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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th June to 19th June 1946

One Hundred and Fifty-Third Day: Wednesday, 12th June, 1946
(Part 4 of 12)

[Page 155]


Q. You told the Tribunal yesterday that you became a Party member in 1938 and that your Party membership number was somewhere in the millions?

[Artur Seyss-Inquart] A. Seven million. The membership came into effect from March 1938. That is when I formally became a member of the Party.

Q. Well, when you say "formally," you are trying to emphasize, as I understand it, that you were in fact, although maybe not formally, a Party member for some time. You paid dues and you supported the Party, did you not?

A. The first two points are incorrect. I only paid subscriptions from the autumn of 1937 - I beg your pardon, from the autumn of 1932 until 1933; inwardly I felt myself to be a National Socialist and a Party member, without however having made any formal declaration of loyalty.

Q. Were you a member of the Styrian Home Protective Organization? (Steyrischer Heimatschutz).

A. The Styrian Home Protective Organization, yes, from the autumn of 1932.

Q. And that organization was taken over, practically in its entirety, by the National Socialists at a time when you were a member, was it not?

A. That had been the intention but it was not carried out. There had been an agreement that the Styrian Home Protective Organization was to be incorporated into the Party, but Munich did not carry this out. Individual members of the Styrian Home Protective Organization had to join the Party individually.

Q. Do you know a man with the name of Dr. Andreas Morsey, M-o-r-s-e-y?

A. Do you mean Andreas M-o-s-e-r? I think he was a solicitor, but I did not know him personally.

Q. Well, do you know that he was also a member of the Styrian Home Protective Organization?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember having a conversation with him on 7th March, 1938, just a few days before the Anschluss?

A. I have no recollection of it.

[Page 156]

Q. Well, let me see if I can help you. Do you remember telling him that you entered the Styrian Home Protective Organization in 1932 and that that was shortly before that organization was forbidden?
[N.B. Interpreter says: "telling him that you were Chief of the Styrian Home Protective Organization."]

A. That is quite out of the question. The Chief of the Styrian Home Protective Organization was Constantin Kammerhofer. The whole of Austria knew that.

Q. You do not remember, then, having any conversation in which you said what I have just stated to you? Do you mean that you never said it or that you do not remember the conversation? That is what I am trying to get at.

A. I do remember that conversation, but I am stating that it is out of the question that I could have said that I was the Chief of the Styrian Home Protective Organization, because the whole of Austria knew that the chief was Constantin Kammerhofer. At most I may have told him that I was very friendly with Kammerhofer, as indeed I was.

Q. Well, I want to show you then his statement, or his testimony rather, in the case of the People versus Dr. Guido Schmidt. It is Document 3992. This testimony was given before the Supreme Penal Court in Vienna on the 19th of March, 1946, before Judge Sucher.

MR. DODD: We offer this as Exhibit USA 882.

Q. I ask you to look at the second page and you will find a sentence which begins:

"On the 7th of March, 1938, Seyss-Inquart personally informed me that he had entered this organization in 1932, that is, before it was made impossible - shortly before the Styrian Home Protective Organization was forbidden."
Then he goes on and makes reference to the man Kammerhofer, whom you just made reference to, and further down, in the next sentence, he says:
"He (Seyss-Inquart) had entered this organization and had been admitted by Leader Engineer Pichler (Franz) in Waitz and he had never left the organization."
Therefore your statement that you had not been a member of the NSDAP can be considered formally correct, but the statement that you had not worked illegally, he says, is not true.

A. Dr. Moser could not possibly know whether I worked illegally. He is basing his statement on the assumption that the Home Protective Organization was actually amalgamated with the NSDAP, and that is incorrect. The witness Ueberreiter can confirm this. I still keep entirely to my testimony.

Q. Do you know a man named Rainer?

A. Very well indeed. Dr. Friedrich Rainer.

Q. Yes. You have asked for him and he is coming here as a witness on your behalf, is he not?

A. Yes.

Q. But what do you say if he says that you became a member of the NSDAP when that Styrian Home Protective Organization was taken over?

