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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
2nd July to 15th July 1946

One Hundred and Seventy-Sixth Day: Thursday, 11th July, 1946
(Part 2 of 9)

[Page 281]

By Dr. SEIDL, Continued:

The Plenipotentiary for the Four-Year Plan had the same power. Article 6 provided that over and above all, the highest Reich authorities could issue decrees necessary for planning within the German living-space and economic area, and that these would be effective also for the Government General.

Apart from this limitation of the authority of the Governor General as provided in the Fuehrer Decree of 12th October, 1939, other powers were conferred at a later date, which impaired to an equal degree the principle of a military administration. That is particularly true of the position of the Plenipotentiary for Labour. I refer at this point to the appropriate documents presented by the prosecution and the defence, in particular to the Fuehrer Decree of 21St March, 1942, in which it is expressly provided that the powers of the Plenipotentiary for Labour extend to the territory of the Government General. The whole armament industry in the Government General was at first in the hands of the OKW, but after the establishment of the Reich Ministry of Armaments, it came under the jurisdiction of the latter.

The evidence has also shown that in other directions too the principle of military administration was extensively infringed upon. For this I refer to the statements of the witnesses Dr. Lammers and Dr. Buehler and to the content of the documents submitted by me, especially the Exhibit USA 135. This deals with the directives in "special matters concerning Instruction No. 21" (case Barbarossa), in which it is expressly provided that the Commander-in-Chief of the Army shall be entitled "to order such measures in the Government General as are necessary for the

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execution of his military duties and for safeguarding the troops," and in which the Commander-in-Chief is empowered to delegate his authority to the army groups and armies.

All these infringements on the principle of a unitary administration of all special powers, however, pale beside the special position allotted to Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, even in respect of the territory of the Government General. The evidence, and particularly the testimony of Dr. Bilfinger, counsellor in the RSHA, shows that as early as in 1939, when the defendant was appointed Governor General, a secret decree was issued in which it was provided that the Higher SS and Police Leader East was to receive his instructions direct from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police Himmler. Similarly, it is provided in the Decree of the Fuehrer and Reich Chancellor for the Consolidation of the German Nation that the Reichsfuehrer SS should be directly empowered to effect the formation of new German settlement areas by means of resettlements. These two decrees conferred on the Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler powers which, from the very first day of the existence of the Government General, were to confront its administration with almost insurmountable difficulties. Very soon it became evident that the general administration under the Governor General had at its disposal no executive organs in the true meaning of the term. Since the Higher SS and Police Leader East received his instructions and orders direct from Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and refused to carry out instructions emanating from the Governor General, it was very soon seen that in reality there were two separate authorities ruling over the Government General. The difficulties which thus arose were bound to become all the greater as Higher SS and Police Leader Kruger, who for not less than four years was Himmler's direct representative in the Government-General, did not even inform the administration of the Government General before carrying out police measures.

It is a well-known experience in constitutional life that any administration lacking executive police organs is in the long run not capable of carrying out its appointed functions. This is true even under normal conditions, but must be especially so in the administration of occupied territory. If we remember, moreover, not only that Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler issued his instructions direct to the Higher SS and Police Leader, ignoring the Governor General, but that over and above this, the Offices III, IV, V and VI of the RSHA also gave direct orders, namely to the Commander of the Security Police and the SD in Cracow - then we can assess the difficulties with which the civil administration of the Government General had to wrestle day by day.

Under these circumstances the Governor General had no choice but to make every attempt to reach some form of co-operation with the Security Police, unless he was prepared to relinquish entirely any hope of building up a civil administration in the Government General. And in fact the history of the Administration of the Government General - which lasted more than five years - is for the greater part nothing but a chronicle of uninterrupted struggles between the Governor General and the administration on the one hand, and on the other, the Security Police (including the SD) represented by Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and the Higher SS and Police Leader East.

The same applies to the work of Himmler and his organs in the field of resettlements. As Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of the German Nation, Himmler and his organs carried out resettlement measures without even getting into previous contact with the administration of the Government General or informing the Governor General.

The numerous protests of the Governor General, addressed to Dr. Lammers, Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery, with regard to the measures taken by the Reichsfuehrer and the Higher SS and Police Leader East, and the difficulties they put in the way of the administration of that territory, have been established by the evidence. These protests led in the year 1942 to an attempted new regulation of the relationship between the administration and the police. In

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retrospect, it can be said today as a result of the evidence that even this attempt was only utilised by Himmler and the Security Police to undermine internally and externally the position of the Governor General and his civil administration.

