The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Twenty-First Day: Monday, 17th December, 1945
(Part 15 of 16)

[COLONEL STOREY continues]

[Page 41]

Now I next turn to some illustrative crimes against foreign labor.

On 13th September, 1936, Reichsleiter of the Party Organisation, Dr. Robert Ley, addressed 20,000 people attending a session of the Party Congress. The official account of the Party rally states that the Fuehrer was received with "enthusiastic shouts of exaltation" when he strode through the hall with his deputy, his constant retinue, and several Reichsleiter and Gauleiter. I am referring to Document 2283-PS, and it is the 'Voelkischer Beobachter' of 14th September, 1936, Page 11, which we offer as Exhibit USA 337. In his speech Reichsleiter Robert Ley states that he had been mystified when the Fuehrer ordered him in "mid-April, 1933, to take over the trade unions, since I could not see any connection between my task as Organisational Leader of the Party and my new task." Ley continues by stating that very soon it became clear to him why his responsibilities as Reichsleiter of the Party Organisation and Leader of the German Labour Front made logical his selection by the Fuehrer as the man to direct the smashing and dissolution of the free trade unions; and I quote from that document:--

"Very soon ... your decision, my Fuehrer, became clear to me and I recognised that the organisational measures of the Party could only come to full fruition when supplemented by the organisation of the people, that is to say by the mobilisation of the energies of the people and by their concentration and alignment. My tasks as Reichsleiter of the Party Organisation and as Leader of the German Labour Front were a completely homogeneous task; in other words, in everything I did, I acted as Reichsleiter of the Party Organisation. The German Labour Front was an institution of the Party and was led by it. The German Labour Front had to be organised regionally -- according to the same principles as the Party. That is why trade union and employee associations had to be smashed unrelentingly, and the basis of construction was formed, as in the Party, by the cell and the local section."
On 17th October, 1944, Reichsleiter Rosenberg sent a letter to Reichsleiter Bormann which I introduce as Document 327- PS, Exhibit USA 338, in which he informed the latter that he had sent a telegram to the Gauleiter urging them not to interfere in the liquidation of certain listed companies and banks under his supervision. Rosenberg emphasizes to Bormann that any "delay of liquidation or independent confiscation of the property by the Gauleiter would impair or destroy an organised plan" for the liquidation of a vast amount of property.

On 7th November, 1943, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces delivered a lecture at Munich to the Reichsleiter and the Gauleiter. I now refer to Document L- 172, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 34. This is L-172. The Chief of Staff stated that his object was to give a review of the strategic position at the outset of the fifth year of war; and he stated that he realised that the Political Leaders in the Reich and Gau areas, in view of their burdensome tasks in supporting the German war effort, were in need of information he could give. He stated, in part, as follows:--

[Page 42]

"Reichsleiter Bormann has requested me to give you a review today of the strategic position in the beginning of the fifth year of war. No one -- Fuehrer has ordered -- know more or be told more than he needs for his immediate task, but I have no doubt at all in my mind, gentlemen, that you need a great deal in order to be able to cope with your tasks. It is in your Gau, after all . . . that all the enemy propaganda, and the malicious rumours concentrate that try to find themselves a place among our people... Against this wave of enemy propaganda and cowardice you need to know the true situation, and for this reason, I believe that I am justified in giving you a perfectly open and uncovered account of the state of affairs..."
Reichsleiter Bormann distributed to all Reichsleiter, Gauleiter, and leaders of Party affiliated organisations an undated letter of transmittal, which is Document 656-PS, Exhibit USA 339, on the National Socialist Party stationery, signed by Bormann, an order of the Supreme Command of the Wehrmacht, relating to self-defence by German guard personnel and German contractors and workers against prisoners of war. The order of the Wehrmacht referred to, states that the question of treatment of prisoners of war is continually being discussed by the Wehrmacht and Party bureaux. The order states that, should prisoners of war refuse to obey orders to work, the guard has "in the case of the most pressing need and danger, the right to force obedience with the weapon if he has no other means. He can use the weapon as much as is necessary to attain his goal..."

