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-Twelfth Day: Tuesday, 23rd April, 1946
(Part 8 of 10)

[DR. SEIDL continues his redirect examination of Joseph Buehler]

[Page 172]

Q. The prosecution has also submitted to you another exhibit, USSR 335, the Court-martial Decree, dated October, 1943. I now ask you what the security situation was like in the Government General at that time, and would it have been possible at all at that time to control the situation with normal criminal procedure?

THE PRESIDENT: Doctor Seidl, hasn't that already been dealt with very fully in his examination in chief?

DR. SEIDL: I forgo having this question answered again. Now one last question, which refers to art treasures.

Q. Is it correct that a portion of the art treasures which were found in the upper Silesian region were taken to the last official residence of the Governor General at Neuhaus, to be safeguarded, and that the Governor General gave you instructions to prepare a list of these articles and send it to Reich Minister Lammers?

A. The Governor General dictated a report to Reich Minister Lammers about the transfer of twenty of the most outstanding art treasures from the property of the Polish State. I was present when it was dictated and I took that report personally to State Secretary Kritzinger in Berlin. It was stated therein that these art treasures, so as to save them from the Russians, had been

[Page 173]

taken from Seichau, or whatever the place is called, to Schliersee. These art treasures were left uncovered in the official residence of the Governor General.

DR. SEIDL: In that case I have no further questions to the witness.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness can retire.

DR. SEIDL: I have now completed the examination of witnesses, but since the document books have not yet been bound, I would like to suggest that at some later stage, perhaps after the case of Frick, I could submit these books.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, how many books are you presenting?

DR. SEIDL: A total of five volumes, but I myself have not received them yet.

THE PRESIDENT: Has the Tribunal approved the documents in five volumes?

DR. SEIDL: They are almost entirely documents which have already been submitted to the prosecution, and an agreement has been reached with the prosecution regarding the documents.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, we need not wait now for the document books. The document books will be considered by the Tribunal when they are put in and then, if you have anything in particular you want to say upon them in explanation, you may do so.

DR. SEIDL: Very well.

THE PRESIDENT: No doubt you will comment upon them in your final speech. You say that they are mostly documents which have already been put in, and, therefore, it would not be necessary to make any preliminary comment upon them. You will be able to deal with them in your final speech.

DR. SEIDL: But I should have liked to quote a few passages during my submission of evidence, since this is necessary to establish the connection and since it would be impossible to do all that during my final defence speech; and I do not think that too much time will be lost through that.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, it would not be very useful to the Tribunal for you to make a commentary upon the documents at a later stage, when your witnesses have been finished and somebody else's ... some other defendant's witnesses have been interpolated; therefore, the Tribunal thinks it would be much better and much more convenient if you defer your comments on the documents until your final speech.

Well, Dr. Seidl, as I understand, you have two books which are before us now. Three is it?

DR. SEIDL: There is a total of five books. The other three do not appear to have been bound.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, but you say that most of the documents in them are documents which are already in evidence.

DR. SEIDL: The diary of the defendant Dr. Frank, which contains forty-two volumes, has been submitted, but the prosecution has only used those parts which appeared favourable for them. In my opinion it is, therefore, necessary that the connections should to some extent be re- established during the submission of evidence. Also, there are other documents in the document book which I believe should be read at least in extract before this Tribunal, but I shall, of course, limit myself to the absolutely necessary passages when I read the documents. I should like to suggest to the Tribunal that the matter be handled as it was in the case of the defendant von Ribbentrop, so that I submit the individual documents to the Tribunal as exhibits. There are several speeches by the defendant Frank, there are decrees and legal regulations, there are two affidavits, and I do believe that somehow an opinion with regard to them should be stated during the submission of evidence; and besides individual documents will have to be given exhibit numbers. Up to now only one document has been submitted as evidence on behalf of the defendant Frank,

[Page 174]

and that is the affidavit of the witness Dr. Buehler, but I have the intention of bringing a whole series of further documents formally to the notice of the Tribunal, and I merely would like to postpone that because the Tribunal has not yet received the bound document books.

