The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Twenty-Ninth Day: Tuesday, January 8th, 1946
(Part 7 of 10)

[Page 73]

By May, 1942, Goering was able to boast of the assistance which he had rendered to the work of the Einsatzstab Rosenberg. In our Document 1051-PS, which has been read in evidence (Page 68, Part 3), he is shown writing to the defendant Rosenberg that he personally supports the work of the Einsatzstab wherever he can do so and that he attributes the seizure of such a large number of art treasures to the assistance he was able to render the Einsatzstab.

Thus the defendant Goering's responsibility for the planning of the looting of art, which was actually accomplished by the Einsatzstab Rosenberg, would seem clear.

Details of the execution of the Germanisation and spoliation policies in both the Western and Eastern countries occupied by the German armies will be presented subsequently by the French and Soviet prosecution. The responsibility of the defendant Goering, in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, as President of the Cabinet Council for the Defence of the Reich and in other capacities, will be further demonstrated by that evidence.

The plans of the Nazi conspirators with respect to Poland have been shown by evidence already offered. The Nazis purported to incorporate the four Western provinces of Poland into the German Reich. In the remaining portions occupied by them they set up the Government General. It has been shown that the Nazis planned to Germanise the so-called incorporated territories ruthlessly, by deporting the Polish intelligentsia, Jews and dissident elements to the Government General for eventual elimination, by confiscating Polish property, by sending those so deprived of their property to Germany as labourers, and by importing German settlers. It was specifically planned to exploit the people and material resources of the territory within the Government General by taking whatever was needed to strengthen the Nazi war machine, thus impoverishing this region and reducing it to a vassal state.

The defendant Goering, together with Hitler and Lammers and with the defendants Frick and Hess, on 8th October, 1939, signed the decree by which certain parts of Polish territory were incorporated into the Reich.

Purporting to act by virtue of the foregoing decree, Goering, as Plenipotentiary of the Four Year Plan, signed an order on 30th October, 1939, concerning the introduction of the Four Year Plan in the Eastern territories.

In his directive dated 19th October, 1939, Goering stated that the task for the economic treatment of the various administrative regions would differ, depending on whether a country was to be incorporated politically into the German Reich or whether the Government General was involved, which, in all probability, would not be made a part of Germany.

He went on to say:

"In the first-mentioned territories the reconstruction and expansion of the economy, the safeguarding of all their production facilities and supplies must be aimed at, as well as a complete incorporation into the Greater German economic system at the earliest possible time. On the other hand, there must be removed from the territories of the Government General all raw materials, scrap materials, machines, etc., which are of use for the German war economy. Enterprises which are not absolutely necessary for the meagre maintenance of the bare existence of the population must be transferred to Germany, unless such transfer would require an unreasonably long period of time and would make it more practical to exploit those enterprises by giving them German orders to be executed at their present location."
From the foregoing documents the complicity of the defendant Goering in the plans for the ruthless exploitation of Poland appears clear. But his fine

[Page 74]

hand also may be found behind the remainder of the Nazi plans for Poland. As an illustration, it was the defendant Goering who signed, with Hitler and the defendant Keitel, the secret decree of 7th October, 1939, which entrusted Himmler with the task of executing the Germanisation programme. That secret decree was read into evidence (Page 428, Part 2).

Evidence already introduced has shown from the mouths of Himmler, the defendant Frank and others just what this appointment involved in human suffering and degradation.

Similarly, it was the defendant Goering who, by virtue of his powers as Plenipotentiary for the Four Year Plan, issued a decree on 17th September, 1940, concerning confiscation in the incorporated Eastern territories. This decree applied to "property of citizens of the former Polish State within the territory of the Greater German Reich, including the incorporated Eastern territories." I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of our Document 1665-PS, which is an "Order concerning Treatment of Property of Nationals of the former Polish State," cited in 1940 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, Page 1270. I shall read from this document:

"Article 1.

(1) Property of nationals of the former Polish State within the area of the Greater German Reich, including annexed Eastern territories, is subject to confiscation, administration by commissioner and sequestration in accordance with the following regulations."

I now pass to Article II.
(1) Confiscation will be applied in case of property belonging to:
(a) Jews.

(b) Persons who have fled or who have absented themselves for longer than a temporary period.

