The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
14th February to 26th February, 1946

Sixty-Third Day: Wednesday, 20th February, 1946
(Part 4 of 8)

[L. R. SHENIN continues]

[Page 149]

What sort of "work" is meant is clearly shown by the following "commandments". I quote extracts from this document:-
"5th Commandment: It is essential that you should always bear in mind the end to be attained. You must pursue this aim with the utmost tenacity, but the methods used may be elastic to a degree and may be left to the discretion of the individual.

[Page 150]

6th Commandment: Since the newly incorporated territories must be secured permanently to Germany and Europe, much will depend on how you conduct yourself there. Lack of character in individuals will constitute a definite ground for removing them from their work. No one recalled for this reason can ever again occupy a responsible position in the Reich proper".
In this way, the future "agricultural leaders" were not only ordered to be implacable, merciless and cruel in their plundering activities but were also warned of what would happen to them if they were not implacable enough or if they showed "lack of character".

The following "commandments" develop the same idea:

"7th Commandment: Do not ask: 'how will this benefit the peasants', but 'how will it benefit Germany'?

8th Commandment: Do not talk - act! You can never talk a Russian round or persuade him with words. He can talk better than you can, for he is a born speaker"!

Only your will must decide, but this will must be directed to the execution of great tasks. Only in this case will it be morally justified even in its cruelty. Keep away from the Russians - they are not Germans, they are Slavs.

9th Commandment: We do not wish to convert the Russians to National Socialism; we only wish to make them a tool in our hands. You must win the youth of Russia by assigning tasks to them, by taking them firmly in hand and administering ruthless punishment to those who practise sabotage or fail to accomplish the work expected of them.

The investigation of personal records and applications takes up time which is needed for your German task. You are neither investigating magistrates nor yet the Wailing Wall.

11th Commandment: ... His (Russian) stomach is elastic, therefore - no false pity for him"!

Such were these commandments for "agricultural leaders", which one should - to be more exact - call "commandments for cannibals". The "file" begins with these "Commandments", which are followed by a perfectly clear-cut programme for the plundering of USSR agriculture.

At the beginning of this programme we read:-

"Fundamental Directives for the Organisation of Economic Policy in the East" (Agricultural Group).

As regards food policy, the aim of this campaign is:

1. To guarantee food supplies for many years ahead for the German Armed Forces and the German civilian population".

As you see, your Honours, a perfectly clear and candid formulation of the aims of the attack on the USSR is given. Of course, it does not complete these aims. They were not confined to the stealing of provisions, and provisions were far from being the only thing stolen. This is only an extract from the "agricultural leaders'" file, and they were not the only people to be entrusted with tasks of pillage and their performance.

The "file" as a whole contains the following sections of a carefully thought out and extremely concrete programme for the plunder of the Soviet Union's agriculture. I read the table of contents. Your Honours will find this document on Page 67 of the document book:

"1. Twelve Commandments.

2. Main agricultural directives.

3. Organisation chart.

4. Instructions for the regional agricultural leader.

5. Instructions for engaging personnel.

6. State Farms: Directives for the taking over and management of State Farms (Sowchos).

[Page 151]

7. Directives for taking over and management of collective farms (Kolchos).

8. Agricultural machine depots, directives for administration.

9. Directives for book-keeping.

10. Furnishing food supplies for the cities.

11. Schedules for agricultural work.

12. Price lists."

I am not, your Honours, going to take up your time by reading the whole of this document, which consists of 98 typewritten pages. I am presenting it to the Tribunal in its entirety, to be included in the files of the trial.

I shall read from this document, already presented to the Tribunal by my American colleagues on the 10th December of last year as Exhibit USA 147, only a few short lines. It is a note of the record of a speech made by Rosenberg at a secret conference on 20th June, 1941, dealing with "Questions of the East".

