The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
21st January to 1st February, 1946

Forty-Sixth Day: Wednesday, 30th January, 1946
(Part 1 of 7)

[Page 269]



MARSHAL OF THE COURT: May it please the Court, I desire to announce that defendants Kaltenbrunner and Seyss-Inquart will be absent from this morning's session on account of illness.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Babel, I understand that you do not wish to cross-examine that French witness.

DR. BABEL: That is correct.

THE PRESIDENT: Then the French witness can go home.

M. DUBOST: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, there is one reason why perhaps that French witness ought not to go. I think I saw her leaving the Court. Could you stop her, please? I am afraid that she must stay for today.

M. Dubost, are you going to deal with documents this morning?

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr, President.

THE PRESIDENT: Would you be so good as to give us carefully and slowly the number of the documents first, because we have a good deal of difficulty in finding them.

M. DUBOST: Yes, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: And specify, also, so far as you can, the book in which they are to be found.

M. DUBOST: With the permission of the Tribunal, I shall continue my description of the organisation of the camps and the way in which they functioned. We gave notice of it last night by submitting to the Tribunal Document R-91 which is cited in extracts-in order to attain a double end: to make up for the lack of labour and to eliminate vain effort...

After Document R-91, which I submitted yesterday and which the Tribunal will find on Pages 20 and 21 of the second document book, we shall read Document F-285, particularly Pages 14, 17, 18 and 19 of the second document book. This document has been submitted as Exhibit RF 346.

This document is dated 17 December 1942 and is a sequel to the document which we read to you yesterday. First paragraph:

"For important military reasons, which must not be specified, the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police -
THE PRESIDENT: You read that yesterday.

M. DUBOST: That is correct, Mr. President. Page 18, sixth paragraph, at the top of the page:

Poles qualifying for Germanisation and prisoners for whom special requests have been made will not be handed over."

Last paragraph, Page 19: "Other papers will not be required for workman who are nationals of Eastern Countries."

This shows that arrests were made without discrimination, in order to obtain labour, and that this labour was considered to be so important that it was sufficient to register it under serial numbers.

Now, we will show how this labour was utilised. Men were housed, as the witness Balachowsky said yesterday, near factories in Dora, in underground caves which they themselves dug, and where they lived under conditions which

[Page 270]

violated all the rules of hygiene. At Ohrdruf near Gotha, the prisoners constructed munition camps: Buchenwald supplied the labour for Hollerith and Dora and the salt mines of Neustasstfurt.

The Tribunal will read in Document 274, Page 45, at the bottom of the page:

"Ravensbruck supplied the Siemens factories, those of Czechoslovakia, and the workshops in Hanover."
This special labour, according to the witness, enabled the Germans to keep secret the manufacture of certain war weapons, such as the V-1 and V-2, about which M. Balachowsky told us: "The deportees had no contact with the outside world. The work of deportees enabled the Germans to obtain an output which they could not have obtained even from foreign workmen."

The French prosecution will now submit document R-129 as Exhibit RF 348, which the Tribunal will find at Page 22 of the second document book. The second paragraph of this document deals with the management of concentration camps: "The extent of the output of his organisation depends on the camp commandant."

Fifth paragraph: "The camp commandant is the only one responsible for the work carried out by the workmen. This work - I underline the word " work " - this work must, in the true sense of the word, be exhausting, so that we can attain the maximum labour output."

Two paragraphs lower on the page, "The duration of the work is not limited. The duration depends on the nature of the work to be done and is determined by the camp commandant alone."

Last paragraph, Page 23 of this book, the four last lines: "He", the camp commandant - "must combine a technical knowledge in the economic and military field with wise and shrewd management of groups of men, from whom he must obtain a high potential of output."

This document is signed by Pohl, It is dated Berlin, 30 April, 1942.

I should merely like to recall now for the record a document which we have already quoted in relation to the camp of Ohrdruf, and which was submitted as Exhibit RF-140.

I will now read from Document 1584-PS which is in the appendix of your second document book. It is the sixth document in the appendix. The document will become Exhibit RF 349.

