The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
November 20 to December 1, 1945

Eighth Day: Thursday, 29th November, 1945
(Part 6 of 6)

[MR. ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 263]

I refer to "First Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor concerning the introduction of German Reich Law in Austria, 15th March, 1938," Reichsgesetzblatt, Volume 1, page 247, number 25, the translation being in our document 2310-PS.

Hitler, Frick and Goering ordered that the Reich Minister of the Interior be the central authority for carrying out the reunion of Austria with the German Reich, 16th March, 1932, Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938 - that must be 1938 - Volume 1, page 249, number 25, translated in our document 1060-PS.

In connection with Germany's extensive propaganda campaign to insure acceptability of the German regime, it may be noted that Goebbels established a Reich Propaganda Office in Vienna.

I cite "Order concerning the Establishment of a Reich Propaganda Office in Vienna, 31st March, 1938," Reichsgesetzblatt 1938, Volume 1, page 350, number 46, translated in our document 2935-PS.

The ballot addressed to soldiers of the former Austrian Army as "German soldiers" asked the voters whether they agreed with the accomplishment and ratification on 13th March, 1938, of the reuniting of Austria with Germany.

I cite "Second Order concerning Plebiscite and Election for the Greater German Reichstag of 24th March, 1938, " Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Volume 1, page 303, translated in our document 1659-PS.

The ground work was fully laid before the holding of the plebiscite "for German men and women of Austria" promised in the Basic Law of 13th March."

Then, the importance of Austria in further plans of aggression. Could we run that screen up, or is the chart still behind it? Well, the Court will remember the chart.

The seizure of Austria had now formed that lower jaw to the head of the wolf around the head of Czechoslovakia. Germany's desire to consummate the Anschluss with Austria, and its determination to execute that aim in the way and at the time that it did - that is, with threat of military force, quickly, and despite political risk - was due to the importance of Austria in its further plans of aggression.

The conference held on 5th November, 1937, planning for aggressive war in Europe outlined as objectives in Austria the conquest through expulsion of a million people and the effective increase in fighting strength, in part through the improvement in the Frontier.

I cite again document 386-PS, exhibit USA 25. Austria was to yield to Germany material resources, and moreover she provided ready cash, taken from the Jews and from the Austrian Government.

One of the first orders passed after the Anschluss was an order signed by Hitler, Frick, Schwerin von Krosigk and Schacht for the transfer to the Reich of the assets of the Austrian National Bank. I refer to the "Order for the Transfer of the Austrian National Bank to the Reichsbank, 17th March, 1938," Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Volume 1, page 254, number 27, translated in our document 2313-PS.

Austria also yielded human resources. Three months after the Anschluss there was enacted a decree requiring the 21-year-old men, Austrian men, to report for active military service. I refer to the decree regarding registration for active military service in Austria during 1938, Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Volume 11, page 631, translated in our document 1660-PS.

The acquisition of Austria improved the military strategic position of the German Army. I invite the Court's attention to a document which I introduced in the case on preparation for aggression, document L-I72, exhibit USA 34, which was

[Page 264]

a lecture delivered by General Jodl, Chief of the German Staff of the Armed Forces, on 7th November, at Munich, to the Gauleiters. Only one page of that lecture appears in this particular document book, and I quote from one paragraph on page 1 of the English text, which is page 7 of Jodl's lecture, which reviewed the situation in 1938:-
"The Austrian 'Anschluss,' in its turn, brought with it not only the fulfilment of an old national aim but also had the effect both of reinforcing our fighting strength and of materially improving our strategic position. Whereas up till then the territory of Czechoslovakia had projected in a most menacing way right into Germany (a wasp waist in the direction of France and an air base for the Allies, in particular Russia), Czechoslovakia herself was now enclosed by pincers. Her own strategic position had now become so unfavourable that she was bound to fall a victim to any attack pressed home with rigour before effective aid from the West could be expected to arrive."
The Nazi conspirators were now ready to carry out the second part of this second phase of their aggression, and to take over Czechoslovakia.

Logically, if the Tribunal please, we should proceed at this point with the story about Czechoslovakia. For reasons that I explained earlier in the week we have had to change our plans somewhat from a strictly logical order, and the plan at present is that on Monday I shall go forward with the Czechoslovakian part of the aggressive war case.

At this point it is planned by our staff to show a motion picture, and it will take some few minutes to make physical arrangements in the courtroom, so that if the Court should feel like recessing those arrangements could be made.

THE PRESIDENT: Could you tell me how long the showing of the picture will take?

MR. ALDERMAN: My understanding is about an hour.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn for ten minutes then, shall we now, or until the picture is ready?

(A recess was taken.)

COLONEL STOREY: Mr. President, if the Tribunal please, Sir, supplementing what Mr. Alderman has said, we have had to adjust our presentation to some extent. To-morrow morning, the witness will be offered for interrogation. Then Mr. Alderman on Monday, and Sir Hartley Shawcross will make the opening statement for the British Empire on Tuesday morning.

The film this afternoon, at the request of the defendants' counsel, made in writing to the Court, was exhibited to defendants' counsel the day before yesterday evening in this courtroom. I personally requested Dr. Dix to convey the invitation to defence counsel to witness the film. Eight of them came. Dr. Dix advised me kindly that he would not come unless he were forced to come.

