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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
December 3 to December 14, 1945

Sixteenth Day: Monday, 10th December, 1945
(Part 4 of 9)

[MR. ALDERMAN continues]

[Page 250]

In the next letter Keitel writes to Lammers, acknowledging receipt of his letter and telling of his compliance with the request. Keitel also writes to Rosenberg telling him of the action he has taken. Now, the letter to Dr. Lammers: I shall read the text.
"Dear Reich Minister,

I acknowledge receipt of the copy of the Fuehrer's Decree in which the Fuehrer appointed Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg as his Commissioner for the Central Control of Questions connected with the East European Region. I have named General of the Artillery Jodl, Head of the Armed Forces Operational Staff, as my permanent deputy, and Major General Warlimont as his deputy."

And the letter to Reichsleiter Rosenberg on the same date
"The Head of the Reich Chancellery has sent me a copy of the Fuehrer's Decree, by which he has appointed you his Commissioner for the Central Control of Questions connected with the East European Region. I have charged General of the Artillery Jodl, Head of the Armed Forces Operational Staff and his deputy, Major General Warlimont, with the solving of these questions, as far as they concern the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces. Now I ask you, as far as your office is concerned, to deal with them only."
Immediately upon receipt of the order from Hitler, Rosenberg began building his organisation, conferring with the various ministries, issuing his instructions, and generally making the detailed plans and preparations necessary to carry out his assigned mission. Although Rosenberg's files, which were captured intact, were crowded with documents evidencing both the extent of the preparation and its purpose, I believe that the citation of a small number which are typical should be sufficient for the Tribunal and the record. All of those I shall now discuss were found in the defendant Rosenberg's files.

Our document numbered 1030-PS is a memorandum, dated 8th May, 1941, entitled "General Instructions for all Reichskommissars in the Occupied Eastern Territories." I offer that in evidence as Exhibit USA 144.

In these instructions to his chief henchmen, Rosenberg outlines the political aims and purposes of the attack. In the second and third paragraphs of the English translation, which appear on Page 2 of the German, the following remarks appear:

"The only possible political goal of war can be the aim to free the German Reich from the 'grossrussisch' pressure for centuries to come.

[Page 251]

This corresponds not only with German interests, but also with historical justice, for Russian Imperialism was in a position to accomplish its policy of conquest and oppression almost unopposed, whilst it threatened Germany again and again. Therefore, the German Reich has to beware of starting a campaign against Russia with a historical injustice, meaning the reconstruction of a Great Russian Empire, no matter of what kind. On the contrary, all historical struggles of the various nationalities against Moscow and Petersburg have to be scrutinised for their bearing on the situation today. This has been done on the part of the National Socialist movement to correspond to the Leader's political testament as laid down in his book, that now the military and political threat from the East shall be eliminated for ever.

Therefore this huge area must be divided, according to its historical and racial conditions, into 'Reichskommissariats', each of which bears within itself a different political aim. The Reichskommissariat Ostland (Eastland), including White Ruthenia, will have the task of preparing, by way of development into a Germanised Protectorate, a progressively closer cohesion with Germany. The Ukraine will become an independent State in alliance with Germany, and Caucasia, with the contiguous Northern Territories, a Federal State with a German plenipotentiary. Russia proper must put her own house in order for the future. These general viewpoints are explained in the following instructions for each Reichskommissar. Beyond that there are still a few considerations which possess validity for all Reichskommissars."

The fifth paragraph of the English translation, Page 7 of the German, presents a fascinating rationalisation of a contemplated robbery. It reads:
"The German people have achieved, in the course of centuries, tremendous accomplishments in the Eastern European area. Nearly its entire real estate property has been confiscated without indemnification; hundreds of thousands (in the South, on the Volga) have been starved or deported, or, as in the Baltic territories, have been cheated out of the fruits of their cultural work during the past 700 years. The German Reich will now have to proclaim the principle, that after the occupation of the Eastern Territories, the former German assets have become the property of the people of Greater Germany, irrespective of the consent of the former individual proprietors, where the German Reich may reserve the right (assuming that this has not already been done during resettlement) to arrange a just settlement. The manner of compensation and restitution of this national property, will be subject to different treatment by each Reichskommissariat."
Document 1029-PS in our series is an "Instruction for a Reichskommissar in the Baltic Countries and White Russia." It is typical of the type of instruction which was issued to each of the appointed commissioners or "Kommissars", and is amazingly frank in outlining the intentions of the Nazi conspirators toward the country they intended to occupy in the course of their aggression. I offer this document in evidence as Exhibit USA 145. I should like to read into the record the first three paragraphs. It begins:-
"All the regions between Narva and Tilsit have constantly been in close relationship with the German people. A 700-year-old history

[Page 252]

has moulded the inner sympathies of the majority of the races living there in a European direction, and has added this region to the living space of Greater Germany.

