The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

First Day: Tuesday, 20th November, 1945
(Part 3 of 10)

From the first day of launching their attack on Soviet territory the Nazi conspirators, in accordance with their detailed plans, began to carry out the destruction of cities, towns and villages, the demolition of factories, collective farms, electric stations and railroads, the robbery and barbaric devastation of the natural cultural institutions of the peoples of the U.S.S.R., the devastation of museums, churches, historic monuments, and mass deportation of the Soviet citizens for slave labour to Germany, as well as the annihilation of old people, women and children, especially Byelo-Russians and Ukrainians. The exter-

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mination of Jews was committed throughout the territory of the Soviet Union.

The above-mentioned criminal offences were perpetrated by the German troops in accordance with the orders of the Nazi Government and the General Staff and High Command of the German Armed Forces.

7. Collaboration with Italy and Japan and aggressive war against the United States : November, 1936, to December, 1941

After the initiation of the Nazi wars of aggression the Nazi conspirators brought about a German-Italian-Japanese ten- year military-economic alliance signed at Berlin on 27th September, 1940. This agreement, representing a strengthening of the bonds among those nations, established by the earlier but more limited pact of 25th November, 1936, stated: " The Governments of Germany, Italy and Japan, considering it as a condition precedent of any lasting peace that all nations of the world be given each its own proper place, have decided to stand by and co-operate with one another in regard of their efforts in Greater East Asia and regions of Europe respectively wherein it is their prime purpose to establish and maintain a new order of things calculated to promote the mutual prosperity and welfare of the peoples concerned." The Nazi conspirators conceived that Japanese aggression would weaken and handicap those nations with which they were at war, and those with whom they contemplated war. Accordingly, the Nazi conspirators exhorted Japan to seek "a new order of things." Taking advantage of the wars of aggression then being waged by the Nazi conspirators, Japan commenced an attack on 7th December, 1941, against the United States of America at Pearl Harbour and the Philippines, and against the British Commonwealth of Nations, French Indo-China and the Netherlands in the South-west Pacific. Germany declared war against the United States on 11th December, 1941.


1.Beginning with the initiation of the aggressive war on 1st September, 1939, and throughout its extension into wars involving almost the entire world, the Nazi conspirators carried out their Common Plan or Conspiracy to wage war in ruthless and complete disregard and violation of the laws and customs of war. In the course of executing the Common Plan or Conspiracy, there were committed the War Crimes detailed hereinafter in Count Three of this Indictment.

2. Beginning with the initiation of their plan to seize and retain total control of the German State, and thereafter throughout their utilisation of that control for foreign aggression, the Nazi conspirators carried out their Common Plan or Conspiracy in ruthless and complete disregard and violation of the laws of Humanity. In the course of executing the Common Plan or Conspiracy there were committed the Crimes against Humanity detailed hereinafter in Count Four of this Indictment.

3. By reason of all the foregoing, the defendants with divers other persons are guilty of a Common Plan or Conspiracy for the accomplishment of Crimes against Peace; of a conspiracy to commit Crimes against Humanity in the course of preparation for war and in the course of prosecution of war; and of a conspiracy to commit War Crimes not only against the armed forces of their enemies but also against non-belligerent civilian populations.


Reference is hereby made to Appendix A of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the individual defendants for the offence set forth in this Count One of the Indictment. Reference is hereby made to Appendix B of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the groups and organisation named herein as criminal groups and organisations for the offences set forth in this Count One of the Indictment.

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MR. SIDNEY ALDERMAN: If the Tribunal please, that ends Count One, which is America's responsibility. Great Britain will present Count Two.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases.


V. Statement of the Offence

All the defendants with divers other persons, during a period of years preceding 8th May, 1945, participated in the planning, preparation, initiation and waging of wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements and assurances.

VI. Particulars of the wars planned, prepared, initiated and waged

(A) The wars referred to in the Statement of Offence in this Count Two of the Indictment and the dates of their initiation were the following: against Poland, 1st September, I939; against the United Kingdom and France, 3rd September, 1939; against Denmark and Norway, 9th April, 1940; against Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, 10th May, 1940; against Yugoslavia and Greece, 6th April, 1941; against the U.S.S.R., 22nd June, 1941; and against the United States of America, 11th December, 1941.

(B) Reference is hereby made to Count One of the Indictment for the allegations charging that these wars were wars of aggression on the part of the defendants.

