The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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Q. You told us, I believe, that since 1934 you had been
Stabsfuehrer of the Reich Youth Leadership
(Reichsjugendfuehrung). What tasks did the Stabsfuehrer of
the Reich Youth Leadership have? Please tell us briefly, so
we may have an idea of what your jurisdiction was.

A. As the title of Stabsfuehrer indicates, I was in the
first place the leader of the staff of the Reich Youth
Leadership. As such, I had the task of revising the general
directives of the Reich Youth Leader, particularly those
concerning the Hitler Youth offices and regions, in so far
as the Youth Leader did not do that himself. I had to
co-ordinate the various departments of the Reich Youth
Leadership and in particular to deal with matters of an
organisational and personal nature.

Furthermore, in the years 1935 to 1939 I made a number of
journeys abroad at von Schirach's request.

Q. Who was the deputy of the Reich Youth Leader when he
could not act personally?

A. I was his deputy on occasions when he was prevented from
acting personally.

Q. Then apparently you were the first man in the Reich Youth
Leadership after Schirach?

A. Yes.

Q. Were your relations with von Schirach purely official, or
were you friends as well?

A. Our association was not limited only to official matters;
we were also personal friends, and our personal relationship
was not interrupted by Schirach's appointment in Vienna.

                                                   [Page 32]

Q. Do you believe, Herr Lauterbacher - regarding this
friendly relationship that you had with von Schirach - that
he concealed certain things from you; or are you of the
conviction that so far as official matters were concerned he
had no secrets from you?

A. I always have been, and still am today, convinced of the
fact that von Schirach made all his intentions and
educational measures known to me. He had no secrets from me.

Q. He kept nothing from you?

A. No, he kept nothing from me. If Schirach had discussions
with Adolf Hitler during the earlier years he always
informed me immediately afterwards.

Q. Witness, in the year 1939 the second world war broke out.
Did the defendant von Schirach, in the last few years prior
to the outbreak of the world war, have any discussions with
you in which he expressed the view that youth should be
educated for war - in other words, that in educating youth
the necessities and requirements of future wars must be
taken into account? What transpired on this point between
you and von Schirach before the war?

A. The possibility of war was never discussed. Occasionally
I attended Party rallies in the company of von Schirach, and
on these occasions, when Adolf Hitler delivered a speech I
only assured -

THE PRESIDENT: Please ask the witness not to go quite so

DR. SAUTER: Witness, please speak slowly, but not too
slowly; just slowly enough for the interpreter to follow
you. Otherwise it takes too much time. We have already taken
a great deal of time in any case. Please go on.

A. On the occasion of these rallies I had the definite and
invariable impression that Adolf Hitler and the National
Socialist Reich were determined to maintain peace and to
allow matters to follow a peaceful course. In any case, that
is why it never occurred to me that youth should be trained
specifically for war.

Q. Witness, in your capacity as Stabsfuehrer of the Reich
Youth Leadership, did you have any knowledge about the
general policy in which Schirach was instructed or in which
he instructed others from his office?

A. I did see all the official mail.

Q. In the mail which reached Schirach in his office, did you
see anything about directives for the Reich Youth Leadership
received from Hitler, from the Party Leadership, from the
OKW or from any other agency, either State or Party,
regarding the preparations for war?

A. No, neither open nor camouflaged.

Q. Witness, we have already heard about the main functions
of youth education in the course of the last few days. I do
not believe, Mr. President, that I need go into these
subjects in detail. The witness is the person best qualified
to give us information, but I think I may take the subject
of youth education as clarified.

THE PRESIDENT: I think so. I think the facts about it have
been sufficiently stated.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you. Then I can pass on to another subject


Q. You said that you had not been a soldier. Did not
Schirach attach importance to the inclusion among his
collaborators of a certain number of officers, or at least
of men who had served their term of military service and,
who might be enrolled as instructors? Please be brief.

A. No, at first - that is, during the early years of the
period of development, von Schirach rejected officers as
youth leaders on ideological and educational grounds. The
aim and mission of the Hitler Youth were those of a
socialist community and of a socialist State; and the old
type of officer of the period, the representative of a
reactionary epoch, would have been absolutely incompatible.

