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-Eighth Day: Friday, 1st February, 1946
(Part 2 of 8)

[Page 342]


M. EDGAR FAURE: Mr. President, Honourable Judges: I have the honour of delivering to the Tribunal the concluding address of the French prosecution. This presentation relates more particularly to the sections lettered I and J of Count No. 3 of the Indictment: "Oath of Allegiance, and Germanisation:" and on the other hand to section B of Count No. 4, "Persecutions on Political, Racial and Religious Grounds."

First of all I should like to present in a brief introduction the general ideas which govern the plan of my final pleading. The concept of Germanisation has been stated in the presentation of M. de Menthon. It consists essentially in imposing upon the inhabitants of occupied territories forms for their political and social life such as the Nazis have determined according to their own doctrine and for their own profit. The combined activities which carried out Germanisation or which have Germanisation for their purpose, and which are illegal, have been defined as a criminal undertaking against humanity. The complete process of Germanisation was employed in certain territories, to annex them to the Reich. The Germans intended even before the end of the war to incorporate these territories within their own country. These territories, annexed and then Germanised in an absolute manner, are the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Belgian cantons of Eupen, Malmedy and Moresnet, and the three French Departments of Haut-Rhin, Bas- Rhin and the Moselle.

These territories can be considered relatively small in comparison with the total area of territories occupied by the Germans.

This, in no wise, mitigates the reprehensible character of these annexations moreover, we should note at this point two essential aspects of our subject in the shape of two propositions.

The first proposition: The Germans had conceived and prepared more extensive annexations than those actually carried out in an official manner. For reasons of expediency, they did not proceed with these planned annexations during the time at their disposal.

The second proposition: Annexation, on the other hand, was not the

[Page 343]

unique or obligatory procedure of Germanisation. The Germans discovered that they could employ different and varied means to achieve their purpose of universal domination. The selection of means which vary according to circumstances, to attain and to camouflage an identical result, was characteristic of what has been called Nazi Machiavellism. Their conception is technically much more pliable, more clever and more dangerous than the classical conception of territorial conquest. In this respect, the most brutal competitor has over them the advantage of candour.

To begin with I say that the Germans had formulated the plan to annex more extensive territory. Numerous indications point to this. I would like to give you only two citations.

The first of these is taken from the documentation collected by our colleagues of the American prosecution, American documents which have not yet been submitted to the Tribunal. I should say in addition that in my final pleading I shall refer only twice to these very remarkable American documents. All the other documents which I shall submit will be new ones belonging to the French prosecution.

The document of which I speak now is 1155-PS of the American documents, and it appears in the file of documents submitted to you as Exhibit RF 601, which will become, may it please the Tribunal, that number in French documentation.

This document is dated Berlin, 20 June 1940. It bears the notation: "Secret General Staff Document." Its title is: "Note for the Dossier on the Conference of 19 June 1940. At Headquarters of General Field Marshal Goering."

The notes which are included in this document reflect, therefore, the views of the leaders, and not individual interpretations. I would like to read to the Tribunal only paragraph 6 of the document, which is to be found on Page 3. It is the first document:

"General plans in regard to political development."

"Luxembourg is to be annexed to the Reich. Norway is to become German. Alsace-Lorraine is to be re-incorporated into the Reich. An autonomous Breton State is to be created. Furthermore, considerations are pending concerning Belgium, the special treatment of the Flemish in that country, and the creation of a State of Burgundy."

The second citation which I shall submit to the Tribunal on this point refers to a French document which I submit as Exhibit RF 602. This document comprises the minutes of the interrogation of Dr. Globke, for some time assistant of the Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior, Dr. Stuckart. It is dated 25 September 1945. This interrogation was taken by Commandant Graf of the French Judiciary Service.

To the minutes has been added a memorandum which was delivered following the questioning by Dr. Globke. I read a passage from this interrogation, at the beginning of the document, paragraph 1.

"Questions: Have you any knowledge of plans which envisage the annexation of other French territories at the time of the conclusion of peace (Belfort, Nancy Bassin de Briey, the coal fields of the North, the so- called "Red Zone," territories attached to the Government General of Belgium)?

Answer: Yes, these plans did exist. They were worked out by Dr. Stuckart, upon the personal instruction of the Fuehrer, and I have seen them. They were communicated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the OKW and to the Armistice Commission in Wiesbaden. All these documents have been destroyed," (at least so said Dr. Globke). "The State Secretary Stuckart brought a preliminary project to the headquarters of the

[Page 344]

Fuehrer" (before the launching of the Russian campaign. End of 1940!)

After examination the Fuehrer thought that this project was too moderate, and he gave instructions that it should extend to other territories, specifically those along the Channel.

