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 May to 24th May, 1946

One Hundred and Thirty-Eighth Day: Friday, 24th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 11)

[Page 360]

THE PRESIDENT: Is counsel for the defendant Bormann present?

DR. BERGOLD (Counsel for defendant Bormann): Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it be convenient to you to present your documents on Tuesday at 10 o'clock?

DR. BERGOLD: Yes; agreed.

THE PRESIDENT: Would it be convenient to the prosecution?


THE PRESIDENT: Quite convenient, would it

DR. BERGOLD: Yes, indeed.



DR. SAUTER (counsel for defendant von Schirach): Your Honours, we left off yesterday on Document TS-1948; that, as you will recall, is a memorandum by a certain Dr. Fischer about a telephone conversation he had held with an official of the Secret State Police, Standartenfuehrer Huber, from Vienna, and which referred to forced labour of Jewish youths. Special mention is made of the employment of Jews in the removal of ruined synagogues. In connection with this memorandum, I should like to put just one more question to the defendant Schirach.


Q. When were these synagogues destroyed in Vienna? Was it in your time and on your responsibility, or at another time?

A. The synagogues in Vienna were destroyed two years before I assumed office in Vienna.

Q. Witness, I now proceed to the chapter on anti-Semitism. According to your admission yesterday, you were anti-Semitic from your earliest years. I should like to know what your attitude was when you joined the Party, and when you became an official in the Party, towards a practical solution of the Jewish problem?

A. According to my opinion - in 1924-1925 - Jews were to be entirely excluded from the Civil Services. Their influence in economic life was to be limited. I believed that Jewish influence in cultural life should be repressed. But for artists of the rank of, for instance, Max Reinhardt, I still envisaged the possibility of a free participation in this cultural life. That, I believe, exactly reflects the opinion which I and my comrades held on the solution of the "Jewish Problem" in 1924-1925, and in the following years.

Later, when I was leading the High School Youth Movement, I put forward the demand for the so-called "Numerus Clausus." It was my wish that the Jews should only be allowed to study on a proportional basis, according to their percentage numbers in relation to the total population of the Reich.

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I believe one can realize from this demand for the "Numerus Clausus," known to the entire generation of students of that period, that I did not believe in a total exclusion of the Jews from artistic, economic and scientific activities.

Q. Witness, I have submitted a document, No. 136 in the Schirach Document Book, which contains statements by an official of the Reich Youth Leadership about the treatment of Jewish youth as compared to Christian youth. Do you know what attitude the Reich Youth Leadership had adopted at that time towards the Jewish youth?

A. I believe that we are dealing with the Decree for the year 1936.

Q. Autumn, 1936?

A. Autumn, 1936. According to that, Jewish youth organizations were to exist under the official supervision of the Youth Leader of the German Reich, who controlled all the youth of Germany, and Jewish youth would be able to carry out their own youth education autonomously.

Q. It says in that Decree, inter alia, to quote one sentence only from Document 136 of the Schirach Document Book:

"Today in its youth, Judaism already assumes that special isolated position, free within its own boundaries, which at some future date, Judaism will occupy within the German State and in the economy of Germany and which it has already occupied to a great extent."
Witness, at about the same time, or shortly before then, the so-called Nuremberg Laws had been promulgated, those laws which we have frequently heard mentioned here.

Did you participate in the drafting of these laws, and how did you personally judge these laws?

A. I had no part in the drafting of these laws. In my room at the Hotel "Deutscher Hof," here in Nuremberg, to my surprise, I received a notice stating that there would be a Reichstag meeting on the next day, and that it would take place in Nuremberg. At that meeting, at which I was present, the Nuremberg Laws were promulgated. I do not know to this day how they were drafted. I assume that Hitler himself determined their contents. I can tell you no more about them.

Q. Can you state on your oath, and with a clear conscience, that before these laws were published you had not known of the plan for such laws, although you had been leader of the Reich Youth Movement and Reichsleiter?

A. Yes.

Q. After these laws had been promulgated in Nuremberg, how did you personally envisage the further development of the Jewish problem?

A. I must say, first of all, that we had, as a matter of fact, not expected these laws at all. I believe that the entire youth of the country at that time considered the Jewish problem as solved, since in 1935 there could be no question of any Jewish influence. After these laws were published, we were of the opinion that now, definitely, the last word had been spoken on the Jewish problem.

