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-Seventh Day: Monday, 25nd February, 1946
(Part 8 of 8)

[COLONEL L. N. SMIRNOV continues]

[Page 300]

In his preliminary speech the Chief Prosecutor of the USSR, while speaking of Crimes Against Humanity, referred to the "Notes" of Martin Bormann. The "Notes" of Martin Bormann were presented to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 172. The Chief Prosecutor of the USSR quoted the following lines, which the Tribunal can find on Page 97 of the document book, last paragraph:
"In summing up, the Fuehrer once more stated: The last German worker and the last German peasant must always stand economically 10 per cent. higher than any Pole."
What actually happened? I would like to show that, in full approval, the defendant Frank put these Hitler orders into effect in Polish territory. I beg the Tribunal to accept in evidence an original German document.

Among the other fascist institutions carrying out various pseudo-scientific experiments, the German criminals created a special Institute for Economic Research. This institute issued a document entitled "What the Polish Problem means for War Production in Upper Silesia":-

"... The fascist 'scientific' institute decided to make such an investigation in order to clarify the reason why the output of Polish workers had become considerably reduced."

[Page 301]

Two short excerpts will testify better than anything else to the aims of this investigation. The Tribunal will find the passage I wish to quote on Page 101 of the document book. I submit this document as Exhibit USSR 282:
"This investigation is in no way to be construed as propaganda to arouse pity."
On Page 149 of the quoted document the Tribunal will find this on Page 101, third paragraph, of the document book:
"We raise our voices not to defend the Poles but to protect the war production for the Armed Forces."
Quoting these two short excerpts characterising the aims and nature of this investigation, I further quote a few excerpts which show the status of the Polish worker and the practical execution by the defendant Frank of the above-mentioned directives of Hitler. I quote from Page 38 of the original of the document, which corresponds to Page 101, paragraph 7, of the document book:-
"Information concerning the situation of the Polish population, and considerations as to which measures would be the most suitable in this connection, differs on many points, but one point, which can be summed up here in four words, is recognised in all quarters: The Poles are starving! Already some passing observations corroborate these conclusions: One of our investigators visited a war production plant during the lunch period. The workers were standing or sitting apathetically, warming themselves in the sun, and here and there smoking. The investigator reports that of eighty persons, only one had a piece of bread for lunch. The others, although all working ten to twelve hours a day, had nothing."
I pass to Page 72 of the original, which corresponds to Page 102 of the document book; there is this quotation:
"Observations made in the factories prove that the present rations of the Polish workers are so insignificant that they do not have enough food to take with them to work. In most cases the workers do not even have anything for breakfast. When they do bring something, it is only coffee and one or two pieces of dry bread, or raw potatoes; in the worst cases they did not even have this, but only raw turnip, which was then heated on a stove during work."
I continue my quotation on Page 150 of the same document:
"In this connection it could be stated that on visiting the mines, it appeared that nearly 10 per cent. of the Polish workers sent on shifts into the mines did not have any food, while 50 per cent. went to work underground with only dry bread, or raw potatoes cut in slices, which they warmed afterwards on a stove."
The Institute began its "Scientific Calculations" with comparison of the calories received by the Poles in Upper Silesia and the calories received by the German population.

I will not quote large excerpts from the document, but will limit myself only to short facts. I start on Page 63 of this investigation in the document, which corresponds to Page 102, last paragraph of the document book:

"Comparison of the number of calories received by the Poles in Upper Silesia with the number of calories allocated to the German population, indicate that the Poles receive 24 per cent. less than the Germans. This difference reaches 26 per cent. on the food ration cards of non-working Poles. For youths from fourteen to twenty the difference in rations allocated to Germans and Poles reached almost 33 per cent. However, it must be stressed that this only applies to working youths over 14.

[Page 302]

The underfeeding of Polish children from ten to fourteen is even more striking when compared with what is received by German children. The difference here is not less than 65 per cent. The appearance of these under-fed youths already testify to this. In a similar way Polish children under ten receive 6o per cent. less than German children. If on the other hand, the doctors state that the food allowances for the babies are not so unfavourable, it is only an apparent contradiction. As long as a mother nurses her child the child gets everything from her. The consequences of the under-feeding are felt in this period not by the child but by the mother whose strength and health are considerably impaired."
I continue on Page 178 of the original which corresponds to Page 103, paragraph 2, in the second document book:
"In all categories the Polish youth, in comparison with the German is most unfavourably treated. The difference in rations of Poles and Germans reaches 6o per cent. and more."
Extracts from the report of the German Labour Front, cited in this investigation are also of interest. Particularly on Page 76 are quoted excerpts from the report of the German Labour Front, dated 10 October, 1941, after a visit to one of the coal mines in Poland:
"It was established that in, various villages Polish miners collapse from exhaustion. As the workers constantly complained of stomach pains, doctors were consulted, who answered that this was a symptom of under- nourishment."
I would conclude this description of the Polish workers' physical condition given by the German criminals themselves (and, what is more by the "learned" criminals) by a short quotation from the same report, which the Tribunal will find on Page 106, paragraph 6, of the document book:
"The management of the factories constantly stresses that,

. . . it is no longer possible, by threats of deportation to concentration camps, to induce to work under-fed people incapable of physical effort. . . . sooner or later there comes a day when the weakened body can no longer work."

There also is in this document an account of the legal status of the Polish worker during the German occupation, an account about which there is no ambiguity. This descriptive sketch is all the more valuable because, as was stressed above, the authors of the investigation report expressly emphasised that "all humanitarian tendencies whatsoever were lacking".

I begin the quotation from the document produced, on Page 127 which corresponds to page 110, second paragraph, of the document book.

