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 Sixth Day: Monday, 19th August, 1946
(Part 2 of 4)

[Page 259]

THE PRESIDENT: Could you not put in or hand to Dr. Servatius this statistical summary and then deal with the rest of the matter in argument? I understood from Sir David that you have a statistical document showing the number of political leaders whom the prosecution contend are involved. Well, Dr. Servatius wants to see that and, therefore, if you will give it to him, that will be all that is necessary, will it not?

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: My Lord, yes, except simply to explain what the document is, which will take two minutes. I think it will be of assistance to the Tribunal.

[Page 260]

THE PRESIDENT: I f it will only take two minutes.

LT.-COLONEL GRIFFITH-JONES: They are figures taken from the organization book. On Page 1 the Tribunal will see the total numbers set out of all the political leaders whom the prosecution are including in the organizations; the Hoheitstrager, the staff of the Reichsleiter, the staff of the Gauleiter, the staff of the Kreisleiter. For the information of the Tribunal I have also included the staff of the Ortsgruppenleiter of 340,000, which makes the total 940,000. By deducting the Ortsgruppen staff, you get your figure of 600,000.

My Lord, in the subsequent pages particulars will be found of the office holders on the Reichsleiter, Gauleiter and Kreisleiter staffs. The Reichsleiter, I think, speaks for itself. The Tribunal perhaps will look at Appendix "C." There it will be seen that the offices on the Gauleiter staff are set out.

My Lord, those are all taken from the organization book, and I would only say that those show the maximum establishment of the Gau and Kreis staffs and they were not by any means always up to strength so that the figure, the total figure 600,000, is to be the maximum that is possible.

THE PRESIDENT: Now we will deal with the Gestapo.

DR. MERKEL (counsel for the Gestapo): Mr. President, first of all I should like to have permission to discuss my document book. I have already introduced the various documents with the exception of Gestapo Exhibit No. 31, which I submit at this point.

Gestapo Exhibits 1 and 2 deal with the concept and the aims of a political police system in general. I ask the Tribunal to take judicial notice of both these documents and I ask the same with reference to Gestapo Exhibits Nos. 3 to 8. They contain the basic laws and directives dealing with the origin, the development and the aims and purposes of the Gestapo, first taking into account Prussia and finally the entire Reich.

Gestapo Exhibit No. 9 is a copy in extract of the law dealing with German police officials dated 24th June, 1937. I shall read paragraph I from it. This is found on Page 28 of Document Book 1.

"This law affects the executive officials of the Civil Police, the Criminal Police of the Reich and of the communities, the Military Police, and the Gestapo, as well as other executive officials of the Security Police."
From this we can see that police executive officials had a special position in that they alone were subordinate to the law affecting police officials, which was not the case with regard to the other branches, such as, for instance, the administrative officials.

Gestapo Exhibit No. 10 contains the temporary provision for execution of this law which we have just mentioned. It gives a definition of the executive police officials. I quote from Part I, concerning paragraph 1 of the law; and this may be found on Page 33 of the document:

"Police executive officials are, in the Reich Criminal Police, the Gestapo, and also in other branches of the Security Police: Criminal Assistants (Kriminalassistenten), Criminal Senior Assistants (Kriminaloberassistenten), Criminal Secretaries (Kriminalsekretaere)" and so forth.
By the law of 19th March, 1937, the officials of the Gestapo became direct Reich officials. I quote from Gestapo Exhibit No. 11, Page 36 of the document book, paragraph 1:
"The following become direct officials of the Reich:

(2) Officials of the Security Police (Gestapo and Criminal Police), but not the administrative police officials serving the Criminal Police in the State police administrations."

I ask that judicial notice be taken of Gestapo Exhibit 12. It is a copy of the law of 17th June, 1936, dealing with the assignment of the Chief of the German police to the Reich Ministry of the Interior.

[Page 261]

I also ask that judicial notice be taken of Gestapo Exhibit 13, which concerns the employment of inspectors of the Security Police.

Gestapo Exhibit 14 has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 266 as evidence that the Party was prohibited from taking action in matters which were a concern of the Gestapo. I quote from Figure 1, second paragraph, which is at Page 42 of the first document book:

"I forbid all offices of the Party, its branches and affiliated associations to undertake investigations and interrogations in matters which are the concern of the Gestapo. All occurrences of a political-police character, without prejudice to their being further reported along Party channels, are to be brought immediately to the knowledge of the competent offices of the Gestapo, now as before."
From Page 2 of the same document, Page 43 of my document book, I quote the third paragraph:
"I particularly emphasize that all treasonable activities against the State coming to the knowledge of the Party are to be reported to the Gestapo without delay. It is in no way a task of the Party to make investigations or inquiries of any kind in these matters on its own initiative."
THE PRESIDENT: From which page was it that you were reading then?

