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 3 of 11)


[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Baldur von Schirach]

[Page 9]

Q. Yes. I also want to ask you if you will look at page 6. I think it is page 5 of the original of your German. You will find what personnel Hauptbannfuehrer Nickel had for the purpose of the carrying out of his task. He had members of the Hitler Youth, so he says: 5 Leaders, 3 BDM Leaders, 71 German Youth Leaders as translators and. assistant instructors, 26 SS leaders, 234 non-commissioned officers and troops, drivers and translators of the SS. And of the air force personnel, he had 37 officers, 221 N.C.O.s, and so on.

Does that help your memory any with this programme that your youth people were engaging in? Do you recall any more of it now?

A. It does not help my memory at all, because I learn of this for the first time from this document. I was not informed of the activities of the Eastern Ministry in Russia, and I do not know what assignment the Eastern Ministry gave to Hitler Youth Leader Nickel. I assume responsibility for what was done on my orders, but anything done on the orders of others must be their responsibility.

Q. Let me show you something with respect to your answer that you have just made. That personnel, that I read out, you know, was only in one part of the programme. And on the last page of the document you will see on how wide an area Nickel was operating. He was operating in co-operation with the Netherland Hitler Youth Operational Command, the Adria Hitler Youth Operational Command, the Southern Hitler Youth Operational Command in Slovakia and Hungary, the Lt. NAGEL Special Command in refugee camps within the Reich, and then, interestingly enough, the field-offices in Vienna.

[Page 10]

That was where you were located at the time, was it not? And you are telling the Tribunal you did not know anything about this programme and the participation of your Hitler Youth Leaders?

A. I received no written or verbal report from Nickel. His report, as can be seen from the letter, went to the Reich Ministry for Eastern Occupied Territories, and to what extent the Reich Youth Leader was being informed is not known to me. I myself do not know what took place. What I do know of the entire affair, I very clearly stated in my testimony with reference to the Junkers works and the professional training which these youngsters were given in Germany. Apart from that I have no further knowledge.

Q. Observe also, if you will, witness, that your Hitler Youth Operational Command was in Poland and even in Northern Italy. And now I ask you once again, as a long-standing Hitler Youth Leader, as the leader for the war commitment of youth, then Gauleiter in Vienna, with part of this programme being carried on in Vienna and the whole programme being carried on on this vast scale, do you want the Tribunal to believe that you knew nothing about it?

A. I have no knowledge of it, but I assume responsibility for it.

Q. You told the Tribunal in your direct examination that you wrote the letter to Streicher's Der Sturmer.

MR. DODD: I would like to submit this in evidence, Mr. President, so that the Tribunal will have an idea of what it appeared like on the front page of Der Sturmer.

Q. Perhaps - if you would like to look at it, you may, of course, witness. It is Exhibit USA 871. I just wanted you to have a look at it before it was submitted. You know about it anyway.

A. I already made a statement about that the other day.

Q. Yes, I did not wish to go into it farther. What I do want to ask you, witness, is do I understand you clearly when I say that from your testimony we gathered that it was Hitler who ordered the evacuation of the Jews from Vienna and that you really did not suggest it or wish to see it carried out? Is that a fair understanding of your testimony of a day or two ago?

A. I stated the other day, and I repeat, that the idea of evacuating the Jews from Vienna was Hitler's idea which he communicated to me in 1940 at his headquarters. Furthermore, and I want to make this quite clear, I stated that after the events of those November days in 1938 I was actually of the opinion that it would be better for the Jewish population to be accommodated in a closed settlement than to be regularly singled out by Goebbels as a target for his propaganda and his organized actions. I also said that I identified myself with that action suggested by Hitler, but did not carry it out.

Q. Now you had a meeting at the Fuehrer's headquarters in October of 1940. Present was the defendant Frank and the now notorious Koch whom we have heard so much about. Do you remember that meeting?

A. I no longer recall it exactly.

Q. Now, you mean you do not recall that meeting at all?

A. In October 1940 I was in the Reich Chancellery because that was the time when I was organising the evacuation of the youth. It is possible that at lunch -

THE PRESIDENT: You were asked whether you recalled a particular meeting in October 1940 with certain particular people. Do you remember it or do you not?

A. I have no recollection of it. If I am shown a document, then I can confirm it.

BY MR. DODD:

Q. Very well; that is what I wanted to know. I will now show you the Document USSR 172. A part of this document was read over the system for the

[Page 11]

Tribunal by Colonel Pokrovsky. Now you will observe that on the 10th of October - the 2nd of October, rather - this is a memorandum, by the way, of the meeting.

