The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
7th January to 19th January, 1946

Thirty-First Day: Thursday, January 10th, 1946
(Part 1 of 10)

[Page 135]



MR. BRUDNO: May it please the Tribunal, when the Tribunal rose yesterday I had finished the submission of proof as to Rosenberg's responsibility and authority in the Occupied Eastern Territories, and was about to conclude my presentation with four brief examples as to the manner in which his authority was exercised. I was in the middle of the third example, which your Honours will recall dealt with Rosenberg's participation in the forced labour programme. I wish to conclude that illustration with reference to Document 199-PS, which we offer as Exhibit USA 606. This document is a letter from Alfred Meyer, Rosenberg's deputy, and is addressed to Sauckel, and dated 11th July, 1944. This time, your Honour will note, it is Rosenberg's Ministry that is urging action. I wish to quote item number I of this letter, which reads as follows:

"The war employment command formerly stationed in Minsk must continue, under all circumstances, the calling up of young White Ruthenians and Russians for military employment in the Reich. In addition, the Command has the mission to bring boys of 10-14 years of age to the Reich."
My third illustration deals with Rosenberg's exercise of his legislative powers, and I ask the Court to take judicial notice of the decree signed by Lohse, who was Reich Commissar for the Ausland. This decree is published in the Verordnungs Blatt of the Reich Commissar for the Ausland, 1942, No. 38, Pages 158 and 159. It provides for the seizure of the entire property of the Jewish population in the Ausland, including the claims of Jews against third parties. The seizure is made retroactive to the day of occupation of the territory by German troops. This sweeping decree was issued and published by Rosenberg's immediate subordinate, and it must be assumed that Rosenberg knew of it and acquiesced in it.

I now come to my final illustration. This illustration is derived from Document 327-PS, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 338.

It is a copy of a secret letter from Rosenberg to Bormann dated 17th October, 1944. It furnishes a graphic account of Rosenberg's activities in the economic exploitation of the Occupied East. I wish to quote from the first paragraph on Page 1, which has not been read into the record. It reads:

"In order not to delay the liquidation of companies under my supervision, I beg to point out that the companies concerned are not private firms but business enterprises of the Reich, so that actions with regard to them, just as with regard to Government Offices, are reserved to the highest authorities of the Reich. I supervise the following companies."
There follows a list of nine companies - a trading company, an agricultural development company, a supply company, a pharmaceutical company and five banking concerns. On Page 3 of the translation at item I (a), the mission of the trading company is stated to be, and I quote:
"Collection of all agricultural products as well as commercial marketing, and transportation thereof. (Delivery to Armed Forces and the Reich)."

[Page 136]

I now call your attention to item 5 of the same page. It describes the activities of the companies as follows:
"During this period, the Z.O., that is, the Central Trading Corporation, together with its subsidiaries has collected:

Grain.................................................9,200,000 tons
Meat and meat products..................622,000
Fodder............................................. 2,500,000
Potatoes ......................................... 3,200,000
Seeds ................................................ 141,000
Other agricultural products ......... 1,200,000
and .......................................... 1,073,000,000 eggs

The following was required for transportation:

1,418,000 freight cars and 472,000 tons shipping space."

In conclusion we submit that the evidence has shown that the defendant Rosenberg played a leading role in the Nazi Party's rise to power by moulding German thought so as to promote the conspirators' ambitions; that he played a leading role in spreading propaganda and intrigue, and in instigating treason in foreign countries, so as to pave the way for the waging of wars of aggression; and that he bears full responsibility for the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity which were perpetrated in the Occupied Eastern Territories, and which will be further developed by the prosecutor for the U.S.S.R.

This completes the presentation of the case against the defendant Rosenberg. The next presentation will be that of the case against the defendant Frank, which will be presented by Lieutenant-Colonel Baldwin.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: May it please the Tribunal, we wish now to deal with the individual responsibility of the defendant Frank. In accordance with the expressed desire of the Tribunal, this presentation has been strictly limited, and, of course, I should welcome any direction from the Tribunal, as to length or method, as I proceed.

First, I must acknowledge my indebtedness to Miss Harriet Zetterberg, of our Legal Staff, and to Doctor Pietrowski, of the Polish Delegation, for their invaluable work, Doctor Pietrowski and the Polish Delegation naturally having a special interest in the defendant Frank.

Aspects of the criminal complicity of the defendant Hans Frank, under Count 1 of the Indictment, have been placed before this Tribunal on several occasions. There remain, however, certain matters for discussion - either novel in presentation or in development - concerning this defendant as an individual, before the United States portions of the prosecution's case against him is completed. Our Soviet colleagues will carry further the heavy complaint against the defendant Frank in their treatment of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity in the East. We wish here merely to touch upon that evidence which, we believe, irrefutably discloses Frank to have been a tremendously important cog in the machine which conceived, promoted and executed the Nazi Common Plan or Conspiracy. Documents relating to this point have been assembled in a document book bearing the letters "FF." I am informed that these books, as well as explanatory briefs, have been distributed for the use of the members of the Tribunal.