DR. MERKEL: Page 43, Mr. President, of the German document book.

THE PRESIDENT: May I have the heading?

DR. MERKEL: Yes, the heading is "Reporting of Treasonable Activities to the Gestapo," and from that I read the third paragraph, starting with the words:

"I particularly emphasize that - "

DR. MERKEL: That the assumption of political offices by officials and employees of the Gestapo was not desired, may be seen from Page 3 of this document, which is Page 44 of the document book, the last paragraph:

"Since it," that is, the Gestapo, "is still in the process of organization and the available officials and employees are very much in demand, they are only to take over positions in the Party to the extent that this is compatible with their official duties in the Gestapo."
From Gestapo Exhibit I5, which is an excerpt from the Reich administrative gazette Of 1935, I quote evidence of the fact that it was possible to enter a complaint against measures of the Gestapo through inspection channels. This is the first paragraph, Page 46 of the document book:
"Since the Law on the Gestapo of 30th November, 1933, became effective, orders of the Gestapo office can no longer be contested according to the provisions of the Law on Police Administration. The only remedy against them is a complaint through investigation channels."
Further, to clarify the legal status of the Gestapo and of the Gestapo office, I should like to quote Page 3 of this same document, which is Page 48 of the document book. I shall quote paragraph 2:
"In accordance with all this, the legal status of the office of the Gestapo, since the law of 30th November, 1933, became effective, is the following: The office is part of a special governmental organization, the 'Secret State Police,' which forms an independent branch of the Administration of the Prussian State. It has, like the Secret State Police as a whole, a special field of duties: the management of affairs of the political police."
Of Gestapo Exhibits 16 and 17, I ask that judicial notice be taken. They deal with the introduction of the laws establishing the Gestapo in non-German areas. Gestapo Exhibit 18 deals with the Border Police as a part of the Gestapo. It is the copy of a circular by the Reich and Prussian Ministry of the Interior dated

[Page 262]

8th May, 1937. I shall quote from No. III. This is Page 53 of the document book.
"The execution of police tasks at the Reich frontier is entrusted to the Border Police offices."
I shall omit the next sentence.
"The Border Police Commissioners' offices, including the Border Police posts established by them, are, as previously, the border stations in Prussia and Baden, branch offices of the State Police offices competent for their district."
Gestapo Exhibit 19 is a copy of a circular issued by the Chief of the Security Police and the Security Service, dated 30th June, 1944, in which the unification of the military and political police counter intelligence machinery is ordered. I quote from the text, the first three paragraphs, at Page 56 of the document book:
"The result of the transfer of the special department 'Economy III' existing within the former counterintelligence agencies to the agencies of the State Police, is the union of the military and political police counterespionage in industry and economy.

The responsibility for intelligence protection of the armament industry as well as of all other war plants and vital industries is henceforth the responsibility of the Chief of the Security Police and of the SD and the offices of the Gestapo subordinate to him.

The carrying out of intelligence protection as well as the direction and employment of the counter-intelligence organs within the plants are now exclusively the task of the Gestapo offices, in keeping with the instructions given by the Reich Security Main Office."

I ask that judicial notice be taken of Gestapo Exhibit 2o. It contains a directive issued by Himmler on 25th October, 1938, dealing with the erection of a central office for registration for police service. Through the setting up of this office it was possible to order candidates to do service in the Gestapo against their will.

I also ask that judicial notice be taken of Gestapo Exhibit 21. It concerns directives for qualification tests for applicants for service in the Security Police. I make the same request with reference to Gestapo Exhibit No. 22, which is a directive of 14th December, 1936. It says that candidates for Criminal Police service will have to meet the same tests as candidates for the regular Criminal Police.

Then I ask that Gestapo Exhibit 23 should be given judicial notice, which is a decree of 2nd June, 193'7, which says that civil police and military police officials were detailed for service in the Gestapo, and therefore, they did not come to the Gestapo voluntarily.

THE PRESIDENT: What you are doing now is not assisting the Tribunal in the very least. Would it not be better to submit all these documents, that is to say, to put them in, and ask us to take judicial notice of them, which we shall do, because they are decrees, and then to refer to any particular paragraphs in them when you come to make your argument? I say that because this 1s meaningless to us to read excerpts; and it is confusing to read a number of them without making any submissions at all about them. When you come to make your argument, you can draw our attention to any particular passage you want to in order to explain the arguments, but this is not doing you any good at all.

