The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Individual Responsibility Of Defendants

Artur Seyss-Inquart

(Part 11 of 18)

[Page 983]

C. SEYSS-INQUART PARTICIPATED IN THE POLITICAL PLANNING AND PREPARATION OF THE NAZI CONSPIRATORS FOR WARS OF AGGRESSION AND WARS IN VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL TREATIES, AGREEMENTS, AND ASSURANCES SET FORTH IN COUNTS ONE AND TWO OF THE INDICTMENT. The German Reichstag came under the control of the Nazi conspirators with the advent of Hitler into the German Government and became a willing tool in the hands of Hitler and the conspirators. (See Sections 2, 3, and 4 of chapter VII on the acquisition and consolidation of totalitarian political control, and terrorization of political opponents.)

The members of the Reich Cabinet were the accomplices, aiders and abettors of Hitler and his closest Nazi lieutenants in the political planning and preparation for Wars of Aggression and Wars in Violation of International Treaties, Agreements and Assurances. (See section 3 of chapter XV on the Reich Cabinet.)

Seyss-Inquart was a member of the Reichstag and of the Reich Cabinet before the invasion of Poland, and occupied those positions until the unconditional surrender of Germany. Thus he is

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equally responsible for the acts and decisions of the members of those governmental bodies concerning the political planning and preparation of the Nazi Conspirators for Wars of Aggression and Wars in Violation of International Treaties, Agreements and Assurances set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. (2910-PS)


(1) Austria.

(a) Position and authority of Seyss-Inquart. Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Governor of Austria by Hitler on 15 March 1938, and was put in charge of the Civil Administration. Austria had then ceased to exist as an independent nation and was a province of the German Reich. (2910-PS; 3425-PS)

Goering, as Delegate for the Four-Year Plan, commissioned Seyss-Inquart, who was then Reichsstatthalter in Austria, jointly with the Plenipotentiary of the Reich, to consider and take any steps necessary for the "Aryanization of business and economic life, and to execute this process in accordance with our laws" (Laws of the Reich) (3460-PS)

Seyss-Inquart participated in the drafting of laws for the sequestration and confiscation of property of the so-called "enemies of the people and State." Evidence of this fact is found in the correspondence between Seyss-Inquart and Dr. Lammers, Chief of the Reichs Chancellery. On 24 October 1938 Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Dr. Lammers stating in substance that the law providing for the sequestration and confiscation of the property of enemies of the State was almost completed and ready for the signature of the Fuehrer, and expressing hope that the signature would be obtained soon. Dr. Lammers replied to Seyss-Inquart that the decree would be issued by the Reichsminister of the Interior, a copy of which had been submitted to Hitler, who had expressed no objections. (3448-PS; 3447-PS)

The power and authority of Seyss-Inquart with respect to the sequestration and confiscation of the property of "enemies of the State" stemmed from a decree empowering the Reichsstatthalter in Vienna, or the office designated by him, to confiscate property of persons or societies which had promoted efforts inimical to the people of the State. This decree also attempted to legalize the confiscation of property ordered by the Secret State Police prior to the issuance of the decree. (3450-PS) This decree appeared

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to be a secret law, because it was not published. Yet it existence as law is evidenced by a letter written to the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police, Himmler, in January 1939, which shows that the decree was in fact issued on 18 November 1938. (3449-PS)

(b) Murder and illtreatment of civilians. Seyss-Inquart was aware that so-called enemies of the State were imprisoned in concentration camps. His knowledge of this matter is evidenced by his claim of credit for the transfer of his predecessor -- Chancellor of Austria, von Schuschnigg -- from one concentration camp to another in south Germany which was in the path of the armed forces of the United States. (254-PS) L One of the most notorious concentration camps was Mauthausen, located in Austria and in existence while Seyss-Inquart was the Reich Governor of the Province of Austria. As has t already been shown, this camp became noted as an extermination center. (2176-PS)

(c) Plunder of public and private property. Even before the issuance of the above decree for the sequestration and confiscation of the property of the so-called enemies of the State, Seyss-Inquart wrote a letter to Hitler indicating that he had come into possession of from 700 to 900 valuable tapestries. Seyss-Inquart offered to display the most beautiful pieces so that the Fuehrer might make a selection. In this same letter Seyss-Inquart expressed his pride and wonder over the manner in which Hitler had "solved the Sudeten problem."

While Seyss-Inquart was Reich Governor of the Province of Austria a large quantity of valuable property, including works of art, belonging to the so-called enemies of the State, was seized, sequestered, and confiscated. A partial list of such property is found in a memorandum which referred to a report of the Reich Fuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police submitted with a letter dated 10 August 1938 and received in Berlin 26 September 1938. This inventory listed a total of 162 cases of confiscation, of which 113 cases had a value of some 93,366,358.24 marks. It is significant that the former owners of this property were Jews and political opponents of the Nazis. (3446-PS)

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