The Nizkor Project

Twenty-Fourth Day: Thursday, 20th December, 1945
(Part 6 of 8)

[MAJOR FARR continues]

I offer in evidence a letter from the Chief of the Command Office of the Waffen S.S., our Document 1972-PS, as Exhibit USA 471. It is a letter from the Chief of the Command Office of the "Waffen S.S." to the Reichsfuehrer S.S., dated 14th October, 1941, subject: Intermediate report on civilian state of emergency. I shall read that letter. I quote:

"I deliver the following report regarding the commitment of the

[Page 175]

Waffen S.S. in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia during the civil state of emergency:

All battalions of the Waffen S.S. in the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia will in rotation be employed on shootings and the supervision of hangings respectively.

Up until now there occurred:

In Prague--

99 shootings.
21 hangings.

In Bruenn

54 shootings.
17 hangings.

Total -- 191 executions (including 16 Jews).

A complete report regarding other measures and on the conduct of the officers, N.C.O.'s and men will be made following the termination of the civil state of emergency."

It is not surprising that units of the "Waffen S.S." and the branch which had thus been employed in extermination actions and the executions of civilians are also to be found violating the laws of warfare when carrying on ordinary combat operations. I offer in evidence a supplementary report of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Court of Inquiry re shooting of allied prisoners- of-war by the 12th S.S. Panzer Division in Normandy, France, between 7th and 21St June, 1944. It is our Document 2997-PS, Exhibit USA 472. Extracts from that report consist of the formal record of the proceedings of the Court of Inquiry and the statement of its findings are included in the Document Book under that document number. They have been translated into German. Under Article 21 of the Charter, this Tribunal is directed to take judicial notice of the documents of committees set up in various Allied countries for the investigation of War Crimes, and also of the records and findings of military or other Tribunals of any of the United Nations. This report falls squarely within that provision. Therefore, without reading portions of the document, I shall summarise the findings of the Court of Inquiry which are set out on Pages 8 to 10 of the document. The Court concluded that there occurred between the 7th and 17th June, 1944, in Normandy, seven cases of violations of the laws of war.


MAJOR FARR: I am not quoting, I am summarising what appears on Pages 8 to 10 of the translation.

---there occurred seven cases of violations of the laws of war, involving the shooting of 64 unarmed Allied prisoners-of-war in uniform, many of whom had been previously wounded and none of whom had resisted or attempted to escape ; that the perpetrators were members of the 12th S.S. Panzer Division, the so-called Hitler Jugend Division ; that enlisted men of the 15th Company of the 25th Panzer Grenadier Regiment of that Division were given secret orders to the effect that S.S. troops shall take no prisoners and that prisoners are to be executed after having been interrogated; that similar orders were given to men of the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment of the Division and of the 12th S.S. Engineering and Reconnaissance Battalions ; and that the conclusion was irresistible that it was understood throughout the Division that a policy of denying quarter or executing prisoners after interrogation was openly approved.

[Page 176]

the S.S. I refer to the execution of Allied flying personnel, of commandos and paratroopers, and of escaped prisoners-of-war who were turned over to the S.D. to be destroyed. Evidence of these actions will be presented in the case against the Gestapo.

Combatants who were taken prisoner encountered the S.S. in another form. In the case against the Gestapo, evidence will be presented of commando groups stationed in prisoner-of-war camps to select prisoners for what the Nazis euphemistically called "special treatment." Finally, the entire control of prisoners-of-war was turned over to the Reichsfuehrer S.S.

I have read in evidence this morning, our Document 058-PS, which provided for the direction of all prisoner-of-war camps by Himmler.

The final, but vital, phase of the conspiracy in which the S.S. played a leading role must be mentioned. The permanent colonisation of conquered territories, the destruction of their national existence, and the permanent extension of the German frontier were fundamental objects of the conspirators' plans.

The Tribunal received evidence, a day or so ago, of the manner in which these objectives were attained through the forcible evacuation and resettlement of inhabitants of conquered territories, confiscation of their properties, denationalisation and re-education of persons of German blood, and the colonisation of conquered territories by Germans.

The S.S. was the logical agency to formulate and carry out the programme. I have read into the record already the numerous statements made by Himmler as to the training of the S.S., which played the role of the aristocracy of the New Europe. He put those theories into practice when he was appointed, on 7th October, 1939, as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdom. The decree by which he was appointed to that office -- our Document 686-PS -- has already been introduced into evidence as Exhibit USA 305. I shall not, therefore, read it.

To make and carry out plans for the programme of evacuation and resettlement, a new department of the S.S. Supreme Command was created; Staff Headquarters of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationality. That is indicated on the chart by the fourth box from the top, on the extreme right-hand side.

