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

Nineteenth Day: Thursday, 13th December, 1945
(Part 4 of 10)

[MR. DODD continues]

[Page 361]

I wish also to read into the record the first two paragraphs of that order, which are found at the top of Page 1 of the English translation:-
"In a summary of all the previously issued decrees on the co-operation between the Party and the Gestapo I refer to the following and ordain:-

1. To the Gestapo has been entrusted the mission by the Fuehrer to watch over and to eliminate all enemies of the Party and the National Socialist State, as well as all disintegrating forces of all kinds directed against both. The successful solution of this mission forms one of the most essential prerequisites for the unhampered and frictionless work of the Party. The Gestapo, in their extremely difficult task, are to be granted support and assistance in every possible way by the N.S.D.A.P."

The conspirators then were directing their apparatus of terror against the "enemies of the State", against "disintegrating forces", against those people who endangered the State "with their attitude". Whom did they consider as belonging to those broad categories? Well, first, there were the men in Germany who wanted peace. We refer to Document L- 83, Exhibit USA 231.

THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of that document that you have been referring to, 1723-PS?

MR. DODD: 25th January, 1938. This document consists of an affidavit of Gerhart H. Segar, and I wish to read only from Page 1, Paragraph 2 of that affidavit:

"2. During the period after World War One, up to my commitment to the Leipzig Gaol and Oranienburg Concentration Camp in the spring of 1933, following the Nazi accession to power in January of that year, my business and political affiliations exposed me to the full impact of the Nazi theories and practice of violent regimentation and terroristic tactics. My conflict with the Nazis by virtue of my identification with the peace movement and as a duly elected member of the Reichstag representing a political faith (Social Democratic Party) hostile to

[Page 362]

National Socialism, clearly demonstrated that, even in the period prior to 1933, the Nazis considered crimes and terrorism a necessary and desirable weapon in overcoming democratic opposition."
Passing to Page 5 of the same document, and the paragraph marked (e):-
"That the Nazis had already conceived the device of the Concentration Camp as a means of suppressing and regimenting opposition elements, was forcefully brought to my attention during the course of a conversation which I had with Dr. Wilhelm Frick in December, 1932, Frick at that time was Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Reichstag, of which I was a member. When I gave an emphatic answer to Frick concerning the particular matter discussed, he replied, 'Do not worry, when we are in power we shall put all of you into Concentration Camps.' When the Nazis came into power, Frick was appointed Reichsminister of the Interior and promptly carried out his threat in collaboration with Goering, as Chief of the Prussian State Police, and Himmler."
This paragraph shows that, even before the Nazis had seized power in Germany, they had conceived the plan to repress any potential opposition by terror, and Frick's statement to Segar is completely consistent with an earlier statement which he made on the 18th October, 1929. We refer to Document 2513-PS, Exhibit USA 235, which has also been received in evidence and has been included in Exhibit USA B. We refer to the first page of the English translation, Page 48 of the German text. On Page 1 the quotation begins:-
"This fateful struggle will first be taken up with the ballot, but this cannot continue indefinitely, for history has taught us that in a battle blood must be shed and iron broken. The ballot is the beginning of the fateful struggle. We are determined to promulgate by force that which we preach. Just as Mussolini exterminated the Marxists in Italy, so must we also succeed in accomplishing the same through dictatorship and terror."
THE PRESIDENT: This is the defendant, is it?

MR. DODD: Yes, the defendant Frick.

There are many additional cases of the use of the concentration camp against the men who wanted peace. There was, for example, a group called the Bibelforschers, that is, Bible Research Workers, most of whom were known as Jehovah's Witnesses. They were pacifists, and so the conspirators provided not only for their prosecution in the regular courts but also for their confinement in the concentration camps after they had served the judicial sentences, and we refer to Document D-84, Exhibit USA 236.

This document is dated 5th August, 1937, and it is an order by the Secret State Police at Berlin, and I refer particularly to the first and last paragraphs of this order, as follows:-

"The Reichsminister of Justice had informed me that he does not share the opinion voiced by subordinate departments on various occasions, according to which the arrest of the Bibelforschers, after they have served a sentence, is supposed to jeopardise the authority of the Law Courts. He is fully aware of the necessity for measures by the State Police after the sentence has been served. He asks, however, not to bring the Bibelforschers into protective custody under circumstances detrimental to the respect of the Law Courts."

