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 Seventh Day: Tuesday, 20th August, 1946
(Part 8 of 9)

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Finally under No. 4. I submit an affidavit from the former ministerial director in the Ministry of Food, Rudolf Harmeninck. Harmeninck describes the instruction given by Hitler to State Secretary Backe regarding preparations for war with Russia. These contained explicit instructions from Hitler that the minister himself, Darre, was to be kept in the dark regarding these preparations. And concerning that I quote:

"A few months before the outbreak of the war with Russia, measures were taken in the Reich Ministry of Food, such as, for instance, the getting ready of agricultural machinery and agricultural workers for a special purpose What this purpose was became apparent after the beginning of the Russian campaign - these things were intended for use in Russia. State Secretary Backe received the order for this directly from Hitler or Goring, over the head of the Reich Food Minister Darre. In fact, according to the instructions, it had to be kept strictly secret from the Minister."
Those are the affidavits which I have to submit.

Then I have submitted a document book with altogether 68 documents. I refer to this document book. In the main, the documents submitted set forth the official reasons and official points of view with reference to the draft laws of that particular period. These official reasons were attached to the draft laws and circulated amongst the various ministers. These documents, therefore, represent the arguments presented to the individual ministers in justification of the proposed laws. Among the remaining documents which I have submitted I wish to draw your attention in particular to Document 3: the Manifesto by the Reich Government to the German people, in 1933, containing the directives for the policy of the Cabinet; Document 9: in which the leaders of the dissolving parties stated their belief in, and urged their, followers to support, the new Government; and Document 63: an article by Reich Minister von Blomberg on the subject of compulsory military service.

As to the remaining questions, particularly the work of the organization, witnesses Lammers, Weiszacker, Goering and von Neurath have been heard at great length.

With that, Mr. President, I conclude.

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THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn.

(A recess was taken.)

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Pelckmann.

DR. PELCKMANN (associate counsel for the SS): Your Lordship, I refer first to the transcript on the examination of witnesses before the Commission, which, no doubt, the Tribunal has. There were 29 witnesses. I begin with the presentation of documents. I have divided these into groups so as to be able to finish the presentation very quickly. First, Documents Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5, and 84 in one group. The first three documents deal with the so-called ideals" of the SS: it states the ideals of the confraternity. Something is said about kinship (Sippengemeinschaft) and such-like and proof is given that this was the basis of the training.

Document 5 says that the members of the General SS carried out their normal civil occupations and the SS service was only supplementary.

Document 84 makes it clear once more that the SS was a branch of the Party and in contrast to the other SS formations, which I shall present later, was represented by the NSDAP in case of complaints.

In Document 6 (Exhibit USA 441), which I submit once more, the principles of the SS are again referred to, and for the individual man these were quite decent requirements: sanctity of property, the precept of thrift, etc. I must present that briefly because it is important for my final plea.

Documents 4 and 103 belong together. Document 4 shows that the SS men swore an oath which did not differ from that of the old civil servants, but did differ from that of a soldier, for, strangely enough, the soldier swears absolute obedience but the SS man does not.

Document 103 deals with the fact that this oath was made in God's name, and Himmler says in reference to that: "I consider a person who does not believe in God presumptuous, to be suffering from megalomania, and stupid. Such a person is not suitable for us."

Document 84, which I just quoted, shows once more that the SS Verfugungstruppe (Emergency troops) and the SS Totenkopfverbande (Death Head's Units) did not belong to the General SS. They did not have any civil occupation; they were State employees, and in case of complaints against these members or these formations, that is, the SS Verfugungstruppe or the Totenkopfverbande, the complaint had to be made against the Ministry of the Interior; this is very important for the concentration camp question.

Then there follow Documents 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12. The Waffen SS was created during the war. Its members were instructed to fight decently and chivalrously and not make themselves guilty of punishable actions against the civilian population in enemy countries, and to respect the prisoners of war and the fallen.

For the members of the Waffen SS - this is shown especially by Document 12 - the basic rules of the SS apply only when the individual Waffen SS men were at the same time members of the General SS. For example, that is true even for the so- called marriage order. This ideology is not applicable to the Waffen SS men, so that even the voluntary Waffen SS men were not subject to the special laws of the SS.

