The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume II Chapter XV
Criminality of Groups and Organizations
The Nazi Party Leadership Corps
(Part 1 of 12)

The Nazi Party Leadership Corps -- it is proposed to demonstrate -- was responsible for planning, directing, and supervising the criminal measures carried into execution by the Nazi Party, which was the central core of the common plan or conspiracy charged in Count I of the Indictment. Moreover, it will be shown, the members of the Leadership Corps themselves actively participated in the commission of illegal measures in aid of the conspiracy. In the light of the evidence to be discussed, the Leadership Corps may be fairly described as the brain, the backbone, and the directing arms of the Nazi Party. Its responsibilities are e massive and comprehensive than those of the army of followers who blindly and faithfully did its bidding.

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A. Composition, Functions, Responsibilities, and Powers of the Leadership Corps.

In considering the composition and organizational structure of the Leadership Corps, preliminary reference is made to the organization chart of the Nazi Party (Chart Number 1) as well as a chart of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party appearing at page 9 of a magazine published by the Chief Education Office of the Nazi Party entitled "Das Gesicht der Partei" (The Face of the Party). These charts and the evidence to follow show that the Leadership Corps constituted the sum of the officials of the Nazi Party- it included the Fuehrer; the Reichsleiter and Reich office holders; the five categories of leaders who were area commanders (called Hoheitstraeger, or "bearers of sovereignty' ) ranging all the way from the 40-odd Gauleiter in charge of large districts down through the intermediate political leaders to the Blockleiter, charged with looking after 40 to 60 households; and what may best be described as the Staff Officers attached to each of the 5 levels of Hoheitstraeger.

Organized upon a hierarchical basis, forming a pyramidal structure, the principal Political Leaders on a scale of descending authority were:

Reichsleiter (Reich Leaders) and Main Office and Office Holders
Gauleiter (District Leaders) and Staff Officers
Kreisleiter (County Leaders) and Staff Officers
Ortsgruppenleiter (Local Chapter Leaders) and Staff Officers
Zellenleiter (Cell Leaders) and Staff Officers
Blockleiter (Block Leaders) and Staff Officers

A large part of this and other evidence relating to the composition of the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party is to be found in the 1943 edition of the Organization Book of the NSDAP, an authoritative primer on Nazi organizations which was edited by the defendant, Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley.

The Reichsleitung of the Leadership Corps consisted of the Reichsleiter or Reich Leaders of the Party, the Hauptaemter (Main Offices) and the Aemter (or Offices). The Reichsleiter of the Party were, next to Hitler, the highest officeholders in the Party hierarchy. All the Reichsleiter and Main Office and officeholders within the Reichsleitung were appointed by Hitler and

[Page 25]

were directly responsible to him. The Organization Book of the NSDAP puts it as follows:

"The Fuehrer appoints the following Political Directors:

"Reichsleiter and all Political Directors, to include the Directors of the Womens Leagues within the Reich Directorate or Reichsleitung." (1893-PS)

The significant fact is that through the Reichsleitung perfect coordination of Party and State machinery was guaranteed. The Party Manual describes it this way:

"In the Reichsleitung the arteries of the organization of the German people and of the German State merge." (1893-PS)

To demonstrate that the Reichsleiter of the Leadership Corps included the most powerful coalition of political overlords in Nazi Germany, it is necessary only to mention their names. The list of Reichsleiter includes the following defendants on trial: Rosenberg, Von Schirach, Frick, Bormann, and Ley.

The evidence to be presented will show that Rosenberg was the leader of an organization named for him, the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, which carried out a vast program of looting and plunder of art treasures throughout occupied Europe. The evidence will further show that, as Representative of the Fuehrer for the Supervision of Nazi Ideology and Schooling, Rosenberg participated in an aggressive campaign to undermine the Christian churches and to supersede Christianity by a German National Church founded upon a combination of irrationality, pseudo-scientific theories, mysticism, and the cult of the racial state.

It will be shown that the late Defendant Ley, acting as the agent of Hitler and the Leadership Corps, directed the Nazi assault upon the independent labor unions of Germany and before destroying himself first destroyed the free and independent labor movement; and that he replaced it by a Nazi organization, the German Labor front or DAF, which he employed as a means of exploiting the German labor force in the interests of the conspiracy and to instill Nazi ideology among the ranks of the German workers.

