The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)
Nuremberg, war crimes, crimes against humanity

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
16th April to 1st May, 1946

One-Hundred-and-Tenth Day: Wednesday, 17th April, 1946
(Part 8 of 13)

[GENERAL RUDENKO continues his cross examination of Alfred Rosenberg]

[Page 74]

Q. You deny it. All right. Let us turn to a new document in this connection. I mean the Document 2718-PS, which is the minutes of a meeting of 10 December, 1945. That is your memorandum dated 2 May, 1941.

(A document is handed to the witness.)

Will you please follow? This document reads as follows

"The war can only be continued if all the Armed Forces are fed with stocks from Russia in the third year of the war. There is no doubt that as a result many millions of people will die of starvation if we take out of this country everything that we need."
I ask you now, did you write that?

A. I neither wrote that nor did I participate in this meeting, and I cannot determine whether any one of my collaborators knew anything at all about it. It says "Senior Officer only, two copies, one for the files (1-a) and the second General Limbert." Therefore, only two people in the Armed Forces knew about this.

Q. Do not go into that in detail, defendant. You do not know about this?

A. This document has been submitted twice already.

Q. Let us go on to the next one.

THE PRESIDENT: The question was whether you knew of this document.

A. No.

Q. We come to the next document, which determines the aims of the war. This is your instruction to the Reich Commissars of the Baltic countries and of Byelorussia. You stated the following. I mean now the Document 1029-PS. The part which I will read is marked on the margin:-

"The aim of a Reich Commissar for Esthonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Byelorussia must be to strive for the creation of a German protectorate, with a view to transforming these regions later into a part of greater Germany by the Germanisation of racially admissible elements, the colonisation of Germanic peoples, and the resettlement of undesirable elements."
Do you remember these instructions? Please reply directly.

A. Yes, I am familiar with this document. I pointed out yesterday that at the beginning all sorts of drafts were made in my office which were not approved by me. The corrections were made by me.

Q. I asked you very clearly, do you know these instructions or not?

A. But I also heard the wrong translation again. Nothing is mentioned about "destruction," but "incorporation," and the Russian translation again said "destruction." If it is translated that way then the matter appears in the Russian Press as an approval of destruction, and that is a wrong translation which is being made here which I can follow only because I speak Russian.

THE PRESIDENT: Defendant, you can be heard perfectly well without shouting.

THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon.

[Page 75]

Q. You are only correcting an error in the translation, but as regards the rest - Germanisation and colonisation - is that right? Does that sound right in German? Answer me. Is that right or not?

A. Even in that way it is not translated correctly. Here it says "colonisation of German peoples," and now you are translating "Germanisation and colonisation." These are two substantives which again give correspondingly different sense, and I would like to add that this draft made by a collaborator of mine was not actually issued and that it in no way constitutes instructions.

Q. I do not ask you, was it issued or not. But I ask you, was there such a draft? Will you deny that?

A. I am not disputing that such a draft was submitted to my office.

Q. All right. We pass on. These instructions concern the aims of the war. They are instructions for all Reich Commissars of the occupied territories of the East, dated 8 May, 1941. This is Document 1030-PS. I will only read a short excerpt, which states - I am quoting from Page 4. This excerpt is marked on the margin. In these instructions you state that this coming struggle would be a struggle for the supplying of Germany and all of Europe with raw materials and foodstuffs. Do you confirm this?

A. Yes.

Q. Then you confirm that.

A. Yes, of course; this document was presented in my office as a draft. That is correct and I am not disputing it.

Q. Do not go into details again. I will remind you again, please reply briefly. You confirmed this point and that is enough.

A. This document, yes.

Q. All right. This statement was made by you before the attack on the Soviet Union. I will remind you - but I will not submit the document to you as it has already been presented to the Tribunal several times and is at the disposal at the Tribunal - of a conference which took place in Hitler's office on 16 June, 1941. (This is Document L- 221, Mr. President.) You were present at this conference, were you?

