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 9 of 10)

[Page 126]

Much of the A.P.A.'s achievements were brought about through the subtle exploitation of personal relationships. Reading from the middle of the first paragraph on Page 2 of the translation, which refers to activities in Hungary, we learn that:
"The first foreign State visit after the seizure of power took place through the mediation of the Foreign Affairs Bureau. Julius Gombos, who in former years had himself pursued anti-Semitic and racial tendencies, had reached the Hungarian Premier's chair. The Bureau maintained a personal connection with him."
The A.P.A. endeavoured to strengthen the war economy by shifting the source of food imports to the Balkans, as stated in paragraph 3 on Page 2 of the translation:
"Motivated by reasons of War Economy, the Bureau advocated the transfer of raw material purchases from overseas to the areas accessible by overland traffic routes."
Then he goes on to point out that they had successfully shifted the source of food imports, particularly fruit and vegetable imports, to the Balkans, as a result of the Bureau's activities.

Activities in Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg were confined, according to the report, to "observation of existing conditions" - a phrase which may have broad connotations - and "to the establishment of relations, especially of a commercial nature."

In Iran, the A.P.A. achieved a high degree of economic penetration, in addition to promoting cultural relations. I quote from the middle of the third paragraph on Page 3:

"The Bureau's initiative in developing, with the help of commercial circles, entirely new methods for the economic penetration of Iran, found expression, in an extraordinarily favourable way, in reciprocal trade relations. Naturally, in Germany, too, this initiative encountered a completely negative attitude and resistance on the part of the competent State authorities, an attitude that at first had to be overcome. In the course of a few years, the volume of trade with Iran was multiplied fivefold, and in 1939, Iran's trade turnover with Germany had attained first place."
In the last sentence on Page 3 -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, now, Mr. Brudno, will you kindly explain to the Tribunal how the paragraph that you just read bears upon the guilt of Rosenberg on this trial?

[Page 127]

MR. BRUDNO: If your Honour please, we submit that the conspirators used, as one of the tools of conspiracy, the economic penetration of those countries which they deemed strategically necessary to have within the Axis orbit. The activities of Rosenberg in the field of foreign trade contributed materially, we submit, to the advancement of the conspiracy, as charged in the Indictment.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you suggesting that it is a crime to try and stimulate trade in foreign countries?

MR. BRUDNO: If your Honour pleases, the expression of ideological opinions or the advancement of foreign trade do not, in themselves, constitute a crime, we agree.

THE PRESIDENT: There is nothing here about ideological considerations. It is simply a question of trade.

MR. BRUDNO: Further on, your Honour, he mentions the cultural activities.

THE PRESIDENT: I was confining myself, in order to try to get on, to the particular paragraph that you bad just cited.

MR. BRUDNO: I see, your Honour, we are merely trying to show, Sir, that the Germans used the foreign trade weapon as a material part of the conspiratorial programme.

THE PRESIDENT: As I have said before, it is not possible for me or for any member of this Tribunal to conduct the case of the prosecution for them. We can only tell them when we think they are being irrelevant and cumulative and ask them to try to cut down their presentation. It is for you to cut it down.

MR. BRUDNO: Rosenberg goes on to state, if your Honour pleases, at Page 3 of the translation, that:

