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-Fifth Day: Wednesday, January 16th, 1946
(Part 2 of 11)


[Page 293]

I want to call the Court's attention to the significance of the title "Regierungsprasident." The S.S. Colonel, you will note, was to report to the Regierungsprasident. If you will refer back again to the decree which set up the Reichsgau Vienna, 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part 1, page 777, you will find that the Regierungsprasident was Schirach's personal representative within the governmental administration of Vienna.

[Page 294]

Now, it seems to us that this Document 1948-PS which was signed by Fischer, concerning compulsory labour of able- bodied Jews, answers the argument that persons of the rank of Gauleiter were ignorant of the atrocities of the Gestapo and the S.S. in their own locality. It shows further that even the assistants of the Gau Leaders were informed of the details of the persecution projects which were afoot at the time.

Schirach also had concern for, and knowledge of, the housing shortage in Vienna, which was alleviated for some members of the alleged "Master Race" who succeeded to the houses of the luckless Jews who were moved into oblivion in Poland.

On 3rd December, 1940, the conspirator Lammers wrote a letter to Schirach. It is our Document 1950-PS, Page 64 of your document book, and it is offered in evidence as Exhibit USA 681. The letter is very short:

"Berlin, 3rd December, 1940."
It is on the stationery of the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, and it is marked "secret." To the Reich Governor in Vienna, Gauleiter von Schirach:
"As Reichsleiter Bormann informs me, the Fuehrer has decided, after receipt of one of the reports made by you, that the 60,000 Jews still residing in the Reichsgau Vienna shall be deported as rapidly as possible - that is, while the war is still going on - to the Government General, because of the housing shortage prevalent in Vienna.

I have informed the Governor General in Cracow, as well as the Reichsfuehrer S.S., about this decision of the Fuehrer, and I request you also to take cognisance of it."

Signed " Lammers."

As a last piece of illustrative evidence against this youngest member of the defendants in the dock, I take something from his own lips, which was published for all Vienna, and indeed, for all Germany and the world to know, even at that time. It appears in the Vienna edition of the "Volkischer Beobachter," on 15th September, 1942, Document 3048-PS, your document book, Page 106. It is already in evidence as Exhibit USA 274.

I would like to point out that these words were uttered before the so-called European Youth League in Vienna in 1942.

The Tribunal will recall that Schirach was still Reich Leader for Youth Education in the N.S.D.A.P. at that time:

"Every Jew who exerts influence in Europe is a danger to European culture. If anyone reproaches me with having driven from this city, which was once the European metropolis of Jewry, tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of Jews into the ghetto of the East, I feel myself compelled to reply, 'I see in this an action contributing to European culture'."
Although Schirach's principal assistance to the conspiracy was made in his commitment of the German Youth to the conspirators' objectives, he also stands guilty of heinous Crimes against Humanity, as a Party and governmental administrator of high standing after the conspiracy had reached its inevitable involvement in wars of aggression.

This completes, your Honours, the presentation on the individual responsibility of the defendant Schirach.

The prosecution will next take up the responsibility of the defendant Martin Bormann, and the presentation will be made by Lieutenant Lambert.

DR. FRITZ SAUTER (Counsel for defendant von Schirach): Mr. President, as to the various errors made in the case against Schirach, I shall state my position when the defence has its turn. But I should like to take the opportunity now of pointing out an error in translation in one of the documents. It is in Document 3352-PS.

[Page 295]

It is an order of the Reich Chancellery to the subordinate offices, and this order mentions that the work departments had to be at the disposal of the Gauleiter under certain circumstances. In the German original of this order it reads as follows: "Anregungen und Wunsche."

THE PRESIDENT: Which page of the document is it?

DR. SAUTER: I think, Page 512 of Document 3352-PS, on Page 117 of the document book.

This German expression "Anregungen und Wunsche" has been translated "suggestions" (for "Anregungen") and "demands" (for "Wunsche").

The first translation, the translation for "Anregungen," we consider to be correct; but the second translation, namely, "demands" for "Wunsche," we consider false, because, so far as we know, this word is "Befehle" or "Forderungen" in German. We should consider, it correct if for the English translation "demands" could be substituted by another word, "wishes," which is an exact translation of the word "Wunsche." I do not know whether I have pronounced the word correctly in English. That is all I have to say for the time being. Thank you very much.

THE PRESIDENT: Do you wish to say anything about that?

CAPTAIN SPRECHER: I think that Dr. Sauter has made a very good point. I have checked with the translator beside me, your Honour, and the German word "Wunsche" has been translated too strongly.