A. To that I wish to say for all -

Q. By the way, before you answer let me tell you something that will help you. This document is already in evidence, so I assume you may have seen it. It is 812-PS.

A. Yes. It is a letter, a report from Dr. Rainer.

Q. So you know what he has said, I assume. You have seen the document, have you?

A. Yes.

Q. You agree that he does say in this document that you were a member through your membership in the Styrian Home Protective Organization and that you joined the Party, so to speak, when that organization was taken over?

[Page 157]

A. Yes. I should like to say that until 1938 that was even my opinion, and I never doubted whether I was or was not. But in 1938 the Party stated clearly that it did not recognize that fusion and that the members of the Styrian Home Protective Organization were not members of the Party but that every one of them had to join the Party individually to be a Party member. Rainer will surely confirm that.

Q. Well, tell me this, whether or not you were formally a member, did you not, during all this time, acknowledge the leadership of Klausner, who was the leader of the National Socialist Party in Austria, and did you not follow his wishes and obey his directions?

A. The leadership in Austria or in Germany?

Q. In Austria. I am talking about Klausner, who was in Austria.

A. Yes. It was clear to me and I recognized the fact that Klausner was the leader of the Austrian National Socialists. I did not recognize Klausner as my political leader, a fact which is made clear by the same report which you, Mr. Prosecutor, have just mentioned. There Rainer says:

"Seyss-Inquart recognized Klausner in political matters which were actually not binding."
Q. Well, he says precisely the opposite, if you will take a look at it.

A. Oh, no.

Q. Well, now, wait a minute and look. On Page 9, I think of the German text line 7 from the bottom; in the English text it is Page 7:

"Relations between Seyss-Inquart and Klausner were as follows: Seyss acknowledged unconditionally the Party leadership with respect to the whole programme and thereby also Klausner's leadership. As a Party member, he therefore subordinated himself specifically and literally to Klausner's leadership."
Do you find that?

A. I have only a draft before me, but it goes on to say:

"Over and above that, he declared himself, on the basis of the agreement at Berchtesgaden, and particularly on the basis of the declarations made to him by the Fuehrer on the occasion of his staff visit to Berlin, as being a trustee of the illegal NSDAP in Austria directly responsible to the Fuehrer within his political and State functions."
Then, there must be another passage where I say that in regard to political matters I would not subordinate myself to Klausner.

Q. Well, anyway, to move along, it is a fact, is it not, that very early in this period you acknowledged your unqualified allegiance to Hitler, and long before the Anschluss, too? You acknowledged your political allegiance, did you not?

A. One can almost say that. As far as "unqualified allegiance" was concerned, I was not sure at the time, because it was my opinion that Hitler too wanted revolutionary action.

Q. Well, all right. Did you not have something to do with the Dollfuss matter other than what you have told the Tribunal? You know, of course, that Rainer says that you did, in this same document, 812-PS.

A. Yes.

Q. And I think it is important that you make some answer to it. You have not done it on your direct testimony, and the document is in evidence, and in it he says that you supported -

A. (Interposing.): The reason, Mr. Prosecutor, why I gave no answer was because Rainer is coming here as a witness. Rainer will have to tell us here under oath on which facts he bases his statements. I can only say: No.

Q. Well, I know. I understand that, and that is another reason for asking you now. You see, you will be off the witness stand when he is on it, and I would like to know what you say now to what Rainer has said in this document which is in evidence, to the effect that you were involved in the Dollfuss Plot of July 25th, 1934.

[Page 158]

A. No, that is quite wrong.

Q. All right.

In connection with this there is one other matter I think we should clear up now if we can. You did not mean to convey to the Tribunal, did you, that the ceremony - if I may use that expression - commemorating the assassination of Dollfuss had nothing to do with Dollfuss at the time that they were held?