The aim of a Reichskommissar for Esthonia, Latvia, Lithuania and White Russia" - last words added in pencil - "must be to strive to achieve the form of a German Protectorate, and then transform the region into part of the Greater German Reich by Germanising racially possible elements, colonising Germanic races and banishing undesirable elements. The Baltic Sea must become a Germanic inland sea under the guardianship of Greater Germany.

For certain cattle-raising products the Baltic region is a land of surplus, and the Reichskommissar must endeavour to make this surplus once more available to the German people, and, if possible, to increase it. With regard to the process of Germanising or resettling, the Esthonian people are strongly Germanised to the extent of 50 per cent. by Danish, German and Swedish blood, and can be considered as a kindred nation. In Latvia, the section capable of being assimilated is considerably smaller than in Esthonia. In this country stronger resistance will have to be reckoned with, and banishment on a larger scale will have to be envisaged. A similar development may have to be reckoned with in Lithuania, for here too the emigration of racial Germans is called for in order to promote very intensive Germanisation (on the East Prussian border)."

Omitting a paragraph, the next paragraph is also interesting and reads as follows:
"The task of a Reichskommissar with his seat of office in Riga will therefore largely be an extraordinarily positive one. A country which 700 years ago was captured by German Knights, built up by the Hanseatic League, and by reason of a constant influx of German blood, together with Swedish elements, was a predominantly Germanised land, is to be established as a mighty German borderland. The preliminary cultural conditions are available everywhere, and the German Reich will be able to guarantee the right to a later emigration to all those who have distinguished themselves in this war, to the descendants of those who gave their lives during the war, and also to all who fought in the Baltic campaign, never once lost courage, fought on in the hour of despair and delivered Baltic civilisation from Bolshevism. For the rest, the solution of the colonisation problem is not a Baltic question, but one which concerns Greater Germany, and it must be settled on these lines."
These two directives are, I think, sufficiently typical of the whole to show the Tribunal the extent of the planning and preparation for this phase of the aggression, as well as the political purpose it was hoped would be achieved thereby. However, on 28th June, 1941, less than a week after the invasion, Rosenberg himself prepared a full report of his activities since his appointment on 20th April, One might almost think he had so meticulously recorded his activities in order to be of assistance to this prosecution.

This report is Numbered 1039-PS, and I now offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 146. To me the most interesting things about this report are its disclosures concerning the number of these defendants who worked with and assisted Rosenberg in the planning and preparation for this phase

[Page 253]

of the aggression, and the extent to which practically all of the ministries and offices of both State and Party are shown to have been involved in this operation. The report was found in the defendant Rosenberg's files and, although rather long, is of such importance in implicating persons, groups and organisations that it must, I believe, be read in full in order that it may be made part of the record. It is headed "Report on the Preparatory Work in Eastern European Questions."
"Immediately after the notification of individual Supreme Reich offices regarding the Fuehrer's decree of 20th March, 1941, a conference with the Chief of the O.K.W. (Armed Forces High Command) took place" - that is the defendant Keitel. "After presentation of the various political alms in the proposed Reichskommissariats and presentation of personal requirements for the East, the chief of the O.K.W. explained that a deferment (U.K.-Stellung) would be too complicated in this case and that this matter could be carried out best by direct cancellation (Abkommandierung) by command of the Chief of the O.K.W. General Field Marshal Keitel then issued an appropriate command which established the basis for the coming requirements. He named as deputy and liaison officer General Jodl and Major General Warlimont. The negotiations which then commenced relative in all questions of the Eastern Territory" - relative to, I suppose it is - "were carried on by the gentlemen of the O.K.W. in collaboration with officials of my office.

A conference took place with Admiral Canaris, to the effect that under the given confidential circumstances my office could in no way deal with any representatives of the people of the East-European area. I asked him to do this in so far as the Military Intelligence required it, and then to name persons to me who could count as political personalities over and above the military intelligence in order to arrange for their eventual commitment later. Admiral Canaris said that naturally also my wish not to recognise any political groups among the emigrants would be considered by him, and that he was planning to proceed in accordance with my indications.

Later on I informed General Field Marshal von Brauchitsch and Grossadmiral Raeder about the historical and political conceptions of the Eastern problem. In further conferences we agreed to appoint a representative of my office to the Supreme Commander of the Army, to the Chief Quartermaster and to the Army Groups respectively for questions relative to political configuration and requests of the O.K.W. In the meantime this has been done.

Already at the outset there was a discussion with Minister of Economics (Reichswirtschaftsminister) Funk" - the defendant Funk - "who appointed as his permanent deputy Ministerialdirektor Dr. Schlotterer. Almost daily conferences were then held with Dr. Schlotterer with reference to the war economic intentions of the Economic Operational Staff East. In this connection I had conferences with General Thomas, State Secretary Korner, State Secretary Backe, Ministerial Director Reicke, General Schubert, and others.

