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 7 of 11)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Baldur von Schirach]

[Page 387]

Q. All right, we will see. Do you remember the one, "Can you see the dawn in the east?" Do you remember that song?

A. That is not one of my songs.

Q. It is one of the songs in the Hitler Youth Song Book, is it not?

A. That is an old SA song dating from 1923-24.

Q. Well, that may be. I am only asking you, is it not a fact that it was in your official song books for your young people.

A. Yes.

Q. It is in that song that you vilify the Jews, is it not?

A. I do not remember that. I would have to see the song.

Q. Well, I can show it to you, but perhaps if you recall it, we can save a little time. Do you remember that the second stanza says, "For many years the people were enslaved and misguided, traitors and Jews had the upper hand"? Do you remember those words in that song? "People to arms" in the next one.

A. Yes, but I am not sure if that was published in a youth song book.

Q. I can assure you that it was, and if you would like to see it, we have it here.

A. It is a very well-known SA song, which was sung by the young people, and was, therefore, included in the youth song book.

Q. All right, that is all I wanted to find out. I do not care where it originated. It is the kind of song you had in your song book for young people.

A. I should like to say one more thing. The song book which I have here was published in 1933.

Q. Yes.

A. I do not believe that the youth organization which I built up can be judged from the year 1933 only.

Q. I do not suggest that either, but we found it in 1945.

A. Later we published other song books, with very different songs.

Q. Yes, I am coming to those in a minute.

That song book was 3764-PS, Exhibit USA 854. It has just been called to my attention that the last phrase in that fourth stanza says: "Germany awake. Death to Jewry. People to arms."

A. One moment, please; where is that?

Q. In the English text, in the fourth stanza. I do not know where it would be; it is on page 19, I am told, of the German text. Did you find it?

A. No.

Q. Well, maybe it is the wrong document. In any event, we will find it for you. However, you remember the song, do you not? You do not deny that it says "Death to the Jews," and so on, do you, in that song?

A. That is the song that starts with the words, "Can you see the dawn in the east?"

Q. That is right.

A. Yes.

Q. That is all I wanted to know.

A. That song is not in this book.

(A book was submitted to the witness.)

Q. We have quite a few of your song books here.

A. Yes, but there is a great difference between them. This book, which does not contain the song, is an official edition published by the Reich Youth Leadership. As I say, it does not contain the song. It does appear, however, in a song book published by Tonner, a firm of music publishers, in Cologne, under the title of "Songs of the Hitler Youth." This book is not, however, an official collection issued by the Reich Youth Leadership. Any publishing firm in Germany can publish such books.

[Page 388]

All right, I will accept that, but certainly you won't deny that the book was used, will you? And that is all we are trying to establish.

A. That I do not know. I do not know whether that book was used by the Hitler Youth.

Q. Do you know that the one in which it is contained was published by you?

A. (No response.)

Q. Well, in any event, I would like to point this out to you. I am not claiming, or trying to suggest to you by questions, that any one of these songs in themselves made young people in Germany more fit for war; but rather, what I am trying to show is that, in contradiction to the testimony you gave here yesterday, you were doing something more than just giving these boys and girls games to play.

A. My statements of yesterday certainly did not imply that we only gave them games to play. For every song of this kind there are innumerable others.

Q. Yes, I know, but these are the ones we are concerned with now. "Unfurl the blood-soaked banners," you remember that? "Drums sound throughout the land"?

A. These are all songs of the "Wandervogel" and the Youth League. They are songs which were sung at the time of the Republic, songs which did not have anything to do with our time.

Q. Just a minute.

A. They are songs which had nothing to do with our period.

Q. Do you think that anybody, in the days of the Republic, was singing Hitler Youth marches?

A. What song is that? I do not know it.

Q. That is the one. "Drums sound throughout the land." Do you remember any of these songs, actually?

A. Of course, I know quite a number of these songs; but the most important - the mass of them - come from the old "Zupfgeigenhansl" of the Wandervogel movement and from the Youth League. That the SA also sang these songs goes without saying.

Q. Yes, I do not doubt that they did, but wherever they emanated from, you were using them with these young people. And that one, "Drums sound throughout the land," you wrote yourself; is that so?

