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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Fifth Day: Friday, 16th August, 1946
(Part 7 of 10)

[Page 237]

DR. SERVATIUS: That is defined later, but at first in the introduction the whole "Corps of Political Leaders" is mentioned. If the prosecution would clarify that, the number would be considerably reduced. I only wanted to point out this statistical material -

THE PRESIDENT: Well, where was it that the Indictment was confined to "Gauleiter to Blockleiter"?

DR. SERVATIUS: In the Trial Brief. The offices are listed in detail, but it is never said that the others are omitted.

[Page 238]

THE PRESIDENT: As I understand what you say, the Indictment charges the political leaders - the "Corps of Political Leaders"?


THE PRESIDENT: In that corps there are persons who were "political leaders" who are not included in the "Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter"?


THE PRESIDENT: Then at a later stage in the Trial Brief, the prosecution emits, or purports at any rate to limit their application for criminal declaration to the "Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter," the original scope of the Indictment.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, I understand that you mean that the staff of the Ortsgruppenleiter and the Block and Zelle assistants were not omitted? Then the great mass still remains so that the result is negative.

THE PRESIDENT: The Block- and Zellenleiter were not omitted, you say?

DR. SERVATIUS: No, the assistants of the Block- and Zellenleiter, that is their so-called staffs, and the staffs of the Ortsgruppenleiter, and I believe that -

THE PRESIDENT: That is what I said, that the original Indictment included the whole "Corps of Political Leaders," and these were limited to include only those from the "Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter."

DR. SERVATIUS: I believe individual parts were taken out, and it was not said "These are the remainder who are still charged." It may be a misunderstanding. Perhaps the prosecution could clear it up.

THE PRESIDENT: Colonel Griffith-Jones, could you tell us?

LT-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: Perhaps I can be of assistance. The Indictment included all political Leiter. When the case was presented, the prosecution excluded from that total figure the staff officers on the staff of the Ortsgruppenleiter. Your Lordship will remember that the Corps of Political Leaders had its Hoheitstrager, the bearers of sovereignty: the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and Blockleiter. The Gauleiter, Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenleiter also had staffs, people working in their offices who are also political Leaders but not Hoheitstrager; and the prosecution excluded the staff officers end the Ortsgruppen staffs, leaving in: all Hoheitstrager, from the Gauleiter down to the Blockleiter, and the staff political Leiter, or the Gau staff officers. That is, I think, how it stands at the moment.

THE PRESIDENT: You are agreed about that, Dr. Servatius? Are you?

DR. SERVATIUS: Yes, but then a formal statement must be made by the prosecution. The prosecution, as is well known, indicted the whole "Corps of Political Leaders." If they reserve the right to omit groups and now wish to omit from the Indictment the political leaders in these organizations just mentioned, the NSV, women's organizations, and Labour Front, they should make a formal application.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, now, Colonel Griffith-Jones, Dr. Servatius is submitting that you ought to make a formal declaration on behalf of the prosecution that that is so.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, as I understand the position, all these political Leiter to which Dr. Servatius is referring, the ones set out here, the women's organizations and so on, they are all under the staff, they do work for the political leaders on the staff of the various Hoheitstrager. I think it may be there is a possible exception in respect to the DAF (the German Labour Front). It had been suggested by the witnesses for the defence that there were other political leaders in the DAF who were not directly on the staffs of one of the Hoheitstrager. If that is so, they of course are included in the Indictment.

[Page 239]

THE PRESIDENT: This document does not appear to show whether those are staff officers or not .... It simply gives us numbers.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: It does not, but, in fact, that is the position that that was what made up the staff of the various Hoheitstrager. The representatives of these various other organizations, the staff of each Hoheitstrager, the Gauleiter, Kreis- and Ortsgruppenleiter, had very much the same form. It had its staff officers, its training officer, and so on; and it also had the representatives of these other organizations, such as German Labour Front, the Welfare, the women's associations, the student associations, teachers, and so on. It was the staff officers who made up the total staff. Perhaps I might just say that this figure of 2,000,000 that has been given, of course that included all the staff officers and the Ortsgruppen staffs, the ones which the prosecution excluded, and it is the staff officers and the Ortsgruppen staffs which make up the majority of that total. I can give the Tribunal the exact figures, or as near as we have been able to estimate them. I am afraid I have not them with me in Court at the moment. But the Tribunal will see that - I think I might say - there were about 600 Ortsgruppen and on each Ortsgruppe about 15 staff officers, so that the total is very considerable.

