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

The Trial of German Major War Criminals

Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
9th August to 21st August 1946

Two Hundred and Fourth Day: Thursday, 15th August, 1946
(Part 3 of 5)

[Page 197]

THE PRESIDENT: Before you deal with that, perhaps you ought to read the last paragraph but one on Page 27, beginning at the second sentence in that paragraph, Page 27, the penultimate paragraph.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, is that the one beginning, "Therefore - "?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, the second sentence, "As the police forces - "


"As the police forces available were far from sufficient, the SA Sturm for special use, which was stationed in Nuremberg in the old Samariter Wache at the Hallplatz No. 4, was appointed to assist the police in these tasks. In this guardhouse the necessary confrontations and questionings of arrested Communists took place. The leader of this Sturm SA unit was the then Sturmbannfuehrer (SA Major) Eugen Korn, 25 years old, unmarried, commercial employee in Nuremberg. His deputy - " and so on.
I am much obliged, your Lordship.

My Lord, I call your Lordship's attention to Page 29, page 29 of the German text:

"Lastly it may also be pointed out that this deed was committed relatively shortly after the coming into force of the amnesty decree of 2nd August, 1933. If it had been committed before 26th July, 1933, that is, only three weeks earlier, it would have been amnestied like a number of other political excesses. As the deed did not originate in an ignoble motive, but rather served the achievement of an exceedingly patriotic aim and the advance of the National Socialist State, the quashing of the proceedings, also in view of the above-mentioned relation of the time of the deed to the above-mentioned amnesty, does not seem incompatible with the orderly administration of criminal justice.

For all these reasons it is suggested, in connection with the position of the Police Directorate, that the proceedings on account of the bodily injuries resulting in the death of the mechanic Oskar Pflaumer, as well as on account of the actions of criminal participation and acts of favouring immediately connected with this, should be quashed."

And, my Lord, in due course that is forwarded by the defendant Frank, in the next document on Page 30, and on the top of Page 31, as Reich Governor von Epp says:

[Page 198]

"I hereby quash the criminal proceedings."
That is sent by Frank to the Court of Appeal Public Prosecutor.

It is interesting, my Lord, and I would have referred your Lordship to it, in view of what we have heard about isolated acts unconnected with the SA leadership, that this man Korn was the Sturmbannfuehrer Korn who was on the staff of the supreme SA leadership.

Now, my Lord, I did not intend to take the other ones as I hoped to be able to make it even shorter, but there are two others which show this same perversion of justice, and therefore, I submit, are important.

My Lord, the next is D-936, which your Lordships will find on Pages 51 and 52. That will be GB 616. My Lord, that is connected with the nine members of the SA who were charged with beating up the editor of the newspaper The Lower Bavarian Peasant. My Lord, that was a Dr. Schloegl and The Lower Bavarian Peasant I think was a Bavarian People's Party paper, a sort of Catholic Party paper. And your Lordship will see that the proceedings are held to fall within the amnesty but, my Lord, it is interesting again to see the declared motive and the connection with the leadership. If your Lordship would look at the second paragraph for the reason for the decision of the Amtsgerichtsrat, it says:

"There is no doubt, therefore, that the deeds were committed for political reasons. They were committed also to ensure the success of the National Socialist State. It may be that the destruction of the furniture was intended to serve the purpose of a house-search, in which previously imbibed alcohol may have played a harmful part in the manner of carrying out that decision.

It may be that, by the destruction of the furniture, certainly, however, by the ill-treatment, it was intended to restrain Dr. Schloegl from further political activity. No other motive for the deeds can be found."

I ask your Lordship to note:
"The supreme SA leadership have also examined these questions. In their letter of 14th September, 1933, they announce that the SA men in question were bound to see and did see, in the possibility of Dr. Schloegl forcing his way into the National Socialist movement, a danger for the movement and thus for the nation itself. Nor were the deeds committed for the purpose of personal profit or other low motives. The supreme SA leadership state on this point that the deed and intention of the SA men were only aimed at the well-being of the National Socialist movement. The political reason and the purity of the intention is thus beyond doubt."
Now, my Lord, I ask your Lordship again to note that it is the supreme SA leadership.

My Lord, the only other one - I hope I can take it quite quickly - your Lordship will find in document book 10-A, the smaller Document Book, Page 9.

