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 6 of 11)


[Page 312]

I request the Tribunal to notice judicially Military Commission Order No. 5, Headquarters 3rd U.S. Army and Eastern Military District, dated 18th October, 1945. This order is set forth in Document 2560-PS. This order imposed a sentence of death upon a German national for violating the laws and usages of war by murdering, on or about 12th December, 1944, an American airman who landed in German territory.

We could cite further orders of American and other Allied Military Commissions sentencing German civilians to death for the lynching and murdering of Allied airmen who had baled out and landed without means of defence on German territory, We think our point is made by taking the time of the Tribunal to cite those two orders.

As previously mentioned in the trial address, on 20th October 1944, when Nazi defeat in the war had become certain, Bormann assumed political and organisational command of the newly-formed Volkssturm, the People's Army. By virtue of ordering the continued resistance by the Volkssturm, Bormann bears some responsibility for the resistance which prolonged the aggressive war for months.

I come now, if it please the Tribunal, to present the proofs showing that Bormann authorised, directed and participated in a wide variety of Crimes against Humanity in aid of the conspiracy. Bormann played an important role in the administration of the Forced Labour Programme. I offer in evidence Document D-226, Exhibit USA 697. This is a Speer circular, a circular of the defendant Speer, of 10th November, 1944, transmitting Himmler's instructions that the Party and the Gestapo should co-operate in securing a larger productivity from the millions of impressed foreign workers in Germany. I quote the second numbered paragraph of Page 2 of the English translation of Document D-226, which reads as follows:

"All men and women of the N.S.D.A.P., its subsidiaries and affiliated bodies in the works" - meaning of course factories - "will, in accordance with instructions from their Kreisleiters, be warned by their Local Group Leaders" - we intrude to say that means Ortsgruppenleiters - "and be put under obligation to play their part in keeping foreigners under the most careful observation. They will report the least suspicion to the works foreman, which he will pass on to the Defence Deputy or, where such a

[Page 313]

Deputy has not been appointed, to the Police Department concerned, whilst at the same time reporting to the works manager and the Local Group Leader (the Ortsgruppenleiter) to exert untiringly and continuously their influence on foreigners, both in word and deed, in regard to the certainty of German victory and the German will to resist, thus producing a further increase of output in the works. Party members, both men and women, and members of Party organisations and affiliated bodies must be expected, more than ever before, to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner."
Now, in a word, the significance of that decree: It is true, it is a circular of Speer's, reciting an arrangement between himself and Himmler, but the effect of the arrangement is to impose the onus, and the continuous task of supplying foreign workers, on Party members, a Party which, as the Tribunal knows, Bormann headed as executive chief.

Under the decree of 24th January, 1942, no such directive could have been issued without the participation of Bormann, both in its preparation and its enactment.

I now offer in evidence Document 025-PS as Exhibit USA 698. This is a conference report dated 4th September, 1942, which states that the recruitment, importation, mobilisation, and grading of 500,000 female domestic workers. from the East would be handled exclusively by the defendant Sauckel, Himmler, and the defendant Bormann. I quote the first two sentences of the third paragraph of the English translation of Document 025-PS, which reads as follows:

"The Fuehrer has ordered the immediate importation of 400,000 to 500,000 female domestic Eastern workers from the Ukraine between the ages of 15 and 35, and has charged the General Deputy for Labour Mobilisation with the execution of this action, which is to end in about three months. In connection with this - this is also approved by Reichsleiter Bormann - the illegal bringing of female housekeepers into the Reich by members of the Armed Forces or various other agencies, is to be allowed subsequently and, furthermore, irrespective of the official recruiting, is not to be prevented."
I now quote from the first sentence of the last paragraph on Page 4 of the English translation of Document 025-PS, and this is the part that brings in the defendant Bormann with the scheme:
"Generally one gathered from this conference that the questions concerning the recruitment and mobilisation, as well as the treatment of female domestic workers from the East, are being handled by the General Deputy for Labour Mobilisation, the Reichsfuehrer S.S., and the Chief, of the German Police and the Party Chancery, and that the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Territories of the East is in these questions considered as having no or only limited competence."
The Party Chancery is here mentioned in terms, and Bormann was the leader of the Party Chancery, as the Tribunal knows.