A. "Drums sound throughout the land": Yes, I believe I did write some such song.

Q. All right; that certainly does not have a very ancient origin then, does it?

A. It was long before the seizure of power.

Q. Now, you also recall, perhaps, that on one occasion, General Field-Marshal von Blomberg wrote an article for the Hitler Year Book. Do you remember that?

A. No.

Q. Well, it was not so very long ago. It was in 1938. I suppose you read the Year Book of your organization for that year at that time, anyway?

A. That may be taken for granted; but I really cannot remember what Fieldmarshal von Blomberg wrote for it.

Q. Well, all right.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, I believe you are passing away from these songs?

MR. DODD: Yes, Sir, I was.

THE PRESIDENT: But have you offered in evidence yet Document 3764-PS?

MR. DODD: Yes, sir; I offered it as Exhibit USA 854.

THE PRESIDENT: What was 3763?

MR. DODD: No, I am sorry, 3764 is 854, and 363 - I am sorry, it is 855.


[Page 389]

BY MR. DODD: I would like you to look at this document; it is 3755-PS- I think it is on Page 134 of the text that you have, witness; and on Pages 148 to 150 you will find an article, "Education for War of the German Youth," or rather, it says: "The work Education for War of the German Youth, by Dr. Stellrecht, contains a slogan of General Field-Marshal von Blomberg," and then it goes on to give the slogan. Do you find that? "The fighting spirit is the highest virtue of the soldier." And so on.

Have you found the quotation of Blomberg's slogan? That is what I want to know.

A. Yes.

Q. And then the article by Stellrecht is also contained there, after the slogan.

A. Yes.

Q. Now certainly, when you move down a few lines, you will see this sentence

"Therefore, it is a stern and unalterable demand which Field-Marshal von Blomberg makes of the young men marching in the columns of the Hitler Youth," and so on.

In those days, in 1938, witness, you were at least thinking in terms of future military service, and so was Field-Marshal von Blomberg, with respect to the Hitler Youth. That is the point I am trying to make.

A. We had a State with compulsory military training.

Q. I know.

A. And it goes without saying that we as educators were also anxious to train our youth to the highest degree of physical fitness so that they would also make good soldiers.

Q. You were not doing any more than that? Is that what you want the Tribunal to understand?

A. I described to you yesterday what else we did in the way of rifle training, cross-country sports and the training of special units.

MR. DODD: That is Exhibit USA 856, Mr. President.

Q. Yes, I know you told us yesterday that whatever else it might have been, it certainly was not any kind of military training.

This man Stellrecht was associated with you, was he not?

A. Dr. Stellrecht had the "Office for Physical Training" in the Hitler Youth under Reich Sport Leader von Tschammer und Osten. That office was one of twenty-one offices within the Youth Leadership.

Q. He was associated with you?

A. Yes.

Q. And you have also used something from him as part of your defence; it is in your document book. Do you know about that?

A. Yes, it is a statement made by Dr. Stellrecht, in which he speaks of education for defence and physical training for youth; and says that not a single boy in Germany is trained with weapons of war.

Q. I know that, and therefore I want you to look at another statement that he made on another date.

MR. DODD: That is Document 1992-PS, Mr. President, and we offer it as Exhibit USA 439.

Q. Do you remember when he made the speech to the military men in January of 1937, while he was affiliated with your Hitler Youth Organization? Do you know the speech to which I refer?

A. I was not present on the occasion of that speech, and I do not consider myself responsible for any statement which he may have made in it.

Q. Well, that is your statement, but perhaps others feel differently. I ask you whether or not you were aware of and know about the speech, and will you tell us whether you do know about it before you look at it? You know the speech. I am talking about, do you not?

[Page 390]

A. I cannot remember being informed of the fact that he spoke on a national and political training course for the armed forces; but I may have been informed of it. The speech, itself -

Q. Well, it seems to me you were very anxious to deny responsibility for it before you knew what he said.

A. I did not want to make a statement on that. Disputes arose between Dr. Stellrecht and myself on account of a certain tendency which he showed with regard to defence training; also disputes arose between his office and the other offices of the Reich Youth Leadership which finally led to his dismissal from the Reich Youth Leadership.

