The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV
                     17.  MARTIN BORMANN

                                                  [Page 896]

(1) Between 1925 and 1945 Bormann held the following

(a) Member of the Nazi Party 1925-1945.

(b) Member of the Reichstag, November 1933-1945.

(c) Member of the Staff of the Supreme Command of the SA, 15
November 1928 to August 1930.

(d) Founder and head of Hilfskasse der NSDAP, August 1930 to

(e) Reichsleiter, July 1933-1945.

(f) Chief of Staff, Office of the Fuehrer's Deputy, July
1933 to May 1941.

(g) Head of the Party Chancery, 12 May 1941-1945.

(h) Secretary of, the Fuehrer, 12 April 1943-1945. (2981-PS)

(i) Member of the Council of Ministers for the Defense of
the Reich, 29 May 1942-1945. (2099-PS)

(j) Political and organizational head of the Volkssturm.

(k) General in the SS. (234-PS)

(2) During this period Bormann also held the following
position: Member of the Reich Cabinet, 29 May 1941 to 1945.

                                                  [Page 897]

Within the conspiracy Martin Bormann had the managerial task
of operating the Nazis' Party as a center of control for the
benefit of the conspirators. First as the executive chief of
the Nazi Party under less, and since 1941 himself the head
of the Party, subject only to Hitler's supreme authority,
Bormann was a key member of the Nazi conspiracy. The Party
constituted the most powerful instrument of public control
at the disposal of the conspirators. Through the Party the
conspirators were able to gain and retain power in Germany.
Through it they imposed their will on the German nation and
obtained its support for their aggressive wars. Bormann is
thus responsible for the crimes committed by the Party under
the orders of the conspirators.

Bormann began his conspiratorial activities more than 20
years ago. In 1922, when only 22 years old, he joined the
Organization Rossbach, one of the armed illegal groups which
developed the aggressive traditions of the German Army and
established a regime of terror against the small pacifist
minority in Germany. While he was District Leader of the
Organization for Mecklenburg, he was arrested and tried for
his part in a political terror assassination. On 15 May 1924
he was found guilty by the State Tribunal for the Protection
of the Republic and sentenced to one year in prison. (2981-
PS; 3355-PS)

Upon his release from jail in 1925, Bormann again took up
his subversive activities. First, he joined the Militarist
Organization Frontbann. Then, in the same year, he became a
member of the reconstituted Nazi Party, and began his rise
to one of the most influential positions in the conspiracy.
In 1927 he became Press Chief for the Party Gau of
Thuringia. On 1 April 1928 he was made a District Leader in
Thuringia, and Business Manager for the entire Gau.

From 15 November 1928 to August 1930 he was on the Staff of
the Supreme Command of the SA. Thus he participated
decisively in the development of these uniformed shock
troops with which the conspirators terrorized and destroyed
their opposition inside Germany. (See Section 4 of chapter
XV on the SA.)

In August 1930 Bormann organized the Aid Fund (Hilfskasse)
of the Nazi Party, of which he became the head. Through this
Fund he collected large sums for the Party Treasury,
allegedly for the purpose of aiding families of Party
members who had

                                                  [Page 898]
been killed or imprisoned while "fighting" for the Party.

On 30 January 1933 the conspirators and their Party took
over the government of Germany. Shortly thereafter, in July
1933, Bormann was given the number-three post in the Party
Organization, that of Chief of Staff to Rudolf Hess, then
Hitler's Deputy. At the same time he was made a member of
the Party Directorate (Reichsleiter). In November 1933, he
was made a member of the Reichstag. (3236-PS)

As Hess' Chief of Staff, Bormann was responsible for
channeling to him the demands of the Party in all the fields
of government action. These demands were then imposed by
Hess, through his participation in Cabinet meetings, on
legislation, public administration, and appointments. (Chart
Number 15; 1395-PS; 2001-PS; D-138; 3180-PS)

Bormann also used the Party in order to strengthen the hold
of the Gestapo and the SD over the German people. On 14
February 1935 Bormann ordered all Party officers to assist
the SD in its work described as "benefiting principally the
Party" (3237-PS). On 3 September 1935 Bormann ordered Party
agencies to hand persons who criticize the Nazi Party or
institutions over to the Gestapo. (3239-PS) An order of the
Party Chancery issued on 14 December 1938, demanded closest
cooperation between Party agencies and Gestapo (1723-PS).

