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 6 of 8)

[Page 322]

THE PRESIDENT Counsel for Sauckel, I think, was addressing the Tribunal.

DR. SERVATUS: I had pointed out the difference between the Arbeitsdienst and the Arbeitseinsatz. The French prosecuting attorney apparently confused the two, for he said that the Arbeitsdienst was connected with Sauckel. That is not so. The former was an organisation for pre-military training, in which young people had to render a labour service. These young people were to some extent used for military purposes. The Arbeitseinsatz was concerned solely with the recruiting of labour to be used in factories or other places of work. It follows, therefore, that Sauckel cannot be associated with the accusations that were made in this connection. That is what I wanted to say.

M. DUBOST: The two German words were translated in an identical manner in French. A verification having been made, the remarks of the defence are correct and Sauckel is not involved, only the Army is.


M. DUBOST: When we were interrupted by this technical difficulty we were about to present a few examples of terrorist exterminations in Holland, in Belgium, and in other countries of the West.

In Holland, as one example out of a thousand, there were the massacres of Putten of 30 September 1944. They are included in Document F-719, which we submitted as Exhibit RF 409, and which is to be found on Page 46 of the, document book before the Tribunal. On 30 September 1944 an attack was attempted by members of the Dutch resistance against a German automobile. The Germans concluded that the village was a refuge for partisans. They searched the houses of the inhabitants; they gathered the population together.

A wounded German officer had been taken prisoner by the Dutch resistance. The Germans declared that if the officer was released within twenty-four hours there would be no reprisal exercised. The officer was released, after having received medical care from the soldiers of the Dutch resistance who had captured him. However, in spite of the pledge given, reprisals were inflicted upon the village of Putten, whose inhabitants were all innocent.

Paragraph 2 of the Dutch report which I now cite:

"The population, which had gathered together in the church, was informed that the men would be taken away; that the women had to leave the village and that the village would be destroyed. One hundred and five houses were burned. It is estimated that the centre of the village comprised 2000 houses. Eight persons, among whom was one woman, who sought to escape were shot and killed.
In the third paragraph:
"The men were transported to the concentration camp of Amersfoort.

[Page 323]

There they found many people who, in passing through had entered the penned-in village and could not leave it again. At Amersfoort they released about fifty men. About twelve had jumped from the train during the convoy. Finally, 622 men were transported to Auschwitz. The greater part of them had died at the end of the first two months. Of the 622 men who were taken away only 32 inhabitants of Putten and ten from other towns returned after the liberation."
In Belgium, we will cite only a few facts which are related in Document F-685, already submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit RF 394. This document is to be found on Page 48 in your document book. The penultimate paragraph describes the murder of a young man who had sought refuge in a dug-out. He was killed by the Germans, who were looking for soldiers of the Belgian Secret Army.

At Herve - the last paragraph of that page - the Germans fired on a lorry filled with young people and killed them. The same day some civilians were killed by a tank.

On Page 49, paragraph 1 and 2 are described the summary executions of members of the secret army. Paragraph 3; I quote :

"At Anhee, shots having been fired upon them, the Germans crossed the Meuse River. They set fire to fifty- eight houses and killed thirteen men. At Annevoie, on the 4th, the Germans came across the river and burned fifty-eight houses."
The five paragraphs which follow report useless destruction from the military point of view. Let us now proceed to the last paragraph.
"At Arendonck, on the 3rd, eighty men were killed; five houses were burned. At St. Hubert, on the 6th, three men killed and four houses burned. At Hody, on the 6th, systematic destruction of the village; forty houses destroyed ; sixteen people killed. At Marcourt, ten people were shot; thirty-five houses were burned. At Nerosteren, on the 9th, nine people were killed. At Oost- Ham, on the 10th, five persons were killed. At Balen- Neet, on the 11th, ten persons were shot."
Page 50 contains the description of German exactions at the time of the temporary stabilisation of the front. Next to the last paragraph:
"At Hechtel, the Germans having withdrawn before the British vanguard, the inhabitants hung out our flags. Then fresh German troops came to hold back the British vanguard and reprisals were exercised. Thirty-one people were shot; 80 houses were burned, and general looting took place. At Helchteren under similar circumstances, thirty-four houses were set on fire and ten people were killed." The same events at Herenthout.
Paragraph 2 of Page 50;
The circumstances in which these men were executed are always identical. The Germans search the cellars, bring the men out, line them along the highway and shoot them, after having given them the order to run. In the meantime grenades are thrown into the cellars, wounding the women and the children."
Last paragraph:
"At Lommel, the unexpected return of the German soldiers found the village with flags out. Seventeen persons who had sought refuge in a shelter were noticed by a German. He motioned to a tank which ran over the shelter backwards and forwards until it crushed it, killing twelve people."
In the case of Norway we shall read an excerpt from a document already placed before you as Exhibit RF 325, page 51 and 52 of your book:
"On 13 April, 1940, two women aged thirty were shot at Reingeke.

[Page 324]

On 15 April, four civilians, among them two boys aged fifteen and sixteen, were shot at Aadal. One of the victims received a shot in the head and was wounded in the abdomen. On 19th April, four civilians, among whom were two women and a little boy thirteen years old, were shot at Ringsaker."
The last paragraph on that Page - Page 51:
"To avenge the death of two German policemen killed on 26 April 1942 at Televaag, the entire town was destroyed; that is to say, more than eighty premises with 334 buildings, causing damage to the value of 4,200,000 crowns."
On Page 52 the Tribunal will find the continuation of the descriptions of German atrocities committed in Norway without any military character, simply to maintain the reign of terror.

