|Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 1|
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We shall now consider the steps, which embraced the most hideous of crimes against humanity, to which the conspirators resorted in perfecting control of the German State and in preparing Germany for the aggressive war indispensable to their ends.
The Germans of the 1920's were a frustrated and baffled people as a result of defeat and the disintegration of their traditional government. The democratic elements, which were trying to govern Germany through the new and feeble machinery of the Weimar Republic, got inadequate support from the democratic forces of the rest of the world. It is not to be denied that Germany, when world-wide depression was added to her other problems, was faced with urgent and intricate pressure in her economic and political life which necessitated bold measures.
The internal measures by which a nation attempts to solve its problems are ordinarily of no concern to other nations. But the Nazi program from the first was recognized as a desperate program for a people still suffering the effects of an unsuccessful war. The Nazi policy embraced ends always recognized as attainable only by a renewal and a more successful outcome of war. The conspirators' answer to Germany's problems was nothing less than to plot the regaining of territories lost in the First World War and the acquisition of other fertile lands of Central Europe by dispossessing or exterminating those who inhabited them. They also contemplated destroying or permanently weakening all other neighboring peoples so as to win virtual domination of Europe and probably of the world. The precise limits of their ambition we need not define for it was and is as illegal to wage aggressive war for small stakes as for large ones.
We find at this period two governments in Germany-the real and the ostensible. The forms of the German republic were maintained for a time, and it was the outward and visible government. But the real authority in the State was outside of and above the law and rested in the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.
On February 27, 1933, less than a month after Hitler became Chancellor, the Reichstag building was set on fire. The burning of this symbol of free parliamentary government was so providential for the Nazis that it was believed they staged the fire themselves. Certainly when we contemplate their known crimes, we cannot believe they would shrink from mere arson. It is not necessary, however, to resolve the controversy as to who set the fire. The significant point is in the use that was made of the fire and of the state of public mind it produced. The Nazis immediately accused the Communist Party of instigating and committing the crime, and turned every effort to portray this single act of arson as the beginning of a Communist revolution. Then, taking advantage of the hysteria, the Nazi met this phantom revolution with a real one. In the following December, the German Supreme Court with commendable courage and independence acquitted the accused Communists, but it was too late to influence the tragic course of events which the Nazi conspirators had set rushing forward.
Hitler, on the morning after the fire, obtained from the aged and ailing President von Hindenburg a Presidential decree suspending the extensive guarantees of individual liberty contained in the Constitution of the Weimar Republic. The decree provided that:
"Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." (1390-PS).
The extent of the restriction on personal liberty under the decree of February 28, 1933 may be understood by reference to the rights under the Weimar Constitution which were suspended:
"Article 114. The freedom of the person is inviolable. Curtailment or deprivation of personal freedom by a public authority is only permissible on a legal basis.
"Persons who have been deprived of their freedom must be informed at the latest on the following day by whose authority and for what reasons the deprivation of freedom was ordered; opportunity shall be afforded them without delay of submitting objections to their deprivation of freedom.
"Article 115. Every German's home is his sanctuary and inviolable. Exceptions may only be made as provided by law.
"Article 117. The secrecy of letters and all postal, telegraphic and telephone communications is inviolable. Exceptions are inadmissible except by Reich law.
"Article 118. Every German has the right, within the limits of the general laws, to express his opinions freely in speech, in writing, in print, in picture form or in any other way. No conditions of work or employment may detract from this right and no disadvantage may accrue to him from any person for making use of this right. * * *
"Article 123. All Germans have the right to assemble peacefully and unarmed without giving notice and without special permission.
"A Reich law may make previous notification obligatory for assemblies in the open air, and may prohibit them in the case of immediate danger to the public safety.
"Article 124. All the Germans have the right to form associations or societies for purposes not contrary to criminal law. This right may not be curtailed by preventive measures. The same provisions apply to religious associations and societies.
"Every association may become incorporated (Erwerb der Rechtsfaehigkeit) according to the provisions of the civil law. The right may not be refused to any association on the grounds that its aims are political, social-political or religious.
"Article 153. Property is guaranteed by the Constitution. Its content and limits are defined by the laws.
"Expropriation can only take place for the public benefit and on a legal basis. Adequate compensation shall be granted, unless a Reich law orders otherwise. In the case of dispute concerning the amount of compensation, it shall be possible to submit the matter to the ordinary civil courts, unless Reich laws determine otherwise. Compensation must be paid if the Reich expropriates property belonging to the Lands, Communes, or public utility associations.
"Property carries obligations. Its use shall also serve the common good." (2050-PS).