The functions of this office are described in the Organisation Book of the N.S.D.A.P. for 1943, our Document 2640-PS, which has already been introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 323. I shall read the description of the functions of that department appearing on Page 3 of the translation, the last paragraph, and Page 421 of the original.

I quote:

"The main office of the staff of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationality is entrusted with the whole settlement and constructive planning, and with its execution within the Reich and all those territories under the authority of the Reich, including all administrative and economic questions in connection with the settlement, especially the deployment of manpower for this purpose."
The colonisation programme had two principal objectives: First, the destruction of the conquered peoples by exterminating them, deporting them, and confiscating their property ; second, the settlement of racial Germans on the newly acquired land.

[Page 177]

The extermination actions conducted by the S.S., as to which I have just introduced evidence, contributed in part to clearing the conquered territories of persons who were deemed dangerous to the Nazi Plan. But not every undesirable could be liquidated. Mass deportations accomplished the twin purpose of providing labour and of freeing the land for German colonists.

I have already introduced evidence as to the participation of S.S. agencies in deporting persons to concentration camps.

The evacuation and resettlement programme required the use of further deporting agencies. I quote from our Document z163-PS, the National Socialist Year Book for 1941, Exhibit USA 444. The passage in question appears at Page 3 of the translation, paragraph 5, and at Page 195 of the original. I quote:

"For some time now, the Reichsfuehrer S.S. has had at his disposal an office under the management of S.S.- Obergruppenfuehrer Lorenz, the National German Central Office (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle -- VM). This office has the task to deal with national German questions and to gather the necessary documents.

In addition to the VM, Immigration Centre Offices, with the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service of the S.S., under the management of S.S.-Obersturmbannfuehrer Dr. Sandberger, and the Settlement Staff with the Reich Commissioner were created, which, in co-operation with the National Socialist Welfare Organisation and the Reich Railroad Agency, took charge of the re-emigration of national Germans."

I also offer in evidence the affidavit of Otto Hoffmann, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer and General of the Waffen S.S. and Police, our Document L-49. I offer it as Exhibit USA 473. Hoffmann was Chief of the Main Office for Race and Settlement in the S.S. Supreme Command, until 1943. This affidavit was taken on the 4th of August, 1945, at Freising, Germany. I shall read paragraph 2 of that affidavit:
"2. The executive power, in other words the carrying out of al [sic] so-called resettlement actions, that is to say, the sending away of Polish and Jewish settlers and those of non-German blood from a territory in Poland destined for Germanisation, was in the hands of the Chief of the R.S.H.A. Heydrich, and later of Kaltenbrunner, since the end of 1942. The Chief of the R.S.H.A. also supervised and issued orders to the so-called immigration centre, which classified the Germans living abroad who returned to Germany and directed them to the individual farms, already freed. The latter was done in agreement with the chief office of the Reichsfuehrer S.S."
Other S.S. agencies were involved in the programme for deportation. The Tribunal has already received in evidence our Document 1352-PS, as Exhibit USA 176. It is a report relating to the confiscation of Polish agricultural enterprises, dated the 22nd of May, 1940, and signed "Kusche." Portions of that document dealing with the confiscation of Polish agricultural enterprises and the deportation of Polish owners of the land to Germany were read into the record. I shall read only one further paragraph, showing S.S. personnel involved in this action. It appears on Page 2 of the translation, the first full paragraph; and on Page 10 of the original, paragraph 2.

[Page 178]

Referring to the deportation of Polish farmers the report says and I quote:
"Means of transportation to the railroad can be provided:

By the enterprises of the East German Corporation of Agricultural Development.

2. By the S.S . N.C.O. School in Lublinitz and the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

These two latter places will also detail the necessary S.S. men for the day of the confiscation, and so forth."

The extent to which almost all departments of the Supreme Command of the S.S. were concerned with the evacuation programme is shown by the minutes of a meeting on the 4th of August, 1942, dealing with the deportation of Alsatians. It is our Document R-114, and was received in evidence as Exhibit USA 314. I shall read only the list of persons and offices represented at that conference, since the body of the report has been read, in part, into the record.

I start at the beginning of the document, Page 1 of R-114

"Memo on meeting of 4/8/42.

Subject General directions for the treatment of deported Alsatians.


S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer Dr. Stier; S.S. Hauptsturmfuehrer Petri; R.R. Hoffman ; Dr. Scherler; S.S. Untersturmuehrer Foerster."

There is a notation next to their names of "Staff Headquarters."