LIEUTENANT THOMAS F. LAMBERT, JR.: May it please the Tribunal, the prosecution comes now to deal with the defendant Bormann, and to present the proofs establishing his responsibility for the crimes set forth in the Indictment. And if the Tribunal will allow, we should like to observe on the threshold that, because of the absence of the defendant Bormann from the dock, we believe that we should make an extra effort to make a solid record in the case against him, out of fairness to defence counsel and for the convenience of the Tribunal.

I offer the document book supporting this trial address as Exhibit USA JJ, together with the trial brief against the defendant Bormann.

The defendant Bormann bears a major responsibility for promoting the accession to power of the Nazi conspirators, the consolidation of their total power over Germany and the preparation for aggressive war set forth in Count 1 of the Indictment.

Upon the record of this trial the Nazi Party and its Leadership Corps were the main vehicles and the fountain- head of the conspiracy.

Now, following the flight of the defendant Hess to Scotland, in May, 1941, Bormann became Executive Chief of the Nazi Party. His official title was Chief of the Party Chancery. Before that date Bormann was Chief of Staff to the defendant Hess, the Deputy of the Fuehrer.

By virtue of these two powerful positions - Chief of the Party Chancery and Chief of Staff to the Deputy of the Fuehrer - Bormann stands revealed as a principal architect of the conspiracy. Subject only, and we stress, subject only to the supreme authority of Hitler, Bormann engineered and employed the vast powers of the Party, its agencies and formations, in furtherance of the Nazi conspiracy, he employed the Party to impose the will of the conspirators upon the German people, and he then directed the powers of the Party in the drive to dominate Europe.

Accordingly, the defendant Bormann is blameworthy for the multiple crimes of the conspiracy, and for the multiple crimes committed by the Party, its agencies and the German people, in furthering the conspiracy.

It might be helpful to give a very brief sketch of the career in conspiracy of the defendant Bormann.

Bormann began his conspiratorial activities more than 20 years ago. In 1922, When only 22 years of age, he joined the Organisation Rossbach, one of

[Page 296]

the illegal groups which continued the militaristic traditions of the German Army, and employed terror against the small struggling pacifist minority in Germany. While he was District Leader for this organisation in Mecklenburg, he was arrested and tried for his part in a political assassination which, we suggest, indicates his disposition to use illegal methods to carry out purposes satisfactory to himself. On 15th May, 1924, he was found guilty by the State Tribunal for the Protection of the Republic, and sentenced to one year in prison.

Upon his release from prison in 1925, Bormann resumed his subversive activities. He joined the militarist organisation, "Frontbann," and in the same year he joined the Nazi Party and began his ascent to a prominent position in the conspiracy. In 1927 he became Press-Chief for the Party Gau of Thuringia. In other words, referring back to the case against the Leadership Corps, he became an important staff officer of a Gauleiter. On 1st April, 1928, he was made District Leader, Bezirksleiter, in Thuringia, and business manager for the entire Gau.

We come now to a particularly important point involving Bormann's link with the S.A. From 15th November, 1928, to August, 1930, he was on the staff of the Supreme Command of the S.A. Now, the Tribunal has heard the demonstration of the criminality of the S.A., and knows full well that this was a semi-military organisation of young men, whose main mission was to get control of the streets, and to impose terror on oppositional elements of the conspiracy.

Our submission at this stage is that, by virtue of Bormann's position on the staff of the Supreme Command of the S.A., he shares responsibility for the illegal activities of the S.A. in furtherance of the conspiracy.

In August, 1930, Bormann organised the Aid Fund, "Hilfskasse," of the Nazi Party, of which he became head. Through this fund he collected large sums for the alleged purpose of aiding the families of Party members who had been killed or injured while fighting for the Party.

As the Tribunal knows, on 30th January, 1933, the conspirators and their Party took over the Government of Germany. Shortly thereafter, in July, 1933, Bormann was given the number three position in the Party, that of Chief of Staff to the defendant Hess, the Deputy of the Fuehrer. At the same time, he was made a Reichsleiter and, as the Tribunal knows, that makes him a member of the top level of the alleged illegal organisation, the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.

In November, 1933, he was made a member of the Reichstag.

I request the Tribunal to take judicial notice of the authoritative German publication "The Greater German Reichstag" edition of 1943. The facts which I have recited in the foregoing sketch of defendant Bormann's career are set forth on Page 167 of that publication, the English translation of which appears in Document 2981-PS of the document book now before the Tribunal.

