The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants
Alfred Rosenberg
(Part 10 of 11)

[Page 611]

The position of the General Commissar is defined as follows in the organizational treatise:

"The General Commissar forms the administrative office of intermediate appeal. Within his jurisdiction he heads the administration according to the general directives of the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories and the prescriptions of the Reich Commissar."


"The SS- and Police Leader assigned to the General Commissar is directly subordinated to him; however, the Chief of Staff has the general right of requiring information from him." (1056-PS)

Regional Commissars are described as follows:

"The Regional Commissar heads the entire administration of the lower administrative office in the Circuit District [Kreisgebiet] in accordance with the instructions of the Genera] Commissar and the superior offices *** The leader of the police unit assigned to him is directly subordinated to him." (1056-PS)

Main Commissars are described in these terms:

"Upon recommendation by the Reich Commissar the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories appoints Main Commissars for Main Districts formed by the consolidation of several Circuit Districts." (1056-PS)

The order of superiority in the service among these various officials is stated as follows:

"The Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories is the service superior of the Reich Commissar and the officials and the employees subordinate to them. The Reich Commissar is the superior of all officials and employees of his office and of the offices subordinate to him. The General Commissar is the superior of the officials and employees of his office and of the officials and employees of the offices of the Main and Regional Commissars. The Main Commissar and the Regional Commissar are the superior of the officials and employees of their offices." (1056-PS)

Thus, there is a continuous chain of command and of accountability from the Reich Minister, Rosenberg, down through each subdivision of the Ministry.

[Page 612]

Furthermore, Rosenberg had authority to legislate for the entire area, and the jurisdiction of his Ministry was exclusive, aside from that of the military. The organizational treatise states:

"The Reich Commissars, General Commissars, Main Commissars and Regional Commissars (City Commissars) are aside from the military agenciesthe only Reich authorities [Reichshehoerden] in the Occupied Eastern Territories. Other Reich authorities may not be established alongside them. They handle all questions of administration of the area which is subordinate to their sovereignty and all affairs which concern the organization and activity of the administration including those of the Police in the supervision of the native [landeseigenen] agencies and organizations, and of the population.

"The Reich Minister governs the occupied Eastern Territories by order of the Fuehrer. He can make the law for all the territories."

The following passage shows that the economic exploitation of the territory was undertaken in fullest cooperation with the Commissioner of the Four-Year Plan:

"The Fuehrer has entrusted Reich Marshal Hermann Goering, as Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, with the supervision of the tasks of the war economy in the Occupied Eastern Territories. The economic inspectorates and economic commands are active there as his representatives [Organe] [see Green Folio]. These economic inspectorates and economic commands will be substantially absorbed in the agencies of the civil administration after the establishment of the civil administration." (1056-PS)

Careful provision was made for channeling to Rosenberg complete and accurate information as to the situation throughout the territory governed by him:

"The Reich and General Commissars will determine the periods at which the subordinate agencies are to report regularly about the general situation without prejudice to the duty to provide individual reports and special delivery reports (at first, at short intervals which can be later lengthened). At first the Reich Commissars will give the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories a comprehensive report on the situation in brief form twice a month, on the first and fifteenth of each month. The Reich Minister is to be given a report by the Reich Commissar immediately about incidents of an especially important nature. The General Commissars and Regional Commissars must report

[Page 613]

directly to the Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories by the quickest means particularly important incidents, as, for example, widespread unrest, more important acts of sabotage and strikes, great natural catastrophes and the like, and at the same time report them to the next superior agency." (1056-PS)

The Second Section of this organizational treatise, entitled "Working directives for the Civil Administration," contains this

" the Hague Rules of Land Warfare which deal with the administration of a country occupied by a foreign armed power are not valid." (1056-PS; EC-347)

The document continues as follows:

"The handling of cases of sabotage is the concern of the Senior SS- and Police Leader, of the SS- and Police Leader and/or the police leaders of the lower echelon. Insofar, however, as collective measures against the population of a definite region appear appropriate, the decision about them rests with the competent Commissar on the proposal of the Police Leader. The calling of the population for the tasks of guarding can be ordered by the Regional Commissar.

"The assessment of fines of money or goods, as well as the ordering of the seizure of hostages and the shooting of inhabitants of the territory in which the acts of sabotage have taken place, can only be by the General Commissar, insofar as the Reich Commissar himself does not intervene."

"The District Commissar is responsible for the supervision of all prisons, insofar as the Reich Commissar does not decree otherwise." (1056-PS; EC-347)

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