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 10 of 10)

[Page 250]


40 per cent industrial workers, 20 per cent small farmers, 20 per cent members of professions and civil servants. He then deals with the tasks involved; issuing of food cards was the most important task. As far as the organization book is concerned, he said that it was merely a routine compilation.

Affidavit No. 24, made by Karl Hederich, has been translated. It deals with the matter of the number of the political leaders, which I touched upon when I submitted my documents.

This witness was in the Reich leadership of the Party and he was the deputy chairman for the examination of documents. He dealt with statistical material and he had to summarize it. Therefore, he is well informed as to the questions which he treats in his affidavit. In his affidavit he shows that the number of the political leaders was not only 600,000 but in reality it was at least one and one-half million. He emphasises in this connection that this figure is set very conservatively and that he had taken into consideration that one person might have had more than one office.

Affidavit No. 25 is in Commission Report No. 1, Page 3602. It deals with the significance of the organization book, the terminology of which is of fundamental importance in these proceedings. He says that he had talked this matter over repeatedly with the expert assistance of the author of the book, that is the witness Mehnert, who stated that the book did not show the actual circumstances but that it was hoped to do so in the future.

Then Affidavit No. 26, made by Foertsch. He is the former Gau Organizationsleiter of Munich-Upper Bavaria. He, too, says that the book was a theoretical work.

Affidavit No. 27 is a second affidavit by the same Hederich of the Reichsleitung just mentioned, in which the significance of the organization book is described in detail, based on personal knowledge of its production.

[Page 251]

Affidavit 28 is a second affidavit by the Gau organization leader of Munich-Upper Bavaria, Foertsch, wherein he defines his attitude to the question, "What is the Corps of Political Leaders?" He states that one should clearly differentiate between official position (Dienststellung) and official rank (Dienstrang). He says that only a fraction of those people who had an office in the Party were also appointed "political leaders." As an instance, he estimates that in the Gau Munich-Upper Bavaria about 20 per cent of the people who held Party offices were "political leaders," the remaining 80 per cent were never appointed political leaders; therefore, considering its legal aspect, a considerable reduction in numbers must be made. Then he points out that the granting of the title "political leader" and the instalment in office was carried out by different agencies.

Affidavit 29 was sworn by the witness Davidts and states that the speakers, Reich speakers, Gau speakers and Kreis speakers, did not themselves have the rank of political leaders.

Then follows Affidavit No. 30, which is a document by Alfons Schaller, Kreisleiter at Cologne. He deals with the well- known card index which was in use in the Gau Cologne-Aix-la- Chapelle and explains its existence by local circumstances, viz., that as the large card indexes had been destroyed by air raids, they were to have been compiled afresh in the lower offices, but he says these card indexes were in practice not re-established.

Affidavit 31 is made by a Richard Schaller and deals with political appreciations. He states that the offices below the Kreis leadership could not issue any such appreciations.

Then we have a document by Gauleiter Sprenger, which has been submitted by the prosecution, Document D-728. At the time, I disputed the authenticity of the document, and various witnesses testified about it. Here we have an affidavit made by a man who was the adjutant to the Gauleiter and worked with him as Gau manager for years. He says, according to his personal knowledge, that judging by the nature of these letters they could not come from the source to which they are attributed, and he adds to his affidavit the statements of other people who told him so, too.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL. FYFE: My Lord, I am very anxious that the prosecution's case should rest on documents which are unchallenged as far as it is humanly possible. Therefore, rather than have any dispute on the document, the prosecution will not rely on that document which is dealt with here.

DR. SERVATIUS: Mr. President, if I understand correctly, this Document D-728 by Sprenger is being withdrawn. Is that correct?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, go on.

DR. SERVATIUS: Then I will omit Affidavit 33, which deals with the Sprenger document.

Affidavit 34 is sworn by an Oberlandesgerichtsrat (provincial judge), who presided over one of the high Party Courts, and he states his opinion that Party judges were not "political leaders," but that later, in 1943, a certain change was made in the organization book, according to which they were drawn closer to the Party.

Mr. President, may I refer once more to the document which has been withdrawn, D-728, and ask that the excerpt recorded from that document be stricken from the record.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I make no objections, my Lord. When I withdrew the document, I withdrew it entirely from the record. Certainly.

DR. SERVATIUS: Now, I shall turn to the various departments (Fachamter).

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, Dr. Servatius.