[Page 363]

And then, the paragraph (2):-
"If information regarding the impending release of a Bibelforscher from arrest is received from the authorities carrying out the sentence, my decision regarding the ordering of measures by the State Police will be asked for in accordance with my circular decree dated 22nd April, 1937, so that transfer to a Concentration Camp can take place immediately after the sentence has been served. Should a transfer into concentration camp immediately after the serving of the sentence not be possible, Bibelforschers will be detained in police prisons."
The Labour Unions, of which I think it is safe to say the majority are traditionally opposed to wars of aggression, also felt the full force of Nazi terror. A member of the American staff, Major Wallis, has already submitted evidence before this Tribunal concerning the conspirators' campaign against the trade unions. But the concentration camp was an important weapon in this campaign, and the Tribunal will recall that in Document 2324-PS, to which I made reference this morning, the defendant Goering made it plain that members of the Social Democratic Party were to be confined in concentration camps. Now labour leaders were very largely members of that Party, and they soon learned the horrors of protective custody. We refer to Document 2330-PS, Exhibit USA 237, which has already been received as part of Exhibit USA G, which consists of an order that one Joseph Simon should be placed in protective custody. We refer to the middle of the first page of the English translation of that order, beginning with the material under the word "Reasons".

THE PRESIDENT: I think you should read the sentence before that the two lines before it. The words are: "The arrestee has no right to appeal against the decree of protective custody."

MR. DODD: "The arrestee has no right to appeal against the decree of protective custody." Then comes a title "Reasons":-

"Simon was for many years a member of the Socialist Party and temporarily a member of the Union Socialists Populaire. From 1907 to 1918 he was Lantag deputy of the Socialist Party; from 1908 to 1930 Social Democratic City Counsellor (Stadtrat) in Nuremberg. In view of the decisive role which Simon played in international socialism, and in regard to his connection with international Marxist leaders and central agencies, which he continued after the national recovery, he was placed under protective custody on the 3rd May, 1933, and was kept, until 25th January, 1934, in the Dachau Concentration Camp. Simon was strongly suspected, even after this date, of playing an active part in the illegal continuation of the Socialist Party. He took part in meetings which aimed at the illegal continuation of the Socialist Party and propagation of illegal Marxist printed matter in Germany. Through this radical attitude, which is hostile to the State, Simon directly endangered public security and order."
We do not wish to burden these proceedings with a multiplication of such instances, but I refer the Tribunal to documents which have already been offered in connection with the presentation of the evidence concerning the destruction of the trade unions. In particular, we wish to refer to Document 2334-PS and Document 2928-PS, Exhibits USA 238 and 239, both of which are included within Exhibit USA G.
[Page 364]
Thousands of Jews, as the world so well knows, were, of course, confined in these concentration camps. The evidence on this point will be developed in a later presentation by another member of the prosecuting staff of the United States. But among the wealth of evidence available on this point showing the confinement of Germans only because they were Jews, we wish to offer a Document 3051-PS, Exhibit USA 240. This is a copy of a teletype from S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, and it is dated 16th November, 1938. It was sent to all Headquarters of the State Police and all Districts and Sub-districts of the S.D. We refer to Paragraph 5 of this teletype. Paragraph 5 is found on Page 3 of the English translation. It begins at the bottom of Page 2 and runs over to Page 3. Quoting from Paragraph 5:
"As soon as the course of events of this night allows the use of the officials employed for this purpose, as many Jews, especially rich ones, as can be accommodated in the existing prisons are to be arrested in all districts. For the time being only healthy men, not too old, are to be arrested. Upon their arrest, the appropriate concentration camps should be contacted immediately, in order to confine them in these camps as soon as possible.

Special care should be taken that the Jews arrested in accordance with these instructions are not mistreated."

Himmler in 1943 indicated that use of the concentration camp against the Jews had been motivated not simply by Nazi racialism. He indicated that this policy had been motivated by a fear that the Jews might have been an obstacle to aggression. There is no necessity to consider whether this fear was justified. The important consideration is that the fear existed, and with reference to it we refer to Document 1919-PS, Exhibit USA 170. The document is a speech delivered by Himmler at the meeting of the S.S. Major Generals at Posen on 4th October, 1943, in the course of which he sought to justify the Nazi anti-Jewish policy. We refer to a portion of this document of this speech which is found on Page 4, Paragraph 3, of the English translation, starting with the words "I mean the clearing out of the Jews".
"I mean the clearing out of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race. It is one of those things it is easy to talk about. 'The Jewish race is being exterminated', says one party member, 'that is quite clear, it is in our programme, elimination of the Jews, and we are doing it, exterminating them'. And then there come 80,000,000 worthy Germans, and each one has his 'decent Jew'. Of course, the others are vermin, but this one is 'an A-1 Jew'. Not one of all those who talk this way has witnessed it, not one of them has been through it. Most of you must know what it means when 100 corpses are lying side by side, or 500 or 1,000. To have stuck it out and at the same time - apart from exceptions caused by human weakness - to have remained decent fellows, that is what has made us hard. This is a page of glory in our history which has never been written and is never to be written, for we know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves, if - with bombing raids, the burden and privations of war - we still had Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators and trouble- mongers."
It is clear, we say, from the foregoing that prior to the launching of the Nazi aggression, the concentration camp had been one of the principal weapons by which the conspirators achieved the social cohesion which was needed for the execution of their plans for aggression. After they launched

[Page 365]

this aggression and their armies swept over Europe, they brought the concentration camp to occupied countries, and they also brought the citizens of the occupied countries to Germany and subjected them to the whole apparatus of Nazi brutality.

