The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Third Day: Thursday, 22st November, 1945
(Part 5 of 8)

[MR. ALBRECHT continues]

The Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich was responsible to the Fuehrer alone. Its membership, as would seem to be indicated on the chart, was taken from the Reich Council. It had broad powers to issue decrees with the force of law in so far as the Reichsregierung itself had not legislated on the subject. It should be stressed that this delegation of Cabinet functions to various groups, composed largely of its own members, helped to conceal some of the important policies of the " Reichsregierung," namely, those relating to the preparation of war, which delegated the necessary authority to secret and semi-secret agencies. Thus in a general way, as I have outlined, did the National Socialist Party succeed in putting Nazi policies into effect through its dummy, through the machinery of the State, the Reichsregierung, in its revised form.

I think it might be helpful if your Honour will permit me to point out on this chart the large number of instances in which the defendants' names reappear in connection with the functions of the Government of the Reich.

Now, first of all, the Reichsregierung itself - I am sorry to say in that connection that there is one omission, a very important omission. It is the name of the Vice Chancellor under Hitler, von Papen, who was Vice Chancellor from the seizure of power until some time around the purge in June, 1934.

Your Honours will see a grouping of Reich Ministers with portfolio, and under it of Ministers without portfolio, in which mostly the names of the defendants in court are listed. There are State Ministers acting as Reich Ministers listed, and you will note the name of the defendant Frank. There are other participants in cabinet meetings, among which you will notice the name of the defendant von Schirach.

Now, this whole line on which the cabinet hangs is the level of the Reich Cabinet, and as I have stated, organisations that grew out of this maternal organism, the "Reichsregierung."

To the left the Secret Cabinet Council includes the names of the defendants. Still further to the left is the delegate for the Four Year Plan. And over to the

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very end is the Reichstag, of which the president was the defendant Goering, and the leader of the "Reichstagsfraktion," the defendant Frick.

If we proceed to the right of the median line, we have the Reich Defence Council, with Hitler himself as Chairman, the Reich Defence Committee under it, and the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Realm, which grew out of the Reich Defence Council. And we see mostly the names of cabinet ministers, including, if I may refer to that fact, particularly the names of purely military leaders, such as the defendant Raeder and the defendant Keitel.

And farther to the right, all names mentioned as defendants in these proceedings, Schacht, the first Plenipotentiary for War Economy, later succeeded by Funk Field Marshal Keitel as the Chief of the O.K.W., and the defendant Funk again as Plenipotentiary for Administration, in the triangle which became known as the "Dreierkollegium."

If we descend the vertical line to the horizontal line in the middle, we have the various ministries over which these cabinet ministers, this "Reichsregierung," presided. We have also at the extreme left and the extreme right, very important and special offices that were set up at the instigation of the Party, and those offices reported directly to the Fuehrer himself.

If I may start at the extreme left, I will point out that as the civil government moved after the military machine into the Lowlands, the defendant Seyss-Inquart became the Reichskommissar for the Netherlands.

A few names below that of Seyss-Inquart is the name of the defendant von Neurath, the "Reichsprotektor" for Bohemia and Moravia, who was later succeeded by the defendant Frick; and under those names, the name of the defendant Frank, the "General-gouvenieur" of Poland.

Adjoining the box of these administrators who reported directly to the Reich Chancellor and President was the Foreign Office, presided over first by the defendant von Neurath, and subsequently by the defendant von Ribbentrop.

If we proceed down below the elongation under the smaller box dealing with German legations, there should, of course, in any itemised, detailed treatment of that box appear the name of the defendant von Papen, the representative of the Reich in Austria for a time, and later in Turkey.

The next box on the horizontal line is the Ministry of Economics, the "Reichs-wirtschaftsministerium." First is the name of the defendant Schacht, followed by the name of the defendant Goering, and by the name of the defendant Funk.

The next box, the Ministry for Armament and War Production, the "Reichs-ministerium fur Ruestung und Kriegsproduktion," was presided over by the defendant Speer. And out of this organisation, and subordinate to it, in the box devoted to the Organisation Todt, again the name of the defendant Speer, who succeeded Todt in the Leadership of that organisation upon the death of the latter.