With respect to Bormann's conviction for political murder, I offer in evidence Document 3355-PS, Exhibit USA 682, which is the affidavit of Dr. Robert M. W. Kempner, and I quote therefrom briefly as follows:

"I, Robert M. W. Kempner, an expert consultant of the War Department, appeared before the undersigned attesting officer and, having been duly sworn, stated as follows:

In my capacity as Superior Government Counsellor and Chief Legal Advisor of the pre-Hitler Prussian Police Administration, I became officially acquainted with the criminal record of Martin Bormann, identical with the defendant Martin Bormann now under indictment before the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany.

The official criminal record of Martin Bormann contained the following entry:

[Page 297]

Bormann, Martin, sentenced on 15th May, 1924, by the State Tribunal for the Protection of the Republic, in Leipzig, Germany, to one year in prison, for having been an accomplice in the commission of a political murder. Signed: Robert M. W. Kempner." End of quotation.
THE PRESIDENT: Lt. Lambert, I do not think it is necessary for you, when dealing with a document of that sort, to read the formal parts. If you state the nature of the document and read the material part, you need not deal with the formal parts; for instance, "I, Robert Kempner, an expert consultant," and all that. Do you understand me?

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Thank you very much, Sir, for a very helpful suggestion.

As defendant Hess' Chief of Staff, Bormann was responsible for receiving and passing on to the defendant Hess the, demands of the Party in all fields of State action. These demands were then guaranteed by the defendant Hess by virtue of his participation in the legislative process, his power with respect to the appointment and promotion of government officials, and his position in the Reich Cabinet.

I come now, to what seems to be an important point, which ties up the defendant Bormann with the S.D. and the Gestapo. As Chief of Staff of the defendant Hess, Bormann took measures to reinforce the grip of the Gestapo and the S.D. over the German civil population. I request the Tribunal to notice judicially a Bormann order of 14th, February, 1935, set forth in the official publication, "Decrees of the Deputy of the Fuehrer," Edition 1937, Page 257.

I quote merely the pertinent portions of that decree, The English version of which is set forth in our Document 3237- PS, which reads as follows.

THE PRESIDENT: If it is a document of which we can take judicial notice, it is sufficient for you to summarise it without reading it.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: I appreciate that, Sir. This quotation is so succinct and so brief that we perhaps could avoid summarisation.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well, go on.


"The Deputy of the Fuehrer expects that Party Offices will now abandon all distrust of the S.D. and will support it wholeheartedly in solving the difficult tasks with which it has been entrusted in order to protect the Movement and our people.

Because the Work of the Party is primarily benefited by the work of the S.D., it is inadmissible that its expansion be upset by prejudiced attacks when individuals fail. On the contrary, it must be wholeheartedly assisted. Signed, Bormann Chief of Staff to the Deputy of the Fuehrer."

That is with respect to Bormann's support of the S.D.

I deal now with Bormann's effort to support the work of the Gestapo.

THE PRESIDENT: Lt. Lambert, would not it be sufficient to say that that document indicates the support Bormann promised to the S.D.?

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: I was anxious merely on one point, Sir, that a document was not in evidence unless it had been quoted.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you began by asking us to take judicial notice of it. If we can take judicial notice of it - it need not be quoted.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: Then with respect to Bormann's efforts to reinforce the grip of the Gestapo, I request the Tribunal to notice judicially a Bormann order of 3rd September, 1935, calling on Party agencies to report to the Gestapo all persons who criticise Nazi institutions or the Nazi Party. This decree appears in the official Party publication "Decrees of the Deputy of the Fuehrer," 1937, at Page 190. The English translation is set forth in our Document 3239- PS. I shall summarise the effect of this document shortly. In its first

[Page 298]

paragraph it refers to a law of 20th December, 1934. As the Tribunal will recall, this law gave the same protection to Party institution and Party uniforms as enjoyed by the State; and in the first and second paragraphs of this decree it is indicated that: whenever a case came up involving malicious or slanderous attack on Party members or the Nazi Party or its institutions, the Reich Minister of Justice would consult with the Deputy of the Fuehrer in order to take joint action against the offenders. Then, in, the third paragraph, Bormann gives his orders to all Party agencies with respect to reporting to the Gestapo, individuals who criticised the Nazi Party or its institutions. I quote merely the last paragraph.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I took down what you said in your first sentence, which was that the document showed that he was ordering that a report should be made to the Gestapo on anyone criticising the Party. Well, that is sufficient, it seems to me, and all that you said after that is cumulative.

LIEUTENANT LAMBERT: There is, however, one brief point, if I may be permitted, which I should like to emphasise, about the last paragraph, because I think it is helpful to the prosecution's case against the Leadership Corps of the Nazi Party.

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