THE PRESIDENT: Those numbers would have to be deducted from the numbers that are here?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: Those numbers would have to be deducted. The prosecution has not included the number that Dr. Servatius has given the Tribunal now. From that you have to deduct the complete staff of all the Ortsgruppen, which forms a very large part of that total given you. Speaking from memory, the total, if you exclude that, was in the region of 600,000.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you could give us the figures in writing, or perhaps you can state them now, because if there are 2,000,000 here, how many staff officers of the Ortsgruppenleiter are there, according to you?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, I will be able to tell the Tribunal within a quarter of an hour, if I might just send for the figures. I am afraid that I cannot remember them. I will get them, and I will let the Tribunal know.


DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, may I comment on that question? It is true that the staffs of the Ortsgruppenleiter were omitted. According to my calculations, they amount to about 1,000,000 but the number is increased by the fact that one and a half times in the course of these years a turnover took place, so that one gets one and a half times the figure, and it then amounts to millions. Another thing is that these Ortsgruppenleiter and these offices are not given according to the number of persons, but as offices, so that the deputies and successors are not included. Only a statistician can deal with this question in detail, but I do not believe that it is necessary to figure it out in detail to get a general impression that there are actually millions involved.

Then I go on to Page 4. This is also an excerpt from Der Hoheitstrager. Unfortunately, it cannot be seen from the document that this is another issue of the Hoheitstrager of the year 1937, Second Series. Here one can see the percentages of Blockleiter, Kreisleiter, and Gauleiter. The majority - over 50 per cent - are Blockleiter and Zellenleiter. These are not excluded from the Indictment.

Their assistant are excluded. The core of the political leaders is formed by the Kreis- and Gauleiter, who amount to 3 per cent.

The figures under (5) and (6) are also significant. The departmental offices were 27.8 per cent and the internal Party offices, administration, 16.3 per cent.

[Page 240]

These departmental offices are significant, because they include the political leaders of the organizations, of the professional unions, the DAF, the NSV. But by no means were all political leaders of these formations at the same time an the staffs of the Gau, Kreis and Ortsgruppe. Only a very few of them in each Gau, perhaps one or two, in the Kreis a few; perhaps a few also with the Ortsgruppen so that it remains a fairly small number. The majority of these experts are in their own formations, of course.

Then I go on to Page 5. That is Document No. 12. It is significant in regard to the term "Corps of Political Leaders." Whether such a corps exists or can now be formed is doubtful. Here it says that a political organization is forbidden and expressly prohibited. It is an order of Hess, issued in the year 1935, with the legal explanation that there cannot be such a special organization.

Then I come to Document No. 13. This is significant for the following reason: One does not become a political leader by being given a position, but by special appointment. It is stated here that since this appointment as Hoheitstrager must be made by a special act of sovereignty, whoever is not appointed is not a Hoheitstrager and does not belong to the Corps of Political Leaders.

It shows that quite a number are not appointed, especially during the war - all those who, as an emergency measure, held lower offices in an honorary capacity.

Document No. 14 concerns the same question.

Document No. 15 also emphasises in a similar way that the appointment is for public service and that it is therefore not merely a private appointment to an office.

In Document No. 16, on Page 9, one finds the order that the Leiter in the DAF (Labour Front) are also political leaders of the Party. Thus, according to the concept of the Indictment, they belong to the Corps of Political Leaders, if they are not excluded.

The next document, No. 17, shows the higher Fuehrer Corps, Hoheitstrager down to Kreisleiter, and shows that the Ortsgruppenleiter and those below him are treated differently in regard to appointment. Hitler himself appointed the Gauleiter and their adjutants, the Gauamtsleiter, and Kreisleiter. That is of significance when judging these persons.

The next document, No. 18, on Page 11, shows the exaggeration of the concept of "Hoheitstrager" whereas the concept here is not "political leader," it mentions the awarding of this title to motor vehicle drivers, telephone operators, caretakers of buildings and orderlies, and it is said that they should be made political leaders in the organization, but not in the actual political department between Gau and Ortsgruppenleiter.

Document No. 19, on Page 12, says that appointments as "political leader" are suspended until further notice. It dates from the year 1944. The consequence would be that those who received an office after August, 1944, were in no case made "political leaders." In practice, this was already so before this time.

