The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                           of the
               International Military Tribunal
                           For The
             Trial of German Major War Criminals

               His Majesty's Stationery Office
                                                  [Page 120]

Major General Nikitchenko:


Seyss-Inquart is indicted under all Four Counts. Seyss-
Inquart, an Austrian attorney, was appointed State
Councillor in Austria in May, 1937, as a result of German
pressure. He had been associated with the Austrian Nazi
Party since 1931, but had often had difficulties with that
Party and did not actually join the Nazi Party until 13th
March, 1938. He was appointed Austrian Minister of Security
and Interior with control over the police, pursuant to one
of the conditions which Hitler had imposed on Schuschnigg in
the Berchtesgaden Conference of 12th February, 1938.

Activities in Austria

Seyss-Inquart participated in the last stages of the Nazi
intrigue which preceded the German occupation of Austria,
and was made Chancellor of Austria as a result of German
threats of invasion.

On 12th March, 1938 Seyss-Inquart met Hitler at Linz and
made a speech welcoming the German forces and advocating the
reunion of Germany and Austria. On 13 March he obtained the
passage of a law providing that Austria should become a
province of Germany and succeeded Miklas as President of
Austria when Miklas resigned rather than sign the law. Seyss-
Inquart's title was changed to Reich Governor of Austria on
15th March, 1938, and on the same day he was given the title
of a general in the SS. He was made a Reich Minister without
Portfolio on 1st May, 1939.

On 11th March, 1939 he visited the Slovakian Cabinet in
Bratislava and induced them to declare their independence in
a way which fitted in closely with Hitler's offensive
against the independence of Czechoslovakia.

                                                  [Page 121]

As Reich Governor of Austria, Seyss-Inquart instituted a
program of confiscating Jewish property. Under his regime
Jews were forced to emigrate, were sent to concentration
camps, and were subject to pogroms. At the end of his regime
he cooperated with the Security Police and SD in the
deportation of Jews from Austria to the East. While he was
Governor of Austria, political opponents of the Nazis were
sent to concentration camps by the Gestapo, mistreated, and
often killed.

Criminal Activities in Poland and the Netherlands

In September, 1939 Seyss-Inquart was appointed Chief of
Civil Administration of
South Poland. On 12th October, 1939 Seyss-Inquart was made
Deputy Governor General of the General Government of Poland
under Frank. On 18th May, 1940, Seyss-Inquart was appointed
Reich Commissioner for Occupied Netherlands. In these
positions he assumed responsibility for governing territory
which had been occupied by aggressive wars and the
administration of which was of vital importance in the
aggressive war being waged by Germany.

As Deputy Governor General of the General Government of
Poland, Seyss-Inquart was a supporter of the harsh
occupation policies which were put in effect. In November,
1939, while on an inspection tour through the General
Government, Seyss-Inquart stated that Poland was to be so
administered as to exploit its economic resources for the
benefit of Germany. Seyss-Inquart also advocated the
persecution of Jews and was informed of the beginning of the
AB action which involved the murder of many Polish

As Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands, Seyss-
Inquart was ruthless in applying terrorism to suppress all
opposition to the German occupation, a program which he
described as "annihilating" his opponents. In collaboration
with the local Higher SS and Police Leaders he was involved
in the shooting of hostages for offenses against the
occupation authorities and sending to concentration camps
all suspected opponents of occupation policies including
priests and educators. Many of the Dutch police were forced
to participate in these programs by threats of reprisal
against their families. Dutch courts were also forced to
participate in this program, but when they indicated their
reluctance to give sentences of imprisonment because so many
prisoners were in fact killed, a greater emphasis was placed
on the use of summary police courts.

Seyss-Inquart carried out the economic administration of the
Netherlands without regard for rules of the Hague
Convention. which he described as obsolete. Instead, a
policy was adopted for the maximum utilization of economic
potential of the Netherlands, and executed with small regard
for its effect on the inhabitants. There was widespread
pillage of public and private property which was given color
of legality by Seyss-Inquart's regulations, and assisted by
manipulations of the financial institutions of the
Netherlands under his control.

As Reich Commissioner for the Netherlands, Seyss-Inquart
immediately began sending forced laborers to Germany. Until
1942 labor service in Germany was theoretically voluntary,
but was actually coerced by strong economic and governmental
pressure. In 1942 Seyss-Inquart formally decreed compulsory
labor service, and utilized the services of the Security
Police and SD to prevent evasion of his order. During the
occupation over 500,000 people were sent from the
Netherlands to the Reich as laborers and only a very small
proportion were actually volunteers.

One of Seyss-Inquart's first steps as Reich Commissioner of
the Netherlands was to put into effect a series of laws
imposing economic discriminations against the Jews. This was
followed by decrees requiring their registration,

                                                  [Page 122]

decrees compelling them to reside in ghettos and to wear the
Star of David, sporadic arrests and detention in
concentration camps, and finally, at the suggestion of
Heydrich, the mass deportation of almost 120,000 of
Holland's 140,000 Jews to Auschwitz and the "final
solution". Seyss-Inquart admits knowing that they were going
to Auschwitz, but claims that he heard from people who had
been to Auschwitz that the Jews were comparatively well off
there, and that he thought that they were being held there
for resettlement after the war. In light of the evidence and
on account of his official position it is impossible to
believe this claim.

Seyss-Inquart contends that he was not responsible for many
of the crimes committed in the occupation of the Netherlands
because they were either ordered from the Reich, committed
by the Army over which he had no control, or by the German
Higher SS and Police Leader, who, he claims, reported
directly to Himmler. It is true that some of the excesses
were the responsibility of the Army and that the Higher SS
and Police Leader, although he was at the disposal of Seyss-
Inquart, could always report directly to Himmler. It is also
true that in certain cases Seyss-Inquart opposed the extreme
measures used by these other agencies, as when he was
largely successful in preventing the Army from carrying out
a scorched earth policy, and urged the Higher SS and Police
Leaders to reduce the number of hostages to be shot. But the
fact remains that Seyss-Inquart was a knowing and voluntary
participant in war crimes and Crimes against humanity which
were committed in the occupation of the Netherlands.

Conclusion: The Tribunal finds that Seyss-Inquart is guilty
under Counts Two, Three, and Four. Seyss-Inquart is not
guilty on Count One.

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