A. Yes.

Q. Hitler said then that the Baltic States would have to be an integral part of the Reich, and the same applied to the Crimea with adjacent territories, as well as to the Volga districts and also the Baku area. Do you recall these statements of Hitler?

A. I have seen this document, purporting to be Bormann's observations, for the first time here. At that time the Fuehrer made very long, passionate statements. I did not take any exact notes at that conference but he did in fact speak about the Crimea and he said that, because of the tremendous power of the Soviet Union, no bearers of arms should be allowed there later and ...

Q. I do not ask why. I ask you, did he say that?

THE PRESIDENT: General Rudenko, you are going too fast. You must wait until the man is finished.

GENERAL RUDENKO: He is going into too many details, Mr. President.


Q. Well, you admit the Crimea. You agreed with Hitler's idea concerning the seizure of these territories.

A. You can see from the document, and you can see from my speech, how I pictured the self-determination of all the peoples in the East in a new order of States, and I spoke contrary to the declarations of the Fuehrer. That can be seen here. That was how I argued.

Q. I do not ask you about that. I am asking you whether you agreed with these ideas of Hitler or whether you objected to them.

A. Yes, it can be proved that I protested, and it is even shown in the record.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal is not concerned with whether or not it can

[Page 76]

be proved. The question is, did you agree or not. You can answer that, I suppose. Did you agree or did you not agree?

THE WITNESS: I agreed with many points and rejected others, but this is a compilation of at least ten to fifteen points.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that is an answer.


Q. All right. We will return to this question in a few minutes. I am now passing on to your own directives which you issued as Minister of the occupied territories in the East. These documents were presented to the Tribunal as Documents 1056-PS and 347-EC. First of all, I would like to ask you one question. What is this "Brown Folder"?

A. The "Brown Folder" was compiled by the administrative departments of the Eastern Ministry in response to certain requests of the Economics Department, of my Political Department, of the Personnel Supply Department, and of the Technical Supply Department for officials in the Baltic States and in the Ukraine. Thus it was the first attempt at a general regulation.

Q. All right, then that is a part of "Green Folder. " It is quite clear. Now, let us turn to your directives. Document 347-EC. We will show you this document right away. Will you note the passage which has been underlined, on Page 39, if I am not mistaken, of the document. I will read this paragraph.

"The first task of the civil administration in the occupied territories of the East is to represent the interests of the Reich."
I omit a few lines.
"The stipulations of the Hague Convention regarding land warfare, which deal with the administration of territories occupied by a foreign power, do not apply, as the USSR can be considered as non-existent."
Then further:
"Therefore, all measures which the German administration deems necessary or suitable in order to carry out these extensive tasks are admissible."
Do you agree that this exposes your secret designs, although you too hastily proclaimed the Soviet Union as destroyed?

A. In the Russian translation I again heard the word "plundering," but the word "plundering" is not found in this German text. If the German text is translated in such a way that the word "plundering" appears everywhere, although in the German ...

Q. I interrupt you and say that word "plundering" is not in the Russian text, which I just read into the record; so I believe you are simply inventing, or at least you did not hear rightly.

A. May I say a few words in this connection?

Q. I ask you, did you write this?

A. I did not, in fact, write it, but it was a circular letter which was issued by the Eastern Ministry and therefore I am officially responsible for this "Green Folder." But I would like to say a few words of explanation in regard to this. The explanation about the application of International Law in the East was received by me from the Fuehrer's Headquarters. It stated that, in accordance with the attitude of the Soviet Union toward certain conventions, as far as the Hague Convention was concerned, it did not apply to the Soviet Union in this case; secondly, as this document contains many pages, I have not yet read it in its entirety, but on the second page I have already found a paragraph which shows very obviously what lines the wording followed; it stated as follows ...

Q. Defendant Rosenberg, one minute, please.

A. But I must be allowed to read from the document.

[Page 77]

THE PRESIDENT: We must try and conduct this cross- examination in an orderly fashion. Now, what is the question? What is your question?