Dr. Stuckart then prepared a second draft, with a map attached, on which the approximate borders were indicated. I have seen it, and I can show it to you roughly on a large-scale map of France. I do not know whether this second plan was approved by Hitler."

I now read a passage from the memorandum, appended to the minutes just cited.

THE PRESIDENT: Did you tell us who Dr. Globke was?

M. FAURE: Yes, Mr. President, he was the assistant of Dr. Stuckart who was Secretary of State in the Ministry of the Interior. He styled himself in his interrogation "Officer in charge of matters. concerning Alsace-Lorraine and Luxembourg, in the Ministry of the Interior, since 1940."

I now read a passage from the attached memorandum. This appears in your document book immediately after the passage I have just read. Still under RF 602, I am now reading paragraph 6 of the memorandum in question; it is the beginning of the document before you.

"The project of moving the Franco-German border was elaborated upon in the Ministry of Interior by the State Secretary von Stuckart, upon an order given him personally by Hitler. This plan envisaged that the territories in the North and the East of France which, for so-called historical or political, racial, geographical reasons or any other reason whatsoever, could be considered as not belonging to Western, but to Central Europe, were to be given back to Germany. A first draft was submitted to Hitler at his Headquarters and it was approved by him in full. Hitler nevertheless wanted an enlargement ..."
THE PRESIDENT: The typing of these documents has got mixed, because our copy of this part of the document after translation into English reads, "After examination, the Fuehrer found this project too moderate and ordered it to extend to other territories, notably to the length of the Channel." I think there must be a miscopying there, if what you read is right.

M. FAURE: I ask the Tribunal to excuse me. There is indeed a paragraph which has been, omitted. In the file which is entitled "Presentation," and which is before you the citation is reproduced in its entirety. If the Tribunal is willing -

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps you could give us a corrected copy afterwards. If you continue your reading now, perhaps you could let the Tribunal have the corrected copy afterwards.

M. FAURE: I shall not fail to do that, Mr. President.

DR. STAHMER (Counsel for defendant Goering): The defence has not received these documents at all! Consequently, even today we are not in a position to follow the presentation. Above all, we are not in a position to check individually whether the formal suppositions for the validity of those documents really exist.

THE PRESIDENT: M. Faure, is that correct, that none of these documents have been deposited in the Defence Information Centre.

M. FAURE: They have been deposited, Mr. President. They were deposited with two photostat copies in the document centre of the defendants' counsel. Moreover, before I complete my statement, I am sure that the defence counsel will have all opportunity to study this very brief document and to make any observations which they may desire, but I can give you formal assurance that those documents were delivered.

[Page 345]

THE PRESIDENT: What assurance can you give me that the orders which the Tribunal has given have been carried out?

M. FAURE: The documents have been delivered to the defence counsel in accordance with instructions and two photostat copies have been delivered in the document room of the defence. These documents are, moreover, in the German language, which should greatly facilitate the task of the defence counsel, as the interrogation was taken in the German language by an officer of the French Judiciary Services.

THE PRESIDENT: You have heard what M. Faure has said.

DR. STAHMER: I should certainly not raise any objections if these documents really were in our document room and at our disposal. This morning I and several others looked into the matter and made an effort to determine whether the documents were really there. We could not find out. Dr. Steinhauer and I went there; we could not find the documents. I shall go there again to see whether they may not have come in the meantime.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has stated on a variety of occasions that they attach a great importance to the documents being deposited in the defendants' Information Centre and copies supplied in accordance with the regulations which they have laid down. Whether that has been done on this occasion, is disputed by Dr. Stahmer. The Tribunal proposes therefore to have the matter investigated as soon as possible and to see exactly whether the rules have been carried out or not. And in future they hope that they will be carried out with the greatest strictness. In the meantime, I think it will be most convenient for you to continue.

M. FAURE: The defendants' counsel tells me that the documents are in the defence counsel room, but they have not yet been distributed. It can be seen, therefore, that the orders were fully respected, but because of the burden of work it may be that the defence may not individually have received these documents. In any event, I am prepared to submit immediately to the defence counsel mainly concerned with this, photostat copies which will enable them to follow my reading of the documents, which, incidentally, are quite brief.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal will have the facts investigated. And in the meantime, you can continue. The Marshal of the Court will immediately find out and report to the Tribunal what the facts are, about the deposition of the documents and the time at which they were deposited. In the meantime you can continue, and we shall be glad if you will assist the defendants' counsel by giving them any copies you may have available.