By decree of the Fuehrer, dated 7th May, 1942, a State Secretariat for Security was established in the Government General, and the Higher SS and Police Leader was appointed State Secretary. According to Article II of this Decree, the State Secretary for Security also became the representative of the Reichsfuehrer SS in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of the German Nation. The decisive provision of this decree is contained in Article IV, in which it is stated:

"The Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of German Police can issue direct instructions to the State Secretary for Security in matters pertaining to security and the consolidation of the German nation."
Herewith, the contents of the secret decree issued in the year 1939 on the establishment of the Government General - which also provided that the Higher SS and Police Leader East was to receive his instructions direct from the Berlin central offices and above all from the Reichsfuehrer SS in person - was expressly and now publicly confirmed. It is true that Article V of the Fuehrer Decree of 7th May, 1942, provided that in case of differences of opinion between the Governor General and the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of German Police, the Fuehrer's decision was to be obtained through the Reich Minister and Chief of the Reich Chancellery.

Chief of the Reich Chancellery Lammers was interrogated on this subject when he appeared as witness before this Tribunal. He testified that in so far as he found it possible at all to gain the Fuehrer's ear in these matters, the latter on principle invariably approved Himmler's view. This is not surprising if we remember Himmler's position in the German governmental system, particularly during the later war years. This deprived the defendant Frank of the last possibility of influencing in any way the measures taken by Himmler and the Higher SS and Police Leader East.

In consequence of Article I, Paragraph 3, of the Fuehrer Decree of 7th May, 1942, the scope of duties of the State Secretary for Security had to be newly defined. Both the Higher SS and Police Leader, and backing him, the Reichsfuehrer SS, attempted to bring as much as possible under their jurisdiction in connection with the new regulation of the competence of the State Secretariat; on the other hand, the Governor General, in the interest of the maintenance of some sort of order in the administration, naturally tried to obtain control of at least certain departments of the Order Police and the Administration Police. There is no doubt at all that it was the police who emerged the victors in these struggles.

On 3rd June, 1942, the Governor General was obliged - in a decree concerning the transfer of offices to the State Secretary for Security - to declare himself willing to transfer to the State Secretary all the departments of the Security Police and the Order Police. I have submitted this decree to the Tribunal (together with its two appendices A and B) in the course of the evidence as Exhibit Frank No. 4. The two appendices list all the departments of the Order and Security Police that have ever existed in the German police system. In Appendix A, which covers the departments of the Order Police, there are twenty enumerated which not only embraced all the departments of the Order Police, which were transferred to the State Secretary for Security, but over and above that, almost all the departmental functions of the so-called Administration Police. I will only mention No. 18 as one example among many. This transfers to the Order Police, and therewith to the Higher SS and Police Leader, all matters connected with price control. What is true of the Order Police is true in still greater measure of the departments of the Security Police. No change as compared with the earlier situation was brought about by placing under the jurisdiction of the Higher SS and Police Leader the whole of the political and criminal police, political intelligence, Jewish affairs and similar departments; these competencies were already his as Leader of the Security

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Police and the SD, and were made entirely independent of the administration of the Government General under the secret decree of the year 1939.

Departments were also transferred to the State Secretary for Security which had only the remotest connection with the tasks of the Security Police, matters such as the regulation of holidays and so on.

Of no inconsiderable importance are the two last numbers in the Appendices A and B, in which it is expressly provided that at conferences and meetings, particularly with the central Reich authorities, on all matters pertaining to the Order and Security Police, the Government General - not the Governor - should be represented by the Higher SS and Police Leader. Therewith any competency possessed by the Governor General, even in regard to comparatively unimportant branches of the administrative police, was transferred to the organs of Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, and the Government General was thus deprived of even the last remnants of an executive of its own.

Only by considering these facts and the development of the conditions obtaining between administration and police in the Government General, is it possible to form an approximately correct appreciation of the events in the Government General which form part of the subject of the Indictment in this trial.

In the main, the prosecution seeks to prove its accusations against the defendant Dr. Frank by quotations from the defendant's diary. In this connection I have the following basic observation to make.

That diary was not kept personally by the defendant Frank, but was compiled by stenographers who were present at Government conferences and other meetings with the Governor General. The diary consists of 42 volumes containing not less than 10,000 to 12,000 pages of typescript.

With one exception, the entries were made, not as a result of dictation by the defendant, but in the form of stenographers' notes. For the greater part - and this is evident from the diary itself - the authors of this diary did not record verbatim the various speeches and remarks, but made a summarised version in their own words. The entries in the diary were not checked by the defendant and - again with one single exception - were not signed by him. The attendance lists stapled into several volumes of the diary - they are only contained in such volumes as relate to Government conferences - cannot be looked upon as a substitute for a confirmatory note.