Martin Bormann compiled these notes, so I assume he was there, too. After a dinner at the Fuehrer's apartment there developed a conversation on the nature of the Government General:

"The treatment of the Poles and the incorporation already approved by the Fuehrer for certain districts of Ziechenau."
Then it says:
"The conversation began when Reich Minister Dr. Frank informed the Fuehrer that the activities in the Government General could be termed very successful. The Jews in Warsaw and other cities were now locked up in the ghettoes and Cracow would very shortly be cleared of them. Reichsleiter von Schirach, who had taken his seat at the Fuehrer's other side, remarked that he still had more than 50,000 Jews in Vienna whom Dr. Frank would have to take over from it. Party member Dr. Frank said this was impossible. Gauleiter Koch then pointed out that he, too, had up to now not transferred either Poles or Jews from the District of Ziechenau but these Jews and Poles would now, of course, have to be accepted by the Government General."
And it goes on to say that Dr. Frank protested against this also. He said there were not housing facilities. I am not quoting directly. I do not want to read all of it. And that there were not sufficient other facilities. Do you remember that conference now?

A. Yes, I have refreshed my memory now.

Q. Yes. And you suggested that you wanted to get 50,000 Jews moved into Frank's territory out of Vienna, did you not?

A. That is not correct. The Fuehrer asked me how many Jews were still in Vienna, and at that time - I mentioned this during my own testimony the other day and it is contained in the files - there were still 50,000 Jews in Vienna. During that conversation, in which the question of settling Jews in the Government General was discussed, I also said that these 50,000 Jews from Vienna were still to be transferred to the Government General. I told you earlier that as a result of the events of November 1938 I was in favour of the Fuehrer's plan to take the Jews to a closed settlement.

Q. Well, now, later on, as you know from Exhibit USA 681 concerning which your own counsel inquired, Lammers sent you a message in Vienna and he said the Fuehrer had decided, after receipt of one of the reports made by you, that the 50,000 Jews in Vienna would be deported most rapidly, and that was just two months after this conference that you had with Frank and Koch and Hitler, was it not?

A. Yes, since 1937 - and I think that becomes clear from the Hoszbach minutes - the Fuehrer had the idea of expatriating the Jewish population. This plan, however, did not become known to me until August 1940, when I took over the Vienna district. I reported to Hitler on that occasion, and he asked me how many Jews there were in Vienna. I answered his question, and he told me that he actually wanted all of them to be settled in the Government General.

Q. How many Jews did you, in fact, deport out of your district while you were the Gauleiter?

A. First of all, the practical measures of that action were not in my hands. I don't know how many of these 50,000 Jews were actually transported out of Vienna.

Q. Do you have any idea where they went to?

A. I was informed that the aged were being taken to Theresienstadt and the others to Poland, to the Government General. On one occasion - it was either when I took my oath of office as Governor or when I made a speech about the

[Page 12]

evacuation of children - I even asked Hitler how these Jews were being employed, and he told me, in accordance with their professions.

Q. We will come to that. You remember, do you not, that they were sent - at least some of them were sent to the cities of Riga and Minsk, and you were so notified? Do you remember receiving that information?

A. No.

Q. Now look at Document 3921-PS, which becomes Exhibit USA 872. Now this is a communication concerning the evacuation of Jews and it shows that 50,000 Jews were to be sent to the Minsk-Riga area, and you got a copy of this report as the Commissioner for the defence of the Reich, and if you will look on the last page you will see an initial there of your chief assistant, the SS man Dellbruegge, and also the stamp of your own office as having received it.

A. I can only see that Dr. Dellbruegge marked the matter for filing. It shows the letters z.d.A., to the files.

Q. And he did not tell you about this report concerning the Jews? Even though you had been talking to Hitler about it, that they were being moved out of your area. I suppose your chief assistant did not bother to tell you anything about it. Is that what you want us to understand?

A. Yes.

Q. Now then, look at another document which will shed some light on this one. It is Exhibit USA 808, already in evidence. It tells you what happened to the Jews in Minsk and Riga, and this was also received in your office, if you recall. Maybe it is not necessary to show it to you again. You remember the document - that is one of those monthly reports from Heydrich wherein he said that there were 29,000 Jews in Riga and they had been reduced to 2,500 and that in the areas 33,210 were shot by the special unit, Einsatzgruppe. Do you remember that?

