The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
21st January to 1st February, 1946

Forty-Seventh Day: Thursday, 31st January, 1946
(Part 4 of 8)

[M. DUBOST continues]

[Page 312]

In paragraph 4, the Tribunal will note that a special court of summary jurisdiction, similar to those which functioned in Holland, was set up in Luxembourg; that it functioned in that country and pronounced a certain number of death sentences, twenty-one-all of them equally arbitrary, in view of the arbitrary character of the court which pronounced such sentences.

On Page 54 is contained the official accusation made by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg against all members of the Reich Cabinet, specifically against the Ministers of the Interior, of Justice, and the Party Chancellery, against the leaders of the SS and Police, and particularly against those of the Reich Commission for the Strengthening of Germanism (Reichskommissariat fur die Festigung des Deutschen Volkstums).

In the case of Norway, Document UK-19, already submitted as Exhibit

[Page 313]

RF 326, shows, in the third paragraph, at the middle of Page 55 of the document book, that a tribunal similar to that special tribunal in Holland, composed of police, was in operation in Norway. It was called the SS Court. More than 150 Norwegians were condemned to death. That is the penultimate paragraph on that page.

Besides, the Tribunal will remember the testimony of M. Cappelen, who came before you to relate what his country and his compatriots had endured.

In the case of Denmark, on Page 57 of your document book, Document F-666, already submitted as RF-278, Page 57, the Tribunal will note that, according to this official report submitted by the Danish Government, police courts-martial similar to those which functioned in Luxembourg, in Norway and in Holland, also functioned in Denmark. These summary police courts composed of SS or police officers, in reality cloaked the arbitrariness of the police and of the SS, the arbitrariness not only tolerated but even intended by the Government, as can be shown by documents which we have placed before you at the beginning of this presentation.

We, therefore, can assert that the victims of those courts were murdered without having been able to justify or defend themselves.

In France the question should be carefully examined. The Tribunal knows that from the very moment of landing, answering the call of the General Staff, the French Secret Army rose and began to fight. Undoubtedly, in spite of the warning given by the Allied General Staff, these combatants, at the beginning, found themselves in a rather irregular situation. We do not contest that in many instances they were francs-tireurs, we admitted that they could be condemned to death; but we protest that they were not condemned to death, but were assassinated after having been brutally tortured. We are going to give you proof thereof.

Document F-577, which is submitted as Exhibit RF 395, is to be found on Page 62 of your document book. It states that on 17th August, on the eve of the liberation of Rodez, the Germans shot 30 patriots with a submachine gun. Then, to finish them off, they detached large stones from the wall of the trench in which they were and hurled them on the bodies, with a little earth. Their chests and skulls were crushed.

Document F-580, Page 79 of your document book, which was submitted to you as Exhibit RF 396, shows that five oblates from the order of Marie - to my knowledge these lay brothers were not communists - were assassinated after having been tortured, because they belonged to a group of the Secret Army. Thirty-six corpses in all were discovered after this execution, a punitive measure carried out by the German Army.

On Page 85 the Tribunal will read the result of the inquiry and will see how these five oblates, after having been tortured, were killed, and how the Staff of the Resistance group, which had been betrayed, was arrested and deported together with a few members of the same religious order.

In the fourth paragraph, starting from the bottom of the page, the proof is before you that the Maquis from the forest of Acheres were arrested and tortured after having been incarcerated in the prison of Fontainebleau. We even know the name of the German member of the Gestapo who tortured those patriots. His name is unimportant. Korf carried out the orders that were given by Keitel, and by others whose names were mentioned a while ago.

Document F-584, Page 87 - which becomes Exhibit RF 397, and the Tribunal will find it on Page 87-88 - shows the Tribunal that, when the bodies were found, it was discovered that ten of these men had been blindfolded before being shot, that eight had had their arms broken, by blows or torture, and many had wounds in the lower parts of their legs as a result of the tightness with which

[Page 314]

they had been bound. That was the report of the Police Commissar, drawn up on 28 August 1944, on the day following the liberation of Pau.

We now present Document F-585, which will be Exhibit RF 398, the Tribunal will find it on Page 96 of the document book. I summarise:

The day following the liberation, 38 corpses were found in two graves near Signes in the mountain of Var. One of the leaders of the Resistance of the Cote d'Azur, Valmy, and with him two parachutists, Pageout and Manuel, were identified. There was witness of this massacre - his name is Quirot - whose statements are transcribed on Pages 11 and 12 of Document 505, Pages 105, 106 and 107 of your document book.

Quirot was tortured, together with his comrades, without having been given the opportunity of having counsel or chaplain. The thirty-eight men were taken to the woods. They appeared before a parody of a court made up of SS, were condemned to death, and executed.

