The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Herman Wilhelm Goering
Part 2 of 11)


[Page 417]

A. CRIMES AGAINST PEACE.

(1) Acquisition and Consolidation of Power in Germany.

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(a) Before 1933. Soon after joining the Party, Goering in 1923 was placed in command of the entire SA (2168-PS). In November 1923, he took part in the ill-fated attempt at Munich to gain control of the German State by force. In the encounter with the police, Goering was wounded and fled from Germany. (2532-PS)

After his return, Goering became more than a commander of street fighters. He was designated Hitler's first political assistant.

"The movement was conducted by the Fuehrer from Munich. But one man has to act for him in Berlin, while Gauleiter Goebbels stirs up the masses and makes them ripe for National Socialism, a man on whom he could rely unconditionally to the same extent as if he acted himself. And thus, Hermann Goering became the political deputy of Adolf Hitler."

Goering's official biographer, the Ministerial Dirgent Gritzbach, tells of his dealings with the Bruening government, his attempts to "break down the barrier" around the Reich President, von Hindenburg, and of his "coup" as Reichstag President in September 1932 in procuring a vote of nonconfidence against the Papen government just before the Reichstag could be dissolved (3252-PS). Goering says in his own book, Aufbau einer Nation:

"The moment was unforgettable for me who have gone back and forth as representative so often between the Kaiserhof and the Wilhelmstrasse during the past year, when I hurried out to my car and could report to the questioning masses as the first one: 'Hitler has become Reich Chancellor.' " (3251-PS)

Goebbels also gave him full measure of credit:

" 'This is surely Goering's happiest hour,' wrote Dr. Goebbels in his book Von Kaiserhof zur Reichskanzlei, and, quoting from it, said: that 'Goering prepared diplomatically and politically in a long lasting all hard struggle the-basis for Hitler's rise." (3252-PS.)

In a letter written in 1935, Hitler summarized Goering's contributions as follows:

"My dear Goering: When in November 1923 the Party tried -for the first time to conquer the power of the State, you as Commander of the SA created within an extraordinarily short time that instrument with which I could bear that struggle. Highest necessity had forced us to act, but a wise providence at that time denied that success. After receiving a grave wound you again entered the ranks as soon as circumstances permitted as my most loyal comrade in the battle for

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power. You contributed essentially to creating the basis for the 30th of January. Therefore, at the end of a year of the National Socialist Revolution, I desire to thank you wholeheartedly my dear Party Comrade Goering, for the great values which you have for the National Socialist Revolution and consequently, for the German people. In cordial friendship and grateful appreciation.

Yours,
Adolf Hitler."
(3259-PS)

Goering himself has boasted:

"Numerous titles and honors have been bestowed on me during the past months, and still no title and no decoration could make me so proud, as the designation, given to me by the German people: 'The most faithful paladin of our Fuehrer.' In that, my relationship to the Fuehrer finds expression. I followed him for over a decade with unreserved faith, and I will follow him with the same unconditional faith until my end." (3251- PS)

(b) Prussia, 1933-36. Immediately after 30 January 1933, Goering was awarded the key post of acting Prussian Minter of the Interior, and shortly thereafter, that of Minister President of Prussia. In these capacities, he proceeded promptly to establish a regime of terror in Prussia designed to suppress all opposition to the Nazi program.

His chief tool was the Prussian police, which remained under jurisdiction until 1936. As early as February 1933, he ordered the entire police forces to render unqualified assistance to the para-military organizations supporting the new government, such as the SA and the SS, and to crush all political opponents with firearms, if necessary, regardless of the consequences. (Directive of 1 February 1933, Ministerialblatt fuer die Preussische innere Verwaltung 1933, p. 148; Directive of 17 February 1933, id, p 169). Goering has frequently and proudly acknowledged his own personal responsibility for the crimes committed pursuant to orders of this character:

"I declared at that time before thousands of fellow Germans, each bullet which leaves the barrel of a police pistol now is my bullet. If one calls this murder, then I have murdered; I ordered all this, I back it up. I assume the responsibility, and I am not afraid to do so." (2324-PS; 3252-PS.)

Soon after he became Prussian Minister President, Goering began to develop the Gestapo, or Secret State Police. To quote from his own book:

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"The most important thing for me was first, to get the instrument of power of the protective police and political police firmly in my hand. Here I undertook the first sweeping changes of personnel. Of the 32 available colonels of the protective police, I dismissed 22. Hundreds of officers and thousands of sergeants followed them in the course of the next months. New forces were procured, and everywhere, these forces were taken out of the large reserve pool of the SA and the SS.

"For weeks, I personally worked on this transformation, and finally I created alone and from my own conviction and own thought the 'Secret State Police Office'. That instrument, feared so much by the enemies of the state, which above all has contributed so much, that today a Communist or Marxist danger in Germany or Prussia is hardly worth talking about anymore." (3251-PS)

In a public address delivered on 11 December 1934, Goering boasted:

"We were firmly determined after assumption of power to hit the Communists so that in Germany they would never recover from our blow. For that we do not require a Reichstag fire. That has been one of the most important points on our program. In the former Weimar Constitution the destruction of Communism was unthinkable. For the execution of these measures we needed the instrument of a through and through reliable, and of the highest degree powerful, police force. I have created this instrument through the reorganization of the field police (Landespolizei) and the formation of a Secret State Police. These organizations will constitute a means for implanting fear in all enemies of the State, which a State needs if it wishes to defend itself for always" (3440-PS)

On 26 April 1933 Goering signed the first law officially establishing the Secret State Police in Prussia (2104-PS). On 30 November 1933, Goering signed a law naming himself, as Prime Minister, Chief of the Prussian Secret State Police (2105-PS). He continued in this position until sometime in 1936, when Himmler secured control of all police in the Reich.

Men and women taken into custody by the Gestapo were thrown, without judicial or other form of trial, into concentration camps, which had been established in Prussia as early as the spring of 1933. (3252-PS; L-83.)

As explained by Goering in his own book:

[Page 421]

"Against the enemies of the State, we must proceed ruthlessly. It cannot be forgotten, that at the moment of our rise to power, according to the official election figures of March 1933, six million people still confess their sympathy for Marxism. *** Therefore the concentration camps have been created, where we have first confined thousands of Communists and Social Democrat functionaries. ***" (2344-PS)

On 10 February 1936 , Goering, as Prussian Minister President, signed a further basic law on the Prussian Secret State Police. Article 7 of this law provided:

"Orders in matters of the Secret State Police are not subject to the review of the administrative courts" (2107-PS)

Thus it was made quite clear by Goering's own law that those imprisoned in concentration camps without trial of any kind were to have no recourse to any court. On the same day Goering signed a decree for the execution of the foregoing law, which further acknowledged his responsibility for Prussian concentration camps. Its provisions included the following:

"Art. 2 *** (4) The Secret State Police Bureau administers the state concentration camps." (2108-PS)


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