The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

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

Thirtieth Day: Wednesday, January 9th, 1946
(Part 3 of 10)

[Page 100]

I do not want to take this in detail, but I ask the Tribunal to look at the first sentence of Section 3:
"It follows from the above that the main weight of the action will have to be placed on lynchings. Should the campaign be carried out to such an extent that the purpose, to wit: 'the deterrence of enemy aviators,' is actually achieved, which goal is favoured by the Foreign Office, then the strafing attacks by enemy fliers upon the civilian populations must be stressed in a completely different propagandist manner."
I do not think I need trouble the Tribunal, but that shows quite clearly the defendant's point of view. If the Tribunal would look at the next document, it is stated at the beginning of the second paragraph:
"Ambassador Ritter has advised us by telephone on 29th June that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has approved this draft."
That is the position as to the treatment of aviators, where there is, in my suggestion, a completely cold-blooded and deliberate adoption of a procedure evading International Law.

The second section is the destruction of the peoples in Europe. With regard to Poland, again I will not go into details, but I remind the Tribunal of the evidence of the witness Lahousen (Pages 275-6, Part 1), and his cross- examination on the 1st December (Pages 318-20, Part 1).

[Page 101]

Secondly, Bohemia and Moravia: on the 16th March, 1939, there was promulgated the decree of the Fuehrer and Reichschancellor, signed by Ribbentrop, concerning the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. That is already in as Exhibit GB 8 - Document TC-51. The effect of that was to place the Reich Protector in a remarkable position of supremacy under the Fuehrer. The only part which I would like the Tribunal to have in mind is Article 5, and sub- Article 2:
"It shall be the duty of the Reich Protector, as representative of the Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich, and as Commissioner of the Reich Government, to see to the observance of the political principles laid down by the Fuehrer and Chancellor of the Reich.

3. The members of the government of the protectorate shall be confirmed by the Reich Protector. The confirmation may be withdrawn.

4. The Reich Protector is entitled to inform himself of all measures taken by the government of the protectorate and to give advice. He can object to measures calculated to harm the Reich, and, in case of danger, issue ordinances required for the common interest.

5. The promulgation of laws, etc., and the execution of administrative measures and valid sentences are to be suspended if the Reich Protector raises an objection."

As a result of this law, the two Reich Protectors of Bohemia and Moravia, and their various deputies, were appointed, and then there were committed the various crimes, which will be detailed by my Soviet colleague.

Similarly, with regard to the Netherlands, on the 8th May, 1940, a decree of the Fuehrer was signed by Ribbentrop concerning the exercise of governmental authority in the Netherlands; and that is Document D-639, which I put in as Exhibit GB 154, Section 1 says:

"The occupied Netherlands territories will be administered by the 'Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands Territories' ... the Reich Commissioner is guardian of the interests of the Reich and vested with supreme civil authority.

Dr. Artur Seyss-Inquart is hereby appointed Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands Territories."

On the basis of this decree, the Reich Commissioner - the defendant Seyss-Inquart - promulgated such orders as that of the 4th July, 1940, dealing with the confiscation of property of those who had, or might have furthered activities hostile to the German Reich, and tentative arrangements were made for the resettlement of the Dutch population. This will be dealt with fully by my French colleague.

I simply, for the moment, put in as a matter of reference the general order of the defendant Seyss-Inquart, which is Exhibit GB 155, the document being 2921-PS. I do not intend to read it. I have summarised the effect of it, and it will be dealt with more fully by my French colleagues.

I want the Tribunal to appreciate, with regard to these two matters of Bohemia and the Netherlands, that the charge against this defendant is laying the basis and procuring the governmental structure under which the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity were directed.

I also formally put in Exhibit GB 156, the discussion on the question of the Dutch population, which is contained in Document 1520-PS. Again, I have explained it generally and I do not want to occupy time by reading it in full now.

Finally, I come to the persecution of the Jews. In December, 1938, the defendant Ribbentrop, in a conversation with M. Bonnet, who was then Foreign Minister of France, expressed his opinion of the Jews. That was reported by the United States Ambassador, Mr. Kennedy, to the State Department. The report of Mr. Kennedy is Document L-205, which I now put in

