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

Twentieth Day: Friday, 14th December, 1945
(Part 7 of 9)


[Page 428]

First, I offer in evidence Document 686-PS. This is Exhibit USA 305. This is a copy of a secret decree signed by Hitler and defendants Goering and Keitel, dated 7th October, 1939, entrusting Himmler with the task of executing the conspirators' Germanisation programme. This particular document came from the Ministerial Collection Centre of Kassel, Germany. I quote from Page 1, Lines 9 to 21 of the English text. In the German text this extract appears at Page 1, Lines 13 to 25. Page 1, Lines 13 to 25. I quote:-
"The Reichsfuehrer S.S." - that was Himmler - "has the obligation in accordance with my directives:
1. To bring back for final return into the Reich all German nationals and racial Germans in the foreign countries.

2. To eliminate the harmful influence of such alien groups of the population as represent a danger to the Reich and the German folk community.

3. To form new German settlements by resettling and, in particular, by settling returning German citizens and racial Germans from abroad.

The Reichsfuehrer S.S. is authorised to take all necessary general and administrative measures for the execution of this obligation."
Himmler's conception of his task under this decree is plainly stated in the foreword which he wrote for the Deutsche Arbeit issue of June/July, 1942. The foreword is contained in Document 2915-PS, now Exhibit USA 306. I quote from the first four lines of the English text. The German text appears at Page 157:-
"It is not our task," Himmler wrote, "to Germanise the East in the old sense, that is, to teach the people there the German language and German law, but to see to it that only people of purely German, Germanic blood live in the East.

Signed, Himmler."

I next offer in evidence Document 2916-PS, which is Exhibit USA 307. This document contains various materials taken out of Der Menscheneinatz 1940, a confidential publication issued by Himmler's Office for the Consolidation of German Nationhood. I quote initially from Lines 7 to 11 of Page 1. In the German text these extracts appear at Page 51, first four lines under the letter "D". I quote:-
"The removal of foreign races from the incorporated Eastern territories is one of the most essential goals to be reached in the German East. This is the chief national political task, which has to be executed in the incorporated Eastern territories by the 'Reichsfuehrer' S.S., Reich Commissioner, for the strengthening of the national character of the German people."
I next quote from Lines 33 to 39 of Page 1 of the English text. In the German text, these extracts appear on Page 52, Lines 14 to 20. I quote:- " ... there are the following two primary reasons which make the regaining of lost German blood an urgent necessity:
1. Prevention of a further increase of the Polish intelligentsia through families of German descent, even if they are Polonised.

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2. Increase of the population by racial elements desirable for the German nation, and the acquisition of ethno-biologically un-objectionable forces for the German reconstruction of agriculture and industry."
Further light is thrown upon the goals which the conspirators had set for their Germanisation programme in conquered Eastern areas by a speech delivered by Himmler on 14th October, 1943. This speech was published by the National Socialist Leadership Staff of the O.K.W. The document came to us through the Document Section, 3rd U.S. Infantry Division. Excerpts from this speech are set forth in L-70, which is Exhibit USA 308. I quote all of the English text, and in the German text these excerpts appear at Page 23, Lines 6 to 11, 12 to 15, 20 to 23, and Page 30, Lines 7 to 16. Himmler said, and I quote:-
"I consider that in dealing with members of a foreign country, especially of some Slav nationality, we must not start from German points of view, we must not endow these people with decent German thoughts and logical conclusions of which they are not capable, but we must take them as they really are .

Obviously in such a mixture of peoples there will always be some racially good types. Therefore I think that it is our duty to take their children with us, to remove them from their environment, if necessary, by abducting them. Either we win over any good blood that we can use for ourselves and give it a place in our people, or we destroy that blood."

