The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Last-Modified: 2000/03/24

Q. You say there that you would be happy if the SA would put
personnel at your disposal for support of this purpose,
similar to the way in which the SS and the police have been
doing for a long time already and you are referring - if you
will read back to the paragraph just ahead of that sentence
- to the training of the young people. You talk about Hitler
schools and the training of Hitler Youth. Now, it is
perfectly clear, is it not, that you did have assistance
from the SS, according to your own methods, from the SS and
police for a long time before you sent this message?

A. During the war, yes; since the beginning of the war in
1939 we had pre-military training camps and I wanted youth
instructors for these camps. Neither the army nor the SA
could supply sufficient instructors; the SS and the police
could place a few young officers at my disposal.

Q. So it was only from the beginning of the war that you had
personnel from the SS and police for the training of young
people, was it?

A. I do not think that there would have been need for SS
instructors otherwise. As I have said, we selected youth
leaders from among youth itself.

Q. I ask you again, do you want the Tribunal to understand
that it was only from the beginning of the war that you had
the assistance of SS and police personnel assigned to your
youth organization for the training of young people?

A. I cannot answer that question definitely for this reason:
we had for example a training camp for shooting practice,
and it was quite possible that one of the instructors was an
SA man or an SS man only because by chance he happened to be
one of the best qualified in that field. But I cannot think
where such collaboration existed elsewhere.

Q. Are you able to say that you did not have SS personnel
assigned for training     purposes; and I am not talking
about some isolated ski-master? I am talking about a regular
programme of assistance from the SS to you in your training
of young people.

A. As far as pre-military training is concerned, it was only
through this teletype message that I requested help for
training purposes. Apart from that, I do not recollect any

Q. Do you know the term "Hay-Action? " "H-E-U-A-K-T-I-O-N."

A. Heu-Aktion? I do not remember it. I do not know what is
meant by that.

                                                    [Page 6]

Q. Well, you have been in the courtroom every day. Do you
not remember that there was proof offered here by the
prosecution concerning the defendant Rosenberg and an action
termed "Hay-Action"?

A. No, I do not remember it at the moment; I do not know it.

Q. Do you not remember that there was some talk here in the
courtroom about the seizing of young people in the East and
forcing them to be brought to Germany, forty or fifty
thousand youths at the ages of ten to fourteen? You remember
that, do you not, and that one of the purposes was to
destroy the biological potentiality of these people? You do
not know what I refer to?

A. Yes, that is an action which I now remember in connection
with this trial. The only thing I can say on this in an
official capacity is what Axmann told me during the war - I
can't recall the exact year - namely that he had placed a
large number of young Russians in apprentice hostels and
apprentice workshops at the Junkers works in Dessau, and
that these youths were extremely well accommodated and
looked after there. I had not been in any way concerned with
this action before, but as I stated at the beginning of my
testimony here, I assume responsibility for the actions of
youth in this war; I adhere to that statement. I do not
think, however, that youth is responsible in this case, and
I recall the defendant Rosenberg's statements, that he was
complying with the wishes of the army and an army group in
this affair.

Q. Well, we have the document here. It is already in
evidence as Exhibit USA 171 - the Tribunal is familiar with
it - and I would like to call your attention to the fact
that in this document which says that Rosenberg agreed to
the programme of seizing or apprehending forty to fifty
thousand youths at the ages of ten to fourteen and
transporting them to the Reich, it also said that this
programme could be accomplished with the help of the
officers of the Hitler youth through the Youth Bureau of
Rosenberg's ministry; and it also said that a number of
these young people were to be detailed to the SS and SS
auxiliaries. Now, what I want to ask you particularly is
what you know about that programme and how the Hitler Youth
co-operated in it?

A. I cannot add to what I have already said about this

Q. You were in charge of the war commitment of the Hitler
Youth, were you not, the Kriegseinsatz?

A. The war commitment of German youth was under the
immediate direction of the Reich Youth Leader. From my own
knowledge, I can give only general but no detailed

Q. Witness, I ask you again, were you not appointed and did
you not serve as the person responsible for the war
commitment of youth in Germany? Now, I have got the document
to show your appointment if you want to see it.

A. Yes; I do not want to deny it at all. In 1939 and 1940,
as long as I was Reich Youth Leader, I myself directed that
war commitment.

Q. I am talking about an appointment that was made even
later than 1939 or 1940. You were appointed the person in
charge of the war commitment of German youth by the Fuehrer
at his headquarters in March of 1942, were you not?