The word "Hoheitstrager" is of great importance. The prosecution has placed great weight on it, and the small functionaries - the Zellenleiter and the Blockleiter - were not omitted from the proceedings, because they are Hoheitstrager.

In Document No. 20, on Page 13, Hess orders on 14th April, 1934, that to be Hoheitstrager people must be Gauleiter, Kreisleiter or Ortsgruppenleiter. This is not expressly stated, but it can be concluded from the text.

The next document, No. 2, on Page 14, is important because it also closes the circle of Hoheitstrager with the Ortsgruppenleiter, omitting therefore the small officials when this term is used.

The next document is No. 21, on Page 15. It also limits the term to Gauleiter, Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenleiter.

[Page 241]

In Document No. 1, on Page 16, the "Hoheitsgebeite" (areas of authority) are clearly determined. It is a book entitled The Administration of the National Socialist German Labour Party, 1940, published by a Dr. Lingg. It says:
"For the execution of its task the Party is divided into four areas of authority: (1) Reich, (2) Gau, (3) Kreis, and (4) Ortsgruppe. At the top of each of these areas of authority is placed the respective Hoheitstrager: (1) the Fuehrer, (2) the Gauleiter, (3) the Kreisleiter, (4) the Ortsgruppenleiter."
Document No. 22, on Page 77, of the year 1940, is an official order to the same effect which defines the term "Hoheitstrager."

Document No. 4, Page 18, is also to the same effect. It is an order of Hitler about the circle of persons who can determine the extent of damage after air raids. It says: "The competent Hoheitstrager, viz., Gauleiter, Kreisleiter and Ortsgruppenleiter, are permitted to enter the areas affected."

In other words, just when something happens in the area of the Blockleiter or Zellenleiter, he is not given access, because he is not a Hoheitstrager.

I refer to Document No. 23, on Page 19, which is to the same effect.

Document No. 24, on Page 20, again confirms my submission.

Document No. 25, on Page 21, is an excerpt from Der Hoheitstrager. It deals with confidential information and tells how far this information may be passed. This confidential information may be passed on as far down as the Ortsgruppenleiter; Block- and Zellenleiter are not informed.

There follows Document No. 9, on Page 23; it is a decree of the Reich Finance Minister concerning the granting of marriage loans and various other subsidies. The document is of importance, because it states what applicants must afford proof of their political reliability before being able to expect a grant. This means that the Blockleiter and Zellenleiter who must first prove their political reliability cannot therefore be Hoheitstrager in the true sense of the word.

Now I come to another subject.

Document No. 26, Page 26. The question is to what extent SA and SS are subordinate to "political leaders." It says there is no such relation either for the SA, SS, Hitler Youth or NSKK.

Document No. 27 is to the same effect. It confirms that the leaders of the SA groups or brigades were not under the orders of the Gauleiter.

The next document, No. 28, deals with recruitment groups and the question of how propaganda should be spread, assistance should be given by word and deed, and above all, people have to be won over and convinced. It also concerns the subject of spies and informers, which comes up later.

The next document is No. 29. This refers to the relations between Party and State, and interference of the Party in State rights.

It is an instruction which says: "Keep away from measures to enforce which is the State's responsibility. In calling upon State organs, it is to be carefully considered whether an interference is justified."

Document No. 30 is on Page 31. It is a decree of Hess as to the attitude of a National Socialist; he should endeavour to have confidence and willingness to co-operate.

The next document, No. 31, also condemns attempts to misuse an official Party position in relations with other offices for personal ends.

Document No. 32 deals with the legal proceedings. It indicates that the Party has nothing to do with these and that it shall endeavour to keep away from such proceedings. It says:

"The decision whether a punishable deed shall be prosecuted or not rests alone with the Public Prosecutor and/or the Reich Minister of Justice."
The next document is No. 33. It is another order of Hess, of the year 1935, refers to political evaluation reports and states that they could be issued only from the Kreisleiter upwards. I should like to call special attention to this because

[Page 242]

I consider it an essential indication concerning the higher Party leader and a salient point which must lead to a proper estimation.

Document No. 34 concerns the problem of investigation, known as "spying for informing." It was issued by Hess in October, 1936, and I quote:

"Never, even when attending to the least important fellow- Germans and their families, should Zellenleiter and Blockleiter become importunate, and their duty should never degenerate into prying and spying on them, which would not arouse confidence, but distrust."

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