It must be said in fairness to von Hindenburg that the Constitution itself authorized him temporarily to suspend these fundamental rights "if the public safety and order in the German Reich are considerably disturbed or endangered." It must also be acknowledged that President Ebert previously had invoked this power.
But the National Socialist coup was made possible because the terms of the Hitler-Hindenburg decree departed from all previous ones in which the power of suspension had been invoked. Whenever Ebert had suspended constitutional guarantees of individual rights, his decree had expressly revived the Protective Custody Act adopted by the Reichstag in 1916 during the previous war. This Act guaranteed a judicial hearing within 24 hours of arrest, gave a right to have counsel and to inspect all relevant records, provided for appeal, and authorized compensation from Treasury funds for erroneous arrests.
The Hitler-Hindenburg decree of February 28, 1933 contained no such safeguards. The omission may not have been noted by von Hindenburg. Certainly he did not appreciate its effect. It left the Nazi police and party formations, already existing and functioning under Hitler, completely unrestrained and irresponsible. Secret arrest and indefinite detention, without charges, without evidence, without hearing, without counsel, became the method of inflicting inhuman punishment on any whom the Nazi police suspected or disliked. No court could issue an injunction, or writ of habeas corpus, or certiorari. The German people were in the hands of the police, the police were in the hands of the Nazi Party, and the Party was in the hands of a ring of evil men, of whom the defendants here before you are surviving and representative leaders.
The Nazi conspiracy, as we shall show, always contemplated not merely overcoming current opposition but exterminating elements which could not be reconciled with its philosophy of the state. It not only sought to establish the Nazi "new order" but to secure its sway, as Hitler predicted, "for a thousand years." Nazis were never in doubt or disagreement as to what these dissident elements were. They were concisely described by one of them, Col. General von Fritsch, on December 11, 1938, in these words:
"Shortly after the first war I came to the conclusion that we should have to be victorious in three battles if Germany were to become powerful again: 1. The battle against the working class-Hitler has won this. 2. Against the Catholic Church, perhaps better expressed against Ultramontanism. 3. Against the Jews." (1947-PS).
The warfare against these elements was continuous. The battle in Germany was but a practice skirmish for the worldwide drive against them. We have in point of geography and of time two groups of crimes against humanity-one within Germany before and during the war, the other in occupied territory during the war. But the two are not separated in Nazi planning. They are a continuous unfolding of the Nazi plan to exterminate peoples and institutions which might serve as a focus or instrument for overturning their "new world order" at any time. We consider these Crimes against Humanity in this address as manifestations of the one Nazi plan and discuss them according to General von Fritsch's classification.
1. The Battle Against the Working Class
When Hitler came to power, there were in Germany three groups of trade unions. The General German Trade Union Confederation (ADGB) with twenty-eight affiliated unions, and the General Independent Employees Confederation (AFA) with thirteen federated unions together numbered more than 4,500,000 members. The Christian Trade Union had over 1,250,000 members.
The working people of Germany, like the working people of other nations, had little to gain personally by war. While labor is usually brought around to the support of the nation at war, labor by and large is a pacific, though by no means a pacifist force in the world. The working people of Germany had not forgotten in 1933 how heavy the yoke of the war lord can be. It was the workingmen who had joined the sailors and soldiers in the revolt of 1918 to end the First World War. The Nazis had neither forgiven nor forgotten. The Nazi program required that this part of the German population not only be stripped of power to resist diversion of its scanty comforts to armament, but also be wheedled or whipped into new and unheard of sacrifices as part of the Nazi war preparation. Labor must be cowed, and that meant its organizations and means of cohesion and defense must be destroyed.
The purpose to regiment labor for the Nazi Party was avowed by Ley in a speech to workers on May 2, 1933, as follows:
"You may say what else do you want, you have the absolute power. True we have the power, but we do not have the whole people, we do not have you workers 100%, and it is you whom we want; we will not let you be until you stand with us in complete, genuine acknowledgment." (614-PS).
The first Nazi attack was upon the two larger unions. On April 21, 1933 an order not even in the name of the Government, but of the Nazi Party was issued by the conspirator Robert Ley as "Chief of Staff of the political organization of the NSDAP," applicable to the Trade Union Confederation and the Independent Employees Confederation. It directed seizure of their properties and arrest of their principal leaders. The party order directed party organs which we here denounce as criminal associations, the SA and SS "to be employed for the occupation of the trade union properties, and for the taking into custody of personalities who come into question." And it directed the taking into "protective custody" of all chairmen and district secretaries of such unions and branch directors of the labor bank (392-PS).
