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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Twelfth Day: Tuesday, 23rd April, 1946
(Part 9 of 10)

[Page 176]

DR. SEIDL: The document on Page 16 is the report by the S.S. Brigadefuehrer Stroop, which has already been submitted as Exhibit USA-275. The report by S.S. Fuehrer Katzmann, which the Russian prosecutor apparently means, concerning the solution of the Jewish question in Galicia, is on Page 17 of the document book, that is, on the next page. Apparently the insertion of Page 16 in the document book, which was prepared for the Russian prosecution, was overlooked.

After that report by Brigadefuehrer Stroop - Exhibit USA-275 should be inserted as Page 16A, the affidavit by S.S. Brigadefuehrer Stroop which was submitted during the cross- examination of the defendant Dr. Kaltenbrunner, under Exhibit USA-804. That affidavit bears the number 3481-PS. I could

[Page 177]

not include that affidavit in the document book because that affidavit was submitted by the prosecution only after I had sent the document book to be translated.

As Page 16B another document should be put in, which was also submitted during the cross-examination of Dr. Kaltenbrunner. That is the affidavit by Karl Kaleske. That affidavit is Exhibit USA-803, Document 3840-PS. That would be Page 16B of the document book.

Now I come to the report which the Soviet prosecutor had in mind and which deals with the solution of the Jewish question in Galicia. It is on Page 17 of the document book. That measure has the Exhibit number USA-277 and the Document number 18-L. I quote Pages 4 and 5, word for word:

"After it had been found in more and more cases that Jews had succeeded in making themselves indispensable to their employers by providing them with goods in scarce supply, etc., it was considered necessary to introduce really Draconic measures."
I pass to paragraph 2 and quote:
"Since the administration was not in a position and showed itself too weak to master this chaos, the S.S. and Police Leader simply took over the whole question of the employment of Jewish labour. The Jewish labour agencies, which were staffed by hundreds of Jews, were dissolved. All certificates of labour given by firms or administrative offices were declared invalid, and the cards given to the Jews by the labour agencies were revalidated by being stamped by the police offices."
I pass to Page 19 of the document book. That deals with the letter of the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery to the Reich Fuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police Himmler, of 17 April, 1943. That document has the number 2220-PS and the Exhibit No. USA-175. I quote:
"In our conference of 27 March of this year we had agreed to prepare written memoranda about conditions in the Government General, on which to base our intended report to the Fuehrer.

The material compiled for this purpose by S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger has already been submitted to you directly. On the basis of this material, I have had a report prepared which sums up the most important points of this material, sub-divides them clearly, and culminates in an exposition of the measures to be taken.

The report has been checked with S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger and has his complete concurrence. I am submitting a part of it to you herewith."

It is signed "Dr. Lammers."

I pass on to Page 20 of the document book and I quote:

"Secret, concerning conditions in the Government General ...

The German administration in the Government General has to fulfil the following tasks:

To increase agricultural production and seize as much of it as possible for the purpose of securing food for the German people, to allot sufficient rations to the native population occupied with work essential to the war effort, and to carry off the rest for the armed forces and the homeland."

I leave out the following points and pass to the letter "B," where Kruger or his assistant criticised the measures of the Governor General.
"German administration in the Government General has failed extensively with respect to the tasks listed under 'A.' Even if a relatively high percentage, namely over 90 per cent., of the delivery quota of agricultural products for the armed forces and the homeland was successfully met in the year 1942, and if the labour procurement requirements of the homeland were generally satisfied, nevertheless, on the other hand two things must be made clear: First, these accomplishments were achieved for

[Page 178]

the first time in the year 1942. Before that, for example, only 40,000 tons of bread grain had been delivered for the armed forces. Secondly, and above all, one had failed to create for the attainment of such performances those prerequisites of an organisational, economic, and political character which are indispensable if such performances are not to lead to a breakdown in the situation as a whole, from which chaotic conditions in every respect could eventually come about. This failure of the German administration can be explained for one thing by the system of the German administrative and governmental activity in the Government General as embodied in the Governor General, and secondly by the misguided principles of policy in all those questions which are decisive for conditions in the Government General.