[Page 102]

as Exhibit GB 157. If I might read to the Tribunal the second paragraph which concerns this point:
"During the day we had a telephone call from Berenger's office in Paris. We were told that the matter of refugees had been raised by Bonnet in his conversation with von Ribbentrop. The result was very bad. Ribbentrop, when pressed, had said to Bonnet that the Jews in Germany, without exception, were pickpockets, murderers and thieves. The property they possessed had been acquired illegally. The German Government had therefore decided to treat them as the criminal elements of the population. The property which they had acquired illegally would be taken from them. They would be forced to live in the districts of the criminal classes. They would be under police observation like other criminals. They would be forced to report to the police as other criminals were obliged to do. The German Government could not help it if some of these criminals escaped to other countries which seemed so anxious to have them. It was not, however, willing to let them take along with them the property which they had acquired through illegal operations. There was in fact nothing that it could or would do."
That succinct statement of this defendant's views on Jews is elaborated in a long document which he had sent out by the Foreign Office, which is numbered 3358-PS, which I put in as Exhibit GB 158. I do not want to read the whole of that document because it is excessively dreary. It is also an excessively clear indication of the defendant's views on the treatment of Jews; but if the Tribunal would look at, first of all, Page 3, it is headed, "The Jewish Question as a Factor in German Foreign Policy in the year 1938." After the four divisions the document goes on to say:
"It is certainly no coincidence that the fateful year 1938 has brought nearer the solution of the Jewish question, simultaneously with the realisation of the 'idea of Greater Germany,' since the Jewish policy was both the basis and consequence of the events of the year 1938."
That is elaborated. If the Tribunal will turn over to Page 4 at the beginning of the second paragraph, it will see the first sentence:
"The final goal of German-Jewish policy is the emigration of an Jews living in Reich territory."
Then that is developed at great length through a large number of pages. If the Tribunal would turn to the foot of Page 7, it goes on to say:
"These examples from reports from authorities abroad can, if desired, be amplified. They confirm the correctness of the expectation, that criticism of the measures for excluding Jews from German Lebensraum, which were misunderstood in many countries for lack of evidence, would only be temporary and would swing in the other direction the moment the population saw with its own eyes and thus learned, what the Jewish danger was to them. The poorer, and therefore the more burdensome the immigrant Jew becomes to the country absorbing him, the more strongly that country will react, and the more desirable is this effect in the interest of German propaganda. The object of this German action is the future international solution of the Jewish question, dictated not by false compassion for the 'United Religious Jewish minority' but by the full consciousness of all peoples of the danger which it represents to the racial composition of the nations."
The Tribunal will appreciate that this document was circulated by the defendant's ministry, widely circulated to all senior Reich authorities and to numerous people before the war, on the 25th January, 1939, just after the statement to M. Bonnet. Apparently the anti-Semitism of the defendant went from - I was going to say from strength to strength, at any rate from

[Page 103]

exaggeration to exaggeration, for in June, 1944, the defendant Rosenberg made arrangements for an international anti-Jewish Congress to be held in Cracow on the 11th July, 1944. The honorary members were to be von Ribbentrop, Himmler, Goebbels and Frank - I think the defendant Frank. The Foreign Office was to take over the mission of inviting prominent foreigners from Italy, France, Hungary, Holland, Arabia, Iraq, Norway, etc., in order to give an international aspect to the Congress. However, the military events of June, 1944, prompted Hitler to call off the Congress, which had lost its significance by virtue of the Allied landing in Normandy.

That is contained in Document 1752-PS, Exhibit GB 159. At the foot of Page 1, the Tribunal will see the following has been entered as an honorary member - Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. So that there is no doubt that this defendant was behind the programme against the Jews, which resulted in the placing of them in concentration camps with anyone else opposed to the Nazi way of life, and it is submitted that he must, as a minister in special touch with the head of the government, have known what was going on in the country and in the camps. One who preached this doctrine, and was in a position of authority, cannot, I submit to anyone who has had any material experience, suggest that he was ignorant of how the policy was carried out.

That is the evidence on the third allegation and I submit, by the evidence which I have recapitulated to the Tribunal, that the three allegations are proved.

With regard to the second, Hitler's own words were:

"In the historic year of 1938 the Foreign Minister, von Ribbentrop, was of great help to me, in view of his accurate and audacious judgement and the exceptionally clever treatment of all problems of foreign policy."
During the course of the war, this defendant was in close liaison with the other Nazi conspirators. He advised them and made available to them, in his foreign embassies and legations abroad, information which was required; and at times participated, as I had shown, in the planning of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity.

It is submitted that all the allegations which were read from Appendix A of the Indictment are completely proved against this defendant. I only wanted the Tribunal to allow me to add one fact on behalf of the British delegation. In the preparation of these briefs we have received great assistance from certain of our American colleagues, and I should like to thank once, but nevertheless, heartily, on behalf of all of us, Dr. Kempner's staff: Captain John W. Auchineloss, Lieutenants Richard Heller and Frederick Felton, Captain J. Robert Claggett, Captain Norman Stoll, and Mr. Karl Lachmann for the great help they have been to us.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now for ten minutes.

