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 5 of 11)

[GENERAL ALEXANDROV continues his cross examination of Baldur von Schirach]

[Page 18]

Q. That is an irrelevant comparison. On page 98 of your book, speaking of the Hitler Youth, you wrote:
"They strive to be political soldiers. Their model is Adolf Hitler."
Did you write that?

A. I have not found the place; is it page 98?

THE PRESIDENT: The witness has admitted he wrote the whole book, has he not?

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: In order not to lengthen the proceedings we will pass to the next question.


Q. You have already spoken here of a specially created organization of motorized Hitler Youth; you assert this organization had sport as its aim, is that right?

A. In connection with the training of the Motorized Hitler Youth I spoke also of ground and driving exercises, and I admitted that the Motorized Hitler Youth had pre-military significance. I did not dispute this point at all.

THE PRESIDENT: Mr. Dodd cross-examined the witness at very considerable length on these matters about the special units of the Hitler Youth, and it really serves no purpose in going over it all again.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: Mr. President, several points which are still unexplained will be clarified through the following questions.

Q. Did you have knowledge of the fact that at the end of 1938 the organization of Motorized Hitler Youth consisted of 92 detachments, that is of one hundred thousand young men?

A. I cannot tell you from memory whether there were 92 detachments, because the word "Abteilung" - that was the translation - was not a designation for any unit of the Hitler Youth. I gave the exact strength of the Motorized Hitler Youth for 1938 in one of my statements here either to my defence counsel or to Mr. Dodd. I gave exact figures of its strength in 1938.

Q. I am speaking of 1938, and you give the number of one hundred thousand Hitler Youth who formed the Motorized Youth Organization. Do you have knowledge of this?

A. I cannot tell you from memory whether there were one hundred thousand members of the Motorized Hitler Youth in 1938. There might have been sixty thousand or 120 thousand. I cannot say; I do not know. I have not the documents to prove it.

[Page 19]

Yes, but I am quoting this number from data given by the magazine The Archive. I would like to remind you of the tasks of these organizations as they were set out in this magazine in November-December 1939. I quote:-
"The preliminary training of the Motorized Hitler Youth must be carried out in special training groups, and later in special motorized schools of the National Socialist Motor Corps."
I quote this excerpt according to the Document Book of the defence, Document 20, page 50, of the Russian text. I repeat:-
"The preliminary training of the Motorized Hitler Youth must be carried out in special training groups, and later in special motor schools of the National Socialist Motor Corps, but this applies only to youth who have reached the age of seventeen or more. The course of instruction includes motor mechanics, a driving licence test, field driving exercises, and also ideological schooling. Those who successfully participate in this course of instruction will be admitted into the National Socialist Motor Corps."
This does not quite agree with your statement that the aim was sport, does it?

THE PRESIDENT: We heard a long commentary about these special units, and we really do not want to hear it any more. If you have any questions on new matters which have not been dealt with by Mr. Dodd, we shall be glad to hear them, but we do not want to hear about whether there are sixty or seventy or a hundred thousand or a hundred and twenty thousand Hitler Youth in the motorized units.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I am only quoting what has not been mentioned yet.

THE PRESIDENT: General, we do not want to hear it. We do not want to hear it.

GENERAL ALEXANDROV: I will pass on to the next question.


Q. You issued a directive for nation-wide training of the members of the Hitler Youth, so-called "Hitler Youth on Service." This directive foresaw the following kind of education for the Hitler Youth: the theory of weapons, the theory of firing, target shooting, rifle practice, military drill, topography, and field exercises; also instruction in the use of the field compass and the goniometer. Are you acquainted with this directive? Do you consider that this also did not constitute military training of German youth?

A. I spoke in great detail about the training of "Hitler Youth on Service" in my testimony last Thursday, and I particularly discussed gunnery training which takes up forty pages of this book. I mentioned in that connection that this gunnery training was carried out according to the rules of international gunnery sport and that the British Board of Education recommended this gunnery training and also the entire book to all Boy Scouts. I do not dispute that I published this book, Hitler Youth, and that it served as a directive for this training. But I said that here the other day.

Q. You have denied that the Hitler Youth played an important part in the fifth column in Poland. Similar methods were carried out especially in Yugoslavia. The Yugoslav Government has put at the disposal of the Soviet prosecution documents which estimated the part of the "Hitler Jugend In Dienst," under the leadership of the Hitler Jugend, in the organization of the fifth column on Yugoslav territory. Have you any knowledge of this? Do you know anything about this?