In his speech, Rosenberg stated particularly:-

"The problem of feeding German nationals undeniably heads the German demands on the East just now, and here the Southern Regions and the Northern Caucasus must help to balance the German food situation. We certainly do not consider ourselves obliged to feed the Russian people as well from the produce of these fertile regions. We know that this is a cruel necessity, which has nothing to do with any humane feelings. It will undoubtedly be necessary to carry out evacuation on a large scale, and the Russians are doomed to live through some very hard years."
Thus did the leaders of Hitlerite Germany formulate the tasks they set themselves when preparing their attack on the Soviet Union.

As early as August, 1942 - that is, from 26th to 28th August - Gauleiter Koch, who had just arrived from Hitler's headquarters, spoke at a conference in Rovno. The record of this conference was found in Rosenberg's archives. This document was kindly put at our disposal by our American colleagues. It is registered as 264-PS, but it has not been presented to the Tribunal.

I read into the record an excerpt from this record. The members of the Tribunal will find it on Page 74 in the document book.

He (Koch) explained the political situation and his tasks as Reichkommissar in the following way: "There is no free Ukraine. We must aim at making the Ukrainians work for Germany, and not at making the people here happy. The Ukraine will have to make good the German shortages. This task must be accomplished without regard for losses.... The Fuehrer has ordered 3 million tons of grain from the Ukraine for the Reich, and they must be delivered ..."
I shall show later how far this original figure - 3 million tons of grain - was exceeded by the Hitlerite plunderers, whose avid appetite grew from month to month.

All these methods of plunder had been planned in advance by the criminal Hitlerite Government, which worked out a scheme for carrying out organised plunder and practical methods of pillaging the occupied territories.



With the Tribunal's permission, I shall read extracts from a secret document issued by Reichsmarschall Goering which was captured by units of the Red Army. This document bears the title: "Directives for Economic Management" ("Green File") and extracts from it have already been mentioned by my colleagues. This document is presented by the Soviet Prosecution as Exhibit USSR 10.

The title page reads (Page 76 of the document book):

"Eastern Staff for Economic Leadership. Secret High Command Document.

[Page 152]

Note: The present directives are to be considered as Secret High Command Documents (Documents of State Importance) until X-day; after X-day they will no longer be secret and will be treated as open documents for official use only.

Directives on the Subject of Economic Leadership in the Occupied Eastern Territories.

Part I. - Economic tasks and organisation. Berlin, June, 1941.

Printed by the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces."

As is clear from the text of the document, these "directives" were published immediately before Germany's attack on the USSR "for the information of military and economic authorities regarding economic tasks in the Eastern territories to be occupied".

In setting forth the "Main economic tasks," the "directives" state in the first paragraphs:-

"1. According to the Fuehrer's order, it is essential in the interests of Germany that every possible measure for the immediate and complete exploitation of the Occupied Territories be adopted. Any measure liable to hinder the achievement of this purpose should be waived or cancelled.

2. The exploitation of the occupied regions should be carried out primarily in the economic field controlling food supplies and provisions. The main economic purpose of the campaign is to obtain the greatest possible quantity of food and crude oil for Germany. In addition, other raw materials from the Occupied Territories must be supplied to the German war economy as far as is technically possible and as far as the demands of the industries to be maintained outside the Reich permit."

I omit the next part of that excerpt, and I pass on to the following one, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 78:-
"The idea that order should be restored in the Occupied Territories and their economic life re-established as soon as possible is entirely mistaken. Different parts of the country must of necessity receive very different treatment. Order should only be restored and industry promoted in regions where we can obtain considerable reserves of agricultural produce or crude oil."
I omit the rest of this quotation in order to save time.

Further, the plan devised in advance for the organised plunder of the Soviet Union provided in detail for the removal from the USSR to Germany of all raw materials, supplies and stocks of goods available, and also for the general plundering of the civilian population. In confirmation of this I cite excerpts from this document so that I shall not have to read it in full. The members of the Tribunal will find these underlined excerpts on Pages 83, 87 and 88 of the document book.

