The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

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

Thirty-Fifth Day: Wednesday, January 16th, 1946
(Part 1 of 11)

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CAPTAIN SPRECHER: May it please the Tribunal, I now pass to activities which involve Schirach in the commission of Crimes against Humanity as they bear directly on Count 1. The presentation of all specific acts will deal with the Reichsgau Vienna, but first allow me to refer back to two important points in the previous proof, which will show that Schirach bears, responsibility for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity which bring in the whole of Europe. Through his agreements with Himmler he provided, through the Hitler Youth, many if not most of the S.S. men who administered, in the main, the concentration camps, and whose War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity throughout Europe generally are notorious.

Nor should we pass to further specific acts of Schirach without mentioning one more thing, that he cannot escape responsibility for implanting in youth the Nazi ideology generally, with its tenets of a master race, "sub-human" peoples, and "Lebensraum" and world domination. For such notions were the psychological prerequisites for the instigation and for the tolerance of the atrocities which zealous Nazis committed throughout Germany and the occupied countries.

To present Schirach's responsibilities for crimes committed within the Reichsgau Vienna, where Schirach was Gau Leader and Reich Governor from July, 1940, until the downfall, the general basic functions of these two offices must be held in mind.

The first document I refer to is 1893-PS. This is an extract from the Party Manual of 1943 and therefore catches Schirach in midstream in his activities in the Reichsgau Vienna. That is Page 42 of the document book, and Pages 70, 71, 75, 98, 136 and 140b of the Party Manual, extracts from each of those pages appearing in your document book.

The following highlights concerning the Gau Leader's functions will appear, and I propose only to paraphrase. Since your Honour may take judicial notice of the Party Manual, you may check at your leisure unless you wish me to read from any one of these specific orders. These orders make it appear that the Gau Leader was the highest representative of Hitler in his Gau, that he was the bearer of sovereignty, the top "Hoheitstrager," and that he had sovereign political rights. Beyond that he was responsible for the entire political situation in his Gau. He could call - and we believe this is important - he could call upon S.A. and S.S. leaders as "needed in the execution of a political mission." Beyond that he was obliged to meet at least once a month with the leaders of the affiliated Party organisations within his Gau, and this course included the S.S.

Now, the position of the Reich Governor in Vienna is somewhat special. After the Anschluss the State of Austria was abolished and Austria was divided into 7 Reich Gaue. The most important of these Gaue was the Reichsgau Vienna, of which Schirach was Governor. Reference to any statistical manual of the Reich at this time will establish that at that time Vienna had a population of over two million people. Therefore it was certainly one of the principal cities of the Reich., The Tribunal is asked to take judicial notice of the decree, 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, Page 777, our Document 3301-PS, found at Page 107

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of the document book. This is the basic law on the administrative reorganisation of Austria. It was enacted in April, 1939, a little more than a year before Schirach became Governor. This law shows that Schirach, as Governor, was the lieutenant of the head of the German State, Hitler; that he could issue decrees and orders within the limitations set by the Supreme Reich Authorities; that he was especially under the administrative supervision of the defendant Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior; and that he was also the first mayor of the city of Vienna. For the same period that Schirach was Gau Leader, and Reich Governor of Vienna, he was also Reich Defence Commissioner of Vienna, and after 1940, of course, the Reich was engaged in war.

Because of his far-reaching responsibilities and authority in these positions, the prosecution contends that Schirach must be held guilty, specifically, of all the crimes of the Nazi conspirators in the Reichsgau. Vienna, on the ground that he either initiated, approved, executed or abetted these crimes. Specific examples follow which, in fact, demonstrate that Schirach was actively and personally engaged in Nazi crimes and that, when he became boastful, a characteristic never lacking in most of these defendants, he himself admitted his own involvement in acts which are crimes within the competence of this Tribunal.

I come first to slave labour.