After the flight of Hess to Scotland on 10 May 1941, Bormann
succeeded him as head of the Party under Hitler, with the
title of Chief of the Party Chancery. In that position he
took over all offices and powers formerly held by Hess,
especially his membership in the Cabinet and on the
Ministers' Council for the Defense of the Reich (2099-PS).

Only 8 months later, Hitler issued another Decree which
extended Bormann's powers even beyond those which had been
granted to Hess. By that Decree Bormann was given extensive
control over the preparation of all laws and directives of
the Cabinet, the Fuehrer, and the Ministers' Council for the
Defense of the Reich, and over the appointment of all public
officials (the latter, in Germany, included Judges and
university teachers) (2100-PS). Under this legislation
Bormann must be held at least jointly responsible for every
law and order issued after 24 January 1942 by which the
conspirators carried out their crimes.

This decisive participation of Bormann and the Party
agencies under his direct control in the day-to-day
administration of the German war program was buttressed by
the Order of the Ministers' Council for the Defense of the
Reich, dated 1 December

                                                  [Page 899]
1942, under which all Party Gau Leaders were appointed Reich
Defense Commissioners and all Gaus became Reich Defense
Districts (3235-PS). Under this Order the Gau leaders, who
were Party functionaries under the orders of Bormann, became
the Chief Administrators of the entire civilian war effort,
not only in Germany proper but also in all incorporated
territories. This development constituted the culmination of
the integration of Party and State which had begun almost
ten years earlier. From then on, the Party, through Bormann,
became a decisive factor in the initiation and execution of
all German war policies, after having been charged in the
preceding years with much of the political and pre-military
preparation of the German people for the aggressive wars of
the Conspirators. (3242-PS)

Bormann participated actively in the execution of that part
of the conspirators' program relating to the persecution and
destruction of independent groups which were opposed to the
aims of the Conspiracy.

(1) Persecution of the Churches. Bormann was among the most
relentless members of the conspirators in the persecution of
the churches. In a secret order of 6 June 1941 he stated
bluntly the aim of the conspirators to destroy Christianity

     "National Socialist and Christian concepts are
     irreconcilable ***. No human being would know anything
     of Christianity if it had not been drilled into him in
     his childhood by pastors. The so-called dear God in no
     wise gives knowledge of his existence to young people
     in advance, but in an astonishing manner in spite of
     his omnipotence leaves this to the efforts of the
     pastors. If, therefore, in the future our youth learns
     nothing more of this Christianity whose doctrines are
     far below ours, Christianity will disappear by itself."
     (D-75; see also 098-PS)

In pursuance of this aim, Bormann's first efforts in the
conspiracy's fight against religion were directed toward the
elimination of churchmen and church influence from the Party
itself. On 3 July 1938 a Bormann order prohibited clergymen
from holding Party offices (113-PS). A Bormann circular of 6
June 1939 excluded Christian Scientists from Party
membership (838-PS). Bormann Decrees of 9 February 1937 and
14 July 1939 excluded clergymen and theology students from
membership in the Nazi

                                                  [Page 900]
Party (840-PS). And a Bormann directive of 17 June 1938,
prohibited all religious activities by members of the Labor
Service. (107-PS)

Bormann also opposed religious instruction in the school. A
letter from Bormann's office to Rosenberg on 25 April 1941
reported success in reducing the holding of religious
morning services in schools and proposed the substitution of
National Socialist school services. (070-PS)

In order further to weaken the churches, Bormann enforced
the elimination of numerous Catholic and Protestant Divinity
Schools in Germany and Austria. In a letter to The Minister
of Education, dated 24 January 1939, Bormann denied the
scientific value of theological instruction and suggested a
legal basis for the suppression and restriction of Divinity
Schools (116-PS). This was followed by a report of The
Ministry of Education, dated 6 April 1939, concerning the
suppression and consolidation of Divinity Schools (122-PS).
A confidential letter from Bormann to The Minister of
Education, dated 23 June 1939, in reply to memorandum of. 6
April 1939 (122-PS), reported the Party's decision to order
the suppression of numerous Divinity Schools (123-PS). In a
letter to Rosenberg on 12 December 1939 Bormann agreed with
the suggestion that the University Chairs belonging to the
Divinity School in the University of Munich be used for
instructors at the Nazi Academy (Hohe Schule). (131-PS)

