The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Third Day: Thursday, 22st November, 1945
(Part 4 of 8)

[MR. ALBRECHT continues]

There are additional organisations that were officially designated within the Party, as affiliated organisations, not "Gliederungen" nor controlled organisations,

[page 94]

but affiliated organisations (Angeschlossene Verbaende der NSDAP). Among those organisations we have the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeiterfront) the DAF; we have an organisation that controlled the Civil Service (Reichsbund der Deutschen Beamten). There were the physicians in the Deutscher Aerztebund; there were the teachers in the "Lehrerbund;" there were the lawyers within the National Socialist "Rechtswahrerbund," of which, at one time, the defendant Frank was the head.

There is another group of organisations, which was officially known as supervised organisations (Betreute Organisationen der NSDAP), organisations that included certain specialised women's organisations (Deutsches Frauenwerk), certain student societies (Deutsche Studentenschaft) and former university students (Altherrenbund der Deutschen Studenten). There was a group that had reference to the German communes (National- Sozialistischer Deutscher Gemeindetag) and there was a "Reichsbund fur Leibesuebungen," that interested itself in controlling all those interested in physical exercise.

According to the official Party designations applicable to the various organisations and associations that controlled German life, there was a fourth classification, which is the last organisation that appears to the right on the chart before your Honour, which is sometimes simply called "Weitere Nationalsozialistische Organisationen," and here, in some respects, we are in "No Man's Land," because the party was not static, it was dynamic and our latest information is now to the effect that the organisations that ordinarily came within this category, well known organisations like the RAD (Reich Labour Service) and the NSFK (National Sozialistisches Fliegerkorps), may no longer be included there. At least that was the opinion of the Party Treasurer, who certified to this chart.

I think with these few remarks, I have given some general impression of the structure of the Party with which we are dealing, in this Proceeding before your Honours.

Before leaving the Chart perhaps I would just like to point out several other instances where some of the defendants appear in this set-up.

At the very top, to the left of the Fuehrer, as marked on the chart before your Honour, are the successors-designate of the Fuehrer. First is defendant Hess, until 1941, and followed by the defendant Goering. Under the Fuehrer appears the Chief of the Party Chancellery, the defendant Martin Bormann, and then, if we come to the left of the Reichsleiter, and go to the left, opposite Rosenberg's name, we find somewhat below that his name is repeated as the Head of an office on a lower level, namely, the Foreign Relations Office of the Party, which played such a sinister influence in the early work of the Party, as will later appear in the documentary evidence to be presented to your Honour.

We then come to the late defendant Ley's name, on the main horizontal division, and follow the dotted line to a lower level, and we will find he was the Chief of the German Labour Service, and if we come closer to the vertical line, to a lower level, below the "Reichsleiter," we find the defendant Speer, in the "Hauptamt Fur Technik," the Office of Technical Affairs, and below that, as the Chief of the "Bund Deutscher Technik " (German Technological League).

With the permission of the Tribunal, the prosecution will now pass to the consideration of the governmental machinery of the German State, which, like the Organisation of the Nazi Party, requires some brief observations before the prosecution proceeds with the submission of proof on the Common Plan or Conspiracy, with which the defendants have been charged.

If the Tribunal will allow, the prosecution will offer as its second exhibit, another chart, delineating substantially the governmental structure of the Third Reich, as it existed in March, 1945, and also "The chief leadership corps of the Reich Government and the Reich Administration during those years."

This chart has been prepared by the prosecution on the basis of information

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contained in two official publications, "Das Taschenbuch fur Verwaltungsbeamte," the Manual for Administrative Officers, and the National Socialist Year Book, to which I have already alluded, edited by the defendant Ley.

This chart has been examined, corrected and certified by the defendant Wilhelm Frick, whose affidavit is submitted with it. In fact, it is reproduced directly on the copies of the charts before your Honour.

It seems plain that the defendant Frick, a former Minister of Interior of the Reich from January, 1933, to August, 1943, was well qualified, by reason of his position and long service in public office during the National Socialist regime, to certify to the substantial accuracy of the facts disclosed in this chart.

Now, with the permission of the Tribunal, I would like to make some brief comments on this chart.

First of all, we refer to the "Reichsregierung," which is the big box in the centre of the chart on the vertical line, directly below Hitler. The " Reichsregierung" is a word that may not be translated literally as "government of the Reich." The word "Reichsregierung" is a word of art and is applied collectively to the ministers who composed the German Cabinet.

The "Reichsregierung" has been named as a defendant in this proceeding, and as used in the Indictment, the expression is used to identify a group which, we will urge, should be declared to have been a criminal organisation.

This group includes all the men named in that centre box, who were members of the Cabinet after 30th January, 1933, that is Reich Ministers with and without Portfolio, and all other officials entitled to participate in the deliberations of the Cabinet.

Secondly, it includes members of the Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich. It is called "Ministerrat Fur die Reichsverteidigung," which is the large box to the right of the vertical line.