On 18th April, 1944 Reich Commissar Lohse, Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, in a letter to Reich Youth Leader Axmann -- I now offer in evidence Document 347- PS, Exhibit USA 340 -- proposed that the Hitler Youth participate in and supervise the military education of the Estonian and Latvian Youth. Lohse states in the above letter that "in the military education camps, the young Latvians are trained under Latvian leaders in the Latvian language not because this is our ideal, but because absolute military necessity demands this." Lohse further stated in the above letter, and I quote:

". . . in contrast to the Germanic peoples of the West, military education is no longer to be carried out through voluntary enlistments but through legal conscription. The camps in Estonia and Latvia ... will have to be under German Leadership and, as military education camps of the Hitler Youth, they must be a symbol of our educational mission beyond Germany s borders... I consider the execution of the military education of the Estonian and Latvian youth not only a military necessity but also a war mission of the Hitler Youth especially. I would be thankful to you, Party Member Axmann, if the Hitler Youth would put itself at our disposal with the same readiness with which they have so far supported our work in the Baltic area."
An order of the Reich Minister of the Interior, Frick, dated 22nd October, 1938, is Document 1438-PS, of which I ask the Court to take judicial notice, and I quote:
"The Reichsfuehrer S.S. and the Chief of the German Police ... can take the administrative measures necessary for the maintenance of security and order even beyond the legal limits otherwise set on such measures."

[Page 43]

The above order related to the administration of the Sudeten German territory.

In a letter dated 23rd June, 1943, our Document 407-PS already in evidence as Exhibit USA 209, Gauleiter and Plenipotentiary for the Direction of Labour, Fritz Sauckel, wrote to Hitler advising him of the success of the forced labour programme as of that date and stating that, and I quote:

"You can be assured that the District (Gau) of Thueringen and I will serve you and our dear people with the employment of all strength."
I now offer in evidence Document 630-PS, Exhibit USA 342. If your Honour please, I call attention that this is on the personal stationery of Adolf Hitler, dated 1st September, 1939. It is addressed to Reichsleiter Bouhler and Doctor of Medicine Brandt, and it is signed personally by Adolf Hitler. I want to quote all of that document; it is short:
"Reichsleiter Bouhler and Dr. Brandt, M.D., are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the authority of certain physicians to be designated by name, in such a manner that persons who, according to human judgment, are incurable can, upon a most careful diagnosis of their condition of sickness, be accorded a mercy death.

(signed) A. Hitler."
A handwritten note on the face of the document states:
"Given to me by Bouhler on 27th August, 1940.

Signed, Dr. Guertner."
In a memorandum recording an agreement between himself and Himmler, the Minister of Justice Thierack stated that on the suggestion of Reichsleiter Bormann, an agreement had been reached between Himmler and himself with respect to "special treatment at the hands of the police in cases where judicial sentences were not severe enough."

I will offer Document 654-PS, Exhibit USA 218, which was previously introduced, and I want to quote one portion:

"The Reich Minister of Justice will decide whether and when special treatment at the hands of the police is to be applied. The Reich Fuehrer S.S. will send the reports, which he sent hitherto to Reichsleiter Bormann, to the Reich Minister of Justice.
" If the views of the Reich Fuehrer S.S. and the Reich Minister of Justice disagreed,
"the opinion of Reichsleiter Bormann will be brought to bear upon the case, and he will possibly inform the Fuehrer."
In the above note it is further stated:
"The delivery of anti-social elements from execution of their sentence to the Reichfuehrer of S.S. to be worked to death. Persons under preventative arrest, Jews, Gypsies, Russians and Ukrainians, Poles with more than three-year sentences, Czechs and Germans with more than eight-year sentences, according to the decision of the Reich Minister of Justice. First of all the worst anti- social elements amongst those just mentioned are to be handed over. I shall inform the Fuehrer of this through Reichsleiter Bormann."
With respect to the "administration of justice by the people," it continues:
"This is to be carried out step by step as soon as possible. I shall rouse the Party particularly to co- operate in this scheme by an article in the 'Hoheitstraeger."'

