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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
27th May to 6th June, 1946

One Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Day: Monday, 27th May, 1946
(Part 1 of 11)

[Page 1]

MR. DODD: Mr. President, I would like to make certain that I did offer the following documents in evidence

3914-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA 863; 3943-PS, Exhibit USA 864; and 3877-PS, Exhibit USA 863.

THE PRESIDENT: Give me the first one again, will you?

MR. DODD: 3914-PS, USA 863.


BALDUR VON SCHIRACH, one of the defendants, resumed the witness stand and testified further as follows



Q. Witness, at the close of the session on Friday we had just handed to you a copy of the teletype message to Martin Bormann. I had read it to you over this transmission system. I wish to ask you now if you sent that message to Bormann.

A. Yes, I dispatched that teletype message, and I should like to give an explanation in this connection. First -

Q. May I interrupt you just for a minute and ask, that for the little while that we will be talking today, that you pause after your answer. I think it would help a little with the interpreting. I do not think we will have any trouble this morning. I will try to do the same thing, and perhaps we will work a little better together.

A. First of all, then, I want to explain why I addressed Bormann with "Du," the friendly "you." Bormann and I came from the same town; I knew him at Weimar, but only slightly. And when in 1928 or 1929 he came to Munich, he paid me a visit, and because he was the elder of us he suggested to me that we should call one another "Du." We maintained that form until 1943, when on his own initiative he dropped it and addressed me in his letters only with "Sie."

Now, the text of this teletype message: We were in the third year of the war; the Czech population both in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and in Vienna had remained perfectly quiet; in the Protectorate conditions were almost like those in peacetime. I had a very large Czech population in Vienna, and as a result of the attempt on Heydrich's life I feared that in the Protectorate there might be unrest which would no doubt have serious repercussions in Vienna. This was the time when German troops were advancing on the peninsula of Kertch; it was a time when nothing could be allowed to happen behind our front. And simultaneously with the news of the murder of the Protector I received official notification that the attempt, as is mentioned in this document, had been carried out by British agents and with British weapons.

During the same month we heard, it was also mentioned in the Wehrmacht communiques, that British bombers had bombed residential areas in Hamburg and Paris and had attacked German cultural sites at Kiel. And so I suggested a

[Page 2]

reprisal measure to establish before the world British guilt in this attempt and to prevent serious unrest in Czechoslovakia. That is all I have to say. This teletype message is genuine.

May I at this point also comment on a difficulty of translation which occurred during the last cross-examination on Friday? The German word "Better" was at that time translated into the English "Saviour." It is an expression which I used in my book when I described the Fuehrer as a "Better," and the difficulty lies in the translation of that word into English: it can only be translated into the English "Saviour." But re-translated into German, "Saviour" means "Heiland," "Saviour," "Saint."

In order to make quite clear what the German "Better" is meant to express in English, I should have to use an explanatory phrase. If I say that the exact translation is "rescuer," then the real meaning of the word "Better" is clearly set forth; and there is nothing blasphemous in the comparison or the description of the head of the State as a "Saviour." But if I had written in German that the head of the State was a saint, then, of course, that would be blasphemy.

THE PRESIDENT: This sort of explanation should be kept for re-examination. It is not a matter which ought to interrupt the cross-examination.

MR. DODD: Now, I have only one or two questions to ask you in addition about this message.

Q. Were you thinking of some particular cultural city in Britain, like Cambridge, Oxford, Stratford, Canterbury?

A. No, I had no definite plan in mind. I thought that one ought to choose an objective corresponding to the sites hit by British bombers in Germany.

Q. As long as it was a cultural city. Were you thinking of what happened in Germany or of what happened to Heydrich?

A. I was thinking of the cultural buildings in Germany which had been attacked, and I wanted to suggest this as an opportunity to make clear, unmistakably, that the murder of Heydrich had not been committed by the Czech population but by the Czech emigrants in London with British support. This retaliation in the third year of the war was to be a reply both to the attempt against, Heydrich and to the attacks on German cultural monuments.