Q. Briefly, witness, you are accused of having incited and influenced the youth of the country. I therefore ask you, as Reich Youth Leader, did you incite youth to anti-Semitic excesses, or, particularly at meetings of the Hitler Youth Movement, make any inflammatory anti-Semitic speeches?

A. I have not made any inflammatory anti-Semitic speeches, since I attempted, both as Youth Leader and Youth Educator, not to add fuel to the fire, for neither in my books nor in my speeches - with the exception of one speech in Vienna, to which I shall refer later on, and which was not made at the time when I was Reich Youth Leader - have I made any inflammatory statements of an anti-Semitic nature.

I will not make myself ridiculous by stating here that I was not an anti-Semite - I was - although I never spoke myself to the youth in that role.

Q. The Reich Youth Leadership published an official monthly entitled "Will and Power, Leadership Publication of the National Socialist Youth." Excerpts

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from this official publication have previously been submitted to the Tribunal in the Document Book.

Now I would be interested to know whether it is true that certain Party officials repeatedly demanded from you that you publish a special anti-Semitic issue of this official youth Leadership Publication in order to show the youth of the country the path to follow in the future, and what was your attitude with regard to that demand?

A. It is true that the Reich Minister for Propaganda repeatedly demanded of my editor-in-chief that such an anti-Semitic issue should be published. On receiving the report of the editor-in-chief, I invariably refused to comply with this request. I believe that the editor-in-chief has already signed a sworn affidavit to that effect.

Witness, the question of anti-Semitism would also include your attitude to Der Sturmer, the paper issued by your co-defendant, Streicher. Did you distribute this anti-Semitic paper Der Sturmer within your youth organization, and did you, in any way, further its distribution?

A. Der Sturmer was not distributed within the Hitler Youth Organization. I believe that with the sole exception of those of our young people who lived in this Gau -

Q. Gau Franken?

A. Yes, Gau Franken - that the rest of the German Youth Organization never read Der Sturmer at all. The paper was definitely rejected by all the youth leaders - both boys and girls - in my organization.

Q. Then, witness, I must point out to you that the prosecution has accused you of having placed, on one occasion, a slogan at the disposal of this paper, this anti-Jewish paper Der Sturmer. Do you know about it, and what have you got to say on the matter?

A. I was always in close collaboration with the Press, in fact, I came from the Press myself. In my Press office, as Reich Youth Leader, I gave definite instructions that all requests from Gau papers for a slogan, or something else of the kind, from me should be granted on principle. Therefore, whenever a Gau paper celebrated a jubilee, perhaps the tenth or twentieth anniversary of its existence, and published a special issue, then the experts in my office would run up a draft, and this draft, together with the considerable volume of evening mail presented to me for my signature, would be submitted to me for final elaboration. It is, therefore, quite possible that I may have signed that slogan for Der Sturmer, which, of course, was the paper of the local Gau. Otherwise I have no recollection of the episode.

Q. Consequently, you cannot remember whether you drafted that short slogan yourself, or whether it was drafted by one of your experts and presented to you for signature?

A. I definitely believe that I did not draft it myself, because short slogans, as already stated, were always submitted to me. I wrote my newspaper articles myself, but never slogans of this description.

Q. Witness, since we have just mentioned the name of Streicher, I would remind you of a very ugly picture book which was submitted here by the prosecution. Was that picture book distributed among the youth with your consent, or do you know anything else about it?

A. Of course this book was not distributed among the young people. It is quite out of the question that an office of the "HJ" (Hitler Jugend) should have transmitted that book to the Youth Organization. Besides, the picture books of the Sturmer Publishing Firm are unknown to me. I am, of course, not competent to speak on education in the schools, but I should also like to say on behalf of education in the schools, that I do not believe this picture book was ever introduced into any school outside of this Gau. At any rate, that book and similar writings of the Sturmer Publishing Firm were not, on principle, distributed among the young people and the youth organizations. What I have already said when

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judging Der Sturmer also holds good for these books, namely, that the Leadership Corps of the Hitler Youth categorically rejected writings of this description.

Q. Witness, you have also experienced how the anti-Semitic question actually developed, and how it eventually resulted in the infamous Jewish pogroms of November, 1938. Did you yourself, in any way, participate in these Jewish pogroms of November, 1938?