These orders were carried out on May 2, 1933. All funds of the labor unions, including pension and benefit funds, were seized. Union leaders were sent to concentration camps. A few days later, on May 10, 1933, Hitler appointed Ley leader of the German Labor Front (DEUTSCHE ARBEITSFRONT), which succeeded to the confiscated union funds. The German Labor Front, a Nazi controlled labor bureau, was set up under Ley to teach the Nazi philosophy to German workers and to weed out from industrial employment all who were backward in their lessons (1940-PS). "Factory Troops" were organized as an "ideological shock squad within the factory" (1817-PS). The Party order provided that "outside of the German Labor Front, no other organization (whether of workers or of employees) is to exist." On June 24, 1933 the remaining Christian Trade Unions were seized pursuant to an order of the Nazi Party signed by Ley.
On May 19, 1933, this time by government decree, it was provided that "trustees" of labor, appointed by Hitler, should regulate the conditions of all labor contracts, replacing the former process of collective bargaining (405-PS). On January 20, 1934 a decree "regulating national labor" introduced the fuehrer-principle into industrial relations. It provided that the owners of enterprises should be the "fuehrers" and the workers should be the followers. The enterpriser-fuehrers should "make decisions for employees and laborers in all matters concerning the enterprise" (1861-PS). It was by such bait that the great German industrialists were induced to support the Nazi cause, to their own ultimate ruin.
Not only did the Nazis dominate and regiment German labor, but they forced the youth into the ranks of the laboring people they had thus led into chains. Under a compulsory labor service decree on 26 June, 1935, young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 were conscripted for labor (see 1654-PS). Thus was the purpose to subjugate German labor accomplished. In the words of Ley, this accomplishment consisted "in eliminating the association character of the trade union and employees' associations, and in its place we have substituted the conception 'soldiers of work'." The productive manpower of the German nation was in Nazi control. By these steps the defendants won the battle to liquidate labor unions as potential opposition and were enabled to impose upon the working class the burdens of preparing for aggressive warfare.
Robert Ley, the field marshal of the battle against labor, answered our indictment with suicide. Apparently he knew no better answer.
2. The Battle Against the Churches
The Nazi Party always was predominantly anti-Christian in its ideology. But we who believe in freedom of conscience and of religion base no charge of criminality on anybody's ideology. It is not because the Nazi themselves were irreligious or pagan, but because they persecuted others of the Christian faith that they become guilty of crime, and it is because the persecution was a step in the preparation for aggressive warfare that the offense becomes one of international consequence. To remove every moderating influence among the German people and to put its population on a total war footing, the conspirators devised and carried out a systematic and relentless repression of all Christian sects and churches.
We will ask you to convict the Nazis on their own evidence. Martin Bormann in June, 1941, issued a secret decree on the relation of Christianity and National Socialism. The decree provided:
"For the first time in German history the Fuehrer consciously and completely has the leadership of the people in his own hand. With the party, its components and attached units the Fuehrer has created for himself and thereby the German Reich leadership an instrument which makes him independent of the church. All influences which might impair or damage the leadership of the people exercised by the Fuehrer with help of the NSDAP, must be eliminated. More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs, the pastors. Of course, the churches must and will, seen from their viewpoint, defend themselves against this loss of power. But never again must an influence on leadership of the people be yielded to the churches. This (influence) must be broken completely and finally.
"Only the Reich government and by its direction the party, its components and attached units have a right to leadership of the people. Just as the deleterious influences of astrologers, seers and other fakers are eliminated and suppressed by the state, so must the possibility of church influence also be totally removed. Not until this has happened, does the state leadership have influence on the individual citizens. Not until then are people and Reich secure in their existence for all the future" (D-75).
And how the party had been securing the Reich from Christian influence, will be proved by such items as this teletype from the Gestapo, Berlin, to the Gestapo, Nurnberg, on July 24, 1938. Let us hear their own account of events in Rottenburg.