Then, it includes the members of the Secret Cabinet Council, which is the small box to the left of the vertical line, the "Geheimer Kabinettarat," of which the defendant von Neurath was the President.

Unlike the Cabinets and Ministerial Councils in countries that were not within the orbit of the Axis, the "Reichsregierung," after 30th January, 1933, when Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of the German Reich, did not remain merely the executive branch of the Government. In short order it also came to possess, and it exercised, legislative and other functions as well, in the governmental system into which the German Government developed while under the domination of the National Socialist Party.

It is proper to observe here that, unlike such Party organisations as the S.A. and S.S., the " Reichsregierung," before 1933, certainly, was not a body created exclusively or even predominantly for the purpose of committing illegal acts. The "Reichsregierung' was an instrument of government provided for by the Weimar Constitution. Under the Nazi regime, however, the "Reichsregierung" gradually became a primary agent of the Party, with functions formulated in accordance with the objectives and methods of the Party itself. The Party, to all intents and purposes, was intended to be a "Fuehrerorden," an order of fuehrers, a pool of political leaders. And while the Party was, in the words of a German law, "the bearer of the concept of the German State," it was not identical with the State.

Thus, in order to realise its ideological and political objectives and to reach the German people, the Party had to avail itself of official State channels.

The Reichsregierung, and such agencies and offices established by it, were the chosen instruments by means of which Party politics were converted into legislative and administrative acts, binding upon the German people as a whole.

In order to accomplish this result, the "Reichsregierung" was thoroughly remodelled by the Party. Some of the steps may be here recorded, by which the

[Page 96]

co-ordination of Party and State machinery was assured in order to impose the will of the Fuehrer on the German people.

On 30th January, 1933, the date that the Fuehrer became Reich Chancellor, there were few National Socialists that were Cabinet members. But, as the power of the Party in the Reich grew, the Cabinet came to include an ever-increasing number of Nazis, until by January, 1937, no non-Party member remained in the "Reichsregierung." Now cabinet posts were created and Nazis appointed to them. Many of these cabinet members were also in the "Reichsleitung" of the Party.

To give but a few examples:-

The defendant Rosenberg, whose name your Honours will find in that central box on the vertical line, the delegate of the Fuehrer for Ideological Training and Education of the Party, was a member of the "Reichsregierung," in its capacity as Minister for the Occupied Eastern Areas, the " Reichsminister fur die besetsten Ostgebiete."

And if your Honours will follow me on the vertical line to the main horizontal line and proceed to the very end, you will find a box marked "Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories," of which the head was the defendant Rosenberg.

The defendant Frick, the leader of the National Socialist faction in the " Reichstag," was also Minister of the Interior.

If your Honours will follow me down to the main horizontal line and two boxes over you will find the Ministry presided over by the defendant Frick. Goebbels, the " Reichsleiter fur Propaganda," also sat in the Cabinet as Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, "Reichsminister fur Volksaufklaerung und Propaganda." He is in Propaganda, the next box to the right from the Ministry of the Interior.

After the 25th of July, 1934, participation in the work of the cabinet was at all times achieved through the person of the defendant Rudolf Hess, the Deputy Fuehrer. By a decree of Hitler the defendant Hess was invested with the power to take part in the editing of legislative bills with all the departments of the Reich. Later this power of the Fuehrer's deputy was expanded to include all executive decisions and orders that were published in the "Reichsgesetzblatt," the official volume in which are contained the decrees of the State. After Hess's flight to England in 1941, the defendant Martin Bormann, as his successor, took over the same functions, and in addition he was given the authority of a "Reichsminister " so that he could sit in the Cabinet.

Now, another item of importance:-

On 30th January, 1937, four years after Hitler became Chancellor, the Fuehrer executed the acceptances into the Party of those last few Cabinet members who still remained out of the Party. Only one Cabinet member had the strength of character to reject membership in the Party. That was the Minister of Transportation and Minister of Posts, Mr. Eltz- Ruebenau. His example was not followed by the defendant von Neurath. His example was not followed by the defendant Raeder. And if the defendant Schacht was not yet at that time a member of the Party, I might say that his example was not followed by the defendant Schacht.

The chart shows many other instances where Party members on the highest, as well as subordinate levels, occupied corresponding or other positions in the organisation of the State. Take Hitler himself as the Fuehrer of the N.S.D.A.P. He was also the Chancellor of the Reich with which office, furthermore, the office of President of the Reich was joined and merged after the death of President von Hindenburg in 1934.

Take the defendant Goering, the successor-designate of Hitler. As Fuehrer of the S.A. he sat in the Cabinet as Air Minister, "Luftfahrtminister," and he also held many other important positions, including that of Commander-in-Chief of the "Luftwaffe," the German Air Force, and that of Delegate for the Four Year Plan.

