The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd February to 13th February, 1946

Forty-Ninth Day: Saturday, 2nd February, 1946
(Part 1 of 4)

[Page 1]

THE MARSHAL: May it please the Court, I desire to announce that the defendants Kaltenbrunner, Seyss-Inquart, and Streicher will be absent from this morning's session due to illness.

M. FAURE: Gentlemen: I shall ask the Tribunal to be kind enough now to take the file which is entitled "Luxembourg."

The Tribunal has already been informed of the essential elements of the situation concerning Luxembourg by the testimony of President Reuter, who was heard during yesterday's session. I will, therefore, be able to shorten my explanations of this file, but it is nevertheless indispensable that I should submit some documents to the Tribunal.

The annexation of Luxembourg has quite a special character, in that ib carried with it the total abolition of the sovereignty of this occupied country.

It therefore concerns a case which corresponds to the hypothesis which we call "dabellatio" in classic law, that is to say, the cessation of hostilities by the disappearance of the body of public law of one of the belligerents.

This total annexation of Luxembourg completes the proof that there was criminal premeditation on the part of the Reich against this State, to which it was bound by diplomatic treaties, notably the Treaty of London, of 11th May, 1867, and the Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation of 2nd September, 1929. The Tribunal knows by the testimony of M. Reuter that these pledges were confirmed, first by a spontaneous diplomatic step taken in 1939 by M. von Radowitz, the Minister Plenipotentiary for Germany, and afterwards by a reassuring declaration a few days before the invasion, in circumstances which have already been explained to the Tribunal.

In view of the fact that Luxembourg - unlike Alsace and Lorraine, which were French departments - I say, in view of the fact that Luxembourg was a State, the Germans, in order to carry out this defacto annexation, had to issue special regulations concerning the suppression of public institutions; and this they did. Two decrees of 2nd and 9th October, 1940, announced, on the one hand, the dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies and the State Council, and, on the other hand, banned Luxembourg's political parties. These two decrees are submitted as exhibits under RF 801 and 802. I request the Tribunal only to take judicial notice of these documents, which are public documents.

Moreover, on 26th August, 1940, a German decree had abolished the constitutional executive formula, according to which justice is rendered in the name of the sovereign. A formula according to which justice is rendered in the name of the people was substituted at that time for this executive formula.

On 15th October, 1941, the formula was again modified in a more obvious way and became: "In the name of the German people."

I shall now follow in my supplementary explanation the order of ideas which I adopted for Alsace and Lorraine, and naturally I shall dwell only on those circumstances which are peculiar to Luxembourg.

[Page 2]

As in the case of Alsace and Lorraine, the Germans attempted to extirpate the national sentiment of Luxembourg and to render impossible all minifestations of the traditional culture of this country. Thus, the decrees of 28th August, 1940, and of 23rd October, 1940, banned all associations of a cultural or educational nature.

As in Alsace and Lorraine, the Germans imposed Germanisation of family names and Christian names. This is clear from a decree of 31st January, 1941, concerning the change of Christian names and family names in Luxembourg, Exhibit RF 803. I point out in passing that the wearing of a beret was also forbidden in Luxembourg, by decree of 14th February, 1941.

At the same time as they did away with national institutions, the Germans set up, according to their custom, their own administration and appointed a Gauleiter in the person of Gustay Simon, the former Gauleiter of Koblenz-Trier.

From the administrative point of view, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was administered as a "Bezirk" (district) of the Chief of the Civilian Administrative Service, but by the German Administrative Service. From the point of view of the National Socialist Party, it was officially joined to the Reich, as a dependency of the Mosel Gau.

I shall not dwell on the introduction of German civilian and penal institutions, which were introduced in the same way as in Alsace and Lorraine. Sufficient proof of this must be considered to have been given by the submission of the official report of the Government of the Grand Duchy.

As regards nationality and conscription, we also notice a parallel between the provisions which concern Luxembourg and those which concern other annexed countries.

On 30th August, 1942, two decrees were promulgated. It must be pointed out that these two decrees, the one concerning nationality and the other military service, bear the same date.

The decree concerning military service is submitted as Exhibit RF 804 and the decree concerning nationality is submitted as Exhibit RF 805. The legislation concerning nationality includes, moreover, a provision which is peculiar to Luxembourg, although it is in conformity with the general spirit of German legislation concerning nationality in annexed countries.

