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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
20th June to 1st July 1946

One Hundred and Sixty-Third Day: Tuesday, 25th June, 1946
(Part 10 of 11)

[Page 190]


Q. Now, I want you just to turn to where your State Secretary gets down to concrete suggestions as to this policy of Germanisation. Remember that you entirely agree, in your letter to Lammers.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship will turn to Page 123, there is a heading "Youth."

Q. (continuing): "Fundamental change in education - Extermination of the Czech historical myth."
That is the first point: "Destroy any idea they might have of their history, beginning with the time of St. Wenceslas, nearly a thousand years ago." That is your first point.
"Education towards the Reich idea - No getting on without perfect knowledge of the German language - First doing away with the secondary schools, later also with the elementary schools - Never again any Czech universities, only transitionally the 'Collegium Behomicus' at the German university in Prague - two years' compulsory labour service.

[Page 191]

Large-scale land policy, creation of German strongpoints and German land bridges, in particular pushing forward of the German national soil from the north to the suburbs of Prague.

Campaign against the Czech language, which is to become merely a dialect as in the 17th and 18th centuries, and which is to disappear completely as an official language.

Marriage policy after previous racial examination.

In attempts at assimilation in the Reich proper, the frontier Gaue must be excluded.

Apart from continuous propaganda for Germanism and the granting of advantages as an inducement, severest police methods, with exile and 'special treatment' for all saboteurs. Principle: 'cakes and whip ' 'Zuckerbrot and peitsche.'

The employment of all these methods has a chance of success only if a single central Reich authority with one man at its head controls its planning, guiding, and carrying out. The direct subordination of the 'master in Bohemia' to the Fuehrer clarifies the political character of the task, and prevents the political problem from sinking down to an administrative problem."

In other words, it was essential to this policy that you should keep your job as Reich Protector and Frank should keep his as State Secretary, and the Gauleiter of the Lower Danube should not be able to interfere and take away Braunau as the capital of his Gau.

Defendant, do you tell this High Tribunal, as you told Dr. Lammers, that you entirely agree with what I suggest to you are dreadful, callous, and unprincipled proposals? Do you ... you agree with these proposals?

[Constantin von Neurath] A. No, I do not agree in the least.

Q. Well, why did you tell Lammers you did? Why, when things were going well, did you tell Lammers that you did agree with them?

A. Later, I made a verbal report to the Fuehrer about this. Apart from that, the statements which you just made show quite clearly that this first memorandum was written by Frank, who then added the second memorandum to it, and if you say, as you said at the end just now, that it was my purpose to remain in office as Reich Protector, then I can only tell you that the purpose, if there was a purpose in this connection, was that Frank wanted to become Reich Protector. However, from the point of view of the contents of this memorandum, I can certainly no longer identify myself with them today, nor did I do so on the occasion when I reported to the Fuehrer This becomes clear from the testimony which I gave yesterday. This testimony -

Q. (interrupting): Well, I'm not concerned with your testimony yesterday; I am concerned with what you wrote in 1940 when you wrote - and I will read the words again; I have read them three times:

"I enclose another memorandum on the same question which my State Secretary, K. H. Frank, has drawn up independently of me" - 'independently of me' - "and which in its train of thoughts leads to the same result, and with which I fully agree."
Why did you -

A. (interrupting): I have just now told you that I no longer agree with these statements today, and that at the time when I verbally reported to the Fuehrer I did not support these statements either, but, on the contrary, I proposed the statement which I explained yesterday, to which I received his agreement.

THE PRESIDENT: Sir David, are these documents correctly copied? Because you see that in the letter of 31st August, 1940, three is a reference in the margin, "Enclosure 1; Enclosure 2."


THE PRESIDENT: Therefore, the letter identifies the document.

[Page 192]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Yes, my Lord, that is so. The one is, as I am suggesting, the defendant's; the other is Frank's.



And you have mentioned, defendant, about what ... that you dealt with them otherwise to the Fuehrer. I suggest to you that that is not true, that is not true that you dealt with them otherwise to the Fuehrer. I am putting it quite bluntly that it is not true.