(2) Confiscation may be applied:
(a) If the property is needed for the public good, especially for purposes of national defence or the strengthening of German nationhood.

(b) If the owners or other persons entitled to it emigrated into the, then, area of the German Reich after 1st October, 1918."

I pass now to Article IX, the first part:
"(1) Sequestered property can be confiscated in favour of the Reich by the competent office, if the public weal, particularly the defence of the Reich or the consolidation of the German nationality, requires it."
Evidence has also been introduced by the United States showing the extent to which the spoliation of Soviet territory and resources and the barbarous treatment inflicted on Soviet citizens were the result of plans long made and carefully drawn up by the Nazis before they launched their aggressive war on the Soviet Union. The Nazis planned to destroy the industrial potential of the Northern regions occupied by their armies and so to administer the production of food in the South and South-East, which normally produced a surplus of food, that the population of the Northern region would inevitably be reduced to starvation because of diversion of such surplus food to the German Reich. It has been shown also that the Nazis planned to incorporate Galicia and all of the Baltic countries into Germany and to convert the Crimea, an area north of the Crimea, the Volga territory and the district around Baku into German colonies.

By 29th April, 1941, almost two months prior to the invasion of the Soviet Union, it appears that Hitler had entrusted the defendant Goering with the overall direction of the economic administration in the area of operations and in the areas under political administration. It further appears that Goering had set up an economic staff and subsidiary authorities to carry out this function.

[Page 75]

The form of this organisation created by Goering and the duties of its various sections appear clearer in a set of directives "for the operation of the economy in the newly occupied territories" issued by Goering, as Reich Marshal of the Greater German Reich, in June, 1941. These directives are contained in the important "Green Portfolio" which, curiously enough, was printed by the Wehrmacht. By the terms of these directives it is stated that "The orders of the Reich Marshal cover all economic fields, including nutrition and agriculture. They are to be executed by the subordinate economic offices."

An "Economic Staff East" was charged with the execution of orders transmitted to it from higher authority. One sub- division of this staff, the Agricultural Section, was charged with the following functions: "Nutrition and agriculture, the economy of all agricultural products, provision of supplies for the Army in co-operation with the Army Groups concerned." Excerpts from the "Green Portfolio" have already been admitted as Exhibit USA 315, but I will offer at this time some additional excerpts in support of the facts I have just related. I would like to offer, as Exhibit USA 587, our Document 1743-PS. This is another copy of the "Green Portfolio," and I want to offer this portfolio to show to the Tribunal that these directives were originally published in June, 1941. Document EC-472, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 315, was a revised edition published in July, 1941. In other words, the economic plan for the invasion was ready when the Wehrmacht actually marched into the Soviet Union on 22nd June, 1941.

As appears from the foregoing directives, it was a sub- division of the economic organisation set up by the defendant Goering, the Agricultural Section of the "Economic Staff East," which rendered a top secret report on 23rd May, 1941, containing a set of policy directives for the exploitation of Soviet agriculture. It will be recalled that these directives contemplated abandonment of all industry in the food deficit regions, with certain exceptions, and the diversion of food from the food surplus regions to German needs, even though millions of people would inevitably die of starvation as a result. Those directives have already been read into evidence (Page 4, Part 3).

Minutes of a meeting at Hitler's headquarters on 16th July, 1941, kept by the defendant Bormann, have also been read in part in evidence. It was at this meeting that Hitler stated that the Nazis never intended to leave the countries then being occupied by their armies, that although the rest of the world was to be deceived on this point, nevertheless, "this need not prevent us taking all necessary measures - shooting, desettling, etc. - and we shall take them." That quotation, may it please the Tribunal, was taken from Exhibit USA 317, our Document L-221. Then Hitler discussed making the Crimea and other parts of the Soviet Union into German colonies. The defendant Goering was present and participated in this conference.

As a final illustration it appears from a memorandum dated 16th September, 1941, which is our Exhibit 318, that Goering presided over a meeting of German military officials concerned with the better exploitation of the occupied territories for the German food economy. In discussing this topic, he said:

"In the occupied territories, on principle, only those people are to be supplied with an adequate amount of food who work for us. Even if one wanted to feed all the other inhabitants, one could not do it in the newly occupied Eastern areas. It is, therefore, wrong to funnel off food supplies for this purpose, if it is done at the expense of the Army and necessitates increased supplies from home."
From the foregoing documents, participation of the defendant Goering in the Nazi plans for committing wholesale War Crimes in occupied territories is, we submit, clear.