In France, massacres, destruction without military purpose, were extremely numerous, and all of them were closely associated. We place before you F-243 as Exhibit RF 412. The Tribunal will find this document on Page 178 of the document book. It is a long list drawn up by the French Service for Inquiry into War Crimes on the towns that were destroyed and looted without any military necessity. These enumerations go from Page 179 to Page 193 of the document book placed before the Tribunal. The Tribunal will undoubtedly be enlightened by the reading of this document. We shall give but a few examples. Document F-909, Exhibit RF-413, shows the conditions under which a whole section of Marseilles was destroyed - Pages 56, 57, and 58 of the document book which the Tribunal has in hand.

Page 57, if you please, eighth line of the paragraph before the last. It is estimated that around 20,000 people were evacuated. This evacuation was ordered on the 23rd of January. It was carried out without warning during the night of the 23rd to the 24th. I quote:

"It is estimated that 20,000 persons were evacuated. From Frejus some of them were shipped by the Germans to the concentration camp of Compiegne."
On Page 58, paragraph 2:
"The demolition operations began on the 1st of February at about 9 o'clock in the morning. They were carried out by troops of the German Engineer Corps."
The last three lines of this paragraph:
"The area destroyed is equivalent to fourteen hectares that is to say, approximately twelve hundred buildings."
Inquiry was made to find those who were responsible for this destruction. After the liberation of Marseilles the German consul in Marseilles, von Spiegel, was interrogated. His testimony is incorporated in Document F-908, which we place before you as Exhibit RF 414, Page 53 of your document book. We will read only the last paragraph on Page 54; Spiegel stated:
"I know that a very short time after the evacuation of the old port, the rumour was prevalent that this measure had been brought about by financial interests. I am in a position to affirm that such a hypothesis is erroneous. The order came from the higher echelons of the Reich Government which pointed out only two motives: Security of troops, dangers of epidemics."
We do not intend to give you a complete description of the attacks committed by the Germans, but merely a few examples. Document F-600, Page 59, which we submit as Exhibit RF 415.
"At Ohis (Aisne) a civilian sought to give something to drink to an American soldier. The Germans returned. The American soldier was

[Page 325]

taken prisoner and M. Hennebert was also taken away by the Germans to a spot designated as the "black mountain" in the village of Origny en Thierarche where his body was later discovered partly hidden under a stack of wood. The body bore the trace of two bayonet wounds in the back."
At Lagnieu - Document F-604, submitted as Exhibit RF 416, Page 61 of the document book.
"A civilian was killed in his vineyard. Young people, young women were killed on the highway."
At the bottom of Page 61, before the certification formula, the motive is given as "Presence of Maquis in the Region."

All these victims were completely innocent.

At Culoz, Document F-904, which I submit as Exhibit RF 417, Page 62 of your document book :

"Young boys were arrested because they had run away at the sight of the Germans. They were deported."
This is three paragraphs before the end of the page. I am quoting the next to the last paragraph:
"Not one of them belonged to the Resistance."
At St. Jean Maurienne, Document F-906, submitted as Exhibit RF 418, Page 63 of your book of documents, paragraph 3:
On 23 July the Gendarmes - I am now quoting - "Chavanne and Empereur, dressed in civilian clothes, were arrested by German soldiers without reasonable motives. The lieutenant who was in charge of the Kommandantur promised the officer of the Gendarmes to liberate these three men. This German later surreptitiously ordered his men to shoot these prisoners."
Page 64, paragraph 4, the 1st of September:
"Mademoiselle Perraud, twenty-one years of age, who was a maid at the Cafí Dentroux, was raped by a German soldier under threat of a pistol."
I merely mention all the atrocities described in the document, up to Page 68 of your book.

I come to the Vercors. This region was undeniably an important assembly centre for French Forces of the Interior. Document F-611, which we submit as Exhibit RF 419 describes the atrocities committed against the innocent population of this region as reprisals because of the presence of the Maquis men. This document appears in your book under Page 69, et seq.

Paragraph 3 of Page 69 is an enumeration of police operations in this area on 15 June, carried out in the region of St. Donat, first: rapes and looting; second: execution at Portes-Les-Valence on 8 July of thirty hostages taken from the political prisoners interned at Fort Montluc at Lyons; third: police raids carried out against the Maquis of the Vercors Region from 21 July to 5 August 1944, rape and looting in the region of Crest, Soillant, and St. Die; fourth: Aerial bombing by aircraft of numerous villages in the Vercors and in particular Chapelle and Vassieux in Vercors; fifth: summary execution of inhabitants of these towns; sixth: looting, execution after summary judgement of about a hundred young men at St. Nazaire-en-Rayons; Seventh deportation to Germany of three hundred others from this region; and lastly murder of fifty gravely wounded persons in the Grotto of La Luire.

Page 70, paragraph 1, on 15 June 1944; Attack by German troops at St. Donat - I am quoting - "Which the Maquis had evacuated several days earlier."

[Page 326]

Paragraph 5, Page 54: I am quoting:
"Fifty-four young women from thirteen to fifteen years of age were raped by the maddened soldiers."
The Tribunal will forgive me if I avoid citing the atrocious details which follow.

Page 71, the last paragraph: Bombing of the villages of Combovin, La Baume-Cornillanne, Durches, et cetera - I am now quoting:

"The losses caused by these bombings among the civilian population were rather high, for in most cases the inhabitants, caught by surprise, had no time to seek shelter."
Page 72, third paragraph: "Two women were raped at Crest." This in paragraph 3, and in the same connection, three women in Saillans. Page 73, Paragraph 4, I am quoting:
"A young girl of twelve, who was wounded, and pinned down between beams, awaited death for six long days without being able either to sit down or sleep and without receiving any food, and that under the eyes of the Germans who were occupying the village."
I proceed: F-612, submitted as Exhibit RF 420, Page 77:

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