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-Fourth Day: Tuesday, January 15th, 1946
(Part 9 of 10)


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I want to offer that affidavit as Exhibit USA 665. The certificate, which I will only rely on for one point, is Document 2973-PS. It is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 14.

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Turning first to Document 3302-PS: This affidavit shows that Schirach was a member of the Party from 1925 to 1945; that he was a Leader of the National Socialist Student League from 1929 to 1931; that he was Leader of the Hitler Youth Organisation from 1931 to 1940. In 1931 and 1932 Schirach was Reich Youth Leader on the staff of the S.A. Supreme Command, where at that time all Nazi youth organisations were centralised. Also, Schirach was Reich Youth Leader of the N.S.D.A.P. from 1931 to 1940.

In 1932 Schirach became an independent Reich Leader (Reichsleiter) in the Party. Upon acquiring this relatively independent position, he no longer remained on the staff of the S.A. Supreme Command, since Nazi youth affairs thereafter, with the creation of the Reich Youth Leadership, were directly subordinate to Hitler, with Schirach at the helm. We had that kind of condition existing in the Party where, under the leadership principle, at the pinnacle you had one man, Schirach, and you no longer had the youth affairs under the S.A. However, within the S.A., Schirach retained the rank and the title of a Gruppenfuehrer throughout the period from 1931 to 1941, and in that year, 1941, he was elevated to the rank of an S.A. Obergruppenfuehrer, a rank which Schirach continued to hold in the S.A. until the collapse.

Schirach was Reich Leader of Youth Education in the N.S.D.A.P. from 1932 until the collapse. In other words, from before the Nazis came to State power until the final downfall, this defendant held the high position of a Reichsleiter, a Reich Leader, inside the Party.

Now, in addition to these positions in the Party, Schirach held the following positions in the Nazi State:

Reich Youth Leader, 1933 to 1940; Reich Governor (Reichsstatthalter) of the Reichsgau Vienna, 1940 to 1945; Reich Defence Commissioner of Vienna, 1940 to 1945.

Now, although Schirach gave up some of his positions with respect to the leadership of German youth in 1940, when he accepted these positions in Vienna, he still continued to hold after that time the Party position of Reich Leader for Youth Education in the N.S.D.A.P. Moreover, he was given a very special position: Deputy to the Fuehrer for the Inspection of the Hitler Youth, the organisation which he, of course, had led until 1940. He continued in these last two positions until the downfall.

The certificate, Document 2973, the only thing I rely on there, in this particular presentation, is to show that Schirach was a member of the Reichstag from 1932 to 1945.

We next take up acts showing that Schirach actively promoted the N.S.D.A.P. and its affiliated youth organisations before the Nazis seized power. Schirach was an intimate and servile follower of Hitler from the year 1925. In that year, when he was only 18 years old, Schirach joined the Nazi conspirators by becoming a member of the Party. Upon special request of Hitler, he went to Munich to study Party affairs. He became active in converting students to National Socialism. I am paraphrasing there, your Honours, from paragraph 2 of Schirach's own affidavit, Document 3302-PS, found at Page 110 of the document book.

Now, this was the start of conspiratorial activities which Schirach thereafter continued for two decades in a spirit of unbending loyalty to Hitler and to the principles of National Socialism. Hitler's early personal attentions to this defendant bore fruit for the conspirators, and we find Schirach's stature in the Party circles rapidly growing through those early years.

In 1929 Schirach was made national leader of the entire National Socialist German Students' League. He retained this position for two years, until 1931. Document 3464-PS, document book, Page 121, is an extract from the 1936 Edition of the Party Manual, USA Exhibit 666, which I would like to offer in evidence. This makes it clear that the purpose of the Nazi Students' League

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was the ideological and political conversion of students, in universities and technical schools, to National Socialism.

After 1931 Schirach devoted his full time to Party work. Schirach was elected a Nazi member of the Reichstag in 1932, and therefore he played his part in the unparliamentary conduct of the Nazi Reichstag members during the last months of the existence of the Reichstag as an independent instrument of government.

Some of the best evidence concerning Schirach's support of the conspiracy in its early stages comes from Schirach's own words in his book "The Hitler Youth." Excerpts from this book are found in Document 1458-PS, document book, Page 1. It is offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 667, Now, since this book, your Honours, covers many years and many topics, I shall have to refer to it occasionally later on.