Document R-91 is Exhibit USA 241. This document consists of a communication dated 16th December, 1942, sent by Muller to Himmler, for the Chief of the Security Police and S.D., and deals with the seizure of Polish Jews for deportation to concentration camps in Germany. I am beginning with the first paragraph. It says, quoting directly:-

"In connection with the increase of the transfer of labour to the concentration camps, ordered to be completed by 30th January, 1943, the following procedure may be applied in the Jewish section:

1. Total number: 45,000 Jews.

2. Start of transportation: 11th January, 1943. End of transportation: 31st January, 1943. The Reich railroads are unable to provide special trains for the evacuation during the period from 15th December, 1942, to 10th January, 1943, because of the increased traffic of Armed Forces leave trains.

3. Composition: The 45,000 Jews are to consist Of 30,000 Jews from the district of Byalystock. 20,000 Jews from the Ghetto Theresienstadt, 5,000 of whom are Jews fit for work who heretofore had been used for smaller jobs required for the ghetto, and 5,000 Jews who are generally incapable of working, also Jews over 60 years old."

And passing the next sentence:-
"As heretofore only such Jews would be taken for the evacuation who have no particular connections and who are not in possession of any high, decorations. 3,000 Jews from the occupied Dutch territories, 2,000 Jews from Berlin - 45,000. The figure Of 45,000 includes the invalid (old Jews and children). By use of a practical standard the screening of the arriving Jews in Auschwitz should yield at least 10,000 to 15,000 people fit for work."
The Jews of Hungary suffered the same tragic fate. Between 19th March, 1944, and the 1st August, 1944, more than 400,000 Hungarian Jews were rounded up. Many of these were put in wagons and sent to extermination camps, and we refer to Document 2605-PS, Exhibit USA 242. This document is an affidavit made in London by Dr. Rudolph Kastner, a former official of the Hungarian Zionist Organisation. We refer to Page 3 of the document, the third full paragraph:-
"In March, 1944," - quoting - "together with the German Military Occupation arrived in Budapest a 'Special Section Commando' of the German Secret Police, with the sole object of liquidating the Hungarian Jews. It was headed by Adolf Aichmann, S.S. Obersturmbannfuehrer, Chief of Section IV. B of the Reich Security Head Office. His immediate collaborators were: S.S. Obersturmbannfuehrer Hermann Krumcy, Hauptsturmfuehrer Wisliczeny, Hunsche, Novak, Dr. Seidl, and later Danegger, Wrtok. They arrested and later deported to Mauthausen all the leaders of Jewish political and business life, and journalists, together with the Hungarian democratic and anti-Fascist politicians. Taking advantage of the 'interregnum' following upon the German occupation and lasting four days, they placed their Quislings in the Ministry of the Interior."

[Page 366]

On Page 7 of that same document, the eighth paragraph, beginning with the words "Commanders of the death camps", and quoting:-
"Commanders of the death camps gassed only on direct or indirect instructions of Aichmann [sic]. The particular officer of IV. B who directed the deportations from some particular country had the authority to indicate whether the train should go to a death camp or not, and what should happen to the passengers. The instructions were usually carried by the S.S. - N.C.O. escorting the train. The letter 'A' or "M" - capital letters "A" or "M" - "on the escorting instruction documents indicated Auschwitz or Majdanck; it means that the passengers were to be gassed."
And passing over the next sentence, we come to these words:-
"Regarding Hungarian Jews the following general ruling was laid down in Auschwitz: children up to the age of 12 or 14, older people over 50, as well as the sick, or people with criminal records, who were transported in specially marked wagons, were taken immediately on their arrival to the gas chambers.

The others passed before an S.S. doctor who, on sight, indicated who was fit for work and who was not. Those unfit were sent to the gas chambers, while the others were distributed in various labour camps."

In the so-called "Eastern territories" these victims were apprehended for extermination -

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, do not you want Page 5 for the numbers which you have stated-up to 27th June, 1944? You have not yet given us any authority for the numbers that you have stated.

MR. DODD: Oh, yes. On Page 5 of that same Document, 2605-PS, quoting: "Up to 27th June, 1944, 475,000 Jews were deported."

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.