The Germans had created in Luxembourg various organisations of the Nazi type, of which the main one was the "Volksdeutsche Bewegung" (German Movement), and here is the special circumstance which I wish to point out. The decree concerning nationality, of 30th August, 1942, grants German nationality to persons who gave their adherence to this association, the "Volksdeutsche Bewegung," but this nationality could be revoked. This is shown in the last paragraph of the title of this decree. In fact, the conferring of nationality in this special case was valid for two years only. It was provisional.

At the same time as the Nazis were establishing conscription, they made it compulsory for all young Luxembourgers to serve in the pre-military formations of the Hitler Youth. This is laid down in a decree of 25th August, 1942, concerning the Hitler Youth camps, which is Exhibit RF 806. Just as in Alsace and Lorraine, compulsory labour was imposed in Luxembourg, not only for men, but also for women, and also for work of military importance. These provisions are found in three decrees; the decree of 23rd May, 1941, the decree of 10th February, 1943, and the decree of 12th February, 1943. These last two decrees are introduced as Exhibits RF 807 and 808.

I would now like to cite another circumstance which is peculiar to Luxembourg and of which proof is found in the official report of the Government of Luxembourg, already submitted to the Tribunal. According to this report,

[Page 3]

Page 4, paragraphs 7 to 8, it is stipulated - I will cite only one sentence which bears the reference I have given it -
"By decree, which appearead in the Official Gazette for Luxembourg, 1942, Page 232, part of the Luxembourg population was forced to join the formations of a corps called 'Sicherheits-und Hilfsdienst' (Security and Emergency Service), a semi-military formation, which had to do military drills. A part was sent forcibly to Germany to carry out very dangerous tasks at the time of the air attacks of the Allied forces."
The Nazis made a special effort to bring about the Nazification of Luxembourg, and for this country they thought out a special method, the basic point of which was the language element. They developed the official thesis that the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg belonged to the German language group. By means of propaganda they spread the idea that the dialect spoken in Luxembourg was a Franconian dialect of the Moselle and constituted a variant of high German. Having developed this theory, they took a census of the population, as mentioned by the witness who gave evidence before the Tribunal yesterday. I specially mention that this census took place on 10th October, 1941. I wished the witness to speak on this point, because no information on the result of the census was furnished in the official Government report, and the Tribunal now knows that the reason for this was that the German authorities immediately stopped the census as soon as they observed that the number of persons who responded in the way they desired was ridiculously small.

After this failure the Germans considered that the Luxembourg dialect was no longer their political friend and in a circular dated 13th January, 1942, which I submit as Exhibit RF 809, they forbade officials to use this dialect in conversations with the public or on the telephone. This was very inconvenient to a great many people.

The Nazification campaign was carried out also by the creation of groups with the same end in view. I have already said that the most important of these groups was the "Volksdeutsche Bewegung" and I shall supplement this merely by citing a sentence from the Luxembourg report, viz.:

"Membership in the `Volksdeutsche Bewegung' was the sine qua non by which officials were allowed to keep their positions, private employees their places, professional people, such as lawyers, doctors, etc., to exercise their profession, industrialists to run their factories, and everybody to earn his livelihood. Failure to comply meant dismissal, expulsion from the country and the deportation of whole families."
The penalties imposed on the Luxembourgers who refused these offers were accompanied by a formula which shows very well the Nazi mentality, and which I shall read to the Tribunal, from the text of the Government report. It is a very short quotation:
"Because of their attitude, these persons do not offer the guarantee that they will fulfil, in an exemplary manner, at all. times and without any reservation, during and outside their professional activity, the duties which have their foundation in the establishment of the civil administration in Luxembourg and in the pro-German attitude."
The Nazis also sought to develop in Luxembourg the S.A. Organisation.

THE PRESIDENT: Has this governmental report been deposited?

M. FAURE: The report of the Luxembourg Government was submitted to the Tribunal by my colleague, M. Dubost.


M. FAURE: As I am making only very short quotations I did not put it in the document book.

[Page 4]

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, M. Faure, it would help us if, when you are citing a document which is not in the document book, you gave me the page of the dossier, on which ...

M. FAURE: I shall give this page to the Tribunal in a moment. It is Page 4, Mr. President. My colleague tells me that it is Page 4 of the report on Luxembourg.