GENERAL RUDENKO: I put to him the question, whether he admitted that he knew of the tasks put before the civilian administration in the occupied territories as they are set forth in the quotation which I just read. He said that he did know. I have exhausted my questions in this particular sphere. The document is in possession of the defence and the defence will be able to quote other parts of it which have not yet been read into the record. This is a very long document. If I had tried to quote it to the Tribunal in its entirety it would have taken too much time.

THE PRESIDENT: You answered the question. I understood what the question was, and that you were told that the Hague Convention did not apply to Russia.

THE WITNESS: Yes. May I quote this one paragraph - on Page 40 - the next to the last paragraph:

"The most important prerequisite for this," that is, for the development of the East, "is the treatment of the country and of the people in a considerate manner. The war against the Soviet Union is to be carried on - with all necessary regard to the securing of foodstuffs - as a political campaign with the establishment of lasting order as its objective. The occupied country as a whole is, therefore, not to be considered an object of exploitation, even if the German food and war economy must lay claim to considerable areas on a large scale."
And I believe I can say that the fact that the necessities of the inhabitants were taken into consideration could not be expressed more clearly.


Q. Very well. I will put to you a few more questions as to how you treated the population, although we have heard quite a lot about this treatment, as you did too. We pass on. I asked you about the Crimea and you said that, yes, Hitler proposed to annex the Crimea to Germany. Do you remember that you did not only approve of these plans but you also thought out new names for towns; for instance, Simferopol was to be called "Ottenburg" and Sevastopol was to become "Theoderichhafen. " Do you remember that?

A. Yes, that is correct. The Fuehrer told me that I should think of a change of names for these towns; the re-naming of very many other towns was discussed too.

Q. Yes, of course.

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, I am expected to conclude my entire presentation of evidence with respect to Rosenberg by 4 o'clock. I do not know how I can do that.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal has not laid that down as a condition. I did not make any order about it. I only said that the Tribunal hoped, and the hope was addressed more to the prosecution that it was to the defence.

DR. THOMA: Mr. President, if I may be permitted to say so, the Soviet Prosecutor has submitted documents again which I submitted yesterday, and on which the defendant has already given answers. I am referring to Documents 1029-PS and 1030- PS. The defendant himself said ...

THE PRESIDENT: You are wasting the time of the Tribunal by making this interposition.


Q. Thus you admit the change of the names of Simferopol and Sevastopol.

Next question - you also worked on the reorganisation of the Caucasus and you had organised a special Staff. Will you answer, yes or no?

A. Yes.

Q. Furthermore, you favoured Prince Bagration-Mukhransky, an adventurer

[Page 78]

from the emigres' circle, as candidate for the throne of Georgia. Is that true? Answer briefly.

A. Yes, that is true. We did mention that, we spoke about him but we turned down this candidature.

Q. He was turned down, is that so? Very well.

As regards the reorganisation of the Caucasus on 29 June, 1942, you compiled a special report, is that true?

A. It may be that a report was made. Yes, yes, naturally, it is quite a lengthy report; it has been submitted here.

Q. And I will show you this report in order to draw your attention to one short excerpt.

GENERAL RUDENKO: I have in mind, Mr. President, a document which has already been submitted as Exhibit USSR-58.


Q. Defendant Rosenberg, please pay attention to Page 7, an excerpt which is marked, which says first that the German Reich must seize all the oil. Have you found this passage?

A. On Page 7 of the text; yes, I have found it.

Q. The text reads:

"From the economic point of view the German Reich must take control of the total oil supply. The necessary participation in the wealth could be discussed in the future."
Do you confirm that this statement was made by you?

A. May I make a remark in addition? Here we are not talking about the oppression of a people but of an assurance of autonomy and of every possible mitigation for these people. Only I cannot locate that at once from a document which has fourteen pages, if I only read one sentence.

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