THE PRESIDENT: When will these other books be ready, Dr. Seidl?

DR. SEIDL: I was told that they would be completed by this evening.

THE PRESIDENT: How long do you think you will take in dealing with these books?

DR. SEIDL: I think that two hours will be enough.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Tribunal will adjourn now.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Seidl, the Tribunal would like you to deal with your documents now, and in so far as they are documents which have already been put in evidence, unless you wish to refer to other passages in them, they think that you need only tell us what the documents are and put them in evidence, unless it is very important to you to refer to any particular document. So far as they are new documents, you will, no doubt, offer them in evidence and make such short comments as you think necessary. But the Tribunal hopes that you will be able to finish this afternoon. With reference to the other books that you have, we understand that you have all the documents in German yourself and therefore you can refer us to those documents now.

DR. SEIDL: Mr. President, upon the wish of the prosecution and also, I believe, of the Tribunal, I have reduced the original bulk of my document books considerably. The first five document books, as I had them prepared, contained more than eight hundred pages. The new form is considerably shorter, but I have not received the German text of the new form, so that I am not in a position now to give the pages' number to the Tribunal and to co-ordinate my page numbers with the numbered pages of the translations. If I may express one wish it is that we should first wait until the five document books in their new form are available, because, otherwise, it is very likely that the numbering of the pages would not correspond to the numbering of the individual documents as exactly as might be desirable.

THE PRESIDENT: The Tribunal thinks it best that you should begin now with the first three volumes. We have them here.

DR. SEIDL: If the Tribunal has the first three volumes, then I will begin. I begin with Volume 1. The first document, on Page 1 is the decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor, dated 12 October, 1939, concerning the administration of the occupied Polish Territories. This decree delineates in detail the authority of the Governor General. In paragraphs 5 and 6 some of the limitations to the authority of the Governor General are included, which the witnesses Dr. Lammers and Dr. Buehler have already pointed out. This document bears the number 2537-PS and it will be Exhibit Frank-2.

I pass to Page 3 of the document book. This document is the decree of the Fuehrer concerning the establishment of a State Secretariat for Security in the Government General, dated 17 May, 1942. I quote paragraph 2:-

"The State Secretary for Security serves at the same time as Deputy of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the Strengthening of German Nationality."
On Page 4 I quote paragraph IV:-
"The Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police is authorised to give the State Secretary for Security direct instructions in the fields of security and the strengthening of German nationality."
This document will be Exhibit Frank-3.

Following the decree of the Fuehrer of 27 May, 1942, comes the Decree for the

[Page 175]

Transfer of Authority to the State Secretary for Security of 3 June, 1942. I do not know whether that decree is already bound in that volume. Apparently it was added later, and has not yet been translated.

THE PRESIDENT: What is the date?

DR. SEIDL: 23 June, 1942.

THE PRESIDENT: We have one of 27 May, 1942.

DR. SEIDL: That decree apparently has not yet been translated because it was added later, and I will put it in the document book when it is ready. It will be Exhibit Frank- 4. In paragraph 1 of that decree, we find "The jurisdictions of Police administration and Police Regulations referred to in appendices A and B are now transferred to the State Secretary for Security." In Appendix I the spheres of authority of the Uniformed Police are mentioned under 15 headings - No, I must correct that - 26 headings; and in Appendix B the spheres of authority of the Uniformed Police under 21 headings.

I pass now to Document Book 1, Page 5. That is the decree of the Fuehrer concerning the appointment of officials and the discontinuance of the status of officials in the sphere of the Government General, of 20 May, 1942. I quote from number 3, paragraph 2:-

"The Governor General's sphere of activity does not, in the sense of this decree, include officials belonging to the sphere of the Reichsfuehrer S.S. and Chief of the German Police in the Reich Ministry of the Interior and to the Customs Frontier Service."
I pass to Page 6 of the document book, the Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor for the Strengthening of German Nationality of 7 October, 1939, which is already Exhibit USA- 305.