Q. You did not make any reference in this telegram to any so-called or alleged bombings of cultural objects in Germany, did you?

A. The Wehrmacht communiques had already announced them, and they were generally known.

Q. That is not what I asked you. I asked if it is not a fact that in this teletype you made no reference at all to the alleged bombing of cultural objects in Germany, nor did you relate your suggestion for the bombing of a cultural town in England to any alleged bombing of cultural towns in Germany, but rather, you made it perfectly clear that you wanted to strike at a cultural town in England because of what had happened to Heydrich. That is so, is it not?

A. It was not at all necessary for me to point to the bombing of German cultural sites. It was a fact known to the entire German population from the daily attacks of British bombers.

Q. I suppose by this time you knew very well the general reputation of Heydrich, did you not?

A. No, that is not correct. I considered Heydrich in this particular case as the representative of our Reich in Bohemia and Moravia and not as the Chief of the Gestapo.

Q. Did you know his general reputation in Germany, at least at that time?

A. I knew that he was the Chief of the Gestapo. I did not know that he had committed the atrocities which have meanwhile become known.

Q. You had no knowledge that he was considered "the terror of the Gestapo"?

A. That is an expression which enemy propaganda used against him.

Q. You mean you still think it is propaganda?

[Page 3]

A. No.

Q. Well, was it through enemy propaganda that you heard that he was called a terror before he was killed in 1942?

A. No, I do not want to say that

Q. How did you know it?

A. I merely want to state here that for me the Reich Protector Heydrich was, during this third year of the war, a person other than the Chief of the Gestapo. This was a political matter.

Q. You did not content yourself with this suggestion to bomb England, did you? Do you recall what else you suggested not long afterwards?

A. No, I do not know.

Q. Do you recall anything that you either suggested or did by way of further so-called retaliation for the assassination of Heydrich?

A. No, I have no recollection.

Q. You suggested evacuating all of the Czechs out of Vienna, did you not?

A. This is a suggestion which did not originate with me personally, but which goes back to a remark about Vienna which the Fuehrer himself had made in 1940 while I was reporting to him at his headquarters. I think I already mentioned during my own testimony that he said, "Vienna must become a German city and the Jews and Czechs must gradually be evacuated from Vienna." I already said that during my own testimony here.

Q. My question is: Is it not a fact that a few days after the assassination of Heydrich you suggested the evacuation of the Czechs from Vienna as a retaliatory measure for the assassination of Heydrich?

A. I have no recollection of it, but it is possible that in the excitement of this event, which disquieted me greatly, I said something like that.

Q. I suggest that you take a look at Document 3886-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA 866, Mr. President.

Now, this document consists of excerpts from the record of a meeting of the Vienna City Council on 6th June, 1942, as you will see on page nine of the original. You were present, and according to these notes, you spoke as the Reichsleiter Baldur von Schirach and, moving down towards the bottom of that page, you will find this statement:

"Finally, he" - meaning you - "disclosed that already in the latter part of the summer or in the autumn of this year all Jews would be removed from the city, and that the removal of the Czechs would then get under way, since this is the necessary and right answer to the crime committed against the Deputy Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia."
Do you remember saying that?

A. I have no exact recollection, but I consider that these records here are genuine, and they probably represent the sense of what I said at the time. I was very much perturbed by Heydrich's death. I was afraid of serious trouble in Bohemia and Moravia, and I expressed my fears. The essential thing is that after calm consideration of this plan I dropped it, and did nothing more about it.

Q. Well, in any event, I think it is perfectly clear - and I ask you if you do not agree - that you made two suggestions, at least: one for the bombing of a cultural English town and the other for the wholesale evacuation of the Czechs from Vienna, because of the assassination of this man Heydrich.

A. It is true that I put the idea of such an evacuation of the Czechs into words. It is equally true, and an historical fact, that I dropped the idea and that it was never carried out. It is correct that I suggested the bombing of a British cultural site as an answer to the attempt against Heydrich and to the innumerable bombardments of German cultural places in the third year of the war, at a time when vital interests of the German people were at stake.