A. In that case I regret that I must say that you are lying. For I - I must know - after all, I must know whether I talked to the Fuehrer. I delivered a verbal report to him in person and Frank was not present.

Q. Well, now, just let us look at the report, at your report. Your Lordship will find it on Page 7.

We will see whether it is true or not.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Page 7, my Lord. It is Document D- 739 of the same book, 12A, it is Exhibit GB 821.

Now, this is a memorandum, a secret memorandum of the representative of the Foreign Office in the Office of the Reich Protector of 5th October.


Q. You will remember your letter was 31st of August. It says:

"Regarding the reception of the Reich Protector and the State Secretary Frank by the Fuehrer. I have learnt the following from authentic sources:

To begin with, the Minister of Justice, Gurnter, gave a report on the Czech resistance movement, during the course of which he maintained that the first trial of the four chief ringleaders would shortly take place before the People's Court.

The Fuehrer objected to this procedure and declared that execution squads were good enough for Czech insurgents and rebels. It was a mistake to create martyrs through legal sentences, as was proved in the case of Andreas Hofer and Schlageter. Tire Czechs would regard any sentence as an injustice. As this matter had already entered the path of legal procedure it was to be continued with in this form. The trials were to be postponed until after the war, and then, amidst the din of the victory celebrations, the proceeding would pass unnoticed. Only death sentences could be pronounced, but would be commuted later on to life imprisonment or deportation.

Regarding the question of the future of the Protectorate, the Fuehrer touched on the following three possibilities:

1. Continuation of Czech autonomy in which the Germans would live in the Protectorate as co-citizens with equal rights. This possibility was, however, out of the question as one had always to reckon with Czech intrigues.

2. The deportation of the Czechs and the Germanisation of the Bohemian and Moravian area by German settlers. This possibility was out of the question too, as it would take a hundred years.

3. The Germanisation of the Bohemian and Moravian area by Germanising the Czechs, that is, by their assimilation. The latter would be possible with the greater part of the Czech people. Those Czechs against whom there were racial objections or who were anti-German were to be excepted from this assimilation. This category was to be weeded out.

The Fuehrer decided in favour of the third possibility; he gave orders via Reich Minister Lammers to put a stop to the multitude of plans regarding partition of the Protectorate. The Fuehrer further decided that, in the interests of a uniform policy with regard to the Czechs, a central Reich authority for the whole of the Bohemian and Moravian area should continue at Prague.

The present status of the Protectorate thus continues."

[Page 193]

And look at the last sentence
"The Fuehrer's decision followed the lines of the memoranda submitted by the. Protector and State Secretary Frank."
Now, defendant, although you answered me so sharply a moment ago, that document states that after the reception of the Reich Protector and the State Secretary, the representative of the Foreign Office in your office says that the decision of the Fuehrer followed the lines of the memoranda put forward by you and your State Secretary Frank. Why do you say that I am wrong in saying it is untrue that a different line was followed by the Fuehrer? It is set out in that document.

A. To that I have the following reply to give:

First of all, the document shows that the Fuehrer touched upon the following three questions with reference to the question of the future of the Protectorate. They are the three possibilities which I said yesterday I had proposed. The document also shows, though not directly, that the cause for this Fuehrer conference was primarily quite a different one from that of merely deciding the question of the Protectorate. On the contrary, the Minister of Justice was present and a legal question in regard to the treatment of the members of the resistance movement was the cause for the discussion, and Frank came to Berlin for this reason. I had been to Berlin before that and had talked to the Fuehrer not about the memorandum, which I had in my hand, but about my misgivings in general and the future of our policy in the Protectorate. My report included those proposals which are mentioned here under one, two and three. It says there at the end: "The decision followed the lines of the memoranda submitted by the Protector and State Secretary Frank ...."

That remark was added by Dr. Ziemke or whoever wrote the document, but what I said yesterday about the policy is correct. And even if I admit that at that time in the letter to Lammers I did identify myself with these enclosures, it was nevertheless dropped.