We place now before the Tribunal Document F-586 as Exhibit RF 399. The Tribunal will find it on Page 110 of the document book. It deals with the execution at Saint Nazaire and Royans of thirty-seven patriots, members of the French Secret Army, who were tortured before being executed. The Tribunal will read on Page 110, at the beginning of paragraph 2, the statement of facts by one of the eye- witnesses.

"I came through the ruins and I arrived at the Chateau of Mme. Laurent, a widow. There a frightful spectacle confronted me. The castle, which the Gestapo had used as a place of torture of the young Maquis, had been set on fire. In a cellar there was a calcined skeleton of a man who, prior to death, had had his forearms and a foot pulled off and who had perhaps been burned while still alive."
But I proceed. Wherever the Gestapo was in operation the same horrors are encountered.

Now we place before the Tribunal Document F-699, which relates to the assassination at Grenoble of forty-eight members of the Secret Army, all of whom were tortured. It is submitted as Exhibit RF 400. It begins on Page 112 of your document book.

I now come to Document F-587, which we place before you as Exhibit RF 401. The Tribunal will find this document on Page 115 of the document book. It concerns the execution at Nimes, by hanging, of twelve patriots, two of whom were dragged from the hospital where they were under care for battle wounds. All these young men had been captured in combat at St. Hippolyte-du-Fort (paragraph 4 of Page 115). The corpses of these wretched men were profaned. On their chests had been written: "Thus are French terrorists punished." When the French sought to give the last honours to these unfortunate men the corpses had disappeared. The German Army had removed them. They have never yet been discovered. It is a fact that two of these victims were dragged from the hospital. Document F-587 contains the report of a witness who saw the men taken from the hospital where they were being cared for.

I place before you now Document F-561 as Exhibit RF 402. It is found on Page 118 of your book. It deals with the execution in Lyons of one hundred arid nine patriots who were shot under inhuman conditions. They were killed at the end of a day's toil. On 14 August Allied planes had bombed the Brou airfield and from 16 to 22 August the German authorities had compelled civilians and internees at the Fort of Montluc at Lyons to fill the bomb craters. At the end of the day, when the work was finished (this is at the end of paragraph 2) the civilian labourers went away, but the internees were shot on the spot, after having been more or less ill-treated.

Their bodies were stacked in craters which had not yet been filled in.

[Page 315]

Document F-591, which we submit as Exhibit RF 403 and which appears on Page 199 of the document book before the Tribunal, is a report of atrocities committed by the German Army on 30 August 1944 at Tavaux in Aisne.
"During the afternoon of that day soldiers of the Adolf Hitler Division arrived at Tavaux. They appeared at the home of M. Maujean, who was the leader of the Resistance. His wife opened the door. Without explanation they shot at her, wounding her in the thigh and also in the lower jaw. They dragged her to the kitchen; they broke one arm and one leg. In the presence of her children, aged nine, eight, seven, six years and eight months, they poured an inflammable liquid over her and set fire to her. The elder child held his little sister, eight-months old, in his arms. Then they told the children that they were going to shoot them if they did not tell where their father was. The children said nothing, although they knew the whereabouts of their father. They were led down into the cellar. They were locked in. Then the Germans poured gasoline on the house and set it on fire. The fire was put out and the children were saved. These facts were stated to M. Maujean by the eldest child. No other person was a witness to these facts because the inhabitants, frightened by the first houses set on fire, had sought refuge either in trenches or in the neighbouring fields and woods."

During the same evening twenty-one persons were killed at Tavaux and eighty-three houses were set on fire."

On the following page there is a report transmitted by the gendarme, Carlier, on the day following the events.

On Page 121 the Tribunal will find French Document F-589, which we submit as Exhibit RF 404. This document shows the provisional figures of murders of patriots committed in the region of Lyons, under date of 25 September 1944:

"713 victims have been found in eight departments, 217 only have been identified.

This figure is approximate; it is definitely less than the number of people who are missing in the eight departments of Ain, Areche, Drome, Isere, Loire, Rhone, Savoie, Haute Savoie."

A German general, General von Brodowski, has confessed in his diary, which fell into our hands, that he had caused the assassination of numerous patriots and that the Wehrmacht, Police and SS, operating simultaneously, were equally responsible for these murders. These troops murdered wounded men in hospital camps of the French Forces of the Interior. This document, which is Number F-257, is submitted as Exhibit RF 405, and is to be found on Page 123 of your document book.

On Page 125 the police and the army are combined. Paragraph 2 (fourth from the bottom):

"I have been charged with the restoration of the authority of the Army of Occupation in the department of Cantal." Dated 6 June 1944.

Paragraph 5: - "General Jesser has been charged with the tactical direction of the undertaking. All troops. available for the operation will be subordinate to him, as well as all other forces."