Reference will be made in the course of this argument to the so-called "Frank Diary," portions of which have already been brought to the attention of the Tribunal. It seems appropriate that brief mention should here be made of the contents and source of this diary. It is a set of some 42 volumes detailing the activities of the defendant Frank from 1939 to the end of the war in his

[Page 137]

capacity as Governor-General of Occupied Poland. It is a record, in short, of each day's business, hour by hour, appointment by appointment, conference by conference, speech by speech, and, in truth we believe, crime by crime. Each volume, excepting the last few, is now handsomely bound, and in those volumes, which deal with the conferences of Frank and his underlings in the Government General, the name of each person attending the meeting is inscribed in his own handwriting on a page preceeding the minutes of the conference itself. It is incredibly shocking to the normal conscience that such a neat history of murder, starvation and extermination should have been maintained by the individual responsible for such deeds, but by now the Tribunal is well aware that the Nazi leaders were sentimentally fond of elaborately documenting their exploits, as witness the Rosenberg volumes displaying the looted art treasures, and the album reporting on the extermination of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. The complete set of the "Frank Diary" was found in Bavaria, at Heuhaus, on 18th May, 1945, by the 7th American Army. It was taken to the 7th Army Document Centre at Heidelberg and on or about 20th September, 1945, the collection was sent to the Office of the U.S. Chief of Counsel here at Nuremberg. It is here in Court in its entirety, and now its tones, we submit, are those of accusation, rather than boastful narration.

That the defendant Frank held a position of leadership in the Nazi Party and in the German Government is undeniable, even though, presumably, it would be unfair to him to underestimate his importance in the Nazi Hierarchy and the Third Reich. Like the other defendants in this case, be was a man of far-reaching influence and position, and his office- holding record is already before this Court. It is an affidavit signed by the defendant Frank and identified as Exhibit USA. 7. This document contains a listing of eleven important positions held by Frank in the Party and in the Government, and supports the assertion of influence and position which I have just made, especially since this Tribunal has been fully apprised of the criminal activities of the Nazi organisations and formations.

The machinations of Frank divide themselves logically into two periods. In the one - from 1920 to 1939 - he was, by his own admission, the leading Nazi Jurist, although parenthetically the word "jurist" loses its reputable content when modified by the word "Nazi." In the other period -extending from 10th October, 1939, until the end of the war - he was Governor General of Occupied Poland. While he is most notorious for his persecutions and carrying out of the conspiracy in the latter capacity, it is the opinion of the U.S. prosecution that the defendant Frank's contributions to the Nazi rise to power as the leading "Nazi Jurist" should not pass without mention. It is with this aspect that I shall first deal - the defendant Frank's furtherance of the realisation of the conspirators' programme in the field of law, his knowledge of the criminal purpose of the programme and his active participation therein.

The defendant Frank himself described his role in the Nazi struggle for power in the following words, in the course of his closing remarks at a conference held on 28th August, 1942, at Kressendorf. The remarks appear in the diary and are translated in our document 2233-PS, which, if the Court please, is at Page 54 in the document book.

The numbers of the pages of the document book will be found in the upper right-hand corner in coloured. pencil, either red or blue. The original of this document I now offer in evidence as Exhibit USA 607. In the German text these extracts appear in Part 3 in the 1942 diary volume on Pages 968, 969 and 983. Frank says:

"I have since 1920 continually dedicated my work to the N.S.D.A.P. As a National Socialist I was a participant in the events of November, 1923, for which I received the Blutorden. After the resurrection of the movement in the year 1925, my greater activity in the movement really began,

[Page 138]

which made me, first gradually, later almost exclusively, the legal adviser of the Fuehrer and of the Reich leadership of the N.S.D.A.P. I was thus the representative of legal interests of the growing Third Reich in a legal-ideological as well as in a practical way."
He goes on to say:
"The culmination of this work I see in the Leipzig Army Trial, in which I succeeded in having the Fuehrer admitted to the famous oath of legality a fact which gave the Movement the legal grounds to expand generously. The Fuehrer indeed recognised this achievement, and in 1926 made me Leader of the National Socialist Lawyers' League; in 1929, Reich Leader of the Reich Legal Office of the N.S.D.A.P.; in 1933, Bavarian Minister of Justice; in 1934, President of the Academy of German Law founded by me; and in December, 1934, Reich Minister without Portfolio. Lastly in 1939, I was appointed to be Governor-General for the Occupied Polish Territories.

So I was, am, and will remain the representative jurist of the struggle period of National Socialism.