The document is signed by Goering and is addressed to Himmler. The second paragraph definitely establishes the responsibility of Goering in the criminal utilisation of this deportee labour. I shall read the second paragraph of the second page.

"Dear Himmler:

I ask you to keep at my disposal for air armament the greatest possible number of KZ prisoners." (The initials KZ mean "concentration camp.") " The experiments made up to the present show that this labour can very well be used. The situation of the air war necessitates the transfer of this air industry to underground workshops. It is precisely in such workshops that "KZ" prisoners can be best kept together as far as work and housing is concerned."

We know then who was responsible for the frightful conditions which the deportees of Dora had to endure. The person responsible is in the defendants' dock.

THE PRESIDENT: You did not give us the date of that, did you?

M. DUBOST: I did not see it on the document.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it 19 February, 1944?

M. DUBOST: On the first page you see that on 19 February, 1944, a letter was addressed to Dr. Braut, referring to teletypes which are appended and which were sent by the Field Marshal.

[Page 271]

THE PRESIDENT: Is it the second letter, the letter that you read? Is the date of that 19.2.44?

M. DUBOST: It is 15 April, 1944 on the original, of which this is a photostat.

THE PRESIDENT: And could you tell us what K.Z. means, the two letters, K.Z.?

M. DUBOST: 15.4.44 on the original of the teletype. That means concentration camp.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I am not talking about that now.

M. DUBOST: K.Z. refers to concentration camps.

THE PRESIDENT: For the accuracy of the record, it appears that the letter on the second page is not 15 April, 1944, but 14 February. Is that not so?

M. DUBOST: Yes. It is 14 February, 2030 hours. It is a teletype, which was registered 15 April, 1944. That was the cause of my error.

THE PRESIDENT: But, M. Dubost, were you submitting or suggesting that this letter showed that the defendant Goering was a party to the experiments which took place, or only to the fact that these prisoners were used for work?

M. DUBOST: I was not referring to experiments. I was referring to internment in underground camps, as in the Dora camp, of which the witness Balachowsky spoke yesterday in the first part of his testimony.


M. DUBOST: With regard to this will to exterminate, of which I have been speaking from the beginning of my presentation this morning, I think it is proved first of all by the text of Document R-91, which I read yesterday afternoon at the end of the session, a letter which has not as yet been authenticated, and by statements made by the witnesses who brought you the proof that in all the camps in which they stayed, the same methods of extermination through work were carried out.

As far as the brutal extermination by gas is concerned, we have the bills for gases, intended for Oranienburg and Auschwitz, which we submit to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF- 350. The Tribunal will find translations on Page 27 of the second document book, Document 1553-PS.

Moreover, I wish to point out, Page 27 of the second document book, that the French translation of these invoices - and I do this in order to be quite honest - is not absolutely in agreement with the German text. Therefore, in the fifth line for "extermination" read "purification".

The testimony of Madame Vaillant Couturier informed us that these gases were used for the destruction of lice and other parasites, and were also used to destroy human beings. Besides, the quantity of gas which was sent and the frequency with which it was sent, as you can see from the great number of invoices, which we offer in evidence, prove that the gas was used for a double purpose.

We have invoices dated 14 February, 16 February, 8 March, 13 March 20 March, 11 April, 27 April, 12 May, 26 May, and 31 May, which are all submitted as Exhibit RF 350.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you putting in evidence the originals of these other bills to which you refer on this document?

M. DUBOST: I request the court clerk to hand them over to your Honour, and I take advantage of this to request the Tribunal to examine these invoices carefully. You will observe that the quantities of toxic crystals sent to Oranienburg and Auschwitz were considerable; from the invoice of 30 April 1944 the Tribunal will see that 832 kilograms of crystals were sent, giving a net weight of 555 kilograms.

THE PRESIDENT: What is this document that you have just put in?

