The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Alfred Rosenberg
(Part 9 of 11)

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(2) Activities as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. On 17 July 1941 Hitler appointed Rosenberg as Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, territories which included nearly all the area seized by Germany from the U. S. S. R. (1997-PS)

(a) Rosenberg's complete control over, knowledge of, and responsibility for all non-military German activities and policies in the occupied Eastern Territories. The organizational structure and chain of responsibility within the Ministry for the Occupied East emphasizes Rosenberg's responsibility.

A treatise entitled "The Organization of the Administration of the Occupied Eastern Territories" (1056-PS) is undated and unsigned, but further information regarding it may be obtained by reference to document EC-347, Goering's "Green Folder." Part II, subsection of EC-347 is entitled,

"Excerpts from the Directives of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories for the Civilian Administration. (Brown Folder, Pt. I, pp. 25-30)." (EC- 347)

The two paragraphs which follow are identical to two paragraphs found in document 1056-PS. Thus, 1056-PS is identified as being a reproduction of Part I of the Brown Folder which was mentioned in the "Green Folder," and was issued by the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

The directives issued by the Rosenberg Ministry itself (1056- PS) prove the extent of Rosenberg's authority: he was the Supreme civilian authority in the Eastern Territories. There was a continuous chain of command from Rosenberg down to regional administrative officials, extending even to the local prison warden (1056-PS). The relationship which existed between the Rosenberg Ministry and other German agencies varied from full control by Rosenberg, to close cooperation with them made mandatory by his directives and by Hitler's orders. Finally, the various subdivisions of the Ministry were required to submit period-reports of the situation within their jurisdiction -- so that the numerous reports of brutality which Rosenberg received were submitted to him pursuant to his orders. (1056-PS)

The treatise on the organization of Rosenberg's ministry states as follows:

"The newly occupied Eastern Territories are subordinated to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories. By

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directions of the Fuehrer he establishes a civil administration there upon withdrawal of the military administration. He heads and supervises the entire administration of this area and represents the sovereignty of the Reich in the occupied Eastern Territories."


"To the Reich Ministry is assigned a deputy of the Reich Leader SS and Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior." (1056-PS)

The responsibility of the Reich Commissars is described as follows:

"In the Reich Commissariats, Reich Commissars are responsible for the entire civil administration under the supreme authority of the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories. According to the instructions of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories the Reich Commissar, as a functionary of the Reich, heads and supervises, within his precincts, the entire civil administration. Within the scope of these instructions he acts on his own responsibility.

"Subordinate offices of the Reich Commissar are:

"General Commissariats,
"Main Commissariats,
"District Commissariats." (1056-PS)

The SS was placed under Rosenberg's jurisdiction and control:

"The Higher SS- and Police Leader is directly subordinated to the Reich Commissar. However, the Chief of Staff has the general right to secure information from him also. His official title is:

'The Reich Commissar for the Eastern Territory

The Higher SS- and Police Leader.'

"Great stress is to be placed on close cooperation between him, the Chief of Staff, and the other Main Department Heads of the office of the Reich Commissar, particularly with the one for Policies."

The scope of Rosenberg's control over the SS in the Occupied Eastern Territories is revealed in a decree signed by Rosenberg, dated 17 July 1941, and found in the Verordnungsblatt of the Reich Minister for the Occupied East, 1942 #2, pages 7 and 8. This decree provides for the creation of summary courts-martial to punish crimes committed by non-Germans in the East, as determined by the Reich Commissar. The courts are to be presided over by a police officer or an SS leader, who have authority to

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order the death sentence and confiscation of property, and whose decisions are not subject to appeal. The General Commissar is given the right to reject a summary Courts' decision. Thus, the determination of the SS is subordinated to the authority of Rosenberg's Ministry.

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