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 7 of 10)

[MR. ROBERTS continues]

[Page 118]

Your Lordships, Mr. Walter W. Brudno of the American delegation will present the case against Alfred Rosenberg.

MR. WALTER W. BRUDNO: May it please the Tribunal, in connection with the case against the defendant Rosenberg, I wish to offer the document book designated as Exhibit USA EE. This book contains the English translation of all the documents which I will offer into evidence, as well as the English translation of those documents previously offered to which I will refer. The documents are arranged by series in the order of C, L, R, PS and EC, and they are arranged numerically within each series.

Your Honours will note that on the first four pages of the document book there appears a descriptive list of documents. This list is a tabulation of all the documents directly implicating Rosenberg, including those previously offered and those which I will offer into evidence. Those previously offered are keyed to the transcript page of the Record, and to their exhibit numbers. The list is included in the document books

THE PRESIDENT: Will you go a little bit slower.

MR. BRUDNO: Certainly, your Honour. The list is included in the document books made available to the defence. This list will gather together in one place all references to the defendant Rosenberg, which are in the record up to this point. In order to avoid repetition, I will not refer to a great many of the documents previously introduced.

The Indictment at Page 29 charges the defendant Rosenberg under all four Counts of the Indictment. In the presentation which follows, I will show that as charged in Count One, Section IV, subparagraph (D), Rosenberg played a particularly prominent role in developing and promoting the doctrinal techniques of the conspiracy; in developing and promoting beliefs and practices incompatible with Christian teaching, in subverting the influence of the Churches over the German people, in pursuing the programme of relentless persecution of the Jews, and in reshaping the educational system in order to make the German people amenable to the will of the conspirators, and to prepare the people psychologically for waging an aggressive war.

I will also show that Rosenberg played an important role in preparing Germany for the waging of aggressive war through the direction of foreign trade, as charged in Count One, subparagraph (E), Page 6 of the Indictment, and that his activities in the field of foreign policy contributed materially toward the preparation for the aggressions charged in subparagraph (F), Pages 7 to 10 in the Indictment, and the Crimes against Peace, as charged in Count Two.

Finally, I will show that Rosenberg participated in the planning and direction of the War Crimes, and Crimes against Humanity, as specified in paragraph (G), Page 10 of Count One of the Indictment. Particularly, he participated in the

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planning and directing of the spoliation of art treasures in the Western countries, and in the numerous crimes committed in that part of the Eastern countries formerly occupied by the U.S.S.R.

The political career of the defendant Rosenberg embraced the entire history of National Socialism, and permeated nearly every phase of the conspiracy with which we are concerned. In order to obtain a full conception of his influence upon and participation in the conspiracy, it is necessary to review briefly his political history, and to consider each of his political activities in their relation to the thread of the conspiracy which stretches from the inception of the Party in 1919 to the defeat of Germany in 1945.

It is both interesting and revealing to note that for Rosenberg the 30th November, 1918, marked the "Beginning of political activities with a lecture about the 'Jewish Problem.'" That statement is found at line 2 of the translation of Document 2886-PS, which is an excerpt from a book entitled, "The Work of Alfred Rosenberg," a biography, and I offer this book as Exhibit USA 591.

From the Document 3557-PS, which has excerpts from an official pamphlet entitled, "Dates in the History of the N.S.D.A.P.," and which I offer as Exhibit USA 592, we learn that Rosenberg was a member of the German Labour Party, afterwards the National Socialist German Workers' Party, in January, 1919, and that Hitler joined forces with Rosenberg and his colleagues in October of the same year. Thus Rosenberg was a member of the National Socialist movement even before Hitler himself.

Now I wish to offer Document 3530-PS, which is an extract from "Das Deutsche Fuehrer Lexikon," the year of 1934-35, and I offer it as Exhibit USA 593. In this document we obtain additional biographical data on Rosenberg as follows:

"From 1921 until the present, he was editor of the 'Volkische Beobachter'; editor of the N.S. 'Monatshefte'; in 1930 he became member of the Reichstag and representative of foreign policies for the Party; after April, 1933, he was leader of the foreign political office of the N.S.D.A.P.; was then designated as Reichsleiter; in January, 1934, appointed deputy by the Fuehrer for the spiritual and philosophical education of the N.S.D.A.P., the German labour front and all related organisations."
Document 2886-PS, which I have just referred to, offered as Exhibit USA 591, adds that in July, 1941, Rosenberg was appointed Reichsminister for the Occupied Eastern Territories.