[Page 272]

M. DUBOST: 30 April, 1944, but I am taking them at random.

THE PRESIDENT: I am not asking the date. What I want to know is, what is the authority for this document? It comes, does it not, from one of the committees set up by the French Republic?

M. DUBOST: No. Mr. President. This is an American document which was in the American archives, under the number 1553- PS.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Dubost, this note at the bottom of Document 1553-PS was not on the original put in by the United States, was it?

M. DUBOST: No, Mr. President, but you have before you all the originals under the number which the clerk of the court has just handed you.

THE PRESIDENT: Unless you have an affidavit identifying these originals, the originals do not prove themselves. You have got to prove these documents which you have just handed up to us either by a witness or by an affidavit. The documents are documents, but they do not prove themselves.

M. DUBOST: These documents were found by the American Army and filed in the Archives of the Nuremberg trial. I took them from the archives of the American delegation, and I consider them to be as authentic as all the other documents which were filed by my American colleagues in their archives. They were probably captured by the American Army.

THE PRESIDENT: There are two points, M. Dubost. The first is, that in the case of the original Document 1553-PS, it was certified, we imagine, by an officer of the United States. These documents which you have now drawn our attention to are not so certified by anyone, as far as we have been able to see. Certainly we cannot take judicial notice of these documents, which are private documents, and therefore, unless they are read in court they cannot be put in evidence. That can all be rectified very simply by a certificate or by an affidavit to be affixed to these documents, showing that they are analogous to the document which is the United States exhibit.

M. DUBOST: They are all United States documents, and they are all filed in the Archives of the United States in the American Delegation under the number 1553-PS.

THE PRESIDENT: The American Document 1553-PS has not yet been submitted to the Tribunal and the Tribunal are of the opinion that they cannot take judicial notice of it without any further certification, and they think that some short affidavit identifying the document must be made.

M. DUBOST: I will request my colleagues of the American prosecution to furnish this affidavit. I did not think it possible that this document, which was classified in their archives, could be ruled out.

This will for extermination, moreover, does not need to be proved by this document. It is sufficiently established by the testimony which we have submitted to the Tribunal. The witness Lampe spoke these words: "No one is to leave this camp alive. There is only one exit, and that is the chimney of the crematorium."

Document F-321, Page 49, at the top of the page, Page 36 of the German text, relates that the only explanation which the SS men gave to the prisoners was that nobody would leave the place alive.

On Page 179, the second last paragraph of the French text, Page 152 of the German text: "The SS told us there was only one exit - the chimney."

On page 174, Page 148 of the German text, the last paragraph: "Gassing and Cremation."

The essential purpose of these camps was the extermination of the greatest possible number of men. They were known as extermination camps. This destruction, this extermination of the internees, assumed two different forms. One was progressive; the other was brutal.

[Page 273]

In the second document book which is before the Tribunal, Pages 28, 29, and 30, we find the report of a delegation of British Members of Parliament dating from April, 1945, this will be Exhibit RF 351, from which we quote these words (the third paragraph on Page 29):
"Although the work of cleaning out the camp had gone on busily for over a week before our visit ... our immediate and lasting impression was of intense general squalor."
Page 30, below the dashes, next to the last paragraph, third line of this paragraph:
"We should conclude, however, by stating that it is our considered and unanimous opinion, on the evidence available to us, that a policy of steady starvation and inhuman brutality was carried out at Buchenwald for a long period of time; and that such camps as this mark the lowest point of degradation to which humanity has yet descended."
Likewise, there is the report of a committee including General Eisenhower on Pages 31, 32 and 33 of the same document book. We read the second paragraph of the French extract, Page 32 in your document book:
"The purpose of this camp was extermination."
In the first paragraph on the top of the page:
"The means of extermination were blows, torture, over- crowding of the dormitories, illness."
Page 32, at the top, in the second document book -

THE PRESIDENT: Will you go a little bit slower over these numbers. You said, first of all, 31, and then 32. It came to, us as 22. It is quite impossible to follow you unless we know the right page.

M. DUBOST: The document L 159 is on Pages 31, 32 and 33 of the second document book.

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