Continuing the German text on Page 30, Lines 7 to 16 Himmler stated. I quote:-
"For us the end of this war will mean an open road to the East, the creation of the Germanic Reich in this way or that . . . the bringing home of 30,000,000 human beings of our blood, so that during our lifetime we shall be a people of 120,000,000 Germanic souls. That means that we shall be the sole decisive power in Europe. That means that we shall then be able to tackle the peace, during which we shall be willing for the first 2o years to rebuild and spread out our villages and towns, and that we shall push the borders of our German race 500 kilometres further to the East."
In furtherance of the unlawful plans disclosed by the last four exhibits, which have been offered in evidence, the conspirators contrived a Racial Register in the incorporated area of Poland. The Racial Register was, in effect, an elaborate classification of persons deemed to be of German blood, and contained provisions setting forth some of the rights, privileges and duties of the persons in each classification. Persons were classified into four groups:-

1. Germans who had actively promoted the Nazi cause.

2. Germans who had been more or less passive in the Nazi struggle, but had retained their German nationality. 3. Persons of German extraction who, although previously connected with the Polish nation, were willing to submit to Germanisation. 4. Persons of German descent, who had been "politically absorbed by the Polish nation", and who would be resistant to Germanisation. The Racial Register was inaugurated under a decree of 12th September, 1940, issued by Himmler as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of

[Page 430]

German Nationhood, and it is contained in Document 2916-PS, previously introduced in evidence. It is Exhibit USA 307, that is Document 2916-PS. I quote from Page 4 of the English text, Lines 14 to 16. In the German text, these extracts appear at Page 92, Lines 29 to the end of the page, and Lines i to 9 of Page 93. I quote:-
"The list of ethnic Germans will be divided into four parts (limited to inter-office use).

1. Ethnic Germans who fought actively in the ethnic struggle. Besides membership in a German Organisation, every other activity favouring the German against a foreign nationality will be considered an active manifestation.

2. Ethnic Germans who did not actively intervene in favour of the German nationality but had proof of their German nationality.

3. Persons of German descent who became connected with the Polish nation in the course of the years but have, on account of their attitude, the prerequisites to become full-fledged members of the German national community. To this group belong also persons of non- German descent who live in mixed marriage with an ethnic German in which the German spouse has the prevailing influence. Persons of Masurian, Slonzak, or Upper Silesian descent, who are to be recognised as ethnic Germans usually belong to this group 3.

4. Persons of German descent, politically absorbed by the Polish nation (renegades).

Persons not included on the list of ethnic Germans are Poles or foreign nationals.

Their treatment is regulated by B II.

Members of groups 3 and 4 have to be educated as full Germans, that is, have to be re-Germanised in the course of time through an intensive educational training in old Germany.

The establishment of members of group 4 has to be based on the doctrine that German blood must not be utilised in the interest of a foreign nation. Against those who refuse re-Germanisation, Security Police measures are to be taken."

The basic idea of creating a Racial Register for persons of German extraction was later incorporated in a decree Of 3rd March, 1941, signed by Himmler and the defendants Frick and Hess. This decree is dated 4th March, 1941, and is set forth in the Reichsgesetzblatt, 1941, Part 1, Page 118. We ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice thereof.

The entire apparatus of the S.S. was thrown behind the vigorous execution of these decrees. Proof of this fact is contained in Document R-112, which is Exhibit USA 309, and I now offer it in evidence. This exhibit contains directives issued by Himmler as the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood. I quote first from the last two paragraphs of the English text of the directives, 16th February, 1942, which is on Page 3 of this exhibit. In the German text this provision appears on Page 1 of the first decree, dated 16th February, 1942, Paragraphs 1 and 2. The directive provided, and I now quote:-

"I. Where racial Germans have not applied for entry in the German Ethnical List you will instruct the subordinate agencies to turn over their names to the State Police (Superior) Office. Subsequently, you will report to me.