"Afghanistan's neutral position to-day is largely due to the Bureau's activity."
In connection with Arabia, he says:
"The Arab question, too, became part of the work of the Bureau. In spite of England's tutelage of Iraq, the Bureau established a series of connections to a number of leading personalities of the Arab world, smoothing the way for strong bonds to Germany. In this connection, the growing influence of the Reich in Iran and Afghanistan did not fail to have repercussions in Arabia."
Rosenberg concludes his report with the statement that, with the outbreak of war, he was entitled to consider his task as terminated, and then he says,
"The exploitation of the many personal connections in many lands can be resumed under a different guise."
I now turn to Annex Two of the report, which is found at Page 9 of the translation. This Annex deals with activities in Roumania. Here the A.P.A.'s intrigue was more insidious, its interference in the internal affairs of a foreign nation more pronounced. After describing the failure of what Rosenberg terms a "basically sound anti-Semitic tendency," due to dynastic squabbles and party fights, Rosenberg describes the A.P.A.'s influence in the unification of conflicting elements. I quote, beginning with the ninth line of the translation:
"What was lacking was the guiding leadership of a political personality. After manifold groping trials the Bureau believed it had found such a personality - the former Minister and poet, Octavian Goga. It was not difficult to convince this poet, pervaded by instinctive inspiration, that a Greater Roumania, though it had to be created in opposition to Vienna, could be maintained only together with Berlin. Nor was it difficult to create in him the desire to link the fate of Roumania with the future of the National Socialist German Reich in the future. By bringing continuing influence to bear, the Bureau succeeded in inducing Octavian Goga as well as Professor Cuza to amalgamate the parties under their leadership on an

[Page 128]

anti-Semitic basis. Thus they could carry on with united strength the struggle for Roumania's renaissance internally and her Anschluss with Germany externally. Through the Bureau's initiative both parties, which had heretofore been known by distinct names, were merged as the National Christian Party, under Goga's leadership and with Cuza as Honorary President."
Rosenberg's man, Goga, was supported by two parties, which had not joined the anti-Semitic trend, and Rosenberg states:
"Through intermediaries, the Bureau maintained constant contact with both tendencies."
Goga, the man supported by Rosenberg, was appointed Prime Minister by the King in December, 1937. The pernicious influence of Rosenberg's ideology had achieved a major triumph, for he states:
"Thus a second government on racial and anti-Semitic foundations had appeared in Europe, in a country in which such an event had been considered completely impossible."
I will not deal at any length with the details of the political turmoil that plagued Roumania during the ensuing period.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Brudno, I think the Tribunal are satisfied that Rosenberg - I mean satisfied, subject to what Rosenberg himself or his counsel may say that Rosenberg tried to spread his ideology abroad, and we do not require any further detailed proof of that, and we are also satisfied that we have heard enough of the activities of the A.P.A.

MR. BRUDNO: Certainly, your Honour. We feel that if the Tribunal is satisfied, we can pass on.

THE PRESIDENT: Subject, as I said, to anything that Rosenberg may prove.

MR. BRUDNO: Surely. I would merely like to conclude with the statement that the activities of the A.P.A. were, as indicated in this Document 007-PS, primarily responsible for Roumania's joining the Axis. It was a vital link in Germany's chain of military strategy.

I would further like to call to your Honour's attention the evidence which has already been submitted on the activities of the A.P.A. in Norway, activities which led to the treason of Quisling and Hagelin, for which they have been condemned.

I come now to the final phase of the case against the defendant Rosenberg. We have seen how he aided the Nazi rise to power and directed the psychological preparation of the German people for waging aggressive war. I will now offer proof of his responsibility for the planning and execution of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity committed in the vast areas of the occupied East, which he administered for over three years. These areas included the Baltic States, White Ruthenia, the Ukraine and the Eastern portion of Poland.

I will not attempt, at this stage, to chronicle again the tale of mass murder, spoliation and brutality. We feel that that has already been sufficiently put in evidence, and further evidence on this point will be presented by the prosecution for the U.S.S.R. and for the Republic of France.

We anticipate, however, that Rosenberg will contend that some of these crimes were committed against his wishes, and, indeed, there is some evidence that he protested on occasion - not out of humanitarian reasons but on grounds of political expediency.

We also anticipate that Rosenberg will attempt to place the blame for these crimes on other agencies and on other defendants. The evidence will prove, however, that he himself formulated the harsh policies, in the execution of which the crimes were committed; that the crimes were committed for the most part by persons and agencies within his jurisdiction and control; that any other agencies which participated in the commission of these crimes were invited by

[Page 129]

Rosenberg to co-operate in the administration of the East, although the brutal methods customarily employed by them were common knowledge; and, finally, that his Ministry lent full co-operation to their activities, despite the criminal methods that were employed.

