The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: imt/nca/nca-02//nca-02-15-criminality-02-04

Archive/File: imt/nca/nca-02/nca-02-15-criminality-02-04
Last-Modified: 1997/08/21

The Hoheitstraeger further, had authority to call upon the
services of the Hitler Youth (HJ):

     "The Political Leader has the right to requisition the
     HJ in the same manner as the SA for the execution of a
     political action.
     "In appointing leaders of the HJ and the DJ, the office
     of the
                                                   [Page 37]
     HJ must procure the approval of the Hoheitstraeger of
     his zone. This means that the Hoheitstraeger can
     prevent the appointment of leaders unsuited for the
     leadership of youth. If approval has not been procured,
     an appointment may by cancelled if he so requests."

An example of the use of the Party formations at the call of
the Leadership Corps of the Party is provided by the action
taken by the Reichsleiter for Party Organization of the
NSDAP, Dr. Robert Ley, leading to the deliberate dissolution
of the Free Trade Unions on 2 May 1933. A directive issued
by Reichsleiter Ley on 21 April 1933 (392-PS) ordered the
employment of the SA and the SS in occupying trade union
properties and in taking trade union leaders into protective

     "*** SA as well as SS are to be employed for the
     occupation of trade union properties and for the taking
     of personalities who come into question into protective
     "The Gauleiter (i.e. Regional Director) is to proceed
     with his measures on a basis of the closest
     understanding with competent Regional Factory Cells
     Director. ***
     "The following are to be taken into protective custody
     "All Trade Union Chairmen; the District Secretaries and
     the Branch Directors of the 'Bank for Workers,
     Employees and Officials, Inc.' " (392-PS)

A decree issued by Hess as Deputy of the Fuehrer, dated 25
October 1934, underwrites the authority of the
Hoheitstraeger with respect to the Party Formations:

     "The political leadership within the Party and its
     political representation towards all offices, State or
     others, which are outside of the Party, lie solely and
     exclusively with the Hoheitstraeger, which is to say
     with me, the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, and
     Ortsgruppenleiter ***.
     "The departmental workers of the Party organization, as
     well as Reichsleiter, office directors, etc., as well
     as the leaders f the SA, SS, HJ and the subordinate
     affiliations, may not enter into binding agreements of
     a political nature with State and other offices except
     when so authorized by their Hoheitstraeger.
     "In places where the territories of the units of the
     SA, SS, HJ and the subordinate affiliations do not
     coincide with the zones of the Hoheitstraeger, the
     Hoheitstraeger will give his political directives to
     the ranking leader of each unit within his zone of
     sovereignty." (2474-PS)

                                                   [Page 38]
It was the official policy of the Leadership-Corps to
establish close and cooperative relations with the Gestapo.
The Head of the German Police and SS, Himmler, was a
Reichsleiter on the top level of the Leadership Corps. A
decree issued by Bormann, as Chief of Staff of the Deputy of
the Fuehrer, dated 26 June 1935, provided the following:

     "In order to effect a closer contact between the
     offices of the Party and its organizations with the
     Directors of the Secret State Police [Gestapo], the
     Deputy of the Fuehrer requests that the Directors of
     the Gestapo be invited to attend all of the larger
     official rallies of the Party and its organization."

(d) Meetings of the Political Leaders. The contention of the
Prosecution that the members of the Leadership Corps
constituted a distinctive and identifiable group or
organization is strongly supported by the fact that the
various Hoheitstraeger (such as the Gauleiter, Kreisleiter,
Ortsgruppenleiter, and so on were under an absolute
obligation to meet and confer periodically, not only with
the staff officers on their own staffs, but with the
political leaders and staff officers immediately subordinate
to them. For example, the Gauleiter was bound to confer with
his staff officers (such as his deputy, his staff office
leader, his organization leader, school leader, propaganda
leader, press leader, his Gau Party Judge, and so on) every
8 to 14 days. Furthermore, the Gauleiter was obligated to
meet with the various Gauleiter subordinate to him once
every 3 months for a 3-day convention for the -purpose of
discussing and clarifying Nazi Party policies and
directives, for hearing basic lectures on Party policy, and
for the mutual exchange of information pertinent to the
Party's current program. The Gauleiter was also obligated to
meet at least once a month with the leaders of the Party
formations and affiliated organizations within his Gau area,
such as the leaders of the SA, SS. Hitler Youth and others.
These matters are set forth in the Organization Book of the
NSDAP (1893-PS) as follows:

     "Leader-conferences in the District:
     "(a) District Leaders (Gauleiter) with his staff every
     8 to 14 days
     "(b) It is further absolutely necessary that the
     directors of the Gau offices will meet with the county
     directors of their district once every three months for
     a three-day convention (possibly at a district
     schooling castle) where hey will have an opportunity to
     overcome difficulties of personal and professional
     nature, apart from hearing fundamental lectures, by
     social gatherings in the presence of the bearer of
                                                   [Page 39]
     the sovereignty by getting to know each other and by a
     mutual exchange of ideas. Participation in these
     conference is compulsory and duty would not constitute
     an excuse under any circumstances.
     "(c) The arrangement of social meeting in the presence
     of leaders of the organizations of RAD and NSFK of the
     respective zone of sovereignty. In the course of these
     meetings differences of opinion may be straightened out
     in discussions.
     "(d) The bearer of sovereignty will meet at least once
     a month with the leaders of the SA, SS, NSKK, HJ, as
     well as the RAD and the NSFK who are within the zone
     for the purpose of mutual orientation."