Documents 13, 14, 15: The SS is accused of the legal plundering of the occupied eastern territories. These documents show that the laws in this respect were issued by the Trustee for the Four-Year Plan, Goering, or the Minister of the Interior, Frick. The Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood and the Office for Racial Germans (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle) were entrusted with the resettlement and bringing back of Germans. This is shown by Documents 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22 and 23. Documents 25, 26, 30, 33, 34, 40, and Exhibit USA 674 I submit as evidence that the Civil Service law, the

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emergency labour regulation, the constitution for German students, the agreements between the Reichsfuehrer SS and the Reich Youth Leader, the Reich Labour Leader and the Reich Finance Minister were coercive measures which made it possible for Germans to be allocated to the General SS, the Waffen SS, Verfugungstruppe SS and the SS Totenkopf units. Even the woman Police Staff assistants were forcibly placed in the SS Women's Auxiliary Corps.

Documents 28, 30, 31, and 32 can be taken together. They give a number of examples of the kind of compulsory service just mentioned or of men being drafted into the General SS, the Waffen SS, and the SS Verfugungstruppe.

Documents 29, 36, 38, and 39 show that citizens of foreign n States, in so far as they were of German descent, were not forcibly drafted into the Armies of their respective countries, but into the Waffen SS. This was on the strength of State agreements.

The documents show further how whole groups comprising many or few people were forcibly placed under SS jurisdiction without being SS members. They continued under the name of their old occupation but with the addition of "SS."

Document 4 treats with the question of the so-called patron members, which has still not been settled by the prosecution. These patron members were only linked with the SS from the financial standpoint. Their subscriptions flowed into the coffers of the General SS membership as a so-called patron member in no case meant that a person belonged to the active SS.

Documents 48, 53, 54, 57, 59 and 60 deal with the more or less great pressure exerted on police officials to join the SS. The request to join was worded: "I therefore expect that the person whom this concerns will join ..."

There were continuous inquiries demanding to know whether the person had joined. Even members of the regular police, the Ordnungspolizei, were also more or less forced to join. Court officials, doctors, young officers, and policemen were also pressed to join the SS. On the other hand, Documents 52 to 55, and 56, show that the members of the police who joined the SS in this way did not perform any SS service. They were not obliged to take SS training either. The only sign that they were members of the SS was that when they were promoted they were also promoted in the SS.

Finally, in Documents 65, 66, 67, and 68, I have to deal with purely external SS designations in police units. The battalions and regiments, as well as fire-fighting police units, that is, units of the fire service, all received the designation SS as an external sign of recognition, as it says in the decrees. As an example, I refer in this document to the Second Gendarmerie Battalion which became the Second SS Gendarmerie Battalion; or the police regiment "Alpenland" which became the SS police regiment, and so forth.

The documents show further that in spite of all this, these SS police regiments remained with the Ordnungspolizei, that they received their equipment from the Ordnungspolizei, and everything else was attended to by the Ordnungspolizei. The individual policeman of these regiments did not become a member of the General SS nor a member of the Waffen SS because his unit had this SS designation.

Finally, the following documents deal with the question: to what extent did the members of the SS know of and will the crimes with which the prosecution charges them?

Documents 70, 71, 73, 75, 76 and 79 are taken together. Hitler was constantly making speeches in which he simulated his unchangeable will for peace. The Reich Cabinet also stated that it wanted to preserve peace at all costs. The paper Dos Schwarz; Korps, believing these statements, wrote that the SS did not like war a statement made in January, 1937, and it goes on to explain this antipathy to war.

Documents 77 and 78 show that in this connection even outsiders like the Austrian bishops and the English Government were also deceived in 1938. The German

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English Peace Declaration of 30th September, 1938, is well known. It expresses the will of both peoples never again to wage war against each other.

In Document 80, containing some official statements on the nature and character of the SA and the SS, it is shown that neither the SA nor the SS was armed, neither were they given any training with arms or trained otherwise for military purposes. I am asserting this only for the case of the SS.

The supplement to Document 81 says that on the 16th April, 1934, the German Government offered to prove to the English Government that the SS and the SA had no arms and were not trained for any military purposes. This was true not only outwardly but it was also the case within the SS. This is shown by SS Document 82. It is the secret Fuehrer Decree of 17th August, 1938, which stated that the SS as a political organization of the NSDAP is not a military organization, it needs no training and it is unarmed. It states further in this decree that the members of the General SS as unarmed SS men are at the disposal of the Wehrmacht in case of war, in accordance with the provisions of the National Defence Law, and not of the Waffen SS.

