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 11 of 11)

[MR. DODD continues his cross examination of Hartmann Lauterbacher]

[Page 44]

Q. Well, after having read that quotation, do you still think that Schirach, as leader of the Reich Youth, was not actively speaking about the Jews in a derogatory sort of way, or that talk of this kind was not going on under his leadership?

A. Von Schirach never left any doubt regarding his anti- Semitic attitude as long as he was Reich Youth Leader.

Q. Do you know the speech he made in 1942 when he took credit for deporting the Jews from Vienna? Are you familiar with that speech?

A. No, I do not know that speech. During that time I was in Hanover, and Schirach was in Vienna.

Q. Yes. He was a fellow Gauleiter at that time.

Did you ever get any SS reports of what was happening to the Jews in the East?

A. Never. I never had access to SS reports, SS circulars or orders.

Q. Did you deport any Jews from your Gau.

A. When I came to the Gau in December, 1940, the Jews had already emigrated.

Q. They were already out by the time you got there?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever hear of Gauleiters getting reports from Heydrich or from Himmler about what was happening to the Jews in the East? Did any of your fellow Gauleiters ever tell you that they got reports regularly, say by the month or by the week?

A. No. Himmler's reports were no more accessible to the Gauleiters than they were to the honorary leaders of the SS. As Obergruppenfuehrer of the SS I never received a report or an instruction from Himmler.

Q. Those Himmler reports were handled pretty carefully, were they not?

I am now asking you - as an SS Obergruppenfuehrer I suppose you know something about it - were those reports handled very carefully, those Himmler and Heydrich reports?

A. As an. SS Obergruppenfuehrer I never received any of Himmler's reports and I know hat Himmler sent all reports dealing with confidential or internal SS matters only to SS and Police, that is SS leaders in the service of the SS, but never to the honorary leaders.

Q. Now, what I really asked you was whether or not the reports, when they were sent out, were very carefully handled. Do you know the answer to that?

A. I do not know. I do not know how these reports were handled.

Q: What was Heydrich's reputation, so far as you were concerned, in 1942? Did you think very well of him or did you think very poorly of him before he was killed?

A. I only knew Heydrich from meeting him a few times in the Reich Youth Leader's office, and I had a good impression of him personally. I am forced to have a different opinion of him now; but only because I now know of his measures.

[Page 45]

Q. What was he doing in the Reich Youth Leader's office the few times that you met him? What business did he have there?

A. He had intervened on his own initiative and through his own agencies in cases of homosexuality. Schirach forbade that and told him that these matters too were, first of all, subject to his own jurisdiction.

Q. You were present at all of these conferences with Heydrich, no matter how many, were you not?

A. I participated in one conference on the question of homosexuality in the Hitler Youth.

Q. Tell us this. Did it appear to you, from what you saw and heard there, that Heydrich and Schirach were very friendly, or on a very friendly basis?

A. That conference did not take place with von Schirach, but with one of the officials from the Reich Youth Leader's office who, as Chief of the Hitler Youth Legal Administration, conducted the discussion with Heydrich.

Q. Were you ever present when Heydrich talked to von Schirach? Were you ever present?

A. No.

Q. Did Heydrich ever talk to you, or rather, did von Schirach ever talk to you about Heydrich?

A. No, I cannot remember that.

MR. DODD: We have no further questions, Mr. President.


DR. SAUTER: Thank you, I have no further questions.

THE PRESIDENT: The witness may retire.

DR. SAUTER: With the permission of the President, I shall now call my next witness, Gustav Hopken.

GUSTAV DIETRICH HOPKEN, a witness, took the stand and testified as follows:


Q. Will you state your full name, please?

A. Gustav Dietrich Hopken.

Q. Will you repeat this oath after me:

I swear by God, the Almighty and Omniscient, that I will speak the pure truth and will withhold and add nothing.

(The witness repeated the oath.)

THE PRESIDENT: You may sit down.



Q. Herr Hopken. I have already examined you on the case of Schirach when you were in prison?

A. Yes, you have already examined me.

Q. When you answer the questions, please wait a little after each one before giving your answer, so that the interpreters can catch up.

A. Yes.

Q. How old are you?

A. I am 36.

Q. What is your father's occupation?

A. My father is a dock labourer.

Q. And yourself?

A. I was a newspaper boy, a dock labourer, a spare-time student (Werk-student) and sports instructor.

[Page 46]

Q. Sports instructor. You are now in American hands, are you not?

A. Yes, I am a prisoner in American hands.

Q. Since when?

A. Since 19th of May, 1945.

Q. Has the prosecution interrogated you on this matter?

A. Up to now the prosecution has not interrogated me.

Q. When did you join the Hitler Youth?

A. I joined the Hitler Youth in 1933.

Q. You joined the Hitler Youth in 1933? How old were you at that time?

A. I was twenty-three.

Q. And in what capacity did you join?

A. First as an ordinary member. In September, 1933, I became an Unterbannfuehrer in the Hitler Youth.

Q. Unterbannfuehrer in 1933?

A. Yes, in September, 1933.

Q. Was that a salaried position, or an honorary appointment?

A. From 1933 to 1935 I worked as a sports instructor in the Hitler Youth.

Q. And in 1935?

A. In 1935 1 joined the Government Offices at Potsdam as an expert on P.T. in schools.

Q. But that had nothing to do with the Hitler Youth, had it?

A. At Potsdam I also commanded the Potsdam unit (Bann) and station (Standen) of the Hitler Youth.

Q. So you were a civil servant -

So subsequently you were an employee of the State and, apart from that, an honorary leader of the Hitler Youth?

