
the Army High Command from the activities of the German
police organizations and of the SS.

Anybody who has followed the development of European
politics after the First World War is perfectly aware that
the Kaiser's officers and generals immediately showed their
willingness to return to the game that they had lost. They
blamed everything and everybody - except themselves - for
the military rout of Germany, they created illegal military
organizations, nourished dreams of revenge, and were
prepared to sell their honour and their swords to any
political adventurer who would not hesitate to start another
world war. It was in the spirit of these "traditions" that a
new generation of officers was educated. Nor was it an
accident that the future leader of this generation, Adolf
Hitler, appeared out the void in the political arena with
the direct moral and financial support of the Reichswehr.

The Reichswehr, with few exceptions, followed this
adventurer with enthusiasm when he, having seized the power,
immediately began to rearm Germany. The haughty Prussian
generals bowed to Hitler, the corporal, because they
realized that Hitler meant war.

Field-Marshals Brauchitsch, Milch, Manstein and others came
here under an Allied guard to give false testimony,
regarding their own positions, to the International Military

                                                  [Page 369]

And so we saw a peculiar metamorphosis. Wolves became sheep.
I do not know just what kind of artless people Brauchitsch,
for instance, expected to find, when he declared himself a
confirmed pacifist. If we are to believe him, he, the
Commander-in-Chief of the German Land Forces, knew nothing
whatever of any aggressive plans, nothing of the coming
invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia, and persistently
and importunately persuaded Hitler not to fight.

Such a clumsy defence could deceive nobody but himself.

I shall only allow myself to dwell briefly on evidence
disproving the dodges and devices of the defence, whose
chief aim has been to camouflage and diminish the scope and
nature of the criminal activities of the leading German
military organizations.


Evidence submitted to the Tribunal proves beyond all manner
of doubt that both the General Staff and the Supreme Command
of the Armed Forces were fully informed of the criminal
plans of aggression on the part of the Hitlerite Government,
that they shared these plans and actively participated both
in their preparation and realization.

The aggressive anti-social plans of the Hitler conspirators
became known in Germany to every German from the time when
Hitler's Mein Kampf appeared. They were widely advertised
and circulated from day to day and month to month.

>From the very beginning these plans were adopted by the
German military leaders, who subsequently placed both their
experience and their knowledge at the service of the
Hitlerite State.

I do not however intend delving into the history of the
Hitlerite State and its military machine, to prove just when
and under what conditions the subsequent criminal activities
of the leading German military organizations emerged.

I only want to recall the extremely important evidence
referring to the period of the outbreak of war.

As far back as 23rd May, 1939, at the staff meeting held in
the new Reich Chancellery, Hitler told his supreme military

  "Danzig is not the point. What I am talking about is the
  expansion of our 'Lebensraum' to the east .... Thus the
  question of whether Poland is to be spared automatically
  disappears, and there remains only the decision to attack
  Poland at the first opportunity."
While expounding his military and political plans to his
senior officers and generals at the staff meeting of 22nd
August, 1939, in Obersalzberg, Hitler stated:

  "In the first place there is the annihilation of Poland
  ... if there is also to be war in the West, still the
  primary task is to destroy Poland .... I shall provide
  some excuse for beginning the war, which will serve
  propaganda purposes; whether it is true or not is

At the conference of the commanders-in-chief which took
place on 23rd November, 1939, Hitler stated, while talking
to his closest military advisers:

  "Basically I did not organize the armed forces in order
  not to strike. The decision to strike was always in me.
  Earlier or later I wanted to solve the problem. The
  situation is necessarily such that at least for the
  moment action in the East is out of the question."

Does this not prove the fact, that where the high military
leaders of Hitlerite Germany were concerned, Hitler made no
secret of his criminal plans?

Even more convincing in this respect are the operational
documents of the German Command, in which the criminal aims
of aggression of the Hitler Government are cynically

In Hitler's directive of 30th May, 1938, dealing with the
execution of the plan "Grun" for the seizure of
Czechoslovakia, it is said:

  "It is my unalterable decision to smash Czechoslovakia by
  military action in the near future ....

                                                  [Page 370]

  From a military as well as a political standpoint the
  most favourable course is a lightning-swift action as the
  result of an incident, through which Germany is provoked
  in an unbearable way, and which at least part of the
  world will consider as moral justification for military

Or the directive of the 27th March, 1941, regarding the
seizure of Yugoslavia, which provides that:
  "Even if Yugoslavia should declare her loyalty to us, we
  should still consider her an enemy and subsequently beat
  her down at the first opportunity."

This cynical frankness reaches its climax in the German
military and operational documents dealing with preparations
for attacking the USSR.

In a directive of the OKW of 13th March, 1941, with regard
to "special regions," i.e., long before the attack on the
USSR, it was stated:

  "The Russian territory which is to be occupied shall be
  divided up into individual States with governments of
  their own, as soon as military operations are concluded."
In the "Instructions on the use of propaganda in the
Barbarossa Region," published by the OKW in June, 1941, it
was foreseen  that "for the time being it is not suitable
that the aims of our propaganda should be the dismemberment
of the Soviet Union."

Finally, Directive No. 21, dated 18th December, 1940, coded
under the name of "Plan Barbarossa," stated:
  "The final aim of the operation is to cut oneself off
  from Asiatic Russia by following the general line of

The former Field-Marshal of the German Army Friedrich Paulus
gave the Tribunal an exhaustive explanation of this "final
aim," pursued by Hitlerite Germany in its war against the
Soviet Union, and which was known to the entire High Command
of the German armed forces.

A no less convincing proof on this matter was given to the
Tribunal by my American colleague, who presented an order of
Field-Marshal von Mannstein, former commander of the German
11th Army. In this order von Mannstein, when explaining the
political aims of the war against the Soviet Union in
accordance with Hitler's instructions, unequivocally informs
his subordinates that the aim of the attack on the Soviet
Union is the destruction of the Soviet Union's political
system of government.

It is strange, therefore, to hear after all this the words
of the Hitlerite General von Mannstein that he was only a
soldier, who was not informed of the policy of  Hitler's

This order not only shows that the generals were acquainted
with the political aims of the war but also that they fully
approved them. Nor could it be otherwise. What could Hitler
and his clique have done if the military experts, the
generals of the German Army, had not approved of his plans?

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