A. Will you be good enough to show me the document? I
consider it possible, but I have no exact recollection.

Q. All right. It is Document 3933-PS, which becomes Exhibit
USA 868. But first of all, do you not know you were
appointed in charge of the war commitment for youth without
being shown the document?

A. No. Only, I cannot tell you the exact date from memory. I
was under the impression that I had been responsible for the
war commitment beginning in 1939.

Q. All right, that is all I wanted to establish, that you
were in fact responsible for it and continued to be
responsible for it right up to the end of the war. I
understood you to say a minute ago that the Reich Youth
Leader was the man responsible rather than yourself?

                                                    [Page 7]

A. No. I said that I could give you only general but no
special information, because the practical application of
the war commitment was a matter for Axmann; I do not,
however, want to minimise my own responsibility in any way.

Q. Very well, I think we are sufficiently clear about the
fact that you were certainly nominated to the position no
matter how you now wish to minimise your responsibility.
What do you say is the date when you first became
responsible for the war commitment of youth?

A. As far as I remember I was responsible for it beginning
in 1939, at the outbreak of war, but I now see that this
decree was not signed until 1942.

Q. All right; we will agree then from that date, March 1942,
you were responsible. Now, I want to ask you to look at
another document.

A. One moment, may I explain something in this connection? I
do not know whether Hitler sighed this decree in March 1942,
I do not know when it was signed. In this document Axmann
tells me: The draft of the decree is now going to the Chief
of the Reich Chancellery, who will request the official
approval of the higher Reich authorities concerned, and then
Bormann - "

Q. You do not need to read it, really. What do you want to
say now? Are you saying that maybe it was not signed, or
maybe you were not appointed, or are you going to say that
you were appointed? Will you please give us an answer?

A. Not at all. But I really cannot say that the date of the
publication of this decree boas March 1942. It may not have
been published until May.

Q. I am not attaching any great importance to the date. I
want you to look at Document 345-PS, which we offer as
Exhibit USA 869. This may help you on this Heu-Aktion
programme; that is, with respect to your memory.

Now, this is a telegram that the defendant Rosenberg sent to
Dr. Lammers at the Reich Chancellery for the Fuehrer
headquarters on the 20th of July, 1944. You will observe
that in the first paragraph there is stated:

  "In accordance with an agreement between the
  Reichmarschal as C.-in-C. of the Air Force, the
  Reichsfuehrer SS, the Youth Fuehrer of the German Reich
  and the Reich Minister for the Eastern Occupied
  Territories, the recruiting of youthful Russians,
  Ukrainians, White Russians" (and so on) " will take place
  on a volunteer basis for Kriegseinsatz in the Reich"
  ("Kriegseinsatz " being a programme that you were
  responsible for clearly at that time).

Now, moving down, I want to call your attention to paragraph
3, and I want to remind you of the Heu-Aktion document that
is already in evidence. This telegram says:

  "On the basis of a suggestion by military offices, the
  seizing and turning over of youths between the ages of
  ten to fourteen to the Reich territories will take place
  (Heu-Aktion) in a part of the operational territory,
  since the youths in the operational territory present a
  not insignificant burden."

It goes on to say:

  "The aim of the action is a further disposal of the
  youths by placing them in the Reich Youth Movement and
  the training of apprentices for the German economy in a
  form similar to that which has been done in agreement
  with the General Plenipotentiary for Employment of Labour
  with White Russian Youths, which already shows results."

I particularly call your attention to that last phrase,
"which already shows results."

Then the last clause in the next sentence which says: " .
these youths are to be used later in the Eastern Occupied
Territories as especially reliable construction forces."

You will observe that the last paragraph says that "The
Actions under points 1 and 3 (which I have just been reading
) are known to the Fuehrer." And there is something about
the SS help in regard to this action. You had set a time
limit on that.

                                                    [Page 8]

The next page of the document has the distribution, to the
Reichmarschal, the Reichsfuehrer SS, the Reich Youth Fuehrer
and the Reich Minister of Interior, and down at the bottom,
a Gauleiter Bureau, among others.

What do you know about this seizing of young people between
ten and fourteen and the turning over of them to your youth
organization in Germany during these war years, and about
how many thousands of them were so kidnapped, if you know?