I now present Mr. Dodd, who will have charge of the presentation.

MR. DODD: If it please the Tribunal, the prosecution for the United States will at this time present to the Tribunal, with its permission, a documentary film on concentration camps. This is by no means the entire proof which the prosecution will offer with respect to the subject of concentration camps, but this film which we offer represents in a brief and unforgettable form an explanation of what the words "concentration camp" imply.

This subject arises appropriately in the narrative of events leading up to the actual outbreak of aggressive war, which, as Mr. Alderman's presentation shows, was planned and prepared by the Nazi conspirators. We propose to show that concentration camps were not an end in themselves but, rather, they were an integral part of the Nazi system of government. As we shall show, the black- shirted guards of the S.S. and the Gestapo stood ranged behind the official pages of the Reichsgesetzblatt.

We intend to prove that each and every one of these defendants knew of the existence of these concentration camps; that fear and terror and nameless horror

[Page 265]

of the concentration camps were instruments by which the defendants retained power and suppressed the opposition to any of their policies, including, of course, their plans for aggressive war. By this means they enforced the controls imposed upon the German people, as required to execute these plans, and obliterated freedom in Germany and in the countries invaded and occupied by the armies of the Third Reich.

Finally, we ask the Tribunal in viewing this film to bear in mind the fact that the proof to be offered at a later stage of this trial will show that on some of the organisations charged in this indictment lies the responsibility for the origin, the control and the maintenance of the whole concentration camp system. On the S.S., the S.D. - a part of the S.S. which tracked down the victims - upon the Gestapo, which committed the victims to the camps, and upon other branches of the S.S. which were in charge of the atrocities committed therein.

Commander James Donovan will introduce the film with a statement explaining its source and its authenticity. Commander James Donovan.

COMMANDER DONOVAN: May it please the Tribunal, I refer to document 2430-PS, concerning the motion picture entitled "Nazi Concentration Camps " and to the affidavits of Commander James B. Donovan, Lt.-Colonel George C. Stevens, Lieutenant E. R. Kellogg and Colonel Erik Tiebold contained therein. The affidavits of Colonel Stevens and of Lieutenant Kellogg are also contained in the motion picture, and thus will be in the record of the Tribunal. With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall now, however, read into the record those affidavits not appearing in the film.

THE PRESIDENT: In the absence of any objection by the defence counsel, we don't think it is necessary to read these formal affidavits.

COMMANDER DONOVAN: Yes, sir. The United States now offers in evidence an official film, a documentary motion picture report on Nazi Concentration Camps. This report has been compiled from motion pictures taken by Allied military photographers as the Allied armies in the West liberated the areas in which these camps were located. The accompanying narration is taken directly from the reports of the military photographers who filmed the camps.

While these motion pictures speak for themselves in evidencing life and death in Nazi concentration camps, proper authentication of the films is contained in the affidavits of the United States Army and Navy officers, to which I have referred.

As has been stated, this motion picture has been made available to all defence counsel, and they possess copies in their information room of the supporting affidavits duly translated.

If the Tribunal please, we shall proceed with the projection of the film, document 2430-PS, which is exhibit USA 79.

(Photographs of the two affidavits were then projected on the screen and the voices of the respective deponents were reproduced reading them.)

"I, George C. Stevens, Lieutenant-Colonel, Army of the United States, hereby certify:-

1. From 1st March, 1945, to 8th May, 1945, I was on active duty with the United States Army Signal Corps attached to the Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Forces, and among my official duties was direction of the photographing of the Nazi concentration camps and prison camps as liberated by Allied forces.

2. The motion pictures which will be shown following this affidavit were taken by official Allied photographic teams in the course of their official duties, each team being composed of military personnel under the direction of a commissioned officer.

3. To the best of my knowledge and belief, these motion pictures constitute a true representation of the individuals and scenes photographed. They have not been altered in any respect since the exposures were made. The accompanying

[Page 266]

narration is a true statement of the facts and circumstances under which these pictures were made.

Signed) George C. Stevens, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S.A."

Sworn to before me this 2nd day of October, 1945.

(Signed) James B. Donovan, Commander, United States Naval Reserve.

I, E. R. Kellogg, Lieutenant, United States Navy, hereby certify that:-

1. From 1929 to 1941 I was employed at the Twentieth Century Fox Studios in Hollywood, California, as a director of film effects, and am familiar with all photographic techniques. From 6th September, 1941, to the present date 27th August, 1945, 1 have been on active duty with the United States Navy.

2. I have carefully examined the motion picture film to be shown following this affidavit, and I certify that the images of these excerpts from the original negative have not been retouched, distorted or otherwise altered in any respect, and are true copies of the originals held in the vaults of the United States Army Signal Corps. These excerpts comprise 6,000 feet of film selected from 80,000 feet, all of which I have reviewed and all of which is similar in character to these excerpts.

(Signed) E. R. Kellogg, Lieutenant, United States Navy.

Sworn to before me this 27th day of August, 1945. (Signed) John Ford, Captain, United States Navy."

(The film was then shown.)

COLONEL STOREY: That concludes the presentation.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 30th November, 1945, at 1000 hours.)

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