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 Eighth Day: Wednesday, 21st August, 1946
(Part 8 of 8)

[Page 343]

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, you have been over half a day now. The Tribunal would like to know what it is further that you have to refer to.

DR. LATERNSER: I am now near the end of my evidence on the Commando order, and I shall then refer very briefly to the deportation of workers - that will take two minutes - and to CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY and WAR CRIMES. I estimate that I shall need another twenty minutes altogether.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, the Tribunal has already - at least I have already pointed out to you over and over again that all you are doing in substance is to read out what is already before us in writing, with certain references in addition to the prosecution's evidence. In nearly every case we have before us in writing exactly what you say about these affidavits.

There is no use nodding your head at me. I have checked it and that, in the opinion of the Tribunal, is quite unnecessary. You can go on and you must refer us to the affidavits which you say relate to these topics, which you have properly announced as topics upon which you were going to produce documents. That is to say, deportation, rules of war and humanity, and you may refer to the numbers of the affidavits which deal with that and refer us also to the numbers, particularly of the documents which have been translated, and then we shall know where to find the documents which are important. Now, will you go on, please?

DR. LATERNSER: My last reference was to Affidavit 3174, which states that for the 20th Mountain Army the Commando Order was changed by General Boehme with the approval of the OKW.

Affidavit 625 proves that the Commando Order was not carried out in the Italian naval theatre of operations.

For the Eastern theatre of war, Affidavits 608 and 616, as well as 624, show that the order was not carried through.

THE PRESIDENT: In order to show that I was entirely accurate in what I said to you, what we have before us is 608, General Bilka, "Rejection of the order by all commands in the East. No instance of shooting known." Go on.

[Page 344]

DR. LATERNSER: With respect to the participation or the alleged participation of the military leaders in the deportation of workers, I refer to Affidavits 2001 to 2019. That is all with reference to this point.

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, have any of them been translated?

DR. LATERNSER: No. Mr. President, that is exactly the misgiving I have. If the affidavits had been translated -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, 2001, the substance of the affidavit is in the summary; the same applies to 2002, 2003, 2004, 2004a and right on down to 2019. The substance of the affidavit is in the summary before us. It does not help us in the least to have it repeated by you.

DR. LATERNSER: Regarding the attitude of the military leaders toward the rules of war and towards human laws, I refer to Affidavits 505 to 514. Furthermore, in this connection I refer to the following documents in my document book: 440-PS, Pages 105 and 106 of the document book; 2329- PS, Pages 105 to 112; C-119, Pages 116 to 119, and the announcements on Pages 120 to 141 which were valid in all theatres of war.

Affidavit 531 is submitted to refute the accusation that the German military leaders tried to bring about an incident between Hungary and Russia by having German aeroplanes with Soviet insignia attack Hungarian territory. The High Tribunal will remember this assertion which is refuted in Affidavit 531 by the intelligence officer serving with the Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe at that time.

To refute the assertion that military orders were issued for the murder of enemy air crews who were shot down, I refer to Affidavits 652 to 659. Affidavit 651 shows that the Wehrmacht protected the airmen who were shot down - protected them against the excited population. The fact that lynching was condemned and rejected is evident from the Affidavits 518, 519 and 520a. Two of these affidavits refer to the Chiefs of the General Staff of the Air Force, General Koller and General Kreipe. In particular, Affidavit 520a shows that General Kreipe officially took measures to punish civilians who used violence against aviators.

Number 521 is an affidavit deposed by Major-General Galland, who testifies that German fighter squadrons never received orders to carry on the fight against crew members who had parachuted from their planes. Affidavit 522 -

THE PRESIDENT: Dr. Laternser, how do you think it helps the Tribunal for you to have made the statement which you have just made, when we have before us Affidavit 521, "General Galland, 7746, no order was ever given for the combating of shot-down air crews." Now, do you really think that you have added anything to that?

DR. LATERNSER: Mr. President, I intended to go into more detail on this point, but in consideration of the Tribunal's wishes I curtailed my remarks. This is the only reason. I shall conclude in a moment.

I refer now to Affidavits 522 and 523, which also show rescue measures for enemy airmen.