A. I have already said that I do not wish to minimise my
responsibility in this connection. But it was not until
later that I was informed of this matter. Not I, but
somebody else was Youth Leader of the German Reich in that
year; and he made the agreement with the C.-in-C. of the Air
Force and the Reichsfuehrer SS. But my own measures were -

Q. (interposing). Later you were the Youth Reichsleiter of
Germany, were you not; and you were also the war commitment
officer of youth in Germany at this very time?

A. I was at Vienna, and the date was the 20th of July, 1944.
You will remember that the history-making events of that
time were occupying all officials in Germany to a very great
extent. Later I heard about this matter from Axmann, and I
know that the accommodation, training, feeding and the whole
treatment of these Russian youths were actually excellent.

Q. You also know that even at this hour the Allied forces
are trying to find thousands of these young people to return
them to their proper place? Do you know that this morning's
Press carried an account of 10,000 people that are still

A. I do not believe that those are these young people who
were accommodated in apprentice hostels, and who, under
exceptionally well ordered conditions, received very good
professional training.

Q. You. see, it is perfectly clear from this Document 345-PS
that this programme was in fact in operation. The letter
from Rosenberg says so. He says it had "already shown
results." And so your youth organization must have had
something to do with it before this message was sent.

A. I have not at all denied that. Youth leaders were active
a within the framework of the Reich Ministry for the Eastern
Occupied Territories. And on the basis of what I have heard
here during the trial, I can perfectly well understand that
the generals in the East said the young people must be taken
out of the combat zone. The point was that these youngsters
from ten to fourteen years of age had to be taken away from
the front.

Q. With the help of the SS?

Now, I want to show you another Document, 1137-PS, which
will give you some idea, if you do not recall, of what was
done with these young people, and how many of them are

That will become Exhibit USA 870.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd, there is a paragraph at the bottom
of page 1 of that document which relates to another

MR. DODD: Yes, your Honour. I am sorry; I overlooked that. I
will read it for the benefit of the record, if I may, at
this time.


Q. Witness, I direct your attention back, if I may, to this
Document 345-PS, so that you will be aware of what I am
reading. You will observe that in the last paragraph of
Rosenberg's communication to Dr. Lammers, we find this

  "I have learned that Gauleiter Sauckel will be at the
  Fuehrer's headquarters on 21st July, 1944. I ask that
  this be taken up with him there and then a report made to
  the Fuehrer."

Sauckel was participating in this kidnapping of ten- to
fourteen-year-olds as well, was he? Do you know about that?

A. I have no knowledge of it. I cannot give any information
on that subject.

                                                    [Page 9]

Q. Now, this Document 1137-PS begins with a letter from a
general; a message rather, an inter-office memorandum, dated
the 27th of October, 1944, and it closes with a report by
the Brigadier-General of the Hitler Youth, a man named

Do you know Nickel, by the way? N-I-C-K-E-L?

A. The name is known to me, and probably I know the man
personally; but at the moment I do not recall more than just
the name. At any rate, he was not a Brigadier-General; he
was a Hauptbannfuehrer.

Q: Well, all right. Whatever he was, he was an official of
the youth organization. That is all I am trying to
establish. I may have his title wrong. We have it

But in any event, if you look over this document, you will
see that he is reporting about the seizing of these youths
in the Eastern Occupied Territories. This is October, 1944.
And he begins by saying that on the 5th of March he
"received an order to open an office for the recruitment of
youths fifteen to twenty years of age from the Eastern
Occupied Territories for war employment in the Reich."

Then he goes on to cite figures, and he tells where he began
his work: Lithuania, Esthonia, Latvia, the middle sector of
the Eastern front, the southern sector of the Eastern front.
And then on the next page of the English - and I imagine it
is also on, your next page - it tells how they were
classified, those that were brought back:

  "1383 Russian SS Auxiliaries, 5953 Ukrainian SS
  Auxiliaries, 2354 White Ruthenian SS Auxiliaries, 1012
  Lithuanian SS Auxiliaries."

Then he comes to the air force:

  "3,000 Esthonian Air Force Auxiliaries " (and so on).

Some went to the Navy.

I am not going to read all of it; but it gives you an idea
of what distribution was made of these men, or young boys
and girls, rather than men.

You will notice that a considerable number went to the SS.

A. Yes, but Hauptbannfuehrer Nickel's letter bears a stamp
with the words "Reich Minister for Eastern Occupied
Territories." That means, he was not acting on behalf of the
Reich Youth Leader's department but on behalf of the Reich
Ministry for the East.

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