(1) The spirit of the German administration in the Government General.

From the beginning it has been the endeavour of the Governor General to create a State organisation out of the Government General which was to lead its own existence in complete independence of the Reich."

Then I pass to Page 22 of the report, No. 3 and I quote:-
"(3) The treatment of the native population can only be led in the right direction on the basis of clean and orderly administrative and economic leadership. Only such a foundation makes it possible to handle the native population strictly and, if necessary, even severely on the one hand, and on the other hand to act generously with them and cause a certain amount of satisfaction in the population by certain liberties, especially in the cultural field. Without such a foundation, severity strengthens the resistance movement, and meeting the population halfway only undermines respect for the Germans. The above-mentioned facts prove that this foundation is lacking. Instead of trying to create this foundation, the Governor General inaugurates a policy of encouraging the individual cultural life of the Polish population, which in itself is already overshooting the goal, but which, under the existing conditions and viewed in connection with our military situation during the past winter, can only be interpreted as weakness, and must achieve the opposite of the aim intended.

(4) The relationship between racial Germans and the Polish- Ukrainian population in the Government General.

The cases are numerous in which the German administration has permitted the requirements of the racial Germans in the Government General to be put into the background in favour of the interests of the Poles and Ruthenians, in its endeavour to win over t1he latter. The opinion was advanced that racial Germans resettled from somewhere else were not to be installed immediately as settlers, but for the duration of the war were only to be employed as farm workers. A legal foundation for the expropriation of Polish property has not been created so far. Bad treatment of racial Germans by their Polish employers was not stopped. German citizens and racial German patients were allowed to be treated in Polish hospitals by Polish physicians, badly and at great expense. In German spas in the Government General the sheltering of children of German citizenship from territories which were threatened with bombing and Stalingrad fighters was hampered, while foreigners took convalescent vacations there, and so on.

The big plans for resettlement in the Lublin district for the benefit of racial Germans could have been carried out with less friction if the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationality had found the administration willing to co-operate and assist in the proper manner."

I pass to Page 24 and quote, under C:-
"The administrative system, represented by the Governor General personally, and the material failure of the general German administration

[Page 179]

in the most various fields of decisive importance, has not only shaken the confidence and the will to work of the native population, but has also brought about the result that the Poles, who have been socially divided and constantly disunited throughout their history, have come together in a united national body through their hostility to the Germans. In a world of pretence, the real foundations are lacking on which alone those achievements which the Reich requires from the Government General, and those aims which it must see realised through the latter, can be brought about and fulfilled in the long run. The non-fulfilment of the tasks given to the general administration, as happened, for example, in the field of the Strengthening of German Nationality, led to a condition which made it necessary for other administrative bodies (Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationality, and the Police) to take over these tasks."
Now I pass to Page 27 of the document book. That is the repeatedly mentioned report by the Governor General to the Fuehrer of 19 June, 1943. The document has the number 437- PS, Exhibit USA-610. Of this document the prosecution has so far quoted only Pages 10 and 11. These are the very points in the memorandum by the Governor General which were most severely condemned.

THE PRESIDENT: Are you speaking now of the report which begins on Page 20?

DR. SEIDL: I am speaking of the report which begins on Page 27. I have already finished the report which begins on Page 20.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, what number did you give to that on Page 20?

DR. SEIDL: The report on Page 20 is an integral part of the letter which begins on Page 19, and which already has the Exhibit USA- 175.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I see, yes.

DR. SEIDL: Now I come to the document on Page 27. That is a memorandum which has already been mentioned by various witnesses, and was submitted under Exhibit USA-610 by the prosecution. Of this report, the prosecution has only read Pages 10 and 11, on Pages 36 and 37 of the document book, that is to say, only those passages in the report which concerned excesses of the police, and against which excesses the Governor General complained to the Fuehrer.