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DR. SERVATIUS: Now, I shall turn to the affidavit dealing with the expert appointments in the staffs of groups in the Hoheitstrager. In the Hoheitstrager's staffs there were various groups of offices, which were regular political leadership offices, Party administration offices, and finally professional and specialists' offices. These specialists' offices were a body and for discipline subordinate to the Hoheitstrager, but they received their instructions directly from the Reichsleiter.

I shall begin with Affidavit 35, deposed by Schoen, a Gau training leader in Mainfranken. He deals with the training material for the schools and also with the problem of severing the connection with the Church. In this connection he says that it was prohibited. He says further that he never in any way participated in the planning of any war crimes or crimes against humanity. He testifies as to the activities of his office.

Affidavit No. 36 is made by Dr. Schulz, chief leader for education of the Gau propaganda office in Gau Lower Silesia. He states in detail what kind of information was received concerning the start of the war, and that everything happened very rapidly and surprisingly. He further talks about the setting up of the DAF and its propaganda activities. He states that it is essential to note that only four per cent of the people in office were paid officials and 96 per cent of them were honorary officials, also that 70 per cent belonged to the Christian denominations.

The next group of affidavits deals with the Party administration.

We have Affidavit No. 37, given by Paul Kuenzler, who was in the finance administration. He confirms the exclusive activities in finance and technical administrative matters, and how the personnel were kept away from all political tasks.

The third group of expert offices are composed as follows: They are the expert liaison agents between the Party branches. Then the professional representatives, the general expert counsellors and offices, and finally the office of welfare and public care. To the liaison experts belonged the Women's League (Frauenschaft), the Lecturers' League and the Students' League. They are independent organizations, which have no connection with the Hoheitstrager through an office in their staffs. Only the local leaders were the liaison with the Gau- and Kreisleiter. Here before the Commission there were two female witnesses from the Women's League (Frauenschaft), Westermacher and Paul, and from the Lecturers' League, Dr. Kutover.

As Affidavit No. 38 we have an affidavit made by Frau Kuenast, Gau service department leader in the Berlin Mothers' Service (Muetterdienst). It says that she had no connection with the Gauleiter or one of his collaborators, and that she was directly subordinate to the Women's League Gau leadership.

As Affidavit No. 39 a lady physician, Dr. Hildegard Brauns, testified as to the activity of the Women's League district leaders in Wesermuende and the manner in which conferences were carried out; she also says that at conferences which did not deal with purely feminine matters the women had to leave the room, and they were never called in for political work.

The professional group, which came next, was composed of teachers, civil servants, technicians, physicians and lawyers. For the educators and teachers, I cannot submit an affidavit as yet. For technical reasons it is impossible for me to do so.

Concerning officials, I have Affidavit No. 40, made by Dr. Schenk, who also confirmed that at conferences of Hoheitstrager with their staff officers these groups did not participate, and he says that since 1943 the office for officials was closed down, for its work was considered insufficiently important.

Dealing with the offices, district and Gau offices, for technical science I have one affidavit given by Schoenberger (district technical office leader), of Cologne, who describes his activity, which was purely technical, in connection with electric

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power, building, transport, and so on. He says that he was called in only for practical work of a technical nature.

Affidavit 42 is from the Gau technical office leader for Pomerania, Mackels; he makes statements on the same lines as the previous witness; and says that all work had to be done without pay, and outside of his usual occupation.

Then follows the Office of Public Health. Here Affidavit No. 43 applies, which was sworn by a Dr. Sasse, head of the district public health office in Iserlohn. He says that the local leaders of the National Socialist Physicians' League were at the same time leaders of their respective Gau offices for public health. He states that he was consulted as far as professional work was concerned, but that at the inner staff conferences the physicians however were not admitted, so that they were not informed along political lines.

Then follow the tasks of the legal offices. Affidavit No. 44, by a district legal office leader, Dr. Steinhauser of Augsburg. He deals with the task of the Lawyers' League and he says that the legal offices which were attached to the staff had no political significance, since in 1942 they were dissolved as being non-essential to the war effort.

The further group are expert offices and expert advisers, the DAF foremen, representatives of handicrafts and commerce, the office for agrarian policy, the office for communal policy, the economic consultants, and delegates for racial questions. In this connection, I should like to submit Affidavit No. 45, made by a district foreman of the DAF, from Neuulm, whose name is Haller. He describes in detail just what the DAF men had to do, what their position was, and emphasises that exclusively social work represented the only activity which was carried on in his sphere.

