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 6 of 11)

[Page 382]



Q. Witness, we understood you this morning to make a statement in the nature of a confession with respect to the persecution of the Jews; and while that part of it that you gave was, perhaps, bravely enough said, I think there is much that you neglected to say, perhaps through oversight.

Now, I wish you would tell the Tribunal whether or not it is a fact that your responsibility for young people in Germany under the National Socialists was

[Page 383]

fundamentally concerned with making really good National Socialists out of them in the sense of making them fanatical political followers.

[Baldur von Schirach] A. I considered it my task as educator, to bring up the young people to be good citizens of the National Socialist State.

Q. And ardent followers and believers in Hitler and his political policies?

A. I believe I said this morning that I educated our youth to follow Hitler. I do not deny that.

Q. All right. And while you said to us that you were not responsible for the State school educational system, I am sure you would not deny that for all the other activities with which young people may be concerned, you did have chief responsibility?

A. Out-of-school education was my responsibility.

Q. And, of course, in the schools, the only people who taught these young people le were those who were politically reliable in respect to Hitler's opinions and beliefs and the teachings of National Socialism?

A. The teaching staffs of German schools were definitely not homogeneous bodies. A large part of the teaching body belonged to a generation which had not been educated on National Socialist lines, and did not adhere to National Socialism. The young teachers had been educated on National Socialist principles.

Q. Well, in any event, surely you are not saying that young people under the public educational system of Germany were not at all times under the guidance of those who were politically reliable, certainly after the first year or two of the administration of Hitler and his followers, are you?

A. Would you please repeat the question? I did not quite understand.

Q. What I am trying to say to you is that there is not any doubt in your mind, or in ours, that the public school system of Germany was supervised, for the most part, at least, by people who were politically sound in so far as National Socialism is concerned.

A. I should not care to say that. Educational administration in Germany was supervised by Reich Minister Rust, who - and this is a fact - for reasons of ill-health, took very little interest in his official duties. Many thousands of older men were employed in connection with educational administration. They had received their appointments long before the days of the National Socialist State, and had retained them throughout.

Q. I do not care whether they were old or young, or how long they had been in office. They all took an oath to Hitler, did they not?

A. That is correct, inasmuch as they were employees, they all took their oath as employees.

Q. Rosenberg had a very considerable influence on young people in Germany, did he not?

A. I do not believe that. I think you are estimating my co-defendant Rosenberg's influence on youth quite wrongly - that you are over-estimating it. Rosenberg certainly had some influence on many people who were interested in philosophical problems and were in a position to understand his works. But I must dispute the extent of the influence which you are ascribing to him.

Q. You publicly said on one occasion that the way of Rosenberg was the way of the Hitler Youth, did you not?

A. That was, I believe, in 1934 -

Q. (Interposing) Never mind when it was. Did you say it or not?

A. I did say it.

Q. When was it?

A. That was in Berlin, at a youth function there. But later, I myself led the youth along an entirely different path.

Q. Well, we will come to that a little later. But in any event, on this occasion in Berlin, when you had a large group of your youth leaders present, you were doing your best, at least, to have them understand that the way of Rosenberg was the way that they should follow?

[Page 384]

A. But those were the same youth leaders who later received different instructions from me.

Q. Well, I dare say that maybe so. We will came later to those different instructions, but on this occasion, and at that time, in so far as you were concerned, you wanted them to understand that they were to follow Rosenberg's way, didn't you?

A. Yes, but this way only affected one quite definite point, which was under discussion at that time, namely the question of denominational youth organizations. Rosenberg and I agreed on this point, whereas we differed on many others; and it was to this point that the statement referred.

Q. Rosenberg's way certainly was not the way of young people remaining faithful to their religious obligations or teachings, was it?

A. I would not like to say that.

Q. What do you mean? You do not know?

A. I can say in so many words that I have never heard Rosenberg make any statement to the effect that young people should be disloyal to their religious convictions.

Q. Well, I do not know that he ever said it that way either, but I think you do know perfectly well, as do many other people who were outside Germany through all these years, that Rosenberg was a violent opponent of organized religious institutions. You do not deny that, do you?

A. I certainly do not deny that in principle, but I do not think that it can be expressed in these terms. Rosenberg in no way tried to influence youth to withdraw from religious societies.

Q. Actually, later on - Are you not willing to own that later on, even perhaps at that time, in a secret and indirect sort of way you played Rosenberg's game by arranging youth meetings at hours when Church ceremonies were going on?

A. I deny absolutely that I worked against the Church in such a way. In the years 1933-34, I was concerned mainly with the denominational youth organizations. I explained that here yesterday.

Q. I know. You gobbled them up, and they all had to join your organization sooner or later. But I am not talking about that now. What I am trying to say is - and I think you must agree - that for a considerable period of time, you made it really impossible for young people of certain religious beliefs to attend their Church services, because you arranged for your youth meetings, at which attendance was compulsory, to take place when Church ceremonies were being held.

A. No, that is not correct.

Q. You say that is not so? Did not the Catholic bishops publicly object to this very sort of thing, and do you not know it as well as I do?

A. I cannot recall that.

Q. You do not recall any Catholic bishops objecting to the fact that you were arranging your youth meetings on Sunday mornings when their clerics were holding services?

A. In the course of time, as I explained yesterday, many clergymen either approached me personally, or complained in public that they were hampered in their spiritual ministration by the youth services, and the forms which they took; and that is why I adjusted matters in the way shown by the document which my counsel submitted to the Tribunal yesterday.