"The Party on 23 July 1939 from 2100 on carried out the third demonstration against Bishop Sproll. Participants about 2500-3000 were brought in from outside by bus, etc. The Rottenburg populace again did not participate in the demonstration. this town took rather a hostile attitude to the demonstrations. The action got completely out of hand of the Party Member responsible for it. The demonstrators stormed the palace, beat in the gates and doors. About 150 to 200 people forced their way into the palace, searched the rooms, threw files out of the windows and rummaged through the beds in the rooms of the palace. One bed was ignited. Before the fire got to the other objects of equipment in the rooms and the palace, the flaming bed could be thrown from the window and the fire extinguished. The Bishop was with Archbishop Groeber of Freiburg and the ladies and gentlemen of his menage in the chapel at prayer. About 25 to 30 people pressed into this chapel and molested those present. Bishop Groeber was taken for Bishop Sproll. He was grabbed by the robe and dragged back and forth. finally the intruders realized that Bishop Groeber is not the one they are seeking. They could then be persuaded to leave the building. After the evacuation of the palace by the demonstrators I had an interview with Archbishop Groeber, who left Rottenburg in the night. Groeber wants to turn to the Fuehrer and Reich Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick, anew. On the course of the action, the damage done as well as the homage of the Rottenburg populace beginning today for the Bishop I shall immediately hand in a full report, after I am in the act of suppressing counter mass meetings. * * *
"In case the Fuehrer has instructions to give in this matter, I request that these be transmitted most quickly * * *" (848-PS).
Later, defendant Rosenberg Wrote to Bormann reviewing the proposal of Kerrl as Church Minister to place the Protestant Church under State tutelage and proclaim Hitler its Supreme head. Rosenberg was opposed, hinting that Naziism was to suppress the Christian Church completely after the war (see 098-PS).
The persecution of all pacifist and dissenting sects, such as Jehovah's Witnesses and the Pentecostal Association, was peculiarly relentless and cruel. The policy toward the Evangelical Churches, however, was to use their influence for the Nazis' own purposes. In September, 1933, Mueller was appointed the Fuehrer's representative with power to deal with the "affairs of the Evangelical Church" in its relations to the State. Eventually, steps were taken to create a Reich Bishop vested with power to control this Church. A long conflict followed, Paster Niemoeller was sent to concentration camp, and extended interference with the internal discipline and administration of the Churches occurred.
A most intense drive was directed against the Roman Catholic Church. After a strategic concordat with the Holy See, signed in July, 1933 in Rome, which never was observed by the Nazi Party, a long and persistent persecution of the Catholic Church, its priesthood and its members, was carried out. Church Schools and educational institutions were suppressed or subjected to requirements of Nazi teaching inconsistent with the Christian faith. The property of the Church was confiscated and inspired vandalism directed against Church property was left unpunished. Religious instruction was impeded and the exercise of religion made difficult. Priests and bishops were laid upon, riots were stimulated to harass them, and many were sent to concentration camps.
After occupation of foreign soil, these persecutions went on with greater vigor than ever. We will present to you from the files of the Vatican the earnest protests made by the Vatican to Ribbentrop summarizing the persecutions to which the priesthood and the Church had been subjected in this Twentieth Century under the Nazi regime. Ribbentrop never answered them. He could not deny. He dared not justify.
3. Crimes Against the Jews
The most savage and numerous crimes planned and committed by the Nazis were those against the Jews. These in Germany, in 1933, numbered about 500,000. In the aggregate, they had made for themselves positions which excited envy, and had accumulated properties which excited the avarice of the Nazis. They were few enough to be helpless and numerous enough to be held up as a menace.
Let there be no misunderstanding about the charge of persecuting Jews. What we charge against these defendants is not those arrogances and pretensions which frequently accompany the intermingling of different peoples and which are likely despite the honest efforts of government, to produce regrettable crimes and convulsions. It is my purpose to show a plan and design, to which all Nazis were fanatically committed, to annihilate all Jewish people. These crimes were organized and promoted by the Party Leadership, executed and protected by the Nazi officials, as we shall convince you by written orders of the Secret State Police itself.
The persecution of the Jews was a continuous and deliberate policy. It was a policy directed against other nations as well as against the Jews themselves. Anti-Semitism was promoted to divide and embitter the democratic peoples and to soften their resistance to the Nazi aggression. As Robert Ley declared in Der Angriff on 14 May 1944, "The second German secret weapon is Anti-Semitism because if it is constantly pursued by Germany, it will become a universal problem which all nations will be forced to consider."
Anti-Semitism also has been aptly credited with being a "spearhead of terror." The ghetto was the laboratory for testing repressive measures. Jewish property was the first to be expropriated, but the custom grew and included similar measures against Anti-Nazi Germans, Poles, Czechs, Frenchmen, and Belgians. Extermination of the Jews enabled the Nazis to bring a practiced hand to similar measures against Poles, Serbs, and Greeks. The plight of the Jew was a constant threat to opposition or discontent among other elements of Europe's population-pacifists, conservatives, communists, Catholics, Protestants, socialist. It was, in fact, a threat to every dissenting opinion and to every non-Nazi's life.