Now the defendant imposed his will on the administration of the German-occupied areas, and insisted on the ruthless exploitation of the inhabitants of the occupied East. The attention of the Tribunal is respectfully invited to Document R-36, previously put in as Exhibit USA 344. The Tribunal is well acquainted with this document, for it has been referred to several times in these proceedings, and knows that this is an official memorandum of the Ministry for Eastern Territories, dated 19th August, 1942, which states that the repressive views of the defendant Bormann, with respect to the inhabitants of the Eastern areas, actually determined German occupational policies in the East. The Tribunal recalls the now almost notorious quotation from this Document R-36, which purports to paraphrase and constitute the essence of Bormann's views with respect to German occupational policy in the East. So often has it been

[Page 314]

quoted that I shall resist the temptation to repeat it, but in essence it comes to this. Bormann in effect says:
"The Slavs are to work for us. In so far as we do not need them, they may die. They should not receive the benefits of the German public health system. We do not care about their fertility. They may practise abortion and use contraceptives; the more the better. We do not want them educated; it is enough if they can count up to one hundred. Such stooges will be the more useful to us. Religion we leave to them as a diversion. As to food, they will not get any more than is absolutely necessary. We are the masters; we come first."
We respectfully submit this as an accurate paraphrase and summary of the text of that document, Document R-36.

The attention of the Tribunal is next respectfully invited to Document 654-PS, previously put in as Exhibit USA 218. The Tribunal will recall that this is a conference report, dated 18th November, 1942, embodying an agreement between the Minister of Justice and Himmler, entered into by Bormann's suggestions, under which all inhabitants of the Eastern occupied areas are subjected to a brutal police regime in the place of an ordinary, judicial system. This agreement refers all disputes between the Party, Reich Minister for Justice and Himmler to Bormann for settlement.

Now, because Bormann issued these and related orders, we submit that he bears a large share of the responsibility for the discriminatory treatment and the extermination of great numbers of persons in German-occupied areas of the East.

With the indulgence of the Tribunal, I put the substance of what I have been privileged to present in a few words. We have shown that Bormann, only 45 years old at the time of Germany's defeat, contributed his entire adult life to the furtherance of the conspiracy. His crucial contribution to the conspiracy lay in his direction of the vast powers of the Nazi Party in advancing the multiple objectives of the conspiracy. First as Chief of Staff to the defendant Hess and then as leader, in his own name, of the Party Chancery, subject only to Hitler's supreme authority, he applied and directed the total power of the Party and its agencies to carry into execution the plans of the conspirators. He used his great powers to persecute the Christian Church and clergy, and was an unrepentant foe of the fundamentals of the Christianity with which he warred.

He actively authorised and participated in measures designed to persecute the Jews, and his was a strong hand in pressing down the crown of thorns of misery on the brow of the Jewish people, both in Germany and in German-occupied Europe.

As Chief of the Party Chancery and Secretary to the Fuehrer, Bormann authorised, directed and participated in a wide variety of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity, including, without limitation, the lynching of Allied airmen, the enslavement and inhuman treatment of the inhabitants of German-occupied Europe, the cruelty of impressed labour, the breaking up of homes contrary to the clear provisions of the Hague regulations, and the planned persecution and extermination of the civil population of Eastern Europe.

May it please this Tribunal, every schoolboy knows that Hitler was an evil man. The point we respectfully emphasise is that, without chieftains like Bormann, Hitler would never have been able to seize and consolidate total power in Germany, but would have been left to walk the wilderness alone.

Bormann was, in truth, an evil archangel to the Lucifer of Hitler, and, although he may remain a fugitive from the justice of this Tribunal, with an empty chair in the dock, he cannot escape responsibility for his illegal conduct.