DR. SEIDL (Counsel for the defendant Frank): May it please the Tribunal, I have a motion to make.

THE PRESIDENT: On behalf of whom is your motion?

DR. SEIDL: I want to make a motion which concerns the indictment of Frank by the prosecution. The Charter of the Tribunal contains, in Part IV, regulations for a fair trial, and Article 16 determines that for the purpose of guarding the right of the defendants the following procedure shall be followed. "The Indictment shall include full particulars specifying in detail the charges against the defendants. A copy of the Indictment and of all the documents lodged with the Indictment, translated into a language which he understands, shall be furnished to the defendant at a reasonable time before the trial."

At the beginning of the trial the defendant Frank was handed a copy of the Indictment. This is the Indictment which was read on the first day. This is, if I may say so, a general Indictment. All actions are listed therein which,

[Page 104]

according to the opinion of the Signatories of the London Agreement, are regarded as Crimes against Peace, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity. The Indictment does not contain in particular the criminal actions of each defendant. I am now thinking about positive actions, or concrete actions, or omissions.

This morning I received a document. It has the title "The Individual Responsibility of the defendant Hans Frank for Crimes against the Peace, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity" - or in German "die personliche Verantwortung des Angcklagten Frank fur Verbrechen gegen den Frieden, fur Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Humanitat." This document is without any table of contents. It consists of 30 typewritten pages. In addition to this document, or Indictment, as I should like to call it, another document book has been given to me; this book here concerning Hans Frank. The first document, as well as the second document, are not in German but in English. This first document is in reality what I should call the Indictment against Frank, because here in this document of 30 pages, for the first time, are listed those individual activities of Frank which are to be regarded as criminal actions. At least one ought to say that this document is an essential part of the Indictment.

THE PRESIDENT: Interrupting you, the Tribunal has already expressed its desire that a motion such as this should be made in writing. The Tribunal considers that a motion of the sort which you are making, if made orally, is a waste of the Tribunal's time. It therefore desires you to put your motion in writing. It will then be considered.

DR. SEIDL: I regret that I had to make this motion now, but I was not able to make it in writing beforehand, having received this document only two and a half hours ago. My motion asks the prosecution that these two documents be given to the defendant Frank in the German language.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has not got the documents to which you are referring, but it is quite impossible for us to understand the motion you making unless you make it in writing and attach the documents or in some other way describe or explain to us what the documents are. We have not the documents that you are referring to.

DR. SEIDL: Then I shall make my motion in writing.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Roberts, can you explain to me what counsel who just spoke is complaining about?

MR. ROBERTS: I gather he was complaining that the trial brief and the document book which had been served on his client, Frank, were in English and not in German.

THE PRESIDENT: Who is dealing with the case against Frank?

MR. ROBERTS: It is being dealt with by the United States.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps I had better ask Colonel Storey, then.

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal please, I think what counsel is referring to is the practice we have made of delivering in advance a copy of the document book and a copy of the trial brief. In this particular instance I happen to know that what counsel refers to is the trial address, which is to be read over the microphone, and as a courtesy to defence counsel, copies have been delivered in advance of the presentation, just like the other document books and briefs against the other individual defendants. That is what it is, as I understand it.

THE PRESIDENT: The documents which will be presented against the defendant Frank will be all translated?

COLONEL STOREY: I am sure they will, yes, Sit. I do not know about the individual case, but the instructions are that, as to the documents there will be photostats, each one in German, plus the English translation, for counsel, and

[Page 105]

that is what has been delivered, plus the trial address, if your Honour pleases. We handed that material to him in advance, it is what the attorney will read over the microphone.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Storey, I thought the Tribunal ordered, after consulting the prosecutors as to the feasibility of the scheme, that sufficient translators should be supplied to the defendant's counsel so that such documents, if in the English language, as trial briefs, might be translated to defendant's counsel. You will remember it was suggested that at least four translators, I think, should be supplied to the defendant's counsel.

COLONEL STOREY: If the Tribunal will recall, I think this is what was finally determined; that document books and briefs could be submitted in English and the photostatic copies submitted to defendant's counsel, and that if they wanted additional copies of the German, then they should request them and they would be furnished. I think that is what the final order was.

[ Previous | Index | Next ]

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.