Paragraph 6: - " The Commander of the Sipo and of the SD, Hauptsturmfuehrer Geissler, remains at my immediate disposal. He will submit proposals for the possible intervention ... " and so forth.

The last paragraph: - "The staff and two battalions of a regiment of SS Panzer Division 'Das Reich' are, in addition, to remain available for the operation in Cantal."

Then - on Page 127 - this general turned over some wounded prisoners to the SD which was equivalent to their execution without sentence. These

[Page 316]

prisoners were wounded on 15 June 1944. The Prefect of Le Puy asked the liaison staff whether the men wounded in the battle of Montmouchet and taken into safety by the Red Cross of Puy could be delivered to Puy as prisoners of war. . . The German general executing the orders of the German High Command, particularly of Keitel and Jodl, said: "These men are to be treated as ' francs-tireurs ' and are to be delivered to the SD or to the Abwehr."

These wounded men were turned over to the German Police and tortured and killed without trial.

Page 129: Execution without trial according to the statement of Colbert, of which we have just spoken. Any man turned over to the SD is to be executed without trial.

On 21 June 1944, events took place as indicated by Colbert. Paragraph 4, at the end -

"Twelve suspects were arrested and turned over to the SD."
Under the date of 16 August 1944, Page 133, this general of the German Army calls for the assassination of 40 men after combat at Bourg-Lashe and at Cosnat. This is the second paragraph of Page 11 of the document.
"In the course of operation Jesser on 15 July in the Bourg-Lashe region twenty-three persons were executed (martial law). Attack on Cosnat, three kilometres east of St. Hilaire, during the night of 17 July, forty terrorists were shot down."
On Page 136: - This German general admits in his own journal that our comrades were fighting as soldiers and not as assassins.

Paragraph 5: This general of the German Army acknowledges that the French Forces of the Interior took prisoners.

"South-east of d'Argenton, thirty kilometres South-west of Chateauroux, the 'Jako' discovered a centre of terrorists. Sixteen German soldiers were liberated; arms and ammunition were captured. Seven terrorists were killed, two of them captains. One German soldier was seriously wounded."
Another similar incident is related on Page 137, at the very top of the page.
"Discovery of two camps of terrorists in the region of d'Argenton. Nine of the enemy were killed, two of whom were officers. Sixteen German soldiers were liberated." At the bottom of the page is stated:

"We liberated two SS men."

The soldiers were entitled to the respect of their adversaries. They conducted themselves as soldiers; they were assassinated.

I shall conclude, Mr. President, if the Tribunal will give me five minutes. I will only need one hour to present the remainder of my case this afternoon.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now until 1400 hours.

(A recess was taken)

MARSHAL OF THE COURT: May it please the Court, I desire to announce that the defendants Kaltenbrunner and Seyss-Inquart will be absent from this afternoon's session on account of illness.

M. DUBOST: We had arrived, gentlemen, at the presentation of the terrorist policy carried out by the German Army, Police and SS, indistinguishably united in their evil task against the French patriots.

Not only the militant patriots were to be the victims of this terrorist policy. There were threats of reprisals against their relatives, and these threats were carried out in deeds.

We place before you Document 719 PS, as Exhibit RF 406, which your Tribunal will find on Page 147 of the document book. It is a pencilled note

[Page 317]

from the German Embassy in Paris, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin. The German Ambassador reports a conversation which the Vichy echelon had with Laval.

In the fourth paragraph, the last three lines, the author of this note, who is probably Abetz, explains that Bousquet, who was with Laval at the time of this conversation, stated that he was completely ignorant of the recent flight of Giraud's brother.

"Madame Giraud, three of her daughters, her mother and another brother of the general, and his daughter-in-law are reported to be at the camp of Valse-les-Bains. I replied that such measures were insufficient and that it would not be surprising if the German police some day took these matters into its own hands, in view of the obvious incompetence of the French police in numerous cases."
The threat was put into execution. We have already stated before you that the family of General Giraud had been deported.

We place before you Document 717, as Exhibit RF 407, Page 149 of your document book.

"Paris, 1030 hours, Official State Telegram, Paris, to the French Delegation of IMT, Nuremberg."
From this telegram it is evident that 17 persons, members of the family of General Giraud, were deported to Germany: Madame Granger, daughter of General Giraud, aged 32, was arrested without cause in Tunis in April 1943, as well as her four children, aged two to eleven years, with their young nurse, and her brother-in-law, M. Granger. They were first deported to Berlin, then to Thuringia. General Giraud's family, too, was arrested on 9 October 1943.

May I ask the forbearance of the Tribunal ; the telegraphic style is not easy to interpret.

"First to Berlin and then to Thuringia, the women and children of M. Granger to Dachau."
I suppose that we must understand this to mean the wife of M. Granger and the nurse who accompanied her.

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