It will be shown that Frick participated in the enactment of many laws which were designed to promote the conspiracy in its Several phases. Frick shares responsibility for the grave injury done by the officials of the Leadership Corps to the concept of the rule of law by virtue of his efforts to give the color of law and normal legality to a large volume of Nazi legislation violative of he rights of humanity, such as the legislation designed to stigmatize and eliminate the Jewish people of Germany and

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German-occupied Europe. As chief of the Party Chancellery, immediately under Hitler, Bormann was an extremely important force in directing the activities of the Leadership Corps. As will be shown, a decree of 16 January 1942 provided that the participation of the Party in all important legislation, governmental appointments, and promotions had to be undertaken exclusively by Bormann. He took part in the preparation of all laws and decrees issued by the Reich authorities and gave his assent to those of the subordinate governments.

The list of Reichsleiter of the NSDAP set forth in the National Socialist Yearbook (1943 Edition) shows that the following 15 Reichsleiter were in office in 1943 (2473-PS):


"Max Amann -- Reichsleiter for the Press.

"Martin Bormann -- Chief of the Party Chancery.

"Phillipp Bouhler -- Chief of the Chancery of the Fuehrer of the NSDAP. Chairman of the official Party Investigation Commission for the Protection of National Socialist Writings.

"Walter Darre -- On leave.

"Otto Dietrich -- Reich Press Chief of the NSDAP.

"Franz von Epp -- Chief of the Kolonialpolitischen Amtes.

"Karl Fiehler -- Chief of the main office for Municipal Politics.

"Wilhelm Frick -- Leader of the National Socialist "faction" in the Reichstag.

"Joseph Goebbels -- Reich Propaganda Leader of the NSDAP.

"Konstantin Hierl -- Leader of the Reich Labor.

"Heinrich Himmler -- Reich Leader of the SS. The Deputy of the NSDAP, for all questions of Germandom.

"Robert Ley -- Reich Organization Leader of the NSDAP. Leader of the German Labor Front.

"Victor Lutze -- Chief of Staff of the SA.

"Alfred Rosenberg -- Representative of the Fuehrer for the supervision of all mental and ideological training and education of the NSDAP.

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"Baldur von Schirach -- Reich Leader for the Education of Youth of the NSDAP.

"Franz Xaver Schwarz -- Reich Treasurer of the NSDAP." (2473-PS)

The principal functions of the Reichsleiter included carrying out the tasks and missions assigned to them by the Fuehrer or by the Chief of the Party Chancellery, Martin Bormann. The Reichsleiter were further charged with insuring that Party policies were being executed in all the subordinate areas of the Reich. The Reichsleiter were also responsible for insuring a continuation of new leadership into the Party. With respect to the position and responsibilities of the Reichsleiter, the Organization Book of the NSDAP states as follows:

"NSDAP represents the political conception, the political conscience, and the political will of the German nation. Political conception, political conscience, and political will are embodied in the person of the Fuehrer. Based on his directives and in accordance with the program of the NSDAP the organs of the Reich Directorate directionally determine the political aims of the German people. It is in the Reich Directorate that the arteries of the organization of the German people and the State merge. It is the task of the separate organs of the Reich Directorate to maintain as close a contact as possible with the life of the nation -through their sub-offices in the Gau ***

"The structure of the Reich Directorate is thus that the channel from the lowest Party office upwards shows the most minute weaknesses and changes in the mood of the people ***

"Another essential task of the Reich Directorate is to assure a good selection of leaders. It is the duty of the Reich Directorate to see that there is leadership in all phases of life, a leadership which is firmly tied to National Socialist ideology and which promotes its dissemination with all its energy ***

" *** It is the supreme task of the Reich Organization Leader to preserve the Party as a well-sharpened sword for the Fuehrer."

The domination of the German Government by the top members of the Leadership Corps was facilitated by a circular decree of the Reich Minister of Justice, dated 17 February 1934, which established equal rank for the offices within the Reichsleitung of Leadership Corps and the Reich offices of the government. In this decree it was expressly provided that

[Page 28]

"the supreme offices of the Reichsleitung are equal in rank to the supreme Reich Government authorities."

The Party Manual termed the control exercised over the machinery of government by the Leadership Corps "the permeation of the State apparatus with the political will of the Party."

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