Your Lordship may remember that my learned friend, Major Barrington, mentioned the question of the punishment of these members of the SA - I think, my Lord, they run to some 30 or so - that had been engaged in cruelties in the concentration camp of Hohenstein. My Lord, this is the report dealing with their punishment, and your Lordship will note - and this is, in my submission, interesting - that it is dated 5th June, 1935. My Lord, it concerns the penal proceedings against the merchant and SA Leader Obersturmbannfuehrer Jaehnichen and 22 companions - I am afraid I said 30; it is 23 - for inflicting bodily injury on duty in the protective custody camp of Hohenstein in Saxony.

This is a letter from Dr. Guertner to the defendant Hess. That is, it is a top-level letter from the Ministry of Justice to the deputy of the Fuehrer. My Lord, it is 784-PS. It becomes GB 617.

Dr. Guertner first of all sets out the sentences that were asked for by the Prosecutor. Then he sets out the sentences which were inflicted by the Supreme Court in Dresden.

[Page 199]

My Lord, I ought to have said that this is Page 9 of the English document; I think Page 9 to 15 of the German, too.

My Lord, turning over to Page 10, which is Pages 10 and 11 of the German document, your Lordship will see that the Minister of Justice writes:

"After the proposal of the sentence, however, still before the announcement of the verdict, the chairman of the Criminal Division No. 12" - that is, the judge - "received the following letter from the Reich Governor (Reichsstatthalter) of Saxony."
DR. BOEHM: I beg your pardon, Mr. President, but the document which I received has neither a Page 9 nor a Page 10. It only has a Page 7 at the most. I am, therefore, not in a position to follow the Prosecutor's speech.

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I see the paging is different on Dr. Boehm's copy. This is the letter from the Reich Governor:

"As I was informed, it is proposed to impose a punishment of 32 years of penal servitude upon the accused Standartenfuehrer Jaehnichen. Without wanting to interfere in the proceedings or intending to influence you as judge in any way before the verdict is announced, I should nevertheless like to once more call your attention to the fact that the circumstances, as they had been brought about by the revolution of 1933, and as they, without doubt, were still taking effect up to the beginning of 1934, cannot be overlooked when pronouncing sentence.

A further point appears to me to be worth taking into consideration, namely the fact that one cannot accuse Jaehnichen of having a low character and that, above all, in Hohenstein the scum of humanity had to be dealt with. In consideration of this fact I should like to leave it to you to consider whether the lapses call for such a severe degree of punishment" - your Lordship will note the next words - "or whether a pardon could not be considered.

As Gauleiter of the NSDAP I consider it as my duty to call attention again to the unusual circumstances."

Now, my Lord, Dr. Guertner, the Minister of Justice, goes on, and this your Lordship may well think is the most extraordinary and sinister part of it:
"Moreover, the information has come to hand that the two magistrates who functioned as judges in the principal trial, namely Regierungsamtmann Helbig and the merchant Pesler, had been expelled from the NSDAP after the announcement of the verdict. I do not know by whom this expulsion was ordered.

Finally it has been put to the Assistant Prosecutor, Staatsanwalt (Attorney) Dr. Walther, who is a storm trooper, after the pronouncing of the verdict on his Obersturmbannfuehrer, that he should resign from the SA."

And then you may think that the Minister of Justice goes on with some extremely pertinent observations as to the impossibility of carrying on justice if this goes on. He says in the middle of that paragraph, the end of Page 12 in the German version:
"That kind of procedure against lay judges after the verdict had been pronounced would naturally and necessarily arouse the feeling that when they are functioning as judges they are responsible to a certain office for their work. Hereby the judicial impartiality which is the foundation of every orderly administration of criminal law becomes null and void."
Then he deals with the lay judge, and as your Lordship will see, at the end of the paragraph he comes to the understandable conclusion:
"I would find myself obliged to consider the question whether in the face of such a state of affairs public prosecutors and judges could still be functionaries of the Party or members of the SA at all."
Now, my Lord, your Lordship will see at the bottom of Page I 1 of the English book, Page 3 of the document, and Page 13 of the German version, that there is a letter to the Chief of Staff of the SA of the NSDAP, with a copy of the following

[Page 200]

accusation enclosed. My Lord, that would be Lutze at that time because Roehm had been murdered before that date. The same points are put to the Chief of Staff of the NSDAP, and, my Lord, the matter then goes up to Hitler. My Lord, your Lordship will find the report that contains Hitler's decision on Pages 13, 14 and 15 of the English version, and Pages 16 - I think it starts - to 33 of the German version. I hope Dr. Boehm will be able to find it.

