The Nizkor Project

Twenty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 20th December, 1945
(Part 4 of 8)

THE PRESIDENT: It will perhaps be convenient that I should announce that the Tribunal will adjourn today at four o'clock.

MAJOR FARR: Through its activities with respect to concentration camps, the S.S. performed part of its mission to safeguard the security of the Nazi regime. But another specialised aspect of that mission must not be forgotten. The Tribunal will recall Himmler's definition of that task -- a definition I referred to earlier -- the prevention of a Jewish-Bolshevist revolution of subhumans. In plain words, participation in the Nazi programme of Jewish persecution and extermination.

It would be idle for me to refer again at any length to the evidence relating to that programme which the Tribunal heard a day or so ago from Major Walsh. I want to call attention to just a few documents showing how the programme involved every branch and component of the S.S.

The racial philosophy of the S.S., which I dealt with at the very outset, made that organisation a natural agency for the execution of all types of anti-Semitic measures. The S.S. position on the Jewish question was publicly stated in the S.S. newspaper "Das Schwarze Corps" the issue of 8th August, 1940, by its editor, Gunter d'Alquen, in an article which has already been read into evidence as Exhibit USA 269. It is our Document 2668-PS. I shall not repeat that quotation, in which d'Alquen says that the Jewish question will not be solved until the Last Jew has been deported, and that the German peace which awaits Europe must be a peace without Jews.

The attempted solution of the Jewish question through the "spontaneous" demonstrations in Germany following the murder of von Rath in November, 1938, has been presented to the Tribunal. In those demonstrations all branches of the S.S. were called on to play a part. I refer to the teletype message from S.S. Gruppenfuehrer Heydrich, Chief of the Security Police and S.D., issued on 10th November, 1938. It is our Document 3051-PS. Portions of that teletype have already been read into evidence as Exhibit USA 240. I wish to read one further paragraph, which has not been read. It appears on Page 2 of the translation, the fourth paragraph.

"The direction of the measures of the Security Police concerning the demonstrations against Jews is vested with the organs of the State Police (by which he means the Gestapo) inasmuch as the inspectors of the Security Police are not issuing their own orders. In order to carry out the measures of the Security Police, officials of the Criminal Police, as well as members of the S.D., of the Verfuegungstruppe and the Allgemeine S.S. may be used."
With the outbreak of the war and the march of Nazi armies over Europe, the S.S. participated in solving the Jewish question in other countries in Europe. The solution was nothing short of extermination. To a large degree these wholesale murders were disguised under the name of "anti-partisan " or "anti-guerilla " actions, and as such included as victims not merely Jews but Soviets, Poles and other Eastern peoples. With this antipartisan activity I shall deal in a few moments.

[Page 168]

I want to refer now to a few actions confined essentially to Jews. To take one example -- the mass annihilation of Jews in gas vans -- described in our Document 501-PS, which was read into the record by Major Walsh as Exhibit USA 288. I simply want to point out that these gas vans, as appears from the letters, were operated by the Security Police and S.D. under the direction of R.S.H.A. Or to take another example -- the report entitled "Solution of the Jewish Question in Galicia," our Document L-18, prepared by S.S. Gruppenfuehrer and Lt.- General of the Police Katzmann and rendered to S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Police Krueger -- that report has already been received in evidence as Exhibit USA 277. The Tribunal will recall that the solution, which consisted in the evacuation and extermination of all the Jews in Galicia, and the confiscation of their property, was carried out under the energetic direction of the S.S. and Police Leaders, with the assistance of S.S. Police Units. I wish to read three short items in the report, which has not yet been read. The first is a text under a photograph which appears on Page 3 of the translation and on Page 3 (a) of the original report. It is the first item on Page 3 of the translation. I quote:
"Great was the joy of the S.S. men when the Reichsfuehrer S.S. in person, in 1942 visited some camps along the Rollbahn."
The second is a balance sheet, which appears on Page 11 of the translation and Page 17 of the report. I read item 3 on the balance sheet:
"3. Amount paid over to the S.S. cashier:

a. Camps.........................6,867,251,00 zlotys
b. W& R Factories..........6,556,513,69 zlotys
Total.................................13,423,764,69 zlotys

Further payments to the S.S. cashier are effected every month."