Rosenberg was actively participating in the affairs of the East as early as 20th April, 1941, two months prior to the German attack upon the Soviet Union. On that date he was designated by Hitler as Commissioner for the Central Control of Questions Connected With the East European Region.

The Hitler Order, by virtue of which he received this appointment, has been read into the record in its entirety as Exhibit USA 143, our Document 865-PS.

The initial preparations undertaken by Rosenberg for fulfilment of his task indicated the extent to which he co- operated in promoting the military plans for aggression. They also show that he understood his task, at the inception, as requiring the assistance of a multitude of Reich agencies and that he invited their co-operation.

Shortly after his appointment by Hitler, Rosenberg conducted a series of conferences with representatives of various Reich agencies, conferences which are summarised in Document 1039-PS, previously offered as Exhibit USA 146. This document indicated the co-operation of the following agencies. It indicated that the co-operation of these agencies was both contemplated and solicited by Rosenberg. The agencies are as follows: O.K.W., O.K.H. and O.K.M., Ministry of Economies, Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, Ministry of the Interior, Reich Youth Leadership, the German Labour Front, Ministry of Labour, the S.S., the S.A. and several others.

These arrangements, it should be noted, were made by Rosenberg in his capacity as Commissioner on Eastern Questions, before the attack on the Soviet Union, before he was appointed as Reich Minister for the Occupied East, in fact, before there was any Occupied East for Germany to administer.

I would like to refer briefly to some of Rosenberg's basic attitudes regarding his new task and the directives which he knew he would be expected to follow. Your Honours will recall that on 29th April, 1941, in Document 1024-PS, previously introduced as Exhibit USA 278, Rosenberg stated that:

"A general treatment is required for the Jewish problem for which a temporary solution will have to be determined (forced labour for the Jews, creation of Ghettos, etcetera)."
On 8th May, 1941, he prepared instructions for all Reich Commissars in the Occupied Eastern Territories. These instructions are found in Document 1030-PS, previously introduced as Exhibit USA 144. The last paragraph, which has not been called to your Honour's attention, reads as follows:
"From the point of view of cultural policy, the German Reich is in a position to promote and direct national culture and science in many fields. It will be necessary that in some territories an uprooting and resettlement of various racial stocks will have to be effected."
In Document 1029-PS, which has been introduced as Exhibit USA 145, Rosenberg directs that the "Ostland" be transformed into a part of the Greater German Reich by Germanising racially possible elements, colonising Germanic races, and banishing undesirable elements.

In a speech which Rosenberg made on 20th June, 1941, your Honour will recall, he stated that the job of feeding Germans was the acme of Germany's claim on the East; that there was no obligation to feed the Russian peoples; that this was a harsh necessity bare of any feelings; that a very extensive evacuation would be necessary; and that the future would hold many hard years in store for the Russians. This speech, your Honour, is in the record as Document 1058-PS, Exhibit USA 147.

On 4th July, 1941, still prior to Rosenberg's appointment as Reich Minister for the Occupied East, a representative of Rosenberg's Bureau attended a

[Page 130]

conference on the subject of utilisation of labour, and especially of the labour of Soviet prisoners of war. Document 1199-PS is a memorandum of this conference, and I offer it into evidence as Exhibit USA 604. It states that the participants were, among others, representatives of the Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, of the Reich Labour Ministry, of the Reich Food Ministry, and of the Rosenberg Bureau. The first sentence states, and I quote:
"After an introduction by Lieutenant-Colonel Dr. Krull, Lieutenant-Colonel Breyer of the P.W. Department explained that actually there was in effect a prohibition by the Fuehrer against bringing Russian P.W.'s into the Reich for employment, but that one might count on this prohibition being relaxed a little."
The last paragraph records that:
"The chairman summarised the results of the discussion, as indicating that all the interested bureaus unqualifiedly advocated and supported the demand for utilisation of P.W.'s because of manpower needs in the Reich."

[ 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.