With this general background information in mind, the first phase of proof will deal with Rosenberg as official National Socialist ideologist. The proof, which I will present, will show the nature and scope of the ideological tenets he expounded, and the influence he exerted upon the unification of German thought, a unification which was an essential part of the conspirators' programme for seizure of power and preparation for aggressive war.

Rosenberg wrote extensively on, and actively participated in, virtually every aspect of the National Socialist programme. His first publication was the "Nature, Basic Principles and Aims of the N.S.D.A.P." This publication appeared in 1922. Rosenberg spoke of this book in a speech which we have seen and heard delivered in the motion picture previously introduced as Exhibit USA 167, on Page 2, Part 1, of the transcription of the speech, which is our Document 3054-PS, Rosenberg stated as follows:

"During this time, that is, during the early phase of the Party, a short thesis was written, which nevertheless is significant in the history of the N.S.D.A.P." - this is Rosenberg speaking - "It was always being asked what points of programme the N.S.D.A.P. had, and how they were to be interpreted. Therefore, I wrote the principal programme and aims of the N.S.D.A.P., and this writing made the first permanent connection

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between Munich and local organisations being organised, and friends within the Reich."
We thus see that the original draftsman of, and spokesman on, the Party programme was the defendant Rosenberg. Without attempting to survey the entire ideological programme advanced by Rosenberg in his various writings and speeches - they are very numerous - I wish to offer into evidence certain of his statements as an indication of the nature and broad scope of the ideological programme which he championed. It will be seen that there was not a single basic tenet of the Nazi philosophy which was not given authoritative expression by Rosenberg. He wrote the "Myth of the Twentieth Century," published in 1930. This book has already been offered as Exhibit USA 352. At Page 479, which your Honour will find on the second page of Document 2553- PS, Rosenberg wrote on the race question as follows:
"The essence of the contemporary world revolution lies in the awakening of the racial type; not in Europe alone but on the whole planet. This awakening is the organic counter movement against the last chaotic remnants of the liberal economic imperialism, whose object of exploitation, out of desperation, has fallen into the snare of Bolshevic Marxism, in order to complete what democracy had begun, the extirpation of the racial and national consciousness."
Rosenberg expounded the "Lebensraum" idea, which was the chief motivation, the dynamic impulse behind Germany's waging of aggressive war. In his journal, the National Socialist "Monatshefte," for May, 1932, which I offer as Exhibit USA 594, our Document 2777-PS, he wrote at Page 199:
"The understanding that the German nation, if it is not to perish in the truest sense of the word, needs ground and soil for itself, and its future generations, and the second sober perception that this soil can no more be conquered in Africa, but in Europe and first of all in the East - these organically determine the German foreign policy for centuries."
Rosenberg expressed his theory as to the place of religion in the National Socialist State in his "Myth of the Twentieth Century," additional excerpts from which are cited in Document 2891-PS; at Page 215 of the "Myth" he wrote as follows:
"We now realise that the central supreme values of the Roman and the Protestant Church as negative Christianity are not suited to our soul, that they hinder the organic powers of the people designated as a Nordic race, that they must give way to them, that they have to be remodelled to conform with Germanic Christianity. Therein lies the meaning of to-day's religious searching."
In the place of traditional Christianity, Rosenberg sought to implant the neo-pagan myth of the blood.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you want to break off here for a recess?

MR. BRUDNO: Yes, your Honour.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: I have an announcement to make to the defendants' counsel. In view of the applications which were made to the Tribunal this morning, I immediately ordered, on behalf of the Tribunal, that an investigation should be made of the complaints made by defendants' counsel about the delay in the delivery of the transcript of the shorthand notes; and such delay will be remedied at once. The investigation shows that transcripts of the sessions up to and including the 20th December can be completed by this afternoon. The transcripts for the sessions held since the resumption of the trial will be

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distributed, up to and including the 8th January, by to- morrow evening. Hereafter, the German transcripts will be regularly distributed to the defence counsel within a period of forty-eight hours after the session.

