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-Thirteenth Day: Wednesday, 24th April, 1946
(Part 2 of 9)

[Page 191]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, if you will give us the pages in your document book now, that will be sufficient for the present, because they seem to correspond.

DR. SEIDL: Very well. May I continue, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT: I think so, yes.

DR. SEIDL: I then come to Page 38 in the document book. This entry deals with a draft submitted by Himmler, which has already been mentioned, regarding the treatment of aliens in the community. I quote:-

"The Governor General orders the following letter to be sent to Landgerichtsrat Taschner:-

'Please inform Reichminister Dr. Lammers of my opinion as follows with my signature, certified by yourself: I am opposed to the law on the treatment of non-German people - Gemeinschaftsfremder - and I request that a date be set, as early as possible, for a meeting of the leading officials in regard to the draft, so that it will be possible to set, forth the principal legal viewpoints which today still emphatically contradict this proposal in detail. I shall personally attend this meeting. In my opinion it is entirely impossible to circumvent the regular courts and to transfer such far-reaching authority exclusively to the police organisations. The intended 'Spruchstelle,' or Court, with the Reichssicherheitshauptamt - Reich Security Headquarters - cannot take the place of a regular court in the eyes of the people.'"

On Page 39 I quote the last paragraph but one of this letter:-
"For that reason I object to this draft in its present form, especially with regard to paragraph I of the decree, concerning its execution.'"
Page 40 is an entry dated 7 June, 1942, which also deals with that question of denationalisation so emphatically denied by the Governor General. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this document. The next quotation is on Page 47 and deals with the acquisition of Chopin's compositions. I quote paragraph 2:-
"President Dr. Watzke reports that it would be possible to procure in Paris the major part of Chopin's compositions, for the State Library in Cracow. The Governor General approves of the purchase of Chopin's compositions by the Administration of the Government General."
Page 50 deals with an entry in the diary which concerns the securing of agricultural property. I quote Page 767 of the diary, paragraph 2:-
"It is my aim to bring about agricultural reform in Galicia by every possible, means, even during the war. I have thus kept the promises which I made one year ago in my proclamation to the population of this territory. Further progress of a beneficial nature can therefore result through the loyal co-operation of the population with the German authorities. The

[Page 192]

German administration in this area is willing, and has also been given orders to help the population. It will protect the loyal population of this area with the same decisive and fundamental firmness with which it will suppress any attempt of resistance against the order established by the Greater German Reich. For this purpose I have issued an additional decree concerning the duties of the German Administration for Food and Agriculture in Galicia, for the protection of the individual farmer."
I turn to Page 55 of the document book. This concerns a speech made by the Governor General before the leaders of a Polish Delegation, and I quote the last paragraph on Page 56, line 6:-
"I hope that the new harvest will place us in a position to assist the Polish Aid Committee. In any event we will do whatever we can to check the crisis. It is also in our interests that the Polish population enjoy their work and co-operate. We do not want to exterminate or annihilate anybody."
Page 61 of the document book deals with a conference which the Governor General held with the General Plenipotentiary for Labour. I quote the last paragraph on. Page 919 of the diary:-
"I would also like to take this opportunity of expressing to you, Party Comrade Sauckel, our willingness to do everything that is humanly possible. However, I should like to add one request: it concerns the treatment of Polish workers in the Reich, who are still subject to certain degrading restrictions."
I turn to Page 62 and quote line 10:-
"I can assure you, Party Comrade Sauckel, that it would be a tremendous help in recruiting workers if at least part of the degrading restrictions against the Poles in the Reich could be abolished. I believe this could be effected."
I now turn to Page 66 of the document book. This is the only entry in the diary of the defendant Dr. Frank which he has signed personally. It is a memorandum on the development in the Government General after he (the Governor General) had been relieved of all his positions in the Party and had repeatedly stated that he was resigning and hoped that now at last his resignation would be accepted.

I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this final survey, dated September, 1942. It consists of five pages: 66 to 71.

The next quotation is on Page 77 and deals with the safe- guarding of art treasures. I quote the fifth and last line. It is a statement made by the Governor General:-

"Art treasures were carefully restored and cleaned, so that approximately ninety per cent. of all the art treasures of the former State of Poland in the territory of the Government General could be secured. These art treasures are entirely the property of the Government General."
I ask the Tribunal to turn to Page 92 of this volume. It is an entry dated 8 December, 1942, which was made on the occasion of a meeting of departmental chiefs and which deals with the supply situation. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of that entry.

The same is true of the entry on Page 93, in which the Governor General speaks of the question of recruiting workers and severely condemns all forcible measures.

The next entry, which appears important to me and which should be read into the record, begins on Page 108. It concerns a Press conference, and I ask the Tribunal to turn directly to Page 110. I quote the third paragraph:-

"The Governor General sums up the result of the conference and states that with the participation of the President of the Main Propaganda

[Page 193]

