The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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   Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume Two, Chapter XIV

                                                  [Page 902]

Bormann's broad powers over all political aspects of the war
as a member of the Reich Cabinet and the Ministers' Council
for the Defense of the Reich, and as executive head of the
Party, were buttressed by the creation of the post of
Secretary of the Fuehrer, to which he was appointed on 12
April 1943 (2981-PS). In that position Bormann participated
in all Hitler's conferences and became involved in the
planning of war crimes by his co-conspirators.

Even before April 1943, however, Bormann took part in
planning the basic war policies of the conspiracy. Thus, on
16 July 1941, just three weeks after the invasion of USSR
Territory, Bormann participated in a conference at Hitler's
field headquarters with Goering, Rosenberg, Keitel, and
Reich Minister Lammers. This conference resulted in the
adoption of detailed plans for the enslavement,
depopulation, and annexation of extensive territories in
Russia and other countries of Eastern Europe. In his report
on this conference, Bormann included numerous sug-

                                                  [Page 903]
gestions of his own for the effective execution of these
plans. (L-221)

During subsequent years, Bormann took a prominent part in
the implementation of this conspiratorial program. A
conference on Eastern Territories between Hitler, Rosenberg,
Lammers, and Bormann on 8 May 1942, concerned inter alia the
suppression of religious freedom, the forceable resettlement
of Dutch peasants in Latvia, the extermination program in
Russia, and the economic exploitation of Eastern Territories
(1520-PS). Rosenberg and Bormann corresponded concerning the
confiscation of property, especially art treasures, in the
East (072-PS; 071-PS). A secret Bormann letter of 11 January
1944 discussed large-scale organization for the withdrawal
of commodities from occupied territories for the use of the
bombed-out population in Germany. (061-PS; see also 327-PS)

At the same time, Bormann issued a series of orders
establishing Party jurisdiction over the treatment of
prisoners of war, especially when employed as forced labor
(232-PS). In the exercise of that jurisdiction, he called
for excessively harsh and brutal treatment of Allied
Prisoners of War. Bormann issued instructions on 5 November
1941 prohibiting decent burials with religious ceremonies
for Russian Prisoners of War (D-163). A Bormann circular of
25 November 1943 demanded harsher treatment of prisoners of
war-and the fuller utilization of their man-power (228-PS).
In a secret circular transmitting OKH instructions of 29
January 1943, Bormann provided for the enforcement of labor
demands on Prisoners of War through the use of fire-arms and
corporal punishment. (656-PS)

These instructions issued by Bormann culminated in the
decree of 30 September 1944, signed by him. This decree took
jurisdiction over all prisoners of war out of the hands of
the OKW, handed them over to the control of Himmler, and
provided that all prisoner of war camp commanders should be
under the orders of the local SS Commanders (058-PS).
Through this order, Himmler was enabled to proceed with his
program of extermination of Prisoners of War. Bormann also
bears part of the responsibility for the organized lynching
of Allied airmen. As early as March 1940 Hess had ordered
all Party leaders to instruct the civilian population to
"arrest or liquidate" all bailed-out allied fliers (062-PS).
In order to assure the success of this scheme Bormann issued
a secret circular prohibiting any police measure or criminal
proceedings against civilians who had lynched British or
American fliers (057-PS). or the execution of these de-

                                                  [Page 904]

crees, regulations were issued to cover the systematic
application of Lynch Law against captured Allied airmen (75-
PS). That such lynchings actually took place has since been
fully established in a series of American Military
Commission proceedings, which resulted in the conviction of
German civilians for the murder of Allied fliers. (2559-PS;


Bormann played an important role in the administration of
the forced labor program. A Bormann circular of 5 May 1943
contained detailed directions as to the treatment of foreign
workers, stating especially that they were subject to SS
control for all security matters and that differentiation
between them-and Germans was all-important (205-PS). At a
conference held on 4 September 1942 it was decided that
recruiting, mobilization, and treatment of 500,000 female
domestic workers from the East would be handled exclusively
by Sauckel, Himmler, and Bormann. (025-PS; see also D-226)

Bormann also imposed his views on the administration of the
occupied areas and insisted on the ruthless exploitation of
the subjected populations in the East. His views were stated
in an official memorandum of the Ministry for the Eastern
Territories, headed by Rosenberg, in which they were
described as governing actual administrative practice in the

     "The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we don't
     need them, they may die. Therefore compulsory
     vaccination and German health services are superfluous.
     The fertility of the Slavs is undesirable. They may use
     contraceptives or practice abortion, the more the
     better. Education is dangerous. It is enough if they
     can count up to 100. At best an education which
     produces useful stooges for us is admissible. Every
     educated person is a future enemy. Religion we leave to
     them as a means of diversion. As for food they won't
     get any more than is necessary. We are the masters, we
     come first." (R-36)

A secret conference on 12 January 1943 discussed Bormann's
order of 12 August 1942 under which all Party agencies were
placed at Himmler's disposal for the latter's program of
forced resettlement and denationalization of occupied
populations (705-PS). Correspondence from the Office of the
Fuehrer's Deputy reveals Bormann's demands that non-German
populations of occupied territories be subjected to a
special discriminatory legal regime

                                                  [Page 905]

(R-139). An agreement between Thierack and Himmler was made
at Bormann's suggestion, under which all Eastern populations
are subjected to brutal police regime, and under which all
disputes between the parties to the agreement are to be
settled by Bormann. (654-PS)

In issuing these orders Bormann took a large part in the
conspiracy to exterminate millions of people in the Eastern
occupied areas.


Martin Bormann, only 45 years old at the time of Germany's
defeat, devoted his entire adult life to the Nazi
conspiracy. When he joined the Nazi Party at the age of 25
he had already been active for several years in
conspiratorial and terroristic organizations working
secretly to prepare Germany for war, and had spent one year
in jail for his participation in a political murder.

Bormann's important contribution to the conspiracy remained
throughout in the sphere of the Nazi Party. First, as Chief
of Staff to Hess, the Fuehrer's Deputy, then as Head of the
Party Chancery, he managed the entire organization of the
Party in the service of the conspiracy. He was responsible
for channelling the Party's demands concerning legislation,
education, civil service, and all other fields of public and
private life to Hess, who was a member of the Reich Cabinet,
which was then Germany's legislative, administrative, and
judicial organ. Thus, Bormann advanced the Party's
conspiratorial program through the control of his co-
conspirators over the German government machinery. He used
this power for various criminal purposes, among them the
persecution of the independent churches, demanding their
complete elimination from German life on the ground that
Christianity and National Socialism were irreconcilable.

After having acceded in 1941 to the highest position in the
Nazi Party, directly under Hitler, Bormann exercised the
broadest influence in the direction of Germany's aggressive
wars. Here he acted in two

(1) As executive head of the Party he commanded the Party
Gauleaders who, as District Defense Commissioners,
controlled all civilian and political war activities in
German and the annexed territories. In that position he
became responsible for the multiple war crimes committed by
the German civilian population, especially the lynching of
allied flying personnel, and the cruel mistreatment of
forced laborers.

(2) As Secretary to the Fuehrer, Bormann took an active part

                                                  [Page 906]

in the policy-making conferences and discussions of Hitler
and his political and military staffs. Here, Bormann became
jointly responsible for the illegal annexation of Allied
territories, the enslavement and spoliation of the civilian
population in occupied countries, and the planned
persecution and extermination of the populations in Eastern
territories especially the Jews.

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