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 9 of 10)

[MAJOR WALSH continues]

[Page 386]

The second step was to segregate and concentrate the Jews within restricted areas, called ghettos. This policy was carefully worked out, and perhaps the confidential statement taken from the files of the defendant Rosenberg will best serve as an illustration.

I offer in evidence a copy of memorandum from defendant Rosenberg's file, entitled "Directions for Handling of the Jewish Question", Document 212-PS, Exhibit USA 272. I quote from the top of Page 2 of the translation before the Court:-

"The first main goal of the German measures must be strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the population. In the execution of this, first of all is the seizing of the Jewish population by the introduction of a registration order and similar appropriate measures -"

And then, in the second sentence, in the second paragraph on Page 2, I continue:-

" - all rights of freedom for Jews are to be withdrawn. They are to be placed in ghettos and at the same time are to be separated according to sexes. The existence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case labour needs exist. These ghettos can be placed under the supervision of a Jewish self-government with Jewish officials. The guarding of the boundaries between the ghettos and the outer world is, however, the duty of the Police.

Also, in the cases in which a ghetto cannot yet be established, care is to be taken through strict prohibitions and similar suitable measures that a further intermingling of blood of the Jews and the rest of the populace does not continue."

In May, 1941, Rosenberg, as the Reich Minister for the Eastern Regions, issued directions confining the Jews to ghettos in the Ukraine.

[Page 387]

I offer in evidence Document 1028-PS, Exhibit USA 273, and from the first sentence of the translation before the Court, I read:-
"After the customary removal of Jews from all public offices, the Jewish question will have to have a decisive solution through the institution of ghettos."
The policies expressed in the quoted Rosenberg memoranda were not isolated instances nor the acts of one individual. It was the expressed State policy. Defendant von Schirach played his part in the programme of forming ghettos. I offer in evidence Document 3048-PS, Exhibit USA 274. Before the Court is a full translation of that which I wish to quote. The defendant von Schirach spoke before the European Youth Congress held in Vienna on 14th September, 1942, and from Page 2, Column 2, of the Vienna edition of the Volkischer Beobachter of 15th September, I quote:
"Every Jew who exerts influence in Europe is a danger to European culture. If anyone reproaches me with having driven from this city, which was once the European metropolis of Jewry, tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of Jews into the ghetto of the East, I feel myself compelled to reply: I see in this an action contributing to European culture."
One of the largest ghettos was within the City of Warsaw. The original report made by S.S. Major General Stroop concerning this ghetto is entitled "The Warsaw Ghetto is no More". I now offer this in evidence, if the Court please, and request leave to refer to it later on in this presentation, as Exhibit USA 275, top of Page 3, of the translation, Document 1061-PS:
"The ghetto thus established in Warsaw was inhabited by about 400,000 Jews.

It contained 27,000 apartments with an average of two and a-half rooms each.

It was separated from the rest of the city by partitions and other walls and by walling-up of thoroughfares, windows, doors, open spaces, etc."

Some idea of the conditions within this ghetto can be gathered from the fact that an average of six persons lived in every room. Himmler received a report from the S.S. Brigadefuehrer Group A, dated 15th October, 1941, which further illustrates the establishment and operation of the ghettos. I offer Document L-180 in evidence as Exhibit USA 276. The translation, if the Tribunal please, is from the second paragraph from the bottom of Page 9:-
"Apart from organising and carrying out measures of execution, the creation of ghettos was immediately begun in the larger towns during the first days of operations. This was especially urgent in Kowno because there were 30,000 Jews in a total population of 152,400."
And from the last paragraph on Page 9 continuing to Page 10 I quote:-
"In Riga the so-called 'Moscow Suburb' was designated as a ghetto. This is the worst dwelling district of Riga, already mostly inhabited by Jews. The transfer of the Jews into the ghetto district proved rather difficult because the Latvian dwellings in that district had to be evacuated and residential space in Riga is very crowded. 24,000 of the 28,000 Jews living in Riga have been transferred into the ghetto so far. In creating the ghetto the Security Police restricted

[Page 388]

themselves to mere policing duties, while the establishment and administration of the ghetto as well as the regulation of the food supply for the inmates were left to Civil Administration; the Labour Offices were left in charge of Jewish Labour.