The persecution policy against the Jews commenced with nonviolent measures, such as disfranchisement and discriminations against their religion, and the placing of impediments in the way of success in economic life. It moved rapidly to organized mass violence against them, physical isolation in ghettos, deportation, forced labor, mass starvation, and extermination. The Government, the Party formation indicated before you as criminal organizations, the Secret State Police, the Army, private and semipublic associations, and "spontaneous" mobs that were carefully inspired from official sources, were all agencies concerned in this persecution. Nor was it directed against individual Jews for personal bad citizenship or unpopularity. The avowed purpose was the destruction of the Jewish people as a whole, as an end in itself, as a measure of preparation for war, and as a discipline of conquered peoples.
The conspiracy or common plan to exterminate the Jew was so methodically and thoroughly pursued that despite the German defeat and Nazi prostration, this Nazi aim largely has succeeded. Only remnants of the European Jewish population remain in Germany, in the countries which Germany occupied, and in those which were her satellites or collaborators. Of the 9,600,000 Jews who lived in Nazi dominated Europe, 60 percent are authoritatively estimated to have perished. 5,700,000 Jews are missing from the countries in which they formerly lived, and over 4,500,000 cannot be accounted for by the normal death rate nor by immigration; nor are they included among displaced persons. History does not record a crime ever perpetrated against so many victims or one ever carried out with such calculated cruelty.
You will have difficulty, as I have, to look into the faces of these defendants and believe that in this Twentieth Century human beings could inflict such sufferings as will be proved here on their own countrymen as well as upon their so-called "inferior" enemies. Particular crimes, and the responsibility of defendants for them, are to be dealt with by the Soviet Government's Counsel, when committed in the East, and by Counsel for the Republic of France when committed in the West. I advert to them only to show their magnitude as evidence of a purpose and a knowledge common to all defendants, of an official plan rather than of a capricious policy of some individual commander, and to show such a continuity of Jewish persecution from the rise of the Nazi conspiracy to its collapse as forbids us to believe that any person could be identified with any part of Nazi action without approving this most conspicuous item of its program.
The indictment itself recites many evidences of the anti-Semitic persecutions. The defendant Streicher led the Nazis in anti-Semitic bitterness and extremism. In an article appearing in Der Stuermer on 19 March, 1942 he complained that Christian teachings have stood in the way of "radical solution of the Jewish question in Europe," and quoted enthusiastically as the Twentieth Century solution the Fuehrer's proclamation of February 24, 1942 that "the Jew will be exterminated." And on November 4, 1943, Streicher declared in Der Stuermer that the Jews "have disappeared from Europe and that the Jewish 'Reservoir of the East' from which the Jewish plague has for centuries beset the people of Europe, has ceased to exist." Streicher now has the effrontery to tell us he is "only a Zionist"-he says he wants only to return the Jews to Palestine. But on May 7, 1942 his newspaper, Der Stuermer, had this to say:
"It is also not only an European problem! The Jewish question is a world question! Not only is Germany not safe in the face of the Jews as long as one Jew lives in Europe, but also the Jewish question is hardly solved in Europe so long as Jews live in the rest of the world."
And the defendant Hans Frank, a lawyer by profession I say with shame, summarized in his Diary in 1944 the Nazi policy thus: "The Jews are a race which has to be eliminated; whenever we catch one, it is his end." (Frank Diary, 4 March 1944, p. 26). And earlier, speaking of his function as Governor General of Poland, he confided to his diary this sentiment: "Of course I cannot eliminate all lice and Jews in only a year's time." (2233-C-PS) I could multiply endlessly this kind of Nazi ranting but I will leave it to the evidence and turn to the fruit of this perverted thinking.
The most serious of the actions against Jews were outside of any law, but the law itself was employed to some extent. There were the infamous Nurnberg decrees of September 15, 1935 (Reichsgesetzblatt 1935, Part I, p. 1146). The Jews were segregated into ghettos and put into forced labor; they were expelled from their professions; their property was expropriated; all cultural life, the press, the theatre, and schools were prohibited them; and the SD was made responsible for them (212-PS, 069-PS). This was an ominous guardianship, as the following order for "The Handling of the Jewish Question" shows:
"The competency of the Chief of the Security Police and Security Service, who is charged with the mission of solving the European Jewish question, extends even to the occupied eastern provinces. * * *
"An eventual act by the civilian population against the Jews is not to be prevented as long as this is compatible with the maintenance of order and security in the rear of the fighting troops * * *
"The first main goal of the German measures must be strict segregation of Jewry from the rest of the population. In the execution of this, first of all is the seizing of the Jewish populace by the introduction of a registration order and similar appropriate measures * * *
"Then immediately, the wearing of the recognition sign consisting of a yellow Jewish star is to be brought about and all rights of freedom for Jews are to be withdrawn. They are to be placed in Ghettos and at the same time are to be separated according to sexes. The presence of many more or less closed Jewish settlements in White Ruthenia and in the Ukraine makes this mission easier. Moreover, places are to be chosen which make possible the full use of the Jewish manpower in case labor needs are present * * *
"The entire Jewish property is to be seized and confiscated with exception of that which is necessary for a bare existence. As far as the economical situation permits, the power of disposal of their property is to be taken from the Jews as soon as possible through orders and other measures given by the commissariat, so that the moving of property will quickly cease.