"The law does not recognise any legal claim of any member of the Polish nation in any sphere of life. Whatever is granted a Pole is done voluntarily by the German masters.

This legal situation is perhaps most clearly mirrored in 'the Poles lack of possession in the eyes of the law'. In the administration of justice, a Pole is not permitted to conduct his case before a court. In criminal procedure the viewpoint of obedience dominates. The execution of legal regulations is in the first place the task of the police, who can decide at their discretion or refer individual cases to the courts."

According to an order dated 26 August, 1942, Polish as well as German workers were obliged to take out premiums against illness, accidents and disability. These were deducted from the wages and were larger for the Poles than those for the Germans. While, however, the German workers profited by this insurance, the Poles were actually deprived of its benefits. As proof of this I shall present to the

[Page 303]

Tribunal two short extracts from the same investigation which your Honours will find on Page 111 in the document book, paragraph 4. It corresponds to Page 134 of the original text of the investigation quoted above.
"Insurance against accidents, which is incumbent on the trade unions, involved particularly stringent measures for the Poles. The recognition of disability caused by an accident is much more limited than in the case of Germans. Disability for the loss of an eye is 30 per cent. for a German and 25 per cent. for a Pole. The payment of a benefit depends on 331/3 per cent. disability."
I continue my quotation on Page 135 of the original document, that is to say on Page 111 of the document book:
"The most stringent measures are provided for the dependants of fatally injured persons. The maximum a widow can receive is half of that granted by the insurance - and this only in case she has to support not less than four children under fifteen years of age, or is herself an invalid.

The restriction on the rights of Poles is illustrated by an example: A German widow with three children receives 8o per cent. of the yearly salary of her fatally injured husband; from an annual income of two thousand marks she receives 1600 marks per year; but a Pole, in a similar situation, would receive nothing."

The major German fascist war criminals sent into the temporarily occupied Eastern territories, not only soldiers and the SS, but specially appointed "scientists" and "consultants in economic problems", and all sorts of "investigators". Some of them were detached from Ribbentrop's office; others were sent by Rosenberg.

I beg the Tribunal to enter into the record as evidence one of these documents, which I submit as Exhibit USSR 218. It is the report of the representative attached by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the General Staff of the 17th Army, Captain Pflaiderer, and addressed to his colleague von Rantzau from the Information Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

These documents were discovered by units of the Red Army on the Dirksen estate in Upper Silesia.

From these documents it can be concluded that in 1941-42 Pflaiderer made a trip covering the following route through the occupied territories of Yugoslavia - through the Ukraine, - Lvov, - Tarnopol, - Proskurov, - Vinnitza, - Uman, - Kirovograd, - Alexandria, - and Krementshug on the Dnieper.

The purpose of this trip was to study economic and political conditions in the occupied territories of the Ukraine. That the author of this document was also completely lacking in so-called humanitarian tendencies can be seen from the following short excerpt from his report dated 28 October, 1941 - the Tribunal will find this quotation on Page 113, second paragraph of the document book:

"There is an acute necessity to squeeze the country dry to secure regular supplies for Germany."
But even with such a leaning to cruelty and rapacity, Pflaiderer, was evidently abashed by the conduct of his compatriots, for he deemed it necessary to bring it to the attention of the highest authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: I quote his report, which the Tribunal will find on Page 114 of the document book, it is entitled:-
"Basic Rules for the Guarantee of Fresh Supply and for the Producing of the Largest Possible Food Surplus in the Ukraine. . . ."

Mentality and Living Conditions of the Population by the End of October, 1941."

[Page 304]

"The frame of mind of the population became generally more hostile a few weeks after the occupation of the territory by our troops. The reason for it? We display ... inner hostility, and even hatred toward this country, and toward the people, arrogance.... The third year of war, and the necessity of wintering in an unfriendly country causes many difficulties. But they must be surmounted with courage and self discipline. We must not work off our discontent on the population of this country.... How often it happened that, acting illogically and committing mistakes that we could have avoided, we lost all the sympathy of the population. The people cannot understand the fact that we shoot exhausted prisoners of war in villages and larger localities and leave their bodies lying there. As the troops are entrusted with a wide authority for self-provisioning, the kolkhozes, along the main roads and near the larger towns, for the most part lack pedigree cattle, seeds, seed potatoes (Poltava). . . .

Of course the supplying of our own troops comes first; the method of the supplying in itself, however, is not immaterial; psychologically, to requisition the last hen is as unreasonable as it is, economically, to kill the last pig or the last calf."

I continue my quotation, paragraph 3, Page 115 of the document book:-
"The population is without leadership. It stands apart, and feels that we look down on it from above, that we see sabotage in their tempo of work, that we do not take any steps to find a way to an understanding."
A similar document is that submitted as Exhibit USSR 439, which was kindly given to us by our American colleagues. It was filed by the American prosecution as 303-PS. This document is a political report of the German professor, Dr. Paul B. Thompson, written on the paper of the State University of Poznan of the Biological Paleontological Institute, and marked by the author himself "Not for publication". The Tribunal will find it on Page 116 of the document book. This document also introduces us into the field of complete lawlessness and tyrannical arbitrariness toward the local population of the temporarily occupied districts of the Soviet Union. These observations were made by the professor during his trip through the temporarily occupied territories of the Soviet Union from Minsk to the Crimea.

I refer to two short excerpts.

The quotation which I shall read into the record will testify to the absence of any humanitarian tendencies on the part of the author, and if Paul Thompson brought back from his trip only "the most depressing impression", that is only further proof of the depths of cruelty and brutality to which the Germans were willing to descend. The Tribunal will find these excerpts on Page 116 of the document.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 26th February, 1946, at 10.00 hours.)

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