The third item I desire to read is the last two paragraphs of the report found on Page 20 of the translation and on Page 64 of the original document. I read the last two paragraphs of the report:
"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.

Thanks only to the sense of duty of every single leader and man have we succeeded in getting rid of this plague in so short a time."

The final example of S.S. participation in Jewish extermination to which I shall call the Tribunal's attention is the infamous report by S.S. Brigadefuehrer and Major-General of the Police, Stroop, on the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, our Document 1061-PS. That report was introduced in evidence by Major Walsh as Exhibit USA 275, and the Tribunal indicated that it would take the whole report in evidence without the necessity of reading it in full. I shall not, therefore, read any further passages, but I do want to point out specifically two sections dealing with the constitution of the forces which participated in that fearful action. On Page 1 of the translation is a table of the units used.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it here ?

MAJOR FARR: Our Document 1061-PS. I am just going to call your attention to the table of units which were employed in this action, indicating the average number of officers and men from each unit employed per day. It will be observed that among the units involved were the staff of the S.S. and Police Leader, two battalions of the "Waffen S.S.," two battalions of the 22nd S.S. Police Regiment, and members of the Security Police. The part

[Page 169]

played by the "Waffen S.S." came in for high praise from the writer of the report. The Tribunal will recall the passage which was read by Major Walsh in which reference was made to the toughness of the men of the "Waffen S.S.," the Police and the Wehrmacht, and in which the writer said that "considering that the greater part of the men of the Waffen S.S. had been trained for only three or four weeks before being assigned to this action, high credit should be given for the pluck, courage, and devotion which they showed."

The Tribunal has already heard Himmler's proud boast of the part that the S.S. played in the extermination of the Jews. It occurs in his Posen Speech, our Document 1919-PS, and was read into the record in the presentation of the case dealing with concentration camps. The passage to which I refer appears on about the middle of Page 4 of the translation and on Page 65 of the original. Since that passage has already been read, it is unnecessary for me to quote it again ; but I do want the Tribunal to note that Himmler stated that only the S.S. could have carried out this extermination programme of the Jews, and that its participation in that programme was a page of glory in its history which could never be fully appreciated.

I now turn to the manner in which the S.S. fitted into the aggressive war programme of the conspirators, and, also, its responsibility for the Crimes Against Peace which were alleged in the Indictment. From its very beginning, it made prime contributions to the conspirators' aggressive war aims.

First, it served as one of the para-military organisations under which the conspirators disguised their building up of an army in violation of the Versailles Treaty. Second, through affiliated S.S. organisations in other countries and through some of the departments in its own Supreme Command, it fostered Fifth Column movements outside Germany and prepared the way for aggression. Third, through its militarised units, it participated in aggressive actions which eventually were carried out.

The Tribunal has just heard the evidence against the S.A., which demonstrated that from 1933 to 1938 they were militarised and were in fact nothing but a camouflaged army. Some of that evidence related to the S.S. as well. The paramilitary character of the "Allgemeine S.S." is apparent. I have already described the military character of its structure, the military discipline required of its members, and the steps it took to enlist in its ranks young men of military age. In addition to this volunteer army, the S.S. created as early as 1933 fully armed professional units. These were the "S.S. Verfuegungstruppe" and the Death Head Units with which I dealt yesterday.

While building up the S.S. as a military force within Germany, the conspirators also utilised it in other countries to lay the groundwork for aggression. The evidence presented by Mr. Alderman of the preparations for the seizure of Austria showed the part played by the S.S. Standarte 89 in the murder of Dollfuss, and described the memorial plaque which was erected in Nuremberg as a tribute to the S.S. men who participated in that murder. I refer to Exhibits USA 59 and 60, our Documents L-273 and 2968-PS, which were introduced by Mr. Alderman. The Tribunal will recall the subsequent story of the events of the night of 11th March, 1938, when the S.S. marched into Vienna and occupied all government buildings and important posts in the city -- a story unfolded in Exhibit USA 61, our Document 212-PS, the report of Gauleiter Rainer to Reich Commissioner

[Page 170]

Buerckel (which was read in evidence by Mr. Alderman), and in our Document 2949-PS, Exhibit USA 76, the record of the telephone conversation between the defendant Goering and Dambrowski, which appears on Page 451 of the transcript of the record.

