The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Fifty-Sixth Day: Monday,11th February, 1946
(Part 1 of 14)

[Page 222]

COL. POKROVSKY: The Tribunal has at its disposal the diaries of the defendant Frank.

In the one marked "Diary of the Year 1943, V," we find on Pages 1070-72 an important entry; in the Russian translation this passage is on Page 5 of the addenda to the "Excerpts from Frank's Diaries," and on Page 321 of your document book, marked in pencil. I quote this passage:

"Krakow, 23rd October, 1943.

The Governor General makes a report at the Administrative Academy on 'The Leadership Principle in Government.' From the point of view of Constitutional and International law, the Government General, as an appendage to Greater Germany, constitutes a part of the territory over which the power of Greater Germany in Europe extends. The sovereignty over this territory belongs to the Fuehrer of Greater Germany and on his behalf it is exercised by the Governor General who, as the deputy of the Fuehrer, possesses all his powers."

I would like to inform you, Your Honors, of two more documents of a strictly official nature.

In the Reichsgesetzblatt for 1939, Part I, Page 2077, Page 333 of your document book, presented by us as Exhibit USSR 296 is published the "Fuehrer's and Reich Chancellor's Decree on the Administration of the Occupied Polish Territory," dated 12th October, 1939.

I shall read into the record paragraph 2 of this decree. It consists of two sub-paragraphs:

"Paragraph 2:

1. I appoint Reich Minister Dr. Frank as Governor- General of the occupied Polish territories.

2. I appoint Reich Minister Dr. Seyss-Inquart as Deputy Governor-General."

In the same Reichsgesetzblatt, but this time for 1940, Part I, Page 399, is published a decree regarding the power to grant pardons in the occupied Polish territories. It is registered with the Tribunal as Document 289 USSR and is on Page 336 of the document book. It reads:
"In the occupied Polish territories I delegate to the Governor-General of occupied Polish territories the power to confirm death sentences as well as pardons or to reject applications for pardons, with the right further to delegate his powers."
The power of life and death, the sovereign prerogative, was entrusted, in a Poland occupied by the Hitlerites, to the defendant Frank.

It would not be misplaced to recall that it was this same Hitler who had said that he would show, by the concrete example of a mutual relationship between the Polish and the German peoples, that such a form of intercourse had been found "which would usefully serve the cause of peace as well as the welfare of both nations."

[Page 223]

I have spoken of the kind of "example" that was intended, and what the welfare was to which reference had been made.

The 6th April, 1941, was marked by a new crime planned and carefully prepared beforehand by the Hitlerite conspirators. Without any warning or declaration of war, they attacked Yugoslavia.

The attack on Yugoslavia was a gross breach of Article 3 of the Hague Convention of 18th October, 1907, and of the Kellogg-Briand Pact of 27th August, 1928. The delegations of Great Britain and of the U.S.A. have already submitted to the Tribunal a considerable number of documents referring to the subject of the treacherous attack on Yugoslavia. I have only to submit a few new proofs and to establish a connection between these new documents and those already read into the record. Official German documents enable us to reconstitute events with exceptional vividness. In this case German pedantry turns against the authors of the criminal plan.

On 27th March, 1941, Adolf Hitler held a special conference regarding the situation in Yugoslavia. On the same day he signed a top secret Directive 025, "for the High Command (Oberbefehlshaber) only." Both documents, filed as Document 1746-PS, are among the evidence already accepted by the Tribunal.

Sub-paragraph 2 of Directive 025 has already been quoted in full ill the speech of the Chief Prosecutor for the U.S.S.R. The first sub-paragraph of this document was also read into the record on 7th December, 1945. I should like to add a few more lines and read paragraph 3 into the record. This passage is on Page 337 of the document book. It states as follows:

" detail I order the following:

a) As soon as the concentration of sufficient forces is concluded and meteorological conditions permit, all Yugoslav surface installations and Belgrade must be destroyed by continuous day and night air attacks.

b) If possible, simultaneously, but under no circumstances sooner, Operation "Marita" must be started, with the primary limited objective to seize the harbor of Salonika and the Dios mountains."

I believe that three points should be stressed here:

1) The intention of carrying out the total destruction of the capital of the State.

2) The correlation between the aggression against Yugoslavia and the aggression against another country, Greece. The aggression against Greece was coded, as the Tribunal knows, under the name of Operation "Marita."

3) The necessity to complete the concentration of German Forces, as well as meteorological conditions, were the factors that determined the time limits for the attack.

As in all previous cases of criminal Fascist aggression, we see one and the same thing -- the criminal intent of the predatory invader, treachery, and cold calculation.

Preparations for the final moves, which had been carried on over a very long period, followed the customary Hitler routine, already disclosed by the prosecutors: Fifth Column activities, the use of the protection of the German minority as a slogan, and the lying practice of peaceable declarations combined with unceasing preparations for invasion.

As I have already stated the preparation of the final crime was carried on over a very long period and followed the customary Hitler routine, already disclosed by the prosecutors.

On 27th March, 1941, on the very day when Hitler signed Directive 025, he personally conducted, in Berlin, a special conference on the situation in Yugoslavia. The minutes of this conference were presented by the American prosecution on 4th December, 1945, as Document 1746-PS.

[Page 224]

Other documents relating to this conference have also been registered under the same number. At the conference, the objective was determined with absolute precision and a plan of action was presented. You will, Your Honors, find the passage I have quoted on Page 349 of the document book.

Hitler declared:

"We are not going to wait for any declarations of loyalty by the new Government, but to carry out all preparations for the destruction of the Yugoslav Armed Forces and of Yugoslavia itself as a national unit. It is especially important from the political point of view that the blow against Yugoslavia should be carried out with the utmost violence and that its military destruction should be effected with lightning speed."
And a little further:
"No diplomatic inquiries will be made and no ultimatum presented.... The attack will start as soon as the necessary supplies and troops are ready."
Thus, Hitler was not in the least interested in the factual attitude of one or the other Yugoslav Government toward Germany, but in the factual destruction of Yugoslavia as a State; and he strove to accomplish this destruction with cruelty and lightning speed.

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