For the office of trade and commerce I cannot give you any affidavits, for I have no witness at my disposal.

Then follows Affidavit No. 46, made by the former Reich Minister for Food and Agriculture, Reich farmers' leader Darre. He deals extensively with the development of the Reich Food Administration and clarifies how far a farmers' leader can be active in the Party or how far he can belong to the Reich Food Administration, and shows that the Reich Food Administration was very independent of the Party and was an independent professional organization which, until 1942, succeeded in keeping to a great degree independent of the Party. He expresses his views on various questions in detail, particularly as regards the attitude of the Reich farmers' organization toward the Church.

Then I shall turn to the Office for Communal Politics. I have two affidavits; one made by Dr. Plank, of the Office for Communal Politics in Nuremberg. He says that the Party concerned itself with the so-called human leadership, whereas expert legal and administrative questions

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Servatius, I do not know whether Sir David Maxwell Fyfe was going to refer us to these passages in Goering's evidence this evening; maybe he was. Perhaps we had better break off now because we may not be able to finish the whole of this affidavit summary. Were you, Sir David?

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I was going to inform your Lordship of the fact that we had not been able to find any passages in the examination of the defendant Goering. It extends over certain ones. I hoped we had not missed them but we have been through them and cannot find them.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then -

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, that leaves the application of Dr. Stahmer in this position. The document that reference is made to is No. 008, which is a letter of the witness Sievers' and it contains the sentence:

"As I have informed you, the direction for carrying out the experiments is in the hands of the Director of the Hygienic Institute of the Reich

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University of Strassburg, Professor Dr. Haagen, Major in the Medical Corps, and consulting hygienist to an air fleet, who was commissioned with this task by the Reichsmarshal, the President of the Reich Research Councils ..."
That, my Lord, is the effect of it. The position is that when Field-Marshal Milch was giving evidence, letters were put to him, on Document 343-PS, the second of which, under date of 31st August, said that he had heard with great interest of the reports of Dr. Rascher and Dr. Romberg:
"I am informed about the experiments. I shall ask the two gentlemen to give a lecture combined with the showing of films to my men in the near future."
Then your Lordship may remember that Field-Marshal Milch said that he was only acting as the signatory for his own medical inspection in the air force when he signed these letters and he could not remember anything about them. My Lord, that was the way the evidence was left. As to the rulings of the Tribunal, there are two that seem to be applicable. One was that when the Tribunal decided that the order should be final speeches of the defendants before the taking of evidence of the organizations, the Tribunal stated, on 31st May, that the defendants will be allowed to call to the attention of the Tribunal any circumstance developed in the hearing of the organizations which is thought to be helpful to their defence; and, my Lord, previously the Tribunal had laid down the general ruling that certain sub-paragraphs of their ruling of 23rd February do not limit the power of the Tribunal to allow a defendant to be recalled for further testimony in exceptional cases if, in the opinion of the Tribunal, the interest of justice so requires. My Lord, the prosecution feel naturally reluctant even to suggest to the Tribunal what is an exceptional case, and what are the interests of justice in a particular case but, my Lord, they do want to make two points - one particular to this application and one in general. The point particular to this application is that it was known, of course, when the defendant Goering went into the witness box, that there were these letters in existence and that his second-in-command, Field-Marshal Milch, had said that the medical inspectorate of the corps of the air force were dealing with these experiments and in touch with the SS on them. My Lord, as far as we can find, the matter was not pursued after that, therefore, at that time, the defendant had notice of the general position although not - I quite agree with Dr. Stahmer - with these particular experiments dealing with spotted fever. My Lord, the general point - the prosecution desire to emphasize this, that this procedure ought to be confined to exceptional cases where the interest of justice requires this course very clearly. It would be unfortunate if this procedure of recalling were to become common or were to be dealt with on any points which are not of primary importance. Your Lordship, of course, remembers that the English rule is that the procedure is used only for matters which are strictly ex- improviso. As I say, the prosecution here cannot say that the particular point of spotted fever is not ex-improviso, but the general position of experiments was brought to the defendant's attention before he gave his evidence and therefore does not arise as an unforeseen point. I do not think that the prosecution can help the Tribunal further regarding this matter.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will consider the matter.

On Monday the Tribunal will sit until one o'clock. After one o'clock they will sit in closed session.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: I am much obliged.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 19th August, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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