The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
>Rudolf Hess
(Part 2 of 4)


[Page 469]

D. PREPARATION FOR WAR.

Hess was one of the members of the conspiracy who professed as early as 1933 the aim of complete world domination (2385- PS).

In pursuance of that aim Hess threw the power of the Party

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which he directed, behind the war preparations of the conspiracy. Hess himself described the Party, in this connection, as the mechanism with which to "organize and direct offensively and defensively the spiritual and political strength of the people" (2426-PS).

Hess's tasks in the preparations for aggressive wars fell mainly into the fields of military preparedness, political planning, and fifth-column activities.

(1) Rearmament. Even before 1933 Hess took a personal interest in the secret military training program of the uniformed Party organizations (1143-PS).

After the conspirators had come to power, Hess was one of those who echoed the cry of "guns for butter" in his speeches (2426-PS).

Hess signed the law which reintroduced universal military conscription in Germany on 16 March 1935 (1654-PS). Hess admitted that signing this law was no mere formality for him, but rather the realization of one of his most important aims, when he declared in a speech to Army officers in 1937:

"When I spoke about conscription after 16 March 1935, in what used to be the most radical industrial plant of Munich *** to thousands and thousands of the same workers who but a few years before had been singing the Internationale, I was interrupted again and again by such applause and cheers as I would never have believed possible. That was the most beautiful and at the same time the most moving demonstration of my life (3124- PS).

When the Nazi conspirators were ready to launch their aggressive wars in the fall of 1938, Hess and the Party agencies under his control cooperated with the Army High Command in the mobilization of the German Army (388-PS, Item 32).

(2) Political Planning for War. When the Reich Defense Council was reorganized in September 1938, Hess became one of its members with the express assignment of assuring "the political direction of the nation" (2261-PS).

Hess was also made a member of the Ministers' Council for the Defense of the Reich upon its creation in 1939. Here he continued to exercise an important war-planning function with the specific task of "guaranteeing the unity between Party and State" within that body (2018-PS; 2608-PS).

Hess's functions in the field of political planning for war were not limited to the domestic sphere. He was also a member of the Secret Cabinet Council formed to advise Hitler on foreign policy planning (1377-PS; 3189-PS)

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(3) Fifth Column Activities. Hess' most important contribution to the conspirators' preparations for aggressive war lay in his organization of the German fifth- columns abroad through the Foreign Organization (Auslands Organisation (AO)) of the Nazi Party and its various affiliated semi-official organizations. Through these channels Hess succeeded in building up conspiratorial shock- troops in foreign countries, composed of citizens of these countries who were of German "racial stock." These foreign citizens were incited by Hess to acts of treason against their country in furtherance of the plans of the conspiracy. It was the subversive activities of these fifth-column groups which prepared the way for the conspirators' destruction of independence d many countries. Principal among these were Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.

As his chief instrument in this conspiratorial campaign Hess created the Foreign Organization of the Nazi Party on 3 October 1933. This office was placed directly under Hess, who from then on was known to take the greatest personal interest in its rapid development and expansion (3258-PS; 3401-PS; 3254-PS).

The Foreign Organization extended its activities not only to German citizens living abroad but to all persons allegedly of German ancestry regardless of their foreign citizenship. In the early years after the conspirators' rise to power and up to 1937 his aim was openly admitted by the responsible heads of the Foreign Organization (3258-PS).

Hess announced that it was the task of the Foreign Organization to organize all persons of the German race who lived abroad and to turn them into active Nazi supporters, thus making them subservient to the purposes of the conspiracy. In his speech at the 1937 Congress of the Foreign Organization, Hess declared:

"You stand before me as a slice of the great German racial community, the racial community which extends beyond the borders of our Reich, for National Socialism has not only at home created a national community transcending all classes and groups in a way previously unknown, but it has also included German racial comrades [Volks- Genossen] in foreign countries. It has made them conscious and proud members of this racial community! ***

"Under the leadership of the Foreign Organization, Germandom abroad is also becoming more and more filled with the National Socialist spirit. The Foreign Organization of the NSDAP has brought together the Germans out there, who even long after the seizure of power were disunited and split

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by class differences, and joined them with Adolf Hitler's Reich. The National Socialist care for Germandom abroad is maintaining an enormous number of Germans for the nation, who otherwise would be absorbed as cultural fertilizer for other nations" (3258-PS).

The same principle was expressed bluntly by Gauleiter Ernst Bohle, head of the Foreign Organization of the NSDAP directly under Hess from 1933 to 1945, who stated in his address at the Nurnberg Party Congress of 1936:

"The Fuehrer had to come in order to hammer into all of us the fact that the German cannot choose and may not, choose whether or not he will be German but that he was sent into this world by God as a German, that God thereby had laid upon him as a German duties of which he cannot divest himself without committing treason to Providence. Therefore we believe and we know that the German everywhere is a German whether he lives in the Reich or in Japan, in France or in China or anywhere else in the world. Not countries or continents, not climate or environments but blood and race determine the world of ideas of the German." (3258-PS).

Hess was also in control of all other semi-official organizations associated with the Foreign Organization in fifth-column work among foreign citizens of German ancestry, for the purpose of gaining foreign support for the conspiracy. Thus, by a Secret Circular of 3 February 1939, Hess ordered the consolidation of the undercover activities of all organizations active in the foreign field, subject to the central direction of SS Gruppenfuehrer Werner Lorenz, head of the Volks-deutsche Mittelstelle (Central Agency for Racial Germans) (837-PS).

The two most important of these semi-official agencies were the VDA (League for Germandom Abroad) and the DAI (German Foreign Institute). The VDA was a vast world-wide organization giving financial support to various activities of German groups abroad without regard to their nationality. Its large funds were collected in Germany with the aid of the Nazi Government (258-PS). The aim of the activities of the VDA was to establish a great German world empire of 100,000,000 inhabitants, containing all persons of German "racial stock" everywhere, including millions of American citizens (3258-PS). The DAI was a world-wide information intelligence and propaganda service (3258-PS).

Hess repeatedly stressed the importance of using Germans abroad for spreading Nazi propaganda (124-PS).

The DAI also based its activities on the proposition that all

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persons of German ancestry belonged to the Nazi German Reich, though they held citizenship in foreign countries. This was stated by Nazi Minister-President Mergenthaler of Wuerttemberg in his address at the 1933 annual meeting of the DAI:

"The liberalist ideology which has been overcome dealt with the formal concept of the citizen. We have gotten rid of that. Today the blood-united German racial comrade stands in the center. That is the new foundation upon which we must build ***. Hence I want to impress on the DAI: Join us therefore in taking care that the spirit of National Socialism also becomes alive among the German racial comrades in foreign countries so that streams of energy may emanate from it." (3258- PS).

At the annual meeting held by the DAI in 1937, Frick restated in his address the fundamental aim of this organization: to unite every person of German "racial stock" under the control of the Nazi conspirators.

"*** the new Germany has recognized that its attention and devotion to the welfare of the millions of Germans who have not the fortune to owe political allegiance to Germany, but who are condemned to live abroad, are not merely a matter of natural sympathy and solidarity but are in a higher degree dictated by the strong political and economic interests of the Reich." (3258-PS).


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