(C) Reference is hereby made to Appendix C annexed to this Indictment for a statement of particulars of the charges of violations of international treaties, agreements and assurances caused by the defendants in the course of planning, preparing and initiating these wars.

VII. Individual, group and Organisation responsibility for the offence stated in Count Two

Reference is hereby made to Appendix A of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the individual defendants for the offence set forth in this Count Two of the Indictment. Reference is hereby made to Appendix B of this Indictment for a statement of the responsibility of the groups and organisations named herein as criminal groups and organisations for the offence set forth in this Count Two of the Indictment.

That finishes, Mr. President, Count Two of the Indictment.


SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: If your Lordship pleases.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal will now adjourn for 15 minutes.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE : If your Lordship pleases. The reading will be resumed by a representative of the French Republic.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal understands that the defendant Ernst Kaltenbrunner is temporarily ill. The trial will continue in his absence. I call upon the Chief Prosecutor for the Provisional Republic of France.


COUNT THREE-WAR CRIMES (Charter, Article 6, especially 6 (b))

VIII. Statement of the Offence

All the defendants committed War Crimes between 1st September, 1939, and 8th May, 1945, in Germany and in all those countries and territories occupied by the German armed forces since 1st September, 1939, and in Austria, Czechoslovakia and Italy, and on the High Seas.

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All the defendants, acting in concert with others, formulated and executed a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit War Crimes as defined in Article 6 (b) of the Charter. This plan involved, among other things, the practice of "total war" including methods of combat and of military occupation in direct conflict with the laws and customs of war, and the perpetration of crimes committed on the field of battle during encounters with enemy armies, against prisoners of war, and in occupied territories against the civilian population of such territories.

The said War Crimes were committed by the defendants and by other persons for whose acts the defendants are responsible (under Article 6 of the Charter) as such other persons when committing the said War Crimes performed their acts in execution of a Common Plan or Conspiracy to commit the said War Crimes, in the formulation and execution of which plan and conspiracy all the defendants participated as leaders, organisers, instigators and accomplices.

These methods and crimes constituted violations of international conventions, of internal penal laws and of the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal law of all civilised nations, and were involved in and part of a systematic course of conduct.


Throughout the period of their occupation of territories overrun by their armed forces, the defendants, for the purpose of systematically terrorising the inhabitants, ill- treated civilians, imprisoned them without legal process, tortured and murdered them.

The murders and ill-treatment were carried out by divers means, such as shooting, hanging, gassing, starvation, gross overcrowding, systematic under-nutrition, systematic imposition of labour tasks beyond the strength of those ordered to carry them out, inadequate provision of surgical and medical services, kickings, beatings. brutality and torture of all kinds, including the use of hot irons and pulling out of finger nails and the performance of experiments by means of operations and otherwise on living human subjects. In some occupied territories the defendants interfered with religious services, persecuted members of the clergy and monastic orders, and expropriated church property. They conducted deliberate and systematic genocide, viz. the extermination of racial and national groups, against the civilian population of certain occupied territories in order to destroy particular races and classes of people, and national, racial or religious groups, particularly Jews, Poles and Gypsies, and others.

Civilians were systematically subjected to tortures of all kinds, with the object of obtaining information.

Civilians of occupied countries were subjected systematically to "protective arrests," that is to say they were arrested and imprisoned without any trial and any of the ordinary protections of the law, and they were imprisoned under the most unhealthy and inhumane conditions.

In the concentration camps were many prisoners who were classified " Nacht und Nebel." These were entirely cut off from the world and were allowed neither to receive nor to send letters. They disappeared without trace and no announcement of their fate was ever made by the German authorities.

Such crimes and ill-treatment are contrary to International Conventions, in particular to Article 46 of The Hague Regulations, 1907, the laws and customs of war, the general principles of criminal law as derived from the criminal laws of all civilised nations, the internal penal laws of the countries in which such crimes were committed, and to Article 6 (b) of the Charter.

The following particulars and all the particulars appearing later in this count are set out herein by way of example only, are not exclusive of other particular cases, and are stated without prejudice to the right of the prosecution to adduce evidence of other cases of murder and ill-treatment of civilians.

I. In France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Italy and the

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Channel Islands (hereinafter called the "Western Countries") and in that part of Germany which lies West of a line draw due North and South through the centre of Berlin (hereinafter called "Western Germany").