The next document is the letter from Reich Marshal Goering to the Chief of the Security Police and the S.D. of July, 1941.

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I suggest that an exhibit number be given as we go along so that we can follow better and later on have some sequence. Dr. Seidl is going on to the next one, but the last one has not yet been given any exhibit number.

THE PRESIDENT: The last one was Exhibit Frank-5, wasn't it?

MR. DODD: No. 5 was 27 May, 1942. We didn't know that; we didn't get the number. I am sorry.

THE PRESIDENT: It may not have been stated but I took it down as that myself. Will you take care to state each time, Dr. Seidl, what the exhibit number is that you are giving. You are dealing now with the letter of 31 July, 1941.

DR. SEIDL: Yes. This letter has a USA number; namely Exhibit USA-509.

THE PRESIDENT: Very well. Wait a minute, perhaps I made a mistake. Yes, Mr. Dodd, I think I made a mistake. The reason why Dr. Seidl didn't give a number was because it was already in evidence as USA-305. I made a mistake. It wasn't Frank-5. He only got to Frank-4. The next one is USA-509.

DR. SEIDL: 509. I pass to Page 10 of the document book. That is an order, a directive rather, of the High Command of the Armed Forces concerning "Case Barbarossa," Exhibit USA-135, and I quote paragraph 2:-

"It is not intended to declare East Prussia and the Government General an operational area of the Army. However, on the basis of the unpublished Fuehrer decree of 19 and 21 October, 1939, the Commander-in-Chief of the Army is authorised to enact measures that are necessary for the execution of his military task and for the security of his troops."
End of quotation.

I pass to Page 11 of the document book, a directive for the execution of the

[Page 176]

Fuehrer Decree concerning the Plenipotentiary General for the Employment of Labour, of 27 March, 1942. I quote No. 4:-
"The General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour will have at his disposal for the performance of his tasks the authority delegated to me by the Fuehrer for the issuance of instructions to the highest Reich authorities, their subordinate offices, as well as the offices of the Party and its formations and affiliated organisations, to the Reich Protector, the Governor General, the military commanders and the chiefs of the civil administrations."
This document becomes Exhibit Frank-5.

The next document is on Page 12. The Decree by the Fuehrer, concerning a General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour, of 21 March, 1942, from which it can be seen that his authority to issue instructions included the Government General. It becomes Exhibit Frank-6.

The document on Page 13 of the document book deals also with the authority of the General Plenipotentiary for the Employment of Labour to issue instructions. It is already Exhibit USA-206.

The document on Page 15 is a letter from Professor Dr. Kubijowytsch, Chairman of the Ukrainian Main Committee, to the defendant Dr. Frank. It already has the USA Exhibit No. 178 and I will read only the first sentence from that document, in order to show what the relation was between the defendant Dr. Frank and the author of that letter. I quote:-

"Complying with your wish I send you this letter, in which I should like to state the abuses and the painful incidents which create an especially difficult position for the Ukrainian population within the Government General."
Then I pass on to Page 16 of the document book. That is an excerpt from Exhibit USA-275, namely the report of S.S. Brigadefuehrer Stroop about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. I quote the second paragraph of number 11, from which it can be seen that the order came directly from the Reichsfuehrer S.S. Himmler:-
"When the Reichsfuehrer S.S. visited Warsaw in January, 1943, he ordered the S.S. and Police Leader in the District of Warsaw to transfer to Lublin the armament factories and other enterprises of military importance, which were installed within the ghetto, including the labour and the machines."
The affidavit which the prosecution submitted during the cross-examination of the defendant Kaltenbrunner should then really follow after Page 16 of the document book.

COLONEL POKROVSKY: As far as I can gather, there has been some misunderstanding on this point. Under the number mentioned by Dr. Seidl in his document book there is no document referring to the Warsaw Ghetto, but there is a document from the Chief of Police and the S.S. in Galicia relating to the solution of the Jewish problem of Galicia. I should like this matter elucidated.

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