The same pattern was repeated in Czechoslovakia. Henlein's Free Corps played in that country the part of Fifth Column which the Austrian S.S. had played in Austria, and it was rewarded by being placed under the jurisdiction of the Reichsfuehrer S.S., in September, 1938. I refer to our Document 388-PS, which was read in evidence by Mr. Alderman as Exhibit USA 26. The items touched are 37 and 38 of the so- called Schmundt file. Moreover, as shown by item 26 of that file, which Mr. Alderman read into the record, the S.S. had its own armed units -- four battalions of the "Totenkopf Verbaende " -- actually operating in Czechoslovakia before the Munich Pact was signed. S.S. preparations for aggression in Czechoslovakia were not confined to military forces. One of the departments of the S.S. Supreme Command -- the "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle " -- which is represented on the chart by the third box from the top at the extreme right -- was a centre for Fifth Column activity. The Tribunal may recall the secret meeting between Hitler and Henlein in March, 1938, described in notes of the German Foreign Office, Exhibit USA 95, at which the line to be followed by the Sudeten German Party was determined. The "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle" was represented at that meeting by Professor Haushofer and S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz. And when the Foreign Office, in August, 1938, awarded further subsidies to Henlein's Sudeten Party, the memorandum of that recommendation for further subsidies contained the significant footnote "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle will be informed." I refer to Exhibit USA 96, our Document 3059, which was read into the record by Mr. Alderman, at Pages 631 and 632 of the record.

When at last the time came to strike, the S.S. was ready. I quote from the National Socialist Yearbook for 1940, our Document 2164-PS, Exhibit USA 255, on Page 1, paragraph 2, of the translation ; Page 365 of the original, paragraph 3:

"When the march into the liberated provinces of the Sudetenland began, on that memorable 1st October, 1938, the emergency forces (Verfuegungstruppe) as well as the Death Head Units (Totenkopf Verbaende) were with those in the lead."
I omit the remainder of the paragraph and continue with the next paragraph:
"The 15th March, 1939, brought a similar utilisation of the S.S. when it served to establish order in the collapsing Czechoslovakia. This action ended with the founding of the Protectorate Bohemia-Moravia.

Only a week later, on 29th March, 1939, Memel also returned to the Reich upon the basis of an agreement with Lithuania. Again it was the S.S., here particularly the East-Prussian S.S., which played a prominent part in the liberation of this Province."

In the final act in setting off the war -- the attack on Poland in September, 1939 -- the S.S. acted as a sort of stage manager. The Tribunal will recall the oral testimony of Erwin Lahousen with relation to the simulated attack on the radio station at Gleiwitz, by Germans dressed in Polish uniforms -- what Lahousen referred to as one of the most mysterious things which

[Page 171]

uniforms and equipment together, he said at Page 620 of the transcript:
"These articles of equipment had to be prepared, and one day some man from the S.S. or the S.D. (the name is on the official diary of the War Department) fetched them."
The war broke out and the "Waffen S.S." again took its place in the van of the attacking forces.

During the war great use was made of the peculiar qualities possessed by the S.S., qualities not only of its combat forces but of its other components as well. 1 turn now to a consideration of some of the tasks in which the S.S. was engaged during the war -- tasks which embraced the commission of War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity described in the Indictment.

The Tribunal has already received in evidence a directive, our Document 447-PS, as Exhibit USA 135. It is a directive issued by the defendant Keitel, on 13th March, 1941, covering some of the preparations made three months in advance for the attack on Russia. Paragraph 2b of that directive, which was read into the record, provided that in the area of operations the Reichsfuehrer S.S. was entrusted with special tasks for the preparation of the political administration, tasks which would result from the struggle about to commence between two opposing political systems.

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