"Any cultural activity will be completely forbidden, to the Jew. This includes the outlawing of the Jewish press, the Jewish theatres and schools.
"The slaughtering of animals according to Jewish rites is also to be prohibited * * *" (212-PS).
The anti-Jewish campaign became furious in Germany following the assassination in Paris of the German Legation Councillor von Rath. Heydrich, Gestapo head, sent a teletype to all Gestapo and SD offices with directions for handling "spontaneous" uprising anticipated for the nights of November 9 and 10, 1938, so as to aid in destruction of Jewish-owned property and protect only that of Germans (374-PS; 765-PS). No more cynical document ever came into evidence. Then there is a report by an SS Brigade Leader, Dr. Stahlecher, to Himmler, which recites that:
"Similarly, native anti-Semitic forces were induced to start pogroms against Jews during the first hours after capture, though this inducement proved to be very difficult. Following out orders, the Security Police was determined to solve the Jewish question with all possible means and most decisively. But it was desirable that the Security Police should not put in an immediate appearance, at least in the beginning, since the extraordinarily harsh measures were apt to stir even German circles. It had to be shown to the world that the native population itself took the first action by way of natural reaction against the suppression by Jews during several decades and against the terror exercised by the Communists during the preceding period."
"In view of the extension of the area of operations and the great number of duties which had to be performed by the Security Police, it was intended from the very beginning to obtain the co-operation of the reliable population for the fight against vermin-that is mainly the Jews and Communists. Beyond our directing of the first spontaneous actions of self-cleansing, which will be reported elsewhere, care had to be taken that reliable people should be put to the cleansing job and that they were appointed auxiliary members of the Security Police."
"Kowno * * * To our surprise it was not easy at first to set in motion an extensive pogrom against Jews. KLIMATIS, the leader of the partisan unit, mentioned above, who was used for this purpose primarily, succeeded in starting a pogrom on the basis of advice given to him by a small advanced detachment acting in Kowno, and in such a way that no German order or German instigation was noticed from the outside. During the first pogrom in the night from 25. to 26.6 the Lithuanian partisans did away with more than 1,500 Jews, set fire to several synagogues or destroyed them by other means and burned down a Jewish dwelling district consisting of about 60 houses. During the following nights about 2,300 Jews were made harmless in a similar way. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions followed the example of Kowno, though smaller and extending to the Communists who had been left behind.
"These self-cleansing actions went smoothly because the Army authorities who had been informed showed understanding for this procedure. From the beginning it was obvious that only the first days after the occupation would offer the opportunity for carrying out pogroms. After the disarmament of the partisans the self-cleansing actions ceased necessarily.
"It proved much more difficult to set in motion similar cleansing actions in Latvia."
"From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with the basic orders received, however, the cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at a complete annihilation of the Jews * * *
"The sum total of the Jews liquidated in Lithuania amounts to 71,105." (L-180).
Of course, it is self-evident that these "uprisings" were managed by the government and the Nazi Party. If we were in doubt, we could resort to Streicher's memorandum of April 14, 1939, which says, "The anti-Jewish action of November, 1938 did not arise spontaneously from the people. * * * Part of the party formation have been charged with the execution of the anti-Jewish action." (406-PS). Jews as a whole were fined a billion Reichsmarks. They were excluded from all businesses, and claims against insurance companies for their burned properties were confiscated, all by decree of the defendant Goering (Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, Part I, Pp. 1579-1582).