Far-reaching agreement was reached in the Eastern questions as regards direct technical work now and in the future. A few problems regarding the relationship of the proposed Reich ministry toward the

[Page 254]

Four Year Plan are still open and will be subject, after submission, to the decision of Fuehrer. In principle I declared that I in no way intended to found an economic department in my office; economics would rather be handled substantially and practically by the Reichsmarschall" - that is the defendant Goering - "and the persons appointed by him. However, the two responsible department heads, namely, Ministerial Director Dr. Schlotterer for industrial economy, and Ministerial Director Riecke for food economy, would be placed in my office as permanent liaison men, to co-ordinate here political aims with the economic necessities in a department which would have to unite yet with other persons for such co-ordinating work, depending on labour conditions as they may arise later on (political leadership of labour unions, construction, et cetera).

After notification of the Reich Foreign Minister, the latter appointed Geheimrat Grosskopf as permanent liaison man to my office. For the requested representation in the political department of my office (headed by Reichsamtsleiter Dr.Seibbrandt), the Foreign Ministry released Consul General Dr. Braeutigam, who has been known to me for many years, speaks Russian, and worked for years in Russia. Negotiations which, if necessary, will be placed before the Fuehrer, are under way with the Foreign Office regarding its wishes for the assignment of its representatives to the future Reich Commissioners or 'Kommissars'.

The Propaganda Ministry" - that is Goebbels - "appointed State Secretary Gutterer as permanent liaison man, and a complete agreement was reached to the effect that the decisions on all political and other essays, speeches, proclamations, et cetera, would be made in my office; a great number of substantial works for propaganda would be delivered and the papers prepared by the Propaganda Ministry would be modified here, if necessary. The whole practical employment of propaganda will indisputably be subject to the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. For the sake of closer co-operation, the Propaganda Ministry assigns yet another person directly under my department, 'Enlightenment and Press', and in addition appoints a permanent Press liaison man. All these activities have been going on for some time, and without attracting notice to my office in any way, this agreement on contents and terminology takes place continually every day.

Thorough discussions took place with Reichsminister Ohnesorge concerning future transmission of communications and setting up of all technical necessities in future occupied territories; with Reichsminister Seldte on the supply of labour forces; with Reichsminister Frick" - that is the defendant Frick - "State Secretary Stuckart, in detailed form on the assignment of numerous necessary officials for the Kommissariats. According to the present estimate there will be four Reich Kommissariats, as approved by the Fuehrer. I shall ask the Fuehrer for political and other reasons to set up a suitable number of General Kommissariats (24), Main Kommissariats (about 80), and Regional Kommissariats (over 900). A General Kommissariat would correspond to a former General Government; a Main Kommissariat to a Main, Government.

[Page 255]

A Regional Kommissariat contains three or four Districts (Kreise). In view of the huge spaces, that is the minimum number which appears necessary for a future civil government and/or administration. A portion of the officials has already been requested on the basis of the above-named command of the Chief of the O.K.W."
THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Alderman, speaking for myself, I do not understand why it is necessary to read this document in full. You have already shown that there was a plan for dividing Russia up into a number of Kommissariats.

MR. ALDERMAN: Yes, sir.

THE PRESIDENT : This is merely a detailed report on that.

MR. ALDERMAN: Quite true. I should like merely to point out two or three other individual defendants who are referred to in this document and as to whom the document shows that they were in immediate complicity with this whole scheme. The first of those, about three paragraphs further down, the Reich Youth Leadership. That is the defendant Baldur von Schirach. Then, of course, Gruppenfuehrer S.S. Heydrich, about the next paragraph -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, he is not a defendant.

MR. ALDERMAN: No, Sir, his organisation is, however, if the Tribunal please, charged as a Criminal Organisation.

In the next paragraph, the defendant Ministerial Director Fritzsche, to work under Goebbels.

Without a long discussion of further propaganda material, I might summarise the individual implication in this fashion. Those of the individual defendants now on trial which this report personally involves are Keitel, Jodl, Raeder, Funk, Goering, Ribbentrop, Frick, Schirach, and Fritzsche. The organisations involved by this report include the following: O.K.W., O.K.H., O.K.M., Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Economics, Reich Foreign Ministry, Propaganda Ministry, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Communications, The Reich Physicians Leader, Ministry of Munitions and Armaments, Reich Youth Leadership, Reich Organisational Leader, German Labour Front, the S.S., the S.A. and the Reich Press Chief.

At a later stage in the trial, and in other connections, I should like to ask the Tribunal to consider that the document with which I have just been dealing be considered a part of the record to the extent that it involves these individuals.

THE PRESIDENT: I think you can treat it as all being in evidence.

MR. ALDERMAN : At a later stage in the trial and in other connections, evidence will be introduced concerning the manner in which all of this planning and preparation for the elimination of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics as a political factor was actually carried out. The planned execution of intelligentsia and other Russian leaders was, for example, but a part of the actual operation of the programme to destroy the Soviet Union politically, and make impossible its early resurrection as a European Power.

Having thus elaborately prepared on every side for the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Nazi conspirators proceeded to carry out their plans, and on 22nd June, 1941, hurled their armies across the borders of the U.S.S.R.

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