A. I personally did not participate in any way, but I did participate in the Munich session -

Q. Which session?

A. The session which was traditionally held on 9th November of each year in memory of those who had fallen on 9th November, 1923. I did not take part in all the discussions of that day. But I do remember a speech by Goebbels in connection with the murder of Herr von Rath. That speech was definitely of an inflammatory nature, and one was free to assume from this speech that Goebbels intended to start some act of violence. He is alleged - but that I only discovered later - to have given detailed instructions for this action directly from his hotel in Munich to the Reich Propaganda Ministry. I was present at the Munich session, as was my colleague, Lauterbacher, who was also my chief-of-staff, and we both rejected the action. The "HJ," as the largest National Socialist Organization, was not employed at all in the Jewish pogroms of 9th, l0th and 11th November, 1938. I remember one incident where a youth leader, without referring to my Berlin office, and carried away by some local propaganda, took part in a demonstration, and was later called to account by me for doing so. After the 10th November, I was again in Munich for a few days and visited, inter alia, a few of the destroyed business houses and villas. It made a terrible impression on me at the time, and under that impression I instructed the entire Youth Leadership, the Regional Leaders - if I remember rightly - in other words, all the highest responsible Youth Leaders, to come to Berlin, and there, in an address to these Youth Leaders, I described the incidents of 9th and l0th November as a disgrace to our culture. I also referred to them as criminal actions. I believe that all the colleagues present on that occasion will clearly remember how agitated I was and that I told them that my organization, both now and in the future, would never have anything to do with acts of this sort.

Q. You previously mentioned one individual case where an "HJ" leader, subordinate to you, participated in some act of violence. Did you know of other cases in November, 1938, and after, where units of the "HJ" participated, or were alleged to have participated in the Jewish pogroms?

A. No, I know of no other cases. The only thing I did hear was that here and there individual lads, or groups of youths, were called out into the streets by local authorities who were not of the "HJ." In the majority of cases these lads were promptly sent home again by the Youth Leaders. The organization was never employed, and I attach great importance to the fact that the Youth Organization, which included more members than the Party itself, was never involved in these incidents.

Q. Witness, you saw at least, from the incidents in November, 1938, that developments in Germany were taking a different course to the one you had expected, if we are to judge by your evidence up to now. How did you, after November, 1938, envisage the further solution of the Jewish problem?

A. After the events of 1938, I realised that Jewry's one chance lay in a State supported emigration for, in view of Goebbel's temper, it seemed probable to me that, overnight, similar actions could arise from time to time, and under such conditions of complete legal insecurity, I could not see how the Jews could continue living in Germany. That is one of the reasons why Hitler's idea of a closed Jewish settlement in the Polish Government General, of which he told me at his Headquarters in 1940, seemed feasible. I thought that the Jews would be better cared for in a closed settlement in Poland than in Germany or Austria, where they

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would remain exposed to the whims of the Propaganda Minister, who was the mainstay of anti-Semitism in Germany.

Q. Is it true that you yourself, whenever you had a chance of approaching Hitler, gave him your own positive suggestions for settling the Jews in some neutral country, under humane conditions?

A. No, that is not true.

Q. Well?

A. I should like to elucidate this matter. I mentioned yesterday how I had reported to Hitler and how he told me that the Viennese Jews would be sent to the Government General. Before that, I had never thought of an emigration of the Jews from Austria and Germany for resettlement in the Government General. I had only thought of a Jewish emigration to countries where the Jews wanted to go. But Hitler's plan, as it then existed - and I believe that at that time the idea of exterminating the Jews had not yet entered his mind - this plan of resettlement sounded perfectly reasonable to me reasonable at that time.

Q. But I believe that in 1942 you are supposed to have tried, through the kind offices of your friend, Dr. Colin Ross, to suggest to Hitler that the Jews from Hungary and the Balkan States be allowed to emigrate to some neutral country, taking their goods and chattels with them.

A. That was at a later date. I no longer exactly remember when, but in any case, it was after the occupation of Hungary. Among the innumerable suggestions which I made to the Fuehrer and to the Minister for Foreign Affairs through Colin Ross, was one to the effect that the entire Jewish population of Hungary be transferred to some neutral country. If the witness, Steengracht, has stated here that this idea had been discussed in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and that it had emanated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then he probably spoke in perfectly good faith. The idea originated in discussions held between Colin Ross and myself, and Ross then put it down in the form of a memorandum. But - and this is specially important - it was reported verbally to the Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs, who, in turn, informed Colin Ross, on the occasion of a further visit, that the Fuehrer had definitely turned the suggestion down.

Q. The emigration to a neutral country abroad?

A. Yes, to a neutral country abroad.

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