Department and the Press Chief of the Government, all points will be comprised in a directive to be issued to all leading editors of the Polish papers. Instructions for the handling of foreign affairs in the Press and in the cultural field will be included in this directive. The conciliatory spirit of the Reich will serve as a rule for future conduct."
I now ask the Tribunal to turn to Page 127 of the document book, a labour meeting of 26 May, 1943, which deals with the question of food. I quote the sixth line:-
"We must understand that the first problem is the feeding of the Polish population, but I would like to say, with complete authority, that whatever happens with the coming rationing period in the Government General, I shall, in any case, allot to the largest possible number of the population such food rations as we can justifiably afford in view of our commitments toward the Reich. Nothing and nobody will divert me from this goal."
Page 131 of the document book deals with a committee of the Governor General for supplies for the non-German working population. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of these statements and I now turn to Page 141. This entry also deals with the food situation. I quote the tenth line from the bottom:-
"After examining all possibilities I have now ordered that from 1 September of this year, in regard to the food situation, the Polish population of this territory shall also be granted a generous allotment. By September I of this year we shall introduce, for the population of this territory, the rations which are the so-called 'Warthegau rations'."
I ask permission to quote a few sentences from Page 142:-
"I should like to make a statement to you now. From the seriousness with which I utter these words, you can judge what I have in mind. I myself, and the men of my Government, are fully aware of the needs of the Polish population in this district. We are not here to exterminate or, annihilate it, nor to torment these people beyond the measure of suffering bestowed upon them by fate. I hope that we shall come to satisfactory terms in all matters that sometimes keep us apart. I personally have nothing against the Poles."
I turn to Page 148. This is a conference which deals with young medical students and on the next page, paragraph 2, is a statement by the Governor General:-
"First, we can safely say that this Ministry of Health, though not known by this name, is something entirely new. This main department in matters of health will have to deal with important problems. There is, among the physicians in this territory - "
Mr. President, I have just discovered that an error may possibly have occurred, since this statement was perhaps not made by the Governor General himself but by the head of the Main Health Department. I shall examine this question again and then submit the result to the Tribunal in writing.

I now turn to Page 155 of the document book. This entry seems to me to be vital. It is dated 14 July, 1943, and deals with the establishment of a Secretary of State on security matters.

THE PRESIDENT: It is not in our book, apparently. We haven't got a Page 155 and we haven't got a date, I think, of 14 July.

DR. SEIDL: It is July, 1943. It has probably been omitted. With the approval of the Tribunal, I shall read the sentences in question into the record. There are only three.

"The Governor General points out the disastrous effect exercised by the establishment of a Secretary of State for Security on the authority of the Governor General. He said that a new police and S.S. government had tried to establish itself in opposition to the Governor General and that

[Page 194]

this could only be suppressed with the expenditure of a great deal of energy at the very last moment."
I then ask the Tribunal to turn to Page 166 of the document book. This entry deals with general questions regarding the policy in Poland. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of this document.

Page 193 deals with the establishment of the Chopin Museum which was created by the Governor General. I quote Page 1154 of the Diary, which is an extract from the Governor General's speech:-

"Today I have inaugurated the Chopin Museum in Cracow. We have saved and brought to Cracow, under most difficult circumstances, the most valuable memorial pieces of the greatest of Polish musicians. I merely wanted to say this in order to show you that I want to make a personal effort to put things in order in this country as far as possible."
The last quotation is on Page 199 of Volume 2 of the document book. It is an extract from a speech which Reichsfuehrer S. S. Himmler made on the occasion of the installation of the new S.S. and Police Leader in Cracow, before the members of the Government and the higher S.S. and Police Leaders. This is the speech which the defendant Dr. Frank mentioned when he was examined. I quote the eighth line from the bottom:-
"You are all very familiar with the situation. Sixteen million aliens and about two hundred thousand - if we include the members of the police and Wehrmacht, perhaps three hundred thousand - Germans live here. These sixteen million aliens, augmented in the past by a large number of Jews, who have now emigrated or have been sent to the East, consist largely of Poles and to a lesser decree of Ukrainians."
I turn to the last document of this volume, Page 200, an entry dated 14 December, 1943. It concerns a speech which the Governor General made before officers of the Air Force. I quote the second paragraph:-
"Therefore, everything should be done to keep the population quiet, peaceful and in order. Nothing should be done to create unnecessary agitation among them. I mention only one example here:-

It would be wrong if now, during the war, we were to undertake the establishment of large German settlements among the alien peasantry in this territory. This attempt at colonising, mostly through force, would lead to tremendous unrest among the unified peasant population. This, in turn, from the point of view of production, would result in a grave reduction of the harvest, the curtailment of cultivation, etc. It would also be wrong forcibly to deprive the population of its churches or of any possibility of leading a simple, cultural life."

I turn to Page 201, and I quote the last paragraph:-
"We needs must take care of these territories and their population, I have found, to my pleasure and that of ail my colleagues, that this point of view has prevailed and that everything t1hat was formerly said against the alleged friendship with the Poles or against the softness of this point of view, has sunk into oblivion in face of the facts."
That completes Volume II of the document book - I beg your pardon; I meant Volume III. Now I come to Volume IV.

Page 1 deals with a conversation which took place on 25 January, 1943, with the S.S. Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger. I quote the last paragraph:-

"The Governor General states that he had not been previously informed about the large-scale action to seize anti-social elements and that this procedure was in opposition to the Fuehrer's decree of 7 May, 1942, according to which the Secretary of State for Security must obtain the

[Page 195]

approval of the Governor General before carrying out instructions by the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police. State Secretary Kruger states that this concerned a secret order which was to be carried out very suddenly."
I ask the Tribunal to take cognisance of the fact that this is merely an example of many similar discussions and differences of opinion.

I now turn to Page 24 of the document book. This concerns a meeting of the War Economy Staff and the Defence Committee on 22 September, 1943. I hope that the pages tally again.

THE PRESIDENT: You said Page 24, didn't you?

DR. SEIDL: Page 24, an entry of 22 September, 1943.

THE PRESIDENT: It looks as though the paging is right. Our book has Page 24 at the top, so perhaps you will continue to quote the page for a moment or two. We will see whether it goes on right.

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