DR. MERKEL: Yes, Mr. President, I have made provisions for that in my final summary. However, there I have naturally tried to be very brief, and only to refer to these documents, on the assumption that I might read them during the submission of documents. However, it will suffice if the High Tribunal wishes merely to take judicial notice of these documents.

[Page 263]

THE PRESIDENT: It is much more informative to our minds than to have it separated between the reading of the documents now and your final argument. If we have to listen to the same sort of thing from all other organizations, it is beyond human ability to carry all these things in our minds.

Dr. Merkel, if there are any special passages in these decrees or documents which you wish to draw our attention to now, in order that we may read them carefully before you make your speech, well and good; but it is no good going through one after the other like this without making any comment at all. Do you follow what I mean?

DR. MERKEL: For that reason I only read brief sentences from the most important of these documents and asked that judicial notice be taken of the rest.

THE PRESIDENT: I do not know what you call a very few brief ones, but we have had about fifteen or twenty already. That does not seem to me to be very few.

DR. MERKEL: Of course we must take into consideration that we have only three hours at our disposal for the final speech. For that reason it seemed suitable, first of all, to submit my documentary evidence in such a way that the documents could, as far as possible, be read to the Tribunal, and then, m the final speech, be referred to in a brief way. For this documentary material must at some time be submitted to the High Tribunal in some form or another, and we considered it more suitable to separate the two, to submit the documentary material now, briefly, and in our final speech to restrict ourselves to an evaluation only of the evidence which had been submitted.

Apart from that, I have almost concluded my submission of these individual documents. In the second volume of my document book there are but a few documents from which I wish to quote a few brief passages -

THE PRESIDENT: Go on, then.

DR. MERKEL: Gestapo Exhibit 32, the first one in Document Book 2, shows that the combating of partisan bands was not the concern of the Party or of Himmler, but of the Army. I refer in this connection to an affidavit deposed by a certain Rode, which has already been submitted as Exhibit USA 562.

Gestapo Exhibit 33 shows that the orders regarding the execution of Russian prisoners of war in the concentration camps came from the Inspector of Concentration Camps and not from Department IV of the RSHA.

Gestapo Exhibits 35, 36 and 37 deal with protective custody, and I ask that judicial notice be taken of them.

Gestapo Exhibit 38 is a copy of a letter of the Inspector of Concentration Camps dated I 5th October, 1936. I quote from paragraph 2, on Page 101 of the document book:

"Besides the Chief of the German Police, the following are authorized to enter concentration camps:

(a) The Chiefs of the three SS main offices,

(b) The administrative Chief of the SS,

(c) The Chief of Personnel of the Reichsfuehrer SS,

(d) The SS Gruppenfuehrer."

Then also 4:
"All other SS members, representatives of offices, and civilians, desiring to enter premises in which prisoners are lodged or engaged in work, for the purpose of visiting, require my express written authorisation."
Gestapo Exhibit 39 deals with the same topic.

I submit Gestapo Exhibits 40, 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45, as proof of the fact that concentration camps were not under the Gestapo but under the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office.

[Page 264]

Gestapo Exhibits 46 and 47 run along a similar vein. Number 46 is a questionnaire addressed to August Eigruber of 27th March, 1946; and No. 47 is a questionnaire addressed to Friedrich Karl von Eberstein, dated 26th March, 1946. Both have already been submitted by the defence counsel for the defendant Kaltenbrunner.

Numbers 48 and 52 deal with the recruitment of foreign workers for the Reich area, and show that this was the sole responsibility of the General Plenipotentiary for Labour Mobilization.

The setting up of labour training camps may be seen from Gestapo Exhibits 54 to 57.

The seizing and securing of cultural articles in the occupied territories are matters contained in 58 and 59.

Gestapo Exhibit 6o is the well-known decree about intensified interrogations.

Number 61 is a copy, in excerpt form, of a letter from Heydrich to Goering dated 11th November, 1938, and shows that the Gestapo took steps against the excesses of the night of 9th to 10th November, 1938.

Gestapo Exhibit 62 is a copy, in excerpt form, of testimony given by Dr. Mildner on 22nd June, 1945. It refers to the deportation of the Jews, and the subordination of the concentration camps under the SS Administrative and Economic Main Office.

This concludes my documentary evidence.

As far as the affidavits are concerned, I submit to the Tribunal first of all the German copies of the transcripts taken before the Commission, which I did not have till now. They are copies of the transcript of 9th, 19th and 27th July and 3rd August. They are contained, in summary form, in Gestapo Affidavits 1 to 91.

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