An example of Schirach's servile loyalty to Hitler during the early years is, found at Page 17 of this book, Page 12 of your document book. There he writes of his early years of Party activity as follows:

"We were not yet able to account for our conception in detail. We, simply believed. And when Hitler's book, 'Mein Kampf,' was published, it was our bible, which we almost learned by heart in order to answer the questions of the doubters and superior critics. Almost everyone who, to-day is leading youth in a responsible position, joined us in those years."
Before 1933 Schirach moved throughout Germany, leading demonstrations, summoning German youth to membership in the Hitler Youth. When the Hitler Youth and the wearing of its uniform were forbidden by law, Schirach continued his activities by illegal means. Of this period he himself writes, at Page 26 of his book on "The Hitler Youth," Pages 16 and 17 of your document book, as follows:
"At this time the H.J. (the Hitler Jugend) gained its best human material. Whoever came to us during this illegal time, boy or girl, risked everything. With pistols in our pockets we drove through the Ruhr district while stones came flying after us. We jumped every time we heard a bell ring, because we lived in constant fear of arrests and expected our houses to be searched."
At Page 27 of the same book, Page 18 of your Honours' document book, Schirach indicates that, in the early intra- Party fight between Hitler and Strasser, Schirach clung steadfastly to the Hitler clique, and then, in discussing Strasser, he exchanged confidences only with Hitler and the defendant Streicher. It is hardly necessary to argue, that such an intimate of the Fuehrer himself was advised, from the beginning, of the general purposes, plans, and methods of the conspiracy.

As an interesting sidelight, I believe a number of those conferences, you will note, took place in Schirach's apartment in Munich, and that Hitler used to come there occasionally.

Schirach was the leading Nazi conspirator in destroying all independent youth organisations; and in building the Nazi youth movement. In connection with this point, the attention of the Tribunal is invited to the brief of the United States Chief of Counsel entitled "The Reshaping of Education, Training of Youth," which was written for the United States Chief of Counsel by Major Hartley Murray, and to the documents cited therein under the section headed "b". "The Nazi conspirators supplemented the School System by Training Youth through the Hitler Jugend." These documents were offered in evidence in document book "c" in the earlier phase of this trial. The attention of the Tribunal is also called to the motion picture "The Nazi Plan," which was shown before the Tribunal on 11th December, insofar as that film involved the defendant Schirach and his Hitler youth organisation. Occasions when Schirach's activities are shown in this film are noted in Document 3054-PS, the

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index and the guide to this film, which is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 167.

It was the task of Schirach to perpetuate the Nazi regime through generations, by poisoning the minds of youth with Nazi ideology and preparing youth for aggressive war. This poisoning will long outlive the defendant. Indeed, one of the principal purposes of this exposure must be to bring to those German youths who survived the Nazi-created catastrophe a true picture of this man whom Nazi propaganda presented as a great youth hero; a man against whom the living breath of free criticism and the truth itself could make no answer before German youth or before the German people, for more than ten years.

Again, from Schirach's own hand in his book, "The Hitler Youth," we have crystal-clear evidence concerning the methods and the tactics employed by this defendant in his destruction of independent youth organisations, and their incorporation into the Hitler Youth. At Page 32, Pages 19 and 20 of your Honours' document book, Schirach states that in 1933 the new Cabinet ministers were too over-burdened to solve the youth question by their own initiative; that therefore he, Schirach, then leader of the Hitler Youth, commissioned one of his confederates to lead fifty members of the Berlin Hitler Youth in a surprise raid on the Reich Committee of German Youth Organisations. This raid resulted in the destruction of the Reich Committee, and in its absorption within the Hitler Youth, and was closely followed by a second surprise raid of like success upon the Youth Hostels Organisation, Page 33, "The Hitler Youth," found at Pages 20 and 21 of the document book.

Now, after these successful showings of force and terror, Schirach's star climbed higher. He was appointed youth leader of the German Reich in June, 1933, in a solemn ceremony before Hitler. Concerning his next steps, Schirach writes at Pages 35 and 36 of his book, Page 22 of the document book, as follows:

"The first thing I did was to dissolve the Greater German League. Since I headed all German youth organisations and I had the right to decide on their leadership, I did not hesitate for a moment to take this step, which was, for the Hitler Youth, the elimination of an unbearable state of affairs."
Schirach accomplished the dissolution and destruction of most youth organisations by orders which he issued and signed as youth leader of the German Reich. This is shown by the order contained in Document 2229-PS, your document book, Page 65, which is offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 668.

By this one order of Schirach nine youth organisations were dissolved, including the Boy Scout movement.