MR. BRUDNO: If your Honour pleases, when the Court rose I had just read it quotation of Rosenberg, in which he expressed his views on Christianity.

In the place of traditional Christianity, Rosenberg sought to implant the neo-pagan myth of the blood. At Page 114 in the "Myth of the Twentieth Century" he stated as follows:

"To-day, a new faith is awakening - the myth of the blood, the belief that the divine being of mankind generally is to be defended with the blood. The faith embodied by the fullest realisation, that the Nordic blood constitutes that mystery which has supplanted and overwhelmed the old sacraments."
Rosenberg's attitudes on religion were accepted as the only philosophy compatible with National Socialism. In 1940, the defendant Bormann wrote to Rosenberg in Document 098-PS, which has been previously introduced as Exhibit USA 350, and I quote:
"The churches cannot be conquered by a compromise between National Socialism and Christian teachings, but only through a new ideology, whose coming you, yourself, have announced in your writings."
Rosenberg actively participated in the programme for elimination of Church influence. The defendant Bormann frequently wrote Rosenberg in this regard, furnishing him information as to proposed action to be instituted against the Churches, and, when necessary, requesting that that action be taken by Rosenberg's department. I refer to documents introduced in connection with the case against the Leadership Corps, such Documents as 070-PS, Exhibit USA 349, which deals with abolition of religious services in the schools; Document 072-PS, Exhibit USA 357, dealing with confiscation of religious property; 064-PS, Exhibit USA 359, which deals with the inadequacy of anti-religious material being circulated to the soldiers; Document 089-PS, Exhibit USA 360, dealing with curtailment of the publication of Protestant periodicals; and Document 122-PS, which is Exhibit USA 362, dealing with the closing of theological faculties.

Rosenberg was particularly avid in his pursuit of what he called the "Jewish Question." On the 28th March, 1941, on the occasion of the opening of the Institute for the Exploration of the Jewish Question, he set the keynote for its activities and indicated the direction which the exploration was to take. I would like to quote from Document 2889-PS, which I offer as Exhibit USA 595. This is an excerpt from the "Volkischer Beobachter," 29th March, 1941. This is a statement made by Rosenberg on the occasion of the opening of the institute:

"For Germany the Jewish Question is only then solved when the last Jew has left the Greater German space.

Since Germany with its blood and its nationalism has now broken for ever this Jewish dictatorship for all Europe and has seen to it that Europe as a whole will become free from the Jewish parasitism once more, we may, I believe, also say for all Europeans: for Europe the Jewish Question will be solved only when the last Jew has left the European continent."

It has already been seen that Rosenberg did not overlook any opportunity to put these anti-Semitic beliefs into practice. Your Honour will recall that in Document 001-PS, which was introduced as Exhibit USA 282 in connection with the case on Persecution of the Jews, Rosenberg recommended that instead of executing one hundred Frenchmen as retaliation for attempts on lives of members of the Wehrmacht, there be executed one hundred Jewish bankers, lawyers, etc. The recommendation was made with the avowed purpose of awakening the anti-Jewish sentiment.

[Page 122]

Document 752-PS, which was introduced this morning by Sir David Maxwell Fyfe as Exhibit GB 159, discloses that Rosenberg had called an Anti-Semitic Congress in June, 1944, although this Congress was cancelled, due to military events.

In the realm of foreign policy, in addition to demanding Lebensraum, Rosenberg called for elimination of the Versailles Treaty, and cast aside any thought of revision of that Treaty. In his book "The Nature, Principles and Aims of the N.S.D.A.P.," written by him in 1922, he expressed his opinions regarding the Treaty of Versailles. Excerpts from this book are translated in Document 2433-PS, and I offer the book as Exhibit USA 596. He stated as follows:

"The National Socialists reject the popular phrase 'Revision of the Peace of Versailles' as such a revision might perhaps bring a few numerical reductions in the so- called 'obligations,' but the entire German people would still be, just as before, the slave of other nations."
Then he goes on to expound the second point of the Party:
"We demand equality for the German people with other nations, the cancellation of the peace treaties of Versailles and St. Germain."

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