Two boxes over, the Ministry of Justice, if your Honour will follow me, down close to the bottom of the page to the last left-hand box, appearing under the Ministry of Justice, is the "Reichsrechtsanwaltskammer" - I am sorry, the box next to the bottom at the left which is devoted to the Academy for German Law, "Die Akademie fur deutsches Recht," over which the defendant Frank presided for a time.

Almost at the vertical line, the Air Ministry, of which the defendant Goering was Oberkommandant; and next to it again the Ministry of the Interior, presided over by the defendant Frick.

If your Honour will follow me again to the bottom of all the squares to the small horizontal line at the bottom of the Ministry of the Interior, we come to certain state officials, called Reich Governors, " Reichstatthalter." And if those boxes were sufficiently detailed there would appear thereon the name, among others, of the defendant Sauckel, who besides being the Gauleiter of Thuringia, was also the Reichstatthalter or Governor there. There would also appear the name of the

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defendant von Schirach, who was not only the Gauleiter of Vienna, but also the State representative there, the Governor, the "Reichstatthalter," of Vienna.

And springing out of the Ministry of the Interior is the box or boxes devoted to the German police, and in the first sub-division appearing to the right, the Chief of the Security Police and SD, is the name of the defendant Kaltenbrunner.

In the Ministry of Propaganda, about midway down in this box, appears the name of the defendant Fritzsche, who, as the chart is drawn, although he would not appear in the position of one of the chief directing heads of the Ministry, actually was very much more important than his position there will indicate; and proof will be submitted to your Honour in support of that contention.

At the end of the horizontal line is the Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories, the " Reichsministerium fur die Besetzten Ostgebiete," of which the defendant Rosenberg was the head.

And to the right of that box, among the agencies immediately subordinate to Hitler as Reichskanzler and President, there is the office of General Inspector for Highways, with the name of the defendant Speer associated with it; the General Inspector for Water and Energy, again with the name of the defendant Speer associated with it.

There follows the Reich Office for Forestry, the "Reichsforstamt," under the defendant Goering; the "Reichsjugendfuehrer," the leader of the Reich Youth, the defendant von Schirach, the Reich Housing Commissioner, "Reichswohnungskommissar," the late defendant Robert Ley; and among the subsequent agencies, that of the important "Reichsbank," over which the defendant Schacht presided, to be succeeded subsequently by the defendant Funk; the General Inspector for the Reich Capital, "Generalbauinspekt fur die Reichshauptstadt," the defendant Speer.

I think I have named all of the defendants as they appear on this chart, and of those now before your Honour in this cause I think they all appear on this chart in one capacity or another; in one or more capacities, all, I might add, except the defendant Jodl. Jodl was the Chief of Staff of all the Armed Forces. He was the head of the "Wehrmacht Fuehrungsstab," and in the chart as evidential material which will be subsequently brought before your Honour, the name Jodl will figure prominently in connection with the Organisation of the Armed Forces.

If I may make one correction at this point, a slip of the tongue that was called to my attention, in discussing the chart of the Party, in the small box to the left containing the designates of the Fuehrer to succeed him to the Party leadership, I made the statement that Goering succeeded Hess as Fuehrer designate. Actually, when the designations were announced by the Fuehrer, Goering was always the first designate, and the defendant Hess the second.

In Annex A of the Indictment, the various offices, Party functions and State offices which these defendants held in the course of the period under discussion, these various offices are mentioned. And we would like to submit at this time and offer into evidence as exhibits, proof of the offices that were occupied by these defendants. This proof consists of 17 statements, more or less, signed by the defendants themselves and/or their counsel, certifying to the Party and State offices that they have held from time to time. Some of these statements were not as complete as we desired to have them, and we have appended thereto a statement showing such additional offices or proof of Party membership as was available to us. I would like to offer those into evidence.

(Several documents were distributed to defence counsel)

MR. ALBRECHT: And now, if your Honour pleases, I offer into evidence the two charts to which my remarks have been addressed in the course of the morning.