The Nazis also used all kinds of constraint to obtain members for their S.A. formation as well as for the motorised group of the S.A., which is known under the initials "N.S.K.K."

I would like now to point out to the Tribunal that a special effort was directed to the youth, because the Nazis thought it would be easier to get young people, and, I may say, even children, to accept their precepts and doctrines.

I think I may submit to the Tribunal Exhibit RF 810, which is a circular dated 22nd May, 1941, addressed to the Headmasters of High Schools. This is a very short document and I ask you to permit me to read it:

"At the order of the Gauleiter, all members of the teaching profession shall acquire, before 1st January, 1941, the Fuehrer's book, 'Mein Kamp." Between then and 1st September, 1941, every member of the teaching profession must make a statement on his honour to the effect that he has read this work."
The Germans thought that the compulsory reading of "Mein Kampf" - they allowed three months to assimilate this important work - might convince the teachers who, in turn, would teach it to their pupils in the prescribed spirit.

I have here another exhibit, RF 811, which I should like to read to the Tribunal, because it is not long, and is very characteristic. Extract from a collection of circulars addressed to the pupils of Alhenaunix:

"Luxembourg, 16th June, 1941:

(1) All pupils must stand up when the teacher enters to give the lesson, also when he leaves the class at the end of the lesson.

(2) The German salute will be given as follows:

(a) Lift the right hand to the height of the shoulder.
(b) Say 'Heil Hitler.'

(3) The pupils must return the salute of the teacher, who will begin and end the lesson by the same salute. I expect also from all pupils that they give the German salute in the street, especially to those gentlemen whom they know to much appreciate this form of greeting."

These German methods reached their culminating point with the imposition of the oath of allegiance to Hitler, which oath was imposed upon the gendarmes and the police. I refer here to the testimony of M. Reuter, who made the terrible statement that those who refused to do so were deported, and afterwards most of them were shot. I also submit as proof of this the Government report, which gives the same information, on Page 12.

Naturally, as in the other annexed territories, the Luxembourgers did not yield to these German methods, and there also endeavours were made to break the resistance by terror. I must mention a quite special regulation which was the decree of 2nd June, 1941. This will be Exhibit RF 812, which has as its title, "Decree on the putting into force in Luxembourg of the law of February, 1936, concerning the Gestapo." This title suffices to show the subject.

The Gestapo established special tribunals in Luxembourg known as "Standgericht," which were S.S. tribunals. These jurisdictions, if we can use the term jurisdiction, passed many sentences for political reasons. A detailed table of these convictions is appended to the Government report. One tribunal, the Standgericht of which I spoke just now, passed sixteen death sentences, and sentenced 380 people to penalties involving loss of their liberty. But this

[Page 5]
tribunal was not the only one and the report states, and the witnesses also confirm it, that about 500 were condemned to death in this country, which is a considerable number, because the population is not very large.

I think I should likewise mention, in connection with the Germanisation, the measures concerning deporation, already known to the Tribunal through the testimony of M. Reuter. These measures concerning deportation were applied systematically to the intellectual elite of the country, to the clergy and to persons who had served in the Army. This proves that it was deliberately intended to do away with the social, intellectual and moral structure of the country.

To the Luxembourg report is appended a list of names of deportees, including officers, magistrates, men who took part in politics in the Grand Duchy, writers, economic leaders, and in particular - I shall only give one figure which is striking - the Germans expelled or deported 75 clergymen, which, having regard to a population as small as that of Luxembourg, shows clearly the will to abolish completely the right to worship. The official report also states that the property of religious orders was confiscated, and most of the places of worship were either destroyed or desecrated.

Just a word about agricultural colonisation: An organisation called "Fuer Deutsches Volkstum und Siedlung" (For the Settlement of Racial Germans) was entrusted with the liquidation of the property of Luxembourg deportees for the benefit of Southern Tyroleans who were settled in the Grand Duchy.

Also, industrial and economic colonisation: Here we find the same methods, the same spoliations, and therefore I do not want to go over this ground again, the Tribunal already knows the way in which this was carried out. But I should like to give one example concerning Luxembourg because, when dealing with general counts, I think the best method is to give a documentary example, and also because from this example, from this document that I am going to cite, I think you will be able to draw some important conclusions from the point of view of the Prosecution.

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