M. FAURE: I was referring, then, to Exhibit RF 602, the attached memorandum. - If the Tribunal wishes to follow the reading of this document will it kindly take the book entitled "Expose" or "Presentation," and turn to Page 6 thereof. The passage which I am now coming to is the last paragraph of Page 6.

THE PRESIDENT: Is this expose entitled "Luxembourg" or "Alsace-Lorraine"?

M. FAURE: It is entitled "Introduction."

THE PRESIDENT: Oh yes, the document entitled "Introduction" on the last page.

M. FAURE: Mr. President, you indicated to me a while ago that in the document book a sentence had been skipped. I was therefore asking you to take the file called "Expose" where this sentence is included, the same citation being reproduced in the two files in order to avoid the consequences of similar errors.

"Introduction-Espose," Page 6, third and last paragraph, I am continuing;

"A first draft was submitted to Hitler at his headquarters and it was approved by him as a whole. Hitler, however, expressed his desire to

[Page 346]

see allocated to Germany parts of more extensive areas of territory, in particular along the Channel coast. The final draft was to serve as the basis for future discussions with the administrative departments of the Governments concerned. These discussions did not take place. The approximate outline of the frontier which was considered then started from the mouth of the Somme, went Eastward along the Northern edge of the Parisian Basin and Champagne, up to the Argonne, then curved to the South, crossing Burgundy, next Franche Comte, and finally reaching the Lake of Geneva. Various solutions were suggested for a few districts."
These German plans were indicated on several occasions by specific measures having to do with the territories in question, measures which might be designated pre-annexation measures.

I come now to the second proposition which I referred to a while ago. With or without annexation, the Germans had in mind to take and maintain under their domination all the occupied countries. As a matter of fact, their determination was to Germanise and to Nazify all of Western Europe and even the African Continent. This intention appears from the very fact of the conspiracy which has been laid bare so completely before the Tribunal by my colleagues of the American prosecution. It will also be shown by its applications the most important of which will be retraced in this concluding address.

I merely want to recall to the Tribunal this general point: that the plan for Germanic predominance is defined according to the German interpretation itself in a public diplomatic document, which is the Tripartite Pact of 27 September 1940 between Germany, Italy and Japan. In this connection I would like to quote before the Tribunal a few sentences of a comment made upon this treaty by an official German author, von Freytagh-Loringhoven, a member of the Reichstag, who wrote a book on German foreign policy from 1933 to 1941. This book was published in a French translation in Paris at the editing house of Sorlot, during the occupation.

I do not intend to submit this as a document, but merely as a quotation from a published work, a book, which is here in your hands. I am reading from Page 311:

"This treaty granted to Germany and Italy a dominant position in the new European order, and it accorded Japan a similar role in the area of Eastern Asia."
I am now omitting a sentence that has no significance.
"At first glance, one could realise that the Tripartite Pact had in mind a double purpose."
I shall omit the following sentence which is without interest, and I go to the sentence dealing with the second purpose:
"Moreover, it entrusted the signatory parties with a mission for the future, that is to say, the establishment of a new order in Europe and in Eastern Asia."

"Without seeking to lessen the importance of the first purpose, there can be no doubt that this second purpose, dealing with the future, involved vaster projects and was, in fact, the principal one. For the first time in an international treaty, in the Tripartite Pact, the terms of "Space" and "Orientation" were used, linking one with the other."

I now go to Page 314 where the author makes a remark which appears to me to be significant:
"Now, the Tripartite Pact places a clear delimitation of the wider spaces created by nature on our globe. The concept of space, it is true, is employed explicitly only for the Far East, but it is clear that it is equally applicable to Europe and that within this conception Africa is comprised

[Page 347]

The latter - that is Africa - is certainly politically and economically a complement, or, if you like, an annex of Europe. Moreover, it is obvious that the Tripartite Pact fixes the limits of the two great regions or spaces reserved for the partners, that the Pact tacitly recognises the third area, that is Eurasia, properly speaking, and that it omits the fourth, the American Continent, thus leaving the latter to its own destiny. In this way the whole surface of the globe is included, and an idea which as yet had not been considered except in theory, is given the significance of a political principle derived from International Law."
I have felt that this text was of interest because, on the one hand, it clarifies the fact that the African Continent is itself included in the space reserved to the German claimants and, on the other, it states that the government of such an immense space by Germany constitutes International Law. This pretence of acting juridically is one of the characteristics of the undertaking to Germanise the world from 1940 to 1945. It is undoubtedly one of the reasons which inspired Nazi Germany to proceed only on rare occasions by the annexation of territories.

Annexation is not indispensable for the domination of a great area. It can be replaced by other methods which correspond rather accurately to the usual term of "vassalisation."

(A recess was taken)

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