The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter V
Justice Jackson's Opening Address for the United States of America
(Part 9 of 17)

There are reports which merely tabulate the numbers slaughtered. An example is an account of the work of Einsatzgruppen of Sipo and SD in the East, which relates that --

In Estonia, all Jews were arrested immediately upon the arrival of the Wehrmacht. Jewish men and women above the age of 16 and capable of work were drafted for forced labor. Jews were subjected to all sorts of restrictions and all Jewish property was confiscated.

All Jewish males above the age of 16 were executed, with the exception of doctors and elders. Only 500 of an original 4,500 Jews remained.

37,180 persons have been liquidated by the Sipo and SD in White Ruthenia during October.

In one town, 337 Jewish women were executed for demonstrating a "provocative attitude." In another, 380 Jews were shot for spreading vicious propaganda.

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And so the report continues, listing town after town, where hundreds upon hundreds of Jews were murdered.

In Witebsk 3,000 Jews were liquidated because of the danger of epidemics.

In Kiew, 33,771 Jews were executed on September 29 and 30 in retaliation for some fires which were set off there.

In Shitomir, 3,145 Jews "had to be shot" because, judging from experience they had to be considered as the carriers of Bolshevik propaganda.

In Cherson, 410 Jews were executed in reprisal against acts of sabotage.

In the territory east of the Djnepr, the Jewish problem was "solved" by the liquidation of 4,891 Jews and by putting the remainder into labor battalions of up to l,000 persons. (R-102)

Other accounts tell not of the slaughter so much as of the depths of degradation to which the tormentors stooped. For example, we will show the reports made to defendant Rosenberg about the army and the SS in the area under Rosenberg's jurisdiction, which recited the following:

"Details: In presence of SS man, a Jewish dentist has to break all gold teeth and fillings out of mouth of German and Russian Jews before they are executed."

Men, women and children are locked into barns and burned alive.

Peasants, women and children are shot on pretext that they are suspected of belonging to bands (R-135).

We of the Western World heard of Gas Wagons in which Jews and political opponents were asphyxiated. We could not believe it. But here we have the report of May 16, 1942 from the German SS officer, Becker, to his supervisor in Berlin which tells this story:

Gas vans in C. group can be driven to execution spot, which is generally stationed 10 to 1 kms. from main road only in dry weather. Since those to be executed become frantic if conducted to this place, such vans become immobilized in wet weather.

Gas vans in D group camouflaged as cabin trailers, but vehicles well known to authorities and civilian population which calls them "Death Vans".

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Writer of letter (Becker) ordered all men to keep as far away as possible during gassing. Unloading van has "atrocious spiritual and physical effect" on men and they should be ordered not to participate in such work (501-PS).

I shall not dwell on this subject longer than to quote one more sickening document which evidences the planned and systematic character of the Jewish persecutions. I hold a report written with Teutonic devotion to detail, illustrated with photographs to authenticate its almost incredible text, and beautifully bound in leather with the loving care bestowed on a proud work. It is the original report of the SS Brigadier General Stroop in charge of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and its title page carried the inscription, "The Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw no longer exists." It is characteristic that one of the captions explains that the photograph concerned shows the driving out of Jewish "bandits'; those whom the photograph shows being driven out are almost entirely women and little children. It contains a day-by-day account of the killings mainly carried out by the SS organisation, too long to relate, but let me quote General Stroop's summary:

"The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could only be suppressed by energetic actions of our troops day and night. The Reichsfuehrer SS ordered, therefore on 4/23/1943 the cleaning out of the ghetto with utter ruthlessness and merciless tenacity. I, therefore, decided to destroy and burn down the entire ghetto without regard to the armament factories. These factories were systematically dis-mantled and then burned. Jews usually left their hideouts, but frequently remained in the burning buildings and jumped out of the windows only when the heat became unbearable. They then tried to crawl with broken bones across the street into buildings which were not afire. Sometimes they changed their hideouts during the night into the ruins of burned buildings. Life in the sewers was not pleasant after the first week. Many times we could hear loud voices in the sewers. SS men or policemen climbed bravely through the manholes to capture these Jews. Sometimes they stumbled over Jewish corpses; sometimes they were shot at. Tear gas bombs were thrown into the manholes and the Jews driven out of the sewers and captured. Countless numbers of Jews were liquidated in sewers and bunkers through blasting. The longer the resistance continued the tougher became the

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members of the Waffen SS police and Wehrmacht who always discharged their duties in an exemplary manner. Frequently Jews who tried to replenish their food supplies during the night or to communicate with neighboring groups were exterminated." (1 061-PS) .

This action eliminated, says the SS commander, "a proved total of 56,065. To that we have to add the number of those killed through blasting, fire, etc., which cannot be counted."

We charge that all atrocities against Jews were the manifestation and culmination of the Nazi plan to which every defendant here was a party. I know very well that some of these men did take steps to spare some particular Jew for some personal reason from the horrors that awaited the unrescued-Jew. Some protested that particular atrocities were excessive, and discredited the general policy. While a few defendants may show efforts to make specific exceptions to the policy of Jewish extermination, I have found no instance in which any defendant opposed the policy itself or sought to revoke or even modify it.

Determination to destroy the Jews was a binding force which at all times cemented the elements of this conspiracy. On many internal policies there were differences among the defendants. But there is not one of them who has not echoed the rallying cry of Naziism -- DEUTSCHLAND ERWACHE JUDA VERRECKE! (GERMANY AWAKE, JEWRY PERISH!)


How a Government treats its own inhabitants generally is thought to be no concern of other Governments or of international society. Certainly few oppressions or cruelties would warrant the intervention of foreign powers. But the German mistreatment of Germans is now known to pass in magnitude and savagery any limits of what is tolerable by modern civilization. Other nations, by silence, would take a consenting part in such crimes. These Nazi persecutions, moreover, take character as international crimes because of the purpose for which they were undertaken.

The purpose, as we have seen, of getting rid of the influence of free labor, the churches, and the Jews was to clear their obstruction to the precipitation of aggressive war. If aggressive warfare in violation of treaty obligation is a matter of international cognizance, the preparations for it must also be of concern to the international community. Terrorism was the chief instrument for securing the cohesion of the German people in war purposes. Moreover, these cruelties in Germany served as

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atrocity practice to discipline the membership of the criminal organization to follow the pattern later in occupied countries.

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