                                                   [Page 33]

Q. Absolutely incompatible? Do you mean with the -

A. With the principles of education which Schirach had laid
down for the Hitler Youth.

Q. Witness, have you any idea whether Schirach always
rejected the proposal, or, to put it the other way round, do
you know whether he agreed when any military authorities
tried to influence the character of the Youth leadership?
Perhaps you could also answer this point briefly.

A. Even in 1933 attempts were made to introduce officers
into the Hitler Youth as leaders. As far as my information
goes, two officers had been given appointments in the Hitler
Youth before my period of office as Stabsfuehrer, under more
or less direct orders from Hitler.

They were entirely unable to cope with youth as such; and I
think I am justified in saying that their appearance was a
hundred per cent failure.

Q. What happened to them?

A. Schirach went to Adolf Hitler and brought about the
dismissal of these gentlemen; also, through him, a directive
was drawn up by Hitler which said that officers were not to
hold positions in the Hitler Youth.

Q. Were no further attempts of the kind made to force
officers from somewhere or other upon him?

A. Oh yes. In 1936 and 1937, and then again in 1938,
attempts were made to influence the education of the Hitler
Youth through so-called liaison officers. But these attempts
also failed; and up to the very end there were no officers
working with the Hitler Youth who were responsible to any
other authority except Schirach, apart from former Hitler
Youth Leaders who had served in the Army and received
officer's commissions.

Q. If I understood you correctly, witness, you wish to say -
and please confirm that I have understood you correctly -
that Schirach rejected these attempts. Is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. Witness, why did the Hitler Youth wear uniform - the
girls as well?

A. Uniform is perhaps not quite the correct term for the
clothing worn by the members of the Hitler Youth. It was
more in the nature of a costume, (Tracht) which was worn by
members of youth organisations before the existence of the
Hitler Youth, not only in Germany but in other countries as
well. Moreover, Schirach was anxious that all boys and girls
should, as he expressed himself, wear the dress of the
socialist community.

Q. Of the socialist community - does that mean a community
of all, of all the boys and girls of every class of German
society without any distinction -

A.  - Without any distinction as to class or creed or
anything else.

Q. Or rich or poor?

A. Yes.

Q. Were the Hitler Youth in possession of weapons and were
they trained in the use of military weapons?

A. No, they were not trained in the use of military weapons
during the period in which Schirach and I held office.

Q. Did the Hitler Youth have, in particular, tanks, armoured
cars and so forth, since reference was made to the training
of the young men in the so-called "Motorized Hitler Youth"
in connection with the question of the special unit
(Sonderformation)? - Tanks, armoured cars -

A. No, to my knowledge the Hitler Youth never received any
training in armoured cars, tanks or anything of the kind,
even after Schirach's term of office, at any rate -

THE PRESIDENT: The facts stated by the defendant as to the
weapons of the Hitler Youth and their formations were not
cross-examined. You need not go into that. Mr. Dodd did not
suggest that they had got tanks.

DR. SAUTER: Thank you, Mr. President. Then I can perhaps by
more brief.

                                                   [Page 34]

Q. I now come, Herr Lauterbacher, to the defendant von
Schirach's attitude towards the Jewish question. Was the
Hitler Youth involved in any way in the Jewish pogroms of
November, 1938?

A. I think I can answer your question with a definite "No."

Q. Herr Lauterbacher, you told me something about a speech
made by the defendant von Schirach a few days after 9th
November, 1938, on the subject of these Jewish pogroms. Tell
me when and to whom he delivered this speech and what the
contents of the speech were.

A. Von Schirach was in Munich on 10th November, 1938, and I
was in Berlin. Schirach instructed me by telephone to tell
the District Leaders of the Hitler Youth that their
organizations were in no circumstances to take part in these
anti-Jewish demonstrations, and to call a meeting of all
these leaders to hear a specific declaration on this point.
This meeting took place about 15th November, 1938.

Q. Where?

A. In Berlin. Schirach asked these District Leaders to
report to him and expressed his satisfaction at having in
the meantime received reports to the effect that the Hitler
Youth had not been involved in these excesses. He then
described the said excesses in his speech. I still remember
this speech extraordinarily well, for it was particularly
impressive. He described these pogroms as a disgrace to our
culture and as amounting to self-defamation. He said that
such things might be expected of an uncivilised people but
not of the German people. He went on to say that we had
antagonised not only the world in general but also all
decent people in Germany itself by these demonstrations. He
was afraid that serious political difficulties would arise
at home as well as difficulties within the Party itself. As
we know, the Party was not at all unanimous in its judgement
of these happenings. A very large section of the Party
membership and of the Party leadership condemned these

Q. Please tell us more of what Schirach said at that time. I
should be more interested in that.

A. Von Schirach then gave the Youth Leadership special
instructions to keep out of demonstrations of this or a
similar kind in future, no matter what the circumstances
might be, and condemned every use of violence on educational
grounds alone. He concluded the proceedings by prohibiting
the reading of the newspaper Der Sturmer by the Hitler Youth
at club evenings or on any other occasions.