In conclusion, I should like to refer to Affidavits 3103 and 3106. In both of them it is proved that the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau rescued the survivors of the British auxiliary cruiser Rawalpindi, even though the British auxiliary cruiser had sent out a radio call for help and fast British naval forces could have arrived and been in a position to cut off the German ships from their return route to Heligoland Bay.

Affidavit 3106, deposed by Rear-Admiral Peters, describes similar rescue measures of the battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in the spring of 1941 and also an incident in 1943, when a German U-boat was sent to Spitzbergen specially for the purpose of rescuing persons shipwrecked in that area.

[Page 345]

That concludes the submission of my documentary evidence.

I should like to introduce the documents which have been translated. Nos. 1 to 4, 933, 935, 939, 1501, 508a, 508b, 513 and 514b. And finally, I should like to refer to my Document Mil. 1, dealing with the speech of General Beck, on the occasion of the 235th anniversary of the foundation of the Military Academy, because this speech shows the attitude of the military leaders.


DR. BOEHM (for the SA): Mr. President, may it please the Tribunal, I should like, first of all, to submit an index showing that Document Books SA 1a, 1b, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are being submitted. I shall do that as soon as the originals are here; then the index includes the transcripts of the Commission sessions, which refer to evidence on this subject before the Commission, affidavits for the General SA, namely twenty-one affidavits which have been translated, and an additional 68 affidavits which were also deposed, and were dealt with by the Commission, and 17,089 affidavits which have been summarised. Then affidavits for the SA which refer to members of the SA who came from the Stahlhelm and the corresponding transcripts of the Commission's sessions. Also documents dealing with the mounted SA units, namely 72 affidavits, of which Nos. 1, 13, 21, 24, 29, 30, 64, 68, 70, 72, and 75 have been translated. Then an index which lists the individual affidavits deposed for the General SA, for the Stahlhelm and for the mounted SA corps. I should like to submit this index.

THE PRESIDENT: Have you submitted it?

DR. BOEHM: I shall submit this material, Mr. President, as soon as I receive it, and I shall then call the attention of the High Tribunal to it. It will not take more than a few minutes.

As the first part of my evidence I shall submit documents showing the legal measures taken by the National Socialist State to force the young generation to join the affiliated organizations of the Party. Document General SA-144 shows how members of the evangelical youth organisations were individually forced into the Hitler Youth. A simple calculation shows that when these young people reached the age of eighteen they were taken over by the Party and by the organisations affiliated with the Party, such as the SA.

In order to lay hold on youth, the Reich Government issued at the same time a decree concerning the creation of student associations in the universities of the Reich; on the basis of this decree the student associations received certain powers. That may be seen in Document SA-147. This document refers to Bavaria, but it applied to the whole of Germany; that is proved by Document SA-148, the so-called Prussian Students' Rights Decree; the purpose of which was the training of the students for their place in the national community and their training for military fitness.

This decree was the basis for the directive concerning the creation of an SA Department for Universities - Document SA- 156, This order, which in this form applied to all universities in the Reich, compelled all students who were physically fit to serve in the SA. It is important to note that the students could not report to the University SA Department, but had to report to the local SA companies (Sturme). The SA University Department was later dissolved, but since the students had to report to the local SA companies they remained in the SA.

The obligation to serve in the SA was emphasized in every newspaper, as is shown in Document 150. This is an excerpt from the monthly periodical of the VC, the Catholic German Youth associations.

These obligations however were not sufficient in the National Socialist State, and in the year 1936 all students in their first, second and third semesters were taken over by the NS Students' League (NS Studentenbund), and as Document

[Page 346]

SA-151 shows, the National Socialist Students' League was given the task of seeing to it that all students belonged in addition to one of the affiliated organizations of the Party; as a result of this, great numbers of German students were again incorporated into the SA.

In Document SA-159 we see the results of non-compliance with the directive of the SA University Department. It shows that study without membership of the SA or a similar formation was impossible.

Document SA-164 shows that the first step of legal coercion was taken in Prussia. The document clearly shows that the Prussian Ministry of Science, Art and Education ordered that service in the SA and the Labour Service was a condition for being admitted to the second teachers' examination.

Document SA-165 gives evidence that in the year 1035 the official gazette of the Bavarian State Ministry of Education and Culture stated, on Page 56, that one of the conditions for study as a teacher was activity and service in an organization such as the SA.