Moreover, the evidence has established clearly that very many entries in the diary were not made on the basis of personal observations, but came about through the fact that the author was told, by the participants, about the subject of Government meetings or other conferences after they had taken place, and then expressed it in the diary in his own words.

Moreover, by an examination of the diary, it can easily be determined that the entries cannot be considered complete.

All these facts bring us to the conclusion that the material evidential value of this diary must not be overestimated. The evidential value of this diary stand in no way in comparison to the evidential value of entries which have been made personally by the persons affected.

Above all, however, it seems to me essential to point out the following:

The content of any document is of material evidential importance in so far a; the document is investigated in its entirety. The diary of the defendant Frank with its 10,000 to 12,000 pages is one uniform document. It is improper to put in as evidence certain single entries without showing the context, when only it connection with some of them can this be understood. But it is particularly improper - and this infringes upon the principles of any presentation of evidence - to select from some uniform whole, such as a long speech, a few sentences and put them in as evidence. In Document Book II, I have listed a few examples of this and hereby refer to them.

As the defendant Frank himself rightly pointed out in the witness-box, the diary is a uniform whole; only in its entirety can it be probative, and form part of the

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presentation of evidence. I have read through that diary of more than 10,000 pages, and can only confirm his opinion. And that was why I did not use single entries in presenting my evidence, but put in the whole diary.

If I myself, in presenting evidence, have read certain single entries from the diary, and if in the course of my present address I shall quote a few more passages from it, then, just as in the case of the extracts put forward by the prosecution, their evidential value can certainly be gauged only within the framework of the whole diary.

The following may also be looked upon as having been established by the evidence: As the diaries show, and as is evident in particular from the testimony given by the witnesses Buehler, Boepple and Meidinger, the defendant Frank in his capacity as Governor General often made two or three improvised speeches in. the course of one day.

The extracts from the diary presented by the prosecution consist for the most part of single sentences from such speeches. If we take into consideration both the temperament of the defendant and his habit of expressing himself in an incisive manner, then that is another reason which tends to reduce the probative value of these extracts from the diary. And we actually do find many diary entries, which flatly contradict other entries on the same subject made a little earlier or later.

In connection with the many speeches made by the defendant Frank, the following must not be left out of consideration, and this too may be looked upon as established by the evidence; it was a foregone conclusion that the defendant Frank, as open champion of the idea of a State based on law and of the independence of the judiciary, would come into increasingly sharp conflict with the representatives of the Police-State system. This developed to an even greater degree in the course of the war, both within the Reich territory and in occupied country. The representatives of the Police-State, however, were Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler, and for the area of the Government General, the Higher SS and Police Leader East, above all, and in particular SS Obergruppenfuehrer and General of Police Kruger. The relations between the defendant Frank, on the one hand, and Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler and his representative Obergruppenfuehrer Kruger on the other, had been extremely bad, even at the time the Government General was established. They deteriorated still more as the divergence of outlook concerning the tasks of the police came ever more openly to the fore, and the defendant Frank was forced to make increasingly strong protests to the Chief of the Reich Chancellery, Dr. Lammers, and to the Fuehrer himself, regarding the violent measures taken by the Security Police and the SD.

As I have already mentioned, the Governor General, lacking an executive of his own, had on the other hand no choice but to make repeated attempts to co-ordinate the work of the general administration with that of the police in order to be in a position to carry out any administrative work at all. Obviously, these objectives demanded - at least on the face of things - a degree of conciliation towards the general attitude of the Security Police, and, above all, of the Higher SS and Police Leader East. Moreover, the evidence has further established that the tension existing between the Governor General and the Higher SS and Police Leader often reached such a degree that the defendant Frank could not but feel himself menaced and - to quote the words of the witness Buehler - as being no longer a free agent and master of his own decisions.

The testimony of the witnesses Bach-Zelewski and Dr. Albrecht leave no doubt on this point. Quite rightly, therefore, the witness Dr. Buehler also pointed out that the defendant Frank expressed himself with particular vehemence when the Higher SS and Police Leader, or the Commander-in- Chief of the Security Police and the SD were present at conferences, and that his utterances were made on quite a different note when he was speaking to an audience composed only of members of the administration. Even a cursory perusal of the diary will confirm this. All these circumstances must be taken into consideration in assessing the substantive evidence value of the defendant Frank's diary.

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It should also be noted that these diaries constituted the only personal property that Frank was able to rescue from the castle at Cracow. On his arrest, he handed all the diaries to the officers who took him into custody. It would have been an easy matter for him to have destroyed these diaries.

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