A. The Hitler Youth was never active in the fifth column either in Yugoslavia or anywhere else. Q. I will then quote excerpts from the official report of the Yugoslav Government. This has already been submitted to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 36. I quote from page 3 of the Russian text of this document:

"The Reich Government and the Hitler Party have secretly organized the German minority. From 1930 they had their own organization, the 'Union

[Page 20]

of Culture.' Already in 1932 Dr. Jacob Abender held the view that the Union of Culture should be Fascist in its outlook. In 1935 he was put at the head of an active youth organization which shortly afterwards received the name of 'Erneuerer ' (Organization of Revival)."
Do you know anything about this?

A. I cannot comment on the information which you have just mentioned. I heard that Bohle had some youth leaders there as his representatives, but I do not know any details. Regarding Yugoslavia, I can tell you from my previous activity that my relations with the Yugoslav youth were very amiable and friendly in the period before the war.

Q. I am not interested in that. I will try to help your memory by quoting a few excerpts from a supplementary report of the Yugoslav Government which is submitted to the Tribunal as Yugoslav Exhibit 357. On page 5, third line, of the Russian text of this document it says:

"In 1931 there began among the Volksdeutsche in our country an orientation towards National Socialism, and the first groups of youth started going to Germany for special courses of instruction."
Farther down on page 8, we read that later on, but before the war with the Soviet Union, the greater part of these members became officers of the German Army. In addition, a special SS division, "Prinz Eugen," was formed from among members of the youth organizations.

Do you deny these facts?

A. I can admit some, others I must deny. May I explain this? Since 1933 I tried to bring about a good relationship with Yugoslav youth. Starting in 1936 or 1937 I extended invitations to Yugoslav youth groups, as well as youth groups of all European countries to visit and inspect German youth institutions. Yugoslav youth groups actually came to Germany in response to my invitation. But I know nothing about the enlisting of Yugoslav youths in the German Army; I do not believe that. I can only say that at the time of the regency of Prince Regent Paul there was a very close collaboration with the Yugoslav youth. During the war we maintained good relations with both Serbian and Croatian youth. German youth visited Serbia, Croatia, while Serbian and Croatian youths came to German youth camps, German leader training schools and so on, and inspected our institutions. That, I think, is everything I can say about this. But we had friendly relations not only with Yugoslavia but also with many other countries.

Q. You did not understand me correctly. I was not speaking of the Yugoslav or Croatian youth. I am speaking of the youth of the German minority in Yugoslavia who are mentioned in this report and who, with the help of the Hitler Youth, created centres of fifth-column activity to engage in subversive operations and to recruit for the SS units, and the Wehrmacht. That is what I am speaking about. Are these facts known to you?

A. I know that there were young people among the German minority in Yugoslavia, just as in Rumania and Hungary. I know that this German youth felt that it belonged to the Hitler Youth, and I think it is perfectly natural that these young people welcomed the German troops on their arrival. I cannot give information on the extent to which collaboration existed between the troops and the youth, but that it did exist is also quite natural. Of course, it could not be considered military collaboration, but rather the kind of co-operation which will always exist between an occupying force and the youth of the same nationality as the members of that force. But that has nothing to do with espionage or the like.

Q. But the major part of the SS Division Prinz Eugen, which was formed on Yugoslav territory; was made up of Hitler Youth members from the German national minority in Yugoslavia; and this was the result of the preparatory work of the Hitler Youth. Do you admit that?

A. I do not know how the divisions of the Waffen SS, of which there were very many, were recruited. It is possible that some members of the German minority were recruited then and there, but I have no definite information on this.

[Page 21]

Q. I will quote a few excerpts from two German documents. They have not yet been submitted to the Tribunal. The first excerpt is from a book by Dr. Janko Sepp, who was the Youth Leader in Yugoslavia, entitled Speeches and Articles. He wrote:
"All our national work before 1st September, 1939, depended on the help of the Reich. When on 1st September, 1939, war began and when it at first appeared impossible to receive further aid, there was a danger that all our work would be interrupted ...."
And later:
"The fact that in this cause so decisive for a nation and its worth I put at the disposal of the Fuehrer almost the entire German national group in the former State of Yugoslavia and gave him so many volunteers as soldiers, is to me a matter of great pride ...."
I submit this to the Tribunal as evidence, Exhibit USSR 459. The next excerpt is from an article, We in Batschka, written in 1943 by Otto Kohler, who was leader of German youth in that territory. I submit this document to the Tribunal as Exhibit USSR 456. Dr. Kohler wrote in that article:
"Ninety per cent of our youth are members of the Hitler organization, the youth organization for Germans abroad."
The statements ought to convince you that the subversive activity and organization of the fifth column, the "nazification" of the German minority and its enlistment in military units were actually carried out on Yugoslav territory through the Hitler Youth. Please answer "yes" or "no."