"All raw materials, semi-manufactured or finished products of which we can make use are to be withdrawn from commerce. This will be done by IV Wi and by the economic authorities by means of appeals and orders, by ordering confiscation or by military supervision or both."

Page 88: from the section "Raw materials and the exploitation of commercial resources." - "Platinum, magnesium and rubber are to be secured at once and transported to Germany as soon as possible."

Page 87:-
"Food products, articles for personal use and clothing found in combat and rear zones, are to be placed at the disposal of IVa for immediate military requirements."
Page 83:- In the section of the Directives entitled "Economic Organisation" we find a project of machinery with wide ramifications which was to carry out this organised plunder of the U.S.S.R. I shall read a series of excerpts from this section, which the members of the Tribunal will find on Page 79 of the document book.

[Page 153]

"(A) General questions.

To guarantee unified economic leadership in the theatre of operations, as well as in the administrative areas to be established at a later date, the Reichsmarschall has organised:

An Eastern Staff for Economic Leadership, directly under himself, and headed by a Representative of the Reichsmarschall State-Secretary Korner....

The orders of the Reichsmarschall apply to all economic spheres, including food supply and agriculture.

In directing your attention to these two excerpts, your Honours, I consider it definitively proved that the defendant Goering not only had personal charge of the preparations for the plunder of private, public and State property, but later on directed personally the vast organisation specially set up for these criminal purposes.

You can judge of the projected organisation by the following extracts from the "Green File":

"Organisation of Economic Administration:

(B) Theatre of Operations.

1. The military and economic establishments of the Eastern Economic Staff, in so far as their activities cover the theatre of operations, are incorporated in the Army Staffs and are subordinate to them in military matters. (a) In the Lines of Communications Area:

One economic inspectorate at each of the Chief Commands of the Lines of Communications Area.

One or several mobile units of the economic section with the Security Divisions.

One IV Wi Group at each of the Commands of the Armies in the Field.

(b) In the Army Administration District:

One IV Wi Group (or one Signal Service liaison officer from the Administrative Department in charge of Economy and Armaments).

One IV Wi Group for each of the Field Commands attached to the L. of C. formations; in addition, as and when necessary, economic mobile units are to be sent forward to the Armies in the Field. These units are subordinate in military matters to the Commander- in-Chief of the Army."

Further on, in paragraph 4 of this same section, under the title "Structure of the Individual Economic Institutions", the whole plan of construction of the Eastern Economic Staff is described. I shall cite it in my own words in order to save time. The members of the Tribunal will find the document to which

I refer on Page 79 in the document book. Chief of the economic staff with the leadership group (field leadership questions, also manpower). Group La, in charge of food and agriculture, running "the entire agricultural production and also the assembling of supplies for the army". Group W, in charge of industry, raw materials, forestry, finance, banking property, and trade. Group M, in charge of troop requirements, armaments and transport. "Economic inspectorates" attached to army groups, in charge of the "economic exploitation of the rear area". Mobile units of the economic section, organised "in the zone of each security division" and consisting of one officer as commander and several specialists in the different fields. Economic groups attached to the field commands, which are responsible for supplying the immediate requirements of the troops within the sphere of activity of the field command and for preparing the economic exploitation of the country in the interests of war economy.

[Page 154]

To these economic groups were attached experts on manpower, food production and agriculture, industrial economy and general economic questions.

The economic section, attached to the Supreme Commands of the Army, with special technical battalions and platoons as well as special intelligence sub-sections for industrial research, particularly in the field of raw materials and crude oil, and sub-sections for locating and securing agricultural produce and machines, including tractors.

This same plan also provides for special technical units for crude oil (battalions and companies) and also the so-called mining battalions.

Thus, under the direct control of the defendant Goering, a whole army of plunderers of all ranks and branches was provided, prepared, trained and drilled in advance for the organised pillage and looting of the national property of the USSR.

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