Document 92 is a small example of how the masses were deceived about peace aims. According to this - it is a law of the Reich Cabinet - any participation in the Spanish Civil War in any form whatever is subject to punishment by imprisonment, although at the time thousands were fighting in Spain on Hitler's orders.

Documents 87, 88, 90 and 99 show the following:

Through the law against slander, the law against defeatism, and the prohibition of listening to the foreign radio, any spreading of the truth - and I take as a single example the spreading of rumours on concentration camps - became in fact impossible. This policy was rigorously applied during the war. That is proved by Document SS-98. It is the well-known speech of Himmler in Posen in 1943 Document PS-1919. I refer only to one sentence of Himmler which says that whoever is disloyal, be it even in thought, will be dismissed from the SS; also that care will be taken that he will disappear from among the living.

On the Jewish question, there are Documents 93 and 95. In February, 1934 the Reich Minister of the Interior, Dr. Frick, declared before the Diplomatic Corps that the only intention was to reduce the activity of the Germans of Jewish faith in proportion to other Germans. It was expressly denied that these citizens would be forced to emigrate.

The other document, No. 95, proves that even in the year 1942, when the mass destruction of Jews was under way, a law provided for the creation of a settlement in Theresienstadt for Jewish citizens. This, consciously or unconsciously, served to deceive the public about this extermination, and it deceived the SS members too.

The events of the 30th June, 1934, are dealt with in Documents 83, 100, 74, 105 and 106. The public did not learn the truth. Hitler was thanked for dealing with the situation in telegrams sent by the Reich President von Hindenburg to Hitler and Goering. These telegrams were published in all papers. In his speech of 13th July, 1934, Hitler described in great detail the preparations Roehm had made to overthrow the Government, how he had been in contact with foreign countries, and how an SS Fuehrer, who was mentioned by name, had prepared an attack on his life. The situation was presented as so urgent- that only immediate action, without judicial proceedings, could do any good. Moreover, this speech gave assurance that illegal excesses committed during this action would be punished by law.

Document 104 gives only a sketch to supplement the testimony of the witness von Eberstein. It clarifies the actual position of the Higher SS and Police Fuehrer.

Then I have Document SS 107, which unfortunately I was able to give to the prosecution only this morning, as I have just found it in the collection of decrees. I ask that it be accepted. It is a decree of the Reichsfuehrer SS of 27th August,

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1942. This decree expressly states that the main office of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Nationhood (Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle) is not an SS main office but a State organization. This question is important for the responsibility of the SS in the so-called Germanisation programme. This document has not yet been translated. I shall attempt to have translations made as quickly as possible.

That is my presentation of documents, your Lordship.

Now I come to the affidavits. For the examination before the Commission and especially for the examination of the five witnesses before the Tribunal, I was able to bring only witnesses, who, because of their high positions, could give the Tribunal a comprehensive survey of specific questions. With the affidavits the defence had to attempt to present as large a number as possible of statements on the whole evidence of the Indictment, in order to give the Tribunal an idea of how much the broad masses of the small people knew and how they behaved. I have attempted to do so by means of separate affidavits on certain points and by summarising a large number of statements on certain groups of questions and subjects.

I submit first 114 single affidavits. They are SS Affidavits 1 to 60, 63, 64, 68 and 69 and 71 to 118. Affidavit number 70, given by two SS members, contains all the contents of the affidavits of the internees of one camp, Camp 73. It refers, to almost all of the points of the Indictment against the SS.

Then I submit the digest of 136, 213 individual affidavits and collective affidavits. To these I have given the numbers 119 to 122.

Finally, the digest of a questionnaire which was sent to all camps, that is, a statistical report under Number 123.

I regret that I cannot give the Tribunal today the texts of these affidavits, especially of the individual affidavits, in English. As far as I know, translations into French are available for all affidavits, and I shall attempt to submit the English translations as soon as possible. I am now submitting the French translations.

I then submit SS affidavits of Dr. Morgen, 65 to 67.

I personally consider SS Affidavits 64, 68, 69 and 70 extremely important. I have -

THE PRESIDENT: Which are the ones you said were very important?

DR. PELCKMANN: 64, 68, 69 and 70.


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