My Lord, that is 785-PS. I am sorry, my Lord, I thought it was the same document. It is a different document. Your Lordship will see in the first paragraph a description of the crime:

"The maltreatment of inmates which has led to the sentencing of the accused was not carried out for any political purpose (to obtain a confession, to punish disciplinary infractions, etc.) or in respect to previously suffered wrongs inflicted by Communists, but was merely malicious torture or expressions of sadistic brutality."
"A few cases of maltreatment occurred, however, where enemies of the State were involved."
At the end of that paragraph:
" ... the defendants not only attempted to wring confessions from the inmates but that they had acted in sheer lust for torture."
"They acted in sheer lust for torture." This is a document coming from the Reich Chancellery, so your Lordship sees the criticism that was made in that quarter. But then, my Lord, it goes on to say at the end of the next paragraph about being influenced neither by political purposes nor by personal revenge. Then that is shown.

But, my Lord, at the top of Page 14 it is stated:

"If, nevertheless, I suggest subsequently a further reduction of sentence based upon new evidence of some of the defendants, I can only justify my action because I believe that according to circumstances the defendants in one or the other case of maltreatment may have acted partly out of revolutionary motives."
I will repeat that:
" - may have acted partly out of revolutionary motives."
Then it gives some examples, and, my Lord, at the foot of the page there is the appendix, with Hitler's decision:
"Upon application of the Reich Minister of Justice" - which was the preceding - "I hereby grant in the case against Rudolf Jaehnichen and others for maltreatment of persons committed to protective custody in Hohenstein concentration camp, the following mitigation of sentences as enumerated in Column 6,"
and then, roughly, my Lord, the sentence is reduced by either a third or a half in each case.

My Lord, I would just like to correct an exhibit number. The first document is Exhibit USA 732, and the second document, 785-PS, will be GB 617. My Lord, I am again sorry; it is my mistake. It is USA 733, the second document. I am so sorry.

THE PRESIDENT: Perhaps we had better break off now.

(A recess was taken.)

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: My Lord, I have finished with the submission of documents. There are three more questions in cross-examination which I should like to put to the witness; and then I shall be finished with my cross-examination.

THE PRESIDENT: Just before you turn away from this 16-B, if you turn to Page 27, the Tribunal would like to know from the witness what the SA Sturm for Special Use was.

[Page 201]

SIR DAVID MAXWELL FYFE: Your Lordship, I mention that because I told your Lordship that the fact that Korn was on the staff of the supreme SA leadership was on 27, the last line of 26; and you will see that the last line of 26 is: "Korn is at present in Munich on the staff of the supreme SA leadership." My Lord, then I will ask the question.

Q. Witness, will you tell the Tribunal what the SA Sturm for Special Use was, which was stationed in Nuremberg in the old Samariter Wache at Hallplatz No. 4; what task it carried out in assisting the police?

[Max Juettner] A. We had SA Sturme and Sturmbanne for special use in various places, and in Nuremberg, too, as far as I know. The general task of these units was to make themselves available in case of catastrophe. Further, for police purposes, when they were requested by the police and used by them as auxiliary police. They were also used for fire service, and during the war in air raid service in Hamburg, for instance, and Westphalia. Those were in general the tasks of the Sturmbanne for special use. They were composed of men whose work or professions allowed them time for such service.

Q. The present example is that these men under Korn, who was on the staff of the supreme SA leadership, beat this Communist to death by using the bastinado on his feet. Was that one of the special uses which this Sturm indulged in when they were doing no work? Was that the sort of thing, beating up Communists? Was that one of the special tasks? Was that a typical special task of this Sturm, to beat up Communists in August, 1933?

A. No. That was never their task and if Korn did that he would have to receive fitting punishment.

Q. You must have known Korn, did you not? He was on the staff of the supreme SA leadership.

A. I knew Korn from the year 1934, approximately.

Q. And you went on working with Korn for years, did you not?

A. He was employed in the personnel office for some time. This offence which has just been reported I knew nothing of until today.

Q. You knew nothing until today, when you were Deputy Chief of Staff of the SA? Are you really telling the Tribunal you knew nothing about the fact that one man from the staff of the supreme leadership had been engaged in this foul and brutal murder in Nuremberg, and you heard nothing about it? Is that your story?

A. The Prosecutor seems to have overlooked the fact that I was Deputy Chief of Staff only from 1939 on. Up to then I was Section Chief in the Fuehrungsamt and then Chief of the Fuehrungsamt.

Q. I am not forgetting your first words in evidence, when you said that you could give an account of the SA from 1933 onwards dealing with all relevant parts - however, if that's your answer I'll leave it. I'll now take up another of your suggestions. Look at Document 1721-PS.

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