I do not intend to read the whole memorandum, but I will pass on to Page 27 of the report, which is Page 53 of the document book, and I quote under No. 2:

"The almost complete discontinuation of the possibilities for participation in the cultural field has led, even among the lowest classes of the Polish people, to considerable discontent. The Polish middle and upper classes have a great need for self-expression. Experience shows that the possibility of cultural activity would at the same time mean a diversion from the political questions of the day. German propaganda frequently meets with the objection on the part of the Poles, that the restriction of cultural activity enforced by the German authorities not only prevents the contrast being made with the Bolshevist lack of culture, but also shows that Polish cultural activity falls below the degree of culture allowed to Soviet citizens.

(3) The closing of colleges, high schools and secondary schools is on the same level. Its considered purpose is without doubt the lowering of the Polish educational standard. The realisation of this goal appears, from the point of view of the necessities of war, not always beneficial to German interests. As the war goes on the German interest in the mobilisation of able foreign replacements in the various fields of knowledge increases. But more important than that is the fact that the crippling of the school system, and the severe hampering of cultural activities, foster the growth

[Page 180]

of a Polish national body led by the intelligentsia to conspire against Germany. What was not possible during the course of Polish national history, what even the first years of German dominion could not bring about, namely the achievement of national unity in a common purpose, to hold together through thick and thin, now threatens to become a reality, slowly but surely, because of the German measures. The German leadership cannot pass unheeded this process of unifying the individual classes of the Polish population into a growing power of resistance of the Poles. The German leadership should promote class distinction by certain cultural concessions and should be able to play one class off against the other.

(4) The recruiting of labour and the methods employed, even though often exercised under the inescapable pressure of circumstances, have, with the aid of clever Bolshevist agitation, evoked a strong feeling of hatred among all classes. The workers thus obtained often come to work with a firm resolve to engage in positive resistance, even active sabotage. Improvement of recruiting methods, together with the continued effort to arrest the abuses still practised in the treatment of Polish workers in the Reich, and lastly, some provision, however meagre it may be for the families left behind, would cause a rise in morale, and the result would be an increased desire to work, and increased production in the German interest.

(5) When the German administration was set up at the beginning of the war the Polish element was removed from all important positions. The available German staff had always been quantitatively and qualitatively insufficient. Besides, during the past year a considerable number of German personnel has had to be transferred to meet the replacement needs of the armed forces. Already an increased amount of non-German manpower has had to be obtained compulsorily. An essential change in the treatment of the Poles would enable the administration, while exercising all necessary precaution, to induce a greater number of Poles to collaborate. Failing this the administration, having in view the present amount of personnel, not to speak of future transfers, cannot be kept working. The increased participation of Poles would further help to raise the morale itself.

Besides the positive changes set down in these proposals, a number of methods employed up till now in the treatment of Poles require to be changed or even completely abandoned, at least for the duration of the fighting in Europe.

(1) I have already shown in special reports that confiscation and evacuation of agricultural land have caused great and irreparable damage to agricultural production. Not less great is the damage to morale caused by such actions. The seizure alone of a great part of the large Polish estates naturally has embittered those affected by it, a class which represents that strata of the population which is always anti-Bolshevik. But their opposition does not count nearly as much, because of their numerically small strength and their complete isolation from the mass of the people, as the attitude of the mass of the population consisting mainly of small farmers. The evacuation of Polish peasants from the defence zone, no doubt necessary for military-political reasons, has already had an unfavourable effect on the mentality and attitude of many farmers. At any rate, this evacuation was kept within certain territorial limits. It was carried out with careful preparation on the part of the governmental offices with a view to avoiding unnecessary hardship. The evacuation of Polish farmers from the Lublin district, held to be necessary by the Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationality, for the purpose of settling racial Germans there, was much more serious. Moreover - as I already reported separately - the pace at which it was carried out, and