The Organization Book of the Party imposes a similar
requirement of regular and periodical conferences and
meetings upon all the other Hoheitstraeger, including the
Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter; Zellenleiter, and

The clear consequence of such regular and obligatory
conferences and meetings by all the Hoheitstraeger, both
with their own staff officers and with the political leaders
and staff officers subordinate to them, was that basic Nazi
policies and directives issued by Hitler and the leader of
the Party Chancellery, Bormann; directly through the chain
of command of the Hoheitstraeger, and functional policies
issued by the various Reichsleiter an Reich office holders
through functional and technical channels, were certain to
be brought to the attention and understanding of the bulk of
the membership of the Leadership Corps. When this fact is
coupled with the further fact that all the members of the
Leadership Corps under the Leadership Principle and their
worn oaths, were bound to obey blindly and without question
orders received from their competent superiors, it is clear
that the general membership of the Leadership Corps is
responsible for measures taken or ordered by that
organization in furtherance of the conspiracy.

(7) Statistics Relating to the Leadership Corps. As
previously shown, the Leadership Corps comprised the sum of
officials of the Nazi Party, including, in addition to
Hitler and the members of the Reichsleitung such as the
Reichsleiter and the Reich office holders, a hierarchy of
Hoheitstraeger (ranging from the Gaue down to the
Blockleiter) as well as the staff officers attached the
Hoheitstraeger. According to page 10 of issue No. 8, 1939 of
the authoritative publication of the Leadership Corps, "Der
Hoheitstraeger," there were in 1939:

                                                   [Page 40]
       40 Gaue and 1 Foreign Organization Gau
                                     each led by a Gauleiter.
      808 Kreise                     each led by a Kreisleiter.
   28,376 Ortsgruppen                each led by a Ortsgruppenleiter.
   89,378 Zellen                     each led by a Zellenleiter.
  463,048 Blocke                     each led by a Blockleiter.


However, as shown by previous evidence, the Leadership Corps
was composed not only of the Hoheitstraeger (such as
Gauleiter, Kreisleiter, Ortsgruppenleiter, Zellenleiter, and
Blockleiter) but also of the staff officers or office
holders attached to these Hoheitstraeger. The Gauleiter, for
example, was assisted by a deputy Gauleiter, several Gau
inspectors, and a staff which was divided into main offices
(Hauptamter) and offices (Amter), including such departments
as the Gau staff Office, Treasury, Education Office,
Propaganda Office, Press Office, University Teachers,
Communal Policy, etc. As previously shown in evidence, the
staff office structure of the Gau was substantially
represented in the lower levels of the Leadership Corps
organization such as the Kreise, Ortsgruppen, and so on. The
Kreise and the smaller territorial areas of the Party were
also organized into staff offices dealing with the various
activities of the Leadership Corps. But, of course, the
importance and the number of such staff offices diminished
as the unit dropped in the hierarchy; so that, while the
Kreisleiter staff contained all or most of the departments
mentioned for the Gau, the Ortsgruppe had fewer departments
and the lower ones fewer still.

Firm figures have not been found as to the total number of
staff officers, as distinguished from the Hoheitstraeger or
political commanders themselves included within the
Leadership Corps.

It is the view of the prosecution that in defining the scope
and composition of the Leadership Corps, staff officers
should be included only down to and including the Kreise.
Upon this basis, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party
constituted the Fuehrer, the members of the Reichsleitung,
the 5 levels of Hoheitstraeger (ranging from Gauleiter down
through the Blockleiter), and the staff officers attached to
the 40-odd Gauleiter and the eight to nine hundred
Kreisleiter. Adopting this definition of the Leadership
Corps, it will be seen that the total figure for the
membership of that organization, based upon the statistics
cited from the basic handbook for Germany, amounts to around

Home ·  Site Map ·  What's New? ·  Search Nizkor

© The Nizkor Project, 1991-2012

This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred. Any statements or excerpts found on this site are for educational purposes only.

As part of these educational purposes, Nizkor may include on this website materials, such as excerpts from the writings of racists and antisemites. Far from approving these writings, Nizkor condemns them and provides them so that its readers can learn the nature and extent of hate and antisemitic discourse. Nizkor urges the readers of these pages to condemn racist and hate speech in all of its forms and manifestations.