A. During the last two days I have looked at these monthly reports most carefully. The bottom right-hand corner of the cover of these monthly reports - and I want to make this categorically clear - bears an initial something like Dr. Fsch., that is Dr. Fischer's initial. At the top the reports are not initialled by me, but by the Government President, with the notation that they should be put into the files. If I had read them -

Q. I am not suggesting that you had your initials on any document like this, but 1 am claiming that these documents came into your organization and into the hands of your principal assistant.

A. But I must point out that if they had been submitted to me, then there would have been on them the notation, "submitted to the Reichsleiter," and the official submitting them would have initialled this notation. If I myself had seen them, then my own initials would be on them with the letters " K.g." i.e. noted.

Q. Yes. I want to remind you that the date of that report is February 192, and I also want to remind you that in it as well Heydrich tells you how many Jews they had killed in Minsk. Now you made a speech once in Poland about the Polish or the Eastern policy of Germany. Do you remember it, witness?

A. In Poland?

Q. In Poland, yes.

A. In 1939 I spent a short time in Poland, but I do not think I was there again later.

Q. Your memory seems particularly poor this morning. Do you not remember speaking in Kattowitz on the 20th of January, 1942?

A. That is Upper Silesia.

Q. Upper Silesia, all right. Do you remember that speech?

A. Yes, I made a speech at Kattowitz.

Q. And did you talk about Hitler's policy for the Eastern territories?

A. I cannot say from memory what I spoke about there. I have made many speeches.

[Page 13]

Well, I will ask that you be shown Document D-664, which becomes Exhibit USA 873. You were speaking to a group of Party Leaders and German Youth Leaders.

A. Yes.

Q. Paragraph 7, you dealt with the tasks of German youth in the East. The Hitler Youth had carried out political schooling along the line of the Fuehrer's Eastern policy and you went on to say how grateful you were to the Fuehrer for having turned the German people toward the East, because the East was the destiny of your people. What did you understand to be the Fuehrer's Eastern policy, or did you have a good understanding of it at that time?

A. I said this in Upper Silesia out of gratitude for the return of that territory to us.

Q. Well, I did not ask you that, really. I asked you if you then understood the Fuehrer's policy when you made that speech?

A. On the basis of our victory over Poland and the recovery of German soil, I naturally affirmed Germany's policy.

Q. You not only affirmed it, but I want to know if you really understood it.

A. I do not quite know how I should answer that. question. Probably Hitler's conception of the term Eastern policy was quite different from mine.

Q. But my point is that he had told you about it, had he not, some time before you made this speech?

You had better look again at that document you have in your hands, Exhibit USSR 172, and you will find that after you and Frank and Koch and Hitler finished talking about deporting the Jews from Vienna, the Fuehrer then told you what he intended to do with the Polish people, and it is not a very. pretty story, if you will look at it.

A. Hitler says here:

"The ideal picture would be that a Pole in the Government General had only a small parcel of land sufficient to feed himself and his family fairly well. Anything else he might require in cash for clothing, additional food, and so on he would have to earn by working in Germany. The Government General would be the central office for hiring out untrained workers, particularly agricultural workers. The livelihood of these workers would be assured, for they could always be used as cheap labour. There would be no question of further agricultural labour for Poland."
Q. Let me read you a few excerpts that I think you have missed:
"The Fuehrer further emphasized that the Poles, in direct contrast to our German workmen, are born for hard labour... " (And so on.) "The standard of living in Poland has to be and remain low."
Moving over to the next page:
"We, the Germans, had on the one hand over-populated industrial districts, while there was also a shortage of manpower for agriculture. That is where we could make use of Polish labourers. For this reason, it would be right to have a large surplus of manpower in the Government General so that every year the labourers needed by the Reich could in fact be procured from there. It is indispensable to keep in mind that there must be no Polish landlords. However cruel this may sound, wherever they are, they must be exterminated. As I understand, there must be no mixing of blood with the Poles."
Farther on, he had to stress once more that:
"There should be one master only for the Poles, the Germans. Two masters side by side cannot exist. All representatives of the Polish intelligentsia are to be exterminated. This sounds cruel, but such is the law of life."
Stopping there for a minute, by the way, witness - you are a man of culture, so you have told the Tribunal - how did that sentiment expressed by the Fuehrer impress you?

[Page 14]

A. I have never agreed with these opinions of the Fuehrer, and I said here that I approached him in 1943 on the subject of this policy in the Ukraine. When in 1942 I talked about Eastern policy in Kattowitz, the German town of Kattowitz, to the German population of Upper Silesia, then, of course, I did not mean this brutal Polish policy of Hitler.


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