Synagogues were the objects of a special vengeance. On November 10, 1938, the following order was given: "By order of the Group Commander, all Jewish Synagogues in the area of Brigade 50 have to be blown up or set afire. * * * The operation will be carried out in civilian clothing. * * * Execution of the order will be reported * * *." (1721-PS). Some 40 teletype messages from various police headquarters will tell the fury with which all Jews were pursued in Germany on those awful November nights. The SS troops were turned loose and the Gestapo supervised. Jewish owned property was authorized to be destroyed. The Gestapo ordered twenty to thirty thousand "well-to-do Jews" to be arrested. Concentration camps were to receive them. Healthy Jews, fit for labor, were to be taken (3051-PS).
As the German frontiers were expanded by war, so the campaign against the Jews expanded. The Nazi plan never was limited to extermination in Germany; always it contemplated extinguishing the Jew in Europe and often in the world. In the west, the Jews were killed and their property taken over. But the campaign achieved its zenith of savagery in the East. The Eastern Jew has suffered as no people ever suffered. Their sufferings were carefully reported to the Nazi authorities to show faithful adherence to the Nazi design. I shall refer only to enough of the evidence of these to show the extent of the Nazi design for killing Jews.
If I should recite these horrors in words of my own, you would think me intemperate and unreliable. Fortunately, we need not take the word of any witness but the Germans themselves. I invite you now to look at a few of the vast number of captured German orders and reports that will be offered in evidence, to see what a Nazi invasion meant. We will present such evidence as the report of Einsatzgruppe (Action Group) A of October 15, 1941, which boasts that in overruning the Baltic States, "Native Anti-Semitic forces were induced to start pogroms against the Jews during the first hours after occupation * * *." The report continues:
"From the beginning it was to be expected that the Jewish problem in the East could not be solved by pogroms alone. In accordance with the basic orders received, however, the cleansing activities of the Security Police had to aim at a complete annihilation of the Jews. Special detachments reinforced by selected units-in Lithuania partisan detachments, in Latvia units of the Latvian auxiliary police-therefore performed extensive executions both in the towns and in rural areas. The actions of the execution detachments were performed smoothly.
"The sum total of the Jews' liquidated in Lithuania amounts to 71,105. During the pogroms in Kowno 3,800 Jews were eliminated, in the smaller towns about 1,200 Jews.
"In Latvia, up to now a total of 30,000 Jews were executed. 500 were eliminated by pogroms in Riga." (L-180).
This is a captured report from the Commissioner of Sluzk on October 30, 1941, which describes the scene in more detail. It says:
"The first lieutenant explained that the police battalion had received the assignment to effect the liquidation of all Jews here in the town of Sluzk, within two days. Then I requested him to postpone the action one day. However, he rejected this with the remark that he had to carry out this action everywhere and in all towns and that only two days were allotted for Sluzk. Within these two days, the town of Sluzk had to be cleared of Jews by all means. * * * All Jews without exception were taken out of the factories and shops and deported in spite of our agreement. It is true that part of the Jews was moved by way of the ghetto where many of them were processed and still segregated by me, but a large part was loaded directly on trucks and liquidated without further delay outside of the town. * * * For the rest, as regards the execution of the action. I must point out to my deepest regret that the latter bordered already on sadism. The town itself offered a picture of horror during the action. With indescribable brutality on the part of both the German police officers and particularly the Lithuanian partisans, the Jewish people, but also among them white Ruthenians, were taken out of their dwellings and herded together. Everywhere in the town shots were to be heard and in different streets the corpses of shot Jews accumulated. The White Ruthenians were in greatest distress to free themselves from the encirclement. Regardless of the fact that the Jewish people, among whom were also tradesmen, were mistreated in a terribly barbarous way in the face of the White Ruthenian people, the White Ruthenians themselves were also worked over with rubber clubs and rifle butts. There was no question of an action against the Jews any more. It rather looked like a revolution. * * *" (1104-PS).
There are reports which merely tabulate the numbers slaughtered. An example is an account of the work of Einsatzgruppen of Sipo and SD in the East, which relates that-
In Estonia, all Jews were arrested immediately upon the arrival of the Wehrmacht. Jewish men and women above the age of 16 and capable of work were drafted for forced labor. Jews were subjected to all sorts of restrictions and all Jewish property was confiscated.
All Jewish males above the age of 16 were executed, with the exception of doctors and elders. Only 500 of an original 4,500 Jews remained.
37,180 persons have been liquidated by the Sipo and SD in White Ruthenia during October.
In one town, 337 Jewish women were executed for demonstrating a "provocative attitude." In another, 380 Jews were shot for spreading vicious propaganda.
And so the report continues, listing town after town, where hundreds upon hundreds of Jews were murdered.
In Witebsk 3,000 Jews were liquidated because of the danger of epidemics.