Q. Well, I do not think that is altogether an answer, and, perhaps, I can help your memory by reminding you that your organization specifically provided that these young people who were attending church on Sunday, could not go in uniform; and that was a very purposeful thing, was it not, because they could not get out of church and get to their youth attendance places at all if they had to go home and change their clothes.

A. But in many parishes, the Church authorities forbade young people wearing uniform in church.

Q. Well, I am not going to argue about it with you. Your answer is that you do not recall any frequent and strong criticism and objection from Churchmen

[Page 385]

about this particular Sunday morning programme. Is that the way you want to leave it?

A. I certainly do not mean that. There were periods of great tension, periods of heated argument, just as there was a stormy period in youth organization generally. Later, all these things were satisfactorily settled and put in order.

Q. Now, I understood you also to say that, whatever else you may have done with the young people of Germany during the years over which you had control of them, you certainly did not prepare them militarily in any sense, in any sense ordinarily accepted as being military; is that so?

A. That is correct.

Q. Well, now, let's see. What was the name of your personal Press expert, or consultant, if you prefer that term?

A. The Press expert who worked with me longest was a Herr Kaufmann.

Q. And you have asked him - as a matter of fact, you have an interrogatory from him, have you not, which will be submitted. I assume you know about that, do you not?

A. I know that my counsel has applied for it, but I do not know the answers which Kaufmann gave.

Q. Well, you know the questions you asked, do you not?

A. I do not remember them.

Q. Well, perhaps if I remind you of one or two you will remember. You asked him if he ever put out any Press releases without your authority. You asked him if he was not your personal Press consultant. And you asked him if it was not true that you personally gave him the directive for what you wanted published in the Press, and particularly in the youth Press. Do you remember those questions?

A. (No response.)

Q. But you do not know the answers; is that it?

A. (No response.)

Q. Well, do you know that he published in the SS official publication in September of 1942, an article about the young people and the youth of Germany?

A. I cannot remember that article.

Q. Well, I think that you had better have a look at it. It is Document 3930-PS. That becomes Exhibit USA 853, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: What number did you say, USA -

MR. DODD: 853, sir.


Q. Now, this document which I am showing you is a telegram, of course, a teletype message, "Reich Governor in Vienna." You will see at the top it was received by you on the 10th of September, 1942, and it sets out a copy of the subject for the body of this article for the editorial star of the Schwarzes Korps. That is the SS magazine, as you recall.

Now, you will see when you read it that, at the very beginning, it states that a high-ranking officer, who had come back to Berlin from Sevastopol, said that the youngsters who had been seen some four years ago in short pants marching through German cities singing "Yes, the flag is more than death," were the nineteen-year-olds who took that city of Sevastopol.

The article goes on to say that the lads are fulfilling in fighting what they promised in singing; and that the National Socialist Movement had brought up a young generation, filling them with faith and self-denial, and so on. And then the rest of it goes on in substance to say that there were people who objected to your programme at the time that you were trying to make these youngsters strong.

The clear meaning of it is that you are now claiming credit for having had something to do with making them the good nineteen-year-old fighters who took

[Page 386]

Sevastopol, is not that so? You are claiming credit, I say, in this article for having produced this kind of nineteen-year-old boy.

A. I had no knowledge of this article up to now.

Q. Well, you have now. You can talk about it, certainly.

A. That is just what I want to do. Herr Kaufmann at that time had just returned from the Eastern Front, and deeply impressed by what he had experienced out there, he wrote down what appears in this article, which I cannot possibly read now in its entirety.

Q. Well, it is not very long. Really, I read what I think are the most important parts of it in so far as you are concerned.

A. That the youth was trained in a military way, I believe is not mentioned in one single sentence in that entire article.

Q. Oh, I know. I am simply asking if it is not a fact that you were claiming credit in this article for having had something considerable to do with the fact that these nineteen-year-old boys were such good fighters in Russia. That is all I am asking you.

A. I have already told you that I wanted to train the youth to become good citizens, and that I wanted to train them to be good patriots -

Q. All right.

A. And should also do their duty in the field later on.

Q. Well, your answer then is, yes, you were claiming credit for the fact that they were such good fighters. Now, there is no trick in this question. It is merely preliminary, and I want to get on, but I think you might say "yes." And incidentally, this song, "The flag is more than death," was a song that you wrote, was it not?

A. The "Flag song," which I based on the refrain "The flag is more than death." That is true.

Q. Now, you have also published a number of other songs for young people in the days before the war started, in a song book.

A. A great many song books for young people were published. I do not know all of them.

Q. No, I do not either, but I am asking you if it is not a fact that you did publish song books for young people.

A. Both the Cultural Service of the Reich Youth Leadership and the Press service published such books. Of course, I did not look at each single song in them myself; but, on the whole, I believe that only songs which were sung by young people appeared in these books.

Q. All right. We have some extracts from one of your song books, and there is only one that I wish to refer to. Do you remember the one, "Forward, Forward," another one that you wrote, by the way? Do you remember that song?

A. "Forward, Forward," is the Flag Song of the youth organization.

Q. All right. Did you write it?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, now, certainly that also contains does it not, highly inciting words and phrases for young people with respect to their military duty?

A. The Flag Song of the youth organization? I cannot see that.

Q. Well, words like these: "We are the future soldiers. Everything which opposes us will fall before our fists. Fuehrer we belong to you," and soon. Do you remember that?

A. I did not say: "We are the future soldiers," as I hear now in English, but "We are the soldiers of the future."

Q. All right.

A. The soldiers of the future, the bearers of a future.

Q. All right, but that is another one of your songs, is it not?

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A. That is a revolutionary song dating from the fighting period; it does not refer to a war between - say - Germany and other powers, but to the fight which we had to carry on inside the country in order to achieve our revolution.

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