It is obvious that the legal coercion was most marked in its effect on those who were economically weak. I want to prove this by submitting Document SA-167, in which service in the Labour Service and in the affiliated organizations is demanded.

Document SA-170 shows that not even schoolboys of the sixth class and upward in the high schools were exempt from this compulsion to be active in the NSDAP or its formations.

In the first part of my evidence I dealt with legal coercion in high schools and universities. I now come to the second part, the legal compulsion applied to recruits to the Civil Service.

Document SA-162 shows that the law for the restoration of the professional Civil Service had turned out to be a much- feared discriminating law directed against the Civil Service.

Document 173, a commentary dealing with German Civil Service Law of 1937, says on Page 66:

"Of the young German official it must be required, if his physical condition permits, that he be a member of the SA or the SS."
The development which was started by the law for the restoration of the professional Civil Service ended with the regulation concerning preliminary training for the career of a German civil servant. In paragraph 2 of this directive - Document SA-176 - it is stated:
"Applicants must belong or have belonged to the Party or one of its formations."
In this connection I should like to refer to Document SA- 17S; and as an exception I should like to deal at greater length with this document and quote from it:
"Finally each applicant for an official position can be required to belong to the Party or one of its formations. For the official should not only belong to the SA or to the SS but should have been in the Hitler Youth as well, since, through the law of 1st December, 1936, the Fuehrer has set for all German youth the goal that, in addition to being trained in the home and at school, physical, spiritual and moral training in the spirit of National Socialism should be given in the Hitler Youth for service to the nation and to the national community."
I should like to quote another passage briefly:
"Thus the material content of the decree had its origin in the various branches and was built up organically. This kind of refashioning of the law is in accord with the basic principles of the National Socialist State. Its method is not that of the constitutional State (Systemstaat), which first issued pleasant-sounding laws but was then unable to carry them out because the prerequisites were lacking, apart from the fact that the governmental

[Page 347]

agencies were too weak to carry them out; but the Government of the Third Reich first creates the actual conditions necessary for the carrying out of a governmental measure and then issues the corresponding law."
The period from 1933 to 1939 was an epoch in which one law after the other appeared and one directive after the other was issued. I have incorporated only a few of these directives in my document book. Document SA-178 shows that apprentices in the Prussian State administration could be taken only from National Socialist formations such as the SA and SS.

As early as the year 1934, as Document SA-183 shows, it was a condition for being admitted to practical training in the advanced construction service that the applicant was a member of a formation such as the SA.

The same applied, as is shown in Document 165, in the case of the Reich Railways.

One can say, to sum up, that the young generation, which was not old enough to vote in 1933, was forced into the formations of the NSDAP through laws and directives. It cannot be regarded as an exception that the Reich Minister of Transport says in a letter - Document SA-186:

"A special case prompts me to point out once more to all civil servants entering training courses for higher posts, as well as assessors and construction assessors already belonging to the administration, that they should take an active part in the Party or in one of its formations."
This is not an exception involving the Reich Minister of Transport, but it is a typical case for all agencies of the Reich, of the states, communities and other public institutions.

We will see later that also large parts of industry and trade were affected by this so-called political co- ordination of the younger generation.

Document SA-188 shows that the Reich Post Office, in all its employment regulations, required membership of the Party or its formations.

The same can be seen in the Reich regulations for legal training, in SA Document 191.

Document SA-194 shows that the Reich Minister of justice was not satisfied with a formal membership, but demanded active participation in the Party or its formations, such as the SA.

That the police also did not make any exception is shown in SA Document 196. Membership of the NSDAP or one of its formations was a condition for entry into the police service.

Document SA-197 is a collective order, and it concludes this array of directives in 1944.

SA Documents 200, 201, 203, 208, and 213 show that service in the SA was required of young personnel in the financial administration. It is regrettable -

THE PRESIDENT: What is regrettable?

DR. BOEHM: I beg your pardon?

THE PRESIDENT: Finish your sentence.

DR. BOEHM: Yes, I shall submit all the documents, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: We will adjourn now.

(The Tribunal adjourned until 22nd August at 1000 hours.)

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