THE PRESIDENT. Will Counsel for the United States continue the evidence until 1230 hours ?

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COLONEL STOREY: If your Honour pleases, it lacks two minutes until 11230 hours. Mr. Albrecht has finished, and will it be convenient for your Honour for Major Wallis to start at 1400 hours ?


(The court is adjourned)

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal please, Major Frank Wallis will now present the briefs, and documents supporting the briefs, on behalf of the phase of the case known as the Common Plan or Conspiracy, from 1939.

MAJOR WALLIS: Mr. President, members of the Tribunal:

It will be my purpose to establish most of the material allegations of the Indictment running from Paragraph IV on page 3, to sub-paragraph E on page 6. The subjects involved are:

The aims of the Nazi Party.

Their doctrinal techniques.

Their rise to power, and

The consolidation of control over Germany between 1933

and 1939 in preparation for aggressive war.

This story has already been sketched by the American Chief Prosecutor. Moreover, it is history, beyond challenge by the defendants. For the most part, we rely upon the Tribunal to take judicial notice of it. What we offer is merely illustrative material - including statements by the defendants and other Nazi leaders - laws, decrees, and the like. We do not need to rest upon captured documents or other special sources, although some have been used.

For the convenience of the Court and defence counsel, the illustrative material has been put together in document books, and the arguments derived from them have been set out in trial briefs.

I intend only to comment briefly on some of the materials and to summarise the main lines of the briefs.

What is the charge in Count One?

The Charge in Count One is that the defendants, with divers other persons, participated in the formulation or execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit, or which involved the commission of Crimes against Humanity (both within and without Germany), War Crimes, and Crimes against Peace.

The charge is, further, that the instrument of cohesion among the defendants, as well as an instrument for the execution of the purposes of the conspiracy, was the Nazi Party, of which each defendant was a member or to which he became an adherent.

The scope of the proof which I shall offer is:

First, that the Nazi Party set for itself certain aims and objectives, involving basically the acquisition of "Lebensraum," or living space, for all "racial Germans.

Second, that it was committed to the use of any methods, whether or not legal, in attaining these objectives, and that it did in fact use illegal methods.

Third, that it put forward and disseminated various lines of propaganda, and used various propaganda techniques to assist it in its unprincipled rise to power.

Fourth, that it ultimately did seize all governmental power in Germany.

Fifth, that it used this power to complete the political conquest of the State, to crush all opposition, and to prepare the nation psychologically and otherwise for the foreign aggression upon which it was bent from the outset.

In general, we undertake to outline, so far as relevant to the charge, what happened in Germany during the pre-war period, leaving it to others to carry the story and proof through the war years.

The aims of this conspiracy were open and notorious. It was far different from any other conspiracy ever unfolded before a court of justice, not only because

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of the gigantic number of people involved, the period of time covered, the magnitude and audacity of it, but because, unlike other criminal conspirators, these conspirators often boastfully proclaimed to the world what they planned to do, before they did it.

As an illustration, Hitler, in his speech of 30th January, 1941, said:

"My programme was to abolish the Versailles Treaty. It is futile nonsense for the rest of the world to pretend today that I did not reveal this programme until 1933 or 1935 or 1937. . . .Instead of listening to the foolish chatter of emigres, these gentlemen would have been wiser to read what I have written thousands of times. No human being has declared or recorded what he wanted more than I. Again and again I wrote these words, 'the abolition of the Treaty of Versailles'."
First, a brief reference to the history of the Nazi Party.

The Court will no doubt recollect that the National Socialist Part had its origin in the German Labor Party, which was founded on 5 January 1919 in Munich. It was this organization which Hitler joined as seventh member on 12 September 1919. At a meeting of the German Labor Party held on 24 February 1920, Hitler announced to the world the "25 Thesis" that subsequently became known as the "unalterable" program of the National Socialist German Workers Party.

A few days later, on 4 March 1920, the name of the German Labor Party was changed to the "National Socialist German Workers Party," frequently referred to as the NSDAP, or Nazi Party. It is under that name that the Nazi Party continued to

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