In the other towns with a larger Jewish population, ghettos shall be established likewise."

Jews were also forced into ghettos in the Polish Province of Galicia. No words in my vocabulary could describe quite so adequately the conditions as those found in the report from Katzmann, Lt. General of Police, to Kruger, General of the Police East, dated 3rd June, 1943, entitled "Solution of Jewish Question in Galicia". I offer Document L-18 in evidence as Exhibit USA 277. From the translation, if the Court please, we will begin with the last three sentences on Page ii, that is, the last three sentences prior to the word "nothing" which is there on that page: "Nothing but catastrophical conditions were found in the ghettos of Rawa- Ruska and Rohatyn."

THE PRESIDENT: Where is this?

MAJOR WALSH: Sir, it is on Page 11, it would be about eight lines above the ending or bottom of the page; the story beginning with the words "Nothing but catastrophical conditions".



"The Jews of Rawa-Ruska, fearing the evacuation) had concealed in underground holes those suffering from spotted fever. When evacuation was to start the police found that 3,000 Jews suffering from that disease lay about in this ghetto. In order to destroy this centre of pestilence at once, every police officer inoculated against spotted fever was called into action. Thus we succeeded in destroying this plague-boil, losing thereby only one officer. Almost the same conditions were found in Rohatyn."
On Page 19 of this same Document L-18, the last paragraph, I wish to quote further.



"Since we received more and more alarming reports on the Jews becoming armed in an ever increasing manner, we started during the last fortnight in June, 1943, an action throughout the whole of the District of Galicia, with the intention of using the strongest measures to destroy the Jewish gangsterdom. Special measures were found necessary during the action to dissolve the ghetto in Lwow where the dug-out mentioned above has been established. Here we had to act brutally from the beginning in order to avoid losses on our side; we had to blow up or to burn down several houses. On this occasion the surprising fact arose that we were able to catch about 20,000 Jews instead of the 12,000 who had registered. We had to pull at least 3,000 Jewish corpses out of every kind of hiding place; they had committed suicide by taking poison."
On Page 20 of this document, the third paragraph I read
"Despite the extraordinary burden heaped upon every single S.S. Police officer during these actions, the mood and spirit of the men were extraordinarily good and praiseworthy from the first to the last day."
These acts and actions of removal and slaughter were not entirely without profit. The author of this report on the ninth page of this translated copy stated, and I quote the last paragraph:-

[Page 389]

"Together with the evacuation action we executed the confiscation of Jewish property. Very high amounts were confiscated and paid over to the Special Staff 'Reinhard'. Apart from furniture and many textile goods, the following amounts were confiscated and turned over to Special Staff 'Reinhard'."
I would like to read a few of the many and assorted items listed under this confiscation:-
20.952 kilograms of golden wedding rings.
7 stamp collections, complete.
1 suitcase with pocket knives.
1 basket of fountain pens and propelling pencils.
3 bags filled with rings - not genuine.
35 wagons of furs.
I will not burden the Court with the detailed lists of objects of value and of the money confiscated, but the foregoing is cited to illustrate the thoroughness of the looting of a defenceless people, even to the 11.73 kilograms of gold teeth and inlays.

By the end of 1942, Jews in the Government General of Poland had been crowded into 55 localities, whereas before the German invasion there had been approximately 1,000 Jewish settlements within this same area. This is reported in the 1942 Official Gazette for the Government General, No. 94, Page 665, 1st November, 1942.

The Jews having been registered and confined within the ghettos now furnished a reservoir for slave labour. It is believed pertinent at this time to point out the difference between the slave labour and labour duty. The latter group were entitled to reasonable compensation, stated work hours, medical care and attention, and other social security measures, while the former were granted none of these advantages, being in fact on a level below a slave.

Defendant Rosenberg, as Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied Territories, set up within his Organisation a department which, among other things, was to seek a solution for the Jewish problem by means of forced labour. His plans are contained in another Document, 1024-PS, which I now offer in evidence, Exhibit USA 278.