[Page 181]

the methods adopted, caused immeasurable bitterness among the populace. At short notice families were torn apart, those able to work were sent to the Reich while old people and children were directed to empty Jewish ghettos. This happened in the middle of the winter of 1942-43 and resulted in considerable loss of life, especially among members of the last-mentioned group. The dispossession meant the complete expropriation of movable and immovable property of the farmers. The entire population succumbed to the belief that these deportations meant the beginning of a mass deportation of the Poles from the region of the Government General. The general impression was that the Poles would meet a fate similar to that of the Jews. The evacuation from the Lublin district was a welcome opportunity for Communist agitation, which skilfully poisoned the minds of the people against the Government General, even in the annexed Eastern Territories, for a long time. Thus it came about that considerable portions of the population in the territories to be evacuated, and also in territories not affected, fled into the woods and greatly increased the strength of the guerrillas. The consequence was a tremendous deterioration of the security situation. These people, driven to despair, are incited by skilful agents to upset agricultural and industrial production according to a definite plan.

(2) One has only to mention the crime of Katyn for it to become obvious that the safeguarding of personal security is an absolute condition for the winning over the Polish population in the fight against Bolshevism. The lack of protection against seemingly arbitrary arrests and executions makes good copy for Communist propaganda and slogans. The shooting of women, children and old men in public, which took place again and again without the knowledge and against the will of the leadership, must be prevented in all circumstances. Naturally this does not apply to the public executions of bandits and partisans. In cases of collective punishments, which nearly always hit innocent persons, and are applied against people who are fundamentally politically indifferent, the unfavourable psychological effect cannot possibly be overestimated. Serious punitive measures and executions should only be carried out after a trial based at least upon the elementary conceptions of justice and accompanied by publication of the sentence. Even if the court procedure is carried on in a simple, imperfect and improvised manner, it serves to avoid or to lessen the unfavourable effect of a punitive measure which the population considers purely arbitrary, and disarms Bolshevist agitation which claims that these German measures are only the prelude to future events. Moreover, collective punishment, which by its nature is directed primarily against the innocent, in the worst cases against forced or desperate persons, is not exactly looked upon as a sign of strength of the ruling power, which the population expects will strike at the terrorists themselves and thereby liberate the population from the insecurity which burdens them."

I pass now to Page 37 of the report and quote under No. 3:-
"Besides the most important prerequisites mentioned in (1) and (2) to restore calm in the Government General, security of property among the non-agricultural people must also be guaranteed, in so far as it is not run counter to the urgent needs of war. Expropriation or confiscation without compensation in the industrial sector, in commerce and trade and of other private property, should not take place in any case, if the owner or the custodian has not committed an offence against the German authorities. If the taking over of industrial enterprises, commercial concerns, or real estate is necessary for reasons connected with the war, one should proceed in every case in such a way as to avoid hardship and under guarantee of appropriate compensation. Such a procedure would, on the one hand,

[Page 182]

further the initiative of Polish business men and, on the other hand, avoid damage to the interests of German war economy.

(4) In any attempt to influence the attitude of the Poles, importance must be attached to the influence of the Catholic Church which cannot be over-estimated. I do not deny that the Catholic Church has always been on the side of the leading fighters for an independent national Poland. Numerous clergymen also made their influence felt in this direction even after the German occupation. Hundreds of arrests were also carried out among them. A number of priests were taken to concentration camps and also shot. However, in order to win over the Polish population the Church must be given at least a legal status even though it might not be possible to co- operate. It can without doubt be won over to reinforce the struggle of the Polish people against Bolshevism, especially today under the effect of the crime of Katyn, for the Church would always oppose a Bolshevist regime in the Vistula area if only from the instinct of self preservation. To achieve that end, however, it is necessary to refrain in the future from all measures against its activity and its property, in so far as they do not run directly counter to war requirements.

Much harm has been done even quite recently by the closing of monasteries, charitable institutions and church establishments" -

[ 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.