A. From 1935 until 1939 I was a civil servant in the government offices at Potsdam and I commanded the Hitler Youth unit and station at Potsdam in an honorary capacity.

Q. Therefore in 1939 you joined the Reich Youth Leadership, did you not?

A. In 1939 I joined the Reich Youth Leadership and became adjutant to Baldur von Schirach who was Reich Youth Leader at the time.

Q. And how long did you hold that office?

A. Until August, 1939, and then I became a soldier.

Q. Another question meanwhile.

Before you joined Schirach's staff, had you not served in the Armed Forces?

A. Up to joining Schirach in 1939 I had done eight weeks obligatory training in the Air Force.

Q. Apart from that, you had no training?

A. Apart from that I had no military training.

Q. Were you an officer?

A. I had not been an officer up to that time.

Q. So far as his other collaborators were concerned, did Schirach attach importance to their being officers or trained soldiers

A. So far as I know, yon Schirach did not care whether his collaborators. were soldiers or officers, on the contrary, it was his view, as he told me repeatedly, that soldiers and officers, as far as he could see, were less suitable as youth leaders.

Q. I do not want to go into the general question of the training of the Hitler Youth but I wish to ask you one single question on this point, especially because you are a sports instructor by profession. It is a question about the training of the Hitler Youth in shooting. Were they trained with military weapons, or how were they trained in marksmanship?

A. The Hitler Youth were trained in shooting with air guns. They did not shoot with military weapons.

Q. In that case I will not put any further questions to you on the subject of uniform as these questions have already been clarified. But there is one other thing in which I am interested and that is the relationship to the Church: Do you

[Page 47]

know, witness, whether the defendant won Schirach in 1937, that is, in the issue of the Berliner Zeitung of the 14th of January, 1937, published an article which his Press-adviser, Gunther Kaufmann, had written and which was headed "Can the Gap Be Bridged"? That article, a copy of which I have before me, deals with a problem in which I am interested, and that is why I want to ask you:

Do you know what Schirach made his Press adviser write in that article on the question of whether the Hitler Youth leaders should consider the young people's need for church services or not?

A. I know the article.

You know it?

A. I also know the order issued by the Reich Youth Leader of that time stating that on Sundays there should be no Hitler Youth duty for all those boys and girls who wanted to attend church. Every boy and girl in the Hitler Youth at that time was supposed to have the opportunity of attending religious services of his or her own free will; and it was made part of the duty of the Hitler Youth leaders at the time to refrain from entering into any arguments or controversies about the Hitler Youth and the Church. He prohibited that.

Q. Witness, that is the main point of that article of 14th January, 1937. But you know that the defendant Schirach had certain difficulties with Hitler because of this article. Will you tell us briefly what you know about it?

A. As soon as the agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth was made, the article mentioned appeared in the Berliner Tageblatt. On the day that article appeared, Schirach was at a meeting in Rosenberg's office. Hitler called Schirach to the telephone at that time. Hitler took Schirach sternly to task, firstly, for making an agreement between the Church and the Hitler Youth; and, secondly, for publishing this article. His aim was to cancel the agreement and to ban any further issue of the newspapers. Neither of these things happened.

Q. Did Schirach refuse to withdraw the article?

A. So far as I know he did.

Q, In 1940, you went to Vienna with Schirach?

A. No, I did not.

Q. When did you go?

A. I went to Vienna for the first time in September, 1941.

Q. Where had you been in the meantime?

A. I have already told you that I joined the Luftwaffe in August, 1939, and served during that time as a service flying instructor in a Luftwaffe training school.

Q. And you did not re-join Schirach until 1941, and then in Vienna?

A. Yes; I joined Schirach in Vienna in September, 1941.

Q. The highest dignitary of the Catholic Church in Vienna is Cardinal Innitzer, right?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you know what won Schirach's attitude to Cardinal Innitzer was? I will tell you at once why I am asking you this question; I want to know if it is true that Schirach objected to Cardinal Innitzer being molested by the Hitler Youth; and what steps he took, etc.

A. Schirach told me repeatedly that he would like to have a talk with Cardinal Innitzer, but that he was not allowed to do so, firstly, because of a decree issued by the former head of the Party Chancellery, Lieutenant Bormann, prohibiting Gauleiters from contacting Church dignitaries, and, secondly, because Schirach knew that he himself, was under observation.

Q. Who, Schirach?

A. That Schirach was under observation and thought that if he forced such a discussion, Lieutenant Bormann would be certain to know of it the next day, which would have had most unpleasant consequences both for Schirach and Cardinal Innitzer. On the other hand, it was Schirach's view that Cardinal Innitzer also would certainly have liked to have had a talk with Schirach and Schirach thought that certainly would not have been the case if Cardinal Innitzer

[Page 48]

had not known of his tolerant attitude toward the Church and the Christian religion. It is furthermore known to me - and I think this happened in the winter of 1944-45 - that Cardinal Innitzer was molested by youthful civilians while returning from mass. Cardinal Innitzer had the names of these youngsters established by the police, and they turned out to be Hitler Youth Leaders. Schirach ordered the competent District Leader of the Hitler Youth to come to him the same day and demanded that the Youth Leaders in question should be relieved of their duties at once. As far as I know, this was actually done. I believe I also remember that Schirach had a letter of apology sent to Cardinal Innitzer, either personally or through one of his officials.

THE PRESIDENT: I think, we had better break off now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 28th May, 1946, at 1000 hours.)

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