Then: "S.S. Obersturinfuehrer Dr. Hinrichs, Chief of Estate Office and Settlement Staff, Strasbourg.
S.S. Sturmbannfuehrer Brueckner, National German Central Office (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle).
S.S. Hauptsturmuehrer Hummisch, Reich Security Main Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt).
S.S. Untersturmfuhrer Dr. Sieder, Main Office for Race and Settlement (R.U.S.-Hauptamt).
Dr. Labes, D.U.T."

The S.S. not only destroyed and deported conquered peoples and con fiscated their property, but also repopulated the conquered regions with so-called racial Germans. Not all Germans were deemed reliable colonists, however. Those who were not were returned to Germany for re-Germanisation and re-education along Nazi lines.

A typical instance of the fate of such Germans is told in our Document R-112, which has already been introduced in evidence as Exhibit USA 309. It is a decree of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Folkdorn. That decree, as the Tribunal will recall, dealt with the treatment to be accorded so-called "Polonised " Germans. By the terms of that decree these organisations were charged with the responsibility for the re-Germanisation programme, the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders, and the Gestapo.

I think it is unnecessary for me to quote from that report, since portions have already been read into evidence. I will refer the Court specifically to Section III of the decree, which appears on Page 7 of the translation, and to Section IV of the decree, which appears on the same Page, both of which indicate that the Higher S.S. and Police Leaders and the Gestapo were responsible for the re-Germanisation actions.

[Page 179]

In the final state of the process, the resettlement of the conquered lands by racially and politically desirable Germans, still other S.S. agencies participated. I quote again from our Document 2163-PS, the Nat~onal Socialist Year Book for 1941, Exhibit USA 444. The passage appears on Page 3 of the translation, paragraph 7, and on Page 195 of the original. I quote:
"Numerous S.S. leaders and S.S. men helped with untiring effort in bringing about this systematic migration of peoples, which has no parallel in history.

There were many authoritative and administrative difficulties which, however, were immediately overcome, due to the unbureaucratic working procedure. This was especially guaranteed, above all, by the employment of the S.S.

The procedure called ' Durchschleusung' takes three to four hours as a rule. The re-settler is passed through eight to nine offices, following each other in a definite order ; registration office, card-index office, certificate and photo office, property office, and biological, hereditary, and sanitary test offices. The latter was entrusted to doctors and medical personnel of the S.S. and of the Armed Forces. The S.S. Corps Areas Alpenland, North-West, Baltic Sea, Fulda-Werra, South and South East, the S.S. Main Office, the N.P.E.A. -- National Political Education Institution -- Vienna, and the S.S. Cavalry School in Hamburg, provided most of the S.S.-Officers and S.S.-Non-Coms who worked at this job of resettlement."

I omit the next three paragraphs and continue with the Year Book's conclusion as to the S.S. participation in the colonisation scheme:
"The settlement, establishment and care of the newly-won peasantry in the liberated Eastern territory will be one of the most cherished tasks of the S.S. in the whole future."
THE PRESIDENT: This might be a good time to break off until 2 o'clock.

MAJOR FARR: Yes, sir.

(A recess was taken until 1400 hours.)

MAJOR FARR: In the course of its development from a group of strong, armed body guards, some 200 in number, to a complex organisation participating in every field of Nazi endeavour, the S.S. found room for its members in high places -- and persons in high places found themselves a position in the S.S.

Of the defendants charged in this Indictment, seven were high ranking officers in the S.S. They are the defendants Ribbentrop, Hess, Kaltenbrunner, Bormann, Sauckel, Neurath and Seyss-Inquart. The vital part that the defendant Kaltenbrunner played in the S.S., the S.D. and the entire Security Police system, will be shown by evidence to be presented at the conclusion of the case on the Gestapo. With respect to the other six defendants whom I have named, I desire to call the Tribunal's attention to the fact of their membership in the S.S. This fact is a matter rather of judicial notice than of proof. Evidence of the fact is to be found in two official publications which I now offer the court. The first is this black book -- the membership list of the S.S. as of ist December, 1936. This book contains a list of the members of the S.S. arranged according to rank. I

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offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 474. Turning to Page 8 of this publication we find at line 2 the name "Hess, Rudolf" followed by the notation "By authority of the Fuehrer the right to wear the uniform of an S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer". I now offer the 1937 edition of the same membership list as Exhibit USA 475. Turning to Page 10, line So, we find the name "Bormann, Martin " -- and in line with his name on the opposite page under the column headed "Gruppenfuehrer", the following date, 30/1/37.