[Page 431]

II. The Local State Police (Superior) Office will charge the persons whose names are turned over to them to prove within eight days that they have applied for entry in the German Ethnical List. If such proof is not submitted, the person in question is to be taken into protective custody for transfer to a concentration camp."
The measures taken against persons in the fourth category - "Polonised Germans" as the conspirators called them - were particularly harsh. These persons were resistant to Germanisation, and ruthless measures calculated to break their resistance were prescribed. Where the individual's past history indicated that he could not be effectively Germanised, he was thrown into a concentration camp.

Some of these measures are set forth in Sub-paragraph A of Paragraph II on Page 5 of Document R-112, and I quote in full from the English text of that particular paragraph. This passage is set forth in the German text at Pages 2 and 3 of the second decree dated 16th February, 1942, under II. This is what the directive provides:-

"II. The re-Germanisation of the Polonised Germans presupposes their complete separation from Polish surroundings. For that reason the persons entered in Division 4 of the German Ethnical List are to be dealt with in the following manner:

A. They are to be resettled in Old Reich territory. 1. The Superior S.S. and Police Leaders are charged with evacuating and resettling them according to instructions which will follow later.

2. Asocial persons and others who are of inferior hereditary quality will not be included in the resettlement. Their names will be turned over at once by the Higher S.S. and Police Fuehrer (Inspectors of Security Police and Security Service) to the competent State Police (Superior) Office. The latter will arrange for their transfer to a concentration camp.

3. Persons with a particularly bad political record will not be included in resettlement action. Their names will also be given by the Higher S.S. and Police Fuehrer (Inspectors of Security Police and Security Service) to the competent State Police (Superior) Office for transfer to a concentration camp.

The wives and children of such persons are to be resettled in old Reich territory and to be included in the Germanisation measures. Where the wife also has a particularly bad political record and cannot be included in the resettlement action, her name, too, is to be turned over to the competent State Police (Superior) Office with a view to imprisoning her in a concentration camp. In such cases the children are to be separated from their parents and dealt with according to III, Paragraph 2 of this decree.

Persons are to be considered as having a particularly bad political record who have offended the German nation to a very great degree - e.g., who participated in persecutions of Germans or boycotts of Germans, etc."

Coincident with the programme of Germanising persons of German extraction in the incorporated areas, the conspirators, as previously indicated, undertook to settle large numbers of Germans of proved Nazi convictions in

[Page 432]

that area. This aspect of their programme is clearly shown by an article by S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Wilhelm Koppe, who was one of Himmler's trusted agents.

Excerpts from this article are contained in Document 2915- PS, which was earlier introduced as Exhibit USA 306. I quote from the second paragraph of the English text of this exhibit. The German text appears at the third line from the bottom of Page 170 and continues to the first full paragraph of Page 171. I now quote Koppe's statement:-

"The victory of German weapons in the East must, therefore, be followed by the victory of the German race over the Polish race, if the regained Eastern sphere - according to the Fuehrer's will - shall henceforth remain for all time an essential constituent part of the Greater German Reich. It is therefore of decisive importance to infiltrate German farmers, labourers, civil servants, merchants, and artisans into the regained German region so that a living and deep- rooted bastion of German people can be formed as a protective wall against foreign penetration, and possibly as a starting point for the racial infusion of the territories farther East."
THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for 10 minutes.


(A recess was taken.)

CAPTAIN HARRIS: Up to this point we have been speaking of the Germanisation measures in the incorporated areas. I should like now briefly to turn to the Germanisation programme in the Government General.

In the Government General there were relatively few persons at the outset who qualified as Germans according to the conspirators' standards. Hence little would be served by the introduction of a Racial Register categorising persons of German extraction on the model of the one instituted in the incorporated area, and, to our knowledge, no such Racial Register was prescribed in the Government General. Rather, the plan seems to have been (a) to make the Government General a colony of Germany, which - as your Honours will recall from Document EC-344-16 which has been introduced as Exhibit USA 297 - was the objective expressed by the defendant Frank, and (b) to create so-called "German Island Settlements" in the productive farming areas. These Island Settlements were to be created by an influx of German persons who faithfully adhered to the principles of National Socialism.

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