Q. Incidentally, Hitler also suggested the wholesale evacuation of the Czechs from Czechoslovakia as a punishment for the murder of Heydrich, did he not?

A. That I do not know.

[Page 4]

Q. Now I want to turn to something else and see if we can get through rather quickly this morning. You recall that on Friday we talked a little bit about your relationship with the SS and with Himmler, and I want to ask you this morning if it is not a fact, witness, that you worked very closely with Himmler and his SS from almost the earliest days right down to almost the last days of your regime in Vienna? I wish you would answer that question.

A. I should very much like to answer that question in great detail.

Q. It does not require great detail in the first answer, but later, if you feel that you have some necessary explanation, I am sure you will be permitted to do so. Will you tell the Tribunal first of all, if it is not a fact that you did closely cooperate with Himmler and his SS from the earliest days of your public office to the very late days of your public office?

A. Close collaboration, in the sense that Himmler had considerable influence upon education, did not exist.

Q. Let us stop and inquire a little farther. Is it not a fact that Himmler assigned his SS personnel to your Youth Organization for the purpose of training your young people? You can answer that very simply. Did he or did he not?

A. For training purposes?

Q. Yes.

A. I am not aware of anything like that. The fact that there might have been liaison officers would not be unusual, because practically all ministries and organizations had liaison officers. What you have just suggested, however, I do not recall.

Q. I think we had better clear this up first, and I ask that you look at Document 3931-PS, which is a new document which becomes Exhibit USA 867, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: It will become what?

MR. DODD: Exhibit USA 867.


Q. Now, witness, if you will look at this document, you will observe that it is a message which you sent to "Dear Party Member Bormann" in August of 1941. It is quite long, and there will not be any necessity, I am sure, for reading all of it, but I want to direct your attention to some parts of it that might help your memory with respect to the SS.

By way of a preliminary question, the SA apparently had suggested that it take over some of the training of young people, had it not, some time in the summer of 1941?

A. I said in my testimony - I think on Thursday - that already in the spring of 1939 - I believe - the SA had attempted to take over the pre-military training of the youth of the two older age classes, and such attempts were probably repeated in 1941.

Yes, I knew you were complaining to Bormann about it when you wrote this message. You recall now, do you not, from just looking at the letter, that that is the whole substance of the letter - a complaint about the attempt of the SA to directly control the training of some young people in the Hitler Youth Organization.

A. I cannot speak about this long teleprint letter without having read through it.

Q. Well, let us see. If you will turn - it is the second page of the English text. You do not have separate pages there. I think it is all one. It is all a teletype, but it will be about - not too far down on the first part of it. First of all, I want you to find the statement that "The Hitler Youth has considered it necessary from the very beginning to make the Party itself the agency for the direction and administration of its military training." Do you find that passage?

A. No.

[Page 5]

Q. Well, you will find the paragraph numbered (I) on your teletype, small Arabic number one. You will find they start to be numbered (1), (2), (3), and so on. Do you find that, witness?

A. I have Roman numeral I.

Q. All right. That is what I want to call your attention to. If we agree, then we can move on. You found number (I), that says that "For more than one year an agreement in draft form has been submitted to the SA" - Do you find that, all right, do you? " - which requests that the SA cadre be furnished for the military training of the youth," and that the SA leadership did not comply with this request. Now, will you move down farther, let me see, in number (3), and then following (3), probably down another three or four paragraphs, you will find - it is in capital letters, by the way, what I want to call your attention to; I assume it is in capital letters in the German:

"I would be happy if the SA would put personnel at my disposal for support for this purpose, similar to the way in which the SS and the police have been doing for a long time already."
In the English, Mr. President, that is at the bottom of page four and the top of page five.

Q. Did you find that sentence?

A. I have not found it yet.

Q. It is almost at the end of the teletype. Have you found it?

A. Yes.

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