And we close with what seems to us an extremely important point. Bormann may not be here, but under the last sentence of Article 6 of the Charter, every

[Page 315]

defendant in this dock shown in our evidence to have been a leader, an organiser, an inciter and an accomplice of this conspiracy is responsible for the acts of all persons in furtherance of the general scope of the conspiracy. Resting squarely on this proposition we submit, even though Bormann is not here, that every man in the dock shares responsibility for his criminal acts. And with this we close. The name of Bormann is not "written in water," but will be remembered as long as the record of your Honours' Tribunal is preserved.

I now have the privilege of introducing Lieutenant Henry Atherton, who will present the case for the prosecution against the individual defendant Seyss-Inquart.

LIEUTENANT HENRY ATHERTON: May it please the Tribunal, the prosecution has prepared a trial brief for the convenience of the Tribunal showing the individual responsibility of the defendant Seyss-Inquart. Copies of this brief are now being handed to the Tribunal. At the same time the document books which bear the letters "KK" and which contain translations of the evidence referred to in the brief, or to be introduced in evidence at this time, are also being handed to the Tribunal. At the outset I wish to make clear my intention to deal at this time only with the individual responsibility of Seyss-Inquart for the crimes charged in Counts 1 and 2 of the Indictment. Evidence to show his guilt as charged under Counts 3 and 4 of the Indictment, that is, evidence specifically directed thereunto, is to be introduced later by the Prosecutors of the French Republic and the Soviet Union.

Seyss-Inquart has agreed that he held the following positions in State and Party, and I am referring now to Document 2910-PS, which is Exhibit USA 17. He was State Councillor of Austria from May, 1937, to 12th February, 1938. He was Minister of Interior and Security of Austria from 16th February, 1938, to 11th March, 1938; Chancellor of Austria from 11th March to 15th March, 1938; Reich Governor of Austria from 15th March, 1938, to 1st May, 1939; Reich Minister without Portfolio from 1st May, 1939, until September of that year; Member of the Reich Cabinet from 1st May, 1939, until the end of the war; Chief of the Civil Administration of South Poland from the early part of September, 1939, until 12th October, 1939; Deputy Governor- General of Poland under the defendant Frank from 12th October, 1939, until May, 1940; and, finally, Reich Commissioner of the Occupied Territories of the Netherlands from 29th May, 1940, until the end of the war. He has also agreed that he became a member of the National Socialist Party on 13th March, 1938, and that he was appointed a General in the S.S. two days later.

Now this list of positions which Seyss-Inquart has agreed that he held, if the Tribunal please, shows the place which he held in the Nazi Common Plan or Conspiracy. It shows his steady rise to greater influence and power, and especially it emphasises his particular talent, his skill in effecting the enslavement of the smaller nations surrounding Germany, for the benefit of what he called the Greater German Reich.

Now the defendant Seyss-Inquart first became a member of the Nazi conspiracy in connection with the Nazi assault on Austria. Mr. Alderman has shown how the Nazis implemented their diplomatic and military preparations for this event by intensive political preparations within Austria.

The ultimate purpose of these preparations was to secure the appointment of Nazis, or persons known to be sympathetic to them, to key positions in the Austrian Government, particularly that of Minister of the Interior and Security, which controlled the police, thus permitting quick suppression of all opposition to the Nazis when the time came.

For this purpose Seyss-Inquart was a most effective tool, the first of the so-called Quislings or traitors used by the Nazis to further their aggressions and to fasten their hold on their victims. Seyss-Inquart has admitted his

[Page 316]

membership in the Party only from 13th March, 1938, but I want to show that he was closely affiliated with them at a much earlier time. For this purpose I now offer in evidence Document 3271-PS as Exhibit USA 700.