Such murder and ill-treatment took place in concentration camps and similar establishments set up by the defendants, and particularly in the concentration camps set up at Belsen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Breendonck, Grini, Natzweiler, Ravensbrueck, Vught and Amersfoort, and in numerous cities, towns and villages, including Oradour sur Glane, Trondheim and Oslo.

Crimes committed in France or against French citizens took the following Forms:

Arbitrary arrests were carried out under political or racial pretexts; they were either individual or collective; notably in Paris (round-up of the 18th Arrondissement by the Field Gendarmerie, round-up of the Jewish population of the 11th Arrondissement in August, 1941, round-up of Jewish intellectuals in December, 1941, round-up in July, 1942); at Clermont-Ferrand (round-up of professors and students of the University of Strasbourg, which had been evacuated to Clermont-Ferrand, on 25th November, 1943); at Lyons, at Marseilles (round-up of 40,000 persons in January, 1943); at Cluny (round-up on 24th December, 1944); at Figeac (round- tip in May, 1944); at Saint-Pol-de-Leon (round-up in July, 1944); at Locmine (round-up on 3rd July, 1944); at Eyzieux (round-up in May, 1944) and at Moussey (round-up in September, 1944). These arrests were followed by brutal treatment and tortures carried out by the most diverse methods, such as immersion in icy water, asphyxiation, torture of the limbs, and the use of instruments of torture, such as the iron helmet and electric current, and practised in all the prisons of France, notably in Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Rennes, Metz, Clermont-Ferrand, Toulouse, Nice, Grenoble, Annecy, Arras, Bethune, Lille, Loos, Valenciennes, Nancy, Troyes and Caen, and in the torture chambers fitted up at the Gestapo centres.

In the concentration camps, the health regime and the labour regime were such that the rate of mortality (alleged to be from natural causes) attained enormous proportions, for instance

1. Out of a convoy of 250 French women deported from Compeigne to Auschwitz in January, 1943, 180 had died of exhaustion at the end of four months.

2. 143 Frenchmen died of exhaustion between 23rd March and 6th May 1943, in Block 8 at Dachau.

3. 1,797 Frenchmen died of exhaustion between 21st November, 1943, and 15th March, 1945, in the Block at Dora.

4. 465 Frenchmen died of general debility in November, I944, at Dora.

5. 22,761 deportees died of exhaustion at Buchenwald between 1st January, 1943, and 15th April, 1945.

6. 11,560 detainees died of exhaustion at Dachau Camp (most of them in Block 30 reserved for the sick and the infirm) between 1st January and 15th April, I945.

7. 780 priests died of exhaustion at Mauthausen.

Out of 2,200 Frenchmen registered at Flossenburg Camp, 1,600 died from supposedly natural causes.

Methods used for the work of extermination in concentration camps were: bad treatment, pseudo-scientific experiments (sterilisation of women at Auschwitz and at Ravensbrueck, study of the evolution of cancer of the womb at Auschwitz, of typhus at Buchenwald, anatomical research at Natzweiler, heart injections at Buchenwald, bone grafting and muscular excisions at Ravensbrueck, etc.), gas chambers, gas wagons and crematory ovens. Of 228,000 French political and racial deportees in concentration camps, only 28,000 survived.

In France also systematic extermination was practised, notably at Asq on

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1st April, 1944, at Colpe on 22nd July, 1944, at Buzet-sur- Tarn on 6th July, 1944, and on 17th August, 1944, at Pluvignier on 8th July, 1944, at Rennes on 8th June, 1944, at Grenoble on 8th July, 1944, at Saint Flour on 10th June, 1944, at Ruisnes on 10th June, 1944, at Nimes, at Tulle, and at Nice, where, in July, 1944, the victims of torture were exposed to the population, and at Oradour-sur-Glane where the entire village population was shot or burned alive in the church.

The many charnel pits give proof of anonymous massacres. Most notable of these are the charnel pits of Paris (Cascade du Bois de Boulogne), Lyons, Saint-Genies-Laval, Besancon, Petit Saint-Bernard, Anlnat, Caen, Port-Louis, Charleval, Fontainebleau, Bouconne, Cabaudet, L'hermitage-Lorges, Morlas, Bordelongue, Signe.

In the course of a premeditated campaign of terrorism, initiated in Denmark by the Germans in the latter part of 1943, 600 Danish subjects were murdered and, in addition, throughout the German occupation of Denmark, large numbers of Danish subjects were subjected to torture and ill- treatment of all sorts. In addition, approximately 500 Danish subjects were murdered, by torture and other-wise, in German prisons and concentration camps.

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