A. No. But I should like to comment on these documents. This Dr. Janko Sepp who is said to have been the leader of the Volksdeutsche in Yugoslavia is not known to me either by name or personally. I have visited Yugoslavia several times in the past, but neither in 1937, I believe, when I was there for the first time, nor later in 1938 when I visited Prince Regent Paul, did I concern myself with the Volksdeutsche youth there or with their leaders. On those visits I spoke only with the youth of Yugoslav nationality. That is all I have to say about the first document which on the whole does not refer to youth at all. The second document, which is signed by one Otto Kohler, who calls himself the D. J. Leader - probably German Youth Leader - in Division 7, to that document I can only say that it was taken from a book about German Youth in Hungary which appeared in 1943. In the Batschka we had a very large settlement of Germans, people who had been living there for 150 or 200 years, and this youth leader organized the German youth there with the approval of the Hungarian Government and the Hungarian Minister of Education and in collaboration with other Hungarian authorities. It was an entirely legal measure, and no controversy existed about it between the two countries. These young people were not members of the German Hitler Youth, but they belonged to Hungarian youth groups of the German minority in Hungary.

Q. And, did the Reich leadership of Hitler Youth have no connection at all with such organizations abroad?

A. Of course, we visited these youths. When, for instance, I was a guest in Budapest, the Hungarians themselves asked me whether I would like to visit the villages and the youth of the German minority. Neither the Regent nor any other government authority had any objections to this. There was no reason why I should ask German youth leaders to engage in espionage in Hungary, I could just as easily have asked Hungarian youth leaders, with whom I was on very good terms.

Q. Who was the leader of the Hitler Youth Organizations abroad? There was a special foreign section in the Reich Leadership of the Hitler Youth. Its task was the direction of the German Youth Organizations abroad, was it not?

A. That is not correct. The Auslandsamt (Department for Germans Abroad) of the Reich Youth Leadership was, if I may say so, the "foreign office" of the

[Page 22]

younger generation. It was the task of the Auslandsamt to maintain contact with other national youth organizations, to invite youth leaders from abroad, to organize tours of foreign youth organizations through Germany and to arrange visits of German youth to other countries, in co-operation with the foreign offices of those countries: in a case like this, the Auslandsamt of the Reich Youth Leadership would approach the Foreign Office, and the Foreign Office would approach the Ambassador or representative of the country involved. The Organization of Youth Abroad to which you are referring was an organization subordinate to the Organization of Germans Abroad, the head of which was Gauleiter Bohle, who has already been heard in this Court. This Youth Abroad consisted of German nationals who formed units of the Hitler Youth in the countries where they were living. For instance, in Budapest, the children of the German colony, starting with the children of the German Ambassador -

THE PRESIDENT: Surely, defendant, it is not necessary to make such a long speech about it.


Q. You are giving too many details. The next question:

In the Ministry of the Eastern Occupied Territories, a special youth department was created in the first Hauptamt. What do you know about the work of this department and what was its relationship to the Reich Leadership of the Hitler Youth? Please answer briefly.

A. From my knowledge, I can say that when the Reich Ministry for the Eastern Occupied Territories was created, Reichsleiter Rosenberg expressed a wish that the Reich Youth Leader should put at his disposal an official for the Youth Department in the new Ministry. This official was appointed, he was taken into the Ministry, and directed its Youth Department. He was, of course, responsible to the Eastern Minister. I cannot say more about this point. Reports from this Department did not reach me.

Q. You mean that the Reich Leadership of the Hitler Youth appointed a representative to a post in the Ministry for Eastern Occupied Territories, and that this gentleman did not send in any report to the Reich Youth Leadership; is that right?

A. General, I meant that the head of this department or whatever he was, this official in the Eastern Ministry who came from the Hitler Youth, did not report to me. He naturally reported to his immediate superiors in the Reich Youth Leadership. The Reich Youth Leadership was located in Berlin, and I assume that the officials of its staff were in constant touch with him.

Q. As I understand it, the measures that were carried out by the Youth Office in the Reich Ministry of Eastern Occupied Territories were carried out with the knowledge of the Reich Youth Leadership; is that right?

A. The measures taken there were carried out according to directions laid down by the Reich Minister, who was the immediate superior of his officials. If actual youth measures, the treatment of youth, and so on, were dealt with, I am sure that this official or Youth Leader discussed the matter with the Reich Youth Leadership and made a report on it. The Minister is always responsible for the youth official in his Ministry, and not the organization from which the youth official happens to come.

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