In the same edition on Page 12, line 56, appears the name "von Neurath, Konstantin", and on the opposite page under the column headed "Gruppenfuehrer " the date "18/9/37". The other publication to which I refer is "Der Grossdeutsche Reichstag" for the fourth voting period, edited by E. Kienast, Ministerial Director of the German Reichstag. This is an official handbook containing biographical data as to membership of the Reichstag. It is Document 2381-PS, and I offer it in evidence as Exhibit USA 476. On Page 349 the following appears: "von Ribbentrop, Joachim, Reichsminister des AuswArtigen, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer". On Page 360 the following appears: "Sauckel, Fritz, Gauleiter und Reichsstatthalter in Thueringen, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer ". On Page 389 the following appears: "Seyss-Inquart, Artur, Dr. jur., Reichsminister, S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer ".

THE PRESIDENT: What was the date of that book ?

MAJOR FARR: This book covers the fourth voting period beginning on ioth April, 1938, covering the period up to 13th January, 1947 -- that is, the voting period covers that course of years. The edition, I think, was in 1943. 1 might point out that the rank of the defendants mentioned in the 1936 and 1937 editions of the membership list of the S.S. may not be the final rank they held. They were "Gruppenfuehrer" at that time, but they were members of the S.S., as shown by the book.

It is our contention that the S.S., as defined in Appendix B, Page 36 of the Indictment, was an unlawful organisation. As an organisation founded on the principle that persons of "German blood" were a "master race", it exemplified a basic Nazi doctrine. It served as one of the means through which the conspirators acquired control of the German Government. The operations of the S.D., and of the "S.S. Totenkopf Verbaende" in concentration camps, were means used by the conspirators to secure their regime and terrorise their opponents, as alleged in Count 1. All branches of the S.S. were involved from the very beginning, in the Nazi programme of Jewish extermination. Through the Allgemeine S.S. as a para-military organisation, and the "S.S. Verfuegungstruppe" and "S.S. Totenkopf Verbaende", as professional combat forces, and the "Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle" as a Fifth Column agency, the S.S. participated in the military preparations for aggressive war, and through its militarised units in the waging of aggressive war in the West and in the East as set forth in Counts One and Two of the Indictment. In the course of such war all components of the S.S. participated in the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, set forth in Counts Three and Four of the Indictment -- the murder and ill-treatment of civilian populations in occupied territory, the murder and ill-treatment of prisoners of war, and the Germanisation of occupied territories.

The evidence has shown that the S.S. was a single enterprise -- a unified organisation. Some of its functions were, of course, performed by one branch or department or office, some by another. No single branch or department

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participated in every phase of its activity, but every branch and department and office was necessary to the functioning of the whole. The situation is much the same as in the case of the individual defendants at the bar. Not all participated in every act of the conspiracy -- but all, we contend, performed a contributing part in the whole criminal scheme.

The evidence has shown that though the S.S. was an organisation of volunteers, applicants had to meet the strictest standards of selection. It was not easy to become an S.S. member. That was true of all branches of the S.S. We clearly recognise, of course, that during the course of the war, as the demands for man-power increased and the losses of the "Waffen S.S." grew heavier and heavier, there were occasions when men drafted for compulsory military service were assigned to units of the "Waffen S.S." rather than to the "Wehrmacht." Those instances were relatively few. Evidence of recruiting standards of the "Waffen S.S." in 1943, which I quoted yesterday, has shown that membership in that branch was as essentially voluntary and highly selective as in other branches. Doubtless some of the members of the S.S., or of other of the organisations alleged to be unlawful, might desire to show that their participation in the organisation was a small or innocuous one, that compelling reasons drove them to apply for membership, that they were not fully conscious of its aims or that they were mentally irresponsible when they became members. Such facts might or might not be relevant if such persons were on trial. But, in any event, this is not the forum to try out such matters.

The question before this Tribunal is simply this, whether the S.S. was or was not an unlawful organisation. The evidence has finally shown what the aims and activities of the S.S. were. Some of those aims were stated in publications which I have quoted to the Court. The activities were so widespread and so notorious, covering so many fields of unlawful endeavour, that the illegality of the organisation could not have been concealed. It was a notorious fact, and Himmler, himself, in 1936, in a quotation which I read to the Tribunal yesterday, admitted that, when he said, "I know that there are people in Germany now who become sick when they see these black coats.

We know the reason and we do not expect to be loved by too many."

It was, we submit, at all times the exclusive function and purpose of the S.S. to carry out the common objectives of the defendant conspirators. Its activities in carrying out those objectives involved the commission of the crimes defined in Article 6 of the Charter. By reason of its aims and the means used for the accomplishment thereof, the S.S. should be declared a criminal organisation in accordance with Article 9 of the Charter.

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