I profess myself now, and always, as a National Socialist and a faithful follower of the Fuehrer, Adolf Hitler, whom I have now served since 1919."

It is indeed significant and worth mentioning to the Court -

THE PRESIDENT: Is this an extract from his diary?


THE PRESIDENT: And are the words "Present: Doctor Hans Frank and others" written by him in his diary?

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: Yes, Sir, they are. Before each of these excerpts, if your Honour pleases, if it was in conference it was indicated which members of the Government generally were present or who made the address.


LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: It is indeed significant and worth mentioning to the Court that the defendant Frank assumes responsibility for the so-called oath of legality at the Leipzig Army Trial. At that trial, in 1930, three army officers are accused of, curiously enough, conspiracy to high treason. The charge was that the defendants in that trial, in their capacity as members of the German Army, tried to form National Socialist cells in the German Army and to influence the German Army to such an extent that in the case of a putsch by the National Socialists the army would not fire at the National Socialists, but would stand at ease instead. All three of the officers were found guilty and sentenced to eighteen months' confinement. At that trial, however, Hitler was a witness, and during the course of the trial testified under oath that the term "revolution," used by him, only meant spiritual revolution in Germany, and that the expression "heads would roll in the sand" meant only that they would do so as a result of legal procedure through State Tribunals, if the National Socialists came to power. This, if the Court please, was the so-called oath of legality, the lie with which the defendant Frank provided his Fuehrer as a facade for the conspiracy and which he, at least in 1942, considered the culmination of his efforts.

As the "Representative Jurist of the struggle period of National Socialism" and in various juridical capacities listed in his affidavit of positions held, defendant Frank was, between 1933 and 1939, the most prominent policy maker in the field of German legal theory. For example, defendant Frank founded the Academy of German Law in 1934 and he was President of this once-potent body until 1942. The statute defining the functions of this Academy conferred upon it wide power to initiate and co-ordinate juridical policies.

This statute appears in the translation at Page 5 in the document book, as our document 1391-PS, and appears in the 1934 Reichsgesetzblatt at Page 605.

[Page 139]

We ask the Court to take judicial notice of it. I now quote briefly from the decree:
"It is the task of the Academy for German Law to further the rejuvenation of the Law in Germany. Closely connected with the agencies competent for legislation, it shall further the realisation of the National Socialist programme in the realm of the Law. This task shall be carried out through well-determined scientific methods. The Academy's task shall cover primarily:
1. The composition, initiation, judging and preparing of drafts of law.
2. The collaboration in rejuvenating and unifying the training in jurisprudence and political science.
3. The editing and supporting of scientific publications.
4. The financial assistance for work and research in specific fields of Law and Political Economy.
THE TRIBUNAL (Mr. Biddle): Do you have to read all this? We will take judicial notice of it.

LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALDWIN: Among the early tasks which defendant Frank set for himself, as policy maker in the field of law, were the unification of the German State, the promotion of racial legislation and the elimination of political organisations other than the Nazi Party. In a radio address given on 20th March, 1934, he announced success in these matters. Our partial English translation of this speech appears as Document 2536-PS, at Page 64 in the document book. The official text of this speech appears in "Dokumente der Deutschen Politik," Volume 11, Pages 294-298. In the German text the extracts which I shall quote appear at Pages 296 and 298, and I win ask the Court to take judicial notice of these passages:

"The first task was that of establishing a unified German State. It was an outstanding historical and juristic-political accomplishment on the part of our Fuehrer that he reached boldly into the historical development and thereby eliminated the sovereignty of the various German States. At last we have now again, after 1,000 years, a unified German State in every respect. It is no longer possible for the world to make calculations to the detriment of the German Government, based on the spirit of resistance inherent in small States, which are set up on an egotistical scale and solely with a view to their individual interest. That is a thing of the past for all times to come."
I pass on now to the second excerpt:
"The second fundamental law of the Hitler Reich is racial legislation. The National Socialists were the first ones in the entire history of human law to elevate the concept of race to the status of a legal term. The German Nation, unified racially and nationally, will in the future be legally protected against any further disintegration of the German race stock."
I pass now to the mention of the sixth: "The sixth fundamental law was the legal elimination of those political organisations which, within the State, during the period of the reconstruction of the People and the Reich, were once able to place their selfish aims ahead of the common good of the Nation. This elimination has taken place entirely legally. It is not the coming to the fore of despotic tendencies, but the necessary legal consequence of a clear political result of the 14 years' struggle of the N.S.D.A.

In accordance with these unified legal aims," Frank continues, "in all spheres, particular efforts have for months now been made as regards the work of the great reform of the entire field of German Law.

As a leader of the German Jurists, I am convinced that, together with all strata of the German people, we shall be able to construct the legal State

[Page 140]

of Adolf Hitler in every respect and to such an extent that no one in the world will at any time be able to dare to attack this legal State as regards its laws."

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