Bormann also used his power and position in order to demand
that other government departments deprive the churches of
their property and subject them to a discriminatory legal
regime. A Bormann letter to The Reich Minister of Finance in
January 1940, demanded that church assessments for special
war tax be greatly increased (099-PS). In a letter to Amann
on 8 March 1940, Bormann demanded reduction in the paper
allotment of church publications (089-PS). A Bormann letter
to Rosenberg on 24 June 1940 submitted the draft of a
discriminatory church law for Danzig and West Prussia (066-
PS). Throughout 1940-1941 Bormann corresponded with numerous
officials concerning confiscation of religious art
treasures. (1600-PS)

Finally, as the war took an increasing part of Germany's
youth into the Armed Forces, Bormann insisted that soldiers
be removed from all religious influence. In a letter to the
Army High Command in January 1939, Bormann opposed the
establishment of an Army Corps of Chaplains (117-PS). A
Bormann letter to Rosenberg on 17 January 1940 suggested the
publication of special Nazi literature for members of the
Wehrmacht in order to replace reli-

                                                  [Page 901]

gious literature which the writer had as yet been unable to
suppress completely (101-PS). In a letter to Rosenberg the
next day (18 January 1940) Bormann stated that the
publication of Nazi literature for Army recruits as a
countermeasure to the circulation of religious writings was
"the most essential demand of the hour."

When the prosecution of this anti-Church program was turned
over to the RSHA under Himmler, the "Church Specialists" of
that organization received clear instructions as to the aims
which the Conspirators wanted them to achieve, at a meeting
of the "Church Specialists" called for that purpose on 26
September 1941:

     "The immediate aim: the church must not regain one inch
     of the ground it has lost.
     "The ultimate aim: destruction of the churches to be
     brought about by the collection of all material
     obtained through Nachrichtendienst activities, which
     will, at a given time, be produced as evidence for the
     charge of treasonable activities during the German
     fight for existence." (1815-PS)

Five years earlier, Bormann had already issued an order to
all Party members demanding that they turn priests who
criticized the Party over to the Gestapo (3246-PS). Bormann
thus bears responsibility for the mistreatment of priests in
concentration camps throughout these years. (3249-PS)

(2) Persecution of the Jews. It was Bormann who was charged
by Hitler with the transmission and implementation of the
latter's instructions for the "liquidation" of the Jewish
population in Germany.

After the pogrom of 8 November 1938 - 9 November 1938,
Bormann, acting on orders of Hitler, instructed Goering to
proceed to the "final settlement of the Jewish question" in
Germany. (1816-PS)

As a result of this conference a series of anti-Jewish
decrees were issued. A Bormann order of 17 January 1939
demanded compliance with new regulations under which Jews
were denied access to housing, travel, and other facilities.
(069-PS; see 409-PS)

Bormann also acted through other government agencies to wipe
out the economic existence of a large part of the Jewish
population. A Bormann order of 8 January 1937 communicated
an order by Frick, issued at his instigation, that
government employees who consult Jewish doctors, lawyers,
etc., will be denied financial assistance. (240-PS)

In addition to these purely economic measures Bormann, again

                                                  [Page 902]

acting on instructions from Hitler, caused Goering to issue
a secret order severely restricting the living conditions of
Jews in Germany.

After the outbreak of the war these anti-Jewish measures
increased in intensity and brutality. Thus, Bormann
participated in the issuance of rulings under which 60,000
Jewish inhabitants of Vienna were deported to the Government
General of Poland, in cooperation with the SS and the
Gestapo. (1950-PS)

After Bormann succeeded Hess as the executive head of the
Party, he was one of the prime movers in the campaign of
total spoliation, starvation, and extermination of the Jews
living under the rule of the Conspirators. A Bormann order
of 23 October 1942 announced a Ministry of Foods decree,
issued at his instigation, depriving Jews of many essential
food items, and of all special sickness and pregnancy
rations, and ordering the confiscation of food parcels (3243-
PS). On 9 October 1942 Bormann ordered that the problem of
eliminating forever the millions of Jews from Greater German
territory could no longer be solved by emigration but only
by the application of "ruthless force" in special camps in
the East (3244-PS). The Thirteenth Ordinance under The Reich
Citizen Law of 1 July 1943 (RGB1, 1943, Part I, p. 372),
signed by Bormann, completely excluded Jews from the
ordinary courts and handed them over to the exclusive
jurisdiction of Himmler's police. (1422-PS; see also 3085-PS)

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