Q. Well, in any event, he was on your staff when he made this speech, and I wish now you would look at Page - well, I have it, Page 3 of the English, and it is Page 169 of the text that you have, and it begins at the very bottom of the English page, and the paragraph reads:

"As far as purely military education is concerned, this work has already been done in years of co-operation and very extensively. The results have been set out in a book written by myself, regulating future work in military education down to the last detail of training, and which, with our mutual agreement, contains a foreword and a preface by the Reich Minister of War, and the Reich Youth Leader."
And then the next paragraph
"The basic idea of this work is always to present to the boy that which belongs to the particular stage of his development,"
and so on. And I want you to come to the sentence that says:
"For that reason, no boy is given a military weapon, simply because it seems to serve no useful purpose for his development. But, on the other hand, it seems sensible to give him guns of small calibre for training. Just as there are certain tasks occurring in military training which are only suitable for grown men, so there are other training tasks snore suited to boys."
And then moving down further in the English text, next to the last paragraph, Page 170 of your text, you will find in the next to the last paragraph that your Dr. Stellrecht says:
"This picture is the goal of a comprehensive education which starts with the training of the boy in outdoor games, and ends with his military training."
And then moving on again to the fifth page of the English text, and I think it is Page 171 of your text, the next to the last paragraph, in talking about hiking trips, he says that:
" - have still a wider purpose because it is the only way in which the boy can get acquainted with the Fatherland for which he will have to fight one day."
Moving on through this article, I want to direct your attention to Page 6 of the English text, and Pages 174 and 175 of your text. In the last paragraph of the English text, you will find this sentence, which says:
"All training, therefore, culminates in rifle training. This cannot be emphasized too much, and, because shooting is a matter of practice, one cannot start too early. The result we want to achieve in the course of time is that a gun should feel just as natural in the hands of a German boy as a pen."
Now, turn over to the next page, Page 7 of the English text, and Page 176 of your text. Your Dr. Stellrecht says there more about shooting, and how it "meets with the boys' desire"; and then he goes on to say:
"Along with the general training, there is special training for new replacements for Air Force, Navy and motorized troops. The training course for this has been established in conjunction with the competent offices of the Armed Forces - on as broad a basis as possible; and in the country, cavalry training is given."
Now, I want to call your attention to the following sentence-I suppose it is on -the next page of your text, but it is the penultimate or ante-penultimate

[Page 391]

paragraph in the English text: "Military education and ideological education belong together." The English text says "philosophical" but I think that is a mistranslation, and actually, in German, it is "ideological." And you see the sentence in the next paragraph that says:
"The education of youth has to take care that the knowledge and the principles, according to which the State and the Armed Forces of our time have been organized, and on which they rest, enter so thoroughly into the thoughts of the individual, that they can never again be taken away and that they remain guiding principles all through life."
Now, witness, I wish you to look at the last paragraph of that speech, because I think you used the term "playful" yesterday, if I am not mistaken, and Dr. Stellrecht said to the military men that day: "Gentlemen, you can see that the tasks of present youth education have gone far beyond the 'playful.' "

Are you sure, now, that you didn't have any kind of a programme for military training in your youth organization?

A. I can see from this document, which I should really have to read in its entirety in order to be able to answer correctly, that Dr. Stellrecht, to put it mildly, considered himself very important. The importance of Dr. Stellrecht for the education of the youth and the importance of office which he held in the youth leadership, were definitely not as great as implied by this training course for men of the armed forces. I have already said before that there were disputes between Dr. Stellrecht and myself on account of his exaggerations, and especially because of the extent to which he over-estimated the value of rifle training, and what he called "military training"; and that these differences of opinion finally led to his dismissal and departure from the service of the Reich Youth Leadership. He was one of many heads of offices, and the importance of his special activity was not as great as he has represented it to be in his statement here. I think I explained yesterday what a large number of tasks confronted the Youth Leadership. I was also able to indicate the approximate proportion of pre-military training or military training, as Herr Stellrecht calls it, as compared with other forms of training. But this document also states clearly that there was no intention of anticipating military training, as I said yesterday. When he says that every German boy should learn to handle the gun as easily as the pen, that is an expression of opinion with which I cannot identify myself.

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