Q. On this occasion, Herr Lauterbacher, did he say anything
about the needless destruction of so many cultural
treasures, art treasures, property belonging to the people,
etc., and did he not give certain instances of this? '

A. Yes. As an especially outstanding instance, he quoted the
case of the attempt - which was at least partially carried
through - to plunder the Jewish firm of Bernheimer, art
dealers in Munich.

Q. Munich?

A. Yes. He quoted this example to the Youth Leadership to
illustrate the dangerous and irreparable inroads made on the
store of our culture and our cultural treasures by these

Q. Is it true that immediately after this Berlin speech
about which you have just told us, the defendant von
Schirach caused definite directives to be issued by
telephone from Berlin through your agency, to the individual
Hitler Youth offices?

A. This took place as early as 10th November, the day after
the Munich Rally. It had nothing to do with the District
Leaders' meeting, which only took place about 15th November.

Q. Herr Lauterbacher, I assume that, as time went on, you
were present at a good many speeches made by the defendant
von Schirach to his sub-leaders, or to the Hitler Youth, and
that you listened to many of these speeches yourself. Did
the defendant von Schirach engage in Jew-baiting on these or
other occasions? Did he suggest that violence be used
against the Jews? What was his attitude?

                                                   [Page 35]

A. Yes. I must have listened to all the important speeches
delivered by yon Schirach before the Leadership Corps of the
Hitler Youth, and on the occasion of these speeches I never
heard him urge the use of violence, which would in any case
have been completely foreign to his nature.

At any rate, I cannot recall that yon Schirach ever called
upon the Youth Leadership, either directly or indirectly, to
take part in acts of violence of any kind against anyone.

Q. What did Schirach usually talk about in delivering one of
his many speeches addressed to youth? Just the main topic -

A. One must certainly differentiate between the long
speeches which he delivered at public demonstrations and the
speeches which he made before the Leaders of the Hitler

In the speeches he addressed to the Leaders, he always
discussed the main political and ideological tasks and the
tasks of social policy, cultural policy and professional
training which he had assigned to the Hitler Youth.

Q. Now, we shall turn to a different topic, Herr
Lauterbacher. Did Schirach cause you to leave the Church?

A. No.

Q. Did .you leave the Church?

A. I do not believe that Herr yon Schirach even knew to what
religious denomination I belonged or whether I left the
Church or not. I left the Church in 1937 or 1938, without
being influenced or forced to do so by anyone.

Q. Did yon Schirach urge his other collaborators to leave
the Church, as far as you know?

A. No.

Q. Did Schirach abuse Christianity or incite others to
attack it on the occasion of the numerous speeches made by
him, to which you have just told us that you listened?

A. On those occasions Schirach always told the youth to
respect religious convictions - and characterised atheism as
an evil, not only once but many times. In his speeches, yon
Schirach vigorously criticised, for instance, the Athletic
Clubs existing both before and after 1933 in connection with
the various churches, and demanded the unity of youth; but
on these occasions he did not attack Christianity or the
religious convictions of others either in public or in

Q. Herr Lauterbacher, during the time the defendant yon
Schirach was Reich Youth Leader, negotiations were pending
with the Roman Catholic Church with a view to concluding a
Concordat, so that relations between the State and the
Church would be regulated by an agreement. Do you know
whether yon Schirach took part in these Concordat
negotiations and whether he took much trouble to effect an
understanding with the Church on a basis satisfactory to
both sides?

A. Yes. In 1933 and 1934 Schirach had numerous discussions
with representatives of the Church, Reich Bishop Mueller of
the Protestant Church and the representative of the Fulda
Conference of Bishops, Bishop Berning of Osnabruck. I
remember that Schirach strove to draw a dividing line
between their respective powers and jurisdiction on basis of
"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto
God the things which are God's."

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