I turn, now, to Goering's planning and his participation in inhumane acts committed against civilian populations before and during the war. It has been

[Page 76]

shown that shortly after becoming Prime Minister of Prussia in 1933, Goering created the Gestapo in Prussia, which became a model for that instrument of terror as it was extended to the rest of Germany. Concentration camps were established in Prussia in the spring of 1933 under his administration, and these camps were then placed under the charge of the Gestapo, of which he was chief.

The extent to which Goering and the other Nazi conspirators employed these institutions as agencies for the commission of their crimes already appears from the evidence. In 1936 Himmler became chief of the German Police. Thereafter Goering was able to devote his attention chiefly to the task of creating the German Air Force and to the task of preparing the nation economically for aggressive war. However, he continued to be concerned with these institutions of his creation. An example of this is shown in our Document 1584-PS-1, already introduced as Exhibit USA 221, which is a teletype sent by Goering to Himmler in which he requested the latter to place at his disposal as great a number of concentration camp inmates as possible, as the situation of air warfare made the subterranean transfer of industry necessary.

In his reply, Himmler advised Goering by teletype that a survey on the employment of prisoners in the aviation industry showed that 36,000 were being employed for the purposes of the Air Forces and that an increase to a total of 90,000 prisoners was being contemplated.

Evidence has been introduced as to medical experiments performed on human beings at the concentration, camp at Dachau, and the part played by Field Marshal Milch, State Secretary and Deputy to Goering as Air Minister, for whose acts the latter must bear full responsibility, is abundantly clear from letters written by Milch to General Wolff on 20th May, 1942, and to Himmler in August, 1942, both of which have been read in evidence (Page 161, Part 3), our Document 343-PS.

Finally, I turn to Goering's participation in the elimination of all members of the Jewish race from the economic life of Germany and in the extermination of all Jews in the continent of Europe.

In 1935 the defendant Goering, as President of the Reichstag, made a speech urging that body to pass the infamous Nuremberg Racial Law. I offer, as Exhibit USA 588, our Document 3458-PS, which is an excerpt from Ruhle's "Das Dritte Reich," Page 257. Goering said:

"God has created the races. He did not want equality and therefore we energetically reject any attempt to falsify the concept of race purity by making it equivalent with racial equality. We have experienced what it means when a people has to live in accordance with the laws of an equality that is alien to its kind and contrary to nature. For this equality does not exist. We have never acknowledged such an idea and therefore must reject it also, as a matter of principle, in our laws, and we must acknowledge that purity of race which Nature and Providence have destined."
Again, to show his official attitude, as revealed on 26th March, 1938, in a speech in Vienna, I offer as Exhibit USA 437 our Document 3460-PS, starting with Page 348. Goering said:
"I must address a serious word to the city of Vienna. The city of Vienna can no longer rightfully be called a German city. So many Jews live in this city. Where there are 300,000 Jews, you cannot speak of a German city.

Vienna must once more become a German city, because it must perform important tasks for Germany in Germany's Ostmark. These tasks lie in the sphere of culture as well as in the sphere of economics. In neither of them can we, in the long run, put up with the Jew.

This task, however, should not be attempted by inappropriate interference and stupid measures but must be done systematically and carefully.

[Page 77]

As Delegate for the Four Year Plan, I commission the Reichsstatthalter in Austria jointly with the Plenipotentiary of the Reich to consider and take any steps necessary for the redirection of Jewish commerce, i.e., for the Aryanisation of business and economic life, and to execute this process in accordance with our laws, legally but inexorably."
Acting within the framework of economic preparation for aggressive war, the Nazi conspirators then began the complete elimination of Jews from economic life preparatory to their physical annihilation. The defendant Goering, as head of the Four Year Plan, was in active charge of this phase of the persecution.

The first step in his campaign was the Decree of 26th April, 1933, requiring registration of all Jewish property. Both Goering and the defendant Frick signed that law. It is already in evidence.

I beg the Tribunal's pardon. I would like the Tribunal to take judicial notice of that decree, which is our Document 1406-PS and cited as 1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, part 1, Page 414.

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