[Page 44]

And your Honours have already seen copies of that publication. I now skip Paragraphs 16 and 17.

A letter from R.S.H.A. (which is the Reich Security Main Office) to police chiefs, dated 5th November, 1942, which is Document L-316, Exhibit USA 346 -- this was addressed to all police chiefs, dated 5th November, 1942 -- recites an agreement between the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and the Reich Minister of Justice, approved by Hitler -- I call the attention of your Honours to the red border around this original and its having the Party seal on it -- providing that the ordinary criminal procedure was no longer to be applied to Poles and members of the Eastern populations. The agreement provided that such people, including Jews and Gypsies, should henceforth be turned over to the police. The principles applicable to a determination of the punishment of German offenders, including appraisal of the motives of the offender, were not to be applied to foreign offenders. I quote from Page 2 of the document:

"The offense committed by a person of foreign extraction is not to be regarded from the view of legal retribution by way of justice, but from the point of view of preventing dangers through police action.

From this it follows that the criminal procedure against persons of foreign extraction must be transferred from Justice to the Police.

The preceding statements serve for personal information. There are no objections if the Gauleiter are informed in the usual way should the need arise."

I now omit Paragraphs 19 and 20 of the text and refer to Document 1058-PS, previously introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 147.

In a speech to a gathering of persons intimately concerned with the Eastern problem, on 20th June, 1941, Reichsleiter Rosenberg stated that the Southern Russian territories and the Northern Caucasus would have to provide food for the German people. I quote Rosenberg's words:

"We see absolutely no obligation on our part to feed also the Russian people with the products of that surplus territory. We know that this is a harsh necessity, bare of any feelings."
THE PRESIDENT: We have already had that read to us twice

COLONEL STOREY: I am sorry, Sir. I did not hear it. Strike it from the record.

I now refer to Document R-114. I believe it is the last one in the book, Exhibit USA 314.

Gauleiter Wagner, of the German-occupied areas of Alsace, prepared plans and took measures leading to the expulsion and deportation of certain groups within the Alsatian civilian population. His plans called for the forcible expulsion of certain categories of so-called undesirable persons as a means of punishment and compulsory Germanisation. The Gauleiter supervised deportation measures in Alsace from July to December, 1940, in the course of which 105,000 persons were either expelled or prevented from returning. A memorandum, dated 4th August, 1942, of a meeting of high S.S. and police officials convened to receive the reports and plans of the Gauleiter relating to the Alsatian evacuations, states that the persons deported were mainly "Jews, Gypsies, and other foreign racial elements, criminals, asocial and incurably insane persons, as well as Frenchmen and Francophiles." The memorandum further states the Gauleiter said that the Fuehrer had

[Page 45]

given him permission "to cleanse Alsace of all foreign, sick, or unreliable elements"; and that the Gauleiter emphasised the political necessity of further deportations. The memorandum further records that the S.S. and police officials present at the conference approve the Gauleiter's proposals for further evacuation.

I now skip over to the next paragraph 24.

A memorandum by Reichsleiter Bormann of a conference called by Hitler at his headquarters, 16th July, 1941, which is Document L-221, Exhibit USA 317.... I am sorry, I believe that one was quoted this morning. The only purpose in referring to it is in connection with the Reichsleiter. I believe Captain Harris quoted from that document this morning, and I will not read the quotation.

I call attention to the fact, however, that this conference was attended by Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Reich Minister Lammers, Field Marshal Keitel, the Reich Marshal, and Bormann, and lasted about 20 hours. The memorandum states that discussion occurred with respect to the annexation by Germany of various parts of conquered Europe. The memorandum also states that a long discussion took place with respect to the qualifications of Gauleiter Lohse, who was proposed by Rosenberg at this conference as Governor of the Baltic states.

Discussion also occurred, according to the memorandum, with respect a the qualifications of other Gauleiter and commissioners for the administration of various areas of occupied Russia. Goering stated, according to the memorandum, that he intended to appoint Gauleiter Terboven for "exploitation of the Kola Peninsula; the Fuehrer agrees".

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