[Page 97]

Himmler, the notorious head of the S.S., the Reichsfuehrer S.S., was also the Chief of the German Police, reporting to the defendant Frick. He himself later became Minister of the Interior after the attempted assassination of Hitler on 20th June, I944, which event also catapulted him into the position of Commander-in-Chief of the German Reserve Army.

Now, at the extreme upper left of the chart is a box that is labelled "Reichstag," the former German parliament.

(A short recess was taken.)

In that box is the label "Reichstag," the former German parliament.

The " Reichstag " presents an anomaly in this picture. Under the Republic it had been the supreme law-making body of the Reich, subject only to a limited check by the "Reichsrat" - the Council of the Reich, by the President and by the people themselves by way of Initiative and Referendum.

Putting their opposition to all forms of Parliamentarianism into effect at once, the Nazis proceeded to curtail the powers of the " Reichstag," to eliminate the "Reichsrat," and to merge the Presidency with the Office of Chancellor occupied by the Fuehrer. By the Act of 24th March, 1933, the Cabinet was given unlimited legislative powers, including the right to deviate from the Constitution. Subsequently, as I stated, the Reichsrat was abolished, and with that act the residuum of the power to legislate in the Reichstag was reduced to a minimum. I say the power was reduced to a minimum, because the actual power to legislate was never taken away from the Reichstag, but certainly after the advent of the Party to power it was never permitted to exercise as a legislature.

The "Reichsregierung" retained its legislative powers throughout, even though from time to time other agencies of the "Reichsregierung," such as the Plenipotentiary for Administration, in the upper right of the chart, the "Generalbevollmaechtigter fur die Reichsverwaltung," the Plenipotentiary for Economy, also in the right-hand corner of the chart, the "Generalbevollmaectitigter fur die Wirtschaft" and the Council of Ministers for the Defence of the Reich, were created. That is the big box to the right of the vertical line. And these agencies of the Reichsregierung received certain concurrent legislative powers.

The development of the Reichstag into an emasculated legislative body was, however, only an intermediate step on the road to rule by Fuehrer decrees. That was the ultimate goal of the Party, and a goal which they achieved.

The Nazis then proceeded to delegate some of the powers of the Reich Cabinet to all sorts of newly created agencies, some of which I have already mentioned. Cabinet functions were delegated first of all to the Reich Defence Council, the "Reichsverteidigungsrat," possibly as early as 4th April, 1933, but we believe certainly not later than 1935. I might say in this connection that with respect to a number of these agencies of the Reichsregierung which received delegated powers, we are moving in a somewhat shadowy land, because in developing this organisation we are dealing - to some extent, at least - with decrees and actions that were secret, or secretive, in character.

A number of these decrees were never definitely fixed in time. A number of them were never published, and the German people themselves never became acquainted with them. And that is why I say that the Reich Defence Council may possibly have been created as early as two and one-half months after the advent of Hitler to power, but we believe that we will be able to show to the satisfaction of the Tribunal that that important body in the government of the Reich was created certainly not later than May, 1935.

I say it was an important body. This was the war-planning group, of which Hitler himself was chairman and the defendant Goering the alternate. It was a large war-planning body, as your Honour will note, that included many cabinet members, and there was also a working committee - the true numerical size of which does not appear from the chart - which was presided over by the defendant

[Page 98]

Keitel. That also was composed of Cabinet members and of Reich defence officials, the majority of whom were appointed by Cabinet officers and subject to their control. Other powers were delegated to the Plenipotentiary, whom I have named before, for Administration, appearing at the extreme right of the chart. That was the defendant Frick, and later the notorious Himmler.

Subordinate to Frick in his capacity as Plenipotentiary for Administration were complete ministries, the Ministry of the Interior, Frick's old ministry, Ministry of Justice, Education, Church Affairs, and " Raumordnung," the Ministry for Special Planning.

Other powers went to the delegate for the Four Year Plan, again the defendant Goering, whose box appears to the left of the median line, half way to the edge.

There were certain other powers that went to an organisation within the shadow-land I mentioned, and which, unfortunately, does not have it, name on this chart, the "Dreierkollegium," the College of Three, which title should really be imposed over the last three boxes in the upper right-band corner; because the "Dreierkollegium " consisted not alone of the Plenipotentiary for Administration, but also the Plenipotentiary for War Economy. And the Chairman of that group, I believe, was the defendant Keitel, as the head of the O.K.W., the Wehrmacht, all the armed forces. The duties of the "Dreierkollegium " would seem to have included the drafting of decrees in preparation of and for use during war. To the Secret Cabinet Council, the "Geheimer Kabinettsrat," of which the defendant von Neurath was Chairman, or President I believe was his title, went other powers. That secret Cabinet Council was created by a decree of the Fuehrer in 1938.

Certain other delegation of power took place to the "Ministerrat fur die Reichsverteidigung," the Ministerial Council for the Defence of the Realm, which is the smallest box appearing under the large box of the Reich Defence Council, to the right of the vertical line.

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