Q. Well, I want to remind you that in the passage which I referred to last in your memorandum, as opposed to that of Frank, you were putting forward the organization of the Greater German Reich. I take it in this way, that you envisaged yourself that in the event of a German victory in the war the Czech part of Czechoslovakia would remain part of a Greater German Reich.

A. No, I beg your pardon. It had already been incorporated and here it is also expressly stated that it should remain in that condition, as a protectorate but as a special structure.

Q. Well, now, I just - are you saying that your policy, after this period - this was in the autumn of 1940 - that your policy towards the Czechs was sympathetic?

A. I do not think it changed except when there were strong resistance movements there.

Q. Well, now, why was it that you forbade in the middle of 1941 any reference to the discussion of the handling and treatment of all questions about the German-Czech problem? Why did you forbid its discussion?

A. To prevent these problems which were the cause of this memorandum from arising again and again, namely the problem of individual parts of the Protectorate being torn away, to the Sudeten country. That was the purpose of my report to the Fuehrer as I explained yesterday, so as to put a stop to that discussion once and for all.

Q. But you also - you particularly prohibited, did you not, any public statements addressed to the Czech population? Well, let us look at the document.

It is No. 3862-PS, my Lord ... your Lordship will find it at Page 126 of Document Book 12A. It will become Exhibit GB 522.

It is for distribution through your various offices and you say:

"For the motive stated I order that in future, when arrangements and publications of any kind concerning the German-Czech problem are made, the views of the whole population are more than ever to be directed to the

[Page 194]

war and its requirements, while the duty of the Czech nation to carry out the war tasks imposed on it jointly with the Greater German Reich is to be stressed.

Other questions concerning the German-Czech problem are not suitable subjects for public discussion at the present time. I wish to point out that, without detriment to my orders, administrative handling and treatment of all questions about the German-Czech problem are to be in no way alluded to."

Then the last paragraph:
"Requisite public statements about the political questions of the Protectorate and in particular those addressed to the Czech population are my business and mine alone and will be published in due course."
Why did you want to prohibit so severely the addressing of any public statements to the Czech population?

A. That is addressed not only to the Czech population, but especially to the Germans, and for a certain reason - that was some special event which I no longer remember - it says here "for the motive stated I order that" - whenever there was discussion about the future of the Protectorate or something was published. That was the reason, and I pointed out that that was why it was forbidden.

Q. Your proposals and Frank's speak for themselves. I want you to help me on one other matter.

Do you remember, after the closing of the universities, that the question arose what was to happen to the students? There were about eighteen thousand students who were, of course, out of work because they could not -

A. I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon. There were not so many. There were at the most eighteen hundred in all.

Q. No, with the greatest respect, either you are wrong or your office. The note from group 10 of your office reads:

"According to the data at my disposal the number of students affected by the closure" - I should think that would include high schools as well - "for three years of the Czech universities is 18,998.

According to the Press communications, dated the 21st of this month, only 1,200 persons were arrested in connection with the events of the 15th."

And then your office goes on to say by a process of subtraction that leaves 17,800. You were faced with their occupation.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it is Page 104, Document 3858-PS, GB 523.

A. I do not want to deny my official's statement. He must have known better than I. I am merely surprised that there should have been 18,000 students in two Czech universities, in a country with a population of 7,000,000.

THE PRESIDENT: Had you not better check that by the original?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I shall. I am much obliged to your Lordship. Well, my Lord, it is quite clear that both figures - they are in figures, and they are 18,998, and then there is the check below, and you have to take off 1,200. That leaves 17,800. My Lord, if it were only 1,800, the second figure could not arise.

DR. VON LUDINGHAUSEN: Mr. President, some;-here there must be an error. That would have been more for two universities in Czechoslovakia than there were in Berlin at the best of times. There were a maximum of 8,000 to 9,000 in Berlin per year and in the case of a nation of only 7,000,000 there are supposed to be 18,000 students in two universities. This cannot be right.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, it may be that there are three age groups. Your Lordship sees that it is " according to the data at my disposal, the number of students affected by the closure for three years of the Czech universities is 18,000." It may be that that is the intake for two years, in addition to present students.

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