The slave labour programme naturally played its part in staffing the industries of as large and important a city as Vienna. The general nature of this programme and the crimes flowing therefrom have, in part, been set before you by Mr. Dodd. The Soviet prosecutors will present further acts later on. Our Document 3352-PS, found at Page 116 of your document book, which I would like to offer as Exhibit USA 206, gives extracts from a number of orders of the Party Chancellery. Each of these orders, from which the extracts have been taken, bear on the Gau Leader's responsibility for the placing and use of manpower. They prove quite simply, and in unmistakable language, that the Gau Leaders, under the direction of the experienced old Gau Leader Sauckel, who was Plenipotentiary for Manpower, became the supreme integrating and co-ordinating agents of the Nazi conspirators in the entire manpower programme. At Page 116 of your document book (Page 508 of the original volume of orders) which I may say is also indicated at each place there in the quotation notation, the defendant Goering is shown to have agreed, as leader of the Four Year Plan, to Sauckel's suggestion that the Gau Leaders be utilised to assure the highest efficiency in manpower. At Page 117 of your document book (Page 511 of the order of the Party Chancellery), Sauckel in July, 1942, makes the Gau Leaders his special plenipotentiaries for manpower within their Gaue, with the duty of establishing a harmonious co-operation of all interests concerned. In effect the Gau Leader became the supreme arbitrator for all the conflicting interests that exist during wartime with respect to claims upon manpower. Under this same order, the Provisional Labour Offices and their staffs were "directed to be at the disposal of the Gau Leaders for information and advice and to fulfil the suggestions and demands of the Gau Leader for the purpose of improvements in manpower." At Pages 118 and 119 of your document book (Page 567 of the Party Chancellery Order) the defendant Sauckel ordered that his special plenipotentiaries, the Gau Leaders, familiarise themselves with the general regulations on Eastern workers. He stated that his immediate objective was "to avoid that politically inept factory heads - "

THE PRESIDENT: Where is this?

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: That is at Pages 118 and 119, towards the end of the entire document:

He stated that his immediate objective was "to avoid that politically inept factory heads give too much consideration to the care of Eastern workers and thereby cause justified annoyance among the German workers."

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We submit to the Tribunal that if Schirach, as Gau Leader, was required to interest himself in such manpower details as are concerned with the alleged annoyance of German workers for the consideration given to Eastern workers, it is unnecessary to press further into the detailed workings of the manpower programme to establish Schirach's connection with, and responsibility for, the Slave Labour Programme in the Reichsgau Vienna.

I now pass to the persecution of the Churches.

The elimination of the religious youth organisations while Schirach was Chief Nazi Youth Leader has already been noted. In March, 1941, two letters, one from the defendant Bormann, the other from the conspirator Hans Lammers -

THE PRESIDENT: Captain Sprecher, have you any other evidence which connects von Schirach with the problem of manpower?

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: I had planned on presenting nothing further, your Honour. I felt that; in view of the fact that our Soviet colleagues are going further with the details of the manpower programme, particularly in the East, the main objective under Count 1 should merely be to show the general responsibility of the defendant Schirach for the Slave Labour Programme, and the question of specific acts will have to be taken from the other proof in the record, which will come into the record later.


CAPTAIN SPRECHER: There is just one further point: When I come to the treatment of the Jews, in a few minutes, there will be one or two specific examples.

THE PRESIDENT: You are now going to deal with the persecution of Churches, is that right?


Now, the Tribunal is referred to Document R-146, at Page 5 of the document book. This is offered as Exhibit USA 678.

I am a little in doubt, your Honours, as to whether I should read all this document, in view of our common anxiety to pass rapidly on; but perhaps I may paraphrase it, and if you are not satisfied I will read it.

These documents establish clearly that, during a visit by Hitler to Vienna, Schirach and two other officials brought a request to the Fuehrer, that the confiscations of church property in Austria, made on various pretexts, should be made in favour of the Gaue rather than of the Reich. Later the Fuehrer decided the issue in favour of the position which had been taken by Schirach, namely, in favour of the Gaue. I use this merely to connect Schirach with the persecution of the Churches, concerning which there has been a great deal of evidence before this time.

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): None of it is in evidence yet. You have not put anything in evidence. We cannot take judicial notice of something unless you ask us to.

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: Your ruling is that this would not be in evidence unless I read it?

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I am not making any ruling; I was merely pointing out to you that we have nothing in evidence on the last document.

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: I think, under the circumstances, I had better read this document.

"Munich, 20th March, 1941, Brown House.

Circular Letter No. 5g.

To all Gau Leaders.

Subject Matter: Sequestration of Church Properties.

Valuable church properties have lately had to be sequestered to a large extent, especially in Austria; according to reports of the Gauleiter to the Fuehrer, these sequestrations were frequently caused by offences against

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ordinances relating to war economy (e.g. hoarding of food-stuffs of various kinds, textiles, leather-goods, etc.). In other cases they were caused by offences against the law relating to malicious attacks against the State, and in some cases because of prohibited possession of firearms. Obviously no compensation is to be paid to the Churches for sequestrations made because of the above-mentioned reasons.

With regard to further sequestrations, several Austrian Gau Leaders have attempted to clarify the question, on the occasion of the Fuehrer's last visit to Vienna, who should acquire such sequestered properties. Please take note of the Fuehrer's decision, as contained in the letter written by Reich Minister Dr. Lammers to the Reich Minister of the Interior, dated 14th March, 1941. I enclose copy of extracts thereof.