A. I certainly do wish to create that impression, because that ceremony was for the seven National Socialists who had been hanged at that time. On that occasion, as far as I remember, there was not any thought of Dollfuss' death, but of the fact that 107 men - I think 107 or 108 men of that unit - had made an attempt to do away with a system which, in the opinion of National Socialists, was hostile to the Reich, and as a result seven were hanged. The fact that Dollfuss was shot on that same occasion was not mentioned during the ceremony.

Q. Well, I do not say that it was, but the ceremony certainly commemorated the attack on Dollfuss, and I think it is quibbling, is it not, to say that it had no reference to it?

A. (Interposing.) No, if Dollfuss hadn't been shot, then the ceremony would have been carried out just the same.

Q. Are you sure of that, you think that all would lave been hanged if he had not been shot?

A. At any rate, I know seven were hanged.

Q. Well, you were appointed a State Councillor in 1937 - and, of course, again we are going to talk a good deal about this, about Rainer and his document. You know Rainer also says that you were appointed through the influence of Keppler and other Nazis in Austria, and Reich officials. Is that so? Did they influence your appointment in 1937? Rainer is wrong about that as well, is he?

A. Not at all. Keppler -

Q. (Interposing.) All right.

A. (Continuing.) - had no influence at all on my appointment as State Councillor.

Q. And Rainer, in your judgement, is in error when he says these people did have influence? You disagree with his statement, as I understand it. I want to make that clear.

A. It is absolutely incorrect.

Q. All right.

A. I was appointed State Councillor because Zernatto had discussed the matter with a friend of mine and then suggested it to Schuschnigg. A proposal from Keppler would probably have been a reason for Schuschnigg not appointing me.

Q. It was just a casual thing; and Schuschnigg appointed you because somebody spoke to him, and the Nazis with whom you were familiar in those days had nothing to do with it, had they?

A. That I would not say. I discussed with Rainer the possibility of an appointment as State Councillor, because a mutual acquaintance had previously discussed the question with Zernatto. I then discussed it with Rainer, but he exercised no influence with regard to the appointment.

Q. You have seen the document known as the Hoszbach Minutes, Exhibit USA 25, Document 386-PS, introduced before this Tribunal many months ago. Do you recall then that Hitler, during this discourse, as is reported by Hoszbach, gave particulars of some of the plans that he had for Austria as well as for Czechoslovakia? Do you remember that? It is in the document, I can assure you.

A. Yes.

Q. That was 11th November, 1937 - no, I am sorry;. it was 5th November, 1937. When did you first hear about that meeting? For the first time in your life, when did you hear about it?

A. Here, in this room.

Q. Now, do you remember the letter you wrote on 11th November to Dr. Jury?

[Page 159]

A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember it very well, or would you like to see a copy of it? I will show it to you. We have a copy here. You have not seen this; this is a new document.

A. I have also got a copy.

Q. It is Document 3396-PS.

A. That is right.

Q. What did you mean when you wrote to Jury on 11th November, 1937:

"I personally believe that there will be no visible results until early next year. In the meantime, I have received an authentic report from Linz ..."
and you go on to talk about a newspaper article.

What I want to know is: What did you mean by the events in the early part of 1938?

A. In the situation prevailing in Austria at that time, it was clear that the internal political position would not remain static. The optimistic National Socialists thought that during the coming weeks either Schuschnigg would retire or something else would happen. I viewed the situation more correctly, and it was my opinion that the new internal political development in Austria would not take place until the spring, that is to say, developments in the direction of further permissible activities on the part of the National Socialists. The newspaper article is something quite different.

Q. I am really not concerned about that unless you feel that it is important to your answer. I wanted to go back a little bit. You see, you open your letter by referring to a conversation with Herr Keppler. Now, he is the man who was Hitler's emissary on 11th and 12th March when Austria was handed over to the Nazis, is he not?

A. Yes, yes.

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