The Protestant and Catholic youth organisations were the last to be destroyed and absorbed by the Hitler Youth. Schirach accomplished the absorption of the Protestant youth organisation by agreement with the Hitler-appointed Reich Bishop Ludwig Muller, Page 38 of "The Hitler Youth," Page 24 of the document book. Schirach's objective in forcing all German youth into the Hitler Youth was finally accomplished in December, 1936, by the basic law on the Hitler Youth. Document 1392-PS is a decree, 1936, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, Page 993, of which, of course, the Tribunal may take judicial notice. This law declared in part, and your Honours, I read from this because it shows so clearly the nature of what was to happen and what was already happening to German youth under Schirach.

THE PRESIDENT: Is it set out in the document book?



CAPTAIN SPRECHER: It is Document 1392-PS. It is at Page 6 of your, document book.

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"The future of the German nation depends on its youth, and German youth shall have to be prepared for its future duties. All of the German youth in the Reich is organised within the Hitler Youth. The German youth, besides being reared within the family and school, shall be educated physically, intellectually, and morally in the spirit of National Socialism, to serve the people and the community through the Hitler Youth. The task of educating the German youth through the Hitler Youth is being entrusted to the Reich Leader of German Youth in the N.S.D.A.P."
The first executive order on this basic law concerning the Hitler Youth was issued on 25th March, 1939. If you refer to Page 40 of your document book, this decree, 1939, Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, Page 709, among other points, confirms the exclusive nature of Schirach's responsibility concerning German youth. I will quote only one sentence:
"The Youth Leader of the German Reich is solely competent for all missions of the physical, ideological, and moral education of the entire German youth outside home and school."
THE PRESIDENT: Captain Sprecher, I think you have told us enough now to satisfy us that von Schirach was in charge of the ideological education of German youth, and completely in charge of it.


THE PRESIDENT: And we do not desire to hear any more of it.


In exercising his far-reaching control over German youth, Schirach naturally relied on the common techniques of the Nazi conspirators, including the leadership principle, the nature of which has already been established before this Tribunal. The Tribunal will find a galling glorification and explanation of the leadership principle as it was applied to German youth in Schirach's book, "The Hitler Youth," at Page 68, translated at Page 32 of the document book. I will not read from that.

In his affidavit, Document 3302-PS, paragraph 5, Schirach states:

"It was my task to educate the youth in the aims, ideology, and directives of the N.S.D.A.P., and beyond this to direct and to shape them."
Naturally, Schirach established and directed an elaborate propaganda apparatus to accomplish a thorough-going poisoning of the minds of German youth. Document 3349-PS, your document book, Page 114, is offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 666.

This is an excerpt from Pages 452 and 453 of the 1936 edition of the Party Manual This document will show that the Reich Youth Leadership, "Reichsjugendfuehrung," of the N.S.D.A.P., prepared and published numerous periodicals, ranging from a daily Press service to monthly magazines. This document also shows that the propaganda office of the Hitler Youth maintained, through liaison agents, a political and ideological connection with the propaganda office of the N.S.D.A.P. and with the Propaganda Ministry, both of which of course were headed by the conspirator Goebbels.

Schirach shares with the conspirator Dr. Robert Ley, Reich Organizationsleiter of the N.S.D.A.P., the responsibility for the establishment and general administration of the Adolf Hitler Schools. This is shown by a joint statement of Ley and Schirach in the year 1937, which is found in the document book at Page 100. It is our Document 2653-PS, offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 669. This document shows that these Adolf Hitler Schools were open free of charge to outstanding and proved members of the Young Folk, the junior section of the Hitler Youth organisation. It further shows that the object of these, schools was the building of youthful leadership for the Nazi Party and the Nazi State apparatus.

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Schirach extended his education of German youth into the field of law and the legal profession, even though these fields were principally under the control of the defendant Frank. Proof is found in Document 3459-PS, Page 120 of the document book. This is a one-page extract from an account of the Congress of German Law in 1939. It is offered as Exhibit USA 670. This document shows that beyond purely technical education in law it was considered by the conspirators to be the task of the Party to exercise influence upon the ideological conceptions of the, Young Law Guardians League. This league was a junior organisation of the National Socialist Law Guardians League, a Nazi-controlled organisation of lawyers.

Now, at this Congress to which the document refers, an official of the Youth Law Guardians declared that ignorance of the simplest legal principles could best be fought within the Hitler Youth and that, therefore, the legal education programme of the Hitler Youth was to receive the broadest support.

Obergebietsfuehrer Arthur Axmann, then the subordinate of Schirach, and who in 1940 was to succeed him as leader of the Hitler Youth, was at that time - namely, May, 1939 - appointed the chairman of a Youth Legal Committee for the establishment of the Youth Law. He was appointed by the defendant Frank.

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