In Kiew, 33,771 Jews were executed on September 29 and 30 in retaliation for some fires which were set off there.
In Shitomir, 3,145 Jews "had to be shot" because, judging from experience they had to be considered as the carriers of Bolshevik propaganda.
In Cherson, 410 Jews were executed in reprisal against acts of sabotage.
In the territory east of the Djnepr, the Jewish problem was "solved" by the liquidation of 4,891 Jews and by putting the remainder into labor battalions of up to 1,000 persons (R-102).
Other accounts tell not of the slaughter so much as of the depths of degradation to which the tormentors stooped. For example, we will show the reports made to defendant Rosenberg about the army and the SS in the area under Rosenberg's jurisdiction, which recited the following:
"Details: In presence of SS man, a Jewish dentist has to break all gold teeth and fillings out of mouth of German and Russian Jews before they are executed."
Men, women and children are locked in to barns and burned alive.
Peasants, women and children are shot on pretext that they are suspected of belonging to bands (R-135).
We of the Western World heard of Gas Wagons in which Jews and political opponents were asphyxiated. We could not believe it. But here we have the report of May 16, 1942 from the German SS officer, Becker, to his supervisor in Berlin which tells this story:
Gas vans in C. group can be driven to execution spot, which is generally stationed 10 to 15 kms. from main road only in dry weather. Since those to be executed become frantic if conducted to this place, such vans become immobilized in wet weather.
Gas vans in D group camouflaged as cabin trailers, but vehicles well known to authorities and civilian population which calls them "Death Vans".
Writer of letter (Becker) ordered all men to keep as far away as possible during gassing. Unloading van has "atrocious spiritual and physical effect" on men and they should be ordered not to participate in such work (501-PS).
I shall not dwell on this subject longer than to quote one more sickening document which evidences the planned and systematic character of the Jewish persecutions. I hold a report written with Teutonic devotion to detail, illustrated with photographs to authenticate its almost incredible text, and beautifully bound in leather with the loving care bestowed on a proud work. It is the original report of the SS Brigadier General Stroop in charge of the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, and its title page carries the inscription, "The Jewish Ghetto in Warsaw no longer exists." It is characteristic that one of the captions explains that the photograph concerned shows the driving out of Jewish "bandits"; those whom the photograph shows being driven out are almost entirely women and little children. It contains a day-by-day account of the killings mainly carried out by the SS organization, too long to relate, but let me quote General Stroop's summary:
"The resistance put up by the Jews and bandits could only be suppressed by energetic actions of our troops day and night. The Reichsfuehrer SS ordered, therefore on 23 April 1943 the cleaning out of the ghetto with utter ruthlessness and merciless tenacity. I, therefore, decided to destroy and burn down the entire ghetto without regard to the armament factories. These factories were systematically dismantled and then burned. Jews usually left their hideouts, but frequently remained in the burning buildings and jumper out of the windows only when the heat became unbearable. They then tried to crawl with broken bones across the street into buildings which were not afire. Sometimes they changed their hideouts during the night into the ruins of burned buildings. Life in the sewers was not pleasant after the first week. Many times we could hear loud voices in the sewers. SS men or policemen climbed bravely through the manholes to capture these Jews. Sometimes they stumbled over Jewish corpses; sometimes they were shot at. Tear gas bombs were thrown into the manholes and the Jews driven out of the sewers and captured. Countless numbers of Jews were liquidated in sewers and bunkers through blasting. The longer the resistance continued the tougher became the members of the Waffen SS police and Wehrmacht who always discharged their duties in an exemplary manner. Frequently Jews who tried to replenish their food supplies during the night or to communicate with neighboring groups were exterminated." (1061-PS).
This action eliminated, says the SS commander, "a proved total of 56,065. to that we have to add the number of those killed through blasting, fire, etc., which cannot be counted."
We charge that all atrocities against Jews were the manifestation and culmination of the Nazi plan to which every defendant here was a party. I know very well that some of these men did take steps to spare some particular Jew for some personal reason from the horrors that awaited the unrescued Jew. Some protested that particular atrocities were excessive, and discredited the general policy. While a few defendants May show efforts to make specific exceptions to the policy of Jewish extermination, I have found no instance in which any defendant opposed the policy itself or sought to revoke or even modify it.
Determination to destroy the Jews was a binding force which at all times cemented the elements of this conspiracy. On many internal policies there were differences among the defendants. But there is not one of them who has not echoed the rallying cry of Naziism-DEUTSCHLAND ERWACHE JUDA VERRECKE! (Germany AWAKE, JEWRY PERISH!)