Reading from Page 9 of the translation, he says in this letter, which is a letter to Himmler, dated 19th August, 1939:

"As far as my membership in the Party is concerned, I state that I was never asked to join the Party but had asked Dr. Kier in December, 1931, to clarify my relationship with the Party, since I regarded the Party as the basis for the solution of the Austrian problem.... I paid my membership fees, as I believe, directly to the 'Gau' Vienna. These contributions also took place after the period of suppression. Later on I had direct contact with the Ortsgruppe in Dornbach. My wife paid these fees, but the 'Blockwart'"- and I believe that is another word for 'Blockleiter'' - was never in doubt, considering that this amount, forty shillings per month, was a difficult accomplishment for my wife and myself, and I was in every respect treated as a Party member."
Seyss-Inquart, in the last sentence of the paragraph says:
"In every way, therefore, I felt as a Party member, considered myself a Party member, as stated, as far back as December, 1931."
Now, if the Tribunal please, and before I leave this letter, I want just to refer to one or two sentences which the Tribunal will find in the third paragraph on Page 7 of the translation. Referring to a meeting which he had had with Hitler, Seyss-Inquart says:
"I left this discussion a very upright man with the unspeakably happy feeling of being permitted to be a tool of the Fuehrer."
The truth of the matter is that Seyss-Inquart was an active supporter of the Nazis at all times after 1931. But after the Nazi Party in Austria was declared illegal in July, 1934, he avoided too notorious a connection with the Nazi organisation, in order to safeguard what the Nazis called his good legal position. By this device he was better able to use his connections with Catholics and others in his work of infiltration for his Nazi superiors.

The Tribunal will remember, as Document 2219-PS, Exhibit USA 62, a letter from Seyss-Inquart to Goering of 14th July, 1939, in which Seyss-Inquart makes this clear. It was in this letter also that he said:

"Yet I know that I cling with unconquerable tenacity to the goal in which I believe; that is Greater Germany and the Fuehrer."
The evidence which Mr. Alderman introduced told in detail the manner in which the Nazi conspirators carried out their assault on Austria. I do not intend to attempt to review any part of this evidence. I merely wish to refer the Tribunal to two documents, which are particularly important in showing the part played by this defendant. I refer to the Rainer report to, Gauleiter Burckel, dated 6th July, 1939, which relates the part played by the Austrian Nazi Party, the defendant Seyss-Inquart, and others, between July, 1934, and March, 1938, and the astonishing record of telephone calls between the defendant Goering, or his agents in Berlin, and Seyss-Inquart and others in Vienna on 11th March, 1938. The Rainer report is Document 812-PS, Exhibit USA 61, and was read into the record beginning at Page 502 of the English version and continuing for a number of pages thereafter. The transcript of the telephone calls is Document 2949-PS, Exhibit USA 76, and was introduced first at Page 566 of the English record.

Now, in order to supplement this and further to show that part played by Seyss-Inquart, I wish now to introduce in evidence the voluntary statement which Seyss-Inquart signed with advice of his counsel on 10th December, 1945. This is Document 3425-PS, and I offer it as Exhibit USA 701.

[Page 317]

In this statement, Seyss-Inquart explains, from his point of view, his part in bringing about the Anschluss. I want to read first just a few -sentences from the second paragraph on the first page. It states - and I quote:
"In 1918 I became interested in the Anschluss of Austria with Germany. From that year on I worked, planned and collaborated with others of a like mind to bring about a union of Austria with Germany. It was my desire to effect this union of the two countries in an evolutionary manner, and by legal means."
Omitting just a sentence or two:
"I supported also the National Socialist Party as long as it was legal, because it declared itself with particular determination in favour of the Anschluss. From 1932 onwards I made financial contributions to this party, but I discontinued financial support when it was declared illegal in 1934."
Then passing down another couple of sentences:
"From July, 1936, onwards I tried to help the National Socialists to regain their legal status and, finally, to participate in the Austrian Government. During this time, particularly after the Party was forbidden in July, 1934, I knew that the radical element of the Party was engaged in terroristic activities, such as attacks on railroads, bridges, telephone communications, etc. I knew that the governments of both Chancellors, Dollfuss and Schuschnigg, although they held in principle the same total German viewpoint, were opposed to the Anschluss then, because of the National Socialist regime in the Reich. I was sympathetic towards the efforts of the Austrian Nazi Party to gain political power and corresponding influence, because they were in favour of the Anschluss."

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