(Signed) M. Bormann."

I had offered that document as Exhibit USA 678. Do you still wish me to read the enclosure that went with it?

THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): I do not wish you to read anything; I was simply pointing out that, as you had not read it, it was not in evidence.

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: In that event I will continue, your Honour. The copy reads as follows:

"Berlin, 14th March, 1941.

The Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery.

To the Reich Minister of the Interior.

Subject: Draft of an ordinance supplementing the provisions on confiscation of property inimical to People and State.

The Reich Governors and Gauleiter von Schirach, Dr. Jury and Eigruber complained recently to the Fuehrer that the Reich Minister of Finance still maintains the point of view that confiscation of property inimical to the People and State should be made in favour of the Reich, and not in favour of the Reich Gaue. As a consequence the Fuehrer has informed me that he desires the confiscation of such properties to be effected in favour of the respective Reich Gau in whose area the confiscated property is situated, and not in favour of the Reich."

THE PRESIDENT: You need not read any more of it.

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: I pass over now to the Jewish persecution.

The prosecution submits, finally, that Schirach authorised, directed, and participated in anti-Semitic measures. Of course, the whole ideology and teaching of the Hitler Youth was predicated upon the Nazi racial myth. Before the war, Schirach addressed a meeting of the National Socialist German Students' League, the organisation he headed from 1929 to 1931.

Document 2441-PS is offered as Exhibit USA 679, an affidavit by Gregor Ziemer. I wish to read merely from the bottom of Page 95 of the document book to the end of the first paragraph at the top of Page 96.

The deponent Ziemer is referring to a meeting at Heidelberg, Germany, which he personally attended, some time before the war, at which Baldur von Schirach addressed the Students' League, which he himself had at one time led.

THE PRESIDENT: What is this document?

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: It is an affidavit of Gregor Ziemer.

"He" - meaning Schirach - "declared that the most important phase of German university life in the Third Reich was the programme of the N.S.D.S.T.B. He extolled various activities of the Bund. He reminded the boys of the service they had rendered during the Jewish purge. Dramatically, he pointed across the river to the old university town of Heidelberg where several burnt-out synagogues were mute witnesses of the efficiency of Heidelberg students. These skeleton buildings would

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remain there for centuries as inspiration for future students, as warning to enemies of the State."
To attempt to visualise the true extent of the fiendish treatment of Jews under Schirach, we must look to his activities in the Reichsgau, Vienna, and to the activities of his assistants, the S.S. and the Gestapo, in Vienna.

Document 1948, Page 63 of your document book, is offered as Exhibit USA 680. You will note it is on the stationery of the last Governor of Vienna.

THE PRESIDENT: Captain Sprecher, I have been reading on in this Document 2441-PS, on Page 96 of the document book. It seems to me you ought to read the next three paragraphs on Page 96, from the place where you left off.


THE PRESIDENT: The second, third, and fourth paragraphs.


"Even as old Heidelberg Castle was evidence that Old Germany had been too weak to resist the invading Frenchmen who destroyed it, so the black remains of the synagogues would be a perpetual monument reminding the coming generations of the strength of New Germany.

He reminded the students that there were still countries which squandered their time and energy with books and wasteful discussions about abstract topics of philosophy and metaphysics. Those days were over. New Germany was a land of action. The other countries were sound asleep.

But he was in favour of letting them sleep. The more soundly they slumbered, the better opportunity for the men of the Third Reich to prepare for more action. The day would come when German students of Heidelberg would take their places side by side with legions of other students to conquer the world for the ideology of Nazism."

I was about to refer, your Honours, to Document 1948-PS, which is found at Page 63 of your document book, and which I offer as Exhibit USA 680. This, you will note, is on the stationery of the Reich Governor of Vienna, The Reichsstatthalter in Vienna.
"7th November, 1940. Subject: Compulsory labour of able- bodied Jews. (1) Notice.

On 5th November, 1940, telephone conversation with Colonel (Standartenfuehrer) Huber of the Gestapo. The Gestapo has received directions from the Reich Security Main Office (R.S.H.A.) as to how able-bodied Jews should be drafted for compulsory labour service. Investigations are being made at present by the Gestapo to find out how many able-bodied Jews are still available, in order to make plans for the contemplated mass projects. It is assumed that there are not many more Jews available. If some should still be available, however, the Gestapo has no scruples in using the Jews even for the removal of the destroyed synagogues.

S.S. Colonel Huber will report personally to the 'Regierungsprasident' in this matter.

I have reported to the Regierungsprasident accordingly. The matter should be kept further in mind."

The signature is by Fr. Fischer.

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