I quote the first part of Paragraph 3 Of Page 1 of the document entitled "General Organisations and Tasks of our Office for the General Handling of Problems in the Eastern territory". This is dated 29th April, 1941. This brief excerpt reads as follows:-

"A general treatment is required for the Jewish problem for which a temporary solution will have to be determined (forced labour for the Jews, creation of ghettos, etc.)."
Thereafter he issued instructions that Jewish forced labour should be effected and utilised for every manual labour, and I refer to Document 212-PS, - already in evidence, as Exhibit USA 272 - from Page 3 of that document, Paragraphs 5 and 7. I quote Paragraph 5:-
"The standing rule for the Jewish labour employment is the complete and unyielding use of Jewish manpower regardless of age in the reconstruction of the Eastern Occupied Territories."
And from Paragraph 7 of the same page I read:-
"Violations of German measures, especially of the forced labour regulations, are to be punished by death in the case of the Jews."

[Page 390]

From the ghettos Jewish labour was selected and sent to a concentration area. Here the usable Jews were screened from those considered worthless. For example, a contingent Of 45,000 Jews would be expected to yield 10,000 to 15,000 usable labourers. My authority for this statement is contained in a R.S.H.A. telegram to Himmler, marked "urgent" and "secret", dated 16th December, 1942.

I offer this Document, 1472-PS, in evidence, Exhibit USA 279, and from the translation before the Court I read the last four lines:

"In the total of 45,000 are included physically handicapped and others (old Jews and children). In making a distribution for this purpose, at least 10,000 to 15,000 labourers will be available when the Jews arriving at Auschwitz are assigned."
From Document L-18, a report from the Lieutenant General of the Police, Katzmann, to General of the Police East, Kruger, already in evidence as Exhibit USA 277, we find the clearly outlined nature of the forced labour situation for the Jews. On Page 2 of the translation, starting with Paragraph 6, I read:-
"The best remedy consisted in the formation by the S.S. and Police Leader of Forced Labour Camps. The best opportunity for labour was offered by the necessity to complete the 'Dg. 4' road which was extremely important and necessary for the whole of the southern part of the front, and which was in a catastrophically bad condition. On 15th October, 1941, the establishment of camps along the road was commenced, and despite considerable difficulties there existed, after a few weeks only, seven camps containing 4,000 Jews."
From Page 2, Paragraph 7, I read:-
"Soon more camps followed these first ones, so that after a very short time the completion of 15 camps of this kind could be reported to the Superior Leader of S.S. and Police. In the course of time about 20,000 Jewish labourers passed through these camps. Despite the hardly imaginable difficulties occurring at this work I can report today that about 16o kilometres of the road are completed."
And from Page 2, Paragraph 8, I read:-
"At the same time all other Jews fit for work were registered and distributed for useful work by the labour agencies."
And on Page 5, last part of Paragraph 1 -

THE PRESIDENT Do you not want the remainder of that paragraph on Page 2?

MAJ0R WALSH It is such a lengthy document I hesitated to burden the record with so much of it, and had extracted certain portions therefrom, but I shall be very glad to read it into the record.

THE PRESIDENT: Then, for instance, the Municipal Administration at Lwow had no success in their attempts to house the Jews within a closed district which would be inhabited only by Jews. This question, too, was solved quickly by the S.S. and the Police Leader through his subordinate officials.

MAJOR WALSH: With the Court's permission, I add that to the record.

Reading the last paragraph of Page 2:

"When the Jews were marked by the Star of David, as well as when they were registered by the labour agencies, the first symptoms appeared

[Page 391]

in their attempts to dodge the order of the authorities. The measures which were introduced thereupon led to thousands of arrests. It became more and more apparent that the Civil Administration was not in a position to solve the Jewish problem in an approximately satisfactory manner. For instance, the Municipal Administration at Lwow had no success in their attempts to house the Jews within a closed district which would be inhabited only by Jews. This question, too, was solved quickly by the S.S. and Police Leaders through their subordinate officials. This measure became the more urgent as in the winter, 1941, big centres of spotted fever were noted in many parts of the town."

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